Wednesday, October 12
Emotional Attraction and Physical Attraction
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!
Posted by Jacob Woods at 10:43 AM
Labels: coming out, emotional attraction, Mental Masturbation, physical attraction
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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.
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.
Interesting contribution aerotrooper! Haven't come across that term yet. I could see the value in using it though!
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