Bisexual Confusion

Male Couple

Bisexual confusion occurs for a lot of people. It can be very normal, or more extreme. Let this reader's question to our Ask the Dating Coach help you determine where your feelings might fall in the bisexual range.

Bisexual Confusion and Advice

Reader Question

Hi dear Lori,I am male of age 32 years old. Over the past year, I am feeling bisexual. I had some relationships with mature men but they ended unsuccessful; actually I was looking for long term and they were not, so this why I stop all these kind of relations. Now the main problem is that I am interested in a transsexual, pre-op, close friend. So I ask myself, maybe it's a feeling originating with her? But, my main question for you is… in order to be transsexual, do I need to have breasts and a clean body with normal woman dress? If so, who can help me please know where to do this, how much does it cost, and is it guaranteed 100%? Thank you so much. By the way, nice information page, I like it.

~~Kevin

Expert Reply

Dear Kevin,

A homosexual or lesbian is comfortable with the gender he or she is. The sexual attraction is toward people of the same gender. A bisexual is also comfortable with his sexuality and is sexually attracted equally to men and women. By contrast, when a person is transsexual, he or she does not feel that the biological gender they were born with matches how they feel about themselves. In other words, to the world this person is biologically male or female. To the individual, the universe played a cruel joke by giving him or her the wrong body. A transsexual may spend years, and in many cases decades sorting out the complex issues surrounding gender identification.

What is a Transsexual

Biologically the person is born male or female, yet in every way feel that his/her gender is opposite of biology. Before reassignment surgery it would appear that the individual is attracted to a person of the same sex. This would not be the case once reassignment surgery is completed, as then the person would appear to be attracted to a person of the opposite sex. Some transsexuals may also be gay or lesbian.The decision to go through reassignment surgery is major. There are both emotional costs and tremendous financial costs associated with sex-reassignment surgery. On the emotional level, there is the process of understanding their gender identification. Then there are the reactions from family, friends and co-workers. Due to these complex issues, for many the process can take many years before the actual surgery itself.

Reassignment surgery can be as expensive as $50,000. Plus, there are additional financial costs associated with the surgery such as, hormone treatment, therapy, a new wardrobe, and incidental expenses like legally changing your name. Male-to-female reassignment tends to be less expensive, $18,000 to $35,000. Far more expensive is female-to-male surgery, which can cost up to $50,000.

Gender Confusion

From reading your email, I don't get the sense that gender is a concern for you. It may be that the confusion you are experiencing has more to do with understanding your sexuality. At this time in your life, you may be open to exploring what sexually excites or arouses you. Through exploration you may discover what might be considered fringe sexual turn-ons. This would include fetishes. If this is the case, you may feel embarrassed, alone or even wonder if you are weird. No, you are not weird. But you might find it helpful to talk with a sex therapist. This person could talk with you about sexual exploration as well as discuss safe places for you to explore.

If on the other hand you are feeling as though gender identification is an issue for you, talking with a mental health professional that understands and has worked with the gay, lesbian and transsexual community may be helpful. If you don't know of a good therapist, I would recommend contacting the Gay and Lesbian Center in your area or the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation. I also highly recommend asking trusted friends for input into a therapist, as the best referral is one given by someone you trust.

Final Thoughts

A final consideration as to why you are experiencing difficulty in romance may be because you are not aware that you're not a good boyfriend. You may not know or be aware of what you are doing that is turning people off. Or perhaps you are attracting the wrong type of person for a serious relationship. If either of these are a possibility I would recommend talking either with a mental health professional or a dating coach. Either person would be able to assess what behaviors are getting in the way of you having the committed relationship you seek or attracting the type of person you are looking for.~~Lori

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Bisexual Confusion