How Can You Emotionally Support Yourself As You Transitioning Your Sexuality?

by Reid on June 13, 2017

Young Happy Gay Men Couple Cuddling On Street Free Homosexual LoWhen your sexual identity is shifting how do you emotionally support yourself?

With Reid Mihalko from and Cathy Vartuli from

Cathy: How do you support yourself when you’re transforming your sexuality? 

Reid: Into what? 

Cathy: Into something new, whether you’re leaving kink or entering kink or exploring poly or might be gay or decided you want to date someone of the opposite gender now. 

Reid: Or you’re gay and now you want to… yeah, that’s what you said. 

Cathy: That’s what I said. 

Reid: What she said. 

Cathy: This is Reid Mihalko from 

Reid: It’s Cathy Vartuli from 

Cathy: That can be a really confusing time. I remember when I was first coming out, I felt like my whole world… this is back in the really early ’90s. 

Reid: ’90s were confusing, you know that. 

Cathy: Yeah, they were. But there wasn’t a lot of support. It was very frowned upon to be gay. I just felt very lost in my identity with shifting. I did feel like I needed more support. I wasn’t sure how to do it for myself, how to take care of myself. 

Reid: Well, luckily and unluckily, we got the interwebs these days. People can find out if there are people like you out there with some Google searches. Challenges are sometimes those Google searches turn up not the best information which can add to confusion as well. The good news is, if you know what you’re looking or running into videos like this, hopefully they’re actually helping rather than harming, then you don’t feel so alone. That’s the beginning of support, right? 

Cathy: I think also giving yourself time. I felt like I know that I like kissing women. I must be gay, therefore I should be in a relationship now. I didn’t really want to give myself time to adjust to the change, like what I believed about myself. Giving yourself some time to let yourself just be with the new feelings, let your brain kind of adjust to, “Oh, I’m different than I thought I was.” That can be really useful, just being gentle with yourself and giving yourself sometime rather than if you’re suddenly exploring BDSM, going in and thinking you have to do the hottest scene with the most intensity in the dungeon. 

Reid: I mean, that sounds like just baby steps. 

Cathy: Baby steps. 

Reid: Baby steps. Giving yourself room and space to explore, to try things and not have to like them. To try things and not be good at them. To know that you’re just turned on by stuff and that you don’t have to try it. Not everything that turns you on do you have to actually check off your bucket list. There’s a lot of erotic mileage you can get out of just being present with the things that turn you on and never wanting to do it. 

Cathy: There can be a sense of grieving, whether you’re entering into a new … say you’re entering the BDSM scene or you’re leaving it. You decided that’s not for you anymore, you may have identified in a certain way your feelings about yourself and kind of, “I’m proud that I was able to do that,” or whatever. There can be a sense of grieving when you decide, “That’s not what I want to do,” or, “I want to leave vanilla behind,” whatever it is, and giving yourself some time and acknowledgement for that and letting your friends know, “Hey, I need extra support,” using your words can be really helpful. 

Reid: The only time that becomes challenging is when what you’re going through is actually falling under things you need for whatever reason to keep private. There, I would advocate for getting professional support, hiring somebody who’s a professional listener, somebody who is really good at not judging you, so that you can figure out what it is that you need before you go public with things. Then also understanding as you get older, you usually start to then build up this like, “Oh yeah, I changed over time.” 

Cathy: Humans change. 

Reid: There are things that I thought would never stop doing when I was a teenagers that now I’m kind of not into anymore. But back when I was a teenager, it was my life. Or when I was in my early 20’s or 30’s or 40’s. Understanding that your sexuality can be like that and there are things that you might just literally are phases but not in a degrading way but just like this was the thing I was into. I was into Air Supply back in the ’90s and now I don’t really listen to Air Supply anymore. Air Supply was a really well known band for those of you … “I’m all out of love. I’m so lost without you.” 

Cathy: One thing I noticed was when I realized I was bisexual, I had fought really hard to find lesbian community. I fought really hard, I had put a lot of effort into meeting people and to being part of that community. At that time, it was really not acceptable to be bisexual. I was losing, I lost a lot of that community and that was really hard for me, when I started talking about it. Realizing that you may not be able to source support from the people that you currently have in your life for this can be really … it can be challenging because it’s really natural to want have that connection with people you already know but if you’re part of the kink community, saying suddenly like, “Hey, I’m not sure I want to be kinky anymore, I’m not sure that’s my self-expression right now,” some people may not get that.

You may need to reach out outside of the community to find the support that you want. That’s okay. It’s challenge right when you’re feeling challenged anyway but just giving yourself permission and being aware of that can make it a lot easier. 

Reid: I think at some points too like looking at the things that you’re into in sex as hobbies like these are my interests and that interests change and not making a particular flavor or niche of your sexuality, your and all be all identity. There are some people where they’re just 24/7 this thing and that’s a really big deal for them. It’s really congruent to who they are but for a lot of us, there’s just a lot of things that we are and some more than others sometimes, some kind of circle back around. Some, like with me and martial arts that was a big part of my life when I was a teenager and in college, I’d been inactive in that community for a long time. It’s not really a part of my life anymore. But does that mean that it was a lie? 

Cathy: No. 

Reid: But some people in sexuality would be like, “What? You’re leaving this community? You were never one of us.” Just understand that that’s their stuff going on. Some of them might be that they really liked having you around and now they’re just sad that you’re leaving and they don’t know how to express it with more grace. 

Cathy: If you can just be really gentle with yourself, get the support you need and take baby steps through this, it will get easier. 

Reid: Yeah, and then leave comments. Ask questions. This is a good question. Good job question giver.

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