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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sexual Identity » Bisexuality: Is sexual attraction to women enough? Do you NEED emotional attraction?

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Author Topic: Bisexuality: Is sexual attraction to women enough? Do you NEED emotional attraction?
LilyBee
Neophyte
Member # 52937

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So, this is something I go in and out of. I know on the one hand that labels really don't matter, that I can just date and have sex with whoever I want regardless of how I label myself. I know this. Still, society has constructed our minds to dwell on these little box categories and I'm not strong enough to resist it when I have a few questions left over myself. I start having occasional moments where I think, "but wait...am I really bisexual?"

I've heard some people say you're only bisexual if you have emotional and romantic interest in the same/opposite sex, and not just if you are sexually attracted to them. I disagree with that, but I want your opinions on this. If I get turned on by women but I have never had a crush on a girl in that special way, what do you think I should call myself? I'm virgin first of all (and that needs to change like, soon. ha ha) and I havent had a real relationship with guys, definitely havent even touched that territory with girls, and I've never done anything sexual with either. So its all in my mind at this point. I still go around calling myself bisexual but some people believe you cant know for sure until you "try it." Well that doesnt make sense either. What if I just end up having sex with a girl who sucks in bed and with whom I have no chemistry? That doesnt mean I'm not into sex with girls. :/

I do want to have a crush on a girl, I really do, but I honestly think I'm so used to seeing girls as friend-ish types that I may not recognize a crush when it happens. Does that make ANY sense? I don't get butterflies. The sexual part was the part that I thought was the only unsure area, but now that I know (or think I know) I'm sexually attracted to girls, I look at the fact that I havent had crushes on girls and blah. I do want a gf though. (I'm working on getting in shape first so I can be comfortable with being naked with people...I'm pudgy and ya know. no me gusta. lol) I want to get gay married at some point, at least thats how I feel at the moment, but I dont see this happening if I can't even get crushes on girls! >:/

Posts: 2 | From: New York, NY | Registered: Jan 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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The way sexual orientation is usually defined is being some combination (with room for a lot of variance) of both sexual and emotional attraction to a given gender or genders. It might help to recognize that there really isn't such a thing as sexual feelings that have nothing to do with thoughts or emotions: those are all parts of our sexuality, which is mostly about our heads and hearts.

So, the idea we can somehow compartmentalize sexuality into this box that isn't about feelings or ideas just isn't sound. Without those things, we likely wouldn't have a sexuality, really.

I'm with you, I disagree that someone can't have a sense of their orientation unless they have sex or a romantic relationship with someone. Not only can one person not represent a whole gender or our feelings about that gender, orientation/sexual identity is about feelings. Our relationships and sexual experiences, over time, often help a lot to clarify our sexual identity, but it still has a whole lot to do with us, all by ourselves.

I also understand what you say about how the way you've conceptualized girls may influence how you feel about them emotionally. A whole lot of people struggle with that, mostly because we have a world with a ton of institutionalized heterosexism that's all but impossible to avoid. If you grew up watching Disney movies or reading books where half the characters weren't straight, you may well find yourself at a different part of this process. At the same time...well, who knows.

Here's the thing: you get to identify your orientation -- and should -- with whatever language feels most true to you and whatever language you feel comfortable with. It sounds to me like you just need to reassure yourself of that a bit more and then give yourself WAY more time for all of this, whatever your orientation. The expectation that you'll know all you want out of any aspect of life when you're this young is pretty outrageous, including things like marriage when you've yet to even explore romantic relationships with anyone (of any gender).

The only other thing I'd leave you with is this: if you do wind up pursuing a relationship with anyone that you feel or want to be expressly or primarily sexual, rather than more broad, you just want to be forthright about that. Some folks will want the same thing, while others will not and feel really hurt by it, so you just want to give anyone that scoop so they can make their own best informed choices based on whatever they feel and want. [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

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Djuna
Activist
Member # 29269

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Hi there, LilyBee! [Smile]

I want to echo pretty much everything Heather said above, but just a side note? I don't think being pudgy is a reason to avoid sex. Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of good reasons not to have sex, like plain old not wanting to, but I don't think carrying some weight is one of them.

Not everyone is attracted to slim people. Plenty of people find skinny guys and gals a massive turn-off. When people say big is beautiful, it really isn't an icecream cone laden with self-esteem syrup. It's true. Some people can't stand the taste of that non-fat gelato.

That was a terrible metaphor, but it's true. Some like their doable persons fat. Some like them slim. Some like green eyes, some like blue. Meh.

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In a strange room, before you are emptied for sleep, what are you. And when you are filled with sleep you never were. I dont know what I am. I dont know if I am or not... how often have I lain beneath rain on a strange roof, thinking of home.

Posts: 1269 | From: London, UK | Registered: Jun 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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