Who am I?

nounou's picture

Apologies if this turns into my life story….

I am a 23 year-old woman. Growing up, I remember having very intense feelings for guys – wanting to cuddle with them, kiss them, possibly even sleep with them. I would meet a boy and not be able to get him out of my mind. Sex wasn’t my primary interest, but I don’t know if most girls dream about sleeping with their boyfriend so much as being with them. I recognized girls as attractive, but never felt any romantic feelings toward them. I wanted friendship and friendship only. So, I grew up thinking myself as a smidge bisexual insomuch as that I didn’t think girls were unattractive, but was primarily interested in boys.

I should mention that I’ve never slept with a man – or a woman, for that matter. I’ve never been kissed either. I’m very shy and the more I move away from my teen years, the more I feel like I’m sexually immature and therefore of no interest for people my age. So I have some hang ups about working up the courage to have sex. But I still always imagined I would sleep with men.

Recently, I moved countries and started a course that is dominated by women. I was infatuated with one of the boys for a few months but he found someone else and I moved on. I saw the other women in my course as attractive but I wasn’t interested in sleeping with any other them, and I certain never felt any of those intense ‘crush’ feelings for any of them. I haven’t felt any intense interest in anyone for well over a year, but then again I don’t meet many new people.

A few months ago, I noticed that I started to get turned on by women. Any woman, actually, even if I didn’t like her as a person or only knew her casually. The more I got to know anyone, the less I thought of them sexually and the more I thought of them as friends. I should mention that I used to watch porn pretty regularly, and I would watch all sorts – gay, ‘lesbian’ (aka made for straight guys) and hetero, and I liked it all. There were sorts of things I liked to watch that I had no interest in ever trying in ‘real life’. I had fantasy and reality pretty well separated. I got turned on by women in porn but didn’t want to actually sleep with a woman myself. So when I started getting turned out by chicks, it felt strange. I was confused – which is something I thought I would have left behind in my teenage years. I sought advice online and read a comment in response to a 16 yo girl questioning her own sexuality, in which a guy said that if she was turned on by women and fantasized about having a boyfriend more than sleeping with guys, she was probably a lesbian.

This really bothered me. I liked the idea of finding a guy I felt close to and having a relationship and growing sexually. Sex was not my primary interest in guys, but I found male bodies attractive and even erotic in some contexts, and would like to try sex at some point. But I look at women and get turned on more physically, even if I’ve never felt any special emotional attachment. I didn’t like the idea of acting on sexual attraction without emotional attraction, but that seemed to be what this guy was suggesting.

In my head was planted a rather obnoxious seed of doubt. Now I’m second guessing myself on everything. Am I really attracted physically to guys? Was I just lying to myself about that to feel ‘normal’? Do most self-defined straight women walk around constantly aroused by men don’t have any sexual feelings about women? Should I feel that way if I’m truly interested in men? What if what I thought were romantic feelings aren’t? Maybe friendship and love have been mixed up? Maybe it’s normal to want to sleep with someone and get to know him/her later? Maybe I could actually fall in love with a woman if I forced myself? Do I have a mental block about loving women? I always thought of myself as open-minded. Maybe I’ve never been with a guy because subconsciously I’m not interested in the idea?

Now, simply walking down the street has become a mental chore. I am constantly looking at women and imagining having sex with them, but that emotional aspect isn’t there and I feel hollow inside. I told myself to get over it and accept that I’m probably more of a lesbian, but I can’t imagine being in a *relationship* with any women. Still, I fear that I can’t imagine it because I’m afraid it might be so – but then again, it would be so much easier if I did feel that connection! At least then I would know with whom I want to be. Now I feel like I have to pick sex or emotional connection, but I can’t have both.

When I look at guys, I panic that I don’t like them the ‘correct’ way. If I see a guy I’m not attracted to, I’m worried that I should be attracted to him in the same way I am for women. I am hugely confused, because I feel overly aroused around women and panic that I’ve lost the emotional connection with guys. I don’t find guys visually erotic but definitely (used to) like the idea of being with them.

I feel like it used to be so much easier. I didn’t question myself and thought the way I felt about guys was the way other women would feel about guys. Now I am (a) constantly aroused, more than I ever felt before this mess, because I’m looking at each woman sexually and (b) unable to connect with either sex. I told myself to follow romance rather than sex, but again I get The Big Panic when I talk to guys, because I wonder if I would like to sleep with them or am only lying to myself.

I don’t know exactly what answer I’m looking for here. I don’t necessarily want a label, but I’m afraid that I may deny myself happiness if I sleep with men and likewise if I sleep with women. Am I going to be happier having a physical relationship with a woman and maybe someday loving her, or happier having a slightly less physical relationship with a man that I’m ‘in love’ with? Not that anyone can give me an answer, but I guess I’d like to know what people think.

nounou's picture

acutally i did a bit of

acutally i did a bit of searching through the archives and feel a bit more relaxed. sorry to plug up the boards with repeat questions! if a mod wants to delete this, please do.

tenmilestilts's picture

don't be silly, jeff doesn't

don't be silly, jeff doesn't delete posts just because they're similar to previous ones. and every situation is a little bit different--it helps to get advice that applies to you.
Two wrongs don't make a right but three lefts do!

jeff's picture


Seems fine, this is sort of the point of the site.

Sleep with guys, sleep with women, in ten years time, tally up the results, and let the numbers determine the label. Oh, and this means you have numbers in ten years time, I'm afraid. ;-)

Welcome to Oasis...

"People who are happy are slugs... They do not move the human race forward."
-- Camille Paglia, on Oasis

taste the rainbow's picture

I, feel the same way a lot

I, feel the same way a lot of the time.

I find it easy to get emotionally attached to men, however I am extremely turned on by women.

Women I find are harder to get attached to because, well, I haven't had much opportunity to truly dig deep and get to know one on an intimate level. Men on the other hand, I have had a fair share of getting to know on a more personal level... I like flirting with them and kissing, however, nothing further interests me.

I try and visualize what it would be like having a relationship with another women, yet I find it hard. Is it because I don't think I could ever connect with one on that level? Or rather is it because I simply lack experience and exposure to the whole gay culture itself?

I donno for sure... but my gut feeling tells me it's probably the lack of experience and exposure. Although, whatever it actually turns out to be for me is certainly not necessarily the same for you!

So, at this point in my life, I try not to sweat it. When it come to labels, I'm rather ambiguous... I'm definitely not straight, yet I don't consider myself a lesbian, and I don't really like all the stereotypes associated with the term "bisexual".

Even though I lack concern for a label, I used to find myself pondering much of the questions you have mentioned above. It's a real headache thinking like that all the time!! It consumes your life really..

In the end I came to the conclusion that I would never really know for sure. Instead, dropping all concern and simply going with the flow seemed like the best choice.

If I sleep with a girl, I sleep with a girl (which would be really nice right about now lol). If I sleep with a girl and got to know her, and like her... then I like her and we can take it from there!

And conversely, if I like a guy, I like guy. If I like a guy and sleep with a guy, and like sleeping with him... then apparently I was wrong and I in fact do like sleeping with men and we can then take it from there!

So don't panic!! A) go with the flow or B) somehow get out there and play around a bit!!

I agree with Jeff on going out and experiencing it first hand, then evaluate your findings.... however screw the whole 10 yrs! 10 yrs is to long a time lol more like anywhere from one month to 2 yrs, depending on how aggressive you are ;D ... if you're like me though, and totally not aggressive, then you may be bumming around a while.... SO! don't be like me, and do something!!

jeff's picture


I just like the sound of 10 years, but the whole idea is sort of bogus. Once you start living your life instead of just thinking about it, all this stuff tends to go away...

"People who are happy are slugs... They do not move the human race forward."
-- Camille Paglia, on Oasis

typicalmusician's picture

Unlike taste the rainbow, I

Unlike taste the rainbow, I kinda like the term "bisexual". It has shitty stereotypes associated with it, yes, but if you can get people to understand that it's unique, it can be great. You can be attracted to guys and girls in different ways, and that's how you define the term for yourself. Then there can be another woman who calls herself bi who has a completely different personal definition of the word, and if you talk about it you realize how different you are, but you have that common label and a surprising number of people will understand that you mean something unique by it. And people who stereotype will always stereotype, regardless of what you tell them and in what terms, so it doesn't really pay to live in fear of them.

And then someday you'll fall in love with someone, and you'll realize it when you can't get them off your mind and you want to spend all your time together...and regardless of how that manifests itself or with whom, it will be your way of falling in love, and you'll realize it along the way.


oldfoxbob's picture


Ok so you say ; "When I look at guys, I panic that I don’t like them the ‘correct’ way. If I see a guy I’m not attracted to, I’m worried that I should be attracted to him in the same way I am for women. I am hugely confused, because I feel overly aroused around women and panic that I’ve lost the emotional connection with guys. I don’t find guys visually erotic but definitely (used to) like the idea of being with them."
What is the problem here? You are no longer attracted to men sexually or erotically. You are to women. That is not a problem but rather a normal reaction to our body needs as we mature. All persons are at some time attracted to the same or opposite member of the sex's. Any one who tells you different is a lair. To some it happens when they are 7 years old, to others it happens when they are 50 years old, the point here is that its normal and it happens to all of us, and you are no different.
If you find a woman attractive and desirable then go for it. If it happens to be a man at the time then go for it then too. You need to realize that this is a normal process in humans and not something to be worried about. Some people will reject you and shun you when you do while others will welcome you with open arms. Again that also is human nature.
We don't always need the "emotional aspect" of a relationship in our lives, but we do need the sexual aspect in our lives. Simply having sex with a person does not call for a "Oh my gawd now I need to get married" type of response. It is simply a human need to be full filled and experimented with, explored, and experienced. Its normal once again.
Then when the right person, male or female, comes along that you both feel a need for a long term relationship with then you will know that those days of "fooling around and feeling your oats" is over and you settle down with them in harmony and love.
To be human is the only thing you need to worry about. To be normal for who you are is what life is all about, and by the sounds of your letter here, you are a normal human being starting to bud out into the beautiful flower that you will become.

Genius is not a sign of intelligence, but rather
that of common sense. Humor is the best pain pill.

tenmilestilts's picture

honestly, nothing any of us

honestly, nothing any of us say is going to make this confusion simply disappear. it took me a couple months to come to terms with the fact that i felt different about girls and guys, and the constant nagging idea that maybe i was simply straight, or simply lesbian, or whatever--and i'm only 16, so personal identity issues are kind of everyday for me. so i guess what i'm trying to say is, all the advice above *is* useful, but don't feel stupid or immature if it takes you a while to come to terms with this. honestly, i'm still not sure--a few things have happened recently that suddenly made me doubt, after all, my attraction to girls. but you do, over time, get used to the idea of not necessarily knowing exactly what your sexuality is. i totally relate to what you're saying about physical versus emotional attraction, and once again, it's not necessarily something you can reason through, or figure out. and "experimenting" is all well and good, but i know shoving yourself out there is hard, and if you don't have the confidence to do that, don't be too hard on yourself. okay?

...welcome to oasis, btw!
Two wrongs don't make a right but three lefts do!