Day 3 – How old were you when you knew? What was that like for you?
When I knew what? I suppose the question is when I knew that I was queer. I don’t know that there really was a day that I can point to and say “that’s when I knew.” Hell, for me the only thing I can say that I truly “Know” is that I’m queer, but my exact place in that is still difficult to pin down. When I first really became conscious of myself as a sexual being was when I was 14, the summer before I started High School. That was when I “discovered” masturbation. I wasn’t actually interested in having sex with anyone other than myself at that point. While I did have erotic fantasies involving other people back then, I wasn’t actually interested in having sex with another person until I was about 17.
I honestly don’t remember what the ratio of those fantasies were, as far as whether they featured male or female partners, but I do know that there were both, and there were more men. I don’t know that I truly understood being “gay” as a real thing until I was 17, and went online. That was when I was jumping around in different chat rooms online (remember those?) on a website called WBS. I stumbled into a room called “Guy Chat.” I asked if it was a room of guys talking, or of girls talking about guys. I got a Private Message from someone telling me that they were guys, but they definitely weren’t talking about girls. And suddenly a whole new world opened up for me.
I dodged a few reckless decisions back then. I made arrangements I think once or twice to meet someone from the chat room in person but flaked out. Which was probably for the best considering I was underage, and I don’t even remember how old those particular guys were. It wasn’t until a couple of days after my 18th birthday that I had any kind of sex with another person for the first time. That amounted to getting a blowjob from a random stranger in the back room of an adult bookstore. I always think it’s funny when people go on about how your first time should be special. I honestly wanted to get it the hell over with. But after that I definitely knew that I liked having sex with men.
As far as when I knew I was poly, I had sort of decided that I was poly within the first year or two of my going to the Between the Worlds gathering. They have always had a pretty decent number of nonmonogamous people there, and once I realized that there was this other option than monogamy, I mostly thought that made so much more sense. But I would say that the day I truly *knew* that I was poly was a few years later, after I had gotten together with Matt, and we were at BtW together. He was totally infatuated with Luno that year, and I experienced compersion for the first time. Once I felt that, I knew that I was definitely poly.