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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Gender Issues » Really Confused

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Author Topic: Really Confused
Ocean
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I'll be honest, I've never had sex before. This could be where some of the confusion stems from. I have no idea which gender I like since the gender I like seems to be a combonation of the two.

I like extremely girly men. Basically just females minus the hips and the breats. Vagina...I could probably live with it, in fact I'd rather be with someone who has it I think. I have never met any males in my life who have met this criteria. I was wondering if this makes me a lesbian...because maybe I will like girls in the future, I am just not mature enough at the moment to accept the top half of their bodies? I have fantasised about breats before but I just don't believe it creates the person I'm looking for? (I'm a late maturer by the way, I developed later, etc.) Also I have the feeling that if I really like a person and they had the pronoun 'she' I wouldn't like them anymore. Even if they looked nothing like a girl. I feel no attraction at all to the 'average joe' or man except as a friend.

To add to this confusion, I'm not sure of my gender identity either. I don't really like being a female, but I'm not sure I'd want to be a pure male either. I would like to have thier muscle and overall look for the most part. I also don't feel comfortable at all about having breats, this may be why I don't like breats on other girls. I get along better with guys and girls who act like guys. To me, average girls don't really talk about anything interesting. (I have made friends with really good ones though) However, I don't have access to many guy friends because they are not part of the group I hang out with and I'm generally a shy person. The guys I have been aquantainces/friends with I hit off with right away because we have the same interests.

I'm not sure I explained that really well, but I hope someone can maybe help me sort things out a litte?

Thanks.

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Ecofem
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I hear you on this, Ocean. I don't have a straightforward answer to all this, but what you're describing sounds completely normal to me. I can give you my take, but it obviously is just that, one opinion. How old are you by the way?

First, I'd define attraction to women as... being attracted to women, not being not attracted to men. I believe sexuality is quite fluid; we're attracted to individuals, not really gender as such. If we ID as liking just one gender, it doesn't mean we're into EVERYone of that gender; if we're bisexual, we're certainly not attracted to everyone out there. So I'd try to give yourself a break and just take your attractions and crushes as they come, one at a time, whatever gender.

As for your own gender identity, gender is a social construct, and a strict guideline or definition (what are they, anyway, and who gets to define them? [Wink] ) doesn't really apply to anyone. They also vary per culture or time period. Therefore, I would be really careful with statements like "I get along better with guys and girls who act like guys" and "average girls don't really talk about anything interesting" (although kudos for phrasing it as a "to me" statement.) What is "guy" versus "girl" behavior? I think you hit the nail on the head with this statement: "The guys I hate been aquaintances/friends with I hit off with right away because we have the same interests."

I think it really comes down to personalities and interests, not gender roles. It sounds like maybe you're finding yourself to have less in common with your old group of friends. This certainly happens; I'm not saying to ditch them for new ones, but I'd suggest widening that circle. Why not talk to them about it? Maybe they're tired of the current discussions themselves. However, I understand wanting to make some more "guy" friends; how about joining a group or activity with both men and women?

To add some personal experience: I grew up with siblings of both genders, had mostly girl friends in middle school, then a mixed group of friends in high school. I had mostly close female friends again in college because I went to a women's college, and now I live with three men. While I think people may feel atuned to gender at a younger age, I don't really notice any difference between living with females and males, for example.

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Ecofem
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OK, I wanted to click "add reply" so I didn't lose the entry should my computer crash. I wanted to address your attractions again.

I would like to have thier muscle and overall look for the most part. I also don't feel comfortable at all about having breats, this may be why I don't like breats on other girls.

I think this statement says a lot. I previously found myself to be almost exclusively attracted to the same male build you're describing. I also have a large chest that developed "later" (at 17-19) and, despite being bi, found myself not as attracted to women with the same. Over time (as in the last couple of years [Wink] ), as I've become more accepting of myself, my own identity and appearance, I've found my attractions to be all over the map. I also aspired to have the slight build of such men, but I'm come to really embrace having an hourglass figure (or just not to care so much!) This might sound superficial, but I found creating a wardrobe of pieces with flattering cuts to be helpful. Like instead of stressing that certain t-shirts (ugh, can't think of the names for them) just weren't going to look the way I wanted; so I accepted that and found some stuff I liked and that "looked good." Of course, wear whatever you want!

I'm not saying you should do the same, but I would try to accept yourself as you are, without worrying about affixing a gender or sexual orientation label. Women can and do have some pretty awesome strength and muscle, it just might look different. How physically active are you? If you're not, I'd recommend exercising regularly as a great way to feel more in tune with and in "control" of your body. If you're stressing because you're already an athlete and aren't seeing results that you want, I'd recommend talking to your coach or an athletic counselor about this. It's like, they may say girls run better better they hit puberty because their hips aren't as wide. That's nice, but who cares, I'm not going to let it discourage me from loving to jog. [Wink]

If you'd like, I could also move your thread to Gender Issues if you'd prefer to continue this discussion with people with more of a background in gender issues. Did I sort of answer your question about sexual orientation?

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Ocean
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Thank you, ecoferm, for replying. I'm 16 (well technically I just turned 16 a week or so ago.)

I would like to take my attractions as they come, but as I said I'm really only attracted to people who are somewhat a combination of both. I have never met anyone in real life who has matched this. That's why I was wondering if this will mature out as I get older and I'll start to like people who are one gender?

Sorry, when I said, "I get along better with guys and girls who act like guys" I am doing a generalization. I realize that any girl can act like a guy or however she wants. But at my school (It's highschool and I heard that has the most stereotypical people of all, hopefully college isn't like that), at my school the girls mostly act all the same. I know that they can act how they want, but alot of the ones I've met just don't because they like acting as the stereotypical girl. I have tried new conversations about different things, but alot of them just switch the conversation back to the things they were talking about before.

Well I hope that as I get older the gender lines will fall away, that would be real nice. I always feel like people are judging me and wanting me to act a set way.

Actually I don't feel attracted to muscle on guys at all I just want to have it. You say you like your hourglass figure now, which kind of makes me nervous because in a way, I don't ever want to like mine. I don't know why that is.

I do weights and swimming, and no I'm not seeing the results I want. It seems like no matter how hard I try I would never be able to reach full "potential". I had to do a paper on steroids, and how using them to cheat in a game is unfair. But really, the advantage of steroids is no different from the advantage of genetics. And how do you get past the the cheating of nature?

That would be great if you could move it to the gender issues board. Then I could maybe get some replies since not many people are replying here.

Again, thanks for the response. [Smile]

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Ecofem
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Hi Ocean, You're very welcome, and I'm glad my reply was useful. [Smile] I'll reply more tomorrow: I hear you on the muscle-body image topic, and I'd like to respond to this. I'd also like to look up some resources for you; would you be willing to share some more information about your location, like state and/or nearest big city?

and, not to forget... a belated Happy Birthday to you!

[ 02-05-2007, 08:36 PM: Message edited by: Ecofem ]

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Ocean
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Thank you for the 'Happy Birthday' [Smile] I don't mind sharing a broad location of where I live. I live in North California around Sacramento somewhere [Wink]
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Ecofem
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HI Ocean, [Smile] First some links:

You might want to check out the All Girl Army (separate but affliated with Scarleteen):
http://www.allgirlarmy.org/
http://www.allgirlarmy.org/forum/ubbthreads.php

Their sports-related forum:
http://www.allgirlarmy.org/forum/postlist.php/Cat/0/Board/sports

Their Transgender, Intersex and Genderqueer forum:
http://www.allgirlarmy.org/forum/postlist.php/Cat/0/Board/trans

More links:
http://www.shelovessports.com/
http://www.womenssportsfoundation.org/

I asked about your location in case there was a particular college (esp. women's college) I could recommend. I'm not familar with specific universities in your area (I wish I were it being California and all [Smile] ) but I see there are many. Any particular schools near you? I went to a women's college with a great network for women in sports (from athletes to "couch" potatoes) including a mentoring program for pre-teen and teen girl athletes. If you're up for it, I'd recommend investigating a nearby college (or your PE teacher) for some local resources.

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Ecofem
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Now to reply to specifics:

quote:
Originally posted by Ocean:
I would like to take my attractions as they come, but as I said I'm really only attracted to people who are somewhat a combination of both. I have never met anyone in real life who has matched this. That's why I was wondering if this will mature out as I get older and I'll start to like people who are one gender?

I think your outlook/attraction is totally fine, and that you will find more of what you're looking for, be it in a few days/months/years. As I said, the whole gender definition thing is tricky. Chances are you're more ahead on this than most of your peers, who are really feeling societal/peer pressure and be more open and comfortable with who they are with time. When I said that the range of my attractions grew over time, I meant like beyond just "super-skinny guy with 'feminine' traits," not "Mr.-I-am-a-living-caricature-of-masculinity." [Wink]

quote:
Sorry, when I said, "I get along better with guys and girls who act like guys" I am doing a generalization. I realize that any girl can act like a guy or however she wants. But at my school (It's highschool and I heard that has the most stereotypical people of all, hopefully college isn't like that), at my school the girls mostly act all the same. I know that they can act how they want, but alot of the ones I've met just don't because they like acting as the stereotypical girl. I have tried new conversations about different things, but alot of them just switch the conversation back to the things they were talking about before.
OK, I see where you're coming from here. It does sound like your classmates are really embracing the various stereotypes of stuff. I'm not sure how big your school is, but I'd guess there are at least a handful of people (male, female, etc.) more like you. I can also understand why you're wanting to make some male friends/go outside of your group. What about starting your own club (like a GLBTSU or gender studies group?)

quote:
Well I hope that as I get older the gender lines will fall away, that would be real nice. I always feel like people are judging me and wanting me to act a set way.
In this case, definitely, I'd say. If you're going to a small school without a lot of "diversity" (meant in the broadest terms), I can see how things seem quite limiting now. People change anyhow, but you could also look into attending college/working in a bigger or different place?

OK, I'm now going to finish this reply and address the body/muscle-issue stuff later because I have to study some more for an exam tomorrow. I'll reply more later, but please tell me what you think of the sites in the meantime!

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Ocean
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It's not exactally that I just want to have the muscles or supposed sports skills of a guy. If I imagine that I could have both those things, I'm still not happy being female. I could never go to a women's college because when I think of that it feels incredibly degrading or...something. Also then I would be thought of as female. I don't know...I think it would be like dragging myself to jump into a volcano. Well that's what it feels like in relation when I imagine it. [Wink] But thank you for the sites...they do have good info...I just can't find much that really applies.

Oh so you used to like the type of guys I like? Sorry, I'm just not sure if that's what you meant.

Hmm...a club's actually a good idea. I just have to get my courage up [Razz]

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Ecofem
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Hello again, I'm sorry I've been giving you such a half-***ed answer here, never quite finishing what I meant to say! [Smile]

As for "coming to terms" with my hourglass figure didn't mean switching to a wardrobe of bustles and corsets (although I am partial to those...), it just was realizing I wouldn't go down two bra sizes from exercising. Up to a few months ago, I was doing super-intensive martial arts training for 2-3 hours a night, 4-5 days a week. I built up great muscle strength in my legs, arms, back, etc. (I still seem to have it despite training half as intensively.) But I still have the "broad" hips, etc. and that's what I've come to terms with. Men can have "broader" hips, too, btw.

As for guys, I meant that I did and still do like the same types of guys (and girls?) you like now. It's just that, with time, as I felt more comfortable with my own appearance, I felt more comfortable with/attracted to body types I wasn't previously interested in. (I mention this because you initially said that you wondered if you didn't like a certain physical build on girls because you had trouble accepting it yourself?)

I do, however, now understand better what you mean regarding appearance. I had the impression that you wanted the muscle build of guys or that your training wasn't giving you the physical results you wanted. That can sometimes be a body image issue, too, where people are almost "obsessed" with obtaining some muscular build or working out. I think of a show on MTV I saw a few years ago on a female bodybuilder. On one hand, she was doing some really cool stuff; on the other, this "striving for perfection" was a goal that become physically painful, no longer fun and a life-risk.

I was going to recommend talking to female athletes or athletic trainers for advice about working out. Women's colleges are often really pro-athlete while promoting people as a whole/are less competition-based. Women's colleges are actually often very, very feminist and progressive, btw. But it's a personal choice and I'd never tell someone to go who didn't want to! A friend of mine actually did research on the acceptance/tolerance of transgender students (FtM, MtF) at women's colleges.

I would, however, recommend talking to some physical trainer to find a way to maximize your workout. I'd done both weight training and competitive swimming; personalized advice from a trainer would help you "maximize" your weighttraining workout. As good as swimming is for you, I've found it works on toning well but just didn't build "visual" muscles for me. (Again, I mention this only because I got the impression this was important to you.)

It's totally ok not to think of yourself as female/male/etc.-- not now or ever! However, I'd strongly recommend against taking steroids. Going to a counselor specializing in gender issues could really be helpful, however. I don't know if you're thinking of something as "drastic" as sex reassignment surgery, but I'd definitely hold off on that for awhile if you were. As you know, you don't have to "choose" one or any. [Smile]

Starting a club at school does take courage but it could also be a nice chance for you and classmates. Can you think of any people to ask who'd work with you, or a nice teacher as a potential sponsor?

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