Confused and Frustrated about Sexuality

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raining
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Confused and Frustrated about Sexuality

Unread postby raining » Tue Aug 18, 2020 8:35 pm

Hello, first off I am very new here and rarely use forums, so I apologize if in advance if I make a mistake :).

I am 15, a cis female, and having a hard time figuring out my sexual orientation.

I know for sure that the bottom line is that I have always found both the sexes sexually attractive. I find myself being aroused by women and fantasize about being sexually intimate with the same sex (more often then the opposite), yet I have always found myself having romantic attraction to the opposite sex. By this, I mean several crushes on real and fictional boys/men and one year-long relationship with a boy. I know that bisexuality is a very broad spectrum and may include these feelings, but I don't feel like my feelings are bisexual enough to fully fit that label. I wondered if I was only attracted to the opposite sex romantically and both sexually, but when I looked this up I found a lot of harsh criticism about this idea (mostly about how the Split Attraction Model was made only and only applies to ace/aro people), and got very discouraged from exploring the idea of heteroromantic/bisexual further. I read that using that label was harmful or invalidating to "real" bisexuals.

Just very recently I have downloaded TikTok and I noticed that I was getting very flustered at many beautiful girls on there. I truly felt dreamy and shy like I was admiring a cute boy, haha. It made me try to envision what a relationship with another girl would be like, but even doing that is very difficult do to a lack of LGBT+ representation throughout my life, so I have no idea what that would even look like. Because of the ongoing pandemic and social distancing, I also find it difficult to explore my feelings in person.

I'm not sure the reason why, but even the thought of exploring my sexuality makes me very uncomfortable and uncertain. I'm not sure if these feelings are just me trying to convince/force myself that I find women attractive, or genuine feelings that are new to me. When these feelings wear off, I find myself reverting to being StraightTM to feel more comfortable, like the feelings I had were unnatural and my attraction is fake.

I did a little bit of research and heard that feeling this way can be common and may have something to do with external factors and how they can suppress these types of feelings someone may have (not sure if this might help, but I did live in Japan up until I was six, and I'm not sure if they're LGBT+ accepting). Are there ways to help me figure out if what I am feeling is genuinely my orientation, or something much deeper and internalized that I would need guidance and time to unravel? How can I draw the line between admiration and attraction? Thank you for any help in advance :).

Heather
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Re: Confused and Frustrated about Sexuality

Unread postby Heather » Wed Aug 19, 2020 8:36 am

Welcome to the boards, raining. :)

It can be really hard to figure out what our real feelings are and what impacts of homophobia and biphobia are, for sure. Maybe we can start by you talking a little bit about it?

Before you started feeling attraction to anyone, what was your experience and background like in terms of orientation? For instance, with your immediate family and community: were there more than straight people and couples in your life or immediate world (like neighbors, teachers, etc)? When you were growing up, what kinds of messages about orientation were you given? Did you get the idea all kinds of identities were normal and acceptable, or only heterosexuality?

I'm sorry that in looking things up online, you felt like some barriers were put up about models that might feel right for you. I do think there's a conversation to be had about the idea of attraction to sex (since we can't see people's sex from the outside, we really can mostly only be attracted to gender, if that's a factor for us at all) and the idea there are a "both" sexes (there are actually way more than two forms of chromosomal sex), but I think it sounds like the best place to start is just to try and help you sort out your own feelings first. <3
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

Heather
scarleteen founder & director
Posts: 8268
Joined: Sun Jul 27, 2014 11:43 am
My Awesomeness Quotient: I know every word of The Lorax by heart.
My primary language: english
My pronouns: they/them
My sexual identity and orientation: queery-queer-queer
Location: Chicago

Re: Confused and Frustrated about Sexuality

Unread postby Heather » Wed Aug 19, 2020 8:37 am

This advice piece from a while back might also come in handy: https://www.scarleteen.com/article/advi ... _beautiful
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

raining
newbie
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Aug 18, 2020 7:45 pm
My Awesomeness Quotient: I somehow manage to pull off a 5.0 GPA
My primary language: English
My pronouns: she/her
My sexual identity and orientation: bicurious
Location: US

Re: Confused and Frustrated about Sexuality

Unread postby raining » Mon Aug 24, 2020 3:21 pm

> Before you started feeling attraction to anyone, what was your experience and background like in terms of orientation? For instance, with your immediate family and community: were there more than straight people and couples in your life or immediate world (like neighbors, teachers, etc)?

Growing up, I had the idea that heterosexuality was the only sexuality and that epveryone around me was heterosexual (I had no idea it could be otherwise.) No one I knew, even on TV and in the community, talked about LGBT people at all.

> When you were growing up, what kinds of messages about orientation were you given? Did you get the idea all kinds of identities were normal and acceptable, or only heterosexuality?

The messages about orientation I were given is that LGBT people are different or abnormal compared to heterosexual people, that heterosexuality is the default and LGBTs are a much smaller percentage of the population compared to cishets, like they're some unique phenomenon. Being in a pretty politically neutral environment at home and then discovering the internet, I was told that people who are LGBT aren't oppressed, that they were cocky and proud for no reason and always trying to push themselves on others simply for not being the "normal". I believed this easily because I had never seen or heard about an LGBT person prior to the internet.

I see what you're talking about in the last paragraph, but I'm confused about that because I know people can be asexual, so how would that apply for them?

Sam W
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Re: Confused and Frustrated about Sexuality

Unread postby Sam W » Tue Aug 25, 2020 7:10 am

Hi raining,

Those are a LOT of negative messages to take in about LGBT people, and those are the types of messages that can make it really hard to sort through your own feelings about your orientation. When we grow up around messages that posit anything other than heterosexuality as rare or an attention grab, it can make as really doubt ourselves if we start to notice attraction that doesn't fit that pattern.

If it helps to know, the first hint I got that I was queer is very similar to what you're describing; I'd encounter cute girls and get immediately flustered. For a long time I told myself that was a sign of admiration, not attraction. But the older I got the more I recognized that wasn't the case.

Something I really like are the questions Heather lays out towards the bottom of this article in the "how do you know" section, because they come at figuring out you sexual orientation from a few different angles: The Rainbow Connection: Orientation for Everyone. Looking at those questions, do you feel like your answers are purely heterosexual?

Asexual folks are people who, generally speaking, don't experience sexual attraction. But, ace folks may still identify as hetero-romantic, biromatic, queer, homoromantic, or something else entirely, because plenty of ace folks experience romantic attraction to other people. I think what Heather was getting at is that folks of any sexual orientation are going off of what they can see, which is gender presentation rather than sex.


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