We’re here, we’re queer, we’re conquering our fears

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Don’t feed the fears, queers. Face the unknown in Q Advice, from your secret fetish fantasies to commitment issues, from clingy partners to your boring middle-aged rut.

Q:

I’m 42 and still going to the same bars, eating at the same places, and running into the same people that I did when I was 25. It’s OK I guess, but is that all there is?

None of this is where I saw myself going.

Dear Stuck:

Most people in their 40s take stock and come up wanting more. Welcome to midlife and its famous “crisis.”

Think of it more as an opportunity. Your life’s proverbial halfway mark is a chance to identify, evaluate and face down any fears – the unknown, failure, even success – that hold you back.

What choices would you make if you weren’t afraid? What would you try if you could not fail? Is failing worse than not trying? Use the answers to define your next chapter.

You can’t change the past or predict the future, but you can act boldly. You’ll be glad you did.

 

Q:

My boyfriend is too close for comfort. He’s leaving things at my house. He wants to introduce me to his mom.

I want to bolt.

Dear Phobia:

Let’s talk about fear of commitment. Your guard against being hurt in the future is hurting you in the present.

Pushing him away may be easier in the moment, but personal progress comes from outside our comfort zones.

None of his actions constitutes a lifetime obligation. Stick around long enough to discover what’s next.

 

Q:

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

I’m afraid to try BDSM because I don’t want to lose control. I’m intimidated by the fetishes I see at Pride. They fuel my fantasies, but also my fears.

I also don’t want to be seen as a freak. People ridicule fetishists, and I’m afraid of being lumped in with them. Should I try it, and how do I meet people who won’t judge me for my desires?

Dear Fraidy Cat:

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

The problem comes when 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 invites you to use your 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 community of people can teach you about passion via consent and trust. Forget naysayers who use their own fears to judge and ostracize people they don’t understand. Stop making life decisions based on what you fear others think.

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

Illustration by Brad Gibson

This column also appeared in Q ATLus magazine. Read the latest issue online here:

Find each new edition of QATLus at LGBTQ and allied venues around Atlanta.

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