Overcoming the unreasonable fears that hold queers back

The thrill of the chase often gets old as you do, and freezing your desires for the sake of others does too. Time to overcome preconceptions so you can move forward. 

Q:

For most of my queer life, I’ve been the butt of jokes for being all about the chase and not actual relationships. I laughed it off as jealousy, but now I realize it’s kinda true. I start losing interest the moment there’s a hint that the quest is conquered.

Even before sex, the more someone hits on me, the more I wonder if they’re needy, have no confidence, or aren’t really that attractive.

If it’s really just about sex, feelings kill my mood. If it’s real dating, I can force myself to last about three months —because I really do want a relationship — but when I hear “I love you,” I’m out. Like, every time.

I used to be proud of my hit-em-and-quit-em reputation, but lately the pattern is just depressing.

Dear Blind:

Your emotional baggage is heavy, so let’s unpack some of it. It’s common to go “all in” with infatuation at the beginning, when the sexual chemistry and novelty are at their most potent. 

It’s also totally normal for the excitement to wane. It’s less common for people to give up entirely. Most trade the initial interest for an interest in sharing their daily lives, enjoying the camaraderie of a partnership, and making this person a special part of their ongoing priorities.

Whether from fear of abandonment, internalized homophobia, sheer narcissism, or a myriad other reasons, you have a mental block to that last part happening. You say that you really want a relationship, but a lot of your letter sounds like excuses to stay out of them.

Consider finding help to embrace this: Feelings are good. Accepting them in others is key, but getting in touch with yours is a priority before you lead another person down a road to disappointment. With a little work and a little help, you can break the pattern.

Q:

Bondage porn is hot, but I’ve only had vanilla sex. What’s going on in my head is way different than what’s going on in the bed.

I’m afraid to try BDSM. The fetish folks I see at Pride fuel my fantasies, but also my fears. They’re intimidating. I’m also afraid of being seen as a freak. People ridicule fetishists behind their backs, and I’m afraid of being lumped in with them. 

Should I try it anyway?

Dear Afraid:

Fears get a bad rap, but they’re not all created equally. Natural “fight or flight” responses kick in as a warning to evaluate your situation.

The problem comes if you stop there. If you accept fear as a reason to avoid circumstances without assessing them and making an informed decision, you’re stuck.

BDSM wants to use fear to your sexual advantage. Turned on and intimidated at the same time? That’s the point. Adrenaline pumps, you’re short of breath, and your sweet relief comes from giving in. You owe it to yourself to try it. A whole community of people can teach you about passion via consent and trust.

But some fears need to be faced and conquered. Fear of what others think? Forget it. Naysayers might use their own fears to ostracize people that they don’t understand, and we can’t make our personal decisions based on those people.

The Q is for entertainment purposes and not professional counseling. Send your burning Qs to [email protected]

Illustration by Brad Gibson

This column originally appeared in Q magazine. Read the latest issue, enjoy all of the past editions of The Q advice column, and look for a new issue of Q each week online and around town.