I'm 21, mostly lesbian, and kind of insecure. It's very rare that I can attract a girl, and so I "settle" for (and encourage) male attention to feel better about myself. Tell me how to stop.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (16 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
I've been out (as bi, and to my social circle as mostly lesbian) since I was 18, so that's not an issue. But I'm still probably dealing with some internalized homophobia. When I pick up on something that indicates that a girl I'm attracted to wouldn't consider me as a girlfriend, especially for male-related reasons, I don't just feel disappointed. I feel gross. Not like I've been perving on her per se, but like her heterosexuality or Kinsey 1-dom or coupledom with a guy makes her out of my league as opposed to merely unavailable. Probably relevant information: I've only ever had one girlfriend, and she essentially left me for a guy.
Right now, I'm friends with benefits with a guy, M. He knows about my orientation, and has explicitly said that he has no romantic interest in me and is 100% OK with me "experimenting" with him. Also, he probably wants his ex back. I still feel like maybe I should end it though. Originally we just made out, but now I've gone down on him a couple of times. The first time, I was extremely drunk and a little bit curious. The second time, I was sober, and wanted to get his approval, feel attractive, and prove to myself that I didn't regret the first time. The thought of him reciprocating (like he's offered) or having PIV sex with him kind of fills me with dread.
Usually M hangs out with me and most of the rest of our friends on weekends. Everyone gets drunk, and he and I direct most of our attention at each other. This weekend, though, he stayed back and I went without him. I got high for the first time in a while, and without M there, I didn't have anyone to comfortably talk to or focus on. Everyone else was paired up. The girl to whom I casually lost my virginity (not my ex) was there, and while I knew she was mostly paying attention to her boyfriend, I was positive that when she was paying attention to me, she was watching me being all awkward and self-conscious, and internally rolling her eyes. (No, I don't have a crush on her. That makes this even sadder.)
So, back to M. I really, really liked him as a friend before we started making out. The first few times we made out, I actually enjoyed it (not as much as making out with a girl, but still). But now I don't enjoy it so much. I don't hang out with him as much as I used to because usually when we do, I can tell he's hoping for a BJ or "real" sex, and in my worst moments this makes me feel objectified, and like he thinks I'm stupid when not-so-subtly brushes off my suggestions of non-sexual activities. When he tells me how sexy or pretty or soft I am, I actually sometimes resent it. Like, "how come you get to enjoy this more than I do?" I know, I'm horrible. Most of the time I don't feel that way; I feel a mixture of guilty and mildly flattered.
I never thought I'd be the kind of girl who'd provide unreciprocated BJs to feel better about herself, but apparently that's what I've become. M's attraction to me, and my ability to satisfy him sexually, makes me feel like I'm not a lesser creature than the girls I can't have. I'm going to end things with M. But how do I make sure I don't do anything like this again? How do I fix my underlying issues with women and with self-esteem?