I’m sorry that you have been so affected by this mistake, but the up side is that I feel more confident that you mean it when you say that you won’t do it again. I’m not at all concerned that you were exploring your sexuality in new and different ways. It is quite normal to be curious, it is not freakish at all and your integrity as a person should not be affected. As for your sexual orientation, sexuality is best understood as a continuum and many people experiment, especially during their teens and early 20’s. So this one act will not change who you are and who you will ultimately be attracted to.
The part that concerns me is that you are a minor and you shared a sexual act with an adult over the Internet. I am not a police officer or an attorney, but I know there are strict laws against this kind of thing. It is for this reason that I would advise you to refrain from this type of activity. I have known people that have even gotten in legal trouble for what is considered “sexting.” Sharing graphic pictures over any form of public media is dangerous and can be illegal. In this case, it would most likely be the older man who would be more in the wrong, but I want to caution you against it.
I don’t necessarily feel that you need to tell your parents unless you think it would help you feel better and put this whole thing behind you. You could also confide in another adult you trust such as a teacher, coach, minister, or another family member. Again, you don’t have to, it just might help relieve your guilty conscious and move on. Someday this whole thing will just be a blip in your life and you may even forget about it. Don’t let it hold you back any longer.
All the best,
Dr. Holly Counts