Terrific story, Tabby, and a fascinating subject. I find that men who label themselves as gay (like me) tend to find stories like yours, even though they are increasingly common, to be confusing and tough to understand.
I don’t have a firm grasp on the research, but I believe same-sex-attracted men tend to be less fluid and more polarized than women.
So the idea of label-free attraction can sound puzzling at best. For example, I’ve never experienced the slightest sexual attraction to a woman, and so many of my gay men friends report the same thing.
But … and this is a HUGE but, what about all those men who DON’T identify as gay but who are secretly open to same-sex sexual behavior?
I say secretly because stigma is still pretty intense, maybe more so than for men than women. Just speculating.
Lisa Diamond has done awesome work and given us a way to understand female sexuality. But to the best of my knowledge, no body of parallel work exists for men.
Is it possible that men and women experience sexuality very differently and that men tend to be less fluid? Or are men so socialized against same-sex sexuality that we just can’t do the research yet? Men in historical cultures (Think Classical Greece and Rome. Edo period Japan) may have behaved more fluidly than men in our culture. Is that a clue?
In any case, I love your story here and your writing style. So personal, informative, and engaging.
Can’t wait for your next!