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Mental stress over trying to understand if this is attraction? Sexuality question.

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  • Mental stress over trying to understand if this is attraction? Sexuality question.


    I am new here and found this forum when looking for women forums. I am a 26 year old woman and I hope its okay that I discuss a the question below with you?
    For anyone who responds, thank you so much.

    Disclaimer: Firstly, I have suffered from at times debilitating anxiety all throughout my life so please do not mistake my problems for homophobia or repressed sexuality. I get well meaning people who may think this about me but in my case I have never felt a desire for any real life woman in my life romantically or physically and this remains to be true. I have analysed whether I am capable of being attracted to a woman in real life but after much self introspection I still came back to the same conclusion, which is that I am not attracted to women in real life at all. Also, I really would have zero problems being open and honest if I liked women in real life as I do not believe in operating in shame and have a really positive attitude about the LGBT community. Its actually the confusion that has messed me up, if I liked women in real life, it would be so much easier to be real about it and get on with my life.
    I am asexual and happily a virgin and consider myself closer to the hetro-romantic label due to my ability to be romantically attracted to men, but I love being alone so much that I very much doubt I'l ever get into a relationship or even date so whilst I am not aromatic, I most likely will end up living like a asexual and aromantic person. This has also been a consist feeling throughout my life.

    A few times in the past (2-3 times sometime alst year) I had active (meaning I was awake and it was intentional) romantic fantasies of being with celebrity women (actress and an athlete-fantasized about them in two separate occasions) and imagined being in a dating relationship (living together, kissing etc) and yet as soon as the fantasy was done I couldnt help but laugh at it because I have no attraction towards these women in real life (i.e. when I see them on TV I dont not feel any attraction) but in the past I did watch lesbian movies and maybe it got me curious at to what it would be like. I was turned on by the romantic fantasy but for whatever reason it doesnt crossover to any real life desire.

    My question is: does being attracted to them in the fantasies I had in the past mean that I am attracted to them? I know in real life that I am not attracted to them at all but because of the attraction that I felt only in the past fantasy that I had its left me very confused. FYI, these fantasies were in the past only and I have no desire or attraction to these female celebs in fantasies now at all.

    I am just confused if attraction to an individual occurs in fantasy but does not crossover to attraction in real life is that deemed as attraction?

    Last edited by confused122; 02-05-2018, 05:20 PM.

  • Hi! Welcome to our community! I hope we can help you sort out what's happening and give you some peace and comfort.

    I want to discuss with you first, the distinction you're making with your words "fantasy" and "in real life". If you're having romantic fantasies, then there's some part of you that has attraction for them. It isn't separate from real life, in my mind.

    You're not dreaming, as you point out. They happen to be celebrities, so, out of reach but nonetheless it is a real fantasy that you had about a romantic encounter with these women. That's real. By definition a fantasy is not real, but your fantasy is real.
    Can you clarify what you mean in the distinction you're making? I'm not sure if I understand.

    I don't find it all that odd honestly, what you describe. I have a very strong appreciation for the beauty of women, and have found myself attracted to a woman on occasion, but I wouldn't want to date a woman, for some reason. I struggled with that for awhile.

    I enjoy looking at women much more than men, and I'm aroused by women, but want a man sexually. I'm told that's unusual...i don't know if it is or not. Once I relaxed and just let it go, I didn't analyze or feel something weird about it. It's just a quirk I have. It's different, but it's not unhealthy or abnormal, and I think your situation is similar.

    Are you in the US? In most of our civilized cultures, there's such pressure to be part of a couple. It's a difficult thing to be single and happy by choice. Could you be feeling pressure?

    Also, it's possible that you could change in the coming years also. You're still quite young.

    I look forward to seeing your response and we can discuss further.


    • I agree with atskitty2: by definition a fantasy is not real, but is real in that a part of you is attracted to a woman. However, I also agree that you can appreciate female beauty without wanting a sexual relationship with a woman. I do think you're right to be honest with yourself about your desires. Women ARE beautiful, but I am not that way inclined. However, many are, so that is not a problem. Have these fantasies but don't pressure yourself to feel what does not come naturally to you.


      • Thank you both so much for your reply.

        Okay so on the topic of differentiating fantasy from reality. So I need to explain that I have spent around 14 months mulling on this issue, which explains why I have posted this in the mental health forum. At first I did question my sexual orientation due to these PAST fantasies (these fantasies are not currently occurring and occurred sometime last year on 2-3 separate occasions and ended). What I did was learn about sexuality and one of the first thing I've learnt that thoughts in your head intentionally (what many call fantasy) do not always reflect your true desires. This is more true for someone like me who experiences maladaptive daydreaming. I have imagined alot of things that if I am being honest with myself I am not interested in i.e. I have imagined being a professional dancer and actively and intentional imagined this scenario going a step further to pacing around my room acting out scenes like a mad person lol. Now if you were to ask me if I truly desired to be a professional dancer and throw away the route and career in my life, I would say wholeheartedly absolutely not. If someone asked if I should mull over it and analyze if I was in denial over it, I would say there is nothing to analyze because deep down being a dancer isnt my interest. If someone told me that those fantasizes of being a dancer meant that I truly desired being a dancer then I would have to disagree. This is the best analogy I can make to this situation. I have alot of fantasies that do not truly reflect me, that is just the kind of person I am.

        So in terms of defining attraction, no I am not attracted to the real life-flesh and bone existing two celebrity women that I fantasized about because I was only attracted to my imagination of them. When the fantasies in the past happened for a few times 2-3 times as soon as it was done, I noticed that any attraction I felt by those thoughts of them also disappeared. I looked at them on tv, social media and there was no feeling of attraction, there never was, it was thoughts that got me going. In the same way that I am not interested in being a professional dancer as soon as I stop fantasizing about it. Another analogy, its like seeing a shop assistant everyday that you are not attracted to but going home and intentionally romantically fantasizing about them and being attracted to them in that fantasy and then going back to the shop and feeling no attraction to them in their physical form or emotional form in anyway. Is that attraction? Its like me saying "ohh, I used to be attracted to these two celebrity women because I had active romantic fantasies about them last year around 2- 3 times and then it ended" and then someone asking "so have you met these women? what things attracted you to them?" and me replying "well, no I haven't met them but i was attracted to the thoughts I had about them those few times" and then someone responding "well did you crush on them? follow them on social media? what physical or characteristics did you like about them?" and me responding "no and no and I was attracted to those fleeting thoughts, I dont even know much about them and I think they are pretty but I am not attracted to them when I see them on social media or on tv, in those few times I fantasied I was attracted to them in those moments of fantasizing about them only and sure enough after one or two other romantic fantasies about them the fantasies stopped and never came back".
        Is attraction defined by the thoughts in your head or is it defined by feelings for real life existing people? What if those attraction was only experienced in those fleeting fantasies and did not cross over to any attraction to these celebrity women when I see them on tv/social media and basically anything that exists outside those past fantasy thoughts, is that attraction? This is what I am trying to work out. Yes, those celebrity women exist, no I dont see them in my everyday life, but its clear as day that outside my past thoughts of them I do not and did not at the time feel any arousal or attraction when I see and saw videos or pictures of them. There are no crush feelings, just blank. This is the difference I am trying to make about thought you have that do not crossover to how you truly feel. This is what I am saying about fantasies and reality. How you truly feel reflects on actions you take in your life or actions you dont take that make you fee sad i.e. I had a thought of becoming a doctor and it really makes me happy and I am going to pursue it and I end up pursuing it v I had a romantic thought about celebrity women in which I was attracted to them only in that fantasy and was turned on but outside of these thoughts I do not feel any attraction to them or feel any desire to pursue a course to explore with a woman and if given a chance to explore with these celebrity I would not because I feel no desire i.e. no emotional reaction excited, intrigued to do so and so I am leaving the thoughts to pass and sure enough the fantasizing stopped after a few times.

        So am I correct in understanding that you both believe that any thoughts of someone where you are attracted to them because of the thoughts=attraction even if as soon as they thoughts are over you feel no attraction to the physical form of that person i.e. the flesh and bone? Any clarity on this would be great, thanks.

        Also, I know it isnt normal and again another reason why I am posting on the mental health forum, I have spent 14 long months analayzing if I liked women in real life based on the past and fleeting intention fantasies. I really let myself open to the idea of being bi or a lesbian. I learnt about internalized homophobia and I analyzed and analyzed and as someone who already has a non conformist mindset and who doesnt hold any issues with lgbt and identifying with it, I came to a conclusion I already knew before I dragged myself through 14 months of wasted analyzing- no I have never and do not have any attraction to women in real life. The attraction I am talking about in my case where thoughts not real life existing flesh and bone people that I saw, I have never felt those feelings for a woman. There is no denial in what I wrote, 14 month is a very long and wasted time for someone to be mulling over things. In the end, I realized I knew my sexuality as a asexual and closer to hetro-romantic and my issue has never really been about confusion over this but rather the confusion regarding what attraction is defined by and a overanalytical brain that likes to analyze everything.

        Yes, I am US based-though now on holiday abroad and no I really do not care about being a couple with anyone. I genuinely believe I'll be happily single forever as this has been a consistent feeling throughout my life and whilst I am open to it changing, I wont be disappointed if it doesnt.

        Sorry for rambling, I coulnt have explained everything in a shorter way.
        Last edited by confused122; 02-06-2018, 09:08 AM.


        • Welcome to WH!

          There are many different things at work when defining sexuality. There is the conscious mind, the unconscious mind and hormones among others. When guys dream, they sometimes incorporate attraction with sexual fantasy and with heightened hormonal influence, can experience a wet dream where they actually climax and ejaculate during sleep. Women can experience something similar. Generally such situations don't occur with someone who has an active sex life. They can occur in gaps during the sex life. The sexual fantasies may be ordinary sex or may be something that the person who is dreaming considers to be taboo or risque. Things that a person's conscious mind would normally stop are explored. Sometimes when daydreaming, the unconscious mind blends into the conscious mind.

          I do not find your situation unusual. It is probably something about certain celebrity women that makes them the object of your thoughts, possibly their public personalities.
          I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided, and that is the lamp of experience.
          Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance by lying supinely on our backs and hugging the delusive phantom of hope, until our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot?

          From a speech by Patrick Henry on March 23, 1775 at St. John's Church, Richmond, Virginia


          • Thank you JNS for your reply. I will say that as someone suffering from a year long worth of anxiety and depression the first two post replies really further confused me and I know that was in no way the intention of the posters. Having seeked support from a sexuality specialist, I have come to understand the same gender fantasies are not at all uncommon and they were not at all confused by fantasy/real life separation. I simply explained that I have had thoughts in my head and imagined scenarios that I do not feel a desire for when I finish the imaginations. I was advised to leave it as a fantasy because if it was anything more I would desire to be with women outside of my fantasies (again they also termed this as "real life" to differentiate between thoughts in one's head and actual feelings and desires people feel around other people not imaginations hence why fantasies are used in this sense). I've also read so many lgbtq articles talking about fantasies including fantasies people have of people they actually know and real life. None of the articles seemed to use the term "dream" which is a unconscious, uncontrolled fantasy, most of them actual where Q&A where women and men talked about imagining themselves in a same gender relationship but it not crossing over to "real life" meaning when they were around real people, not thoughts circling around their mind intentionally.

            Hopefully, what I have shared above can help someone else out who so happens to be dealing with a similar issue.
            Thank you all for your contribution to this thread.
            Last edited by confused122; 02-16-2018, 02:09 PM.


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