I'm really glad you started this thread, River. I've been doing a lot of thinking about my (mostly theoretical) bisexuality lately, and this seems like a good place to express and work through what's in my head, and get feedback.
From a very young age I was attracted to girls; I remember buying jewelry (a nickel each!) from little my sister to give to two different girls I liked in the first grade. I remember wanting to kiss them both. The first of many such unrealized dreams!
In the fifth grade, I discovered my mother's cache of Playgirl magazines and made a startling discovery: although I didn't have much use for men's bodies in general, I found one part of them very exciting. Especially when it stuck out like that! And even many years later, I remember saying to a friend, "I'm not really attracted to guys, but there sure is something sexy about a hard cock."
(A side note, just for fun: I brought the Playgirls to school for the girls in class to check out.)
So for most of my life, I've thought of myself as a somewhat bisexual person, but almost entirely non-practicing. Closeted, not so much due to fear, but out of disinclination to take on the stigma of homosexuality over something that really didn't mean a lot to me. I realize now I always had a sort of horror about the idea of being really involved
with a man; even kissing seemed a bit gross to me. Definitely a contrast to how I felt about the idea of oral or manual sex play! (The idea of anal sex still kind of grosses me out, man or woman, but I could see myself getting over that at some point.)
Fast forward several years, to meeting my (now ex) wife. Finding such a strong emotional attachment made me realize how shallow my previous relationships had been. My tendency had been to only value the women I dated as sexual objects. Imagine my surprise when I realized the power that this emotional attachment had for me, that this what I had really needed
from a woman! Without ever having been aware of it. She was also the first woman I had ever been involved with, that I told about my bisexual desires. I told her I would very much like to have a really mutually satisfying sexual experience with a man, sometime before I died; I'd only had two previous sexual encounters, both more or less abortive. She accepted and even embraced my bisexuality, while making it clear that she didn't want a nonmonogamous relationship. Sex with a man was off the table; oh well, I'd live.
During the last year since we split up however, I've been giving it a lot of thought. I've been conscious for a while now of not wanting casual sex but rather a deeper connection, with women. How did I feel about casual sex with men, given that I didn't want an emotional component? Was I perhaps making the same mistake about men, that I had made for so long about women? If I opened myself up to the idea of emotional intimacy, could I find myself really into a man?
So for the first time, at the age of forty, I've been considering actively dating men. In fact, I've been thinking about exclusively
dating men for a while. When I meet a particularly pretty or sexy woman, I still have trouble really focusing on her as a person; I think I could benefit from a period spent developing female friendships, and friendships only, no matter how attractive the friend.
So... how to actuate this? I'm in a similar situation as you River, but in a very small Alaska town. I'm also primarily interested in real intimacy; that is what I really want to explore, although I could see myself indulging in a certain amount of casual sexual exploration.
Folks like me seem to need to learn how to meet one another and form friendships, etc.
This is where I'm at too, River. My thought is, if I can find even one gay/bi friend, I should be able to connect to a larger gay community here. I squandered one such opportunity recently; I ran into an openly gay man I knew from a theater performance years ago. We talked briefly, he seemed quite interested in me (and I found him way more attractive than I had years ago), but I was in a hurry, and though we talked about having coffee sometime, we didn't exchange numbers or make a plan, and he may or may not be in town this winter. Maybe its better though; since I'm mostly wanting to connect to a larger community, he might feel used if he helped me do that and we didn't end up dating for long. There is one other man who seems unusually interested in me on karaoke nights as well; I'm thinking he might be gay, but again I'd feel a little bad exploiting his interest to connect with others. A thought that just occurred to me: I should ask one of my more easygoing new female friends if she knows any gay men in town. And there is always the local biweekly LGBTQ meeting, as well as Craigslist etc. I wonder if I'd get any responses if I posted a M-M personal in the platonic listings!
Wow, this turned into a novel! Hope I didn't make anybody's eyes bleed.