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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sexual Identity » attending a (mostly) all boys' school and confused

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Author Topic: attending a (mostly) all boys' school and confused
hydrogenfusion
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Member # 51109

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I'm seventeen and currently in year 12. For the past five years I've been at an all girls' school until this September when I moved and starting going to a school that is mostly boys but which accepted a small group of girls for the first time this year. I'm really enjoying hanging out with guys rather than girls, but it has raised some questions.

During the summer was the first time that I realized that a guy liked me. As soon as I figured that out I freaked and did everything possible to avoid him. This fall, a different guy asked me out, except (being naive) I thought we were going out as friends. Once I realized it was a date I panicked again and avoided him for the rest of term. I put these reactions down to not being ready for a relationship.

Two nights ago I went out with seven of my guy friends. Luckily none of them have tried to hit on me! I had a great time and then I came home. That night I had an incredibly vivid dream. The evening replayed itself precisely as it happened, except at one point when we were discussing gender differences (which we did discuss in real life) I came out as lesbian to them!

Back to the real world, this got me thinking. I never assumed I was straight, because for a while I just didn't have feelings for anyone, so there was no way that I could know. I have had crushes on guys before, but they usually go away in a few days and they aren't really serious. If a guy actually comes onto me I freak out. I can't tell whether this is because I'm just not ready, haven't found a guy I like or just don't like guys! And where did this dream come from? It was weird, when I came out in my dream it felt so right. Now I am so confused and I don't know how to explore these feelings further.

Thanks for reading this insanely long post and any thoughts would be appreciated. [Smile]

Posts: 3 | From: UK | Registered: Dec 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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Can you perhaps give me some more direction about what you're looking for help with? I'm just not clear on how to best help you.

Being lesbian, as I just explained to someone else this morning, isn't about not liking men or feeling scared by men. It's about being sexually and emotionally attracted to women, solely or primarily. I don't hear you talking about having any feelings for women in this post, I only hear you talking about guys. So, my sense is, this isn't about your orientation at all, nor about being lesbian. Having a dream we're a given way often isn't useful information because it's so often just psychological static.

What I'm hearing is that you're not comfortable with dating/sexual relationships, or any actions on their part to pursue them, with guys right now. Does that sound about right?

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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

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
hydrogenfusion
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You are right, of course, that I actually haven't felt attracted to girls, which is what being lesbian means! The only reason I bring it up is because I have imagined myself telling people (not just in this dream, but at other times) that I am. But I think the reason for that is that I want guys to not think of me romantically. It would sort of take off the pressure to be dating or have a boyfriend. Of course, it would only work because almost all the people I hang out with are guys. Anyway, maybe that's why I want to tell people I like girls even though I have no evidence that I actually do.

You are right that I don't feel comfortable doing anything with guys when I'm actually confronted with a guy. But I would like to try being in a relationship, at least it sounds great until I actually have a real person in front of me. Then I just start to feel incredibly tense and uncomfortable. This made me think that maybe it would feel more natural with a girl. On the other hand, maybe it just felt wrong because I'm not ready to be dating anybody. I just wonder why I'm having this panic reaction. I suppose that also, since I'm attracted to girls as much as I'm attracted to guys (which is not a lot at this point, but I could imagine kissing both, for example) I shouldn't just assume that I like one or the other or both. And I don't know how I can start to find out if I keep freaking out at the first sign of intimacy.

I'm sorry if I'm unclear, this is quite hard to articulate, but I really appreciate your comments. They are very calming. [Smile]

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Heather
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You know, it sounds pretty intense to me to be one of only a small group of girls at an otherwise all-boys school. Not just because of the numbers, but because that's likely a space that has been long-oriented to them, and all of you are likely going to receive a LOT of sexual attention by virtue of a) being girls there when there were not any before and b) being such a small group.

So, I'm not surprised you're feeling some anxiety and worry around all of this, though I am surprised the administration of the school didn't see this coming and make sure staff were prepared to manage it in some way. Have you brought it up at all?

Outside of this school situation, am I getting it right that it just sounds like while you're curious about romantic relationships, you just aren't feeling those feelings yet and aren't feeling ready for that or really interested in pursuing them yet? You say you're freaking out at the first sign of intimacy, and have potential feelings for people of all genders, but am I getting it right that the anxiety is only with guys?

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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

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
hydrogenfusion
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That's a pretty accurate description of what I'm feeling. The idea of having a partner who I could confide in and feel comfortable around and do some things with (like hold hands, hug and maybe kiss) is really appealing. I am comfortable with it when I imagine it in my head, but the times I have been approached by real people I have felt this anxiety. I have only felt it around guys because I haven't been approached by girls. I don't know if I would panic if a girl indicated that she would like to be romantically involved with me. I had one friend who would kiss me on the cheek or forehead, but it wasn't sexual and it didn't bother me at all.

Also, I don't feel tense hugging my friends who are guys, so it's not like I'm afraid of men or anything. I have no reason to fear being in a relationship because I haven't had a bad experience other than ones I caused myself by avoiding people and making them feel like they've done something wrong. I don't know why my brain is reacting like this.

I do have an advisor at school, but I don't really feel comfortable talking to her about this because she's also my teacher for a class and I want her to see me in a professional light.

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September
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You know, feeling anxious and nervous about actually being approached by boys with romantic interest doesn't have to mean that there's anything wrong or out of the ordinary: it may just mean that you're not ready to be dating yet and need a little more time to get there. That seems especially likely given the intense situation at your school that Heather also pointed out, and maybe also that you just don't have that much experience dealing with boys in a romantic setting.

And that is perfectly alright. I'd try not to worry too much about it right now, and just give yourself some more time.

And as far as approaching your advisor: it's actually their job to talk to you about anything that implicates your experience at the school, even things that are not strictly about academics. So please don't worry about not appearing professional - it is her job to listen to you and take you seriously, okay?

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Johanna
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"The question is not who will let me, but who is going to stop me." -Ayn Rand

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