Question: sexuality, fluidity, androgyny

A reader asks…

I am curious, do others feel like their attraction and sexuality changes throughout the weeks or months (or throughout their lifetimes)? I feel that mine is almost on some sort of cycle. There will be times when I am extremely attracted to masculinity, men, male-identifying, etc. folks, then there are times where I am attracted exclusively to androgynous folks. There are times were I am extremely attracted to feminine, female, etc. folks and times where I am not really attracted to anyone at all — feeling uninterested in anything sexual. It seems to repeat over and over again. Similar things happen with my gender but not as extreme as I am overall pretty androgynous.

If this does happen to you, how do you deal with it? It sort of stresses me out or confuses me at times.

Please post your response in the comments below.

» Ask Genderfork «

Posted by on January 1st, 2010 at 04:00 pm

Category: questions 16 comments »

16 Responses to “Question: sexuality, fluidity, androgyny”

  1. V

    I’m the opposite. While my sexuality remains fairly consistent, though I might prefer masculinity or femininity for certain periods of time, my gender identity is a confusing thing, generally shifting every few months. I find that the confusion continues to affect me unless I just live in the moment, paying little attention to the overall picture. It’s how I feel at any given moment that’s important. I’m not sure how it will work in the long run, but for now, if it means I can live my everyday life without too much pain, that’s what I’ll do.


  2. Transverse Girl

    I can relate to much of what you said. I have experienced a significant level of fluidity in my own sexual attraction. In part, I think some of the fluidity came from internalize homophobia and some of it from my own dysphoria. It certainly has produced some confusing times in my life.

    However, as I move through physical transition and also dealt with many of the factors contributing to the complications around my sexual attraction, I’ve noticed that it has started to settle down into a distinct spectrum of attraction. I’m not sure that my experience is remotely typical. But, it is what it is.

    On the whole, I think everyone experiences a certain level of fluidity. To my mind, its less a matter of the fact of the fluidity and more how we work with it. I have found it best to not fight myself and go with my gut. I suppose this isn’t that helpful. But, there you are.


  3. C

    If you have a menstrual cycle, it could be due to hormones. I’ve heard somewhere that closer to ovulation one usually prefers someone more masculine and when not ovulating someone more feminine. I definitely experience this a little too.


  4. Kel

    hm…I have to say that my situation (based on what you’ve said) is relativly the same.

    for me each day(and sometimes even several times per day) I feel atraccted to different types of people…my thought of mind on gender also tends to change quite often.

    the best I have found to do is just roll with it…it makes it hard to commit, but its the easiest way I’ve found to deal with my countiualy changing preferences (or lack of intrest)There’s nothing wrong with being attracted to guys one day, girls the next, and nothing at all the next.


  5. Tiara

    I have this – I like people, being pansexual, but I’ve noticed I go through waves of liking men more then liking women more then going for the ambiguous etc etc. For me it seems to be more related to who I’ve been around more – if I’m around men a lot I start hankering for women, and vice versa. Perhaps some subtle hormonal thing?


  6. Cat

    Yup. My gender feelings change more frequently, but more subtly. My sexuality ebbs and flows on a less frequent basis, but does so rather drastically.

    I would say that I am always pansexual, in that if I were in a relationship with Person X who is Gender X, and suddenly I go through a phase of being noticably more attracted to Gender Y, I wouldn’t feel any differently about that person. So it doesn’t really cause a problem in my relationships, per se.

    It used to cause problems for myself. Less so because of what genders I was attracted to – oddly (for our society anyway) I was always ok with not being “straight.” But more having to do with the heights and dips of my actual sex drive. I can be completely asexual for months and then just explode with sexual energy. That was the thing that got to me.

    These days, I just try to take it as it comes and accept that I have a very diverse set of life experiencies. :)


  7. Sasha

    I can understand your feelings. Being born female, I realized only a few months ago, how messed up my gender identity is. There seemed to be just no way to describe it; one day I feel like girl, next like a boy, next androgynous, and then again as if I have no gender at all. Since my moods and feelings are influenced a lot by my cycle, I was wondering if my gender was too. So I started keeping a diary about how I feel. Okay, I am only doing this for a very short time, but I think I already start to see some patterns in it. For me writing down where I stand helps me dealing with it. Probably because I always seek logical explanations for everything. And maybe I am going to be able to predict my own gender. That would be extremely helpful because try to find clothes for a special occasion (like Christmas) when you don’t know what you are going to feel like that day.


  8. Ebenezer

    I think, in terms of sexuality at least, most people experience this to some extent; one’s sexuality varies over time — not necessarily one’s sexual preference, but simply one’s sexual feelings.

    My advice would be not to worry about it. Attempting to repress fluidity in oneself is difficult and often damaging. Some things just defy longterm definitions.


  9. Andy

    I read the same thing that C heard. I think they did a study on it a while ago.


  10. J

    I experience this too and I’m a trans woman, so no menstrual cycle as far as I know :) I think for me it’s more of just an emotional thing, and I go through big emotional cycles even with a steady level of hormones.


  11. alix

    I go through the same thing, although my periods of attraction can last weeks or months before rolling over into something else — I’m in a boy phase right now. I do notice, however, that my crushes/attractions to particular people continue regardless of where my wandering eye might land — even if I’m going through a phase where I’m more attracted to women, that boy I like at the piercing shop is still incredibly attractive to me.


  12. Rin

    This happens to me, more with my sex drive at all than who in particular I’m attracted to, but yeah. As has already been said, really the best thing to do is just roll with it. I have to keep reminding myself that it doesn’t make me inconsistent or untruthful or anything. I also like to share what phase I’m in with my friends/makeout buddies sometimes, just so they have an idea what’s going on– maybe that would help?


  13. Anonymous

    oh definitely. and who i’m attracted to totally depends on how i’m thinking of *myself* at that particular moment as well. like girl!me has never been super attracted to like, RAWR MASCULINITY, but guy!me sorta has.

    i’ve started more and more to embrace the term “queer,” in part because who i am and what i’m attracted to at a particular moment is pretty fluid, and i don’t feel like many other labels really capture that.


  14. CJ

    I relate to this a lot. Although, my attraction tends to change based on who I’m interested in at that time, and/or how the relationships that I have with the people around me are going. For instance, right now I’m with a wonderful female who dresses androgynous and has absolutely no problem with identifying as a lesbian.
    Right now I find myself feeling extremely attracted towards many women with beautiful feminine features who somewhat cover those with a masculine stance and clothing. I also find myself attracted to many people who have nice smiles, which is one of my favorite features about my girlfriend. Before I met her, I was in a very rocky relationship with a straight male, and I felt almost no attraction towards others. There have been other times that I’ve been attracted dominantly to males, and other times when I’ve been attracted to very feminine features in others. I suppose it all just depends.


  15. jamessooy

    I can relate. Eventually I got to a point where I decided it didn’t matter who I was (what I thought) last year / last month /yesterday, I just had to be OK with where I was at any given point, and gave myself the freedom to change my mind. I spent alot of time learning how to live unchained from the past.

    It’s one reason I try not to label myself anymore. If I say “I’m Christian” today it makes it that much harder to follow Hinduism tomorrow.

    My one piece of advice is to never assume the search is over and you’ve found the one true you. Keep looking, everyday.


  16. Lyn Aven

    This is just par for the course for me. *giggles* My gender’s all over the place. It’s not a cycle for me, though — sometimes I’ll even switch between “boy-mode” and “girl-mode” multiple times in a day (my record is six switches in two hours) or sometimes I’ll stick in one place for 2-3 days at a time.

    My sexuality doesn’t shift nearly so dramatically, but I do tend to react more positively to a cute boy when I’m feeling more on the feminine side of things.


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