Donate Now
Post New Topic  Post A Reply
my profile | directory login | register | search | faq | forum home

  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» Got Questions? Get Answers. » EXPERT ADVICE » Ask Scarleteen » Lesbian?

 - UBBFriend: Email this page to someone!    
Author Topic: Lesbian?
AnnaRosalia
Neophyte
Member # 96292

Icon 5 posted      Profile for AnnaRosalia     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Recently, Iíve been struggling with my sexuality.
And, yes, I know Iím the only one who can figure this out for myself. Still, Iíd like an outsiderís opinion, and I donít feel like I can talk about this with the people around me. Iím kind of just wondering if Iím a lesbian, or if thereís just something wrong with me.

Iíve had crushes on guys my whole life--at least, I used to think so. But I donít think I crush on guys the same way other girls do--itís more like Iím thinking these people would make good friends. I donít want to kiss or make out with them, or even hold hands. I donít even really desire to be around them. I am just happy if I see them, or (usually) pleasantly surprised if they pop up next to me. With one guy Iíve been worried about being funny, and probably acted in ways I wouldnít normally, but only with that one person. I am by no means boy crazy. I donít really feel attracted to any of the guys around me (though the pickings are, admittedly, slim).

But Iíve been reevaluating my relationships with girls, and some things stand out to me. Like how into female characters on television I get. How Iím often upset when a third person enters a conversation between me and another girl. And how I felt when a friend of mine (who Iím not especially close with) talked about another girl who is her best friend.

And then there are the little incidents that have happened throughout my life to make me question my sexuality in the first place. I remember two separate times in my life when a girl has been pressed against me to put makeup on me. I remember both times feeling--I donít know, more aware?--and wanting them to be away from me so that feeling would go away too. I remember ďadmiringĒ girls in the sixth grade who were pretty and smart and popular, and I donít know if I really did just admire them or if I liked them instead. I also remember things that donít bother other girls bothering me--a friendís cleavage (so distracting) or another girl sitting with their legs spread wide (I actually moved so I couldnít see). And occasionally I have to question whether my feelings for my friends are just feelings for friends.

While Iíve been doing this, Iíve become more aware of womenís bodies. I feel like Iím always looking at them. When I watch television, my eyes wander to an actressís chest. I donít know how people feel when they check other people out, so I donít know what the way I feel MEANS. Am I looking at them because their bodies are distracting, or because theyíre attractive...?

And the real reason I asked this question: Lately Iíve been thinking about the future, and marriage, and all that. Iíve been mulling it over, and I really think I want to have sex with another woman. (Even if it turns out Iím straight.) I think I want to be in love with another woman, if that makes any sense. I think I want to marry one and have kids with one. The idea of being with a girl makes me happier than the idea of being with a guy.

I donít think I want to have any kind of sex with men right now (though I have no experience with either gender); I feel like I wouldnít enjoy it. And I donít want to have kids with one for gender-stereotype kind of reasons. I feel like Iím not really all that into men, but I donít know.

And--this is what confuses me the most--if I could choose my sexuality, I would choose to be gay. I always hear gay people saying, duh, itís not a choice, we wouldnít make it, but I totally would. Iíd rather be with a woman.

Does all of this mean that Iím a lesbian? Or just an oddly-jaded straight girl?

[ 07-17-2012, 11:39 PM: Message edited by: AnnaRosalia ]

Posts: 4 | Registered: Jul 2012  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Robin Lee
Volunteer Assistant Director
Member # 90293

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Robin Lee     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
HI AnnaRosalia and welcome to Scarleteen!


I apologize that it took a while for one of us to answer this. We're a little short-staffed right now.


First and foremost, there is nothing whatsoever wrong with you! [Smile]

The beautiful, and sometimes confusing, thing about sexuality is that it is so complex. It's also fluid, meaning that for many people attractions, fantansies, and desires change over their lives.

Yes, making decisions about your sexual life is up to you, but if it helps, it really does, based on what you've said here, sound as if you're attracted to women. It also sounds like you're okay with that idea, but I'm going to say anyway that this is absolutely 100% okay. [Smile]

Does this mean you're a lesbian? Maybe. If you do feel attractions for some guys, it could mean you're bisexual. You're never under any obligation to take on a label or identity unless it's something that feels good and right to you.

What would help you most right now in terms of looking at your sexual identity? In other words, what would you like to talk about?

WE have several articles here at Scarleteen on sexual identity and I think you might find some of them helpful.

Bi the Dozen: A Bisexuality Quiz

Q is for Questioning

Living without Labels

(Just fixing a broken link - Kat)

[ 07-20-2012, 09:27 AM: Message edited by: Kachina ]

--------------------
Robin

Posts: 6066 | From: Washington DC suburbs | Registered: Dec 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
AnnaRosalia
Neophyte
Member # 96292

Icon 1 posted      Profile for AnnaRosalia     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I kind of want to talk about sexual orientation in itself, as well as gender roles.

I find the whole idea of sexuality confusing. (Personally, I donít understand why it matters. Why canít everyone just love whomever they love, regardless of gender?) Iíve never felt an obvious I-am-crushing-on-this-person attraction to anyone. Can my sexuality be as simple as this feeling I have of wanting to be with a girl? I feel like Iím going through this backwards--like Iím supposed to have an eye-opening crush on a person I know and then realize, hey, Iím gay. Instead, though, Iíve realized that I just really, really want to be with another girl. (And I canít really explain just how badly I want that.) Iím confused about whether or not me wanting to be with another girl means that I am actually gay or bisexual, or if it just means Iím a wannabe lesbian.

And Iím also not sure if Iím not just a straight girl unhappy with gender roles. I know that, if somehow I end up marrying a man--which I donít really want to do--, I will most likely not be giving birth to his children. I donít want to be the MOM, the one who does all the cooking, cleaning, laundry, and pretty much everything else. (And I know thatís not the way it works in a lot of families, but that is the way it works in mine.) I donít want that. And I know that it doesnít really have to be this way, but even if that works out, I still donít think a relationship between me and a man would.

Iíve been thinking about it--and I donít think I could sleep with a guy. I donít have any sort of trauma in my background that could rationalize this, but I really donít think Iíd enjoy it. For one, I donít want a man inside of me. Pretty much at all. The thought makes me uncomfortable. I feel like in the future my mind wonít change, but Iíll allow a guy to sleep with me, hating it all the while. (Hetero sex to me seems so lonely--like Iíd be watching him get off on being inside of me. Sure, I might enjoy it too, but based on what Iíve said, I really donít think so.) Oddly enough, I feel like I wouldnít want him to touch my private areas at all--because I think those should be reserved for another woman because I think Iím gay.

Iím not a man-hater. And I donít know if I could be emotionally attracted to one, though based on my previous ďcrushes,Ē I donít think so.

So, I donít know, I guess Iím a little confused about this whole concept of sexual orientation. Can you know it without having dated anyone? And could me wanting to be with a girl be because of gender roles? Iím confused if my feelings about gender roles are a side note, or if theyíre making me believe that Iím a lesbian. (Iíve never really considered that I might be bi, but I guess I could be that, too.)

Posts: 4 | Registered: Jul 2012  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Robin Lee
Volunteer Assistant Director
Member # 90293

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Robin Lee     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
HI AnnaRosalia,

You can absolutely know your sexual orientation, at least the one you have at the present time, without dating anyone. After all, a lot of people assume, by default, that someone is straight when that person hasn't ever dated or been sexually involved with someone of the other recognized gender. Because being gay is still such a big deal to people, even the people who are okay with it often make a big deal out of it, the idea that one can know one is attracted to people of the same recognized gender without a giant epiphany is still kind of foreign. IN other words, we don't generally hear stories about people who knew and accepted that they were gay right from the get-go of their sexual development. Those people are out there though.


Can you talk a bit about what you mean by being concerned that you're a wannabe lesbian?

I definitely hear you on not wanting to reproduce stereotypical gender roles in your relationships. Many heterosexual relationships aren't like that, as you know, but it's still a concern to many of us who find those prescribed roles irritating and restrictive.

I think that what you are saying is that you're worried that since you resist the dominant way of doing things in terms of sex and relationships, that you're just defaulting to the more personally acceptable alternative. In everything you're saying, though, I'm not seeing that. I'm not seeing that you're resisting the idea of sex with men; I'm seeing that it just doesn't interest you. I'm not seeing that your interest in women is motivated by gender politics; I'm seeing that you are passionate and curious, and perhaps even eager, about the idea of having sex with and/or being involved with another woman.

Oh, and I agree. Life would be so much easier if sexual and romantic attraction was seen as something we have for individuals, not groups of individuals based on gender and sex. To this end, you might find the Living Without Labels article I linked to above to be helpful, or at least reassuring.

--------------------
Robin

Posts: 6066 | From: Washington DC suburbs | Registered: Dec 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
AnnaRosalia
Neophyte
Member # 96292

Icon 1 posted      Profile for AnnaRosalia     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Yeah--I definitely donít fit into the category of people who were immediately accepting of their sexuality. Iíve been trying not to think about it. I think itís because Iíve been ignoring it (suppressing it?) that Iím having such a hard time figuring it out now.

By wannabe lesbian, I guess I mean that maybe I just want to be attracted to other women, but actually am not. I mean, gay people talk about trying, and failing, to be attracted to the opposite sex. Maybe I just want to be a lesbian--maybe I just want to be with another girl but canít because I wouldnít feel attracted to her. Maybe this desire I have is not a sign of my sexual orientation, but just a desire. (Or is sexual orientation the same thing as desire? This whole concept confuses me.) Beyond that, I feel like maybe I just want to be attracted to the same sex because it would be easier. After all, the gender roles that bother me in straight relationships would be less of a problem (or possibly non-existent) in any same-sex relationships I may have.

If any of that makes sense.

So I donít mean wannabe lesbian as in I want to be like lesbians, in terms of fashion or something, which, now that I think about it, the term ďwannabe lesbianĒ could also mean.

Oddly enough, the Living Without Labels article did actually make me feel a little better--though it also convinced me that I could, once I figure out if my sexual identity, label myself a lesbian and still be (sometimes) attracted to guys. Because I do think that Iím a lesbian, and that even when I find a guy attractive itís just not going to work. I just want to make sure that my sexuality is my sexuality for the right reasons.

(Right reasons not including gender politics or not being attracted to men.)

Posts: 4 | Registered: Jul 2012  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Robin Lee
Volunteer Assistant Director
Member # 90293

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Robin Lee     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
You know, not being attracted to men is as good a reason as any? Because, and please feel free to correct me if I'm wrong, you are attracted to women and you're not forcing yourself to be attracted to them. Attraction doesn't always mean knowing exactly what you want. For example, you mentioned above how you've felt a few times when a female friend of yours was helping you with your makeup. You were very aware of their proximity and wanted that to go away, perhaps because it was an intense feeling and you didn't know what to do with it? It doesn't sound to me as if you decided to be aware of them in that way; it was just a very gut reaction, one that you didn't quite know what to do with, so your response was to want it to end.

What I'm wondering is why you're questioning your motives so much? Do you think you'd be questioning them if you had experienced the same types of attractions for guys that you've experienced for girls?

By the way, someone can absolutely be a lesbian and be attracted to some guys. There are no rules and no absolutes.

--------------------
Robin

Posts: 6066 | From: Washington DC suburbs | Registered: Dec 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Robin Lee
Volunteer Assistant Director
Member # 90293

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Robin Lee     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
HII was wondering: would it be helpful for you to hear from others on how their sexual orientation developed?

I'm also wondering: Are you interested in started a relationship with another girl? If so, with someone specific or just generally? AnnaRosalia

Two

--------------------
Robin

Posts: 6066 | From: Washington DC suburbs | Registered: Dec 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
AnnaRosalia
Neophyte
Member # 96292

Icon 1 posted      Profile for AnnaRosalia     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I would like to hear more about how other people realize their sexual orientation. Iíve been trying to read up on it, but most of what Iíve read just describes people whoíve known their orientation all along, which doesnít reflect my own experience.

And I am interested in starting a relationship with another girl, but just in general. I donít really know any lesbians/bisexuals, and the ones I do know I wouldnít be interested in dating.

I think Iím just questioning my reasons because I just want to be sure. I want to be sure that, yes, I am gay, and not because I just want to be or because itíd be easier than the alternative (for me). I just want to know for certain. And for some reason our society doesnít really talk about realizing your sexuality, so how can I know whether or not Iím really realizing my own? There are no instruction manuals to follow, so I donít know if somewhere along the way I just got confused.

(Also, in all of my researching, I came across the idea of ďpolitical lesbians,Ē straight women who would be with women for feminist reasons, or something along those lines. It sort of scared me into thinking that maybe I was like them, like I was making it up.)

I definitely wouldnít be questioning my motives if Iíd felt the same way for guys that I feel for girls. (Mostly because then Iíd ignore my feelings for girls and pretend to be totally straight.) Plus, people just assume that a girlís going to be interested in a guy. I wouldnít really have to stop and think about why I feel this way. I wouldn't have to sort of explain myself to other people, and I wouldn't need to be confident enough in my sexuality to withstand other people's doubts and accusations.

Though I guess the whyís behind my feelings arenít as important as the feelings themselves.

Posts: 4 | Registered: Jul 2012  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Robin Lee
Volunteer Assistant Director
Member # 90293

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Robin Lee     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
HI Anna Rosalia,

I'm sorry to have taken a while to get back to you.

I think the last line of your post is really important to remember and focus on. Your feelings are important. Why you have those feelings, or whether those feelings will be the same in 5 years or even five months, isn't as important as the feelings themselves. As I think I've said a few times, everything you describe here is so natural, that I haven't once gotten the idea that you're making yourself feel this way about women.

If you go to our main site www.scarleteen.com
and search for lesbian or bisexual you'll find questions (and our answers) from many people who have been questioning and unsure of their orientation. I think you'll find a lot to identify with, and hope you'll find some reassurance and food for thought.

It sounds like your confidence is shaky too because you know what coming out as a lesbian or bisexual might mean in terms of other people's responses to you. I wonder if it might be more helpful to you right now to just focus on how you feel and what you want. You're not in a relationship right now, or in any other position that would force you to publicly state your orientation, so perhaps that's not something that you need to worry about as much right now. Does that make sense?

--------------------
Robin

Posts: 6066 | From: Washington DC suburbs | Registered: Dec 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

Quick Reply
Message:

HTML is not enabled.
UBB Codeô is enabled.
UBB Code™ Images not permitted.
Instant Graemlins
   


Post New Topic  Post A Reply Close Topic   Feature Topic   Move Topic   Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:


Contact Us | Get the Whole Story! Go Home to SCARLETEEN: Sex Ed for the Real World | Privacy Statement

Copyright 1998, 2014 Heather Corinna/Scarleteen
Scarleteen.com: Providing comprehensive sex education online to teens and young adults worldwide since 1998

Information on this site is provided for educational purposes. It is not meant to and cannot substitute for advice or care provided by an in-person medical professional. The information contained herein is not meant to be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease, or for prescribing any medication. You should always consult your own healthcare provider if you have a health problem or medical condition.

Powered by UBB.classic™ 6.7.3

Google
Search Scarleteen