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.