Q: I had relationships with males before. I think I am gay. I have never slept with a woman. I have also observed that when I see a beautiful girl, I don’t have an erection. I am worried whether I will have a sexually healthy relationship with my wife when I marry. I am not involved with any males now, but how do I gain confidence that I will get an erection when I am with a girl or my wife. Please advise.

A: First of all, some people are genetically predisposed to be attracted to their own sex. Whether you are or aren’t gay doesn’t need to be something “awful” for you to contemplate.

The strangest thing in your letter is that you seem to be certain that you will marry a woman even though you have all these doubts. Why would you marry if you weren’t sexually attracted to your partner?

You mention that you don’t get an erection when you see a beautiful woman. Do you get an erection every time you see a handsome man? I doubt it! Maybe sometimes this will happen suddenly when you see a person you are attracted to – especially if you are a teenager – but sex between two people involves a lot of PLAY that causes both people to become excited. It’s only while you are having this kind of fun together that you will learn how your body responds under various circumstances.

I could also ask what you imagine when you masturbate. But with all of your anxiety it could be that your worry leads you to thinking about men then even if you would actually prefer thinking about a woman.

Your anxiety about all this is the biggest problem, and there isn’t much I can do in a brief letter to help you with it. You really need to consult with someone in person about this, and tell them all about your experiences and your concerns. And, of course, you may need to have some actual experiences with a woman who loves you and treats you well.

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