25 February 2010

Men: I'm attracted to everything above the waist only

I am somewhat confused at the moment. I have never considered myself a homosexual man, and I still don’t. I have never had romantic feelings toward men, but have found myself attracted to them before. Like, I will see someone and find them attractive. However, I’m the same way with women.
However, I have had romantic feelings towards them. I am in high school, and have had several crushes throughout my life. I’ve never actually had a girlfriend, but I’m still a freshman. I have found myself attracted to guys, but I don’t want to see their dicks. What I have seen (from movies, porn, whatever) doesn’t turn me on, and never has. However, I’ve been attracted to pretty much everything above the waist. Does that make sense? I’m seriously confused. Am I gay, bisexual, what? I don’t feel romantically attracted to guys, but I don’t mind when a pyschically fit guy is shirtless or whatever.
I don’t like the male penis, and would not get on my knees and suck it. I know that’s…

JP Duc

Thanks for sending in your question Andrew,

At 15, you are in a period of adolescence (a period of important body changes, including sexual maturation) see the beginning of this answer https://alterheros.com/english/ask_experts/ask.cfm?QID=1870

It is perfectly ok to be attracted to women and men, attraction is a complicated process, our brain and our emotions are heavily involved in the process and decision making factors that affect attraction. Attraction mainly involves one’s personal (feel good desires). Desire focuses can be the same or different in people. North American culture such as movies and commercials can affect our perceptions of what is attractive, and what to look for in a potential sexual partner. A lot of Hollywood-based TV and movies focus on women and men’s organs (like womens’ breasts and buttocks & men’s package and buttocks). In children and in young teenagers those numerous repeating messages, can and probably do, help to form what US and Canadian teenagers will probably find attractive. Commercials that sell beauty and pharmaceutical products focus a lot on the face: teeth/smile, lips, hair, eyes, body scent, etc. so those factors as well often become a criteria of attractiveness.

Dove created a great ad that went viral on the Internet because it shows a make-up and photoshop touch-up session with a model (the reality of the model/beauty industry) – the model – averagely attractive – is turned into a cover model using every trick in the book. Look for this video on YouTube.

Other influences on attraction are based on things like social, cultural, religious beliefs and can also be formed from family upbringing and personal social-context experiences in life.

According to what you said in your question, you are in a phase called questioning, it is a phase all teens experience, sometimes it only last a day and sometimes it can last years, but questioning one’s sexuality is perfectly normal. What teens often do when confronted by other teens is that they just say ‘I’m straight’ or ‘I’m bi’! (whatever you feel you’re more comfortable with). It’s kind of the safe in-between until you decide what label is appropriate to you. Some people are actually Bi-sexual – they like men and woman equally, yet other people don’t like labels, some people use more general labels like Queer or Gender Queer or not hetero to identify who they are.

Just give yourself lots of time, there’s no rush! You may feel pressured by your friends to identify yourself or talk about sex or feel pressured by family. Just remember teen guys are usually professional big takers, they talk about sex all the time, how performant they are, who they got-off with, who’s hot, etc etc. The reality is many of them haven’t even had sex yet!

So it’s really up to you to decide your true sexual orientation; heterosexual, bi-sexual or homosexual or an alternative label or no label. And decide whom you will share that information with. Remember sexual orientation can change over time. Time will clarify many things in your life.

If you are still having lots of questions or want to talk about sexual orientation try to find an organization in your area (like a LGBT center or group, a gay youth group, even a local AIDS organization who often can refer you to unpublished resources for youth. So write an e-mail or give them a call)

If you are feeling depressed or sad about this situation call the Trevor Project (USA only) 866-488-7386

JP for the AlterHeros team.