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Special Report about Sex : I have sex with men but am attracted to women !

I have sex with men but am attracted to women .

‘Next time you see a beautiful stranger, act without fear’: Mariella advises
a woman contemplating lesbianism

Photograph: Alamy

The dilemma :- I’m in my 50s and female. I have been
sexually active with men only, but I had a strange feeling with a girl when I
was 14. I was so jealous if anyone talked to her or got close to her. I never
saw her again but I think about her sometimes. Years later, in my late 40s, I
saw a woman in town who was very beautiful. I couldn’t take my eyes off her and
felt jealous that I wasn’t sitting with her. Girls that look like guys are my
type. I like a man’s face but I’m not keen on “down there”, and I love a woman’s
body but don’t want to kiss her. I have just started to watch porn and it is
creating fantasies about whether I could have sex with a woman. But I’m
terrified. Am I bisexual?...


...Mariella replies :-Who knows, maybe? Deep down most of us are
sexually far less defined than society allows us space to be and it’s certainly
not something to be afraid of. Considering what a desperately short time we have
to live out our lives and all the experiences we need to pack in before we’re
dead and buried, it’s a miracle we stand still long enough to define our tastes
in anything.

It’s a credit to human restraint that we’re not bingeing uncontrollably on
what the world has to offer from the moment we’re able to stand on two feet.
Perhaps that’s what being a teenager is all about.

The more I think about it, the less sensible it seems to limit ourselves by
defining likes and dislikes, as though such dead ends were good life goals. What
makes “knowing what you like” a positive quality? Confusion may be seen as
anarchy by some – but isn’t it also freedom?

If you’re unsure where your tastes lie, it frees you up to experiment and
perhaps ultimately achieve a more stimulating life. And once you’ve had great
experiences, isn’t the clever thing to do to go back and see how much deeper you
can mine them for further kicks, too?

I went to see U2 at the 02 in London the other day. They’re a band I’ve known
since we were teenagers in Dublin, and I found myself transported – not just by
the songs and the brilliant show, but the fresh strands they’ve dug out of old
narratives: the further strata they’ve uncovered simply by conducting deeper
personal excavation.

Bearing in mind that like you and me the band are well into the second phase
of life, it seemed to offer a good model for living: digging deeper, expanding
your repertoire and not just going through the motions.

"More people come out in their 50s than at any
other age, so you’re in the right decade for taking risks"
This idea we nurse of standing still, or of spending a brief period
experimenting with what’s available on the experiential side of existence, then
narrowing it down to personal taste, is very strange. I struggle with the
concept that we are so fixed as individuals that acting “out of character”
exists as a recognisable concept. Character is hopefully a fluid, ever-evolving,
ever-changing state of being. Our ability to feel empathy and our hunger to
expand our horizons are glories of our species, and we can transcend any number
of extraordinary tests and trials if our heads are open and our hearts are

If I had a pound for every person who’s been taken by surprise by a friend or
family member doing something unexpected, I’d be a rich woman. Yet instead of
embracing such expansion of personal boundaries as a natural and advisable thing
to do, or considering whether maybe we’re the weird ones for having set
expectations, we continue to think that others are somehow transgressing when
they do something different.

You mention how your recent embrace of pornography is creating an appetite. I
wouldn’t place too much credibility on that response in isolation. Pornography
is designed to be sexually stimulating, so acknowledging its influence is like
admitting that advertising made you want an Aston Martin.

Nevertheless, more people do come out in their 50s than any other age group,
so you’re definitely in the right decade for taking risks. As I said the other
week, there’s credible research from the likes of Enders Analysis and High50 that if you want to catch people acting
“out of character”, you should keep a close watch on them past their 50th.

I’d stop fretting if I were you. As a mature adult there’s no better time to
push the boundaries of what, to date, have been the limits of your experience.
Next time you see a beautiful stranger to whom you feel an attraction, act on
your impulses, without fear.

Rather than trying to decide whether you are bisexual or heterosexual or
homosexual, how about you just resolve to follow your feelings, expand your
horizons and grab life as it presents itself, not as it’s been prescribed? Enjoy
yourself; we’re not here for ever. 
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