Confused about my orientation again

Questions and discussion about your sexuality and how it's a part of who you are as a person.
Hel
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Confused about my orientation again

Unread postby Hel » Wed Dec 09, 2020 12:53 am

This is a really long post, by the way.

I've identified as straight all of my life, but I started seriously reconsidering a label for my sexuality about a year ago. It all started when I was single after my ex-boyfriend broke up with me. That was when I realized I was genderfluid as well. I was hanging out with this friend of mine, a girl (let's call her girl 1 to avoid confusion), and I sometimes wondered if I liked her. Because one time she made a joke about wanting to kiss me and it really made me think. I had a dream, too, where a girl who looked like my other friend (who is a lesbian - girl 2) was into me.

What's more, is that I keep thinking about a third girl (girl 3) who I used to follow around in elementary and middle school. I always wanted to do everything she did, and I wanted to be her best friend. Long story short, she turned out to be mean, and never really spoke to me after 7th grade, even though we saw each other a few times. But now that I've recognized what it feels like to have a crush (because I've seriously crushed on like, five or six guys) I wonder if I had crushes on either girl 1 or girl 3, or possibly both.

So what made me want to write this, is another thing. I was playing this game (through text) with my boyfriend and two female friends of mine (different girls, who I've also had dreams about having crushes on, but in real life I don't think I have much attraction to either of them that isn't platonic). Basically my boyfriend would send pictures of comic book characters and we'd say how much it'd take to sleep with them. (My boyfriend is really serious about me, and I'm serious about him, so there's not really anything about playing this game with him that bothers me. Also we've talked and we're not really ready for sex - though we're interested in it. The game is really lighthearted.) But some of the characters were female - like really, really hot girls from DC and Marvel. Sure, there were guys too, but mostly girls. It made me feel weird that I really liked the looks of some of these girls. Also, Loki was an option too, and the fact that he's genderfluid makes me more attracted to that character in a way I can't explain.

So I feel like it's fair to say I am not exactly only attracted to guys. (I know I'm genderfluid so I guess androsexual fits better than straight for me, or queer also works.) But I don't necessarily think I'm bisexual either. Because I know that if my boyfriend were to transition (which I don't ever think he will but hypothetically) into a woman or a nonbinary gender, I would still feel the exact same way about him. So perhaps pansexual is a word to describe my sexuality? Or polysexual? To be honest I'm not really sure what the difference between poly and pan is. I feel like I should know since I'm part of the LGBTQ+ community and also an ally...

Last questions: Are there any words that are like pansexual, but also include the fluctuation in attraction to different genders? Like, say someone likes guys primarily, but at certain points in time feels a stronger attraction to other genders. Or maybe my crushes on girls was a phase when I was younger? I know I was definitely very agender/gender neutral at that time, but now I'm very female... I definitely have phases like that.

Please advise... that would be great.

Sofi
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Re: Confused about my orientation again

Unread postby Sofi » Wed Dec 09, 2020 9:37 am

I feel like labeling ourselves with one short term and sticking to it forever is unrealistic, since for so many of us, sexuality and gender identity change and fluctuate over time. Your sexual orientation label is entirely up to you: you can choose something broad like queer and stick to that, regardless of the changes within that "category" (whether you like boys more than girls or nonbinary/genderfluid people, etc); or you can go with what you feel right now and change it later. There are really no rules which is what I love about it--you shouldn't feel any pressure to label yourself anything other than what you feel is right. Pansexual doesn't imply you feel attraction for all genders EQUALLY, but just that you feel attraction to all of them or don't factor gender into your attraction to people. Even if you're attracted to all genders when it comes to physical/sexual attraction but don't experience romantic feelings for women, you can still be pansexual but straight in romantic orientation.

Here are a couple of articles I really think will be helpful in looking over:
The Rainbow Connection: Orientation for Everyone
Q is for Questioning

May I ask, what are you hoping to get out of a specific label? Is it just for self assurance, do you feel you'll fit into a certain community better, or a different reason?

Hel
not a newbie
Posts: 122
Joined: Mon Aug 03, 2020 11:19 pm
My Awesomeness Quotient: I play D&D!
My primary language: English
My pronouns: She/her/hers
My sexual identity and orientation: Pansexual
Location: Austria

Re: Confused about my orientation again

Unread postby Hel » Thu Dec 10, 2020 12:10 am

Thank you for the articles! Both of them are really helpful.

In terms of what I'd like to get out of this label, I believe it is mostly for self assurance. I think that at my old school, it was really hard because I didn't have a lot of friends since most people there weren't as progressive. I felt like I couldn't explore my gender or my sexuality, and I was very depressed about it. There is something just relieving about having 'the answer', even if it is only a temporary label.

I feel like there are so many labels that fit me, and it's just a bit overwhelming... Like, heteroflexible, pansexual, and queer al seem to fit. But so does straight, because for me my main sexual/romantic attraction is to males. I just feel kind of stuck.

Heather
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Re: Confused about my orientation again

Unread postby Heather » Thu Dec 10, 2020 8:33 am

It sounds very much to me like you're questioning right now. Like, look at all those question marks back there! Questioning! :)

You don't have to use that as a term if you don't want to, just like you don't have to use any language for yourself you don't want, but this is what that term was pretty much invented for.

You also have the option of simply being in an I-don't-know space until something really *does* feel right. It is okay not to know. It's also okay to be someone who finds that who you're attracted to is really just about who -- as a whole person, very individually -- you're attracted to, rather than the sum of their parts, be that about gender, or how someone looks, etc. I have very much heard folks like that who could otherwise identify as pansexual, bisexual or queer say that they feel "beyond" or outside orientation as a framework in the first place.

One more option you might consider is a term one of my mentors and friends Carol Queen coined in the mid-90s: pomosexual. That's a term that means feeling outside this whole framework, too.
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

Hel
not a newbie
Posts: 122
Joined: Mon Aug 03, 2020 11:19 pm
My Awesomeness Quotient: I play D&D!
My primary language: English
My pronouns: She/her/hers
My sexual identity and orientation: Pansexual
Location: Austria

Re: Confused about my orientation again

Unread postby Hel » Mon Dec 14, 2020 1:36 pm

Thank you for all the advice! The term questioning really works for me, although I am very inclined to call myself pansexual. I will continue to explore and think about my sexuality.

Mo
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Re: Confused about my orientation again

Unread postby Mo » Mon Dec 14, 2020 3:45 pm

I'm glad you've found some terms that resonate with you! I think if pansexual is feeling good to you, even if the finer details of your orientation are a little unclear it's totally fine to call yourself that, but it's really up to you and your comfort level. :)


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