SSA shift to Heterosexual Desire and Lifestyle?

I’d like to know what people have to say about whether a person with same sex attraction can transition himself/herself into a person with heterosexual desires. Personal stories of whatever outcome would be greatly welcome. But other information is also appreciated. So, if I don’t hear any [success stories] at all that would lead me to believe that persons with SSA can not and do not in the real world ever make the jump from having SSA to having hetero-sexual desires, I’d be led to believe, people with same sex attraction maintain their interior disposition throughout life and it is not alterable. I’m looking to learn THE REAL TRUTH about the matter and am not looking to promote any agenda one way or another. Thanks in advance for offering what you can to this discussion. And God Bless!!

Interesting question…

I do not personally know anyone who has entirely removed the attractions. I do know people who have learned to cope with them better, myself included. (I have SSA and am happily married to a woman.)

I would be happy if other people answered in as simple form as I did, above. The more we talk about faraway stories or rumors, the less this thread will be helpful. Facts only, please – though, OP, correct me if I am not divining your hopes for the thread, which certainly override mine.

I know two people who have SSA who developed a sexual attraction to an opposite sex spouse, but their primary attractions are still toward the samew sex.

I would say that it’s possible, depending on what you mean. I wouldn’t be so confident that MOST people with exclusive SSA could ever move to a point where they had exclusive OSA.

However, I think there is real hope that a man with SSA can cultivate some sort of OSA.

My source? My own life. I have SSA, but for me it has proven a bit fluid. This wasn’t the case for years. The SSA started in my teens, then went dormant for a while, but then it resurfaced in College. From College and some time into my marriage actually (with my wife being fully informed, of course) I was able to love a woman, yes, able to “perform” with a woman, but I had hardly any physical attraction to women. That is to say, it was very rare for me to be able to look at a woman and have her physical appearance affect me. And actually, until recently in my life, I’m not sure I had ever experienced the sort of raw, visual attraction to women that many men with OSA feel.

But I’ve made progress on this. There have been times, recently, where I almost felt “straight,” and certainly felt–to use a worldly term for it, although I’m not saying such labels are good–“bisexual.” I’ve noticed, at least in certain ways, a heightened sense of attraction to my wife, visually, which is something even less than half a year ago I had almost lost hope for.

A couple of clarifications, though. This isn’t perfect. The opposite sex attraction is mostly to my wife specifically, even at times when it’s more concrete, rather than to women in general, although I’ve had moments of that, vaguely and rarely. I don’t know if I’ll ever have my OSA be perfectly reliable. And I have no idea if I’ll EVER be rid of the SSA. So this doesn’t constitute a “magical jump.” It can be hard work, something to maintain rather than some magical change that, once made, needn’t be worried about anymore. But it IS something, at least. And I’ve encountered many other men who claim similar results.

So, at least in my experience, the truth is messy, and not clear cut either way. These dispositions are neither easily fluid nor rock-solid unchangeable. It’s somewhere in between.

My wife, on the other hand, was once almost exclusively Lesbian, and now, although she would caution that she doesn’t have confidence that this will ALWAYS be true, she’s pretty much the opposite, exclusively heterosexual, and very MUCH attracted to me visually, etc. I’ve heard some argue that this is easier for women, or more common for women; I don’t know about that, but my wife would certainly be an example.

I hope this helps…

P.S. As for living a heterosexual lifestyle, I would say that IF a man and a woman meet each other, and one has exclusive SSA and the other is well aware of this, then if they both know what they’re getting into as much as they can know, it’s possible to live that lifestyle even IF the exclusive SSA of the one spouse never changes, as long as he/she is capable of loving the other spouse and of having marital relations. You might look up “Josh Weed” for an example of this, and this has often been the case in my own marriage at times where the SSA was more exclusive.

Both the people I know are women.

If I weren’t committed to my anonymity, I could be one of the poster children for being SSA-free after over ten years of considering myself a lesbian (and living the lifestyle).

Please don’t assume that those of us who lived a gay/lesbian lifestyle, left that lifestyle, and then somehow no longer have SSA are all congregating at CAF. Even the one other Catholic woman I know of (through a friend) who no longer has SSA is probably not lurking on these threads just waiting to answer your request, you know?

Before you ask, let me just say I don’t know how I went from having SSA exclusively, to being completely heterosexually oriented. It was a transformation which began during my years away from the Church, in the 10th year of my life as a lesbian, and largely initiated by my strong desire to have a child. My father’s death at this time also influenced my decisions and thinking at that time. I simply don’t have any answers, except that something inside me that was wrong, was healed and transformed during those years of transition. I wasn’t looking for it (I was outside the Church and totally supportive of gay marriage, etc.) and I didn’t really notice it until one day when talking with a lesbian friend I suddenly noticed that what I once found desirable was now completely repulsive.

And please also don’t assume that my change from exclusive SSA to no SSA must mean that I had a “lower level” of SSA compared to others. People are always looking to explain away what I experienced, and it’s both arrogant and disrespectful.

I marched in the parades. I sang at the rallies. I wrote and performed a one-woman show for my senior project during which I screamed from the stage “I’m a lesbian!” I spoke with reporters. I volunteered at the GLBTT youth “coming out” groups. I recalled and retold all the indications I had in childhood that I was a lesbian. I swore I was born that way and demanded my “rights.” I sang at friends’ commitment ceremonies. I dated several woman and had one 8-year relationship that included a “wedding” with exchange of rings and a reception for family and friends…

So maybe you’ll find a dozen people on here who have a similar experience. Or maybe I’ll be the only one. We are a very small minority, but we do exist, to testify to the Truth and to the power of God Himself – for I did nothing to change my mind and heart myself. For His purpose, He healed me. And for His glory, I testify.

God bless you!

Gertie

Thank you for this; my wife would agree. She herself was exclusively attracted to women maybe less than a decade ago. As she described it to me, she thought she would never be even remotely attracted to men; she wore pride bracelets/jewelry, and had pride flags. She loathed the thought of religion telling her that it would be wrong to act on her desires. The fact that now her SSA is, if present at all, largely undetectable even to herself, and that her OSA is so powerful, has nothing at all to do with the SSA never having been that strong. It definitely seems to have been as strong as it gets. :thumbsup:

What you say makes sense to me, Son. :slight_smile: I’d tend to agree with you on that point, I think. Thankyou for contributing!

I appreciate your shared experiences. I urge you to look at the NARTH website and also Courage website. I went to the Narth conference last year and they have lots of valuable information on sex change therapy successes. Also, Courage is having their conference in 2 weeks in Philadelphia at Villanova University.
I have a 25 year old daughter who claimed to be bi-sexual through high school and college and now is in a 4 year relationship with another woman same age. I pray she can leave this life style one day with God’s love.

My friends have a daughter who declared herself a lesbian and had a girlfriend for a few years. Then she decided she was NOT a lesbian and got married and has 2 children and is as happy as a clam. Now how this happened, or what convinced her she was a lesbian in the first place, I don’t know. But that is one example.

On the other hand, I worked with a woman who was married twice, had bad experiences, and declared herself a man-hater. So she took up with women. She’s not happy with them, either, and recently found herself a new girlfriend. So what she exactly is, I don’t know, and I don’t think she does either.

Then there is my Aunt, who had a girlfriend for many years, got “saved”, broke up with her friend, sold their house, and moved away and went to work for her church (not Catholic). She never married and never had another girlfriend. I don’t know if she ever tried to go straight, but I doubt it, since she never dated anyone afterward.

My half-brother, on the other hand, knew he was gay from when he was 16 years old. He tried to date girls and switch, but could not (so he told me). No one was surprised. My grandmother told me when he was about 5 years old that she thought he was going to be gay, but never mentioned it to him. She was the mother of my above Aunt, so she was kind of used to it, I guess.

4 true scenarios, all different. I don’t know if your question can be answered across the board. I am not passing judgment on any of these people, and none of this is a secret, and not identifying anyone. It is what it is.

My friends have a daughter who declared herself a lesbian and had a girlfriend for a few years. Then she decided she was NOT a lesbian and got married and has 2 children and is as happy as a clam. Now how this happened, or what convinced her she was a lesbian in the first place, I don’t know. But that is one example.

On the other hand, I worked with a woman who was married twice, had bad experiences, and declared herself a man-hater. So she took up with women. She’s not happy with them, either, and recently found herself a new girlfriend. So what she exactly is, I don’t know, and I don’t think she does either.

Then there is my Aunt, who had a girlfriend for many years, got “saved”, broke up with her friend, sold their house, and moved away and went to work for her church (not Catholic). She never married and never had another girlfriend. I don’t know if she ever tried to go straight, but I doubt it, since she never dated anyone afterward.

My half-brother, on the other hand, knew he was gay from when he was 16 years old. He tried to date girls and switch, but could not (so he told me). No one was surprised. My grandmother told me when he was about 5 years old that she thought he was going to be gay, but never mentioned it to him. She was the mother of my above Aunt, so she was kind of used to it, I guess.

4 true scenarios, all different. I don’t know if your question can be answered across the board. I am not passing judgment on any of these people, and none of this is a secret, and not identifying anyone. It is what it is.

There is a contention in the gay community that such a shift is impossible but having grown skeptical of trusting anyone including my own brethren on these sorts of things, I have tried contacting and reading the testimony and life stories of homosexuals who are now ex-gay.

First, understand that gay can mean many things. Thanks to asexual people and information places concerning them like AVEN we know that there is an affectional orientation as well as sexual. Some gays are homosexual but not homoromantic (they could be aromantic, heteroromantic, etc). Many are both homosexual and homoromantic. I am going to try and explain what I have found in my own research.

The common thread in much ex-gay testimony seems to be that the relationships with the ex-gays were parasitic in nature or purely lustful where the male was seeking out and consuming qualities in the other male. A common theme was feeling highly sexual for a short while then feeling disgusted upon orgasm and/or very guilty. For these people, I consider their move less of one away from homosexuality and more away from sexual compulsion/addiction. In a few cases, homosexual relations followed a stint of highly fetishistic sexual stuff which seems to hint at sexual addiction. Contrary to the Hollywood types who use “Sex Addiction” as an excuse to cheat on their spouses, actual sexual addiction is a nasty, dark, and deeply disturbing thing that takes people to very horrible places (much as any addiction). I talked to one in a 12 Step program who shared some of his darkest times with me and it was very eye opening.

Bisexual people can also eventually settle on the other team. I find this to be favorable so long as the team they settle on is the one they have a romantic spark with. Otherwise, it is all about lust and sex. Obviously, the Church will prefer celibacy to sex if they happen to settle on the home team but you get my point. For example, I would be bisexual but homoromantic. If asked, I say I am gay because I am by merit of my affectional orientation. While I can be with a woman, sexually, I would be committing the same sins against them that the aforementioned ex-gays I talked to committed against their own sex. Relationships built on sex hardly respect the persons involved. I think if the drive is sexual it might be changed but it that sexual drive is corroborated with an affectional drive to love the same sex then a “cure” is not only impossible but is actively and grievously harmful to the individual being “cured”.

Also it is important to note that the reason women and men are seperated into Lesbian and Gay isn’t merely to be semantically appealing or make the LGBT anagram flow better; men and women are leagues different from one another when it comes to our orientation and stories of orientation change are much more common with women than with men. Having a differing orientation from affectional to sexual is also more common with them, I have found (making me an oddity in this regard).

Your “change” is fascinating - almost like a miraculous intervention. But if I understand your story, it was not something you sought, and I presume you see yourself as no more deserving of this intervention than anyone else.

How have your friends reacted to your change?

The stories here are so bizarre for me to read, though I don’t doubt them. I concur with Rau that Gertrude’s, specifically, sounds like a miracle.

But for someone like me, who has attempted time and time again to date men and enjoy it, it’s so awful. And by that I mean the smell of guys repulse me (probably due to pheromones), I don’t care at all during any physicality, no matter whether it’s small (light kissing) or really big (sex, from before I was Catholic).

But with girls it’s like…the world opens up for you. Your life feels…perfect. And it’s not really the sex. It’s just being with her. Laughing, smiling, laying in the park, being together. That’s something I couldn’t ever remotely reach with a guy. And while the sex isn’t necessary for me, I have definitely always been attracted to only women, starting from late middle school.

As I posted in a separate thread, I got a “buzz” I didn’t understand in the locker room that made me feel awkward and keep to myself, I had posters of female athletes on my wall in their tennis, golf, volleyball outfits. I never grew interested in guys at all, and I thought something was wrong with me. It wasn’t until my friend told me she was into girls that I started to think about everything. Why that “buzz” kept getting stronger as I got older. Why my guy friends gave me a bunch of c**p over the posters, why I had no interest in guys and never have had interest in guys.

I tried shaking it, forcing myself to like guys. My first 4 relationships were with guys (including one I was engaged to!), but I just couldn’t get myself to, no matter what I did. Then I dated my first girlfriend in college…and my life lit up. I was finally happy for once. Part of it was physical, yes, part of it was emotional. Like she obviously wasn’t the first girl I went shopping with, but she was the first girl/person where “shopping with” had meaning. Where “stay in and watch a movie” had meaning. Where “going to the aquarium” had meaning. Everything we did together just…was perfect. It really was. And I can’t ever have that with guys.

So hearing these stories is bizarre, because…it’s just weird. I’m a lesbian, and always will be a lesbian. Maybe my SSA is meant to stay in me for a reason. Even those things that don’t directly contribute to God’s plan can be used by Him to create good. I’ve accepted that I am a lesbian; it does not bother myself to call myself a lesbian Catholic at all, though I don’t exactly run around screaming it. And I don’t really understand why it bothers others so much to have SSAs. It bothered me only when I had low self-esteem, only when I viewed it as meaning I was an awful human being, only when I was desperately trying to change it. And personally, I don’t think, even if some people have dormant OSAs they have to unlock, that conversion therapy should be available to minors because it hurts people like me way more than it helps anyone who would benefit from it, if anyone. And is the minuscule good it does in the small minority of LGB individuals who can change worth the literal psychological torture it inflicts on those who can’t?

My :twocents:

It doesn’t seem that any of the stories we’ve heard so far of changing sexual orientantion were the result of “conversion therapy” anyway.

That too.

“With God everything is possible.” So I do think it’s possible, but it takes a miracle. I read a Catholic publication a while back about people with SSA who had been healed. All of them gained an attraction to the opposite sex and were able to happily marry. Some of them still had SSA but were able to control it. Others were completely healed to no longer have SSA. Sorry, I can’t remember the name of this publication. It wasn’t specifically about SSA. Just an article they ran to defend against the gay movement claiming that people with SSA cannot change. I don’t support conversion therapy. This is between God and the person. They must be willing to be healed and trust in God. God’s will for some people may not be to be healed though. He may want to them to set a good example for how Catholics with SSA should live chastely.

I will say that for me, and for a lot of the men I know personally who have made progress here, especially in terms of developing OSA where there was less/none before, it does seem that therapy, healing groups for men dealing with SSA, and such things–although not so much aimed at “conversion” as a more holistic and integrated sense of masculinity–have played a major role. It could be that this is more important for men than for women, I don’t know. I can only speak from my own experience as a man and those of many (but not all) men I’ve met who have made progress. I can’t say it’s for everyone, but among those men I know who do seem to have made real progress, the majority I’ve met have had some sort of therapy, etc. to help along.

But again, it’s almost certainly different for women, so maybe for women such things are less relevant (At least in my wife’s case, she never had any therapy touching on her SSA in any way).

I’ve tried to date men and sorry, nope, still a lesbian. Prayed, fasted, done the whole nine yards and I’m still who I am.

While there are stories of those who were able to change their orientation for whatever reason, I’ve never encountered it in my life (and for comparison, I’m active in my local LGBTQ* community so I’d hear of any cases). I’m not discounting anyone’s experiences and hey, maybe I’ll wake up tomorrow a bonafide heterosexual. But it doesn’t seem likely.

Maybe there are those who can “change teams” but for every gay or lesbian who can become straight, there are easily a dozen who can’t.

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