• I started hooking up with a guy on my brother's soccer team when I was 13 years old.
  • I secretly hooked up with a few other players and fell in love with one of them.
  • When I got fed up with the fact they wanted to keep me a secret, I realized I had a lot to learn.

I came out to most people in my life at 14.

I grew up in the world of gymnastics, so the sport helped me come out and admit to myself that I was gay at an early age. It helped that no one on my team judged me because we were all so focused on what the judges thought. My teammates and I often congratulated each other when we accomplished the unthinkable — and didn't care who we were kissing after the meet.

But when I began hooking up with the boys on my brother's soccer teams, I realized I had a lot to learn about sex and being a gay person. 

Around the time I came out to my friends, I also started to realize that I had a sexual superpower

It came as no surprise to me when I started to explore my sexual nature that I had a weird superpower, as one of my friends called it. I realized I was able to sleep around with a lot of men who self-identified as straight.

My friend speculated that I had this superpower because I have a unique blend of masculine and feminine energy that allowed me to be "bros with the boys," yet flirty enough to make them go, "Hmm … maybe."

My brother played on a few soccer teams, and I started hooking up with one of the players

I was 13 when I first started hooking up with one of his teammates. At first I thought it was a one-off thing — a random moment of built-up sexual tension and frustration that ended in a blissful climax of panting and pleasure. But it quickly became a weekly ritual of stolen kisses behind the bleachers and sexual shenanigans in the locker room.

It became clear very quickly that he wanted our sexual relations to be a secret. He was dating girls and identified as straight.

At first, it felt like a rush every time we hooked up. This hot rapture validated me. But every time I saw him kiss a girl, he took a piece of my heart.

Why couldn't he kiss me like that?

So I had enough and called it all off. He was weird about it at first and persisted we continue to hook up. But after saying no multiple times, he got angry with me and said he never wanted to have sex in the first place. He became somebody I didn't recognize — full of anger and hate.

From there, I hooked up with about 5 more of my brother's teammates

At first, it was fun; it was a dance of seduction that I was leading and controlling, but again, I slowly started to realize they were mistreating me.

Just like the first guy, I soon realized they were never going to come out and it was always going to be this thing we did behind closed doors. 

Call it infatuation, call it a crush, but I really did have feelings for these guys, yet none of them even looked at me when we weren't hooking up. I felt invisible and useless.

I had sex with one of the players for 2 years, and I fell for him

I had sex with one of the guys regularly until he moved to college. Over the course of that relationship, I felt like he was the one: the guy who would undoubtedly tell me he loved me and that it was OK for him to be gay, so long as we were both in this together.

Eventually, our secret relationship ended the same way they all did, and I was left brokenhearted. Of all the guys, he hurt me the most because I truly think I loved him. That's when I knew I had to stop hooking up with these men.

Years later, just before he moved halfway across the world to start a new life, he told me that I helped him overcome his internalized homophobia. He also revealed to me that I helped him realize he's a bisexual man.

I recently learned he's engaged to a woman. I would be lying if I said it didn't hurt my ego, but I think back to what he said before he left — that I helped him understand himself. It was probably one of the most profound and sincere things anyone has ever said to me.

I look back on that time in my life and realize those men were just as lost as I was

I can't blame them for not liking me the way I liked them, nor can I be angry that they hadn't figured it all out. Being gay in sports can be complicated. You're afraid to tell people, even the ones you love the most because you're afraid it'll somehow change the way you play the game.

Eventually, I told my brother about these sexual experiences about five or six years after the last hookup. He was upset at the fact that he had no idea that his friends were most likely queer and they couldn't tell him. He did, after all, have an openly gay brother, so he didn't understand what the big deal was.

I learned a lot about myself during that time and from those sexual experiences. Just because I was comfortable coming out to my friends and my teammates doesn't mean I was ready to put myself in those sexual situations.

I learned sleeping with "straight" men isn't as fun or as fulfilling as one might think. I also learned that if you know who you are and the person you're sleeping with doesn't have that same self-awareness yet, then you can't go into it expecting an even playing field.

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