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very unsure (maybe)

Discussion in 'Sexual Orientation' started by printopinions, Dec 28, 2015.

  1. printopinions

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    hi friends. a copious amount of Googling brought me here, so i hope i can find some sort of use from this site. lemme cut to the chase here. i am a 21 year old male who has only recently questioned his sexuality. all my life i've outwardly called myself heterosexual, but that was never really because of any sort of attraction. this questioning came from a good place initially. this year has been almost a spiritual journey for me. i've been raised in a Christian home all my life, and while i'm not gay myself, this year was the year that i changed my mind about the place of the LGBTQ+ community in the Christian church. i was always taught that homosexuality was unnatural and an abomination unto the Lord. after much research and prayer (as well as a high profile situation in my city, spearheaded by the church i no longer attend, that made me doubt that homosexuality & the like were wrong) i no longer believe this to be true. God loves everyone regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity, and i deeply apologize for trying to tell people otherwise all these years, damning them to a hell on Earth.

    for me, until i figured this issue out, i could never comfortably assess my own sexuality. now that that's been taken care of, i've been in a state of doubt. sexually, i've never felt attraction to females, even though i pretty much lied by calling myself heterosexual all these years to meet some societal norms that was imposed on me. i thought "hmm, maybe i'm gay", but i know that's not the case either. i feel absolutely no sexual attraction towards a male or female or pretty much anyone. i can appreciate someone's outer beauty and see where people are coming from when they feel turned on by someone, but this has never been true for me. on top of that, the thought of sex hasn't set well with me. in addition to everything that could go wrong, i've never felt comfortable putting a part of my body in someone, or vice versa. sorry if that's a little explicit, but that's the best way i can phrase that. this is further validated by my lack of interest in pornography. it seems like a lot of Christian men my age have " struggled" with porn in their lifetime, and they discuss it with me in confidence hoping i can relate. really, i can't relate because that desire to look at pornography has never been there. call it divine intervention or how i'm wired, but my very limited experience with porn (and it's accompanying desire) has left me with a lack of interest or stimulation. i'm not turned on by the naked body of a man or woman or the sexual acts they might be participating in.

    this has recently led me to believe that i'm asexual. while the idea of sex for procreation (in the case of heterosexuality) is somewhat fine with me, i'm not physically/sexually attracted to someone. now coming out to someone as strictly asexual definitely doesn't bother me. since the majority of people i know are Conservative, Evangelical, fundamentalist, Biblical literalists (wheras i'm a progressive mainline Biblical contextualist) they'd be more than happy to relate asexuality to a part in the Bible where it reads it's better to be celibate unless you're burning with lust, in which case you should totes get married (even if they don't fully understand asexuality). my problem lies within the context of romantic attraction. maybe it's just natural or maybe i've just been raised to think this way, but i've always been comfortable with marrying a female & showing her love, sex or not. i have a very close friend i've known for 4 years that i've contemplated dating, and while i'm not sexually attracted to her, i can understand why people would call her beautiful. the idea of being romantically attracted to a man has also gone through my mind a few times, and while i can't exactly point out a spexific example of said romantic attraction, i'd be open to the idea of spending the rest of my life with one (although i probably wouldn't be open to the idea of sex). my question, in the long run, is this: if i'm definitely romantically attracted to women and haven't usually felt romantically attracted to men but wouldn't be opposed to it, does that make me biromamtic asexual or heteroromantic asexual? anything helps, although, again, i'm keeping the idea of looking at porn off limits. also, as far as coming out would go, i'm not opposed to it. everyone in my family except my mom has more or less become an LGBTQ+ affirming Christian after my dad and i did our research and we shared it with them. i think if there was the lack of sex in a romantic relationship with a man, my mom would feel a little bit more comfortable than before (also, i'm still questioning and if i reach a place of certainty about my sexuality soon, i won't come out for quite a while). anyway, this has been a handful to type. hope you guys can help. God bless. :icon_bigg
     
  2. hiddenxrainbows

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    First off, I just want to say that I am soo glad that you and your father helped make people more open-minded to the LGBT+ community. I am not religious at all, but I can't stand religious people who condemn LGBT+ people to hell just because they're LGBT+. That is very hurtful to hear, even without me believing in their beliefs. Because they just ignore any good qualities I may have just because I'm not straight. But anyway, I had something to add about your label. Maybe you are biromantic or heteromantic. But have you ever heard of the word heteroflexible? Maybe you would be comfortable with a term like that? Because it shows thatou're primarily romantically attracted to women, but you're flexible to others as well. Just something to think about. I know there are plenty of different words out there. You just have to look arounf and see what fits you best.
     
  3. Chip

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    Hi, and welcome. You're in the right place to talk about these issues :slight_smile:

    First, it's important to understand that the environment in which we grow up plays a pretty big role in how we view sex and sexual experiences. When we are taught from an early age that sex is somehow dirty, wrong, or only for procreation and should not be something that's a birthright that we can truly enjoy... that message, repeated long enough, is going to have an impact on how we experience it. It's important to understand that this sort of thing does not make someone asexual, at least if we are using the widely-accepted definition of asexuality. This issue has gotten really confused in the past few years because there's a small but very vocal group of people that have created an entirely different (and utterly undefinable) concept of asexuality that is not based on research, science, study, clinical observation, or anything grounded and reproducible; it is simply a definition that some people sort of decided on, and there's a lot of disagreement (because it isn't grounded) as to what, actually, it means.

    In a similar vein, there's no credible support for the idea that there's a separation between romantic and sexual orientations.

    So basically, what this means for you is... it is possible you're asexual (according to the widely accepted definition), but if so, then it is a hardwired and unchangeable condition. And the fact that you have attraction toward women (albeit not sexual) would tend to imply that you aren't truly asexual. The lack of interest in sex may very likely be a conditioned response as a result of your deeply religious upbringing. So it is quite possible that if you start exploring this part of yourself, it may wake up and become an integral part of who you are.

    Since connection (whether casual, emotional, intimate, or all three) with others is widely accepted to be a big part of why we are on this earth, I encourage people who are considering whether they're asexual to explore what might be getting in the way of intimate connection. If there are barriers arising from learned behavior, those can be addressed, and the richness of healthy sexual connection can be a wonderful and fulfilling part of life. Of course, if after exploring that, there's still no sexual desire and connection, then at that point, one can deduce that one is truly asexual.

    So one question I'd have for you has to do with masturbation. Do you masturbate? If so, how often, and when doing so, are you comfortable doing this, or do you feel guilt or shame afterwards? What sort of fantasies are happening when masturbating? Answers to these questions, if you are comfortable sharing them, can give insights into what's going on for you since masturbating is tapping into our deeper, unconscious arousal processes and gives a window into the underlying feelings.
     
  4. Athexant

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    To me, it seems like you've already tapped upon it yourself. Asexuality is characterized by the lack of primary and secondary attraction as well as primary and secondary desire (all in the sexual sense). However, there's an entire spectrum for asexuality. You seem to have figured most of this out for yourself, which is really good.

    As for your romantic preferences, you can be biromantic without ever having dated/been romantically involved with a guy. You don't seem opposed to the idea of being romantically involved with a guy either which sounds like you could be heteroflexible as one of the previous contributors mentioned. It basically means that you're mostly romantically involved with women, but if the right guy came into the picture, then you wouldn't be opposed to being romantically involved with them.

    In the end though, it's really up to you to identify as you see fit. We can give you definitions galore, however, you are who you are. If you think you're a biromantic asexual, then identify as that. If you think you're a heteroromantic asexual or something different, then that's who you are. Also, it may take some time before you find the right identity. It took me a really long time to fully understand that I was a biromantic demisexual.

    I hoped this helped, even if just a little. :thumbsup: