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Unsure what i should label myself

Discussion in 'Sexual Orientation' started by Tood, Sep 18, 2022.

  1. Tood

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    Hello all, I've been a bit torn with myself as of late. About 2-3 years ago, my best friend at the time who I was very close with (now separated due to circumstances outside of our control) and I cuddled. This happened a few more times afterwards. During this time I'd say I was,100% aroused by him sexually. Warm Oxytocin feeling and everything. I explored myself further and discovered that I could get off to men, albeit with a degree more difficulty than I'd have with women. It wasn't impossible for me to, but it certainly wasn't as easy. Nowadays when I try to, i guess in an effort to validate myself, It isn't quite as easy. I don't get aroused by any random decent looking guy and I don't really even have a "type". Is this what kinsey meant by "incidental attraction", and would I count as bisexual?
     
  2. quebec

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    Tood.....Hello and a great big LGBTQIA+ welcome to Empty Closets! :old_smile: I can remember the first post that I made on EC. I was desperate for help and I got the help that night that I so needed. I hope that we can help you in the same way that I received help. The most important thing to remember about Empty Closets is that we do care about you! We're very glad that you found us here on EC and hope that we can answer questions, give you support and provide a place to vent (as long as it's not violent!) :old_big_grin: when that becomes necessary!

    *****I've heard it said that no one is 100% straight or 100% gay. I don't know if that is really true, but I do think that Kinsey's statement of "Incidental Attraction" does kind of sum it up. I think you are the one who has to make the decision here, but you seem to be on the right track to me. We are talking about human beings here so nothing is going to be absolute. You can have two people who are both Bisexual, but the degree to which they are Bi can be significantly different. You could be bisexual with a significant leaning towards women. That is something that is certainly not unusual. It's just something that you will have to work out over time. Finding a therapist that lists working with the LGBTQ Community as part of their practice would be a really good idea. They could help you quite a lot with this. Finding a good LGBTQ Therapist was one of the best decisions that I've ever made. Give it some serious thought!

    *****There are 18 different sub-forums here that you can check out and join in the conversations or start your own thread/conversation. When you have made at least 10 posts on various threads you will be able to post messages on a member's Profile Page. Just click on a member's Avatar Picture and then click on "Profile Page" in the dialogue box that pops up. You'll then be on their Profile Page and there will be a box that says: "Write Something" When you have been on EC for a few weeks and have made at least 50 posts on various forums, you can apply for Full Membership. A Full Member can send Private Messages (PM) to other Full Members and share personal contact info. Right now you can only send a PM to a Staff Member as that is always possible. Here is a quote from the Full Membership information forum: :old_cool:

    *****To be eligible you must be a member of Empty Closets for a minimum of two weeks, and have a minimum of 50 posts. These posts must be across numerous forums (Fun & Games does not contribute to post count), and consistently posted across a minimum of two weeks. You wouldn't be eligible, for example, if you registered, had no activity for two weeks, and then returned to post 50 times on your 14th day of membership.

    *****Well, as I said, we're very glad you found us! :old_rolleyes: If you have any questions at all, you can post a question on my Profile Page or send me a Private Message.

    .....David :gay_pride_flag:
     
  3. Tood

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    Thank you! If anything I've came to better accept it as a part of myself in recent months, despite many an unnecessary attempt to validate myself and try to be "worthy" of the label. I know better than to do these things but I've just always been the type to be unnecessarily hard on myself. Thanks for the kind words.
     
  4. Chip

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    Hi, Tood!

    There's no super simple answer to your question. So much depends on your background, childhood experiences, etc.

    Sometimes, for those who are somewhat or quite a bit touch deprived, the need for touch and cuddling can be experienced just as strongly as sexual attraction. But usually, the result one gets from this cuddling -- if the person we are cuddling with isn't the gender we're attracted to -- is simply a happiness and joy, without any sexual connotation to it. (And for the OCD folks, no, "sexual connotation" as I'm talking about it isn't a little bit of tingling here, it would be a full-on strong sexual arousal.)

    But if you are feeling fully sexually aroused, in a way you could imaging reaching orgasm with this other person, that's a bit different.

    It is also possible to go through life for years and not be aware of having same-sex attraction; we get powerful messages that same-sex attraction isn't ok, is weird or different or wrong... and so, depending on the messages we get, we can suppress it pretty effectively and not even be consciously aware of it. Until something comes along and pushes through the denial and makes us go "Hmmmm."

    So one of the most effective ways to look at this is where your masturbatory fantasies are. What happens if you masturbate fantasizing (without porn) about guys? Then, you compare that to masturbating fantasizing (without porn) about girls... and usually you get a pretty good sense from that. If there's no arousal to same-sex fantasies and it's just "Meh", then there's probably no attraction there. But if there's arousal and excitement -- even if you are completely grossed out and disgusted after ejaculation -- then there's likely genuine arousal and attraction there. (The reason the disgust isn't an indication is that our conscious response is a lot more likely to influenced by values and society's messages, while the actual arousal is coming from our core self.)

    There's more to it than that, but this should give you a pretty good start.
     
    BiGemini87 likes this.
  5. BiGemini87

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    Hi, @Tood!

    Chip covered pretty much all the points I would have brought up: if you're experiencing sexual arousal from cuddling your friend but you don't experience arousal regarding random guys, it could simply mean that you need an emotional connection with someone first before you can experience sexual desire. Or it could be that you have fewer types where men are concerned in relation to women. It could also be due to years of repression; like Chip said, many of us grew up with the messages that same-sex attraction/relationships are wrong, and that can often cause us not only to repress our own same-sex attractions, but to not even recognize them when we experience them (which is something I have experience with, as well).

    If you experience attraction/arousal regarding people of both sexes, then it's safe to say bisexual fits you--regardless of whether you have a stronger inclination towards men or women. The fact that you're struggling is probably because you have a lot of anxiety surrounding your same-sex feelings; whether this is because you're still learning to accept and embrace them or if it's swung in the complete opposite direction and you have accepted, yet don't feel like you belong, I can't say for sure. But I think, if you try to think about it less and follow Chip's suggestions, you'll find the answer comes to you more readily. :slight_smile:

    I hope this has been of help. If you need anything, don't hesitate to reach out.