Reddit user TheGreek1 asked: 'What made you realize your true sexual orientation?'
Everyone has a different journey on their road to self-discovery.
Especially when it comes to their sexual identity, many young adults struggle with not fitting in and wondering where they belong in social situations.
It's common for many of these individuals to be ashamed and suppress their identity for fear of being judged or ridiculed, while others have a support system at home or among close friends.
Curious to hear how people arrived at their moments of self-discovery, Redditor TheGreek1asked:
"What made you realize your true sexual orientation?"
Exposure to media helped these Redditors with their epiphany.
The Guy On TV
"So one day I saw a tv show, and there was a gay guy in some part of it, so I thought to myself, am I gay? And I came to the conclusion that I am in fact, straight."
"Same! Or you may see a good looking guy but it doesn’t feel the same way as seeing a good looking woman. I hope that makes sense."
"I stumbled upon a stack of old playboys when I was 7 actually. I was very very intrigued. Before that I thought boys and girls both had penises lmaoo."
'Cuz Ya Gotta Have Faith
"I’m dating myself here but George Michael’s video for 'Faith.' At the beginning there is a hot girl in high heels leaning against a jukebox on one side and he’s on the other side. My eyes went to him. I thought, maybe I just want some jeans like that. Naw. I wanted what was IN the jeans."
Some experimented to determine their sexuality.
"Honestly? I had some doubts at first. So I let a guy go down on me during a 3some with his girlfriend. He was a freshman psychology student and had just learned about Kinsey and was making a big long speech about how sexuality is a spectrum, and nobody is truly 100% straight, and you know what? It was kind of compelling. So there I am, getting what was probably the third blowjob of my life, and I just can't stay hard. This dude was motivated, and no matter what he did... I think I was every bit as surprised as he was."
Best Buddy Hook-Up
"Same here. I thought, 'let’s try men, see how it goes!' Found myself hooking up with a close male friend who is, by all means, a f'kin smoke show."
"It was a safe space. I felt comfortable. And I learned - at most I’m a Kinsey 1 maybe. Maybe a Kinsey 0.5."
"If I die without ever being with another man, all good."
Those who were acquainted with or related to these Redditors tried to convince them of their sexuality.
Recognizing Beauty, Not Acting On It
"My sister in law was trying to convince me I was 'bisexual with a preference for men.' She wouldn’t let it go, all because I can appreciate when a woman is beautiful. I told her that I can see when a woman is beautiful, but it doesn’t mean I’m attracted to them."
"My best friend in high school was a lesbian, and was always trying to convince me that I was bi. I was like, 'lol no, I'm straight af.' Well, one night with my guy of many years, we were opening up about our kinks and- I don't know, I guess I just finally felt safe enough- but I realized I'd always kept a door closed inside of me where I knew I was also attracted to women."
"I've had way too many bad experiences in the past with female friends (who I think were actually crushes) to actually ever think about dating a woman, but I'm definitely also sexually attracted to them."
Impressions made from a certain age can't be forgotten.
"When I went to kindergarten round-up when i was 5, I remember seeing two very pretty girls and thinking I would like to kiss them. To be honest, 35 years later those two women are still very pretty and I would still like very much like to kiss them."
The Handsy Child
"I remember falling in love with my first grade teacher. Ms. Florence. It has always been ladies for me. I read these modern discussions where people are debating sexuality, and it just doesn’t compute. My Grandpa told stories about me putting my hands down women’s shirts at age two/three."
My elementary teacher's assistant was a high school student named Randy.
He was the first guy I couldn't take my eyes off of.
He was a redhead, had freckles, and stunning green eyes that looked deep back into mine whenever I pretended I had a question for him but fumbled with my attempt at small talk.
I recognized him as a beautiful man but I didn't understand why I gravitated toward him as I was years from having any kind of sexual comprehension or awakening as a ten-year-old.
But I know for certain that was when I realized I was "different" when I pined for him and wanted to be near him every time I went to school.
I wonder what Randy is up to now?
Do you sometimes think about the people from your past you've had crushes on?
Reddit user jacklawd asked: 'How did you conclude that your sexual orientation is what it is?'
When it comes to defining our sexuality, we all have our different journeys.
For some, it's not about arriving at a destination. It's about a constantly evolving state of being and the individual they find along the road to self-discovery and love that dictates who they are in the moment.
Nothing is ever set in stone.
And for others, it's about an innate conviction that informs their sexual identity, even at a premature age prior to having any sexual experiences.
Curious to hear from strangers online about where they fall, Redditor jacklawd asked:
"How did you conclude that your sexual orientation is what it is?"
For some, it was love at first glance.
Love Them Melons
"I was sold on boobs from an early age."
Nudie Magazine Was Revealing
"I saw a Playboy when I was like 6 and my mind was blown."
"Me too, I was 7 (female) and it definitely did something to me. That said as soon as I could could see porn with guys in it, that's what I wanted to look at. I've had sex with women but I never fantasize about them. So I don't really know what I am. Mostly straight but a bit bisexual I guess?"
Study In Contrasts
"Look at woman with big chest -> Ooga Booga"
"Look at man with attractive body -> No ooga booga."
"Ripped dude -> good for him."
"Hot woman -> Oh, baby!"
When You Know, You Know
"Basically this lol. I can look at a guy and say he's attractive guy with nice body but past that I'm just happy for him."
"See an attractive woman though and yeah thoughts are more like she's pretty I would want to take her on a date and do stuff."
These Redditors were put through the test.
The Influence Factor
"Spaghettisexual - straight until wet."
"'Six beer queer' is the other one."
"I've never felt more understood than I do right now."
"I'm kinda the same. I used to say I was 'straight-leaning pan' because I actively prefer and seek out relationships with women but a strong emotional connection isn't dependent on gender. Eventually I discovered the term 'heteroflexible' and immediately identified with it. My preferences are hetero, my heart is demi-pan."
"I was putting clothes back on my daughter's Ken doll. My son asked why I was doing it and I told him it's because she took his clothes off. He wanted to know why she took his clothes off. I told him maybe it was the same reason he takes the clothes off her Barbie. He thought about it a moment, looked confused and said, 'But Ken isn't fun naked!'"
It was never up for a debate, and experimenting wasn't an option.
Siren Of The Screen
"I saw Selma Hayek. And my brain shut down."
"Hooolyyyyy SH*T. Do you remember her in Dusk til Dawn, or Dogma? Oh my Gawd. It's like a mental hard reset. My brain is panicking just thinking about it. Good lord."
Just The Fairer Sex
"Idk I’ve always been attracted to women Never really wanted to try anything with guys."
Standing Bi Their Decision
"Saw a hot girl. Saw a hot guy. Thought 'yeah both is good.'”
"both?" "Both.." "Both." "Both is good"
Hot For Teacher
"At 15 all my friends constantly talked about their crushes on our male classmates or their favorite male rock star. I was constantly thinking about my female teacher. My thoughts were never physical; they were about mundane things. So I tried to convince myself I wasn’t gay. But I knew I couldn’t talk about my feelings. One day in class I was sitting on the floor with some other students and the teacher randomly put her hand on the top of my head. I felt like I was going to faint. The infatuation lasted a couple of years. If I saw her walk by all the way across the cafeteria I would be in a good mood the rest of the day."
"A couple of years later it happened again with a coworker closer to my age. The constant thoughts started up, just mundane things like replaying our discussions in my head. One day I had to talk to her about something. I was standing about 3 feet in front of her and looking at her, and I felt like I wasn’t going to be able to breathe."
The thread demonstrated that many of us have fought against or contemplated various scenarios before being comfortable with who we are to allow ourselves to experience defining life moments.
Nothing is hardly ever black or white.
It's interesting then that the ignorant contingent repeatedly argues that people "choose to be gay," because that makes sense. Do they think people deliberately choose to live a life being constantly subjected to ridicule, judgment, and endless bullying?
Not only does that rationality not make sense, but, unfortunately, statements like that only invalidate the existence of people in the LGBTQ+ community, or worse, prevent them, from coming out of the closet.
Social media platforms like Reddit allow users to comment on strangers' posts under the convenience of anonymity.
While a majority of the comments people leave can be insightful or encouraging, there are unfortunately many trolls who recklessly leave hurtful comments and do so while being cognizant that there are no real consequences for such bullish behavior.
This led Redditor pretty_monotonous to ask an interesting hypothetical about what would happen if a certain Reddit feature became obsolete.
"Would you still use reddit if it had the anonymity aspect taken away? Why or why not?"
Some come to be entertained.
"I'd lurk and read, but I wouldn't post."
"Basically how I've been using reddit for years! I have a hard time even making the simplest comments without thinking somehow this sh*ts gonna backfire on me somehow."
"I love this ! I’m currently on a social media detox and I thought I was stupid for still using Reddit but I need some exposure to social media I can’t just completely cut it out, but this made me feel better thanks stranger."
"Same for me. When I come here I can be fully transparent, and read others stories without making comparisons and going down the rabbit hole that usually leaves me feeling anxious and not good enough."
It's a hard no.
"Nope. I removed myself from every platform that had that because I was constantly comparing myself to other real people, wishing I had what they had, and it was not healthy for me. Here, I have no clue who any of you are, and it's been an incredibly healthy shift while still allowing some exposure to social media."
Permission To Be Rude
"No. Not because anonymity gives me the opportunity to be rude to people (I try to be as polite here as in real life), but because anonymity gives me the opportunity to talk about things freely that I wouldn't talk about if my actual name was attached to it."
"I have no desire for family members or employers to search my name and stumble across me sharing an embarrassing story, or having a not-so-mainstream opinion, or fangirling over my favorite tv character or whatever other niche interests I might have. Not to mention the risk of being stalked by people you try to avoid."
Giving Up On The Internet
"Hell no, I'd immediately stop using nearly every website I frequent if the anonymity was gone."
"One reason amongst the multitude of reasons, is that I don’t want the sh*t I say on the internet interfering with my job. I don’t want to get fired over a controversial opinion or over the language I use, such as simple words like f'k or sh*t. I’d have to overly censor myself, and the point of being anonymous is that I don’t have to do that."
"Probably not. I don't want to broadcast my identity for security reasons. I think that is often forgotten about when people go rabid over online anonymity."
"If a criminal/hostile state actor can make connections of when/where/what you post, it opens up a lot of scary possibilities."
For some, it's just a space for casual interaction.
Difference With Facebook
"This is one of the things that I really enjoy reddit for vs. Facebook. I can have indepth discussions, arguments, and debates with people who have no clue who I am, nor do I know them. I've really limited what I'll comment on Facebook out of the realization that any one I'm friends with could see that."
"I might possibly still use it."
"But I won't express myself honestly anymore."
"Anonymity is one of absolutely essential things to assure honest and open debate. When you can be hounded and publicly punished for having an opinion different than that of the majority, you can not have free and fair debate."
"The same reason I don't post or comment on FB or Insta etc, I don't want people I know to read my opinions on anything. I'm a private person and It's none of their business."
"I like to be argumentative and have various opinions on topics that many people on my 'friends list' wouldn't necessarily appreciate."
"I'm also dead against the 'look at me' type of posting you see on other platforms; e.g. 'okay this time I'm done' without any explanation."
"In closing: I don't want to live my online life under the lense of people I know IRL."
I would have no problem continuing to use any social media platform to comment on a topic with my authentic take on the subject at hand.
Because why on earth would anyone willfully make the original poster feel bad while they know exactly who is making negative remarks?
Many say, "If you don't have anything nice to say, then don't say it."
Yet, that doesn't seem to stop people who have nothing better to do but elevate themselves by taking total strangers down.
Life's short, people. Let's be kind. It's not that hard.
Think not twice, but five times before you post anything of yourself on the internet, especially if it's of a certain "delicate or salacious" nature.
This isn't the twentieth century anymore, when you could just burn a poorly thought out photo.
The internet means it all lives forever.
Redditor BrixtonsFinest2 wanted to hear from everyone out there who has been witness to seeing their online and private lives collide by asking:
"People who post NSFW content: Has anyone from your real life ever found out? What happened?"
"I once accidentally sent to a friend with the same name as an ex. After explaining the mistake he asked if he could have more. I ended up sending a few more. It weirdly never became sexual between us. He was just like thank you and we moved on lol."
Mark of the Beast
"A customer got pissed off at me and posted my video to a bunch of porn sites once. A friend who knew what I did found the video and let me know so that I could get it taken down. Interestingly, I've never had sex with this friend before, but I've taken my clothes off around him enough that he was able to recognize a birthmark that I have."
"Even though I wasn't showing my face. Another funny part of this is that before telling me that he'd found my video, he spent a minute explaining why he had searched stuff that led him to finding the video (the video was kinda kinky and taboo)."
"One of the lawyers at my previous job sent me something by mistake. It was only a 'lewd', what she was wearing was lace and you can kind of see through it but nothing too revealing."
"I sent her a text back saying 'Uh, don't be embarrassed, but I don't think you meant to send this to me.' She replied back 'OH MY GOD I'M SO SORRY!!!' Told her not to worry about it."
"Then she texted 'do you at least think my boyfriend will like it?' with a bunch of cry-laughing emoji's. I replied 'He'd be pretty dumb if he didn't!' Then I deleted the convo. We never mentioned it again afterwards."
"I used to have an alternate Facebook account and was in private groups with 'T&A' posts. (Tits and A**). I used to post a lot of pictures on there (super insecure and lonely part of my life where validation from internet strangers was everything) and some guy found my real account and found my dads account."
"He sent them all to him. But unbeknownst to him, I was the one who set up my dad's Facebook account so I just logged into it and deleted the messages before he saw them."
"Well, since I don't plan to run for office I guess I can finally tell this story. More than 20 years ago I appeared on a North American cable TV show that was discussing "interesting" sexual behaviours: this episode was about BDSM Pony Play. [ note: if you don't know what Pony Play is then have fun finding out from someone other than me, and no I don't do any BDSM stuff any more I am a much different person now. :)"
"I was wearing my Gear, my voice was muffled a bit, totally covered except for my eyes. There was nothing explicit shown on the show, but still it's odd/entertaining to explain Pony Play to regular people. Show finally airs, months and months later, on a Saturday late-night slot. ONE GUY at work saw that show when it aired."
"Guy comes up to me on Monday morning."
"So have you ever seen [name of show]"
"No I don't stay up that late."
"It sure looked like you were on that show the other night"
"Couldn't tell you, I don't watch it."
"Pretty sure I saw you on your knees dressed up like a horse."
"The only time you'll see me on my knees is in the Server room trying to fix the Oracle server, bud."
"Other than that there was no fall-out, personally or professionally. All in all I'd give it a rating of 6/10 would probably not do again."
I don't know who has more moxie, the people posting or the people who confront the posters. Like, if I found my Christian neighbors engaging in less than Godlike activities while searching for bananas on the web I would be too flabbergasted and embarrassed—for them—to bring it up. Even if I was carrying a grudge against them I'd rather stay quiet. I have enough drama, I don't need to understand theirs.
"Several years ago, I described a fairly NSFW situation that took place—appropriately enough—at my job. Someone who used to work at the same place (and who had been present for the event in question) read my account, recognized the details, and reached out to me, intent on confirming that we knew each other. We wound up swapping a few messages, then wishing one another well. It was pretty dull, actually... but we both had a good laugh about the situation."
"Accidentally sent a penis pic to a good female friend of mine that had the same name of the chick I was dating. She asked what the hell I was doing I told her it was a mistake and asked her to delete it. She said she did. Fast forward a couple months after her and I broke up and I get a pic of my friend in lingerie."
"I politely ask her what she is doing and she said sent it by mistake. The next day, same thing. After the third day she tells me she didn't send it to me by mistake. We started dating shortly after that. Found out that she saved that pic I sent instead of deleting it."
The Prude Meltdown
"I post on a social platform that is for adults and their various kinks. Funniest thing was when my husband and I were dating and started getting serious, he showed me his profile to explain and let me know a bit more about what he was into. I laughed and showed him my profile."
"Apparently we had both created profiles about a week or two before we met on a different site in a chatroom. Then there was the time at one of my old jobs where my co-workers found out that my husband and I were on there and one person had a prude meltdown freaking out about how terrible and unnatural it was to do various things."
"And how dare we have the audacity to even show those things, and try lecturing us about how our marriage was going to fail since we were obviously just using each other for sex and the only way to save our marriage was to have a monogamous traditional relationship where occasional bjs were as kinky as it got. Besides her though, a majority of our co-workers were also on that site but we just ran in different circles."
We were on a break...
"I briefly posted on r/gonewild, when my now husband and I were broken up for 7 months. A friend of my husband's saw it, but didn't bring it up until a couple of years later. We all had a good laugh about it. I'm not really shy about people seeing me naked."
"I had the opposite happen, found a tinder match on a fetish site. I thought she was super uptight and didn't really know how to broach the subject. Ended up just asking her point blank while grabbing lunch with her. She opened up and was super excited to talk about it, learned about a whole new side of her."
"I am pretty open up to any fetish so we explored a few things she was on the fence about. It was fun but we didn't really have much in common besides sex so we just drifted apart."
"This kind of applies, though it's related to emails rather than posting on social media. My friend worked at a large company that was throwing an office holiday party and apparently their holiday parties were open bar and known to get a bit loose. After the reminder email for the holiday party went out, a woman accidentally hit 'reply all' instead of replying to the admin that sent it with a message along the lines of 'I hope there are some tight-bodied latin men for me.'"
"It went out to the entire office's email distribution of several hundred people and his email was basically spammed for the rest of the day with people hitting 'reply all' to tell her how inappropriate those comments were, because they also don't seem to know how to reply to a specific person instead of the list (even after she very quickly apologized for her comments)."
"It finally ended when the CEO sent out an email noting that she had apologized and requesting that people refrain from commenting on it further. I don't think anything substantial happened to her, she wasn't fired or anything, just very embarrassed."
I mentioned it...
"I found a good friend of mine and his FwB on an NSFW sub. They were incredibly tame posts all things considered. I had known both of them a long long time and thought it was cute. I mentioned it in passing to my friend, knowing they were both very liberal, and though he seemed a little surprised I thought nothing of it."
"I later found out she took everything down because I had said something and I was kinda shocked, and sad I ruined that for them. I'm absolutely not the type to be stalking their page and they knew that and as far I knew they were both very confident in their skin. I never brought it up again because I still felt kinda bad about the whole thing."
"yeah that seems about right"
"If anyone in real life found out I do that they'd probably just say 'yeah that seems about right' and that'd be it. It's not like I'm hiding the fact that I enjoy sex. The funniest thing is when people on reddit start trawling my post history whenever they get into arguments and try to act like I'm scum for posting porn or having unusual fetishes."
"It's like damn *itch, you think I'm ashamed of any of that when I'm happily posting it on the same account? Why even try to shame me when it's obvious I don't give a f**k what you're saying? It's like trying to blackmail someone with a sex tape they put on pornhub."
"I have another account here with some less dressed pics and it was found by my friend, with the words 'it appears we're both posting on the same Reddit.'"
maartenvanheekNo Way Reaction GIF by LaffGiphy
"Somewhat related. I was browsing a certain niche port subreddit. As I was clicking through pics I clicked on one and for some reason the first thing I noticed was the fireplace in the background. I thought 'wow that fireplace is super familiar' and after a second I realized it was my fireplace."
"Then I looked at the person and realized it was a friend of mine and I had taken the picture. I didn't upload it so I assume she did, but it was not being posed by her account so it just goes to show you how stuff gets around."
hey did I see you?
"A few times. Got a message on FetLife from a dad I'd nannied for. That actually happened a few times in various ways - 'hey did I see you... online last weekend?' Oh my god Dan just say you check out cam girls, it's fine."
"A number of times a**holes on Reddit have tracked down my Facebook and threatened to 'expose' me for having the audacity to disagree with them on the internet."
"I'm not ashamed of my body or of showing it off in ways that I enjoy. The only people who've ever given me crap for it have just been reaching for reasons to lash out."
"No one who I didn't tell myself, as far as I know. I always figured if they found out I posted that content, we would (depending on the person) either just confirm it's not revenge porn or have an argument and then they could get over it or otherwise move on. If they actually like, consumed it (videos specifically, I understand that there's nothing to be done about seeing a photo or a still)."
"I'd probably be creeped out and have to do some kind of damage control. I did tell my mom I wrote erotica and I was like, going through some shit at the time so it was kind of f**ked up (not illegal f**ked up, but worse than it just being like, kink or something), and I super regret letting her have access to any of it because she was grossed out and if I had been more self aware at the time tbh I would have been too."
"I found someone I went to high school with completely accidentally. I recognized him from r/roastme then clicked on his profile. Lots of NSWF and personal content. He was always kind of awkward in school, and I've never really spoken to him. He has no idea I know."
chandlerlandSexy Look GIFGiphy
"I just started and it's kind of a fear, but also I got it so might as well flaunt it! There are of course always people who you wouldn't want finding it and people who you wouldn't mind as much. Gotta make ends meet some how."
Let this all be a life lesson.
There is nothing wrong with consenting adults engaging in online adventures.
And if that is how you roll, then roll on.
Just be really, really, reeeeeeeaaaally sure.
The internet sleuths today and of the future will always "out" you.
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What is in a name? It's only your main title for life. Your name is something that precedes you before you even enter a room. So you would think parents would put some extra thought into the process, especially if one has a "unique" last name. Of course over the years people have taken it upon themselves to legally change names, and that can be something even more.... special. But often times many mixture of names turn out pretty rad and with a good story.Redditor u/Dull-Ad-6956 wanted to discuss what names maybe making the best of lists for the next decade by asking.... What Is The Coolest Name you've ever Heard?
Wolfie...s8 wolfgang GIF by netflixlatGiphy
Used to work with a guy named Wolfgang Hellfire.
ETA: He was exactly as cool as he sounds.
I worked with a guy who had a surname Killsenemy.
Pretty straight forward not to f**k with that family. Haha.
I worked with a guy with the surname Mankiller. Might be scarier because your guy kills his enemies, this guy just kills.
Used to work in a flower shop. Had someone order online for a large vase to be delivered in one of the richer neighborhoods. The name?
When I informed my mother, who works at the local bank, about this she delightfully informed me that she often helps the matriarch of the family, a very sweet little old lady named Mrs Deathrage.
JUMPvan halen 80s GIFGiphy
I once met a guy who told me his name was Van Halen. I called bull crap, but then he showed me his driver's license.
The Inferno Guy....
Lt. Les McBurney, was a Firefighter giving an interview in front of a house fire.
This is called an aptonym. My favorite example: a medical examiner who performs autopsies named Dr. Posthumus.
I kid you not, my kid has a boy in her class called Atlas Power.
EDIT - just asked her about him and this was her reply.
"He's so weird. Always going on about the Illuminati"
Atlas is 11yrs old.
The actor Patrick Kilpatrick.
If Patrick Kilpatrick kills himself and or another Patrick I am calling Time-travel on his parents.
I went to school with a guy with the same name (not the actor). Last name with 2 L's (Killpatrick) always thought it was a cool name.
Doctor is Out....
I used to have a friend who's dad was a doctor. His name was, and I kid you not- Doctor Payne.
Dr Elizabeth Johnson. Not Liz Johnson.
Dr Michael Ramsay. Not Mike Ramsay.
Dr Jessica Xiao. Not Jess Xiao.
Well, almost all of them had their full first names.
Dr Ron McDonald.
Saucy ReadingBig Brother Garth GIF by Big Brother AustraliaGiphy
The names of the authors of this paper combined, are the bomb. Sounds like they accidentally used their porn names for this publication.
Lovegrove, W. J., Bowling, A., Badcock, D., & Blackwood, M. (1980). Specific reading disability: differences in contrast sensitivity as a function of spatial frequency. Science, 210(4468), 439-440.