compulsory heterosexuality

Questions and discussion about your sexuality and how it's a part of who you are as a person.
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compulsory heterosexuality

Unread post by sapphism »

hi, i am a 21 yr old cis woman (? not 100% sure but this isnt the point of this post oops) and i’ve identified as a lesbian since i was 18 but sometimes comphet gets really bad and i start doubting everything i know about myself and it is starting to feel very overwhelming

i realized i liked girls ever since i discovered on the internet that that was something i was allowed to. looking back i can clearly see many signs of comphet when i was a kid — forcing myself to like the boy all my friends were crushing on, not being able to understand why they were so obsessed with all the boy talk that i wouldn’t connect with but i always felt a little like an outsider in general so i didnt think much of it. i did get crushes on male celebrities, had posters on my walls and all, and was always involved in fandom stuff (where i eventually found queer spaces) so at the time it didn’t occur me to question my attraction to men. i came out as bi when i was 14 and soon after started dating a girl, which ended in a 3yrs and a half long relationship (pretty much all my highschool years) and i still think it is probably the closest i’ve been to experiencing true love. i was devastated when we broke up and it took me SO long to get over her. after the breakup i started hooking up with a guy. i still identified as bi by then and at the beginning we were just messing around, but after a month things got a little intense. tbh this guy took advantage of me because he knew (i had explicitly told him) that i was still super vulnerable and i also had other things going on that were affecting my mental health, yet he started implying things abt heavy feelings and he manipulated me a lot emotionally. we still hooked up (never had actual penetrative sex bc that scared me and i only once saw his dick trying to give him a handjob/failed blowjob in the dark . i rly dont think i wanted to see his dick) but even if i wanted to do stuff, when we got to it i was super detached, it was very performative and i was very in my head, even if i “enjoyed” it or felt aroused, i was never relaxed or completely comfortable. i felt constantly hyperaware of what was happening. i ended up cutting things off bc he was starting to be very manipulative and straight up inappropriate. i look back on it and i hate it, i was finishing my senior year of highschool and he was starting his junior year of uni so ! he definitely took advantage of me lol it’s disgusting but anyway!

while this went on covid started and lockdown made me rethink a lot of stuff and i came across that Am I a Lesbian google doc and other info about compulsory heterosexuality. even before breaking up w my ex gf i had stopped using the bi label for a while and used sapphic instead bc i wasnt sure how i felt about men. i think hooking up w that guy was unconsciously sort of a way to see if i was sexually attracted to men or not. so many things clicked and i started identifying as a lesbian after struggling a lot: i did not want to use a label that may not belong to me. so it took a lot of self acceptance and forgiveness to get rid of the guilt.
identifying as a lesbian has been very freeing in a way and it makes sense — i truly don’t see myself being in an actual relationship with a man, every time i picture myself in the future i see myself with a woman and imagining it in any other way feels weird and uncomfortable.

but, here’s the thing — sometimes i feel like i might be sexually attracted to men. it’s so weird though and i am almost certain it’s probably comphet bc i can only picture it happening with celebrities but i cant help but feel like im faking things. as i mentioned before, ive always been very involved in fandom stuff, so there’s been times where i’ve read explicit fanfic that happens to have gay sex and it has turned me on. or i try to picture myself in a sexual setting with these male celebrities and it does it for me. i dont think i could ever do this in real life though, and thinking about non-celebrity-i-like men in these settings or naked makes me feel icky and uncomfortable. penetration does not bother me, i had penetrative sex with my gf and other girls after we broke up, and the erotic description of it in fic arouses me sometimes but the thought of a guy doing it to me it in Real Life feels sooooooososoo weird. idk am i just spiraling after seeing mingyu from seventeen and thinking “well i would let him fuck me!”
i feel like it’s worse since when i hooked up w this guy i did feel aroused, even if i was very out of it and not comfortable and all .. like it doesnt even feel like something comparable to my experiences with women, it’s not what i think about when i think about sex. but since i DID feel aroused it’s like i can picture a fantasy with a guy more vividly.

i am also scared i might be faking being a lesbian after being traumatized by this One guy. but like the whole thing with him felt like a fever dream too like i wasnt really there. i dont know this is all just very confusing. what i know for sure is that i don’t feel comfortable with the idea of dating men or being involved with them like that, and i havent experienced actual romantic feelings for them. i can only feel and see myself loving women. but having this sex related thoughts once in a while freaks me out.

i am all over the place im so sorry but thanks in advance!
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Re: compulsory heterosexuality

Unread post by Nicole »

Hi sapphism, welcome to the boards! I want to start by saying that we cannot tell you what your sexuality is and it is something that only you can label for yourself. We can only provide terms that can help guide you. However, I do want to acknowledge your concerns about your sexuality--I totally get that! I know several people (including myself) who have experienced this exact feeling that you're having.

I do want to ask, do you think that this one romantic/sexual interaction you had with a man has shaped your thoughts on relationships with all men? Or is this strictly about heteronormativity and compulsory heterosexuality? Based on what you've written, it could go either way. I'm only saying this because I know what it's like to be taken advantage of by an older guy and have it shape my perception of men. I'm really sorry that you went through that.

Also, it is quite normal to get aroused from any form of sexual media you consume, even if it will definitely not do it for you sexually in real life. This can also stem from fictional characters, celebrities, etc. That's the interesting thing about fantasy. Also, sometimes people can be sexually attracted to more than one gender but romantically attracted to just one gender, does that sound similar to what you're experiencing? I'm bringing this up specifically because I know that some people experience romantic/sexual attraction in this way.

Lastly, I want to share an article that I think you might benefit from reading, I'll link it here: Attracted to women 24/7, but attracted to men in my fantasies--does that make me bisexual?. It may not be exactly like your situation but I think it wouldn't hurt to give it a read!

I hope any of this resonates with you and please take care!
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