Jacob Woods

Jacob Woods
Jacob is gay. He eats, breathes, and sleeps lgbtqia issues. He is a psychology major currrently working to educate the simpletons. He attends college in the Twin Cities.

Wednesday, October 12

Emotional Attraction and Physical Attraction

Emotional attraction and physical attraction are on separate wave lengths. When dealing with identifying one's own sexual orientation, these terms can be thrown around ambiguously causing much confusion to whom may be coming to terms with a minority orientation status. Understanding emotional attraction can become more frustrating when tossing in the emotional and romantic relationships associated with the orientation of asexuality. Take my life for example.

I was so confused coming out of the closet! I would read online about emotional attraction in relationship to asexuality and Kinsey's theories on orientation, but no one ever described to me that I could be emotionally attracted to someone but not be in a romantic relationship with them. I started seeing close friendships with the opposite sex as opportunities for romantic relationships even though I was physically attracted to men. Because of the stigma associated with being gay, I had a  difficult time dating because I was frightened of letting my "friendships" with gay men become emotionally involved. The sexual part was obvious for me and I felt that letting the emotional half of a relationship would be giving into "evil" temptations. Of course I discovered later that letting the emotional aspect evolve and be a part of the sexual aspect of love was healthy for intimate relationships.

Nonetheless, for several months, I went on to believe that I was bisexual because of this emotional concept of loving the opposite sex. If I loved girls emotionally and men physically; I had to be either pansexual or bisexual. The most frustrating aspect of this "dichotomic" attraction was I knew aesthetically which women were perceived as beautiful. I could pinpoint that a woman/girl was hot, attractive, pretty, beautiful, etc. However, I could not bring myself to fantasize or ever enjoy having sex with them. (Straights can attest to the same concept of being aware of who is attractive in their social groups and who isn't! It's a Darwin eat Darwin world out there.)

Eventually my thought processing became logical! I had to separate what was considered to be a friendship to me from what was going to be an intimate relationship. The emotional attraction and physical attraction were made into one. For closeted gays, this concept is not an easy one to overcome as it can become very ambiguous, socially challenging, and confusing. Anyone who has faced this interpersonal paradox knows exactly what I am talking about! And anyone who feels they might be living in this mind frame described above should know; it's ok to be gay and have non-romantic friendships with the opposite sex!


naturgesetz said...

And it's also okay to be gay and have non-romantic friendships with the same sex.

I think not only is it possible to misconstrue affection for a person of the opposite sex, it's also possible to misconstrue affection for someone of the same sex. In fact I suspect that there is some number of people who felt nonsexual affection for someone of the same sex and said "OMG, I'm gay!"

However that may be, I think it's important for us to realize the distinction you've made.

aerotrooper said...

Great post. The LDS prefer "Same Gender Attraction" which I like better because it encompasses both emotional and physical attraction and it doesn't have the word 'sex' in it like "Same Sex Attraction" or "Homosexuality". Too many people are pre-occupied with sex already without the word triggering it in their brains.

Jacob Woods said...

Interesting contribution aerotrooper! Haven't come across that term yet. I could see the value in using it though!

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