Am I really a lesbian?

Questions and discussion about your sexuality and how it's a part of who you are as a person.
anonymous13234
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Am I really a lesbian?

Unread post by anonymous13234 »

Hello! It's been a while since I posted onto this board. In case you were wondering since my last posts, my mental health has improved- I got a change in my meds and therapy has been helping me. I also got my autism diagnosis so I know more about myself now. One thing that has been seriously affecting me is my sexuality- I've been wanting to post here for a while but I was scared of writing it all down. This post will probably be extremely long and TMI since I'm a huge overthinker so I really really apologise in advance. My thoughts about this are all so messy and complicated it's hard to write down so I'm sorry if it gets confusing.

About late August 2020 I broke up with my boyfriend (we met online and dated for about a month and a half) and began identifying as lesbian. I never felt interested in him at all and went along with dating because him being interested in me felt nice and I didn't want to hurt his feelings. Before then I never really thought about my orientation that much, but I remember thinking I might be bi (mainly because I really liked the colours of the flag, I didn't think about it very hard) a bit before then. I identified as lesbian because I've never really felt much attraction to men other than wanting to be seen as pretty by them, and looking back I realised I've always showed an attraction to women. I kissed my girl best friend when I was nine and when I was around four I remember playing a game with (another) girl best friend where we touched each others vaginas. Those are two broad examples but I feel sure that all throughout my life I have been attracted to women and I never showed an interest in men, I thought they were uglier than girls and I felt upset at the thought of getting married to one.

Since identifying and coming out as lesbian to friends and family I've felt really insecure- I thought that maybe I really was attracted to men and I was lying to myself. I really struggled with this but it would come and go in waves where a lot of the time I was sure and comfortable in my lesbian identity. I've read about every resource I can find on compulsory heterosexuality and was very sure I was experiencing that- I'd never had a crush on a boy until I was about twelve when I saw that all the girls in tv shows had crushes on guys. I proceeded to get a ''crush'' on one boy in my school and would get incredibly nervous around him, I thought he was handsome but remember saying I would never date him long term. I never fantasised about dating him or doing anything with him apart from imagining him finding me pretty. I really liked the idea of me being popular and having a popular boyfriend.

I discovered how to masturbate when I was really young- about four. At first I would never really imagine things and would just focus on the movements but I started pairing it with fantasising about things as I did it. I would usually imagine girls gaining weight. As I got older I began watching videos of girls eating or showing off their bellies and it really turned me on. I would imagine they were my girlfriends. When I saw videos of men doing the same thing I hated it and it made me uncomfortable. I only remember a few times where I ever masturbated to men because I wanted to- I had a special interest in Ed Sheeran for a bit and my best friend at the time kept saying how I had a crush on him so naturally I assumed I was attracted to him. I can't remember how it happened but once I fantasised about him gaining weight and it turned me on, I also remember imagining his girlfriend and that I was him in his place. Apart from that I really don't remember many times where I fantasised about men when I was younger.

When I came out as lesbian I really really hated penises and even seeing one online would make me end up crying or feel extremely uncomfortable. When I would get into these spells of being convinced I was straight or at least not lesbian I would force myself to look at naked men online so I feel really desensitised to it now. I'm scared that I've made myself like penis through making myself look at it so much- I know women have penises too though but I always look at it on men.

In 2021 I started reading fanfiction of men gaining weight- for context, it was of my favourite youtubers (which I have a special interest in) and trying to read anything else was hard because I could never find any female stuff and I didn't want to read about men I didn't know. Reading stuff about my favourite youtubers felt safe because I knew them and I knew that they have said before they don't mind when NSFW things get written of them at all. The fanfics seriously turned me on and I would masturbate to them a lot. After a while I felt so guilty and embarrassed about doing it I forced myself to stop, but in my head I would still fantasise about it. I wasn't attracted to the person in the fantasy but I really liked the scenarios and things they did. I even didn't mind the fact it was a man in the fantasy because it was so focused on the scenario, but I started feeling guilty that I was masturbating to men and still calling myself a lesbian so I forced myself to change all my fantasies to have women instead. It didn't really affect how turned on I was by it but my head had a hard time adjusting to the change and a lot of the time I would get confused between imagining men and women and it would upset me. Most of the time when I get really into it the subject of my fantasy doesn't even have a gender or anything- I just focus on what they're doing. Does that mean I'm actually pansexual?

I feel like there's two sides of my attraction- one for the ''normal'' stuff and one for the weight gain related fantasies. I get turned on a lot quicker when thinking about weight gain fantasies but there are some scenarios I find super attractive that are more normal. When I'm masturbating to normal stuff it's always about women. I like to think the girl in the fantasy is my girlfriend.

There's this one specific youtuber - one I have a special interest in- who I think is really attractive. He hasn't even shown his face online but I've read a lot of fanfictions (not about weight gain) about him being in a relationship with another man (one of his friends who is my other favourite youtuber). I think I'm hyperfixated on the subject because sometimes it's all I think about for the entire day. I read a lot of sexual fanfiction of them too and at first hated how graphic it was especially in describing penises but now I'm really used to it so it doesn't make me upset. A lot of the time the fanfiction kind of turns me on and I'm scared I'm fetishising gay men. After I'm done reading it I usually feel the need to masturbate but I get scared and confused when thinking about it too hard. I usually just try and replace the men in the fantasy with women which works sometimes and I find it super attractive- but other times my head gets confused and I feel like men are seeping into the fantasy- almost like its glitching. I think the men are kind of attractive in their own way but it makes me get a knot in my stomach and feel sick when I try and force myself to masturbate to them.

I get really jealous of the relationships between the two men in those stories and I keep wishing I was the man in one of their places. Sometimes I really really wish I were a gay cis man but when I think about it harder really I just want to be in the relationship I keep reading about with the youtubers. I really wish I were them and it's so hard to explain because it feels all tangled up in my head but I just love their dynamic and I feel so attached to them.

Usually every single time I masturbate I try and force myself to do it to men because I'm convinced that maybe my vagina will reveal whether I'm attracted to men or not and if I'm turned on it'll answer it for me. It gets confusing and even talking about it now gives me a huge knot in my stomach and I feel anxious. I can't really describe what I feel when I try and masturbate to men but I usually feel scared and tired of trying so hard. I know attraction is supposed to feel good and that's what I feel when I think about weight gain- it feels good. When I think about normal sex with girls, sometimes I find it hard to be as turned on because I'm forcing myself out of embarrassment for thinking about weight gain, but other times it's because there's a scenario or girl I've seen who really turns me on. When that happens I feel a lot of desire and want it to be real. I want her to be my girlfriend and for us to do those things. The same thing happens when I try and get myself to view porn or pornographic images- I feel a desire for the girl in the picture to be my girlfriend and for us to have sex, but the normal images don't really turn me on. When I force myself to look at pictures of naked men, sometimes there's one I think is attractive. I can't really explain how I feel and I noticed all the pictures I thought were good-looking didn't show his penis. I don't really feel any kind of desire when I see porn images of men.

Sometimes I see a really cute boy in public and do a double take and try and imagine if I want to date him. I would love to be friends with him - I'm very isolated in the real world right now because of my mental health meaning I don't attend school. I would even like to cuddle him and sleep in the same bed, but when I imagine kissing him I don't really like it. Every single guy I see in public I get nervous around and I want him to have a crush on me and notice me. I know this is to do with wanting male validation but I worry that really I just want to date him and it means I'm not a lesbian.

I wasn't really raised in a homophobic household but I just wasn't exposed to anything to do with LGBT, so I saw all the films and tv shows I watched had women fall in love with men and thought that would eventually have to happen to me. The best way to describe it is all throughout my life I've been uninterested in men. Even though my parents accepted me when I came out as lesbian I started feeling guilty and bad for being gay. I tried thinking of men as I orgasmed to condition my brain into liking them, and I'm scared that maybe I've spent so long getting myself to like men that I really have and it worked. I'm scared of not being a lesbian as it's all I've known for so long and how comfortable I felt in it, but I'm scared of lying if I'm not a lesbian. I know there's no boundaries in labels and it's supposed to make you feel comfortable -which is why I'm scared that how uncomfortable I've been lately means I'm not a lesbian. Lately I've spent so much time feeling confused and upset even imagining being with a girl makes me feel wrong. Really all I want is to be someone who only likes men even though in my head logically I know I've always been attracted to girls. The thought of being bisexual doesn't feel that right for me- the word tastes funny in my mouth if I try and say I am bisexual.

I'm super embarrassed of how long and honest this post has been but I'm glad I finally wrote things out instead of having it constantly swirling in my head.

I keep thinking that I've convinced myself I'm a lesbian when I'm actually not. I don't even feel confident identifying as lesbian anymore even when I used to feel very proud and comfortable. I feel like a liar. I'm scared I've brainwashed myself into thinking I don't like men and all of this confusion is actually my secret attraction for men bubbling up in a different way. I know labels aren't this important but for me I can't stand the thought of not having one. I don't feel connected at all to my lesbian identity like I used to because all I can think about is that I'm faking it. It's like I just feel completely apathetic which is what happens sometimes when I get too stressed out- my head shuts down my feelings about the topic and I think it might be an autism thing. I want to heal my feelings towards my queerness but I just feel like I have to know if I'm lesbian or not before doing anything.

Thanks so much if you read this because I'd really really appreciate a second opinion. I'm too embarrassed to tell the whole story to my friends because of my fantasies so I feel like even though they help they don't get the full picture of why I'm so confused about it all.
Sam W
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Re: Am I really a lesbian?

Unread post by Sam W »

Hi anonymous13234,

Nice to see you again! And I'm glad to hear you're in a better place, mental health-wise.

Since you've been doing a lot of reading and soul searching, you might already know that our fantasies don't always represent the desires we have for our actual selves; there's just something about them that turns us on or engages us, but doesn't tell us much about things like our own sexual orientation. That's part of why we encourage people to treat their sexual fantasies as one part of working out their orientation instead of the definitive place to find an answer. Too, when we look to non-sexual fantasies you have for yourself about things like dating, it sounds like you have a VERY strong sense that you want to be with women. I'd argue that that's equally, if not more, important information as what sexual media you consume, because it has to do with what you want for your actual self. Does that make sense?

Speaking of sexual media, as someone who's been active in fan communities, I've known lesbians who consume fic that focuses on two men. Fanfic in particular seems to be a space for exploration, with fictional characters (or fictional versions of real people) serving as a template for people to imagine different scenarios onto. That can include imagining themselves as one of the characters, even if that character is an identity they don't have, because they gain something from it. In your case, for example, maybe reading about those two people together is a nice way of imagining a scenario where you aren't feeling as lonely as you often do. All that being said, if it's really causing you distress to engage with certain kinds of fanfic, that might mean it's time to take a little break from it.

You mention feeling disconnected from your lesbian identity lately. Were there things in the past that helped you feel more connected to it that you could access again?
anonymous13234
not a newbie
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed Mar 02, 2022 3:45 pm
Age: 16
Awesomeness Quotient: i have a very cuddly cat
Primary language: english
Pronouns: she/her i think
Sexual identity and orientation: not sure
Location: england

Re: Am I really a lesbian?

Unread post by anonymous13234 »

Hi Sam,
I think I know I don't really want to date a man. Imagining being with a woman feels good (unless I get really in my head and feel wrong for being gay) and I feel a desire and want to have a girlfriend. I don't feel anything when I think about men, and I've never had a desire to date one. It's kind of hard to figure out romantic attraction because I haven't been to school in so long meaning I don't really interact with people my age. I get super duper nervous around any guy in public and feel like I have to be attractive to him and I get super conscious of how I act and start masking my autism and stuff without realising. Sometimes when I walk my dog I go past a skatepark and it's usually filled with boys my age. I always try and make myself look attractive, sometimes I even stop and put on lip gloss in front of them and I have no idea why I feel such a need to do this. I know about needing male validation but does it signify that I'm not lesbian?

I think the biggest thing holding me back is my fantasies. I definitely feel like there's two separate parts of my head- one part that really likes weight gain fantasies and then the other part. When I read a story about weight gain its almost always about a man because I can't find any about women but it doesn't really affect things for me. When I revisit the fantasy in my head I feel guilty for the character being a man and try and change it into a woman but it's super stressful and I always have a hard time imagining it. Sometimes the effort of trying to imagine a body with boobs instead just turns me off because my thing has always been more about bellies. Usually I just leave it as a man and it's really hard to describe it but sometimes the dynamic of the situation works so much better when it's a man, and it makes it more attractive. I always feel horrendous thinking about men that way since I never did before starting to read those fanfics, and even though I stopped reading them they're still in my head. Whenever I'm about to climax my head switches to more normal stuff and in that moment I feel really attracted to women and boobs and everything- I don't usually climax thinking about men.

The thing is, in my fantasies I don't think the men are even really men. Usually they're kind of genderless with incomplete faces but they have AMAB bodies. It's super confusing for me and every time I try and think logically about my sexuality, like asking myself if the idea of dating a man seems appealing, I end up overthinking my answer and doubting myself. Thinking of dating a man makes me basically feel nothing, so I guess that means it's not appealing- but its so hard to accept that as an answer. I just really can't get myself to think that being a lesbian is okay because all I really want is to be straight, but I know denying my attraction for girls would be an silly thing to do because of how sure I am of it. It's like when I imagine men, it's not really about liking men- it's about not liking girls.

When I write it down like this it feels more logical that I am lesbian but it still won't connect to my head. I struggle with depersonalisation a lot and I feel like one day it got so bad that I lost my lesbian identity and now it's not fitting back in. Using another label for myself makes me feel anxious- I know I like girls, but saying I don't like men feels absolutely impossible to me right now. It's as if suddenly there's a brick wall in front of me stopping me from saying that. I just wish men didn't exist. I'm not sure what to do because one part of me wants to be straight and only love men and the other part wants to be lesbian and only love girls. I feel guilty saying I'm lesbian because nothing feels right anymore, it's like it's been shut off and I can't get back into it again. Is the lesbian label just not right for me and should I stop forcing it? Or am I just experiencing comphet?

Thank you for reading.
Mo
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Re: Am I really a lesbian?

Unread post by Mo »

Hi there anonymous13234, I hope it's okay to jump in and share some thoughts here. :)

I don't think that these moments where you're feeling an urge to make yourself attractive to men mean you aren't a lesbian. Regardless of sexual orientation, most women get a lot of messaging about the importance of being attractive to men, and it can be hard to drop those impulses and behaviors even if you know that you don't actually want to date any of those men! You say that you'd rather be straight sometimes, and I wonder if some of these behaviors aren't an attempt to kind of push or force yourself into what you feel you "should" do or would be doing if you were straight. Whatever the reason, though, you sound pretty clear that you aren't actually interested in these men.

In terms of your fantasies, I agree with Sam that having sexual fantasies that focus on men doesn't exclude you from being a lesbian! It even sounds like some of these fantasies are pretty disconnected from the gender of the person involved at all, and more focused on the shape and size of their body. It's not always possible to find fanfiction or other content that's exactly tailored to every preference, so it doesn't seem odd to me that you'd find yourself reading content focused on men even though you don't find yourself attracted to men in general. And just to emphasize something else Sam said: it's pretty common for lesbians to read/write/otherwise focus on gay male content in fandom spaces! I have several friends who fall into that category.

You mention having some guilt about being gay, and wishing you were straight instead; are these feelings something you've ever talked with your friends about? You mention not wanting to get into the details of your fantasies with them, but do you think they'd be able to give you some affirmation around that aspect of things?
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