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Questioning Sexuality

Labels are funny when you involve other people.

Vibe Song:

When my partner came out to me as non-binary it took me a while to realize that I should probably re-examine my sexuality. In fact, I had to have a friend point out to me that I wouldn’t be considered heterosexual anymore because the person I loved, although had a femme presentation, was not a woman. This logically made sense to me and it caused me to reconsider how identified. However, I couldn’t land on a label that seemed to fit.

Many of the different labels I explored seemed to me to have problematic aspects. I knew that I still had strong attraction to femme presenting people and so one label I explored was gynosexual. Although it felt accurate, there was a feeling that it was too restrictive and uncomfortable. From my research it seemed to focus heavily on presentation and physical attributes, and that didn’t feel true for me.

When my partner realized their own asexuality, we both learned quite a bit about the different kinds of attractions: aesthetic, romantic, sexual, and platonic. Armed with this knowledge and doing some self-examinations on past friendships/connections I realized that I had several different kinds of relationships throughout my life, and stepping into polyamory should allow for that.

Thinking about sexuality and the different kinds of attractions I have, I realized that putting a label on my sexuality is restrictive. Going back to my original questioning, how I identified my sexuality needed to be updated because of the person I was in relation with. I think this is a flaw of using labels to define your attraction types. When someone says that they are heterosexual, they are saying that, as a man or woman, they are attracted to someone of the opposite gender in the binary spectrum. That presumption is inherently restrictive and typically problematic.

The reason it is restrictive and typically problematic is that the person presumes what the other’s gender is, and that they are somehow compatible. And it’s problematic because the assumption of gender is usually based on presentation alone.

You look like a woman, so therefore we are compatible.

Now you’re getting into conversations like I had with my friend where I was being told that my identity shifted. I struggled with this for a little while because I didn’t feel like I had shifted.

From my perspective, my partner came to an important realization about themselves and I was excited for them. To have my partner’s new realization in their identity affect my identity seemed unintuitive to me. I mean, based on the labels I was using it made sense but it was an interesting dilemma that my brain couldn’t shake. It wasn’t until recently that I realized why my brain couldn’t come to a conclusion that felt right.

I have a problem with using identity labels that depend on the identity of others. I would rather have a conversation with someone and naturally form an attraction with them then to stick to a label as my method of filtering. I don’t want to be restrictive in who I allow myself to be attracted to, especially if I want to flex the full breadth of my attraction.

I want to be open to different kinds of relationships in my life and I don’t want to view any of them as being more important than others. My partner and I have already redefined our relationship as Platonic Life Partners and it is a very special relationship to me. Yes, I will most likely only have sexual relationships with femme presenting people. But that’s how I feel today. That can change tomorrow, and I’m open to it.

Being open to different styles of relationships and expanding the definition outside of sex has been liberating for me. For a long while I had been identifying as queer just as a catch all until I found a better word. But it is the best word I’ve found to date. I have found no better word that perfectly encapsulates what my openness to attraction is.

  • It doesn’t assume what the other person’s gender is.
  • It doesn’t assume what the relationship will look like.
  • It doesn’t assume anything but love between me and the person I’m with.

It’s. Just. Perfect.


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