How did you discover your sexuality?
I've been wondering how other people discovered they were bi, or gay, or pan, or ace, or straight, or anything else. You can tell stories of your first crush, how things just 'felt right', anything.
I (cis female) have had crushes over the years, male and female, but never pursued actually having sex with anyone. Finally the word "asexual" started becoming popular and I realized there was a category for me. I don't really bother with the endless sub-categories, but "ace" suits me fine. Never bothered "coming out" because it feels as if I'm not playing the game so I don't have to place myself on the board. If anyone asked I would tell them without embarrassment, but nobody ever asks!
At the age of 53 I feel confident that this is not a phase I'm going through. I'm pleased and amazed at the changes in society during my lifetime to reach the current level of acceptance for all, and I hope it continues to improve until discrimination is a thing of the past. It's kind of fun watching young people sort through this huge issue as it evolves, even if I roll my eyes sometimes when it gets over-complicated.
I'm glad to hear that you were able to find something that works for you!
With the trend of people adopting more and more complicated labels, I think they're just trying to find something that they can relate to. With the internet connecting us all and all this new vocabulary coming out, people are just searching for that perfect word. Sometimes it exists. Sometimes they make one. I don't see any fault in using new terminology, but I think people have to be willing to either explain them or fall back to an umbrella term.
Yes, I think we need a long period of hashing things out, and that will mean complications. Somehow, eventually, maybe there will be some agreement on categories, pronouns etc. I just like things simple. I roll my eyes at Starbucks orders too. Just give me a black coffee, please!
I find that at least for intensity/level of sexuality,
asexual --- gray asexual --- allosexualmakes an okay set of umbrella terms. Allosexual just means you are sexual, gray ace is that grey area between "Well I'm not exactly ace, but not really sexual like others..." If you organize all of the gray ace sexualities into that umbrella label, I find that there aren't too many 'odd' ones. Just varying degrees of specificity. Like polysexual (attracted to two or more genders) vs trisexual (attracted to three genders).
I have also just seen a bunch of people throw up their hands and say "I'm queer. There are no words."
I'm on the autism spectrum, and I was never diagnosed throughout my childhood and adolescence. As such, I never really fit in with people, so naturally I wanted to seek out an answer.
Among the different paths I took was that of questioning my sexuality. With the stereotypes surrounding gays, my own homophobia at the time, little details about my own life and interests, and remarks from my own family about small things like the way I ran, I began to wonder if maybe I was gay.
The story is unremarkable, though. I thought a lot about it, but ultimately determined that I was just weird, not gay. I just don't feel attracted to men in any way whatsoever.
And that's the anticlimactic story of how a straight guy determined that he is, indeed, straight.
Hey, there's nothing wrong with that. In my personal opinion, I think that everyone should do at least a teeny bit of soul searching when it comes to sexuality and gender. At least now you can say you know you're straight because you're straight, not because it's the 'default'.
As the male son of a pair of lesbians it was clear from before I had any awareness of my own sexuality that there were a bunch of ways people could be interested in each other, and my parents made it really clear to me that they'd still love me if I was straight.
Good thing, too, because I got a crush on the neighbor girl in the apartment upstairs when I was 12 and that was that. For having a fairly non-standard upbringing (or perhaps because of it) I ended up conforming very well to the societal standard in liberal areas of the west: Straight (but not so straight that I freak out if the balls touch during sex), cismale, dominant. Maybe if I hadn't felt the need to stand up for my upbringing and prove that children of lesbian couples were just like everyone else I might have explored further afield, but I always felt under the spotlight as I was growing up.
Seriously, why is anyone asking a five year old "What's it like having lesbians for parents?" How can the kid answer that? What do they have to do with their parents sexuality? What the hell?
Ugh, those are horrible questions to ask a kid. Not only because they get confused, but because they don't know any different. Having same sex parents is just like having any other set of parents. I'm in a polyamorous relationship myself, and I'm worried about when we have kids, since they'll likely get asked similar questions. "What's it like having three parents?!"
It is nice to see people that end up straight even when they have the option and encouragement to love anybody.
While I saw that there were other ways of loving people than society showed, I was born in the early eighties when the whole gay half of my parents social group had died of AIDS. Only one lived long enough for me to vaguely remember his passing, and that was in... '86? '87? As such my parents' whole social group was made up of lesbians, and so I'm not convinced that I saw the lovability of men. While they tried to find me male role models those men were people I would have had to start relationships with from scratch when I was too young and shy to really form new connections with adults so it never really took off. I've learned how to deal with men as an adult (amazingly, they're just like regular people!) but it's taken work to get to this point, and I still make friends with women far more easily than with men.
A pair of lesbians in my friends group recently had a baby girl and I shared my experience growing up with them. We're a mixed gender group, so the new girl will have more opportunities to learn how all sorts of people interact with each other. Hopefully we can do better than our parents did. What else is there to work for? :)
When I thought I was a cis girl in my teens, I would tell people I was bi. I thought women were beautiful, but I primarily sought after men. Then when I discovered what nonbinary was (and figured out that I was nonbinary), it felt like a world had opened up. See, I often listed my preferred partner as "A very feminine man or a very masculine woman." I later found that I am really attracted to enbies (NonBinary = NB = enby). I called myself pan for a couple years, but something always felt... off. Lately I've come to the realization that while I find women aesthetically pleasing (they're just all so pretty to look at), I don't really want to have sex with any.
So while technically my sexuality would be bisexual, I've taken to just calling myself gay. Bisexual is pretty much synonymous with pansexual at this point. This isn't a bad thing, as most bisexuals are attracted to every gender anyways, but it does mean that there isn't a good word for 'attracted to two genders' without implying you're attracted to all genders. I'm nonbinary (neutrois specifically, neutral gender), but lean towards the masculine side. And I like enbies (especially andro or masc presenting enbies) and men.
Nice to meet you, fellow enby :) I think it's quite normal and fine and valid to become your sexuality/gender, both in inner identification and behaviour in the society, as you grow. It's all part of the growth.
trans lesbian here. as a child I was very confused because when I saw girls and women I thought were really pretty I couldn't figure out whether I was really attracted to them or wanted to be them. And then one day, I thought...
I fell in love with my best friend, who drew beautiful beetles in the margins of her work, who write python and java like it was poetry, and smelled like sweet meadow flowers. Dreams about her pushing me down and kissing me, suppressing happy whimpers when she touched me. Lots of crushing down anything that felt "wrong", but not being able to ignore how it made me happier than anything ever had before.
And then she started dating a guy called Ryan, and I literally couldn't go into school the next day because the day she told me, he kissed her full on the mouth in front of me and I think a bit of my soul died. That was the point where I realised this wasn't friendship, this wasn't fake, this wasn't a phase, because phases don't hurt that much. We still spent time together but less. I know she didn't understand what was going on and it hurt her a little to feel like she was losing her best friend, but frankly I was losing the love of my short little life at that point so I kinda didn't care. I made a few new online friends, they built up my confidence and so when I went to university the next year, I ended up having the confidence to go to their queer students' club. From there, I properly accepted that I'm a lesbian, that it's OK, and that I'm allowed to be gay.
I'm dating two wonderful women right now, who smell of flowers and talk about science and art and who kiss me like they need me to breathe. I cannot imagine anything better than holding them tight and sleeping with us all in each others' arms.
This was really beautiful. While I'm sad that you went through that experience, I'm super happy that you realized that this (being lesbian and polyamorous) was something to be celebrated, not to be guilty for.
Bisexual cis-man here.
The usual "it's normal to find your buddies hot right? It's just that no one talks about it. Right?" + Finding porn involving multiple people where it just so happened that some of the men paired up and getting enticed by that.
In general I have a preference for women, but I've had relations with men and I enjoyed them
Reminds me of my gender discovery. "Nobody really feels like either gender.... right?" I hope you didn't get any negative responses to that question when you first asked it.
Oh, I actually was asking it to myself and ended up googling about the topic.
It took some 4 or 5 years for me to come out to my friends after I discovered it.
Haha, oh boy, that thing of people angrily saying nonbinary people are "making it up" etc, then a couple of months later coming out and going "...OK so I have since learned this is apparently not usual for people, and I might actually be trans. Well then". Humans really need to be reminded on a regular basis that how others feel is not necessarily the same as they themselves feel!
I tend to think of myself as non-binary, masculine-presenting, and submissive. To be honest, I'm 40 and I still don't know what my sexuality really is. All I know is that I like to be seduced by somebody I trust and feel safe with, and need a partner who can pull me out of my own head and remind me that I have a body, that I am capable of giving and receiving physical pleasure, and that skin hunger is real. So far, these partners have been women.
A lot of the time sexuality is discovered through porn or just thinking about what kind of partner you would want. Tons of bisexual people have only had sexual activities one gender, but still say that they find all genders attractive.
Besides, sexual attraction doesn't have to be tied to love (or even intimacy) for everyone. To a lot of people they are linked, but that isn't always the case.
I'm enby (non-binary). From pre-teen and teenage years I've always been prone to misgendering, which confused me a lot. Probably it was my voice pitch or the way I present my gestures, emotions, attitudes, etc. I felt rejected by both genders (we're a very conservative and close-minded society). So in the end, about one year ago, I decided that it was I that was OK, and I didn't need validation by the (often unnecessarily and oppressively) gendered and patriarchal society. I'm not reducible to a binary bit in either
1state. I don't want the externally graded masculine or feminine points in the gender ledger book. First of all I exist, and everything else comes after that. And I am the most intimate to the truth about myself.
Like @pamymaf I feel easier and more at home with enbies or any non-masc queer folk. I feel understood in their companion. The "masculine" masculine people are valid, too, but I feel there seems to be a great distance between our willingness to accept and understand each other.
After interacting with the furry community for about a year I realized I was gay. Was about 15 at the time.
You know how they say psychadelics "expand your mind"?
They weren't kidding.
It took coming out to myself as trans - or rather, realizing that there was a word for what I experienced - for my sexuality to start making sense, funnily enough.
I always knew I was attracted to women, but I couldn't conceive of being in a relationship with a woman, and thinking of myself as straight felt weird. At different points in my life I thought I was asexual, gay and jealous of women - despite no attraction to men whatsoever - or just "considerate", because I didn't want to subject anyone to my presence, let alone have them interact with me long-term.
But being a woman in a relationship with a woman - that just felt right, and things fell in their place. I was 21 when it happened.
I don't think there was a fixed point where I realised I was bisexual. I got introduced to the furry fandom when I was quite young (say, 13 or so?), and found myself attracted to the furry guys as much, if not more so, than the girls. That was before I knew what bisexuality was, but I was always comfortable with it and never really cared.
Being trans on the other hand (I'm MtF) was quite recent. I always was somewhat uncomfortable with having my hair cut and going outside with facial hair, but I never really knew why. Then it was anime and characters like Ferris from Re:Zero where I wanted to look like them but I'm cis right?.
Ever since I realised I'm trans I found my attraction to women be somewhat stronger, I suppose? Before it was more like "Yes I'm into that to some extent but guys are great", now it kinda feels like a pretty even split.
I have known I’m Something for 20+ years now and I’m still not totally sure! I think I am just a fluid person.