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Member #57025

Romantic orientation vs. sexual orientation (and what to identify as and call yourself)

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Member #57025

Hi everyone,

I think I have seen about three topics about this question now, and I am... well, just another person who is struggling with this. Which is why I decided to start a topic about it. (I'm new to this forum, so this would be my first topic; at least, if you don't count my introduction post, hehe. :P)

I'm female, and only fifteen years old, but I have been struggling with questions and insecurities about my sexuality for years. I always assumed I was a lesbian because I think that love between two girls was the only kind of love I could imagine back then - I don't know why, but my parents always told me and my siblings that we were free to be with any person of any gender, as long as they love us and respect us for who we are. They're very open-minded when it comes to sexuality (and, luckily, many other things as well), but still, when I first read about homosexuality at the age of eight (eight!), I cried. I must've thought something along the lines of: "That's what I am. And I can never tell anyone, not even mom and dad, because it's not right. Something is wrong with me!" Three years later, when I was eleven, I finally told my mom, and it was alright. She told me the same thing she always tells us: that she doesn't care who we end up falling in love and having a relationship with; not because she doesn't care, but because all she wants is for her children to be happy, and loved and respected for who we are.

Years later, I realized that I did, in fact, have feelings for boys. I sometimes had crushes on them, and then sometimes, I would also have crushes on girls. I'm not sure if I have ever truly been in love with anyone, though - most of the times when I thought I had romantic feelings for someone, it would be a person I only knew online, as I've never really had that many friends at school or in real life in general. But I noticed that I never felt sexually attracted to a guy, not even when I (thought I) had romantic feelings for him. Which makes things very complicated for me, because most guys, when they're in a relationship with a girl, are eventually going to want to have sex with her. It's "normal". And I feel like I can't be in a relationship with a guy because of that. I know I said I'm only fifteen years old, and some people will say that "it will happen eventually, when you meet the right guy who is patient enough to wait until you're ready for it", which is why I thought people on AVEN would be much more understanding about it. I think most people on here know what it's like to not feel any sexual attraction towards someone. I may not be 100% asexual, as I am almost completely certain I experience at least some sexual attraction towards girls, but I'm still confused.

At some point, I discovered about romantic orientation, and everything became a little bit clearer for me. I now realize that I am probably homosexual, but bi- or panromantic. The question I have read about so often remains, though: what do I call myself? Am I gay or not? And what do I do? Do I have a relationship with a guy, without the sexual aspect? Or do I have a relationship with a girl, with or without the sexual aspect? Especially if I consider myself somewhere in the gray-A area: do I even have sex with anyone at all? And maybe the best option for me is in fact to just wait, and fall in love with a person, regardless of "what" they are, and take it from there. But I just want to know. I'm stuck with this question everyday, and I'm just so tired of it.

I certainly don't expect that people can answer this question for me. I mean, who could possibly know the answer if I don't even know it myself? Still, your insight would be appreciated. Feel absolutely free to share your honest opinion about all of this. :)

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Ace-of-Blades

I define myself as Asexual, first and foremost. I don't really get aroused at all, even though I have a partner. I'm not sexually attracted to anyone, regardless of gender.

Secondly I define myself as Demisexual because the very few times I've felt arousal, it's been with my partner and my partner only. I wouldn't be able to do anything along those lines with some who I wasn't strongly bonded to. That said, I do wish I could do typically 'couple' things with some of my close friends. I'm talking cuddles, or holding hands/linking arms, kiss on the cheek. None of these are sexual in my mind and are quite a friendly thing to do, but others don't think like me so I don't do it :P

Romantically, I identify as bisexual. Gender isn't really an issue for me, and as long as there is love and respect. I think I would find it easier to enter into a sexual relationship with a male, then a female; only because I've only been with a guy in those situations. But if sex doesn't come into it, I don't care what cha got down there.

I guess I'm a: A-Demisexual bi-romantic (teehee, makes me sound like I'm romantic with pens :P)

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Member #57025

Yeah, I thought I was demisexual for some time as well, but I've seen so many terms by now that I feel like my head is going to burst. XD

When it comes to love/romance, I wouldn't say gender is an issue for me either, which is why I'm tempted to say I'm either bi- or panromantic. I know I can probably love males and females equally... I just don't know if I would act on any feelings of sexual attraction towards them, if I were to experience any (which would probably only happen with a female, especially if I already had an emotional connection with her).

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jaffacake21

I don't want to offend anyone but I don't know about romantic orientation at all :( probably why I'm so confused :(

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Ace-of-Blades

I don't want to offend anyone but I don't know about romantic orientation at all :( probably why I'm so confused :(

AVENwiki says this: Refers to an individual's pattern of romantic attraction based on a person's gender. For many sexuals, their romantic orientation and their sexual orientation are in alignment, so the gender(s) of the people they fall in love with are also the gender(s) they are sexually attracted to. For an asexual, who does not experience sexual attraction, it is their romantic orientation that determines which gender(s), if any, they are inclined to form romantic relationships with. A person may be aromantic or romantic, or somewhere in between.

This, in a nutshell, is basically who you are able to feel romantic feelings towards. For many people, their sexual orientation and romantic orientation are one in the same. For some, they may be different.

For example: Sally is heterosexual, but feels she could be romantic with both males and females. While she doesn't think she could be in a sexual relationship with a female, she feels she can be romantic with a female. Therefor she could Identify as a Heterosexual biromantic.

Jimmy is a homosexual who feels he can only be romantic with other males. Therefor he could identify as a homosexual homoromantic.

Simon is asexual, and doesn't discriminate towards any gender when it comes to romantic relationships. Therefor he's an asexual panromantic.

Romantic feelings are basically those that include wanting to cuddle, kiss, spend time with...basically be intimate without sex coming into it.

The only reason why I don't identify as Panromantic is because I've never met anyone who's trans. While I wouldn't be against their choice, and I'd certainly support them; I would probably have to spend time getting used to it. I can't like something I've never come in contact with :P

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jaffacake21

Thankyou that's really helped. In that case I would be homorantic, as I'd prefer my companion to be female :-) I'm learning so much today!

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Ace-of-Blades

No problem. A lot of people struggle with this at first, lord knows I did. :P

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Arctic Fox

I can relate to a lot of that: Assuming I liked girls and then realizing that I might actually be attracted to guys as well, having really supportive parents*, and wondering if my romantic orientation may be different to my sexual orientation. I figure that the less sexual you are, the less difference there is between being straight and being gay, so sexuality can be a bit blurry. I haven't been posting on these forums for very long but I have been looking through them for a few months and from what I've seen quite a lot of people have differing sexual and romantic orientations or are confused in that area - so you're not alone!

That being said, for me romance and sex are on the same continuum. I'll meet someone attractive and think 'I wouldn't mind cuddling them' and then as I get to know them things may go to 'I wouldn't mind cuddling them naked' and perhaps 'I wouldn't mind having sex with them'. So the idea of being biromantic but monosexual doesn't really work for me; sure I'm more sexually attracted to girls, but when I think about it I'm also more romantically attracted to girls. Maybe this could also be the case with you?


* I haven't actually talked to them about my sexuality (or lack of) and they do occasionally take the piss out of me by calling me 'celibate', which is quite annoying.

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Member #57025

I can relate to a lot of that: Assuming I liked girls and then realizing that I might actually be attracted to guys as well, having really supportive parents*, and wondering if my romantic orientation may be different to my sexual orientation. I figure that the less sexual you are, the less difference there is between being straight and being gay, so sexuality can be a bit blurry. I haven't been posting on these forums for very long but I have been looking through them for a few months and from what I've seen quite a lot of people have differing sexual and romantic orientations or are confused in that area - so you're not alone!

That being said, for me romance and sex are on the same continuum. I'll meet someone attractive and think 'I wouldn't mind cuddling them' and then as I get to know them things may go to 'I wouldn't mind cuddling them naked' and perhaps 'I wouldn't mind having sex with them'. So the idea of being biromantic but monosexual doesn't really work for me; sure I'm more sexually attracted to girls, but when I think about it I'm also more romantically attracted to girls. Maybe this could also be the case with you?

* I haven't actually talked to them about my sexuality (or lack of) and they do occasionally take the piss out of me by calling me 'celibate', which is quite annoying.

I don't know, that's exactly the "problem" I'm trying to solve, and the question I'm trying to answer. Come to think of it, I do believe my crushes on girls occurred more often, but I don't know whether that is because I actually felt romantically attracted to them, or just because I liked them a little, or maybe even because I suppressed my feelings for guys, knowing I would probably never feel sexually attracted to them anyway and therefore believing that a relationship with a guy wouldn't work. It's extremely difficult and frustrating. I personally think there have been very, very few moments when I could actually imagine myself being sexually attracted to a guy and also having sex with one, but at least I could imagine it at the time... I don't know. I guess you could say I'm either completely demisexual, or completely asexual, in regards to males. XD

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