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Questioning my sexuality

Discussion in 'Sexual Orientation' started by Aelin56, Oct 20, 2021.

  1. Aelin56

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    I'm 21, a female and I think I first started questioning my sexuality at 14. I was often imagining myself in a romantic/sexual relationship with a woman. To be honest, I've had these thoughts way earlier, back when I didn't know that homosexuality existed. I recall being about 8 and thinking "If women are prettier than men, why are they supposed to be with men? Why can't they be with other women?".
    At the age of 14 or 15 I developed a crush on a female teacher. Then for a few years, due to a homophobic environment and becoming more religious, I decided that I must be straight because homosexuality is sinful. So I repressed my sexual and romantic thoughts about women.
    Even after I stopped being strictly religious, I still thought that I was straight. But deep inside I was questioning. It felt clear to me that I might not be straight when I realized I was sexually attracted to a female singer. This happened when I was 20. Around that time, I also had a crush on another female singer. It was both romantic and sexual, I fantasized a lot about being with her and marrying her.
    Then one day I woke up after dreaming about having sex with a woman, and after waking up, I continued this fantasy in my head. I felt that I really wanted to have sex with a woman, and I had wanted it all along, but repressed it due to religion.
    Then I talked it out with my brother, and after some time, I decided that I'm bisexual. At that moment I was sure of it. I felt huge euphoria due to finally discovering my identity.
    Then I joined a local LGBT+ group on Facebook. There I met an AFAB femme-presenting non-binary person I currently have a crush on.
    I've never been in a relationship, but most of my crushes throughout my life have been on men. However I was more focused on personality than physical appearance. I find women more attractive, the female body is much more attractive to me than the male body. I'm also generally more attracted to femininity, so I like feminine men, as well. I have experienced sexual fantasies towards both men and women throughout my life, but now they're almost exclusively about women. However, I find people of different genders sexually attractive.
    I was euphoric after discovering my identity, but then doubts came in: what if I'm actually straight and just made all this up? I don't want to be straight because that would mean I can't be in a relationship with a woman, and I would like to. In fact, I would choose to date a woman over dating a man, because I just find women more attractive.
    Currently I'm feeling quite bad because I thought I had discovered myself, and now I'm lost again. I only came out as bi to my brother, therapist and people on the Facebook group, but I feel like I should have waited longer, I should have spent more time figuring out my sexuality before coming out.
     
  2. masterofnone

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    i can’t say for sure but i see some parallels between you and myself. you fear being straight because that means you can’t be with the same sex. i fear being gay because that means i can’t be with the opposite sex. this idea is frightening to you? how often do you ruminate on this topic?
     
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  3. GazesToClouds

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    Heya, sounds like you are struggling with yourself a bit, i feel that. I by no means can tell you who or what should/shouldnt like, nobody can do that for you its something you need to decide for yourself. But i will say from my understanding of myself that sexuality isnt always so cut and dry. I am currently unsure about what type of people im attracted to, i like boys and i like girls and i most likely would even like trans/nonbinary people too (not that ive had the pleasure of meeting someone who is open about such things). I would probably call myself Bi, but i have a preference for girls maybe 70%-30% in favour of girls. It sounds to me like you might be similar. You are allowed to like both and still have a preference. Hope this helps!
     
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  4. BiGemini87

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    Hello, @Aelin56. :slight_smile:

    Firstly I will say, try not to be too hard on yourself. Back when you initially came out, you felt certain of the label and it allowed you to express and be yourself more than before--there is no shame in that. Secondly, whether it still holds true or not, there has been no deception on your part; sometimes it takes us a while (and many steps) to realize who and what we are. From your post, I get two different impressions:

    1) That you are indeed bisexual, but now that you're more comfortable with the same-sex aspect, you're experiencing a shift wherein your focus on women is greater (either this will even out again, or you have a stronger attraction to women over men, and that's completely okay!)

    Or

    2) You might not be bi but perhaps lesbian, and the shift you're experiencing away from men might be permanent/any lingering feelings for men might be the result of heteronormativity.

    I, nor anyone else can tell you which it is; sadly, coming into our own (in the various ways that we do) is something that's very solitary in nature. It takes a lot of looking within, studying parts of ourselves, our pasts, our attractions, experiences, etc. but ultimately we all get there--in our own time, in our own way. What I can say I'm certain of is this: you aren't straight. You had a natural inclination towards women since childhood, have long held those feelings, and have no desire to be otherwise. That is a huge, profound thing, considering many LGBT people usually long for the opposite until they come to accept themselves. Perhaps this is a sign that you have begun that self-acceptance, and if so, kudos to you--it shows your need to be yourself is greater than your fear of what others might think.

    I hope this helps, and that you are able to work things out. Just remember to be patient and kind with yourself on this journey, and if you ever need to reach out, my PMs are open. :slight_smile:
     
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  5. Aelin56

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    I fear being straight because that would mean I can't be with the gender I'm more attracted to, which is pretty upsetting for me. I know it seems absurd to be afraid of being straight - after all, it's the sexual orientation that is always socially acceptable. Before I decided I was bisexual, I wasn't scared of being straight. I just assumed I was straight and was okay with it. But after I found a label to describe myself, it felt sad for me to lose it, it felt like losing my identity.
     
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  6. Aelin56

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    Thank you for your reply! I might actually be bisexual with a preference, though I'm not really sure toward which end. I've had more crushes on men, but I find women more attractive. My crushes on men were often stemming not from physical attraction, but rather attraction to personality.
     
  7. Aelin56

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    Thank you, that was very helpful and made me feel a lot better.
    You're right, I'm indeed experiencing a shift towards women. It's probably because I hadn't allowed myself to think of women that way before. My fantasies about men might have just been a substitute for fantasies about women.
    I think it's possible that I'm a lesbian, because I rarely felt actually physically attracted to men. I've had crushes on boys who liked me and I might have had a crush on their attention towards me rather than them themselves. I've also never liked typically masculine traits like facial hair, being muscular or big hands, I think I've never been attracted to masculinity. It also happened twice that I "decided" to have a crush on a boy, because I wanted to have a crush on someone.
    You're right that I should be patient and kind to myself throughout this journey. I often need to remind myself to be patient and kind to myself as I like to rush things, I don't like having doubts. But in the end, I am more than my sexuality and it doesn't really matter who am I attracted to or what label do I use.
    Thank you again for your detailed message!
     
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  8. masterofnone

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    this does feel like a bit of ocd. what are your anxiety levels when these thoughts pop up?
     
  9. Aelin56

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    I've actually been diagnosed with OCD several years ago, but it didn't cross my mind that these thoughts might be connected to it. When these thoughts were popping up, I was feeling really anxious, but now it became a bit milder. It just gives me a lot of anxiety that after all these years I'm still not sure about my sexual orientation, and I fear that I might never find out. Right now it's hard for me to focus on anything other than questioning my orientation, it really consumes me.
     
  10. masterofnone

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    i know a few openly lesbian, gay and bi people with ocd fixated onto their sexual orientation. it can feel like your whole life history is thrown out the window and all of a sudden what you knew about yourself is called into question. it seems you were pretty happy with the bisexual label so id be inclined to believe this is ocd related and not a sexual orientation issue. don’t take my word as gospel but considering you’re diagnosed with ocd and the anxiety involved it seems likely this is ocd related
     
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  11. masterofnone

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  12. Aelin56

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    Thank you, I didn't know that bi/gay people can fear being straight as a symptom of OCD. Now it seems that it might be the case with me. On the one hand I feel that I know that I'm bisexual, on the other hand there is this voice in my head telling me "but what if you're not and just made it up for attention?". Now that I think about it, I know that I didn't make it up. I remember that less than a year ago I became attracted to a female singer in a sexual way and my thoughts were: "Oh no, I hope it doesn't mean I'm bi/gay!". I felt guilty of my feelings and the possibility of not being straight made me worried. After I disconnected from my religion and conservative environment, I finally realized that being bi/gay is completely okay and opened to the possibility that I might be queer myself. I also think I couldn't have made this up because my attraction to women has been there for years, why would I lie to myself all these years and why would I worry that I might be queer if I just made it up?
     
  13. masterofnone

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    that is the nature of ocd. for what it’s worth i don’t think you are making it up :slight_smile:. i fear that i’ve made up the fact i’m attracted to women even though i’ve only ever had crushes on them, when i masturbate i think of them, i think women look way better (by a long shot) than guys. also last year i cried for probably 4 months over this girl ive been in love with since i was 15. sounds pretty gay right? haha
     
  14. Aelin56

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    From this description it seems that you're straight. Why do you think you might be gay? Have you ever been sexually or romantically attracted to another man? How long have you had these feelings that you might be gay?
     
  15. quebec

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    Hello All.....I'd like to respond to the article that @masterofnone posted a link to on Sunday. It is a link to an article on OCD, specifically something which is being called "HOCD" by Mark-Ameen Johnson an adjunct professor at UNY and CUNY published in 2014. First a little background about me for those of you who may not have seen me talk about this in other posts. I have OCD. My OCD manifests as a compulsion to count things. That seems pretty low-key and in comparison to what some others deal with, perhaps it is. However, when my OCD was at it's worst I was almost completely immobilized, unable to go anywhere or do anything because of the constant need to count everything around me...the number of stairs, the number of angles in a window frame, the number of stripes in the lane divider in the road and the list goes on. I also had to have everything around me organized in an exact manner...everything on my desk had to be in it's precise place before I could do any work for example. Life had become hell. I was fortunate to find a therapist and a nurse practitioner who worked together to help me with therapy and medications. That was six years ago and while I still have slight OCD from time to time, it's nothing at all like before. Now...back to the article.
    I think this is one of the best articles on OCD that I've read in a long time. I really have only one concern...I'll get to that in a moment. I really like his two rules that he states at the beginning.

    Rule one:
    If you say you are heterosexual, then you are. Period.
    Rule two: There are no other rules.

    There is a lot in the article that is good and it very clearly describes how OCD affects someone, in this case someone who is having obsessive and compulsive thoughts concerning their sexuality. He also does a good job of describing what can be done and what kind of treatment is recommended for someone suffering from OCD.

    Here is where I'd like to...well, not exactly disagree with Mr. Johnson, but I guess I will sort of! In reality there is no "HOCD" if you think of it as a separate illness. There is just OCD that manifests itself in many different ways. This may seem like a very small, picky argument but I believe it's important. There is a rather large hard-to-read book called the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) that is published by the American Psychiatric Association. It lists all of the disorders/illnesses that they (the APA) recognize. OCD is certainly listed in the book...only once. There are not many different kinds of OCD...there is only one. That is important because the treatment for OCD is the same regardless of how it manifests in a person. That is my concern about calling it "HOCD" when it manifests by affecting someones' perception of their sexuality. I don't have "COCD" because I had to count things. I believe that it's important that people understand this so that those people who, like me, are afflicted with this illness will look for and receive the right kind of treatment. Remembering how horrible my days became before I began treatment, I wish for nothing to stand in the way - to delay the treatment for others that are suffering with OCD in what ever form it takes.

    I do like Mr. Johnsons' paper...he even makes a great reference to Harry Potter! If you have questions about OCD, read it! But please remember that OCD is just that - OCD even though it attacks in the same way, it wears many different masks.
    .....David :gay_pride_flag:
     
  16. masterofnone

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    the acronyms in things like hocd pocd, etc. are obviously not seperate diagnosis’ i don’t think that’s the point he’s making. it’s more for identification of the themes we suffer through specifically. i find these things helpful as it differentiates the subcategories. i can understand the misconception though. like you said ocd is ocd
     
  17. masterofnone

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    that’s the thing i’ve never been sexually or romantically attracted to a man. this is just something my ocd has found that i value. it’s been about 6+ months since these thoughts came into my head. my ocd just makes me doubt everything about my sexual orientation, before this i could very confidently say i’m straight
     
  18. Sadness

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    I can relate a lot to @masterofnone experience bc i actually am on the same boat as him.

    I do have ocd and have been addicted to porn for a long time. This actually led me to test a lot with the same gender, and those last weeks i even started getting some erection and some arousal to it. But from people from here is all part of this ocd hell.

    I am on this cycle for almost 4 years now, and for 4 years im testing with man lol.
     
  19. quebec

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    Hello again....Perhaps there is one thing that I didn't emphasize enough in my post, although I thought that I did. Please get medical help if you think that you may be having trouble with OCD. You'd go to the doctor if you broke your leg! So please don't hesitate to see a therapist if you think OCD is something that could be causing you stress...it will only get worse without help from a professional. Please believe me...I know.
    .....David :gay_pride_flag:
     
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  20. masterofnone

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    yeh i am in treatment currently. thank you for this message
     
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