For me, the most difficult part about internally and externally "normalizing" my sexuality was having to learn, in a very short period of time, how to manage and identify opportunities for sex, friendship and romance.
I think when most people come out, they're overwhelmed with the possibilities and drunk on finally being able to act on the impulses they've spent so many years trying to ignore. In other words, like the kids in college who never drank in high school, they end up playing "catch up"--but instead of binging on alcohol, they bone anything with a pulse and a v-neck shirt: Grindr hook ups, random tricks from the bar, assholes, people in relationships, "str8 guys", etc.
That was my experience. I hooked up with dudes merely because I could. At some point though, after I had gone through the slutty-teenaged-girl phase, I remember I wanted to make real connections with guys. But it wasn't so simple for me. I didn't have the dating experience that heteros have while going through puberty. So, I had to start from scratch, learning how to identify characteristics and traits that would help me figure out whether I was crushing on a guy or lusting for him or really just needed to be friends with him.
I've met guys whom I thought I wanted to date, only to realize they were only good for a fuck or a tug. I've made friends with guys whom I thought I only wanted to bang but ended up becoming really good friends with. It's hard being gay and creating relationships with other gays, platonic or romantic. I see a hot guy and my immediate thought is, "Shit, bet he knows how to arch that back." And so sometimes this tension exists that really confuses me and affects my ability to connect with guys on a real level.
Fast forward to today, and I still don't think I've figured it all out. For the past few weeks I've been chillin' with a dude, but I don't know what category he falls in: friend, fuck, boyfriend material (whether I'm ready for a legit relationship is a different story). We've only done the dirty twice, and if I'm being completely honest with myself, there's nothing that really draws me to him. He's funny, sharp, intelligent--the qualities that qualify someone as dating material, but there's a certain x-factor that he lacks.
It's not really there for me, but then I wonder if short-term dating is something I need to experience. Sounds self serving for sure, but at the same time, I gotta keep it real with this dude. I don't wanna become one of those gays who cheats on his boyfriend. On the flip side, I'm worried that maybe I'm still in a 20-something mentality where I'm just looking for the next best thing. Maybe this dude is exactly what I'm looking for.
Or maybe I'm trying to make it into something it's not meant to be. If I cut this guy loose, not that we're exclusive or anything, I think I'd be doing him a huge favor anyway.