Confused about fetish and sexual orientation

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Confused about fetish and sexual orientation

Post by Prajnaparamita on Fri Aug 04, 2017 7:52 pm

Hey guys,

I really don't know how to put this, I guess it's just like, I'm feeling really crappy about these thoughts and feelings that I've been having and like my desires are super problematic and I should just shove all of this down and ignore it (after all I'm in a long term relationship with a cishet man right now who I love so maybe I can just, like, spend the rest of my life with him and never wonder about this shit again haha who the fuck am I kidding once my jerkbrain latches onto something it just can't let go) so, yeah... I feel like some of this is going to sound horrible, but I just don't know how to express these thoughts otherwise...

So all of my life, for as long as I can remember, I've been 100% straight. Not that my parents never presented me with different options that is, they both worked on marriage equality way back in the early 90s, and growing up I heard a refrain of "whatever boyfriend or girlfriend you have when you're older" and then after 2004 "whatever man or woman you marry". (This lasted until I was 16, when I finally was like "I'M STRAIGHT MOM CUT IT OUT ALREADY"). And yeah, my tastes have always been a bit unconventional--I guess I always blamed overexposure to anime at critical points in my sexual development for giving me an overwhelming fetish for men with long hair who are pretty enough to pass for girls. (I mean, its not that I can't be sexually attracted to men other than anime pretty boys, its just that a normal attractive man for me will be like "yeah, I'd do him" while Mr. Long Hair Dewey Eyes will be "OH MY GOD FUCK ME NOW"). And so I ended up in a relationship with, yes, a long haired pretty boy with a slender, lithe frame, lush plump lips and cheekbones to die for. And I just figured that was that, I was a straight girl with slightly unconventional tastes.

And then... I found myself deeply sexually attracted to a trans woman who I met. Well, let me back that up a little. My boyfriend has always been sexually attracted to transwomen. Never in a creepy fetishizing way, thank god, but more like he really likes dicks (seeing em, sucking em, being fucked by em) but only when it also involves boobs--cis girl with a strapon? check! transwoman who elected to not get bottom surgery? also check! dicks and boobs in any various combination? check check check! He's always been confidently content with what he playfully calls his "perversion" and comfortable in his identity as a heterosexual man, especially when it involves me putting on a strapon and pegging him in the ass. Anyway, so, looking at porn with him meant that I sometimes looked at porn featuring transwomen. And then I found myself looking at porn of transwomen on my own without him, which I never really thought too much about, because, well, I try not to think too much when I'm getting off lol. And then well, as I said... Yeah.

I don't know if I'm like now less straight than I previously thought I was. I mean the thing is, I have never, ever found myself sexually attracted to a cis woman, and believe me, I spent three years at an all-women's college with nary a cis man in sight (back when I went, the school I attended refused to admit trans women, though that policy changed several years after I left), I'm pretty positive I'd know for sure at this point if I had any sexual interest in other cis women. (But then again I never knew this about myself and just uuuggghhhh) And its like, I'm totally okay in theory rounding myself down from straight, but if I say "oh, I'm attracted to men and transwomen only" that just feels so incredibly gross and fetishizing, like just as bad as cis people who refuse to date trans people outright. And then like, is all of this just an extension of my weird fetish from too much yaoi as a teenager for pretty boys, because if so that's also gross and problematic because trans women never deserve to be viewed as men in dresses when they make the courageous and sometimes terrifying step of presenting themselves in a way that feels honest and true. Am I just attracted to people's genitals? Because that's also pretty shitty too. Besides, I've only found myself mentally going "yes please fuck me now I want it so bad" to a couple of trans women, is it just that I have two exceptions to the rule and it'll never come up again so I should just ignore it? (I mean, I've been willing to have sex with a way wider range of cishet men, but then again the thing is that for many years I had sex in an attempt to try to gain acceptance or self worth or attention or companionship or just anything to break the crippling cycle of loneliness and the sense of my purpose as a woman being only found in what my body could provide for men so I def know I'm fucked plenty of people I'm not attracted to and there's all kinds of shit wrapped up in there.)

What happens if I date again? Do I say that I'm only attracted to cishet men and trans women exclusively, and be yet another creep with a fetish for trans people just for their presumed genitals? Do I say I'm heteroflexible, and have to turn down cis women who I know I'll never be attracted to and deal with the weird shit from cishet men that assume I'm down for a threesome as a result? Do I just ignore all this and pretend it doesn't exist?

...help?

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Re: Confused about fetish and sexual orientation

Post by Enail on Fri Aug 04, 2017 10:53 pm

Hmm, this is a bit of a tricky question. Or at least, the question of how to label/talk about/date seems like it could be pretty complicated in terms of signalling and expressing your preferences in a respectful but easy-to-read way ...But I wonder if in terms of how you relate to your desire, within yourself, maybe it doesn't have to be?

Attraction itself just is. I don't think you'd judge someone for having a fantasy that would be unethical to act on in reality, for example. Would you judge someone for being attracted to people who aligned with a homophobic or racial stereotype, just for having the attraction? I'm guessing you might encourage them to think about the context it exists in and to be thoughtful and respectful about how they act on their attraction, but that you wouldn't think there was anything wrong with them being attracted to those people, or wanting to date or have sex with them, even if the stereotype was a very harmful one. Do I have you right on that?

If that's the case, than I think you might look at your own desires in a similar light: being attracted to only a few women and not others isn't wrong, even if the women that you're into all have something in common that is often fetishized or approached in a really dehumanizing way.

Maybe those two women just happen to be the two women in the whole world so hot you'd go gay for them (for lack of a less problematic way to phrase that Wink); maybe you're attracted to trans women and not cis women, for whatever reason. It doesn't really sound like you have enough information to know yet, or that you necessarily need to know that right now. It's okay to just enjoy the porn and the fuck-me-now rush from whoever you interact with who does that for you, without having to reconcile it with your views on gender and sexuality or your ethics, and leave worrying about how to talk about it and act on it respectfully for if/when you're at a point of wanting to act on it.
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Re: Confused about fetish and sexual orientation

Post by Prajnaparamita on Sat Aug 05, 2017 10:42 am

Enail wrote:Hmm, this is a bit of a tricky question. Or at least, the question of how to label/talk about/date seems like it could be pretty complicated in terms of signalling and expressing your preferences in a respectful but easy-to-read way

Yeah, it really is, but I guess fortunately enough I'm in a long term monogamous relationship now, so I can continue to call myself straight and no one needs to know. (That being said though, I keep on having thoughts that maybe I'm making all of this up and its a big to do about nothing and how can I ever know if I've never even dated or kissed a (trans)woman whether or not I'm actually attracted to people other than cishet men?)

Enail wrote:
Attraction itself just is. I don't think you'd judge someone for having a fantasy that would be unethical to act on in reality, for example. Would you judge someone for being attracted to people who aligned with a homophobic or racial stereotype, just for having the attraction? I'm guessing you might encourage them to think about the context it exists in and to be thoughtful and respectful about how they act on their attraction, but that you wouldn't think there was anything wrong with them being attracted to those people, or wanting to date or have sex with them, even if the stereotype was a very harmful one. Do I have you right on that?

Yeah, totally. I've engaged in kink, both as a dom and a sub, doing stuff (completely consensually!) that I'm sure some anti-BDSM feminists would be up in arms about, but it was fun and everyone had a good time and even though I used to freak out about it when I was younger I don't see it as an issue at all now.

Enail wrote:
If that's the case, than I think you might look at your own desires in a similar light: being attracted to only a few women and not others isn't wrong, even if the women that you're into all have something in common that is often fetishized or approached in a really dehumanizing way.

Yeah, you're right. Like for example if a woman was attracted to both men and really butch lesbians, I wouldn't consider her just chasing after replacements to men, I'd see it as just her sexual attraction type. And, rationally I know it's true to be able to have an attraction to something often fetishized in a icky way but be able to approach it respectfully, seeing an individual human being and not an object of desire.

Enail wrote:
Maybe those two women just happen to be the two women in the whole world so hot you'd go gay for them (for lack of a less problematic way to phrase that Wink);

In some ways I hope that's actually the case after all, because then no more running around screaming like a chicken with its head cut off, but I also hope it isn't because then I made a big to do about nothing and I'll feel silly for it

Enail wrote:
It doesn't really sound like you have enough information to know yet, or that you necessarily need to know that right now. It's okay to just enjoy the porn and the fuck-me-now rush from whoever you interact with who does that for you, without having to reconcile it with your views on gender and sexuality or your ethics, and leave worrying about how to talk about it and act on it respectfully for if/when you're at a point of wanting to act on it.

Yeah, that's true, as I said, monogamous relationship now. (But still continued feels of "but how can I KNOOOOOOW?!") I guess... uncertainty is just hard to sit with, ya know? But I guess that's what I have to do now.

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Re: Confused about fetish and sexual orientation

Post by OneTrueGuest on Sat Aug 05, 2017 12:04 pm

I think Enail has said a lot of very useful things, and I think you are also figuring things out quite well. But I wanted to offer another thought to mull over with all the other thoughts you are thinking (yay! lol).

You say you wonder if you are attracted to trans women because they remind you of the male characters in anime. But is it possible you were attracted to the male characters in anime because they had things in common with women? You seem to be suggesting your sexuality was informed by watching TV, what if you decided to watch what you watched because of your sexuality?

I mean, there was a reason you decided to inhale so much anime where others do not. It wasn't the only thing available to you to watch. You personally found something you connected to with it. More than just your sexuality of course.

At any rate, something to think about as well. Which came first, the chicken or the egg kind of question.

Ultimately though, I would worry less about it and just feel. Allow those feelings to lead you to your own personal definition of self. And don't worry about outside judgment and even more importantly your own self judgment. Smile

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Re: Confused about fetish and sexual orientation

Post by Enail on Sat Aug 05, 2017 12:53 pm

Prajnaparamita wrote:
Yeah, it really is, but I guess fortunately enough I'm in a long term monogamous relationship now, so I can continue to call myself straight and no one needs to know. (That being said though, I keep on having thoughts that maybe I'm making all of this up and its a big to do about nothing and how can I ever know if I've never even dated or kissed a (trans)woman whether or not I'm actually attracted to people other than cishet men?)

Did you only know you were straight after you dated or kissed a guy? I knew I was gay way before I ever dated/kissed a girl. Which, I know you know this concept, but that doesn't make it feel real or reassuring, but maybe it's good to hear it anyway Wink

And... can one make this kind of thing up? Like, in a way, attraction is all kind of made up? I mean, there's an aspect that's purely grounded in the body, but I think a lot of sexual desire and reaction is kind of just based on things sparking together in the brain, often in unexpected, random-seeming ways or ways that connect oddly with the mental landscape they spring from. Not everything has precedent or antecedent, not everything fits within a larger, coherent pattern, there's a million reasons that your brain might tell your body to rev up, and if it does, it seems like it's got to be "real" desire, even if you don't know yet whether it's part of an ongoing framework?


Yeah, that's true, as I said, monogamous relationship now. (But still continued feels of "but how can I KNOOOOOOW?!") I guess... uncertainty is just hard to sit with, ya know? But I guess that's what I have to do now.

I do know Wink  It's easier to sit with something that you can put in a box, even if it's a temporary box.
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Re: Confused about fetish and sexual orientation

Post by Prajnaparamita on Sat Aug 05, 2017 4:21 pm

OneTrueGuest wrote:
You say you wonder if you are attracted to trans women because they remind you of the male characters in anime. But is it possible you were attracted to the male characters in anime because they had things in common with women? You seem to be suggesting your sexuality was informed by watching TV, what if you decided to watch what you watched because of your sexuality?

You know, I’ve been mulling over this for awhile now and… I think you might be right? I mean, there are certainly works of fiction that I really enjoyed as a kid that looking back now were def signs of something deeper (I mean, my deep and abiding love for the moody, slow and psychological Tombs of Atuan over anything else in the Earthsea Cycle was most certainly about the femdom/slave-esque relationship with Tenar and Ged, I can’t pretend otherwise). I mean, part of me wants to say “tons of girls grow up on shoujou anime, and get exposed to crossdressing prettyboy characters as the main love interest, and they don’t turn out like me!” but I can’t deny it, baby Prajna knew what she liked.

Enail wrote:
Did you only know you were straight after you dated or kissed a guy? I knew I was gay way before I ever dated/kissed a girl. Which, I know you know this concept, but that doesn't make it feel real or reassuring, but maybe it's good to hear it anyway Wink

I know, I know… If anyone had told my best friend when she came out that she couldn’t really be bi because she’d only dated men so far in her life I woulda gone out and made their ugly mug even uglier! I guess I’m feeling a little bit better in understanding myself as being attracted to a physical profile that transcends gender, for the most part.

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Re: Confused about fetish and sexual orientation

Post by OneTrueGuest on Sat Aug 05, 2017 4:33 pm

Ah but every girl (and everyone in general) is unique! So other girls might like the more effeminate boys because they didn't seem as threatening as more masculine presenting men. Or they were drawn more to the personalities of the characters, the way they romanced and treated the girls in their lives, and not necessarily the looks. It's possible some appreciate the beauty of the characters without actually being sexually attracted to them at all. Etc. There are so many reasons to like a thing. I truly don't think media creates sexuality. I don't think people "turn out" a certain way because of what they watch (read, play etc). I believe what people watch and enjoy helps clarify who they truly are. I think that's the power of art, the ability to find oneself. Smile

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