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know that the preddit sub of the same name would have you think that I'm joking. I for one am not a fan of the general discourse there. I do not believe that you can remain married, "in love" or attracted to ANY man at all whatsoever. Not "he's the ONLY one or else I'd totally be lesbian, lol!" Or "he's perfectly okay with me exploring my sexuality while we're still married, lol!" I'm looking for honest opinions though. I DO believe that there are lots of genuine lesbians out there who end up married with kids, only to figure themselves out later on, or those who simply end up in denial/are oblivious and date men since it's simply the easiest route. When the realization hits, though, there's no going back. I don't think it's always accurate to simply label such women as bisexual. I am also troubled by "comphet" and mostly disagree with it. I do agree with the general premise, which is that women are more pressured to pursue hetero relations even if they don't want to. But the whole comphet "community," just seems focused disingenuousness like the late bloomer community. "I have crushes on males but it's because of comphet" I cannot relate to any of that, because I have never had a single crush on a male. I have, however, dated males. Not because I was attracted to them. But because they were attracted to me. I was young and naive, and most importantly, I had extremely low, basically nonexistent self esteem. I had no friends and no support from my homophobic family. I was shamed from a young age for being gender non-conforming. I hid myself so deep in the closet I thought I could be their idea of "normal." I thought that companionship with a male was the better option compared to being alone. Now that I'm older I'm more comfortable in acknowledging the realization that I'm only attracted to women. I've dated men, and now I know for sure that a relationship with one is just not compatible for me. But there are people out there who think that I'm faking it, and that hurts, and I don't know how to make sense of my life. Like I have to prove myself to everyone. I don't feel I should have to prove myself, we all have different circumstances that cause us to make the decisions we do. It's even why I'm posting this in this sub rather than elsewhere, so as to to not put myself at risk of being ridiculed and rejected. I understand exclusivity is a necessity in today's climate, but to what end?

know that the preddit sub of the same name would have you think that I'm joking. I for one am not a fan of the general discourse there. I do not believe that you can remain married, "in love" or attracted to ANY man at all whatsoever. Not "he's the ONLY one or else I'd totally be lesbian, lol!" Or "he's perfectly okay with me exploring my sexuality while we're still married, lol!" I'm looking for honest opinions though. I DO believe that there are lots of genuine lesbians out there who end up married with kids, only to figure themselves out later on, or those who simply end up in denial/are oblivious and date men since it's simply the easiest route. When the realization hits, though, there's no going back. I don't think it's always accurate to simply label such women as bisexual. I am also troubled by "comphet" and mostly disagree with it. I do agree with the general premise, which is that women are more pressured to pursue hetero relations even if they don't want to. But the whole comphet "community," just seems focused disingenuousness like the late bloomer community. "I have crushes on males but it's because of comphet" I cannot relate to any of that, because I have never had a single crush on a male. I have, however, dated males. Not because I was attracted to them. But because they were attracted to me. I was young and naive, and most importantly, I had extremely low, basically nonexistent self esteem. I had no friends and no support from my homophobic family. I was shamed from a young age for being gender non-conforming. I hid myself so deep in the closet I thought I could be their idea of "normal." I thought that companionship with a male was the better option compared to being alone. Now that I'm older I'm more comfortable in acknowledging the realization that I'm only attracted to women. I've dated men, and now I know for sure that a relationship with one is just not compatible for me. But there are people out there who think that I'm faking it, and that hurts, and I don't know how to make sense of my life. Like I have to prove myself to everyone. I don't feel I should have to prove myself, we all have different circumstances that cause us to make the decisions we do. It's even why I'm posting this in this sub rather than elsewhere, so as to to not put myself at risk of being ridiculed and rejected. I understand exclusivity is a necessity in today's climate, but to what end?

45 comments

I ageee that "there are lots of genuine lesbians out there who end up married with kids, only to figure themselves out later on"

It doesn't matter how a woman finally figures it out, or what she felt (or thought she felt) in the past. But women need to he honest - with themselves, any potential women partners, and with lesbian community. If you (not you personally) still have any attraction to men, even if you don't intend to act upon it, that is not lesbian. That is bi and that's what you are.

[–] saint-noir 15 points Edited

I've always know since I could remember I wasn't into men, and never felt comfortable with even the thought of being with them. Later I heard the word "lesbian" found out what it meant and went "yeah that's me." Never been with men, when I got asked out by men I got so uncomfortable just told them "no," and avoided them.

I just don't really understand when a lot of late bloomers say they've never thought about it or even had any feelings for women until later. Never crossed your mind, ever? I think a lot of them are bi, but they're so focused on their new found attraction to women they don't considered other possibilities.

If they have male crushes, even if they're 95-98% women leaning they're still bi. Lesbians aren't attracted to men. But try telling them that. I wonder if they say this stuff around lesbians irl? [Edit] I have zero acceptance for the ""lesbians"" with an exception" they don't exist. They just want to change our word to include them, which would include male attraction. Having a crush or falling in love with a man isn't something a lesbian would do. I think most of them are aware of that which is why the cling to the stupid comphet "I can love and be attracted to men and still be a lesbian" concept made by a bisexual women (she admitted it later.) They're older women they should be able to grasp simple things like that. That comphet belief has damaged our community so much.

[–] OneOddBird 16 points Edited

I think that late bloomers definitely exist amongst the older generations. When women were forced to marry men to support themselves financially, in worlds where girls were taught to hate and fear their sexuality, I am sure many manyyyyy lesbian and bi women were married/perused by men and had no choice, only discovering their female attraction later. It’s still hard to be a lesbian but I feel lucky and privledged to have at least some societal viability in this country so I never felt pressured into dating or romance with men I had no attraction to. I think sometimes modern WLW forget what our foremothers went through and how they were often so divorced from their own sexualities by patriarchy that their true desires remained suppressed their entire lives

I’ll tell you my own story and I’ll tell you about the other late bloomers I believe to be lesbians and not just bisexual women with a strong lean toward women.

I grew up in an accepting family, raised by a single mother, with a lot of female relatives, and my only male friend is gay. I experienced a very early child sexual assault when I was 4 at the hands of a man.

My first kiss was with a girl. My first crushes were girls. I had a lot of anxiety and low self-esteem as a kid and teen. By high school any time one of my male friends took interest, my world became about them and I looked at sex as a way to keep them close to me. The first time I saw a male partner naked, I was disgusted. The first time I saw a penis, I was grossed out and gagged. I refused any sexual position where I had to look at my partner.

Still, this continued with me exclusively dating men who expressed interest in me, which I now believe was to validate my worth.

I acknowledged an attraction to women. At 23 I had a threesome with a friend. Over the next six months, I continued to see her without my boyfriend. I loved every minute of it. She was perfect. All I wanted to do was make her happy. I couldn’t take my eyes off her during sex. At this point I came out as bisexual cause I was clearly attracted to women.

I thought I liked men and women “differently.” Every person in my life was male-attracted and bitched about men. The little things that annoyed me in relationships with men were similar to their stories. They all acted like sex was a chore.

When I married a man, I avoided sex. We’d have months where we didn’t have sex and I was okay with that. Despite loving him dearly, despite him being a giving lover, despite him being my absolute best friend, I hated having sex with him. I hated the way he sounded, the way he looked, the way he moved. Like most of my relationships, it went south and we divorced.

After working through some of my trauma, I came to the conclusion that I may actually have never been attracted to men. More often than not, my response to seeing a man naked was disgust. I never actually enjoyed looking at them. I had to dissociate from the situation and focus on the sensation alone in order to orgasm. I think there’s a strong possibility I’m a lesbian.

I don’t call myself one. I’m honest with my partner that I don’t want to categorize myself. She knows how I felt. She knows about my trauma. She knows I intend to exclusively date women in the future. I’m not focused on the label. I stay out of the lesbian circle. Idk, I feel like I don’t belong.

My partner didn’t come out until she was 27 and divorced her ex-husband. Her story is different. She always knew she was a lesbian, but grew up in a very conservative Christian community and tried to ignore it. There are plenty of women in LBL spaces who knew they were lesbians and were in communities where it wasn’t safe to come out. She lost one entire side of her family for her decision to be true to herself.

Of the actual women in LBL spaces, there’s a combination of women who weren’t raised in communities where being gay was okay so they came out late to others but always knew they were gay, or there are women who are bisexual with strong leans toward women and who genuinely do not experience attraction toward men anymore, or there are women like me with a history of trauma who used sex with men for self-harm and validation. I believe women who always knew they were attracted to women and who always knew it was different than men.

What I absolutely CANNOT stand is TIMs in LBL spaces. They do not belong.

ETA- I don’t know if my personal journey has to do with trauma or just fluid bisexuality that’s shifted to a current state where I’m exclusively attracted to women, and I don’t care. I stopped trying to justify my past and I look toward my present and future. That’s why I feel I don’t really belong in lesbian spaces, but I feel included in WLW spaces. I don’t feel the need to justify who I’m with or try to define myself to make others feel better. I do resonate with a lot of what’s said in WLW spaces though.

Well let me just say I relate. The late bloomer community makes me feel alienated because I cannot relate at all with most of what's described. I've definitely never married a man, let alone come anywhere close. Never felt attracted either, in fact I used to come up with elaborate schemes to try to feel arousal from men in any form, did not work. But I did have a few relationships with men and I did have sex with them, because that was what I was "supposed" to do and, quite frankly, it was hard enough being as different as I was, so I was willing to do something I knew I did not want to do to feel normal for a minute.

But also I did not recognize my attraction to women. Fear, anxiety, deep self loathing? Yep. I remember being like ten years old and some older kids calling me an ugly dyke and I had no fucking clue what that meant but I knew I did not want to be that. Could not be that. That was not the first time, nor the last, but it sticks out as the first time I realized what other people hated me so much for was something I could also tell was true, and it terrified me. So down those feelings went, to be choked and beaten into submission for a few decades until I basically had a mental breakdown.

Anyway, to stop rambling - yes, I know what you mean. Lesbians who didn't have an experience like this don't get it and think you have to be full of shit. That unless you grew up in Saudi Arabia, if you ever did anything with a man you must be bi. And on the other side, you have that very vocal part of the late bloomer community who insist that they were or even still currently are genuinely attracted to a man, and it's like... How does that compute? Some denial maybe? But also surely some people who are definitely just bi. And there's nothing wrong with that!

At the end of the day I've just decided I don't give a shit. Being afraid of rejection is what got me here, I can't even be bothered to fear it anymore. I don't care what they think of me, I know my life and my own feelings and their opinions really do not matter. People have been telling me they know me better than I do for as long as I can remember, and not once has it had a positive impact on my life to listen to them, so fuck it, ban me, call me a fake, I know I'm not and that matters a hell of a lot more to me than anything else.

At the end of the day I've just decided I don't give a shit.

This is the answer right here! I’m firmly in this camp. People need to carry on with their lives. I would like all the navel gazing women who come to their attraction to other women circuitously to understand something. Whether you’re “technically” lesbian or bisexual is probably the least interesting thing about you so drop it and make something of your life.

"Whether you’re “technically” lesbian or bisexual is probably the least interesting thing about you so drop it and make something of your life."

We do need to establish a boundary between bi and lesbian, so as to not erase lesbians and let male attracted women into our word. It's why lesbians have to keep fighting against erasure, and say "lesbians aren't attracted to men" over and over again, even though it's obvious. If you have to say "technically" with regards to your sexual orientation you're probably bi. But yes I think most people are making themselves confused with their sexual orientation. Just say your questioning or not sure, and move on.

I think late bloomers are just bisexual. I’m bisexual and their experiences track with my own.

I think there's a distinction between "lesbians" who claim to be attracted to "one special guy" (girl you are not a lesbian, it's okay, this is why the concept of a Kinsey 5 exists) and lesbians who aren't repulsed by sex with men per se, but view it about as exciting as fucking a chair or other household object. "Just close your eyes and think of Hannah Hart..."

lesbians who aren't repulsed by sex with men per se

Lesbians can't escape lesbophobia and homophobia even in the "solidarity" Loving Women circle here. You aren't a lesbian, you're openly bi, don't project your own sexual orientation onto us.

It's absolutely awful that on the WLW there are women here just blatantly saying lesbians can be fine with having sex with men, and other women agreeing with it. We really can't escape it, no matter where we go "lesbians" being with men is brought up and supported in some way. Great "allies."

Yeah, I think this can be true. I never wanted to have sex with the one boyfriend I had, sometimes it would cross my mind that I might be a lesbian because I had previously been excited to sleep with girlfriends, but then I'd think "Nahh, a real lesbian would immediately projectile vomit when a man leaned in for a kiss. I'm able to grit my teeth and tolerate it, therefore I can't be a lesbian." Hopefully the younger crowd isn't wasting so much time on stuff like this, life is short!

I'm not sure any lesbian would be ok with having sex with men. They're not what we're attracted to, this just comes off has homophobic and what woke homophobes say.

I know almost no lesbians who are gold stars, is that the majority of your friend group? I'm not attracted to men and never have been, and I've certainly never said that people who are sexually attracted to men are lesbians.

I find that we usually get caught in the loop of feeling we have to prove ourselves to others when we haven’t truly proven ourselves to ourselves. Otherwise, why.

I think it’s possible for a woman to be completely caught up in “this is just how things are “and with homophobia not even allowing herself to question if she qualifies. I think if you’ve ever been genuinely attracted to men, found sexual pleasure with them, etc. through your own consent, then you’re bisexual, not a lesbian. It doesn’t matter if you’ve only had that desire pleasure one time and the rest of your life you sleep with women, you are bisexual. If you cannot say that in your past you were operating from a place of true consciousness and informed consent, then start at the place that you remember being fully conscious and capable of consenting. But be honest. Finding pleasure with men even if that pleasure is minimal and you were “just making the best of the situation “that’s still attraction or pleasure.

End of story, only you truly know. And you only you truly know if you’re being truthful with your self. And if you are being truthful with yourself, 100%, genuinely, you start not to care what others think. So maybe, just maybe, it’s worth exploring why you care.

I think it's totally possible to be a lesbian who isn't financially stable enough to leave her husband and care for her small kids on her own, but yeah, the people saying they still enjoy sex with him are definitely bi. Idk why so many people seem to have a problem admitting they're bi, what's wrong with being bi? You don't have to be 50/50 in your attraction, it's possible that you like women 95% of the time, but if you've experienced sexual attraction to a man, you're on the bi spectrum.

Re: comphet - I thought I might have a crush on a boy in middle school because I feared him a little less than the other boys. Then after experiences with girls in high school, it was obvious looking back that I never had any attraction to that boy. If that's what they mean, then fine, but comphet can't force you to feel genuine sexual attraction, that's on you.

I personally feel that only the women who had to be with men for safety reasons are lesbians. I know people are different and handle situations differently but I just cannot fathom being a lesbian and committing myself to months and years with a man. I can’t fathom waking up every day to one, constant sex with one (don’t even get me started on blow jobs) and having baby after baby with one if my life wasn’t in danger. That really sounds like torture to me. I think finding het relationships boring or being indifferent to one is different to actually being a lesbian and having zero interest on any level, no matter the circumstance.

I agree with you. I think many bisexuals don't really understand what homosexuality is.

Abuse is, unfortunately, not uncommon. It can make you do a lot of things that you wouldn't have otherwise.

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