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Author Topic: Bisexuality confusion
Ohana626
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Hey everyone, I know I've posted here before asking for some advice on this kind of topic, but I could really use some again if you don't mind! [Smile]

So I'm currently identifying as bisexual. I'm saying "currently" because 1) although my feelings that I've had for a girl are very legitimate to me, I understand that sexuality is fluid and could change in years to come and 2) I didn't even feel any attraction to girls until I was 17-18, while I've liked boys as long as I can remember (I had a boy in my pre-school that I was pretty intent on marrying haha go little 4 year old me [Razz] )

The thing is, I feel weird sometimes when I think about girls in that kind of way. I had a falling out with a friend of mine because of it, so for the past two weeks, thinking about girls in that way has made me feel kind of guilty, or bad about myself. In my head I don't think it's weird to like boys and girls, I'm really chill with sexuality. For me, as long as you truly like someone and are going to be faithful to them, it doesn't matter what gender goes out with what gender. For a long time I thought it was wrong, that whole "the parts don't fit" kind of thing, God didn't make us like that, yada yada. But the things I've felt for this girl...it wasn't love, but it was a strong fondness that I'm pretty sure could've turned into love if she liked me back (she didn't, which caused the problem...but that's not the point of this haha)

There's one main thing that makes me question if I like girls the way I like boys, or if I just have a particular strong friendship feeling for them. I like girls' company better than boys'. I'm not totally sure why this is, I have guy and girl friends, it's just that I'd rather hang out with my girl friends. Girls are who I gravitate to in social situations. I'm not more awkward with boys than girls either. I just like girls' company and friendship more. So sometimes I'm not sure if I'm confusing a desire to be close friends with a girl with wanting to be something more. The reason that I wonder about this is because I have a stronger sexual pull to a guy that I like than a girl. The girl isn't as strong. Pretty much, when I like a guy, I'm sexually attracted to him from the start, and when I get to talking to him, if I like his personality, that's it I like him, but if I don't like his personality then the crush goes away. With a girl it's kind of the opposite. I'll see her and think she's pretty, but the sexual attraction doesn't come until after I get to know her personality. Does that make sense?

So all of this stuff makes me question it. And yes, yes, I'm very inexperienced, I know I need to give it time to experiment some and find out for myself. And I know ultimately, it's my own feelings that I have to learn to understand. But if anyone has any advice or anything they experienced that you think could help, I'd appreciate it! And to Heather, I know I've kind of been a pain with all this on here for awhile, so thanks for listening to all of it [Smile]

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moonlight bouncing off water
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Well, I don't think that liking or not liking girls the way you like boys is really something sound to evaluate. I don't ever like any one girl the way I like any other and the same goes other genders. Girls are different than guys simply because we are making the distinctions 'girl' or 'guy'. That is to say that no matter you orientation your feelings towards girls and guys are going to be different because of the percieved (and real?) distinction between them. Society has, I'm sure, impressed upon you the notion that you are supposed to like guys. Therefore attration to males probably seems very natural and in line with "how things are supposed to be". (I'm making a whole lot of assumptions here and if any of them are wrong please feel free to correct me). Society has probably also impressed upon you the notion that girls are sisters, friends, roommates, etc, but never lovers or crushes. Therefore having feelings for a girl probably stands out seeming to be different from any attraction to guys. But that is my opinion, not fact or science, so take of that what you will and leave the rest.

Also, I too have a stronger gravitation toward females as friends, but I think that, for me, it is because I've been socialised to view females as friends and that I've sort of always been grouped with the females.

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Ohana626
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I agree with what you're saying about society's general impressions, moonlight, and I don't know how I would see girl/girl relationships now if they had been equally prominent in the shows I watched or books I read and such as the boy/girl relationships. But I never had any inkling that I could like girls until this year. I have always liked boys, not because of society, but because that's just natural for me to.

The reason that liking girls seems out of place is because I only started feeling like this within the past year, whereas I've been into guys my whole life. And I know that bisexuality doesn't mean liking guys and girls 50/50. But I compare my feelings for girls to my feelings for boys because the "liking" someone feelings I've had for boys have always been with me, so when this whole liking a girl happened, I compared it to the only other "liking" experiences I've had, which have been with boys.

And as for liking girl's company better...I think it's a mix of just me being closer with girls and the notion that my mom put in my head that if I'm hanging out with guys, I should LIKE one of them. I don't believe in that obviously, but you know when you're around something like that, especially form a mom, that even if you don't believe it, it starts to kind of effect you? She also doesn't believe in bisexuality. And just so you know, I'm not blaming my mom for anything, she's fantastic, and if I did go out with a girl she wouldn't kick me out or disown me or anything. It's just that in my world my mom is right, so she raised me on her beliefs that I took to be true...until I was old enough to start understanding the world in my own way, so now it's kind of a battle between what she thinks and what I think. I'm pretty sure that'll go away once I'm at college next year haha.

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Heather
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Ohana: I think what moonlight was trying to describe, something I'd very much agree with, is that this idea of what is "natural" for us with sexuality can be really iffy. That's because we don't grow into our sexuality in a vaccuum, we grow into it and develop it within our culture, and so anything we have going that feels "natural" can't have been magically untouched by that. Whatever our "natural" is, is always going to have something to do with our culture and the messages we got and took in about sexuality.

If a comparison helps, you can think about it as being like what we like to eat. We can all have things we like more than other things, but a whole lot of what we like and don't has a whole lot to do with what we were and were not exposed to.

One of the many reasons you'll hear people who work in the field of sexuality voice problems with the term "natural" is for exactly these reasons. None of us can really know what is and isn't natural, for anyone else and, to some degree, even for ourselves.

Too, sexuality is a development process that goes for all of our lives, and how far along you are in it now is still pretty darn close to the beginning. Just having feelings for girls now isn't this way-late-in-the-game thing. In the great span of your life, you're still very young, you know?

You know, in terms of you thinking you like the company of one gender better than another having anything to do with if you do or don't have romantic feelings for one gender or another, can I ask why? I mean, were it me, if I thought I liked the company, developed deeper relationships with people of a certain group, I'd be figuring that -- for whatever reason -- I liked them more, not less, or were more comfortable with them, not less, or connected better to them, not worse. Or not -- I'd actually say it all might be totally unrelated, and it's just that your social skills with guys aren't what they are with girls, something else that can be totally conditioned, especially since mixed-gender friendships often aren't taught and encouraged the way same-gender ones are in the world -- but I don't know that I'd be going the other way and thinking maybe I don't, if you get me.

It sounds to me like you have the sense, feeling or idea that to be sexually or romantically attracted to people means all that has to be separate from friendship or feelings of being more connected; that to identify those feelings
as sexual or romantic feelings means a feeling of discomfort instead of comfort. Know what I mean? If so, have any idea why that's a framework you've got going?

[ 05-28-2012, 11:08 AM: Message edited by: Heather ]

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Heather
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(Hey, also, you're not a pain. No worries!)

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Ohana626
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Hi Heather, thanks for replying. As to your question, I'm not sure exactly why I feel like that. Actually, I prefer to be friends with someone before doing anything romantic or sexual anyway. Friendship is a very important thing to me.

But just wanting to be friends and wanting something more are very different, and that's why I am so concerned about it. In the past I have experienced strong attachments to certain friends of mine, only one at a time, but it was a very strong friendship to begin with, and I just got very attached. Once with a girl, and once with a boy. Actually, it was with this girl that I had my first "I could like a girl" thought, but after thinking about it I realized that I didn't like her like that, I was just very attached to our friendship. That's why I think about this now. I haven't had that attachment to anyone in awhile now, and I prefer it that way, it wasn't really good how attached I used to be. So the feelings I have for this girl, I was not used to liking a girl for one, and with my history of wanting strong friendships, I didn't know how to interpret it. But as time passed, my feelings grew stronger for her, and I suppose if it wasn't as frowned upon in general society (my friends are cool with it so I don't have any bad vibes from them, I just mean in general society that we live in) I might not have been so confused. And thinking on it now, I like her, it just feels different from liking a guy, and the only reason that confuses me is because I've always liked guys and I'm used to that as being "normal" for me.

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Heather
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I always find it interesting when something sexual or romantic is framed as something "more" than friendship. personally, I'd frame them as things which are different from platonic friendship, but not inseparable. After all, friendship is the basis for all our relationships when we are actually connecting to people in a real way.

While I think it's always fine to think through all of this stuff, I do think you might be trying to overthink it. feeling and thinking, as you know, aren't the same things. And this is about feelings: we feel what we feel for people. And often enough, we can't figure out what we feel for one person or group of people by looking at what we feel for another.

Instead, we tend to just need to follow our feelings and think about what we -- and the other person -- may or may not want in terms of how we want to explore those feelings with them, what kinds of actions we may or may not want to pursue, what kind of relationship we may or may not want to construct (and we can usually only know the answer to that last one with anyone once we're already getting to know them pretty well, rather than in the abstract).

So, maybe you don't like girls the way you like boys, though that all only works so much anyway, since I highly doubt you like all men and all women in the same way, anyway, given all those people are strongly different individual people where their gender is just one of many, many pieces. But I'm not sure what difference it would make if you did or didn't like those whole groups of people in the same ways, if you catch my drift.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Ohana626
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Well the thing that I feel sometimes is that I feel like I'm...I don't know, cheating the system or something. I don't know exactly why I feel this way, I've never had any problem with people who go out with someone of the same gender, or anything like that. I guess it's more of a personal thing...I grew up going to Catholic school, and even though my household isn't really religious and is pretty cool with gay things in general, I was raised by that whole "gay isn't natural because the parts don't fit" mindset. And sometimes that still makes sense to me. Why would we have feelings for the same gender if it doesn't serve a scientific purpose to keep the species going? You're completely right about how I over think things, I do it much too much...

And to be honest, I go back and fourth about worrying how I feel. When I'm just thinking by myself, it feels fine for me to like people the way I do. It's when I start trying to figure out what's "right," like looking up scientific information or psychological information on all this, and then hearing other people's opinions on the matter...they affect me, and I know they shouldn't but they do.

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Heather
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What system?

Also? I gotta say, people of the same sex or the same/similar gender? Our parts fit together and don't fit together pretty much in the same ways as when people are the same sex or gender. I always thought folks who said different a) had just never tried it and b) had a seriously limited imagination or understanding of anatomy. [Razz]

Another also? As someone who has chosen not to reproduce and has never had sex with anyone for that purpose, just from a personal standpoint alone, I can tell you that my sexuality has zip to do with that. Too, from the study of sexuality broadly and historically, we know that most of the time most people engage in sexual behavior it's about bonding and seeking pleasure, not reproduction. And bonding and doing things that make us feel good and happy does more, really, to keep all of us helping each other keep on keeping on than making more babies does.

Lastly, we have all kinds of feelings for people of all kinds of groups. The idea that sex somehow has to be about Darwinism or whatever more than any other kinds of feelings is a pretty outmoded (and, IMO, sexually obsessed) point of view, culturally and scientifically.

But really, however we love or like them, or don't, we're all going to love and like who we love, and we all get to do whatever we want to do about it, just hopefully within the bounds of what anyone else we'd want to do it with also wants to do, and hopefully in ways that benefit all of our lives.

P.S. I know sometimes when I challenge some things you say or think like this you worry you've offended me, so, preemptively, don't worry about that. [Smile]

[ 05-28-2012, 01:10 PM: Message edited by: Heather ]

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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Ohana626
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That all makes sense, thanks!

It's easy to be cool with it on here with people like you and others who are like minded. It's harder when around people who don't believe the same things, which is obviously going to happen all my life, and not just about this sort of thing. On top of accepting this about myself, I need to stop worrying about the opinions of people around me. I wish I could say that what they think doesn't matter to me, but sometimes it does...:/

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Heather
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Well, how about this: what other feelings or ideas do you have that are yours and are important to you where you can recognize not everyone feels or thinks the same, but you still feel or think what you feel, so that's just that?

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Ohana626
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I see how you want me to think, you mean that how I feel about those other things I should feel about my sexuality? That makes it easier, yeah. I don't know why I haven't been thinking of it in that way, but it makes it much better woah haha
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Heather
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No, no shoulds here.

I mean whatever some of those other things are, why do you think that you can hold them as yours, regardless of other people not agreeing, but this?

I mean, sure, it'd be so awesome if we could just change our thinking, lickety-split, but it doesn't usually work that way. If, however, you can identify why you're putting more stock in what others might think of your sexuality or your sexual or romantic relationships vs. other things, it might give you some tools to work with in processing this through over time.

Honestly, too, I think that if and when again this isn't abstract or just about you, and you're actually in a relationship with someone, it also sure is easier to make a lot of sense of.

And "how do I feel about girls and what does that mean about who I am," (which is obviously going to be complex, especially since again, you won't feel the same about all women) versus, "How do I feel about my girlfriend and how is that relationship and my feelings for this specific person part of who I am?" The latter is usually much more tangible, but really, it's also way more relevant since none of us is likely to be able to have one word that expresses how we might feel about every person of every gender.

[ 05-28-2012, 03:59 PM: Message edited by: Heather ]

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Ohana626
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I think that I wasn't holding my sexuality as closely to me the way I hold the other things about me is because the other things are more easily accepted to people in general, while this is less accepted, especially the "bisexuality" label. If anything, people seem to be more acceptiive of gay and straight because it implies an interest to just one gender, which is an easier concept to grasp. And I'm also the kind to share about myself, so I've told my close friends about this, and I explain it to them, and it's mostly accepted, my friends don't care that I like girls and boys. The only problem I've had is telling a girl I liked her and it going badly. (When I first told her it seemed okay, but later I found out that she was uncomfortable about how our mutual friends knew before her and about some of the things I told a friend that she ended up reading...needless to say we're not on any good terms right now.) The whole thing I think wouldn't have been that bad if it was a boy who did this with her, not me. It's things like this that make me unsure of myself...although lesson learned never tell someone you like them unless there is good reason to believe that he/she likes you back or will take it well. That one was my fault and I know that now haha.

And yeah I know I can't change my thinking off the top of a hat, but talking like this helps me think it through...and feel it through actually, instead of just merry-go-rounding in my head.

And yes, I need to actually develop a relationship with someone who shares mutual interest in pursing one to help with this as well.

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Heather
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Maybe it's just that this particular issue is one of the few -- or only? -- where you are very different from the people you're worried about?

I say that because, for instance, having radically different politics can be something that can equal a ton of nonacceptance, as can cultural differences, religious beliefs, things you want to do with your life, etc.

But really, if all of those differences are super-whatever with everyone around you, but being something other than straight is not, then I think we have some of our answer here.

In other words, if there IS a ton of nonacceptance with this, then homophobia or biphobia around you is likely playing a big part here in how you're feeling.

I'd also add that I disagree that we can't tell people we have feelings for them they may not reciprocate, nor that when someone handles that situation badly, it's because the person who told them made an error in telling them. Plenty of people develop the maturity -- or have it all along -- to handle it just fine when someone has feelings for them they don't share.

And we are going to get rejected in life, or have people react badly to us or things we say or do. That doesn't mean we, what we feel, what we want, or what we say is automatically the problem.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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WesLuck
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Show me someone who has never been rejected in their life and I... won't believe you. [Wink]
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Ohana626
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Thanks Heather, and WesLuck, I agree [Smile]

Well for the past few weeks with this situation I thought a lot of people who found out were uncomfortable, but from the friends that I've talked to about it (who didn't hear it from me, and who I was going to be seeing often enough that I felt that it was a good idea to address the issue, even if only briefly) they don't mind, they still love me and accept me for it. And they're friends with the girl who I told I liked, so it wasn't a "taking sides" sort of thing; they treat me just the same even after finding out, so it has made me feel a lot better about the whole thing.

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