1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Why is split attraction so negatively viewed?

Discussion in 'Sexual Orientation' started by jjusa, Sep 29, 2021.

  1. Chip

    Board Member Admin Team Advisor Full Member

    Joined:
    May 9, 2008
    Messages:
    16,076
    Likes Received:
    3,945
    Location:
    northern CA
    Gender:
    Male
    Gender Pronoun:
    He
    Sexual Orientation:
    Gay
    Out Status:
    Out to everyone
    No. A gay guy might find it more comfortable to be around women, but the sexual arousal, which is hardwired, generally stays intact. This is where the "reparative therapy" religious quacks point when they claim to have changed someone's orientation. They don't, they just bring out trauma that has impacted who people feel comfortable around.And those cases are rare. But none of this applies to you; your issue is OCD.
     
    #21 Chip, Oct 2, 2021
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2021
    jjusa and masterofnone like this.
  2. Chip

    Board Member Admin Team Advisor Full Member

    Joined:
    May 9, 2008
    Messages:
    16,076
    Likes Received:
    3,945
    Location:
    northern CA
    Gender:
    Male
    Gender Pronoun:
    He
    Sexual Orientation:
    Gay
    Out Status:
    Out to everyone
    The point being an emotionally intimate friendship is one where there is a high degree of emotional vulnerability and a feeling of closeness, but zero interest in sex. That isn't a "romantic" relationship. It's an emotionally intimate, platonic friendship. A "romantic" relationship isn't based on emotionally intimate friendship, it's the same thing. Thus, someone who is female and wants sex with men but close friendships with women is straight, and a woman who wants sex with women but close friendships with men is a lesbian. Or if the sexual attraction goes both ways, the person is bi.
     
    #22 Chip, Oct 2, 2021
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2021
  3. Sadness

    Regular Member

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2020
    Messages:
    356
    Likes Received:
    61
    Location:
    United States
    Gender:
    Male
    Gender Pronoun:
    He
    Sexual Orientation:
    Questioning
    Out Status:
    Not out at all
    Hi jjusa. I really wish i could be a help to you, but i thought something. I dont know if this is the right thing to do either, but what if the connection youre trying to find both with men and woman will only come when youre intimate with them?

    I mean, you claim that you dont feel sexual aroused by man but can fall in love with them. But maybe if you fall in love with a man you can maybe develop arousal? Or if you have sex with woman you can maybe develop feelings for her?
     
  4. BiGemini87

    Advisor Full Member

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2019
    Messages:
    902
    Likes Received:
    704
    Location:
    Pembroke, ON
    Gender:
    Female
    Gender Pronoun:
    She
    Sexual Orientation:
    Bisexual
    Out Status:
    Out to everyone
    I can't pretend to know one way or the other; I'm inclined to agree with Chip, because over the course of many threads like this one, he has cited multiple sources that support his stance. That isn't to say your experience isn't valid or can't be outside of that knowledge, OP--just that it has as of yet to be proved in a definitive manner.

    Is that split possible? Perhaps in certain circumstances. I think if we're looking at asexual or aromantic individuals, it makes a certain amount of sense. Likewise for a bisexual who might not have fully come to grips with their dual attractions, or a lesbian/gay individual still processing that they aren't attracted to the opposite gender as they originally believed.

    But again, I won't pretend to know. All I can do is speculate. At the end of the day, what you experience and how it impacts your view of yourself is more important.
     
    BiBoyToy and masterofnone like this.
  5. mobius5

    Regular Member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2021
    Messages:
    21
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    USA
    Gender:
    Male
    Gender Pronoun:
    He
    Sexual Orientation:
    Bisexual
    Out Status:
    A few people
    I'm no expert at anything but just felt like responding to this "I just don't feel that anyone can understand my experience. I'm hoping that this problem will just fade away on its own overtime"

    In my own experience; I've thought this as well for years. And I was wrong. I think now, especially thanks to the internet, pretty much anything, any bizarre set of circumstances has been done/experienced before and people can find each other. There probably is some one out there who can understand your experience. Finding them though, may be difficult, but this is a start, right?

    Again, I'm no therapist but my gut reaction is hoping this will fade away on it's own is a bad idea. Internalized dilemma's like this don't tend to go away, and if repressed just get worse overtime. But I could be wrong idk. It's also bad to dwell on your problems too much, to the point of getting worried sick. Talking here certainly can help.

    I always thought I would eventually find 'the right woman' sort of by accident and it would magically happen you know... Turns out I found a man! I always could see my self loving and making love with a woman, never with a guy. Then all of a sudden I could, boy was I wrong. :grin:
     
    #25 mobius5, Oct 2, 2021
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2021
  6. jjusa

    Regular Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2021
    Messages:
    194
    Likes Received:
    64
    Location:
    USA
    Gender:
    Female
    Gender Pronoun:
    She
    Sexual Orientation:
    Other
    Out Status:
    Some people
    So what you're saying is, romantic feelings do not exist. Sorry if I am misunderstanding your response. It sounds like you are saying that only sexual feelings exist and that is what determines your sexual orientation. So I know I am sexually attarcted to women, but I don't want an actual relationship with a woman. I'd much prefer the company of men and I still would like to marry one someday. I've fallen in love with men before. That still makes me a lesbian? :confused:


    I would love to see those sources or at least the link to those sources on this site. I am curious to see this perspective more in detail.

    I was lying in bed this morning trying to picture a relationship with a woman and see if it brings up good feelings, and it just doesn't... I just got more anxious and depressed, and I don't think there's anything I can do about that. I can't force myself to want a relationship with the same gender just as a gay person shouldn't force themselves to want a relationship with the opposite gender.

    Thanks!

    I've talked to different therapists and they either never heard of split attraction or are confused about it. It's hard when even your lgbt supportive therapist doesn't understand you. It's not the type of bisexuality that people think of. I've been struggling with this for two to three years now and it hasn't gotten any better. If I can find at least one person who has been in my place, I would feel less alone for sure.

    That's wonderful. Congratulations!
     
    BiGemini87 likes this.
  7. Chip

    Board Member Admin Team Advisor Full Member

    Joined:
    May 9, 2008
    Messages:
    16,076
    Likes Received:
    3,945
    Location:
    northern CA
    Gender:
    Male
    Gender Pronoun:
    He
    Sexual Orientation:
    Gay
    Out Status:
    Out to everyone
    No, I'm saying that, consistently over years, when people have been asked to describe "romantic feelings" that are devoid of any desire for sexual behavior, what they describe is a close, emotionally intimate friendship. Those sorts of emotionally intimate relationships that are non-sexual have nothing to do with sex, and since there's no data anywhere that distinguishes between "romantic relationships" and "emotionally intimate friendship", and a voluminous number of descriptions that show them to be indistinguishable, it's hard to justify a difference that, in essence, appears not to exist.

    Now... it is also possible that there is trauma or other mental health-related issues that are interfering with the sort of emotional vulnerability that is associated with love. That's a separate but related issue.
    To be honest, this sounds like confusion that is likely borne of trauma. Someone who desires sex with women but does not want to allow them to be emotionally close... is not a normal state of affairs. Nor is wanting to marry a man but have absolutely no sexual relationship.

    I know I've referenced them before but don't have the links offhand. Likely they are locatable with a search of the site.

    This, especially the mention of anxiety, would, to me, imply some sort of mental health concern.

    Again, because there is zero credible evidence that it exists. Just because something is discussed on Tumblr or other evidence-free discussion communities does not mean it has any legitimacy. And unfortunately, what we commonly see is (as in your case) the perpetuation of these evidence-free myths on various corners of the Internet end up harming people because they keep them from actually exploring the real, underlying issues (usually traumas) that are causing the symptoms to show up. It is frustrating for many of the MH professionals I speak with because it is impossible to prove a negative. [/QUOTE]
     
    BiGemini87 and masterofnone like this.
  8. Sadness

    Regular Member

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2020
    Messages:
    356
    Likes Received:
    61
    Location:
    United States
    Gender:
    Male
    Gender Pronoun:
    He
    Sexual Orientation:
    Questioning
    Out Status:
    Not out at all
    I actually understand this quite well. Is been a while since i cant have good feelings thinking about woman either. I only feel anxiety, in any type of connection with woman i feel very anxious now, so maybe you have some mental health concern like chip said.
     
  9. jjusa

    Regular Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2021
    Messages:
    194
    Likes Received:
    64
    Location:
    USA
    Gender:
    Female
    Gender Pronoun:
    She
    Sexual Orientation:
    Other
    Out Status:
    Some people
    Why is it not normal? I don't think I have any trauma ... what type of trauma would cause this? I definitely have anxiety but that's more of a mental health problem caused by my low self esteem. I don't want to throw trauma in here as an "excuse" for not wanting a relationship with the same gender. Many straight women still want a relationship with men despite having experienced trauma.

    No worries. Thanks :slight_smile:

    Can you elaborate on what you mean when you said it's impossible to prove a negative?
     
    #29 jjusa, Oct 3, 2021
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2021
  10. Chip

    Board Member Admin Team Advisor Full Member

    Joined:
    May 9, 2008
    Messages:
    16,076
    Likes Received:
    3,945
    Location:
    northern CA
    Gender:
    Male
    Gender Pronoun:
    He
    Sexual Orientation:
    Gay
    Out Status:
    Out to everyone
    Anxiety and low self-esteem generally arise from trauma. The way trauma manifests for each person is different, so for some it has no influence on who we're attracted to, while for others, it does. (Again, for others reading this thread, this does not apply to OCD.)

    Prove to me that unicorns do not exist.
     
    masterofnone likes this.
  11. jjusa

    Regular Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2021
    Messages:
    194
    Likes Received:
    64
    Location:
    USA
    Gender:
    Female
    Gender Pronoun:
    She
    Sexual Orientation:
    Other
    Out Status:
    Some people
    Hey I'm sorry you've had to go through this. Anxiety can be a debilitating experience that prevents us from being happy. I hope you are seeking professional help for your anxiety.

    I've talked to a lot of female members of the LGBT community and while they have exprienced a lot of trauma in their lives, they still know they want to date and sleep with the same gender. That's not the case for me which is why I don't really identify with the community.

    Good point. Although I don't have enough information about myself to prove that I do have emotional investment in a relationship with the same gender.
     
  12. tidalpool127

    Regular Member

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2021
    Messages:
    171
    Likes Received:
    73
    Location:
    United States
    Gender:
    Male
    Gender Pronoun:
    He
    Sexual Orientation:
    Gay
    Out Status:
    Out to everyone
    Hey jjusa, I just wanted to say that even if you are struggling with what to do with your sexuality, you're still welcome in our community. The LGBTQ+ community includes any sexuality that is not straight and we love our straight allies too.

    I don't really have any new advice for you, except if you do decide to talk to somebody for therapy, maybe rather than looking at why you're attracted to other women try maybe exploring why other women make you feel unsafe. Not saying you have to answer that here, just maybe a path that could lead to some answers for you. Just know you are not alone, almost all of us have dealt with negative emotions surrounding our sexuality.
     
    gravechild likes this.
  13. jjusa

    Regular Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2021
    Messages:
    194
    Likes Received:
    64
    Location:
    USA
    Gender:
    Female
    Gender Pronoun:
    She
    Sexual Orientation:
    Other
    Out Status:
    Some people
    Thank you @tidalpool127. I very much consider myself an ally to the LGBTQ+ community so even if it turns out I'm heterosexual with some repressed sexual feelings, I will always be an ally.

    Tbh I kind of already know the answers ... I was bullied in school so I don't trust other women and girls. I am scared of rejection and humiliation and have been most of my life. I don't want to go any further than a sexual encounter with a women if I choose to be with one in some capacity. I just don't know why no one believes me... That's the truth and really the end of the story.
     
  14. I'm gay

    Full Member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2016
    Messages:
    1,751
    Likes Received:
    806
    Location:
    United States
    Gender:
    Male
    Gender Pronoun:
    He
    Sexual Orientation:
    Gay
    Out Status:
    Out to everyone
    I think this post, and one earlier in the same vein, sheds light on this entire thread. If you re-read what you wrote here, and then consider that the bullying you received IS THE TRAUMA that Chip was referring to, and you know it has caused you to be distrusting of other women, and makes you scared of rejection and humiliation. It is certainly logical to conclude that although you cannot deny the way your biological body is telling you that you are attracted to women sexually, the relationship and intimate parts are being blocked by this prior trauma. It seems pretty clear to me.
     
  15. Sadness

    Regular Member

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2020
    Messages:
    356
    Likes Received:
    61
    Location:
    United States
    Gender:
    Male
    Gender Pronoun:
    He
    Sexual Orientation:
    Questioning
    Out Status:
    Not out at all
    I agree with im gay. I know its so sudden, "what do you mean i have a trauma, i didnt went through nothing that could cause that.". Or maybe "i dont feel like i have a trauma" this was my reaction when chip told me this possibility. All that fear is probably through something you went through and you said how you were bullied, all this contributes to a trauma. I didnt know i could have had a trauma, never would i think of this possibility, nothing really dangerous happened in my entire life, so when i hear about the possibility of having a trauma i didnt quite understand. The hard part is finding the core of this fear, for me at least.

    Maybe if you talk to a therapist you start to realize things that happened in the past and are buried within your mind. And maybe thats the core that you are looking for.

    And whats happening with you is like what im going through. I have sexual feelings for woman, even with a lot of anxiety. But when it comes to be attracted to a girl, or find her attractive, or love nothing is there, i feel like im unable to be attracted to a woman now. And when i see a handsome man i start feeling anxious again, thinking that what im feeling is attraction but i dont think i feel attracted to him bc thinking about him is boring and i dont feel nothing. So i get trapped in a cycle.
     
  16. jjusa

    Regular Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2021
    Messages:
    194
    Likes Received:
    64
    Location:
    USA
    Gender:
    Female
    Gender Pronoun:
    She
    Sexual Orientation:
    Other
    Out Status:
    Some people
    Ok... yes, I've had trauma. Can't I just have a romantic preference for men?

    Sorry, I missed your question here. I appreciate you trying to help me. Maybe it's possible for me to develop sexual attraction to men after falling in love with them, but it hasn't happened to me yet. I don't know if it will ever happen so that's why I retain the "heteromantic" identity and not "heterosexual." I don't want to give people the wrong idea that I'm sexual with men or want to be sexual with men. Likewise, I don't want to use the "gay" or "lesbian" identity because that suggests to everyone else I want a relationship with a woman. I don't want to lie to other people about my identity.
     
  17. I'm gay

    Full Member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2016
    Messages:
    1,751
    Likes Received:
    806
    Location:
    United States
    Gender:
    Male
    Gender Pronoun:
    He
    Sexual Orientation:
    Gay
    Out Status:
    Out to everyone
    In my humble opinion, all of these questions are part of the bargaining you are doing in your attempts to not be gay. Finding some possible way to maintain that you're still straight-ish, or can at least bargain your way to not facing the truth.

    I'm not here to tell you whether or not you have real attraction for men, or if just a "romantic" attachment is enough for you. Even if you are right and there is a split-attraction, so what? In the absence of sexual desire for your male partner, though, do you have sex with him to fulfill his needs even though it's not what is right for you? Do you avoid sex and leave him unfulfilled? Do you have an open marriage so you can each gain what you need?

    We are not here to tell you how to live your life. That's up to you. We just want you to have clarity, honesty, and relief from the pain of living in hiding.
     
    gravechild and masterofnone like this.
  18. Nickw

    Regular Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2016
    Messages:
    2,303
    Likes Received:
    1,322
    Location:
    Out West
    Gender:
    Male
    Gender Pronoun:
    He
    Sexual Orientation:
    Other
    Out Status:
    Some people
    @jjusa

    I won't dismiss your feelings. I don't believe anyone here has done that intentionally.

    In my own experience as a bisexual male...

    I used to feel that my desires for men were just a "kink". I was steadfast in my thinking that I could never even kiss a man much less have a romantic relationship with one. And, for the most part, the stereotypical gay man, in particular, I found unattractive. But, I wanted, desperately, to just have non-romantic sex with a man. That changed once I accepted that I really am bisexual and being bisexual means that my attractions to men are just as strong as if I was gay. My wife was OK with me experimenting...so I did. What I found was that I could have unattached, non-romantic sex and found it to be fine. I say fine because I have a friend that I am very bonded with and now I see that I am capable of romantic and sexual feelings for men and, in fact, I have had them my whole life. I just didn't allow it. Having the romantic connection AND the sexual attraction, in a word, "turbo charges" both. It feels like thats the way it really is supposed to be.

    I still believe, if something happened to my wife, that I would find a woman for romance. Because I am attracted to women both physically and mentally. But, just as importantly, is this feeling that I "fit" better with a woman than a man. Even though it is entirely possible I would find a man that I did fit with. I feel, FOR ME, that I still have this hesitancy to believe that I could really be romantically attracted to a man even though I've now experienced it. FOR ME, I am convinced that this is an ingrained feeling based on societal expectations.

    My thought is that something might be keeping you from 1) Allowing yourself to feel the romance with a woman 2) The right woman has not come along or 3)Something is keeping you from allowing yourself to be intimate with a man (If you are bisexual). Of course, this is just my thoughts based on my own experience and unrelated to the science. But, maybe counseling could help draw out the answer.

    I wonder if you have any close, straight, female friends? If not, why do you believe that is the case? Are you close friends with any lesbian couples and experienced their relationship? Are you comfortable with that?
     
    gravechild and old tacoma like this.
  19. jjusa

    Regular Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2021
    Messages:
    194
    Likes Received:
    64
    Location:
    USA
    Gender:
    Female
    Gender Pronoun:
    She
    Sexual Orientation:
    Other
    Out Status:
    Some people
    Oh boy, here comes the word vomit. I’m really sorry everyone. I feel this is the only place I can get my thoughts out and I am grateful for all the support I’ve gotten already. I also want to say that I don't feel that I'm being dismi

    My opinions of myself are heavily influenced by friends, family, and society. I know, it’s wrong, but literally I base my identity on what other people say about me or to me. If friends and family are questioning my sexuality and doubting my non-straightness, then I’m doubting my non-straightness. If friends and family are encouraging me to explore with the opposite sex, then I must be straight with male attachment problems.

    Friends and family are often telling me that I should want to have sex with men or eventually will want sex with a man (I’m 28 btw); “But sex with men is so good; You just haven’t met the right guy yet; or you haven’t explored enough of your heterosexuality; or ‘I used to think I was bisexual’…” The classic responses from straight people.

    I doubt myself even when I tell other people I’m not straight. If I don’t say it in confidence or with no doubt in my mind as the words come out of my mouth, then it must not be true. The problem is that they’re right to an extent. I haven’t explored with men sexually. Does that mean I should even if I don’t want to? Just to double check and make sure that it’s true that I don’t find men sexually attractive? Why do I need to have sex to make sure? – this is literally what people tell me I should do and the pressure is just too much. Then I start to feel guilty because I feel I am missing out on men on purpose and that maybe the sexually repression is due to my bad relationship with my father, for example.

    If I tell myself I’m gay or lesbian, then I’m missing out on men. I haven’t had sex with a woman either. I can’t even say with 100% confidence that I’m into women anyway. If I tell myself I only want sex with women, I feel bad that I don’t want sex with men OR I hesitate to do anything because I wonder if my sexual feelings will show up for men eventually. Even if I am bisexual, I feel that I still must be with men only or I should end up with a man for the rest of my life.

    If my attractions are indeed split, I feel like I will never be truly happy. I want to feel everything for one person, but I feel like it’s not possible and it makes me sad. I also would get too jealous if I wasn’t in a monogamous relationship. I don’t see myself having multiple relationships at once. So I choose to have relationships with no one.

    Having just realized my sexual attraction to women, I feel that just romance isn’t enough. At the same time, I can’t bring myself to form a relationship with women. So many women can do that so easily and I just don’t have the ability to do that. It just seems foreign to me. I can only comprehend a non-romantic sexual relationship right now. You're right, @I'm gay, this feels more like a block or something is standing in the way.

    Hi @Nickw. Regarding men, I can’t bring myself to have sex with a man and never have, but does that mean I never will? I don’t know that, but I also don’t feel open having that experience with a man right now. Is that because I need more time with the man to develop those feelings? Maybe I’m just demisexual (or is that just another excuse?). I hold on to this because of a guy I had feelings for back in college that I felt were romantic in nature, and I'm more open to connecting with men emotionally. I hear stories about straight women who fell for and were sexually attracted to just one or two guys throughout their whole entire lives - maybe that is my story too.

    I don't relate to many lesbians mainly because they have so much experience with sex and relationships. I feel out of place. I have some queer friends but I try not to get too close to them. I am jealous that they are out and proud about their sexuality and the jealousy gets worse when everyone around me is having these wonderful experiences. I have a straight female friend that I am closest too, but it's difficult for me to show affection or get close to people in general. I feel like I don't belong in any community but my own.

    Even if that’s the case, it’s a way for friends and family to push me subtly into dating or thinking about dating men which is quite frustrating. I start to feel the pressure to go out and have sex with guys. And if I stand up for myself and tell people I don’t want to have sex with a man, I start to feel bad and retreat into this dark hole of confusion again. Just thinking about having sex with men makes me feel horrible because I feel like I would have to force it and just deal with it. I'm more scared to be bisexual because that would mean that my family and friends would expect a guy to be in my life... ugh I don't know anymore.

    Thank you all for reading if you got this far.
     
    #39 jjusa, Oct 5, 2021
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2021
  20. Chip

    Board Member Admin Team Advisor Full Member

    Joined:
    May 9, 2008
    Messages:
    16,076
    Likes Received:
    3,945
    Location:
    northern CA
    Gender:
    Male
    Gender Pronoun:
    He
    Sexual Orientation:
    Gay
    Out Status:
    Out to everyone
    Well, as you've already identified, that's problematic, and that actually likely points to the root of your issue. People learn pleasing behaviors, such as agreeing with others and taking on what they say, as an adaptive survival strategy. Again, this goes back to childhood attachment/bonding problems with parents. And it heavily influences everything. Among other things, it can make it difficult to even understand what you want for yourself.

    Fuck them. They have absolutely no business telling you what you feel, who you are, or who you are attracted to.

    This goes back to the above.

    This goes back to what I was saying above. In extreme cases (which I can't say whether or not you would meet the criteria for), this would be under the classification of dependent personality disorder. Folks with this have extreme difficulties making decisions and rely heavily on what others think, or others approval, in order to make any decisions. Like all DSM-5 diagnoses, it varies in severity. And again, I'm not suggesting that you have this, but you might have some traits of it. My point is to say that I think we are actually getting to the meat of why it is so difficult for you to figure this out, and the issue could be in the realm of mental health/personality rather than confused sexual orientation.

    That's really sad. And it does not have to be. It may go back to the difficulty choosing anything. Or it may be confusion. Or it may be being out of touch with what you truly feel.

    And that's almost certainly what it is. It's a near certainty that it has nothing to do with sexual orientation.

    So look at this statement and recognize it has nothing to do with attraction or sexual orientation, and everything to do with belonging... which, again, goes back to the pleasing thing talked about above. Can you see how all these pieces seem to tie together?

    Honestly, this seems like it could be the single most profound breakthrough you've described here. Of course, I'm not in your head and don't know what you're thinking, but if what I've said above makes sense... well, you likely have your answer to the problem. The next step is to work on the worthiness piece that makes it impossible for you to stand up for yourself, make your own decisions, tell people to fuck off, and date who you want to date. That's a tall order for someone who has the sort of experiences (likely rooted in upbringing) that you experienced. But it is absolutely solvable.
     
    gravechild and BiGemini87 like this.