#sexual orientation
3 July 2018

I find males attractive but I do not feel comfortable with them, while the idea of me myself being sexual makes me uncomfortable...

Elizabeth Parenteau

I do not know what sexual orientation I am .I thought I was asexual since the idea of me being sexual repulsed me. But the thing is I do not feel as uncomfortable with homosexual relationships as heterosexual , heterosexual sex just always made me cringe .I just cannot see myself in a relationship with a man,I get extremely uncomfortable and although I find them attractive the idea of being more intimate scares me. I always try to avoid getting too close to them because I am scared they would want more from me (couple that with the fact that I am horribly phobic of pregnancy).I grew up in a not so touchy lovey home so it is kinda strange for me to try and be more comfortable around men.My best friend (a girl) got me used to hugging and touching (platonic) through my teen years but still it is mostly females and then once in a blue moon when I get enough courage to hug a man.I even feel uncomfortable talking over a phone with men but I do not know why, I am shy and hesitant and I just want to crawl in a dark hole and stay there. I had a very sheltered and strick upbringing.I have never been in a relationship in my life .My grandmother had pounded it into my head that only loose people are sexual or in relationships.I feel dirty thinking about sex , that going that far would mean I am filthy. I am also scared that if I were to be in a relationship with a man it would mean I am weak, submissive (the very idea infuriates me).My father always told me I may never rely on a man.I have many male friends but once they show they want to be more I just try to avoid them at all cost.So the thing is I find males attractive but I do not feel comfortable with them ,while the idea of me myself being sexual makes me uncomfortable.

Hi Nella,

Thank you for taking the time to write to AlterHeros. If I understand correctly, you are asking yourself a few questions regarding your sexual orientation. The situation is confusing for you and you would like to make sense of it.

To clarify a few things, I have a few questions for you. In your message, you bring up a lot of different situations that make you uncomfortable. Knowing where your own limits are is super important and I think it’s important to respect them. They might eventually chance and evolve and that is okay, as long as you are comfortable with your decisions and your choices. You seem to know how you position yourself on how you feel about the interactions you are having with the women and men in your entourage. You can find a woman attractive without wanting to pursue something more than the attraction and same thing with men. It’s completely normal to be attracted to people from all genders. Would you be comfortable to identify yourself as a lesbian or a bisexual? Would that reflect better your orientation? On top of desire, orientation is also based on feelings and conduct. You don’t have to identity yourself to one category or another. Talking about sexuality and questioning yourself on your orientation is totally normal and healthy. It is okay to be shy and hesitant around some people. Everybody has their own rhythm when it comes to intimacy and relationships and you shouldn’t feel rushed or pressured to do something you are not comfortable with. Thinking about sex doesn’t make you dirty and being in a relationship wouldn’t make you weaker. You seem to be a strong independent woman that is currently exploring her options and that will make her own decisions. You might realize that you don’t want to be sexual with anyone and that would be okay also. Just like gender, your orientation doesn’t have to fit in a specific box. You can make it your own.

The most important is that you are comfortable with your own thoughts and actions. It is really important to respect yourself while reflecting on these topics. Your wellbeing is the priority. Would you be able to talk about it with someone close to you? You could contact your local LGBT organization and they could get you in contact with people that could help you explore your thoughts more deeply. You can also communicate on our forums with the members, and it would be a pleasure for them to support and guide you.

I hope this will help your situation and your questioning.

We thank you for your trust and please don’t hesitate to send us a message if you feel the need to!

Elizabeth, for AlterHéros