What is same sex attraction? It has been described as an enduring pattern of emotional, romantic and sexual attraction to people of the same sex. Not all same sex attracted people identify as being gay. There are many men who may have sex with another man under certain circumstances. But they may not identify as being gay.
In a recent survey of 8000 students, 97 percent identified as heterosexual while only 3 percent identified as homosexual or bisexual. But at least 15 percent acknowledged some same sex attraction while 9 percent acknowledged both male and female partners. This indicates that there are students experiencing same sex attraction during their life. But many choose not to engage in same sex behaviour, or identify as being gay.
Many men experience same sex attraction during their lives. It may be with a close friend or someone who they have encountered at work or university. If it’s a long term friendship then both men may have become very close emotionally. There are also same sex attracted men who identify as heterosexual but who may have become emotionally and/or physically involved with another man.
During adolescence and early adulthood sexual experimentation is very normal. It is a way to discover and develop identity. Young men may experiment and engage in sexual activities with other men. It may be a one off event or it may occur on several different occasions.
There is also circumstantial same sex attraction. Circumstantial same sex attraction occurs where men are in predominately all male environments. For instance; in the prison system, military or isolated mining communities. Men may form emotional and or sexual relationships with other men to alleviate their loneliness and isolation. Younger men may also form relationships with older men for protection and/or information. Men who experience circumstantial same sex attraction may only engage in male to male relationships when they are in these environments and may otherwise identify as heterosexual.
Christopher Swane - Counselling And Psychotherapy For Men - Wellington New Zealand