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I'm putting this in loving women because I'm hoping for some advice/new perspectives. This post will talk about men, please don't be offended but I'm really at struggling here.

I don't know if I'm bisexual or lesbian,and that makes me feel lost.

Quick backstory: grew up a total tomboy, always very non conforming in my appearance and hobbies. I was bullied about being a lesbian and I think that's why I didn't admit to myself I was attracted to women until I literally had my (now ex) ask me out on a date at age 25. I had "dated" boys in highschool but could never bring myself to have sex with any of my crushes. I didn't lose my virginity until 21(tried a new medication that made me manic and horny, I would take it back if I could). I have only been with men 3 times total, with 2 different men. Each time I felt nothing but dissapointment,maybe because the men I chose only wanted to fuck and I didn't actually like them.

When I met my (now ex) I felt something I never thought of could feel. I was in love. The colours of the world were brighter, love was worth sharing. It was amazing. We were together for 8 months, but broke up amicably. Our personalities just weren't similar enough for a long term haul, but I'm happy for every memory none the less. I realized that I had all this internalized misogyny that had kept me from opening myself up to a real relationship with another woman. I say this is misogyny an not homophobia because I was thinking about women the way men do. That if I wasn't the best most amazing person no woman could ever love me. I know differently now.

Now, onto my problem. I think I'm physically? attracted to men, but not intellectually?maybe I don't know how to put it. Like, I like looking at men. I like seeing muscles and hairy arms and beards, all that "otherness" that men have. But I don't actually want to touch them. I don't want to have sex with them. I don't want to have a child with one. Like, just the idea that most men would rape an animal or a child just to get his rocks off makes my stomach turn.

I do have some mental issues, and I don't know if my issues with sex are related to that or if I'm just lesbian and still trying to get over my internalized homophobia. 'm feeling stuck and confused. Please give any words of wisdom, I don't have anyone to talk about this with.

Maybe I just need to hear it's ok to be lesbian. I don't know.

Edit: so I'm feeling really grateful for everyone's responses. Everyone has given me a lot to think about and it's clear that I need to do some self reflection. much love to all of you, thank you ❤️ this community means a lot to me.

I'm putting this in loving women because I'm hoping for some advice/new perspectives. This post will talk about men, please don't be offended but I'm really at struggling here. I don't know if I'm bisexual or lesbian,and that makes me feel lost. Quick backstory: grew up a total tomboy, always very non conforming in my appearance and hobbies. I was bullied about being a lesbian and I think that's why I didn't admit to myself I was attracted to women until I literally had my (now ex) ask me out on a date at age 25. I had "dated" boys in highschool but could never bring myself to have sex with any of my crushes. I didn't lose my virginity until 21(tried a new medication that made me manic and horny, I would take it back if I could). I have only been with men 3 times total, with 2 different men. Each time I felt nothing but dissapointment,maybe because the men I chose only wanted to fuck and I didn't actually like them. When I met my (now ex) I felt something I never thought of could feel. I was in love. The colours of the world were brighter, love was worth sharing. It was amazing. We were together for 8 months, but broke up amicably. Our personalities just weren't similar enough for a long term haul, but I'm happy for every memory none the less. I realized that I had all this internalized misogyny that had kept me from opening myself up to a real relationship with another woman. I say this is misogyny an not homophobia because I was thinking about women the way men do. That if I wasn't the best most amazing person no woman could ever love me. I know differently now. Now, onto my problem. I think I'm physically? attracted to men, but not intellectually?maybe I don't know how to put it. Like, I like looking at men. I like seeing muscles and hairy arms and beards, all that "otherness" that men have. But I don't actually want to touch them. I don't want to have sex with them. I don't want to have a child with one. Like, just the idea that most men would rape an animal or a child just to get his rocks off makes my stomach turn. I do have some mental issues, and I don't know if my issues with sex are related to that or if I'm just lesbian and still trying to get over my internalized homophobia. 'm feeling stuck and confused. Please give any words of wisdom, I don't have anyone to talk about this with. Maybe I just need to hear it's ok to be lesbian. I don't know. Edit: so I'm feeling really grateful for everyone's responses. Everyone has given me a lot to think about and it's clear that I need to do some self reflection. much love to all of you, thank you ❤️ this community means a lot to me.

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23 comments

[–] fae 15 points Edited

I like looking at men. I like seeing muscles and hairy arms and beards, all that "otherness" that men have.

Then it sounds like you're not a lesbian, if you're actually into men physically. There are plenty of febfems (female-exclusive bisexual females, iirc?) out there though, whether they just have a preference for women or refrain from dating men out of self-preservation (sounds smart to me, lol).

The fact that even straight women are just expected to be miserable, unsatisfied, and not actually attracted to the men they partner with made me so confused before I understood that I'm a lesbian. The fact that men are generally awful doesn't help matters for women who are attracted to them– like you mentioned, the thing that makes you not want to be with men is that you immediately think of their depravity.

Of course, it could be the infamous "compulsory heterosexuality" getting to you; but in my experience of confusion, I always knew I wasn't attracted to men, just unsure whether that wasn't always the case, since the media and the world at large seemed to agree with me that women are attractive and men aren't. I'd advise you to just pursue whoever you like and go with the flow, sometimes these things take time (honestly, I'd just go for women if I were you, since that's what you're sure of).

Editing to add– this tumblr post might give you some food for thought.

Yeah I get what you are saying about the compulsory bit. I'm definitely taking my time with it, lots to think about. Before I admitted to myself that I like women I thought I was asexual because I didn't seem to crave sex at all compared to other women.

[+] [Deleted] 9 points

I am only one lesbian but I can say that I haven't ever liked looking at men that way, I find them gross and off-putting. It could be that you are bi but unless you came across the very best possible male ally to women you wouldn't enjoy being with them, or in other words you are unattracted to sexist pigs which is 99.99% of men? I can't say what you like about looking at men so it's just a suggestion.

Either way, I did want to say that febfems are really great too so whatever your orientation ends up being, don't feel obligated to give men any attention if you aren't interested. Maybe that would help you take some of the pressure off? You know you're interested in dating women, you are free to just pursue the life you want and give yourself time on the other stuff.

I guess I like masculinity? Muscles, roughness (in appearance, not personality), no make-up, that sort of thing. I'm into fitness so maybe I'm confusing appreciating the human form with sexual attraction? Idk. I've never heard the term febfem before, this is why I'm so glad I posted here.

I like that type of fitness or "masculinity" in women a lot too lol, more than the performatively feminine look for sure. I can look at a man with a body type not too far removed from mine and be like aw man wish I had that much muscle, but still think that he looks gross overall, like his shape looks "wrong" compared to a muscular woman and I wouldn't put a photo of him on my blog or want to look at his face.. photos of men trying to look sexy make me feel kinda nauseous.. if that helps any? Sorry if I'm just rambling lol.

And yeah, febfem was coined by the bi women of radblr and it just stands for Female Exclusive Bisexual Female, or a woman who could be attracted to men, or maybe only if she met the absolute perfect one, but isn't interested in them for maybe political or personal reasons and chooses to only pursue women. They come up with cute flags and stuff like that, although I know lots of us are burned out by the proliferation of unnecessary pride flags, but choosing women when you're the orientation that can choose is a damn good thing to be proud of in my opinion.

I think it can be helpful to focus less on identity and more on behavior. Do you plan to date/sleep with men? It sounds like no. With women? Given your positive past experience, that seems more likely. Regardless of your identity, you can always choose to be with women instead of men. The details of the why may be less important than the what.

That's a good point, a rose is a rose by any another name...I suppose :-)

[–] Carrots90 4 points Edited

I know a lot of straight women that love to look at women their bodies admire the curves are femininity but they just don’t want to touch them.

Kind of sounds like you may have the gay version of that?

In this time of compulsory heterosexuality, I would assume having had three disappointing sexual encounters with men would kind of indicate being gay

I’m not sure. I don’t even know what to call myself either. I am married to a man but find myself w some lesbian fantasies.

I’ve never sexually fantasized about a person I know but haven’t dated, male or female. I’ve always felt like it would be rude if they knew, LOL

I don’t feel horny for another person unless I know they’re horny for me. I don’t know if it’s not wanting to be creepy or if it’s inhibition. Or perhaps I’m that ‘demi-sexual’ I find a funny term

I never thought of it that way,having the gay version of whatever you call that lol. I've looked into demi sexuality, trying to explain my attractions but I don't know if it fits for me. I used to think they were just lesbian fantasies until I met my ex, then I knew it was real haha.

Most men wouldn't rape an animal or child. The problem is, it's hard to know which would.

Don't date people you don't like. You don't need to be madly in love on the first date but you should at least LIKE them.

It's ok to be a lesbian. It's ok to be bi. It's ok to be straight.

Thanks friend. I don't know why this is so hard for me to deal with.

I can relate to how the confusion (I hate that word in this context but you know what I mean!) of trying to figure out if you’re a lesbian or bi, I eventually realised I was bi.

So although I genuinely understand how important it is for you to figure it out, I think you should focus on your mental health first. No one needs a label from you (I hope!), and if it’s important for you to label yourself, that will come in time. But having mental health issues is tough, and you deserve to get help and support for that. I think maybe once you do, it will make the rest easier.

Also, keep talking it through, you’ve got us here, and I know how much it can help to figure things out just by talking about it.

Thank you for your kind words :-) I have been taking my mental health more seriously for the past couple of years, and it has indeed improved. That's a big part of why I'm not actively looking for a partner right now. If I end up with someone I want to be the best version of myself for them, but mostly for me lol. I take medication and its improved a lot. I really appreciate this community.

[–] Future 1 points Edited

You’re welcome :-) I’m sorry I made it sound as if you’ve not been doing that already, I should have said, “keep focusing on your mental health”.

I totally get that, it’s such a positive thing to do, and it’s wonderful to hear things are improving, I’ve had mental health problems myself and I know what a big deal that is.

It’s okay to be a lesbian! And it’s okay to not know what your sexuality is right away. A lot of women struggle with this and you’re not alone. Hell, I’m sure you’ll probably find a few other stories that match yours just in this circle!

Sounds more like you’re a lesbian to me, but it’s okay if it takes time for you to figure out. There is no rush, and there is no wrong way.

Perhaps the Kinsey Scale test will also help you. Some people criticize it, but I think it’s a good jumping off point.

Good luck!

Thank you, I have heard of the Kinsey scale but I've never actually taken the test myself. I will check it out now.