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19 comments

No one should take this document seriously.

Comp het can’t make you attracted to men, real or fictional. It can only confuse you about what attraction is.

The vast majority of this document would make a bisexual or even straight woman think she’s a lesbian because men suck. Don’t do more harm to lesbians by spreading this thing around.

I realise the immediate reaction to this question may be to accuse me of lesbophpbia, but if I can just ask: what defines attraction?

I've read and heard many more accounts from lesbians who watched porn with only men, or dated men, or read gay erotica than accounts from lesbians who knew all along. I knew a lesbian writer who wrote erotica for every sexual orientation other than lesbians because it was "too personal". I've heard/read accounts from multiple detransitioners who describe projecting themselves onto gay males, and believing they were attacted to "other" males, despite later coming out as lesbians. In fact, there was just a post a little while ago about not doubting late in life lesbians.

So clearly, it's easy to be confused and not know who you want. This very document comes from a Twitter thread linked here by a lesbian who used to identify as bisexual (and I am inclined to believe her lesbian status based on the things said in said thread).

There are probably lots of lesbians who know early, and I am sincerely happy for them and hope there are even more as time goes on.

But my question at the beginning wasn't rhetorical; what defines attraction? Is it possible to be attracted to the social power of a man without being attracted to the man? Does attraction to women look the same for women as it does for men, because in my experience, it doesn't.

There are a bunch of other barriers to understanding too, for women who haven't even considered that they might be attracted to women; that tumblr sexuality about "aesthetic attraction" comes to mind.

I understand this is a sensitive topic, in a climate where the mainstream is trying to define lesbians out of existence, but I think the truly harmful approach would be dismiss these questions out of hand. Because otherwise, a lot of genuine lesbians could be left living lives that make them miserable.

[–] Constantine 7 points Edited

I’m not dismissing these questions out of hand, and I’m still struggling with them myself if you look at my comment history.

But the fact remains that this document is incredibly harmful to lesbians, and spreading it around will only cause more confusion for young women, no matter their sexual orientation. There’s a far cry between “these are difficult questions” and “these are difficult questions, so call yourself a lesbian no matter what reality is if you want, and words have no meanings and comp het can make you literally attracted to men and wave away all kinds of sexual feelings,” which is exactly what this document does.

I don’t appreciate the implication that critiquing this document, which if you know anything about it you know it’s the origin of “bi lesbians” in my generation, means that I think these are easy questions and women can’t realize their sexual orientation later in life. Of course they can. But that’s not what this is, and any understanding of what the document says and its history should illuminate that.

Edit: I should add that finding this document last year set me back about eight months in my understanding of my own sexual orientation, and in all likelihood I’m actually homosexual.

Edit 2: I don’t feel comfortable trying to answer your question as I’m still struggling with it myself, but I posted the same question on someone else’s thread on this circle a couple of weeks ago and got a range of interesting answers if you want to look. I believe the thread was about a woman complaining about her bi friends.

This is my question too. I have had intense romantic obsessions with men. I have NEVER wanted a penis anywhere near me or even to see one. I have tolerated it and gritted my teeth through it as a favor or, more realistically, as the price of admission to be with the man I liked romantically. I identify as bisexual but I don’t think I’m genuinely sexually attracted to men. But no one around here buys into the split attraction model. What the hell is going on??

[–] [Deleted] 15 points Edited

it's way more important to ask yourself if you can be truthfully happy with a man than if you’re attracted to them.

If being in relationships with men isn’t appealing to you, if you can’t truly see yourself ending up happy in relationships with men, or if your attraction to men makes you uncomfortable, you may be a lesbian.

All these things apply, and I am attracted to (some) men. Ergo, I am bisexual. Just one that isn't interested in a relationship with a man, and frankly grossed out by the majority of them. It happens, doesn't make me lesbian. Attraction is like the whole point of the sexuality thing.

Sorry for all the confused young girls this will further confuse.

[–] tymps 11 points Edited

Honestly I hate this document. All it's done is encourage a lot of non-lesbian women to call themselves lesbians.

and trans identified men. I donno how, but a lot of them say it made them realize.

I dunno, as a lesbian I’ve never ‘crushed’ on fictional men either.

Anybody else?

Nope, neither real nor fictional men.

Yeah, I never have either. Girls and women all the way through university would pester me about it trying to find what famous dudes I thought were attractive and never seemed to understand "none of the above" as an answer.

I have a visceral hatred for various actors and singers through no real fault of their own but I'm just sick of being shown the dude's gross face and asked if it is hot lol.

I can relate. A few years ago we went to a women's event during pride. Off course there were a couple of men there (eye roll), and they keep freaking dancing in front of us in a "oh look at me, I'm a cute male" kinda way. So off-putting! I gave them a death stare and loudly mentioned how irritating it is to have men obstruct our otherwise beautiful view. They quickly got the message and went looking for attention elsewhere.

I am sort of struggling with my sexuality right now (am I a lesbian or bisexual?). While the temptation to say "bisexual" and be done with it is there, it doesn't seem right because the idea of having sex with a man kind of makes me want to puke. But I sometimes want to be seen with a man, make my mom proud, relate to the dominant culture, and so on. I like fictional men, but if they were real, I'd never want to touch them.

So I can't say for sure if this is a lesbian experience, but it does make me feel less alone.

Oh hello, me! I just signed up for sex therapy. Hopefully it will help but considering how hard it was to get a therapy and how being libfem is basically required to keep a job where I live, it probably won’t!

[–] Rvy 8 points

Ok, this may sound weird, but I could picture myself in a romantic/sexual relationship with a dude if I were born a male. However, the thought of getting fucked by a man, especially as a woman, makes me wanna vomit. Straight sex has always seemed extremely degrading/dehumanising to me. I also find penises to be extremely gross, but maybe if I had one since birth that wouldn't be the case. There was a period in my life when I thought I was asexual, I also considered being a "gay" ftm. But then I realised I relate to a lot of American lesbians who talk about their relationships and I do find them attractive, so now I'm thinking I may actually be a lesbian. But I honestly don't know for sure. Being raised in a catholic, conservative country doesn't help. The fact that I was bullied by women for not being feminine enough through the entirety of my life doesn't help either.

[–] proudcatlady 1 points Edited

Hi this is almost my exact life story except for the bullying and I was raised Protestant evangelical, not Catholic. I am so sexually confused I signed up for sex therapy to see if that will help. Do you have romantic feelings for men? I can’t tell if this confusion comes from porn and porn culture (hence the fact that people my age at least never had a chance to se hetero sex as anything but degrading and humiliating for females and a power trip for males), evangelical Christian culture, or genuine homosexuality.

Oh and do you enjoy kissing men? I’ve seen kissing and making out as questions on Kinsey scale quizzes but I don’t really find kissing very sexual, much more romantic. So I like kissing a lot but hate how it always ends up with a dick I have to deal with.

Every sign I read has nothing to do with lesbianism... I don't think they are lesbians, and I am saying this as a bisexual woman, many of the "comphet signs" sound like regular attraction to me. And clearly lesbians aren't attracted to men.

I just found it, and already crushing weight on my heart has eased. "Oh, this is what compulsory heterosexuality is."

It's not a perfect document- it has some trans nonsense- but overall a good read.