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Nothing seems to fit.

Discussion in 'Sexual Orientation' started by Sam89, Aug 15, 2021.

  1. Sam89

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    I’m so lost, confused, and mentally exhausted from thinking about this constantly and need to get this out somehow.

    I remember going through a period in high school where I questioned my sexuality and thought I might like girls, although I really can’t think of what triggered those thoughts. I only remember the questioning. And then my first year in University, I was really, really questioning and starting to entertain these thoughts and feelings more. I started watching more lesbian porn and liked it more than I thought I would (although I know porn is not a good indicator at all of sexuality).

    However, there was still so much confusion and doubt because I was also reading a lot of erotica and it was actually Male/Male erotica, so I thought to myself, 'Well, if I like that, I must be straight…?' Or maybe reading stories about same-sex couples in general was messing with my head and making me fantasize and think about being in a same-sex relationship, but that didn’t necessarily mean that’s what I wanted.

    Then, to add to the confusion, I started asking myself what I really liked to fantasize about in my head without the aid of porn and whether it was the male or female body that turned me on more. I looked back at crushes I had had in the past and questioned those and none of them, I realized, ever felt real or substantial (they were all on guys). I had had crushes, but never anything sexual. I actually struggle a lot with sexual fantasies because I’ve never really been able to fantasize sexually about anyone, whether it’s a celebrity or someone in real life. I find it very weird and awkward to do so. I usually have to come up with scenarios in my head involving completely random, faceless strangers. This made me wonder, am I really attracted to girls? Am I really attracted to boys? I couldn’t answer either of those questions so then I started delving more into that and came across asexuality, wondering if that label fit. Nothing seemed to fit. And I never was able to separate fantasy from what I would actually like in reality and I wasn’t ready to act on any of my fantasies or desires to know what it would be like to be with another girl, and I wasn’t ready to talk to anyone about it because nothing felt right or solid, and so I just rode it out, pushed it aside in a way, and continued on.

    Almost 15 years later, I’ve been in 3 serious, long-term relationships (all with men), a few casual things (also with men), came to the conclusion that I am pretty sure I’m straight and so glad I didn’t reveal to anyone what I was going through back between the ages of about 16-18. I feel like it might be relevant to say I have struggled with sex in every one of my relationships with men; sex started to become painful very early on and it just developed into a real issue that I saw numerous doctors, gynecologists, physical therapists specializing in pelvic floor therapy, and even a hypnotherapist for, without any resolution or any real answers. It’s just something I deal with now.

    Now, however, my questions and confusion surrounding my sexuality and attractions towards women have come back. And a lot of it has to do with the fact that I unexpectedly developed a crush on this girl in my class (I’m currently going to school again). It took me completely by surprise but quickly developed into the “can’t stop thinking about this person” type of crush, and actually, is only the second or third time in my life that I’ve developed a crush to this extent (and first time on a girl). Another thing that pleasantly surprised me was I was able to fantasize sexually about this girl and not feel as awkward about it as I have in the past trying to sexually fantasize about guys. I find it a lot easier to become turned on physically by women’s bodies than by men’s. But I also can’t dismiss that I do feel something for men. All my “little girl” crushes growing up were on boys, and I would crave their attention and there’s definitely something emotional/romantic there, but it seems to stop there. The desire to be sexual with men is not as strong as I think it might be with my female friends who are straight. But I don’t really know… This is just my normal. I wonder, how is it possible to have crushes, but have nothing about that crush be sexual?

    I think back on all my relationships with men and don’t even know if I can use those experiences to come to any decent conclusions because I developed a horrible pattern of getting into relationships with these guys who felt way more for me than I did for them, and there was never any intimacy or sexual attraction there on my part. They’ve all been disappointing, unfulfilling relationships. I just kept thinking, I’m picking the wrong men; if I were to actually get into a relationship with a guy I found sexually/physically attractive, it would be different. But I look back and think… has there ever REALLY been a guy I’ve been sexually/physically attracted to? Would it be different if I got to know the guy first and had more of a real connection with him before trying to initiate sex? So far in my life, sex has just been this thing that I do because it feels nice, but that intimate connection with another person and that link between how physically pleasurable sex is and the mental/emotional, intimate connection with the person I’m having sex with has never clicked. When having sex - during a time when the pain was manageable enough to make it possible - I would always have to go up in my head and focus on something else (usually images I’ve seen in porn or one of my “scenarios”) in order to make it pleasurable for me.

    Questions I continue to ask myself as I struggle through this are: Am I just looking for something different now because sex (penetration, specifically) has been painful and sex with a woman usually involves “safer” activities that would be less painful? But I went through that period of questioning when I was still a virgin and before pain was even an issue. Or has this pain come about as a way of my body telling me it’s not what I really want? Because nothing was ever found to be physically wrong with me, which led to the conclusion it must be mental. How can I even come to a conclusion when I’ve never even been with a woman?? Am I just a straight person who is way overthinking this?? I have continued to enjoy lesbian porn on and off throughout the years because a woman’s body just turns me on more, but I just dismissed that as I can more easily imagine how good something would feel from the perspective of a female body. I knew I still liked men and had never had a crush on a girl before. But now that I’ve developed this very real crush on a girl, it’s turned all of that upside down. I just don’t know and have no one in my life that I feel comfortable talking about this with. I don’t want to vomit all of this out to someone I know, only to realize in a few months it was just a silly phase or something.


    I apologize for the length of this and the rambling. But any advice, perspective, feedback would be so much appreciated.
     
  2. silverhalo

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    Hey welcome to EC, first of all take a deep breath, it is going to be ok. I know it all seems really confusing and messed up right now but with the help of EC I am sure you can figure it out.

    I might not respond in as much detail as I otherwise would as I am about to go to bed but there are certainly aspects of your story that are similar to mine and actually not as uncommon as you would think.
    I grew up assuming I was straight, I was never really that interested in boys but I was shy and rather socially awkward and so put it down to that. I always thought perhaps I was just a bit of a late starter and I would grow into it so to speak.I never questioned my sexuality I just assumed I was straight because society assumed I was too. I lived in a liberal accepting area and family. I always assumed lgbt people just knew, although I dont know how. Roll on to my mid 20's I'm watching a tv show with a lesbian theme and I have this moment where I suddenly think ' hang on I think I'm enjoying this more than the average straight girl'. It totally scared the hell out of me but to cut a slightly long story short eventually the more I accepted it the more sense it made in my mind and with a lot of help from EC I came out as gay and am now happily married to a woman.

    I'm not saying that you are gay, only you can figure that out for sure but what I am saying is that it is entirely possible to have attraction to women and not really know about it. Not fantasising sexually doesnt mean you arent into it. Sometimes it can just be that your mind doesnt work that way. It might seem strange but if you get up one day and just say to yourself I'm gay or I like girls see how that feels to you. If you imagine your life, it doesnt have to be about sex but imagine coming home to someone or doing things with someone how does that feel with a man or a woman?

    Apologies if this doesnt make much sense but let me know if not.
     
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  3. GrumpyOldLady

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    Sam, what you wrote sounds a lot like my experience. I've had crushes on guys and several relationships but the sex has always been pretty meh. I also thought I just hadn't found the right guy or there was just something wrong with me but even when I found someone who ticked all the boxes and even married him, the desire is just not there. I usually broke up with my previous boyfriends because they were just more into the physical stuff than I was, my husband is pretty much ace which is probably the only reason we're still together.

    I've thought of all kinds of excuses for my lack of desire over the years but hen I'm honest with myself, I feel plenty of desire of I think about being with a woman I'm attracted to. the fact that women's bodies turn you on more than men's bodies do could be a pretty strong indication of your true desires.

    When I started questioning my sexuality, I read a lot of M/M romance and erotica and it did confuse me for a while but I think it was the same-sex nature of it that turned me on, and it was safer than going right to the lesbian books.

    I also developed an unexpected crush on a woman, of the "think about her all the time" variety and can confirm that it feels a lot different than my crushes on men. Sometimes I wonder if my crushes on men were either because I wanted to be friends with them, wanted to be like them, or just needed something to obsess about so I wouldn't think about girls so much but at this point in time I can only say that I don't really feel desire for men but plenty of desire for women, especially women that I have feelings about.
     
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  4. Sam89

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    Thank you so much for responding, even though you were ready to go to bed! And thank you for the 'Welcome' and the reassurance. That means so much, and especially to hear from someone who also went through all this confusion and has come out on the other side of it with more confidence in who they are. Everything you said made sense, and some things resonated with me a bit more as well. It was definitely helpful. I have done quite a bit of fantasizing about who I would like to come home to and those fantasies lately have involved women and I can see myself happy in that situation. I just know in the past, I've been able to have those same fantasies involving men. So I'm still continuing with caution and trying not to let my overthinking get the best of me.
     
  5. Sam89

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    Hi, Grumpy. Thank you for responding. :slight_smile: It feels very comforting to know someone else has gone through such a similar experience, especially with some of those smaller details. It can be really hard to pinpoint and interpret feelings you have for both men and women when you've had crushes on both, but you know something is missing somewhere, and I guess like silverhalo said, it's also something I've told myself in the past that if I were actually gay, I would "just know" and it would be obvious. It's also made me wonder if sexuality really is fluid and can change over time, but all this wondering kind of forces you to think back on key memories that stood out for reasons you never figured out and some things click but you just never put much thought into them before because you always assumed you were straight. If that makes sense...
     
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  6. silverhalo

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    You are very welcome. For me when coming out one of my greatest fears was I’d come out and then fall in love with a guy or realise I was wrong. For a while it definitely held me back but then I told myself that that was worst case scenario and if that should happen then sure it would be frustrating and perhaps a little awkward but only temporarily. Labelling yourself with whatever you decide fits you best is not really anyone’s business apart from your own and nobody can tell you what you are or aren’t but on top of that they are not set in stone. If you did pick a label and then later decide something else fit better then you can always change.
    I also think that it is unlikely that you are wrong about your feelings for women. Have you ever just let yourself be gay for the day? Sounds strange I know but sometimes it can help just get up in the morning and say to yourself ok I’m letting myself be a lesbian today or bi or just not straight however you would prefer to define it. Then just allow yourself to have gay thoughts, to sit in a cafe and watch people go past and see who catches your eye. Don’t read too much into the thoughts you have just let them be.
    It can be hard not to judge our same sex thoughts even if it is only on a subconscious level. society just leads us up the straight and narrow without even thinking about it so to imagine boyfriends and men and all of those things is just drilled into us that we must/will want them that we don’t think about them that much. However for me at least I think my brain stopped or played down anything same sex thoughts before I really realised what they were.
     
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  7. Sam89

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    Again, thank you so much. I feel like your responses have been so helpful and insightful. I definitely get what you mean when you mention the fear of realizing you might be wrong. That is something that is really holding me back, especially from telling anyone. If I go through all this self-reflection and over-thinking and agonizing over this, and then realize I'm wrong, I would be even more embarrassed. And my brain does try to downplay or come up with excuses, like I'm just going through a phase, I'm curious and experimental because all my relationships with men have been shitty. Who knows??

    I will try your advice about "being gay, bi, whichever for a day" and see how that goes. Have never really thought of trying that.
     
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  8. silverhalo

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    You are welcome. I think sometimes just finding someone who can say yes I felt like that or I also went like that can be helpful and reassuring that what you are feeling is valid and you arent making it up or going crazy,
    The thing is it isnt just after shitty hetero relationships that you are questioning your sexuality. It happened years ago and regardless of what sparked it off something did. Sure it went away or you shut it back up in its box but it was still there. Have you watched any TV programs or films with lesbian storylines or couples?
     
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  9. Sam89

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    Yes, I definitely feel like reading other people's stories in these forums has helped so much, and receiving the advice from some of you. It's weird how, even considering how much more open and accepting people are nowadays and how much more inclusive media is, it's still something that's difficult to come to terms with and work through. Thinking back and remembering things I'd thought I'd forgotten, it's been like little light bulbs going off, but they were things I'd just ignored or waved away, kinda downplaying it in my own head. And I never even realized I was doing it! I'm having a hard time processing some of this for sure. But at the same time, I still want to be sure and am not sure I am.

    When it comes to TV shows, etc., I don't feel like I've ever actively sought out any female/female shows/stories/movies. Maybe a couple times... The odd time I would see a lesbian couple in a show or movie, it would intrigue me and really stick with me, but I saw it as being more of a curious fascination, I guess.
     
  10. silverhalo

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    I totally know how that feels. For me the first time I queried my sexuality was whilst watching a TV program with a lesbian storyline. I was totally hooked and was sitting on my bed one day watching when all of a sudden it was like a lightbulb went of in my head and I was like 'Hold on I think I am enjoying this way more than the average straight person'. Up until that point I had never questioned my sexuality, despite the fact I had also never really been interested in guys, I had always explained it off as this or that or told myself I'd grow into it. Someone had even asked me before if I was gay so clearly it was obvious to everyone but me haha. When I initially had the revelation I pushed it away in my mind I couldn't possibly be gay, I had never felt like id fancied my friends, I had never looked at girls and wanted to kiss them etc etc, I had never felt gay (whatever that feels like!). I couldn't shake the thought though and eventually ended up on EC which helped me so much. As I eventually figured things out etc the more I looked at it the more I was like 'oh this makes so much sense', even to the point where I was like how did it take this long to figure things out.

    Perhaps you could try looking up some girl/girl programs or films and see how you feel about it now.
     
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