I grew up in a rural town in the seventies. At a young age and certainly into my teens I knew there was something going on with me that made me different. Even though I found women beautiful, I had this same-sex physical attraction.
Being "queer," a "fag," a "homo," (and other derogatory terms used so naturally at the time) was not an option for me as I lacked the courage to be myself. So I struggled with these feelings throughout my adolescence and early adulthood.
There came a point where I found out a friend of mine was experiencing the same struggle. Eventually we acted on our desires with one another. The sex was amazingly enjoyable and fulfilling. But because we each had this strong internalized homophobia, there was no cuddling and kissing afterwards, just feelings of shame. This went on for me over the years and throughout college. During this time I tried to meet and date women without any success. I wasn't a bad looking guy, so I had this odd feeling that somehow they knew. Our minds can be so creative.
It was 1984. The last time I was intimate with a guy. The AIDS crisis was just starting to get public attention. I was terrified. At that point I was just accepting myself as "bi," yet never having experienced sex with a woman. Having never had any success meeting a woman who was interested in me, I began replying to personal adverts in magazines (the precursor to online dating). The summer of 1985, I had my first date with a woman. I was 24. She was beautiful and had a wonderful personality. We hit it off from the start and she invited me back to her place. We ended up in bed together and it was a disaster. I could not perform. She comforted me, saying it happens and it was my nerves. That was the point I truly thought I was gay. We were able to have some success the next day. But I remember thinking this "nerves" problem was never an issue with guys.
Over the next few years, I dated different women (always meeting through personal ads) until meeting my wife. We've been married for nearly 28 years. Through these years, I have always been faithful, never straying, as much as I've wanted to. Our sex life has been mediocre and less and less frequent. And it has certainly been a struggle at times, with my fantasizing of men to make it work. I know that's cruel, but it's the truth. I'm 58 years old now. Over the past few years, my urges to act on my desire to be with a man, to experience the wonderful joys of gay sex, have only become stronger, almost unbearable. I don't know where my story is going. But I do know I don't plan on living this lie forever.