#romantic orientation
#sexual orientation
13 June 2023

Being sexual with anybody sounds really uncomfortable and I wouldn’t do that with anyone but I am okay with dating women and non-binary people. I’m also attracted to men but I couldn’t imagine dating one...

I’m attracted to men but just the idea of being in a relationship or doing anything sexual with them makes me physically cringe. I am attracted to women and am comfortable in relationships but don’t really like the physical aspect of it. I believe tha’s mostly because I had a hard childhood where physical affection was not normal. My mother was very emotionally distant and abusive. My dad was always at work.

I know sexuality is fluid but I’m really obsessed with labeling myself. It just makes me feel safe. Not knowing what my orientation is makes me scared. Being sexual with anybody sounds really uncomfortable and I wouldn’t do that with anyone. But I am okay with dating women and non-binary people. And I’m attracted to men. But I couldn’t imagine dating one, and the thought of marriage is weird to me in general. But it is much worse when I think about marrying a man.

Émilie Grandmont

Hi Aeri,


Thank you for your question and I’m really sorry for the delay.

I’m sorry to hear that you’ve had a difficult childhood and have struggled with physical affection. It’s understandable that these experiences can impact your feelings and comfort level when it comes to relationships and sexuality.

Sexuality can indeed be fluid, and it’s not uncommon for individuals to have complex feelings and attractions that don’t fit neatly into specific labels. It’s important to remember that it’s okay to explore and understand your feelings at your own pace and that your self-identification can change through time. I completely understand the need to identify yourself and you absolutely have the right to do so even if you’re not 100% sure.

I can’t identify your sexual and romantic orientations for you, since you’re the only person who can, but I can give you some pointers. For starters, sexual and romantic orientations are two separate things. They can be the same in some people, as for example a person could be homosexual and homoromantic, as they can differ in others, so a person could be bisexual and homoromantic. So it would be possible, based on what you mention, for you to feel romantic attraction to women and non-binary people, but not men, and for you to feel sexual attraction to all genders. 

Next, it’s also important to note that feeling sexual attraction towards certain people doesn’t necessarily mean wanting to have sex with them. This could be the case for some people on the asexual spectrum. There are some terms, like orchidsexual, greysexual or inactsexual which could define someone who experiences sexual attraction, but does not desire a sexual relationship. Feel free to explore all the terms of the spectrum in the link above if you want!

So, it’s completely valid and normal not to wish to have sexual relations and it’s very possible to have romantic relationships without any sexual aspect.

On another note, if you ever feel the need to discuss your needs and your feelings, you can always consult a sexologist or a psychologist, to develop a better understanding of yourself. Remember, your feelings and experiences are unique to you, and it’s important to prioritize your own well-being and happiness.


I hope this answer helps, feel free to contact us again anytime!

Émilie (she/they), for AlterHéros