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Sexually Attracted To Girls, Emotionally To Guys

Published: May 14, 2012
Dear TeenHealthFX,
I always thought I was different ever since I was a child. I grew up without my father so there has always been an emotional yearning towards men. This always makes me think that I'm gay. I've never had any sexual thoughts about men and when I forced myself to think about it I was not aroused by it. I have a lot of trouble talking to girls and flirting and I always think that they think I'm gay. I see how other guys talk to girls and I see how different I am. I am sexually attracted to girls and emotionally attracted to men. Does this mean that I am bi? Im 18 and a male by the way. It always makes me very depressed to think about all this. thanks
Signed: Sexually Attracted To Girls, Emotionally To Guys

Dear Sexually Attracted To Girls, Emotionally To Guys,


Being bisexual would mean that you were sexually attracted to both men and women. From what you have written it sounds like you are only sexually attracted to, and aroused by, women, which would make you straight.

Keep in mind that someone’s sexual orientation can be a complicated thing and it can be hard to break it down from information given in one paragraph. So FX cannot know for sure whether you are straight, gay, or bisexual – only you can know that. When you think of dating someone, including being physically intimate with that person – do you picture a man, a woman, or both men and women – only you can know how you feel. What FX would like to say is that whatever you are – straight, gay, or bisexual – it is okay for you to be who you are and have the feelings you do. You will be just as valuable and wonderful as a human being whether you are straight, gay, or bisexual.

FX does want you to think about the following:

·         Given that you grew up without your father, your desire for an emotional bond with a man may very easily be about the mourning you are feeling in not having had your father in your life and the longing you feel to have that special father-son relationship. If you are craving a loving, close relationship with a man because of a sense of loss and emptiness about not having had your father in your life, then that doesn’t mean you are gay – it means you missed out on a father-son relationship that has caused you pain and a longing to replace it.

·         When you said that you think girls often think you are gay FX wonders if this is because girls in your life have said something or done something to give you that impression or whether your concern is based more on your own worries about it. Sometimes when we are worried about something or think something to be a certain way, we automatically assume others think the same. For example, if we are convinced we are not smart, we assume others see us as unintelligent. When we see ourselves as unattractive, we assume others see us the same way. And if we worry we might be gay, we assume others pick up the same thing. Sometimes it is the case, and sometimes it is not. Maybe girls have wondered that about you, but it is also possible that it has never occurred to the girls you have met and it is more an issue in your head than in theirs.  

FX encourages you to speak to a trusted adult, such as a parent, extended family member, school counselor, or parent of a friend about how you are feeling. Given that you are feeling depressed about all of this, it is important that you not struggle through these thoughts and feelings alone, but that you have people there for you with guidance and support. If these feelings are too private for you to share with friends or family, or you think the extent of how depressed you feel may require professional help, then consider meeting with a mental health professional. A clinical social worker or psychologist could help you to process your feelings about not having grown up with your father, as well as help you to become clearer about your sexual orientation if you continue to be unsure about it. It sounds like there is sadness and confusion for you about both of these issues – and a therapist could certainly help you sort through each of them.

If you live in northern New Jersey and need help finding a therapist you can call the Access Center from Atlantic Behavioral Health at 888-247-1400. Outside of this area you can log onto the US Department of Health and Human Services Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website for referrals in your area. You can also contact your insurance company to get a list of in-network mental health providers or check with your school social worker or psychologist to get a list of referrals in your area.

Signed: TeenHealthFX