This post discusses sex, sexual identity, masturbation and orgasms. (But not in explicit details!)
Unequal Seas will be revisiting a lot of things that happened to me in the first four years of my Naval service. I believe it’s very important to start this blog off with an explanation of my sexual identity as gender and sexual preference play a large part in a lot of the inequality I have seen and experienced.
I identify now as a lesbian. For my first four years of service I was closeted, presenting as straight. At one point, I married a man. Before I joined the military I identified as a lesbian. Confusing, I know. I still don’t understand most of it myself, but I’ll try to explain.
When I was roughly 12 years old I remember one day lying in bed and thinking to myself “Why do I think of girls (sexually) so much? Hmm… I must be bisexual!” And from that point on I identified as bisexual (it’s so easy when you’re young…)
As I got a little older I realized that all my fantasies and daydreams had just women in them, and I came to the conclusion that I must be gay. Around the age of 16 I had the chance to prove my hypothesis with a girlfriend.
The relationship was short lived and not fulfilling. It left me with way too many questions about my sexuality and not enough answers. My next leap into the sexual self discovery pool was around the age of 18, with an online male friend. We began dating, yet thanks to the distance we only saw each other around a total of 3 or 4 times before the relationship ended.
In the end those these two relationships didn’t help me in one way or the other. All I could ever think about was girls, but the fiasco with that first girl did absolutely nothing for me and the relationship with the boy also failed terrifically. I was 18 years old with two relationships under my belt, and I hadn’t enjoyed either of them, sexually or emotionally. So now I was really confused.
I was starting to suspect that I was one of those women I read about online that could never achieve sexual satisfaction with a partner. I figured that since I really liked girls but that girlfriend had done nothing for me, and then I had practically the same experience with the boy, I must be broken.
THEN I JOINED THE MILITARY!
DADT was in full effect, and at this point I was terrified of girls. I know, it makes no real sense, but I was terrified of being rejected by a female if I ever was to proposition one… and none were propositioning me. That thought process led me to believe that to females I was unattractive, and the only sexual attention I would ever receive would be from males. (I’d like to go back in time and kick myself at this point). I was (and still am) only human though, with all the sexual cravings and the desire to explore them despite my confusion.
And explore them I did! After I got out of boot camp I set about experimenting. By the time I got through “A” School, I was absolutely convinced that I was unable to achieve orgasm with a partner due to some sort of weird hang-up in my mind. Also, even though every single time I masturbated or dreamed about sex my partner would always be a woman, I was throwing myself at men. I’m shaking my head as I write this now, but I was so scared to be found out as gay that I was desperate to prove that I wasn’t, even to myself. And after I would bring myself to orgasm (no trouble there) I would feel guilty and possibly a little dirty about how I had gotten there; fantasizing about women.
During my first four years of service I was an Engineer. There are several different ratings that are labeled as Engineers, but suffice to say I was down in the “pit”. I got oily, greasy, turned wrenches and achieved gnarly scars. I was also sexually discriminated against almost every day, and never realized it. But that’s a post for another time.
While working as an Engineer and presenting as straight I had a rough time of it with the ‘gents’ I worked alongside of. There were other female engineers on my board my ship that identified as lesbian or bisexual and didn’t hide it.
They were treated much worse.
All this did was reinforce the fear in my mind of ever coming out of the closet I had somehow ended up in. It took years after all this nonsense had passed to realize that due to how I percieved sexuality was recieved by the people and policies around me, I had gone into a closet that I had never originally been in.
I was doing this whole gay coming out process completely ass-backwards.
Time passed and I began dating one of the men onboard my ship. I thought he was kinder than most of the other Navy men I had spent time with previously. I also couldn’t achieve orgasm with him, but he didn’t take offense that I didn’t and accepted my belief that I had difficulty orgasming with a partner. I told him that having sex felt good, and that was good enough. Or so we both thought.
More time passed. I got drunk one night and told him I loved him. I don’t pretend to understand why I did that. I’ve been in love twice in my life (both times with girls) and whatever I felt for him was nothing like that. Perhaps I felt like we had been dating long enough that it was expected, maybe I loved him as a friend, or hell, maybe it was the alcohol.
He told me he loved me too.
More time passed, as is wont to happen in the military he had to change duty stations. The only way for us to stay together would be to get married. And so we did.
The next two years of my life were miserable.
But! The light at the end of the tunnel! On my last deployment DADT was repealed! I was still married at this point, but inside I rejoiced for my fellows, and perhaps then is when I realized there was more to the rest of my life than I had begun to believe.
After I returned home from that deployment I began to drink heavily. Work was extremely stressful with horrendously long hours, and instead of having a support system at home I was coming back to someone that I had begun to hate. I despised him, I despised my job, and I despised myself. It all came to a head one night when I was roaring drunk, and for the millionth time I said “MAYBE WE SHOULD DIVORCE” and for the first time instead of saying no… he said “Maybe we should.”
And so it ended. I have since come to terms with it; we’ve both apologized to each other, and are amicable. He wasn’t entirely innocent in the failure of the marriage, but no matter how wonderful he could have been it still would have failed in the long term because I’m gay and always have been despite my attempts to prove otherwise. I promised myself I would never go back into the closet, and after some time met the wonderful woman I am with today.
Turns out I’m not sexually broken, and can achieve orgasms with a partner. I just needed to permit myself to explore my homosexuality, instead of stuffing myself inside of the niche society and the military wanted me to fit into. I now identify and present as homosexual with pride, especially when in uniform.
And I’m finally at ease in my own skin again.