You know how awkward you feel at 12 when you're trying to talk to the cutie in your class? Well, that's me, but at 27, and with women. I'm a woman, and I'm completely lost with how this works. Maybe lost is an understatement. Could you walk me through what you did, if you experienced this?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (12 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
I'm 27, female, and I've been doing a lot of thinking in terms of my attraction to women. Publicly I identify as straight, privately as bi. All of my sexual and relationship experience has been with men, except for a few women I have kissed. I've been attracted to women since probably middle school; but only in the last 2 years has it become natural to me to just feel physically attracted to anyone of any gender.
In the last year or so, I've realized I'm also emotionally and intellectually attracted to women. Or maybe I'm just now acknowledging this. Last fall I started grad school in a large city where I know no one - I was partly excited at being able to explore my interest in women in a new place. But I haven't done anything. I don't know where to start. All I know is that I'm confused.
I've also been seeing a counselor at my school since last fall, talking about some suicidal thoughts I'd been having. Talking about it has been super helpful. In the process of all of this talking, I've become aware that I can't make myself bring up this confusion over sexuality, and all of these thoughts might be related. These thoughts scared the shit out of me, but they were never acted on. This was also my first time at a counselor, I'm not/have never been on medication, and I've been low, but not like this. I do know I felt like crying just typing this stuff out. (My counseling ends when the semester is over, and I don't have insurance.)
I don't know if I'm straight/bi/gay or all of it. I find I'm extra sensitive to perceptions of non-straight people. My mom jokes about me being a lesbian/not getting grandkids, because it's been so long since I've introduced who I was dating to my family. My immediate family is liberal enough, but both sides are in general conservative. My friends are pretty open-minded, but they are all far away. I'm very private, and I compartmentalize many aspects of my life, so no one know this aspect of me.
Basically, no support group, no social skills (in terms of meeting women). I'm never good with guessing sexuality, and so there is the risk of embarrassment (or harassment??). I don't know what to call myself - if I say bi, will that off-put gay women, and vice-versa? Will they be offended and think I'm experimenting on them, since I'm really starting from scratch? Where do I meet women? It all seems like a super secret world, and I don't know how to break in. I'm 12, and everyone else knows the rules but me.
This is a big deal to me, and its scary. It feels like something is trying to hatch, but I'm not letting it. I've tried to describe enough, but I don't even have a vocabulary for some of this. Any advice, anecdotes, books, websites, groups, or anything really, is appreciated. Is this a common experience? I've read some of the other relevant questions on here, and people seem confused, but I think my emotional reaction is somehow not the norm.
(Relevant, I'm in southern california)