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.

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??