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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sexual Identity » Questioning-What am i?

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Author Topic: Questioning-What am i?
river3000
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Hi, I'm a fourteen year old girl with no previous romantic or sexual relationships. I have only ever kissed girls, but these were all on dares. I always assumed I was straight because I had no reason not too. I've only liked a few boys (liked as in had crushes on) but the only huge one was in third grade and with the boy I 'like' now I feel like I don't actually like him, but say I do to satisfy the "OMG who do you like?" from my friends. Now on to my question. A few months ago, I started noticing that all of my favorite couples in movies/ tv shows are the lesbian ones. I read some books about lesbians and all of the scenes in either books or movies of lesbian kissing/sex completely turned me on. Like big time. I have been having a lot of fantasies of girls kissing or having sex. I still find guys attractive and am not against dating or marrying them but the idea of sex with them scares me. I don't like the idea of anything in my vagina (I HATE tampons and never masturbate because I think touching myself is gross). A lot of the times I find myself wishing I was a lesbian so I could a) date/kiss/have sex with a girl and have my fantasies come true, and b) so I don't have to deal with penises. I just like the idea of having a girlfriend. So... basically I'm wondering, what am I? I know sexuality is fluid, only I can know what I am, etc. But I like labels. I also wish I could know now and not have to wait for experimentation. So, any thoughts? Any ideas on if I'm bi, bicurious, straight, or lesbian? Obviously you can't tell me exactly what I am, but what does it sound like?
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Heather
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Welcome to the boards, river (and fellow PNWer!). [Smile]

I hear you describing feelings of attraction and interest to people of more than one gender. What words or terms feel right for you is something only you can figure out, but some terms people use for that kind of range are queer, bisexual or pansexual.

Questioning is also a term commonly used to describe times in your life when you aren't sure where you fall on this spectrum, or are, but do not feel like now -- or even period -- any one term fits you best. [Smile]

By the by, no one has to engage in any kind of sex with people to know to whom they are attracted. orientation is about feelings, not actions: terms for orientation are terms to describe to whom, based on gender, a person *feels* sexually or romantically interested or attracted. And we can know what those feelings are with or without any sexual activity or even without any romantic relationships.

One big reason, though, why you might not know now is that this early in life, I'd say it's safe to say few people have a very strong sense of their orientation, just like this early in life few people have a sense of, say, their religious or ethical beliefs, or what their primary passions or interests are in life. It tends to take time -- many years, and in many ways, a lifetime -- to get a sense of who we are, and even decades down the road, we may not ever have firm answers, and that's okay!

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river3000
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Thanks for your input. I wondered if/thought that I was bisexual for a while. It just didn't seem right though. Maybe that's just because its not something I've ever considered before. But I sometimes think that the reason bisexuality seemed to fit me most was that I wanted to not be on the complete opposite end of the spectrum from where I started out thinking I was. That I was telling my self I liked both genders but actually preferred one, but was too scared or confused to admit it. So I don't know. Is it possible that I'm making up these desires because I want a certain outcome? Or that I'm too scared of what will happen next if I tell myself and accept that I'm something I never expected to be? Ever since I started exploring my identity and looking at your site, it seems more and more that I feel emotions that make me ask myself if I'm interested in girls and add the guys to the equation so I feel less far away from where I started. I don't know. Any advice or questions I can ask myself that could point me in more of the right direction?
Another reason I may have exclusively had crushes on boys in the past is because I thought I was supposed to. Not because being gay was wrong, just because I told myself I wasn't.
Sorry if this is way too much for you to ever answer, but writing this all out just helps to get everything out and in front of me. [Smile]
But, please. Any thoughts you have, I'm game. Any help, I'd appreciate

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Heather
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You know, there is some merit in the things you are asking, especially since we know that though the world has been changing a lot lately in this respect, people still tend to be mostly socialized to be way more accepting of heterosexuality -- or, if not that, of people still being in some way attracted to people of the "opposite" sex. So, for sure, for some people who are gay, that can make accepting that loads harder, and incline a person to really do what they can to hang on to the possibility of being anything but gay.

Are you doing that? I know I can't know, but I also don't expect you can so early in your life. I think that's something that, when that is what has happened for people, they can only see clearly with a good deal of hindsight.

Really, I don't think there are magic questions we can ask anyone, let alone someone so early in their life, to solidify what orientation you are. Again, a lot of this is about this simply taking time.

I think the better approach here is to figure out what feels best to you NOW, including terms, since it sounds like you like one. They don't have to be true for a lifetime, and often they won't be, because not only is sexuality fluid, even more to the point, personality and our whole lives are, you know?

So, how about we try this on: who do you feel like you find yourself romantically and/or sexually attracted to now and in the past? And what word or term feels reflective of that, so far, and also feels like a word or term that feels like a good fit for you right now?

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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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Heather
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It also sounds like in thinking about bisexuality, btw, you might be falling into something that is more about bisexuality stigma than reality.

In a word, being bisexual is not about being confused. It's about liking or having interest in more than one thing.

As an example, there are musicians who play only one instrument; there are musicians who play more than one kind. We don't say the latter group of people are confused, just that they clearly have the interest and the skill to like and play more than one kind of instrument.

Bisexuality is a lot like that: it's not about someone being unable to make up their mind, it's about people not having to do that in the first place -- just like we don't have to choose if we are attracted to short people or tall people, we can be attracted to both -- and finding out that they are attracted to people of more than one gender, that's all. [Smile]

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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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river3000
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In response to that, I think the reason I questioning the fact that I'm bisexual is not that I'm saying bisexuality is about being confused, I'm not sure which of my attractions or desires are real or which ones I'm giving myself in order to get a certain result. Like I'm at a point where the biggest indicator that answers the question who do I feel like I find myself romantically and/or sexually attracted to now and in the past is that I haven't really felt that. I've always looked for guys to like because I thought that I was going to like boys. Period. So maybe I would have been attracted to girls if I had thought of it as a possibility. Right now, I'm pretty much going off of what I think I want or what I seem to fantasize about, which seems to be predominantly girls but maybe that isn't happening because I'm lesbian, its because I want to be. Or that when I see myself dating a guy I worry its because I want to stay sure of the fact that I'm straight. Does this make sense? Or am I just making things more complicated
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Heather
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So, one thing is that you don't have to be straight to date guys, and you don't have to be lesbian to date women. maybe you already get that, but in case you don't, looking at your last sentence there, I wanted to make sure you knew that.

A given orientation is not required to date someone of any gender unless a given person you might be dating only wants to date people of a certain orientation.

It sounds to me like you feel like your feelings in the past are dubious, or that you don't trust them. So how about thinking about all of this based on say, your feelings and attractions just over the last year?

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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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river3000
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Thank you so much for all of this by the way. It kinda helps that I don't know you so I can be completely open.
Let's see. The past year doesn't really have much until January. I had started liking a guy vaugley and was mostly using him as an excuse to escape the pestering of my friends. They don't know him so it was perfect [Smile]
Then I read this book in January, Time It Right by Siera Maley. It was about a girl who came to terms with the fact of her homosexuality. There were some kissing/sex scenes and she had an awesome girlfriend. The kissing/sex scenes turned me on, a lot, to my surprise. After that, I started having fantasies of being with other girls and having a girlfriend. I still found guys physically attractive but girls dominated my fantasies. I still found guys attractive and could imagine myself with thembut started thinking

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Heather
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Not sure if you got cut off there, but if not, I hear you saying here you have felt sexual interest, then, in guys and girls, with girls taking the lead.

That given, if that sounds right to you, what word or term do you feel best about using right now that feels reflective of that for you?

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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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river3000
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Thank you so much for all of this by the way. It kinda helps that I don't know you so I can be completely open.
Let's see. The past year doesn't really have much until January. I had started liking a guy vaugley and was mostly using him as an excuse to escape the pestering of my friends. They don't know him so it was perfect [Smile]
Then I read this book in January, Time It Right by Siera Maley. It was about a girl who came to terms with the fact of her homosexuality. There were some kissing/sex scenes and she had an awesome girlfriend. The kissing/sex scenes turned me on, a lot, to my surprise. After that, I started having fantasies of being with other girls and having a girlfriend. I still found guys physically attractive but girls dominated my fantasies. I still found guys attractive and could imagine myself with them but started thinking about girls in a different way, as in like who I would date if we were both into girls. At first I thought it was nothing; I saw somewhere that 80% of straight females have lesbian fantasies. But sometime a month or two ago I got way less sure and started looking around online. Finally a few days ago I found this site. I've also been having the feelings that I want to be a lesbian, but I don't know if that's a sign or a random desire.
Again, just thanks for helping me with this mess of thoughts I'm trying to figure out

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Heather
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(Did you see my last response?)

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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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river3000
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Oh sorry yeah it got cut off and then it didn't show up so I thought it didnt't send. Sorry!
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Heather
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No worries. [Smile]

So, given, what do you think? If you want a word for yourself right now, looking at that recent experience and those recent feelings, which feels best for you?

--------------------
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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river3000
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I guess the only word that really feels right is questioning. I like labels, but I don't want to label myself as one thing and then change it later. But, if I was pressed, I would probably say that what best describes my desires and attractions is bisexua , but closer to being homosexual. However I don't know if I'm really ready to commit to that.
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Heather
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Questioning really is a fantastic term, IMO.

We didn't have that one for a long time, and I think it's great it is being more and more commonly used now. I think it can let people have a word when they want one, a word that also gives them time and space to decide if a different term is one they want to use. [Smile]

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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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Molias
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I don't know if this helps at all, but you definitely don't have to be attracted to various genders equally to identify as bisexual. Some bisexual people like men and women equally, others may be almost entirely attracted to men but might at times feel really intense attraction to women, other still might have stronger feelings for different genders at different points in time, etc. etc. But certainly, if you don't feel ready to commit to any one identity right now, that's entirely ok.

We do have a pretty good article on being in that questioning-space that you might find helpful: Q is for Questioning
I do think there can be a lot of power in owning that uncertainty; you can give yourself the time and space to think about your feelings and come to a conclusion on your own schedule. =)

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river3000
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Thanks that actually does really help. I think the reason bisexual didn't feel right was because I didn't feel equal feeling towards the genders. However, I think I'll stick with questioning for a little while longer. Thanks so much guys [Smile]
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Heather
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For sure, the idea that bisexual people have some kind of "equal" attraction between genders (and given there are more than two genders, that would be awfully hard to divvy up!) is a false one.

That's not to say that even with getting that that is so not how this works that's the term that will now, or later, feel right for you, just a backup that were that the criteria for being bisexual, especially over a lifetime, pretty much no one would be bisexual. [Smile]

--------------------
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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