T O P I C R E V I E W
Member # 97338
posted 09-16-2012 03:27 AM
Hi, Scarleteen. I've been getting
real confused about this for awhile. Lately it's been coming up more often, stronger than ever, and I kind of need some advice and input. I'll try my best to explain what I know, but that is possibly quite limited... To put it simply, I can't handle anything to do with heterosexuality, and haven't been able to for around 5-6 years... I mean, if someone is heterosexual, that's fine by me; it doesn't bother me. However, thinking about hetero sexuality, or hearing others talk about or just even reference it makes me uncomfortable, and if I see two people of the opposite sex interacting romantically, sexually, etc - even doing something as simple as just holding hands - I just begin to feel really anxious and disturbed, to the point of almost having a sort of breakdown sometimes... On the other hand, I'm completely comfortable with others being homosexual and with homosexuality, and I'm not bothered in the slightest by (and even agreeing of) discussion about it, or seeing others behaving as such, so I can't find a reason as to what it is about heterosexuality that bothers me so much. I am personally asexual, so I don't favor either one more or less, and I've never had or desired a relationship aside from family and friendships, so there's no personal experience (such as getting dumped, rejected, etc) or known bias that could attribute to these feelings... I have also been gender-confused for quite awhile, since I was around 9 years old (being 16 years old, now - still confused)... I want to say that this has something to do with it, but I can't make a connection. :\ All this said, I'm not exactly looking to change these views - having felt like this for 5-6 years, it'd be pretty difficult, if not near impossible - I just want some input on why I might feel this way, and if these are at all normal (or even heard-of) feelings, to put my mind at ease. I hope my explanation is understandable and that I provided anything needed to help make sense of this all, and if not, I can hopefully (and will try my best to) provide clarification, since I really want to solve, or at the very least take a step in solving, this... Thanks in advance, ~Synchymics [ 09-16-2012, 03:50 AM: Message edited by: Synchymics ]
Member # 3
posted 09-16-2012 11:56 AM
Welcome to Scarleteen, Synchymics.
I do think we can say -- and it is the prevailing consensus psych-wise -- that when someone has a very strong aversion to something that isn't unhealthy (like, say, not to violence or cruelty, foods that might poison them, etc.), something usually underlies that. And certainly, with the kind of very string reaction you're having, it sounds like something is up here. And even if this only impacts you, which it sounds, so far, like it does, obviously it can have a pretty big impact sometimes, and you're probably prefer not to be in that state when just going out to get a cup of coffee in your neighborhood. I disagree that feeling a certain way for a period of time as short as five years means things can't change. In the grand scheme of things, that's not a long time, honestly, nor a period of time where we'd say a pattern couldn't change. 50 years? We'd be talking differently. As well, at the stage of life you're in even very radical changes to feelings or frameworks not only are possible but pretty common and typical. So, this might even be something that more organically, and without ever having a firm "why" shifts on its own, something you become less uncomfortable with over time without having to try and "fix" it. I'm happy to try and talk this through with you if you want to try to get some clues about what's going on. If you want to, where I think might be some good places to start are: a) You say this has been going on for 5-6 years. Do you remember when this started? How? Anything that was going on with you around that time? b) When you have these reactions, do you feel like there's any gender or person, or performance of a given gender in these interactions that you react particularly strong to? In other words, setting aside, for now, the fact that you can't know what these people's orientations even are in most of these situations (for all you know, they could be bisexual, for instance), are there any pieces of this around gender you feel you're particularly reactive to? c) You ID as asexual. Do you, like some asexual people, attach that to any other orientation? For instance, even if you don't feel oriented around gender sexually, do you feel oriented around any gender or genders romantically or affectionally? Aesthetically? [ 09-16-2012, 12:08 PM: Message edited by: Heather ]
Member # 97338
posted 09-16-2012 02:36 PM
Thanks for the reply and welcome, Heather.
I absolutely agree. I have no doubt in my mind there's something deeper to this, I've just never had the slightest idea of what that might be. I imagine that even just partially knowing that would help me be able to feel less uncomfortable. True, that was quite an over-exaggeration on my part, hah... I was thinking of that in terms of the habits I have, and how much trouble I've had trying to get rid of those, it seemed somewhat similar to me. In any case, I do think it'd be tough to change this or come to a point where I'm not so bothered by it. Although, with how much I am exposed to it, I certainly could check my progress by simply looking around at school. I'm pretty certain I know about question A. It started in primary school, around 6th grade; all the other kids started getting into stuff such as dating. Seeing them act as couples disturbed me just about as much as it still does (don't know the same for homosexuality since there weren't any homosexual couples around the campus I really knew of when I was in 6th, heck, I barely even knew what homosexuality was). Question B beats me. I've never really though about it like that. As far as I know, there's nothing in particular. However, as I mentioned, I would imagine my own uncertainty of my gender could apply to it in some way, even if the same feelings don't apply to homosexuality. For C, I can say I apply asexual to most anything. I don't feel special attraction to any one gender (that I know of), I don't feel the need or desire to be romantic or affectionate to any genders really at all. I've been happy enough having good friends, all of whom are solely just friends who I can have a deep conversation with, share interests with, and the like, I've never wanted any more than that. As for aesthetically, I can't say I'm entirely sure. I never pay much attention to what someone looks like. (I'm not certain I understand what you mean by that, though.) So, thanks again, hope I cleared a few things up. ~Synchymics
Member # 3
posted 09-16-2012 06:38 PM
So, let me try with what is perhaps the most simplistic guess first. We all live in a world where there really is a lot of pressure to not only be stright, but to perfrom strightness in sexual/romantic ways; pressure to be in straight couples doing All The Things Straight Couples Do. (From the sounds of you, you know as well as I do that straight people, like anyone else, vary way more than that, as do their relationships and interactions. However, I'd say the cultural pressures and presentations are not particularly varied.) I wonder if you think this has something to do with feeling that was pretty shoved in your face, especially if you didn't have any frameworks for asexuality or any other kind of non-participation, or support? In other wrods, it makes quite a bit of sense to feel an aversion at something that feels pushed on us we don't want as it is, all the more so when we don't want something or even something seen as kind of being like that without any acknowledgment that that's okay. And putting feeling or not being on the gender binary on top of all that? I could certainly see how a person could wind up feeling both very uncomfortable invisible and disregarded while also very uncomfortable pressured at the same time. Know what I mean?
Member # 97338
posted 09-16-2012 10:34 PM
think I get what you're saying. Basically, it could be that I'm uncomfortable with it because it was forced upon me (or in this case, my surroundings), even when I never felt interested, but didn't know much else, and on top of that, there was that stress of not clicking with the "male"/"female" gender-label system? I'd have to take awhile to work it out a bit more, but I certainly wouldn't rule it out. I never was pressured about it at home, my mother never dated (being divorced), and my sister is even younger than me, so she didn't have to experience this stuff quite yet, but at school, that pressure was really prevalent. Everyone talking about his or her girlfriend or boyfriend, all the while I'm still caught up with my gender - which, for reference, I didn't quite understand what that feeling was, I just knew I didn't feel comfortable with a gender-label -, unsure what to even answer on those stupid surveys that ask "Are you Male or Female?". Well, anyway, I feel kind of silly that there's such a simple possibility, and I haven't even though of it... While I'm not certain that'll be a definite explanation in the long run, it's definitely something I haven't considered. ~Synchymics
Member # 3
posted 09-17-2012 11:37 AM
Yep, that's what I'm suggesting. Like I said, that's my most simplistic educated guess, so it certainly might not be the right one.
Personally, I'd say that in our world, period, that pressure is omnipresent, even if no one is doing any of what we'd think of pressuring. Just like say, the pressure to be white or assimilate to white culture is omnipresent in the west, for example. Maybe you just sit with this possibility for a few days and let it marinate? See how you feel about it then? While you're doing that, perhaps what might also be helpful is coming up with some ways for you to manage those feelings when you have them so they don't literally make you feel on the verge of a breakdown?