I get this a lot.
Not every day, or anything like that, but a solid few times a month. From all genders, about all other genders. And there are usually two types of people that will write to me—as a mostly internet stranger—about this particular feeling.
- The skeeves. The ones who are curious about being with a woman (ME, of course) or being with a couple (Me and my partner). In this case, I don’t really care how curious they are. I feel nauseated.
- Those who wonder what this means to them, to their sexuality, to their future selves even having these thoughts. And acting on them? Terrifying.
So terrifying that they write to a stranger online whose connection to them is some writings and a message or two, because they are THAT worried about how it might affect their relationships with people they actually know. The people they spend their lives with and around.
I mean, think about that for a second.
Telling someone a deep dark secret and having no idea how they will react, but feeling like that’s a safer option than telling people who presumably love or care for them.
And I’m not knocking it. At all.
Just clarifying how confusing this can be to work through AND how isolating.
- I’m curious about sucking a dick, but I don’t feel gay.
- I’d like to be with a woman, but I don’t know if I actually could love a woman.
- I’m not really attracted to men, but I want to try it.
- I’m open to connecting with trans women, I just don’t know if I could get past the “bits.”
And so on.
Because when it comes to who we are and what we do in kink and sexuality, attraction is not a single thing.
And it’s also probably not going to go away just because you ignore it (as many of us know full well).
And even for those connections on the straight and narrow, so to speak?
It can still be confusing AF, when our bodies gear up, but our emotions don’t. Or vice versa. Or when we’re intellectually infatuated, and the goodie bits make a stubborn refusal.
So, I spent some time thinking about attraction (for me and for people I’ve talked with) and what it means, and this is a beginning of breaking it down for me.
I think there are many things to consider in attraction/interest in others:
intellectual: this is less a factor with specific genders, in that few people mistake their intellectual attraction for sexual curiosity, but for those heavy in demisexuality, it can be hard to tell the difference between “I want to lick your brain” and “I want sex with you,” regardless of sexual orientation, and that’s OK.
pleasure: experiencing pleasure is not necessarily tied to a sexual orientation for many, it’s a drive to FEEL GOOD. In some, it’s also a drive to give good feels (to take it further, to serve goodness).
sexual attraction: many people can be attracted to people of multiple genders, or certain people of specific genders through the basic sexual markers (prior to sexual contact): sight, sound, smell.
emotional connection: some people are “bi” or “pan” in pleasure and sex, and find their romantic feelings or connections tied to a specific gender and vice versa.
trauma: for some, attraction is the turning away from something that has harmed them, towards something else, finding attraction in a lack of trauma responses or triggers.
kink: for some, the kink of exploring beyond heteronormativity (or homonormativity or amatonormativity) is what drives pleasure and sex, the taboo, the idea of crossing lines.
curiosity: “I wonder what it might feel like” is a driver of many desires and experiences. Sadly, it is often dismissed as less than the other reasons, but while it might not always feel good to the person on the receiving end (like me) who wants to be more than a test case, it is still a valid attraction (and when it fails for some, love fails—curiosity is often a main driver of NRE).
personal ethics/shame: how you personally respond to the idea is often complex, and can affect all of the above—for some, it will kill potential, for others, it will heighten the intensity (shame, for many is an erotic force, for example).
These are what I’ve come up with so far.
I’m guessing they are not exhaustive.
I’ve not studied attraction specifically, nor done any research. I’m just starting this process in my mind.
Playing with the templates in my head of people I know and have talked with about their attractions and desires.
I can personally point to different parts of my life where I’ve experienced ALL of these at one time or another. And in others experienced several concurrently.
I’ve explored sexualities as a young woman and through my years. My sexuality has shifted and grown and matured and deepened in many ways. And I’m pretty sure it’s not entirely done yet.
So, I’m not thinking I have this deep bomb to drop on you today.
Just some musing that I wanted to share with you and get YOUR take on.
What are your thoughts?
Have you been curious about sexuality that is not 100% in alignment with the sexuality that was expected of you/that you were raised with? Or what about after you thought your sexuality/attraction set, having new, different feelings to navigate?
How did those attractions manifest?
What types of attraction have I missed? What do those mean to you?
Thank you for sharing!