Don’t really have a sexual orientation.

Chökhor wrote…

I’m finding out about myself that I don’t really have a sexual orientation, but a gender orientation. In terms of sexual orientation it seems I’m bisexual, but that is an incomplete description. It is more appropriate to say that I am attracted to femininity regardless of the person’s sex.

What’s your experience?

And what are you thinking about gender right now?


Posted by on April 7th, 2011 at 08:00 am

Category: your voice 31 comments »

31 Responses to “Don’t really have a sexual orientation.”

  1. kp

    YES! I totally get that! I have always identified as a lesbian but have, over the years, been attracted to feminine men. Even sexually. I used to wonder why I was attracted to any man at all, then it hit me: I was attracted the their femininity. Evidently I like femininity, regardless of the packaging.

    [Reply]

    danah gaz replied:

    As an overtly feminine male I\’ve noticed that as well. It\’s hetero men, lesbian womyn and bi or pan people that find me attractive.

    I think our taxonomy of orientation is too genital focused, overly simplistic and inadequate for describing all of the variations of gender and attraction.

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    Jessica replied:

    Labels and terminology can be helpful as a starting place to help people gain a basic understanding of something, but real, in-depth understanding always discards the boxes, it has to.

    [Reply]

    tigr replied:

    Heyyy! I’d been wondering if you’re still around. Glad to hear from you again =)

  2. Anne

    I like this. I call myself “bi” but dislike the duality it implies when what I am into is balance and ambiguity.

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    Luka replied:

    I totally agree with you, people sometimes call me bi, but I hate the word, to me the word implies that everyone can be divided in either male or female, but there are so much more choices than that! I really like androgynous people.

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    Imonlyhuman replied:

    I agree….Totally!!!!

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    Tommy replied:

    …and this is why I identify as Pansexual :P

    (though I usually say I am bi unless I am prepared to have a long discussion about it =_=)

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  3. Charles

    I too am attracted to femininity regardless of the person’s sex.

    [Reply]

  4. Charles

    I also get what you mean about using the term bi, but not feeling it’s truly accurate….I’m a female-bodied genderqueer who is attracted primarily to women but also to feminine or androgynous men, as well as trans, genderqueer, or intersexed persons who have a feminine or mostly feminine gender presentation….I say primarily to women because I’m attracted to more women than I am men, but really that’s just because there are so many more feminine women than there are feminine men, I am attracted as strongly to the few men I am attracted to as I am the women…..Does any of this make me bisexual? Good question. Really I’m only attracted to one thing, however that one thing can be in any sex…BIsexual implies that I am attracted to two sexes, when really I am attracted to any sex, not just “male” or “female”, but if I say PANsexual, I feel that is also frustratingly non-descriptive, as it seems to imply I could be attracted to any sex, type, or gender presentation…when in fact, I am not attracted to most men, nor am I attracted to masculine women (not that I dont think they are awesome, because they are! ha ha, I’m a bit masculine myself…I usually get described as ‘androgynous’ or ‘soft butch’) I guess I just wish there were more words to describe these things- to describe the various shades of “bi” or “pan”….I could always make one up, but then if I’m the only one who knows what it means, it’s still not going to be conveying the information I’m meaning it to, lol.

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    Tommy replied:

    So you’d be “femme-sexual”, basically? ;)

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  5. popvox

    That’s pretty much me, too. I go by pansexual (or, to co-opt a technical term, “platform-agnostic”) but while parts don’t matter, femininity really is what attracts me.

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  6. Jessica

    I like this topic because I am attracted to people with strong personalities… no, I don’t mean macho or forceful. I mean that they know who they are, they say what they mean, there is an authenticity to them that is missing from many people, who seem content with just playing a succession of bit parts. Who knows, maybe I just like better actors… but that’s another question for another day.

    It may seem odd to many people: to have been kissing someone for 20 minutes and not figured out their gender. Does it really matter?

    If I am sincerely genderqueer, somehow I can’t care very much what their gender identity is – I am far more interested in getting to know the person they have been, the person they are presently, and the person they are becoming. When that excites me, their physiology is just a detail, an afterthought.

    I once knew a boy with one hand for six months before I tumbled on his not having two hands. But I could tell you so much about his eyes and the way they flashed when he talked of adventure and exploration!

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    Plurmacorn replied:

    That’s beautiful….. i didn’t know other people like me existed in the world. Does it really matter what people are? shouldn’t everyone be loved anyways? It sounds cliché when I say it like this but it’s really about what’s inside that matters. Inside their hearts their souls. What makes the tick what makes them smile or cry or laugh. People have personalities for a reason their skin is just what’s protecting it. I loved everything u had to say. Its everything that I have in my heart. I need to find more people who love the way we do. It wud be awesome if everyone could see the way we see things. Even when people don’t have the nicest or most intellectual mind or personality I wonder why they are the way that they are. I don’t and don’t want to hate anyone.

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  7. Alex

    I refer to myself as a gay-ish transman for this reason, at least partially. I guess you could call me homoromantic pansexual, but I am mostly just attracted to masculinity in any of its forms. (and I’m just realizing that makes me in the minority, seeing as most of the other commenters like femininity.)

    [Reply]

    Jessica replied:

    “Don’t get too conventional all at once, will you? There’ll be a reaction.”

    Liz Imbry (Ruth Hussey) to Macaulay Connor (Jame Stewart) in The Philadelphia Story.

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  8. Andy

    I’ve heard the term polysexual before. Basically, it’s when you pick and choose what gender/sex combinations you’re attracted to. So one person’s polysexual will be different than another person’s polysexual, but at least it doesn’t leave you bouncing between bisexual and pansexual.

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    Jessica replied:

    I like multisexual, perisexual, omnisexual, and especially metasexual. Sometimes I refer to myself as metagendered, since I am an abstraction of my former self: the very definition of transition.

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  9. Imonlyhuman

    Hello everyone!!! I am on your facebook page but I didn’t feel comfortable replying on there.
    I’m a 35 year old black bisexual male,who has for the past 15 yrs or so been involved in the bi community. But after reading this topic,and until recently , I finally GET IT. I’m attracted to fem guys,but married a butch woman…and yes she’s bi also.
    I’m so freaking confused right now,at one point I thought I might be gay. But couldn’t see myself without women… I love women.!!! Even more I love lesbians. And often ( wish i was a woman ) fantasize bout being a woman. I hate all these labels but, I need to find out who I am. ( After all this time I thought I knew )
    I love what I’m seeing and reading on this site. Keep it up.
    Why does gender matter? Why does Orientation matter?

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    Jessica replied:

    It sometimes hits you like a brick. It did me, unfortunately not until I was 50+ and I had made my family (and me) miserable and confused for 20 years. People just don’t understand how gender dysphoria makes you so self-destructive.

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  10. Andronymous

    I generally identify as queer if I have to. But that’s a rare occasion. I use to struggle with identity. I find queer offers a nice umbrella.

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    Tommy replied:

    I like queer too! I either use that or pan.

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  11. Adair

    Hmm, I am attracted to androgyny regardless of the parts. :P I like strong facial bone structure and sort of tall, bony frames, which leads me to be attracted to bio men more often but is equally attractive on the women who fit the description. I also like heavy men with shoulder-length hair and short, soft-bodied women. Most of what turns me on is more emotional or conceptual than physical, though.

    I like the phrase “bisexual” just so I can proudly fight biphobia and related forms or orientationism. Still, my attraction to any given person is far more complex than “I like men” or “I like women” or “I like transgendered folks.”

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  12. Nazza

    I tend to be attracted to femininity primarily myself, though this also includes masculine women and feminine men. My partner is not particularly feminine in some ways, but very feminine in others.

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  13. Tommy

    You know, I used to be like this!
    Primarily attracted to both feminine women and men, while masculine men did nothing for me!

    But now I’m mostly attracted to masculine men (I still like some femme guys, but less than before) O.o Idk why (my disphoria might have influenced that, though).

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  14. Rich

    There are already terms for what you’re describing: androsexual and gynosexual. It’s great also when one isn’t sure of their own gender identity because gay and straight imply a certain gender about the speaker, too (specifically the same or opposite of the person they’re attracted to). If you think about it, bisexual is the only term in LGBT that doesn’t implicitly have a gender attached to it. When I’m feeling like giving people a complete description of myself I say I’m an androsexual androgyne because
    a) It’s unfair to say gay when I don’t consider myself completely male.
    b) I have no problems with dating transmen.
    c) I don’t agree with the false dichotomies of male/female, gay/straight.

    More often than not I’m labeled a gay man by others.

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  15. Liam

    This has been a frustration of mine when it comes to sexuality.

    I am pretty content with labeling myself as bisexual as to me, my sexuality has nothing to with a potential partner’s gender. Simply the physical sex. When I say I am bisexual, I am not saying the type of person I am attracted to in terms of personality, but simply if you have a penis, vagina, breasts, or not…or ANY combination of them it won’t be a problem. I can be intimate with anyone.

    My therapist once asked me, “Who can you physically have sex with?” Being the literal person I am, I said really anyone. “Who can you have a conversation with? Have a relationship with?” It gets far too complicated even though that is probably what is most important.

    Even though I am bisexual and identify as such, I am not limiting potential partners to the gender binary. With the infinite possibilities of looks, presentations, qualities, and features a person has on top of being able to change those from day to day and moment to moment. . .I think it is impossible to create fitting “sexuality” labels to cover them all.

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  16. artdyke

    If you have options, it means you’re bisexual (or pansexual). Far, FAR more people are bisexual/pansexual than are generally willing to admit, but that doesn’t equal the lack of an orientation. I think you could only really say a true asexual lacks an orientation, because they have no sexuality to orient.

    FWIW, I’m pansexual and attracted to genderfuckery and androgyny regardless of sex, but with a special love for butch/androgynous ladies, a fetish for short hair, and a healthy appreciation of gay boys.

    [Reply]

    Meike replied:

    First of all, I think the only person who can say for sure what their orientation is is the person you’re referring to. You calling them bi- or pansexual doesn’t make it so. Furthermore, I disagree with your asexual-related statements. What on earth is a “true” asexual? And just because one doesn’t necessarily desire sex, doesn’t mean they don’t still have an orientation. I’m a grey-ace of sorts, and I most definitely have an orientation, both romantically and partially sexually. The sexual aspect is mostly theoretical, but still. Don’t exclude the aces here.

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  17. danah gaz

    You’re attracted to femmes. That seems simple enough to me. =)

    Some people consider “femme” and “butch” as genders in and of themselves. I happen to agree with that.

    To the extent that I identify as trans, I sometimes identify as trans femme (a term I picked up from the lovely elle navidson) and sometimes as a trans woman. Or, more to the point I just identify as a femme or as a woman.

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  18. Rose

    I can identify with so much of this! I too am mostly attracted to balance and ambiguity, to androgynous people who embody both masculine and feminine traits. If a person is too masculine or too feminine, I will not be attracted. I hardly ever fancy monosexuals, most of my love interests are bisexual themselves. I see an attractive person as being like a good cup of coffee, they have to have the perfect blend of masculine and feminine traits, without leaning too much one way or the other.

    [Reply]


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