Sexual Orientation Confusion


Sexual Orientation Confusion


your avatar   Riku, 13 years old

I'm 13 and I'm bisexual. I have been with both boys and girls and it feels right to me. Whenever I try to tell my mother, she tells me that kids are too young to understand sexuality, but I just want someone to try to understand me. I need help before I go crazy. I do love myself and I do accept who I am but I just don't want people to hate me because of it. I'm also adopted and have been raped before. I don't know if I'm just a lesbian but whatever I am, I'm still going to love me for being me.

Am I to young to know my sexuality? Am I a lesbian or am I really bisexual? How do I tell my mother about it? Is it just a phase or the real deal? Will people still treat me the same? Will people hate me?


    Bob Rich, Ph.D.

Dear Riku,

The early teenage years are full of suffering and confusion and desperation. At your age, your job is to design your future: what kind of life you live later on will depend on what decisions you make now. Your struggle with sexuality is a part of that. It is perfectly OK to ask these questions.

It is possible that your whole attention is on the sexual question because you have been raped. That is a terrible thing, and many children respond to it by "sexualized behavior."

It is not usual for 13-year-olds to engage in sexual activity, whether it is with the same sex or the other. The fact that you are saying that you have done so, perhaps many times, is a sign of injury that this past has caused, and you seriously need good trauma therapy.

Rape is a crime. Sex with a minor is a crime. As the victim of a crime, it is more than likely that you are entitled to help and assistance from the State. Ask your mother to find out, or you can do an internet search to see what your state/province/country does for its crime victims.

I cannot answer anything about your sexual preferences. Only time and experience will reveal that. But actually, this is not an important question. What is important is that in your relationships with others, you need to end up with, and grow into, mature love. That is when your aim in life is to make your partner happy, and his/her aim in life is to make you happy. It's a relationship of mutual commitment. You do your best not to hurt the partner in any way, to be two halves of a whole, to have loyalty and mutual trust. If you can achieve this beautiful partnership with someone, it really doesn't matter if that person is a man or a woman. Sex without this kind of commitment is unsatisfying. With it, it is nature's reward for love.

So, please, stop engaging in actions that are highly likely to hurt you and the boys and girls you experiment with. The possible hurts are:

  • STIs including AIDS
  • Pregnancy
  • Getting used to sex without love, and once that becomes a habit, you may never be able to form the bond I described.
  • The hurt of betrayal when someone you love throws you away for another.

In summary, your focus on sex is likely to be an effect of the crime that was committed against you. Seek therapy. Your questioning and experimenting in general are normal and healthy, just the focus on sex isn't. Aim for developing into the kind of person who can love. You can do it.


This question was answered by Dr. Bob Rich. Dr. Rich has 30+ years of experience as a psychotherapist. Dr. Rich is also a writer and a "mudsmith". Bob is now retired from psychological practice, but still works with people as a counselor.For more information visit:


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