Always thought I was straight, but now questioning.

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Hello,

I am a 21 year old woman who is going through a bit of an identity crisis, and would really appreciate any feedback!

I have always assumed I was straight and had crushes on guys. I’ve never had a boyfriend or been physical with a guy, and I have always attributed this mainly to there not being enough guys who I am attracted to in my social settings/not being close enough friends with guys.  In high school, I was sort of shy around them, and at my college there is a notorious lack of eligible boys who aren’t gay or fratty-not my thing. I have never really been boy crazy- obsessed or really wanted a boyfriend- unless I had a crush on one (which there have been very few). I certainly feel like I have a type as far as personality/looks goes in a guy (my type might be kind of specific so I guess I am picky about it) and when I have found that I have gotten very excited to get closer with them emotionally and physically.  In general, I’ve been fine on my own, which I don’t see as a bad thing at all, but I have felt less interested in guys than some of my female friends at different points.  I’ve always been closer with girls, however I have never felt (as far as I can tell/remember) the same excited/butterfly feelings about a girl, or even a strange closeness with a girl that felt different from other friendships. The idea of being physical with any of my female friends has also never popped into my head or been something I have thought about or yearned for.

This summer, though, I found myself looking at sexual pictures of women and getting turned on. I didn’t really think much of this until my sister last month was asking me if I was gay (even saying it would be cool to have a gay sister- she and my family would totally be accepting of it) because I had never shown that much interest in them. For some reason, what she said really resonated with me and I pretty much was in a state of extreme anxiety for about two weeks. I was thinking, could I have never realized such a huge aspect of myself? Thinking of myself as a lesbian is so different from what I always assumed- it really freaked me out. Since this crisis, I feel like I can identify a tangible physical attraction to sexual women- not only do I get turned on when I see pictures of them, but I’m excited by the idea of being physically intimate with them. These women are mostly celebrities in media (maybe because they are generally the most sexualized/good looking). Whether this is simply an exciting, new fantasy, or something I actually want, is what is confusing me so much. One thing that has remained the same, though, is that I do not feel like I could see myself romantically attracted to a woman, or in a relationship with them.  I get “warm fuzzies” with the thought of having a boyfriend, not a girlfriend. But perhaps this is because I haven’t met a lesbian who I connected with?  Yet, the site of a sexual/erotic woman gets me instantly turned on and seems like an automatic response, which is the scary thing- because it seems like these types of responses are innate. I don’t feel this automatic arousal looking at pictures of “sexy” men or even to men celebrities.

I don’t really want to go and seek out a woman. I’m not sure if this is because this bi-curiousness is new/I’m not accepting it yet/its scary, or if I actually don’t want to. Wouldn’t it have been more clear to me throughout my life that I were gay if I really was? Could I really have been this blindsided? Is the fact that I’m even feeling this attraction at all indicative of something significant, or have straight women gone through this? Should I push myself out of my comfort zone, or is my comfort zone telling me that I am actually not interested in girls in that way? Can I trust my previous feelings for guys as meaning anything? I feel like truly straight people don’t have to think about this so long and hard, but maybe the fact that I’m 21 and have never had boyfriend is playing into this.

Sorry this is so long, I just wanted to give you a full picture. I know I can really truly only answer these questions for myself, but just looking to see if any other woman- gay, straight, bi, whatever- has had similar experiences. Thanks!

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