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I thought I was a lesbian for a few years, until pretty recently.

I was never interested in boys growing up but frequently had crushes on girls, and when I finally did get a bf in high school I felt so uncomfortable that I broke up with him after a little while and came out as a lesbian. I had come out to a few people as bisexual previously but that was before I ever dated a man. When coming out as lesbian I did doubt myself a little bit and wondered if really wasn't attracted to any men at all or if it was just my bf that wasn't a good fit for me, but I thought that was probably just my anxieties and the pressure on me to be heterosexual like everyone else I knew. I did try going on dates with men I met on dating apps but I felt just as uncomfortable with them.

While I never really liked men as people to begin with, when I got into radical feminism, I started actively wanting to avoid them as much as possible. So I was really relieved that I only liked women and there would be no chance I would ever end up with a man. I would never have to live out the nightmare of marriage and having kids with a man. As a kid I always said I didn't want to get married, and would tell my mom and dad that if I did have to get married, my husband would have to sleep in a different room. It was a relief to find out that the reason for all that dread was just that I wasn't actually attracted to men.

But now, after about two years after coming out as a lesbian, I'm realizing that I think I am attracted to some men. Because of covid and living in a really rural area, I don't get out much, so it has been really easy not to have to think about my sexuality that much.

There was a TV show that I started watching and there was something about the lead guy that I just couldn't look away from. I went down a rabbit hole of interviews with him on YouTube and at some point, I realized what I was experiencing was attraction. It was the same as how I felt about so many female celebrities I've been interested in but I didn't want to admit it to myself. And when I admitted that to myself, I realized I've had a few of these fascinations with men in movies or shows before. I was just suppressing them. It's always been a very specific kind of guy, too: dark (usually long) hair, kind of feminine (like wearing eyeliner) or at least sensitive somehow. I think because that kind of guy is relatively rare it was easier to ignore.

So I guess I'm bisexual with a strong preference for women, and it makes me really angry with myself. I want to feel immune to men (I would love to live as a separatist someday) but admitting I'm attracted to some of them makes me feel like some of my power has been taken away. I also am embarrassed that I now have to re-label myself as bisexual and sad that I have to withdraw from lesbian spaces where I found support and made friends. I feel like I somehow betrayed those women, even though I didn't realize it myself. I just feel like I should have known, should have figured it out sooner.

And I'm dreading telling my parents who have always hoped that my attraction to women was just some sort of phase. When I first came out to my dad as bi years ago, he asked me if I could at least try to find a man instead of a woman.

I just feel like I've failed somehow. And like I'm broken. I've never had a healthy romantic relationship and at least I was able to explain away my ex-bf by telling myself I just wasn't attracted to him, but if that wasn't the case, then I don't know what's wrong with me.

Has anyone else been through something like this? How do I deal with it?

I thought I *was* a lesbian for a few years, until pretty recently. I was never interested in boys growing up but frequently had crushes on girls, and when I finally did get a bf in high school I felt so uncomfortable that I broke up with him after a little while and came out as a lesbian. I had come out to a few people as bisexual previously but that was before I ever dated a man. When coming out as lesbian I did doubt myself a little bit and wondered if really wasn't attracted to any men at all or if it was just my bf that wasn't a good fit for me, but I thought that was probably just my anxieties and the pressure on me to be heterosexual like everyone else I knew. I did try going on dates with men I met on dating apps but I felt just as uncomfortable with them. While I never really liked men as people to begin with, when I got into radical feminism, I started actively wanting to avoid them as much as possible. So I was really relieved that I only liked women and there would be no chance I would ever end up with a man. I would never have to live out the nightmare of marriage and having kids with a man. As a kid I always said I didn't want to get married, and would tell my mom and dad that if I did have to get married, my husband would have to sleep in a different room. It was a relief to find out that the reason for all that dread was just that I wasn't actually attracted to men. But now, after about two years after coming out as a lesbian, I'm realizing that I think I am attracted to some men. Because of covid and living in a really rural area, I don't get out much, so it has been really easy not to have to think about my sexuality that much. There was a TV show that I started watching and there was something about the lead guy that I just couldn't look away from. I went down a rabbit hole of interviews with him on YouTube and at some point, I realized what I was experiencing was attraction. It was the same as how I felt about so many female celebrities I've been interested in but I didn't want to admit it to myself. And when I admitted that to myself, I realized I've had a few of these fascinations with men in movies or shows before. I was just suppressing them. It's always been a very specific kind of guy, too: dark (usually long) hair, kind of feminine (like wearing eyeliner) or at least sensitive somehow. I think because that kind of guy is relatively rare it was easier to ignore. So I guess I'm bisexual with a strong preference for women, and it makes me really angry with myself. I want to feel immune to men (I would love to live as a separatist someday) but admitting I'm attracted to some of them makes me feel like some of my power has been taken away. I also am embarrassed that I now have to re-label myself as bisexual and sad that I have to withdraw from lesbian spaces where I found support and made friends. I feel like I somehow betrayed those women, even though I didn't realize it myself. I just feel like I should have known, should have figured it out sooner. And I'm dreading telling my parents who have always hoped that my attraction to women was just some sort of phase. When I first came out to my dad as bi years ago, he asked me if I could at least try to find a man instead of a woman. I just feel like I've failed somehow. And like I'm broken. I've never had a healthy romantic relationship and at least I was able to explain away my ex-bf by telling myself I just wasn't attracted to him, but if that wasn't the case, then I don't know what's wrong with me. Has anyone else been through something like this? How do I deal with it?

27 comments

There's nothing wrong with being bi. No reason to be mad or angry. You are whatever you are and it's totally fine.

Attraction is an involuntary thing, you shouldn't hate yourself for that. I know I've been attracted to people I disliked, and of course it bothers, but having attraction for someone does not mean you have to act on it. If someone is sexy but also an idiot, it's just not worth it.

Also, you don't own an explanation to anyone. A lot of bisexual people are not out, and that's a choice. People assume I'm straight all the time, and I often don't bother correcting them because it's none of their business anyway, or sometimes it's just to protect myself. You have your own reasons. You can continue dating only women, and no one needs to know about other attractions. If in the future you start dating a man, it sounds like a future you problem.

I am also bisexual and actively choose to only date women. It seems like telling your parents will only lead to them pressuring you to be with a man. You aren't obligated to tell them.

[–] Amareldys 20 points Edited

Why do you have to tell your parents? Unless you have a serious boyfriend who you're going to invite to family functions I don't know why they need to know. If it's important for you to tell them bring it up casually, like maybe while watching the show mention how hot the actor is or something.

I'm just not good at keeping things from them. And sometimes my mom will directly reference my sexuality, saying things like, "with you being a lesbian..." and I just wouldn't feel right nodding along. But yes, I could do what you suggested.

You don't need to keep it from them, per se. Just ask yourself if there's the need to make a big pronouncement.

Like others have said, there is no shame in being bisexual. Your sexual orientation is something that cannot change. I think you just need some time, and don't obsess over it.

Just because you are bi doesn't mean you have to date a man. You can be extremely picky! Only date a man who fits all of your criteria.

I am bi, and happily married to a man, and we have 2 daughters together. My husband is the only man I dated. It just happened to work out this way! If my husband was a woman instead, I would have married her too lol.

Anyway, I think you should try not to overthink this. Just go with the flow, and be proud that you are taking the time to understand yourself.

You are being way too hard on yourself. You haven't failed, you're not broken, please don't think that. There is no wrong or right way to be gay! You don't have to label yourself, just be your gorgeous gay self in a way that is right for YOU. And it's ok to like and be friends with men - there actually are some nice ones out there, they're not all bad.

I can relate to "never have to live out the nightmare of marriage and having kids with a man". When I was a kid the thought of that absolutely terrified me, despite being brought up by 2 wonderful loving parents who've just celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. It wasn't helped that in primary school sex ed we were shown a very graphic video of a woman giving birth. Oh god it was terrifying and traumatic - full frontal, lots of blood, totally inappropriate for young kids. I hope who ever thought that was a good idea is no longer teaching sex ed.

Anyway, even younger than that I "wasn't like the other girls" and I suppressed the gay for years and years. Because even though I'd rejected the happy homemaker wife role, I didn't have any lesbian role models growing up. Didn't even really know what a lesbian was, for a long time, I just knew that I wanted to be with girls/women. I've had unhappy and unhealthy relationships with men. It took me a stupidly long time (for someone who considers herself a bit intelligent) to realise that I was picking wildly inappropriate men (thus subconsciously sabotaging the relationship from the outset) and that I never had sex with a man without being drunk. Yep, pretty fucking sad.

So I've gone through lots of phases of "i've had sex with men, i can't be a lesbian", "i've had sex with women, maybe I'm bi"?, "maybe it's just easier to say I'm straight and just stay single". But there comes a time where you can't lie to yourself any more and you need to accept yourself and know your truth AND your worth. I'm a lesbian. I occasionally find a man attractive - there are some pretty people out there in the world and it's ok to go, "Gee he's a spunk" and not be less gay for thinking it. I do not want to see his bits, or have sex with him, but he has a nice face.

Also, don't underestimate the impact of covid. Covid and lockdown (I'm in Melbourne Aus, currently going through lockdown 4) has left me so deprived of human contact that I'm crushing on all types of tv characters. I think it's something to do with finding comfort in a familiar character when you're spending a lot of time alone. Not sure where you are, but the continued lockdowns have left people here feeling a bit traumatised.

I'm surprised no one has asked which TV show! Is it The Last Kingdom? There are some dead set spunks of both sexes in that show!

Anyway, long digressions, sorry. I guess the point I was clumsily trying to make is, it's okay to be you and feel the way you feel. I can't speak for all the sisters, but I don't feel let down by you finding a man attractive!

With regard to never having had a healthy romantic relationship - it might be because you were dating guys, but may I suggest thinking about working through that with a therapist?

Wishing you all the best. Please don't be hard on yourself. Feel free to message me x

[–] coraline [OP] 3 points Edited

Also, don't underestimate the impact of covid. Covid and lockdown (I'm in Melbourne Aus, currently going through lockdown 4) has left me so deprived of human contact that I'm crushing on all types of tv characters. I think it's something to do with finding comfort in a familiar character when you're spending a lot of time alone. Not sure where you are, but the continued lockdowns have left people here feeling a bit traumatised.

This could be part of it, but because of how my life has worked out so far, isolation is more normal for me than being around people, even without covid. Not a lot really changed for me when lockdowns started. I haven't had friends for 2 years and didn't have friends for another few years before that. It's just kind of me and my immediate family and some online friends. It's really hard.

I'm surprised no one has asked which TV show! Is it The Last Kingdom? There are some dead set spunks of both sexes in that show!

What does spunk mean? I've never heard that before. I'm guessing that's an Australian thing? The show was Shadow and Bone, by the way. I was talking about Ben Barnes, and it was when I was looking up his roles as Prince Caspian and Dorian Gray where I started to think "oh shit." Something about the long hair and his eyes. And in interviews, he comes across as very well-read and like he actually respects women. A few others would be the singer Tamino, Harry Styles (but only with long hair because he looks uncannily like my ex with short hair), Robert Sheehan, Colin O'Donoghue as Captain Hook, and Damiano David.

On the Kinsey scale, I'm probably a 5 - predominantly homosexual, barely heterosexual. The reality is - I'm mostly attracted to women and gay men. I gave up on men entirely because no one I was attracted to was interested back, and have only dated women. That was also a challenge - because as a woman, and experiencing so much unwanted sexual harassment from men, I didn't want to put women in that scenario of having to reject my advances either.

I ended up on Tinder.

It's a whole different ball game when you get to choose who YOU are attracted to, and cut all the others out. So despite it's horrible reputation - Tinder worked for me. I said "no" to 99.9% of the individuals on it, and matched with less than 5 people. But they were high quality 5 people.

And... one of them was a guy. And, we hit it off. So, I've had to go through the shock with my family and friends of "you're dating... a guy!?" I understand where you're coming from.

The thing is - women get so much pressure to apologize to men for not being attracted to them. That's based on the attitude that women are a resource - men choose which one they want - rather then the idea of relationships being about partners - two people choosing to be together. That's what I have had to learn: You have to be attracted to your partner. Not just like them and think they are a person you like to hang around. But actually be attracted to them.

I think there is way too much pressure on teenagers to label themselves now. I know a lot of older women in happy relationships are on their second relationship, where they got married older and knew more about themselves and what they need and want in life.

Echoing the other commenters, there is nothing wrong at all with being bi ! And there is no reason you couldn't just choose to only pursue relationships with women if that is the type of life that you'd prefer.

I'll just add that it's possible to be attracted to someone on a superficial level (e.g., you saw him on TV and think he's pretty or captivating in some other way) but still not consider him a potential sex partner. Straight women do this all the time with beautiful women they claim they would "go gay for" but then they get grossed out by the thought of someone else's vagina. Even gay guys can be fascinated by beautiful women they see.

So maybe try a thought experiment: imagine this guy is your boyfriend, and you start fooling around with him - what reaction do you have at the idea of actually having sex with him? Is that something you could fantasize about? If so, then congrats on being at least somewhat bi. If not, maybe this is just a superficial infatuation.

As a lesbian, don't worry, I don't think of you as broken or weird in any way. Thanks for being so honest and sharing your story. Own it! Be proud of who you are.

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