Blue-Phoenix

I think I might be feeling sexual attraction and I feel so confused & guilty about it

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Blue-Phoenix

So I've been battling with the idea of being ace for a number of years. About 6 months ago I decided to allow myself to ID as ace and I came out to some friends. One of those friends came out to me as ace too, which surprised me because I've known them for a number of years.

 

That friend and I have been getting closer lately and I've developed romantic feelings towards them (something I've not felt in years, I rarely experience romantic attraction to people). I think the feeling is mutual. However I've started feeling sexually attracted to this person too. It's confusing and overwhelming and feels so foreign.

 

I feel really guilty over this. I feel guilty of even thinking of IDing as ace because I'm feeling sexual attraction quite strongly now for this person. I also feel like I've 'lied' to them and I'm worried they won't want to be with me when I tell them this (because of course I will have to eventually). Maybe they're only interested in me because they think I'm ace? I don't know.

 

I'm very frustrated because for years I've felt my lack of sexual attraction (and rarely feeling romantic attraction) towards people would mean I wouldn't find someone to be in a relationship with, and then suddenly I have these attractions and it may be the presence of sexual attraction that causes me to not find someone to be in a relationship with. Damn it :( 

 

I'm not sure what I'm specifically 'asking', but I thought maybe posting in the grey-ace forum might mean some people can give their experience or advice. I feel like a fraud for calling myself any kind of ace when I'm feeling sexual attraction this strongly. I've never fully 'gotten' grey-ace so maybe I'm missing something, I dunno.

 

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roland.o
4 minutes ago, Blue-Phoenix said:

I feel really guilty over this. I feel guilty of even thinking of IDing as ace because I'm feeling sexual attraction quite strongly now for this person.

Those feelings are understandable. But remember what we keep telling the folks who come here questioning...

  • It's OK to try on labels, to see if they fit.
  • It's OK to change labels.
  • Labels are just words to communicate your feelings.
  • Labels reflect the current understanding of yourself.
  • Stay open for change, update your labels when you learn something new about yourself.
  • Sexuality is fluid, it may change over time.

So, you thought you were ace, to the best of your knowledge. Now you realize that you're dark gray, maybe demisexual. (Or else you were asexual, and now your sexuality has changed... I don't want to get into that debate.) It's time to change your labels. And you should probably tell your friend about it.

You haven't lied to them, because what you said was what you knew about yourself at the time. If they cannot accept that somebody makes new, unforeseen experiences, they're not such a good friend after all.

 

:cake::D

 

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Claire1983

I understand the feeling, but you haven't lied to them, you just have new information and the truth has changed. 

As far as the relationship goes, ask yourself this, even if you're attracted to them, do you actually want to have sex with them?  Would it bother your if that didn't happen?  I'm sure they'll understand if you realize that you're gray- or demi- but as far as the relationship goes I think you could still make it work if you're on the same page about that.

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Serran

You didn't lie. You told them the info you had at the time.

 

When I got with my partner, I ID'd as ace, cause at 30 I hadn't ever felt sexual attraction. She doesn't identify as any label, but didn't want sex from me. Because of the lack of sexual pressure, I actually developed sexual attraction for her. She felt the same. 

 

So.. it happens and it isn't your fault. But your friend needs to know before any romantic relationship forms. 

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ArcticFoxes

I get sexual attraction with a rare few people randomly, on-off, more off than on. You might find that happens in future. Or it might not. I still identify more with asexual people than sexual people which is what matters to me. 
I wonder though if the fact that you could connect with someone in an asexual way (knowing that neither of you expected anything like that from each other) is what allowed any sexual interest to develop on your side because you could relax? Could be wrong but it is an interesting coincidence otherwise!
The above advice is really good by the way, i agree with it all.

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clovergirl

I literally understand how you feel. I'm pretty much in the same boat. I find I only feel sexual attraction for one person at a time. And that one person I develop sexual attraction for is someone that I have known for awhile, they are usually my closest friend at the time. I became friends with a man about a year ago, he's quickly become the closest friend I've had since school, and recently I've found myself experiencing this desire to be sexually involved with him. I felt sexual attraction only one other time in the past, it was three years ago and it was for a friend I'd known over a decade, before him I'd never felt it before. The first 21 years of my life I never felt sexual attraction. But it makes me feel like a liar. I told him I was asexual a while back and I've told family I'm asexual for years. My twin sister is asexual and is repulsed by all things sexual, I don't think family will understand my sudden interest in sex for only one person, they'd probably think he did it. As far as they know I'm not much different than my twin.

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TickTalk

@roland.o's post is extremely accurate to how you should think about labeling yourself in a healthy and constructive way.

As for how to resolve this situation. First and best approach is complete and total honesty, Tell them you think things have changed with you and you're just figuring out where you fit. I'd even be honest about the guilt that you felt about how you were/were thinking about identifying and how you dealt/are dealing with that. Don't apologize for "Misleading them" you are not at any fault for having changed and it's completely ok for you to change. You can address that they may be dissapointed by this change or better yet, after explaining, ask them how they feel about it. 

Grey - A is a super catch all for EVERYTHING between sexual and asexual. There are /many/ different views of sexual attraction and many different kinds of people in the Grey A spectrum. I personally like it for that because it allows me a freedom to understand myself within it rather than over identifying and trying to "Squeeze" into a subcategory.

I'm way overstepping on the advice with this last part. But I've really found relationship anarchy to work for me in regards to relationships with partners with sexual needs that I am not willing to meet. If you want more relationships in your life and you can handle something close to a "No rules" polyamory then I highly reccomend taking a look at it because I've persnally found a lot of romantic partners who I don't have sex with, without the resentment of their sexual needs not being met. You're already a step outside the socio-normative by identifying on the Asexuality spectrum. I think if you take a good look at Relationship Anarchy you may find a style of having relationships that is really helpful to you.

This all depends on if you're ok with people having romantic feelings for other people. Not having any "Grip" on the relationship through restrictive agreements and not being jealous but happy for the people you care about being happy. There's a youtube series from a lady named Kale on youtube who explains R.A. very well and how it's different from polyamory while seeming very similar. Specifically I like that there's clear separation between sexual romantic and platonic relationships.

I apologize if I'm too forward on that last bit but it really helped me deal with having relationships as a Grey A and makes me much more comfortable seeking connections from people knowing that I'm not going to restrict them by having a romantic relationship with them.

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roland.o
23 hours ago, TickTalk said:

I've really found relationship anarchy to work for me

In case someone's wondering, this is the Relationship Anarchy manifesto:

https://theanarchistlibrary.org/library/andie-nordgren-the-short-instructional-manifesto-for-relationship-anarchy

 

23 hours ago, TickTalk said:

something close to a "No rules" polyamory

As I understand it, Relationship Anarchy doesn't mean "No rules", but rather "No implied rules". Every rule needs to be agreed upon with the partner. Including the meaning of "faithful" and how exclusive the relationship should be. It's a good way to overcome funny ideas from social conditioning or from reading too much fantasy or high romance :D Discussing every rule that should apply requires a lot of communication with the partner, about your and their values, and how those should translate into the relationship. And it's perfectly OK to establish a rule that says "no other sexual or romantic partners", if both agree on it. It just isn't the default, as many people assume when they enter a relationship.

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TickTalk

@roland.o Sort of. There's a very rarely touched on part of it that basically states there are no restrictive agreements. For example setting a restriction like "Don't see other people" isn't really in line with R.A. at all.  "Don’t make special rules and exceptions as a way to show people you love them “for real”." is also in that document and it's restrictive of autonomy to make that agreement. Basically if that's what happens naturally then it's fine but if it's a restriction put forth by one party it's not really R.A. I highly recommend the youtube series by a girl names Kale on youtube to get really acquainted with the concepts behind it.

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roland.o
2 hours ago, TickTalk said:

if it's a restriction put forth by one party

Then it wouldn't be my understanding of an agreed-upon rule, either :D

You're right, agreeing upon a rule could be a matter of bargaining rather than free consent. That's not what I wanted to express.

 

2 hours ago, TickTalk said:

I highly recommend the youtube series

I'm not much into this newfangled video stuff and prefer written materials 😉 - Video is for entertainment :D :cake:Maybe a generational gap.

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Nowhere Girl
On 5/9/2018 at 9:32 PM, roland.o said:
  • It's OK to try on labels, to see if they fit.
  • It's OK to change labels.

It's also OK to feel sexual attraction and decide that you would prefer not to feel it. It's also OK to feel sexual attraction and desire not to act upon it. Some poeple behave as if no one could decide not to satisfy a desire...

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