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I (25f) am incredibly confused about my sexuality

Discussion in 'Sexual Orientation' started by curiouspasserby, Jul 15, 2021.

  1. curiouspasserby

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    Hello, I am a 25 year-old woman and I have been feeling both distress and confusion about my sexual orientation. I have been perusing this site recently and I feel comfortable enough to ask this community for some comfort and direction.

    So, I'm fluctuating between identifying has straight and bisexual (but mostly straight with bisexual tendencies). Unfortunately, due to my sexually repressive background, I don't have any dating nor sexual experiences. My only kiss was when I was six years-old and it was with a female classmate. Honestly, I remember that it just felt natural.

    Most of my sexual exploration has been through viewing porn. I was quite young when I accidentally stumbled onto an image of a nude woman (around 7). I recall my mother walking in and shaming/punishing me greatly. I internalized that shame to the point where at age 11 when I recalled the image, I cried about it a s wrote a vague letter of apology to my mom, who had no idea what I was referring to.

    Around age 12, I accidentally stumbled upon gay porn images and videos. So, between the ages of 12-20, gay porn (sex acts, some male solos, etc) was what I masturbated to. I'm not sure if it was the porn itself or the taboo nature (knowing I'm not supposed to be viewing such material) that I found arousing but I just didn't feel comfortable seeing a nude woman so I stuck with the gay/male porn until around 21. When I started exclusively watching lesbian porn (almost always female solos) and realizing that I viewed lesbian porn different from gay porn. When I view lesbian porn, I fantasize about and feel compelled to perform sexual acts with the women but with gay porn it's more of me disassociating and simply watching a sex act.

    My main confusion is that I never felt sexually attracted to any man ever (no celeb crushes either). For some reason, I always felt drawn to women. Ever since I reached puberty at 13, all of my crushes have always been women, I feel strong urges to touch women I see in real life in a sexual manner, I sexually and romantically fantasize about women exclusively, I feel compelled to be in the presence of women, I go out of my way to impress or make a woman I find attractive laugh, I have a fixation on watching lesbian couples on tv shows since I feel a connection/understanding to them, and I feel nervous around attractive women. I even remember at age 15, I signed up to a dating site and tried to pursue a specific girl until I became too nervous. I recall at age 16, going to my local library and being to distracted looking at the body of the female officer who was making her rounds (I also remember being shamed again by my mom for talking to her about the female officer when I should've been studying, I don't know why I felt compelled to talk about her).

    Ultimately, I'm just confused as to why my sex drive towards men is just so non-existent. I can recognize that man is objectively attractive and that I should feel attracted to them but my mind never fantasized about men sexually or romantically.

    I apologize for my long ramblings but I'm just confused about my sexual orientation. Maybe I am truly bisexual or just haven't been around the right guy yet and I'm just a mostly straight person (after all, I used to watch gay porn) with strong sexual fantasies about women? I feel as though my sexual orientation needs to include men.
     
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  2. Lemony

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    Welcome to EC.
    From reading this to me you sound very much like you're a lesbian and not attracted to Men at all.
     
  3. SteveBi45

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    I would agree with @Lemony on this. You say you're questioning if your straight or bisexual, but you also say you've never had a crush on any men. Although you've watched gay porn as a teen, porn is not always an indicator of sexual orientation. The key indicators are who you are physically attracted to in real life and who you fantasise about when you masturbate (without porn).

    From what you have written, this really does sound like you are lesbian.
     
  4. curiouspasserby

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    Thank you both @Lemony and @SteveBi45 for your honest responses. I greatly appreciate it. This has been something that has been weighing greatly on my mind. Some of my family members are curious as to why I haven't been dating yet. More specifically, they want to know why I haven't had a boyfriend yet. Since I am in graduate school, I always try to hide behind the fact that I am too busy to date, which is somewhat true. It's incredibly difficult to accept that I'm most likely a lesbian. I'm going to have to work on that probably with a therapist that specializes in LGBT issues.

    In regards to porn, I've always assumed that porn is an extension of your sexuality since I believed that you needed to be attracted to the individuals in order to masturbate to it. That's why I thought that I would at least still be bisexual. I've read from this forum and even from some professionals that it isn't an accurate indicator at all. Then I realized that when I did watch gay porn, I disassociated myself from it and it acted as background noise. I never was actually attracted to the actors and engage with it like in the way I do with lesbian porn.
     
  5. out2019

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    This is pretty telling.

    I agree with the others, It sounds like you're primarily, possibly exclusively attracted to women. You only indicate here that you 'should ' feel attracted to men but you don't.

    I am gay and I can notice pretty women and before accepting myself I had that 'should' feeling too, but it just wasn't there.

    Only you can decide, but I would say it's pretty strong indicator you're a lesbian.
     
    #5 out2019, Jul 16, 2021
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2021
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  6. curiouspasserby

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    Thanks for the response @out2019! I certainly can recognize an objectively attractive man. However, I don't feel the sexual motivation (similar to an internal driving force that compels you to take action) to pursue men but feel sexually motivated to pursue a woman I find attractive.

    I noticed in both high school and college my friends, unlike myself, were either pursuing men or attempting to attract the men they were interested in. I always believed that maybe there will be a man that I am attracted to and compelled to pursue but that'll most likely not happen.
     
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  7. Love2sleep

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    Hello and welcome to EC!

    Working through your sexual orientation is sometimes not an easy thing to. Each one of us has a unique journey, there may be similarities to others stories but ultimately our journey is unique. Let me start hi saying well done for getting how you're feeling out there. Sometimes just getting the thoughts and feelings out help.
    From reading your post, it would seem you have more of an attraction to women. That's not to say you can't and won't find a guy with whom you start a relationship with. I would suggest you be kind to yourself and take your time in finding out who you are. Remember there is no time limit. Do what you feel is comfortable and what feel right to you. Experiment but be honest with those you do experiment with. Ultimately be honest with yourself and you won't go far wrong. I wish you the very best of luck!
     
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  8. curiouspasserby

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    Thank you @Love2sleep! Admittedly, it is difficult for me to vocalize my feelings about sensitive topics. I'm someone who typically wants to conform to "societal expectations" which is why I'm afraid to remove my "straight facade". However, I'm tired of sacrificing my happiness to please others.

    I find it amazing that I never thought to apply the word "lesbian" to myself. Maybe it's because so many people in my family referred to my hypothetical future "boyfriend/husband". So, I felt this obligation to be attracted to men. Honestly, when I think about it, referring to myself as a lesbian brings this internal wave of serenity. It just makes sense. I'll definitely be kinder to myself since I have a long way to go before I can live openly and authentically.
     
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  9. Love2sleep

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    You have already begun your journey of discovery into who you are and you're doing amazing!
    It is my pleasure to offer advice and place as note I am always available of you to fancy a chat or just want to offload.
    It took me a while to figure out myself but when I did, I finally felt at peace. Being comfortable in your own skin is what matters.
    Rome wasn’t built in a day, so no pressure to figure you out, enjoy your journey and when things get tough, remember you are doing amazing.
     
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  10. Contented

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    This is exactly how I felt once I started to think of myself as gay. As I finally allowed myself to think about another man as a physical and emotional partner it just seemed so incredibly right. The waves of good feelings just seemed to wash over me. I never ever had that intensity of feeling or emotion over a woman. Of course I could and still objectively find a woman beautiful I have zero interest in any type of intimacy with one. In retrospect I find it hard to believe I ever did but the facts remain it was many years until I finally woke up.
     
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  11. curiouspasserby

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    Thank you for the response @Contented! As I mentioned, I'm in the beginning stages of excepting myself. While I do that, I'm going to need to work on the shame I feel in regards to my sexuality. I want to be at a stage where I can openly say I'm a lesbian with no qualms and openly date a woman.

    Fortunately, my graduate program is LGBT friendly. As for my immediate family, I would give them a 3-5/10 in homophobia. I come from a racial background that is notorious for being incredibly homophobic due to the high religiosity within the community. My family, is on the lower spectrum of homophobia (not excusing them but simply acknowledging that I am fortunate compared to what some others in my community have to deal with). Specifically, they don't believe in disowning gay people, they have gay friends, and they believe the being LGBT is immutable trait. However, they don't understand the need for gay pride, my dad is not entirely on board for gay marriage (his views are getting better), and my grandmother, who has a long time friend that she suspects is a lesbian, expressed discomfort in traveling with said friend (because she is afraid of being harassed by her). So, I have some fears about telling them.
     
  12. I'm gay

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    From everything you have written here on this post, I don't see anything here that would indicate that you are bisexual or straight. Your use of gay male porn instead of straight porn is actually another indicator to me. I have heard many lesbians say they prefer gay male porn.

    It sounds to me like your biggest obstacle is shame. In your replies here, it seems you are already aware of that.
     
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