all 29 comments

[–]Destresse 18 insightful - 1 fun18 insightful - 0 fun19 insightful - 1 fun -  (7 children)

Ah, I don't think I fit the definition of what you're asking since I never dated any male, but I did manage to convince myself I wasn't a lesbian for quite some time.

Basically, I'm not very in touch with myself, my body, my feelings. Or I used not to be. And I felt very little. So the one time I would feel something, and it'd be about a man, I'd go "oh must be love," even when it was fear I was feeling. I just couldn't identify any of my emotions. First time I started staring at girls' lips or breasts, at 17, I of course noticed the difference, but I was so ashamed and I really didn't want to be a lesbian I just thought "whatever, it's normal, everyone is a little bi, I can still be straight" and I just ignored the fact I wasn't staring at boys at all. After all, my straight friends didn't talk about boys either, so it was easy to think we were the same. Next, it was the first time a guy expressed interest in me, when I was 20, and I froze and immediately changed the subject and then ignored him forever. Knee-jerk reaction. And I thought "what the heck is wrong with me, I don't want to be alone forever do I?" Then my attraction to women just got stronger and I thought it was society hyper-sexualising women that was poisoning me or something lol. I started worrying, a bit, about how I always, always avoided anything relating to my love life. Friends who talk about it included. But no, it did not click. At this point my brain had become an expert in denial lol. I came up with all sorts of theories about why I didn't want to date men, and not once did "i'm a lesbian" cross my mind until I read another lesbian describing her difficulties accepting herself. And then the dam broke and I spent something like two months recovering from that discovery, suddenly becoming hyper-anxious and sad and feeling like my world was crumbling down to ashes. Which it kind of was, to be honest lol. I had constructed this fantasy world where I could be straight, and in one day it all came crashing down suddenly.

I wouldn't be surprised if this is how it goes for most late-bloomers. The society we live in makes it painfully easy to think attraction to men is every minor feeling you have ever had for a man, be it admiration, envy, and more worryingly even fear, stress, and loathing. And attraction to women is normal because "women's sexuality is fluid" or something. For a long time I bought the lie that female homosexuality just doesn't exist. First time seeing (or reading) someone like me was what did it. I'm grateful to all lesbians who share their experiences and hardships, as well as describe their feelings and desires so clearly, who write blogs about it, because I would have realised way later without them. What cemented it and shut up the obsessive "what if you're just fucked up" voices in my head was actually flirting with women and being sexual with them and seeing just how easy that was. Simply something I actually wanted. And I thought "wow, all this time, this was how people actually felt when crushing on someone? I finally get it"

Ironically, I have never felt more like I belonged with my fellow humans than at this moment lol. Desire and love are just so important, and I am so glad I will never again live my life without feeling either, now that I know what they are.

[–]QueenOfTheNorth[S] 7 insightful - 1 fun7 insightful - 0 fun8 insightful - 1 fun -  (1 child)

This actually made me tear up a little to read... Maybe I'm just feeling sensitive, but I'm so so happy for you and that you're able to live a life honest to yourself and your desires now. That's wonderful.

[–]Destresse 2 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 0 fun3 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

A-aahh! I don't know what to say lol, reading you teared up made me tear up 😂

Thank you very much, I'm definitely aiming for long-term happiness 🥰

[–]LesChameleon 6 insightful - 1 fun6 insightful - 0 fun7 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

Oh god, you explained it so well!!

[–]weirdlyhaunted 5 insightful - 1 fun5 insightful - 0 fun6 insightful - 1 fun -  (1 child)

Damn. I wrote my comment before reading this, and I could have just said "same." I love you, stranger on the internet.

[–]Destresse 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)


Every experience is different and deserves to be heard though, I'm glad you shared yours!

[–]reluctant_commenter 14 insightful - 1 fun14 insightful - 0 fun15 insightful - 1 fun -  (2 children)

I'm not sure I endorse the term "compulsory heterosexuality" but I'll take a stab at the main idea that you suggest:

I personally don't understand how people can believe they are having real crushes on men while also supposedly having repressed crushes on women, without the physical cues being a huge and dead give away.

^ The bolded part is the key. Three example scenarios where someone doesn't acknowledge their physical cues:

  • Being in a homophobic religion/family/region/whatever where homosexuality is shamed and threatened. Some people may just have a ton of cognitive dissonance, esp. if they are trying to keep themselves safe, and while lying to their acquaintances/family, end up partly convincing themselves.

  • Lack of body awareness due to trauma. Lesbians-- being both female, and homosexual-- are at higher risk for being sexually assaulted than the general population. (Gender nonconforming people are also at higher risk for sexual assault/abuse and lesbians are more likely to be GNC as well.) One potential result of undergoing such trauma is a mind-body disconnect. End result: inability to observe the physical cues of your own arousal.

  • Lack of body awareness due to a disorder, e.g. autism spectrum disorder. People with ASD are more likely to have a mind-body disconnect.

As for the term "comphet" itself... I'm mixed. Yes, there is a lot of pressure for women to not acknowledge their same-sex attraction, especially in certain areas of the world. But, that "comphet masterdoc" is full of bullshit. I've become a lot more cautious when I see the phrase "compulsory heterosexuality" thrown around (thanks, in part, to some very thoughtful comments on this sub a while ago!).

[–]QueenOfTheNorth[S] 7 insightful - 1 fun7 insightful - 0 fun8 insightful - 1 fun -  (1 child)

Yeah, I can relate to having religious parents (catholic) and I can definitely see how I would have been more in denial if I didn't have some wonderful resources in my life that taught me it was okay. I'm lucky enough to live in a non-religious community so I've never been shut off from other points of view or had the fear of being hated by friends, acquaintances, neighbours, etc, so it was easier for me. I suppose I'm coming from a place of privilege as far as compulsive heterosexuality goes so I really appreciate these replies. Personally I was a very GNC child and had a pixie cut and did martial arts, so I was always called a lesbian even before I realised I am one, so it was easier to come to terms with because it was expected of me? I'm more femme now but it definitely played a part.

I did think I was bisexual but just a Kinsley 5 for ages though, up until recently, because I had been told by progressive friends that "everyone is a bit gay/straight because you haven't met everyone in the world and you don't know if you'll maybe be attracted to 1 man out a million." I've never been attracted to a man or thought I was but I couldn't deny that I guess hypothetically maybe it could someday happen, but at this point I've realised that's actually just a very homophobic argument which is trying to keep lesbians open to hypothetical dick after I joined s/LGBdroptheT and I realised how prevalent that attitude actually is. But I digress.

[–]reluctant_commenter 6 insightful - 1 fun6 insightful - 0 fun7 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

I think it's awesome that you did not have to deal with this sort of pressure! I hope one day that that is the case for all lesbians growing up.

I did think I was bisexual but just a Kinsley 5 for ages though, up until recently, because I had been told by progressive friends that "everyone is a bit gay/straight because you haven't met everyone in the world and you don't know if you'll maybe be attracted to 1 man out a million." I've never been attracted to a man or thought I was but I couldn't deny that I guess hypothetically maybe it could someday happen

Same!! I also have been told this by multiple people, and as you said, it's homophobic, or best-case scenario it's just downright ridiculous.

Thanks for starting a thoughtful discussion. :)

[–]LesChameleon 13 insightful - 1 fun13 insightful - 0 fun14 insightful - 1 fun -  (5 children)

Let me tell you my experience of living with comphet (as I am not from the US, but from a rather conservative Catholic country).

I was born in a small town, and growing up, I noticed that I'd sometimes suddenly want to get closer to a certain girl from my school or neighborhood. Back then, I used to think "Oh, she's so cool! How come I didn't notice her before? I really wanna become her friend!". So, I'd go on and actually get closer to the girl in a typical friendly way and interpreted that as just a really strong friendship. Cue: most of these strong friendships would only last for 4-8 months because 1) I kinda wanted more (but at that time didn't know that I craved a romantic relationship) and I would get jealous if she spent more time with other people, 2) the girl eventually gets a boyfriend and I am left with this confusing feeling that I just can't pinpoint and thought like "damn, I wish I was that guy so I could date her". Never once before I graduated HS did it occur to me that I could actually date a girl without being a guy. Why?

When all you see around is heterosexual relationships + religion + small town with no openly LGBT couples (or if there are it was never lesbians, just gay men), it really creates something in your mind that just makes you think that the attraction you feel for girls is invalid or "just in your head" and that "you just haven't met the right guy yet". So, I just remained single in high school (waited for the right guy lol) and then thankfully I moved away for college to a place where I actually met lesbians so things fell into place after a couple of years. In between, I once actually confused the platonic, friendly feelings for a male friend as attraction, but anything physical literally repulsed me, while, with a girl, even simple things as kissing drove me crazy. So the physical cues were a dead giveaway for me, but I can also totally understand how someone else can remain in denial for years.

What I really can't understand though, is someone claiming to be a lesbian while actually being in a long-term relationship or marriage with a guy. I also once dated a girl who had previously been in only one relationship, 4 years with a guy, and after that she only dated girls and claimed she was a lesbian. I was curious about it and she said that she "had feelings for him because he had a nice personality, but she didn't enjoy sex". To this day, I don't understand if girls like her are actually bisexual, or if they just don't know how to recognize the signs their bodies send them and settle for something because it's accepted in society. (Note: she also comes from a very dysfunctional family so she never had a model relationship to look up to, and I am sure this affected her perception of relationship and sexuality.)

[–]QueenOfTheNorth[S] 5 insightful - 1 fun5 insightful - 0 fun6 insightful - 1 fun -  (4 children)

Are you from Poland by any chance? I'm originally from there but emigrated when I was 6 to live in England, which I consider myself very lucky for having done. You don't have to answer if you were ambiguous for privacy reasons though!

That's very interesting and I really appreciate hearing your perspective. I can intensely relate to the strong female friendships, all throughout primary school and highschool for me too, I always got very close and over protective with friends. One at a time. I used to tell people that I would marry my best friend and we'd live together in a cottage. There was one girl when I was maybe 10 or 11 who I completely adored, and when we played pretend I'd always make belief that I was a boy so we could play girlfriends and boyfriends. Silly kids stuff, obviously, but I think in retrospect it was a sign. I always showed zero interest in boys and I didn't understand why some of the girls started getting over the boys-have-cooties phase and developed crushes during puberty. The boys they pointed out just seemed so plain, but I was always going on about how pretty some of the girls were, lol.

Hard relate to the thought of anything physical being repulsive with men. I think some lesbians experience repulsion towards sex with men in the same way that you'd experience repulsion towards a family member, but for other lesbians it's not repulsion but just a lack of attraction. Like, neutrality. Which can be more easily confused with being opposite sex attracted in some way, since you aren't grossed out, just frigid?

[–]LesChameleon 5 insightful - 1 fun5 insightful - 0 fun6 insightful - 1 fun -  (3 children)

Thanks for your reply :) You almost guessed it, I'm not from Poland but from one of the countries, that's really great that you had a chance to grow up in England. Unfortunately, certain countries in central and eastern Europe really have a long way to go in terms of LGBT rights and acceptance.

Omg, that's totally it hahah! Playing games where one of you would pretend to be a boy is also a huge sign 😂 Of course, it's only easy to spot it in retrospect, just like you said.

And I also agree with your last paragraph. Now that I think about it, I also first just felt nothing when kissing a guy, because I didn't know any better before I got the chance to kiss a girl. However, once I made out with a girl, that was so good and so intense that any thought of doing the same with a guy was repulsive haha. So, it all really makes sense...

[–]RedditHatesLesbians 9 insightful - 3 fun9 insightful - 2 fun10 insightful - 3 fun -  (2 children)

Just wanted to butt in and say that as someone who has dated and kissed a male, I also felt nothing. I attributed it to him just being a bad kisser and my own inexperience, or people overhyping kissing. I even googled "people who don't like making out" to look for similar stories and came across some, but they were mostly germaphobes who didn't like it because they thought spit was gross. I thought I was just broken and would just sit there while being kissed, completely inactive. You know, like the scene from But I'm A Cheerleader? Literally, lmao. It just felt weird, wet, gross and unappealing

Let's just say that making out with a girl rocked my world...

[–]reluctant_commenter 4 insightful - 1 fun4 insightful - 0 fun5 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

I attributed it to him just being a bad kisser and my own inexperience, or people overhyping kissing. I even googled "people who don't like making out" to look for similar stories and came across some, but they were mostly germaphobes who didn't like it because they thought spit was gross.

Lmao I googled that, too!! I felt disappointed, and for a while I assumed that movies just overhyped kissing.

[–]LesChameleon 2 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 0 fun3 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

Totally relate to this hahaha.

[–]Hydiee 13 insightful - 1 fun13 insightful - 0 fun14 insightful - 1 fun -  (2 children)

Of course, but not in correlation with that stupid master doc

[–]QueenOfTheNorth[S] 2 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 0 fun3 insightful - 1 fun -  (1 child)

Should I ask? I keep seeing this mentioned

[–]Hydiee 6 insightful - 5 fun6 insightful - 4 fun7 insightful - 5 fun -  (0 children)

nah. At the end of the day it doesn't matter

[–]weirdlyhaunted 9 insightful - 1 fun9 insightful - 0 fun10 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

I grew up in an extremely dysfunctional family where the baseline was feeling bad about yourself and being anxious about literally everything. So when boys started showing interest around puberty, I mistook that feeling in the pit of my stomach (which was dread and bad anxiety) for butterflies and went with it. Oh, I suppose I should mention that my dysfunctional family got extra fun when my dad converted to very conservative christianity when I was still a little kid, so I spent my formative years learning that gay people had something wrong with them and I so desperately wanted to feel like I was normal and not in a fucked up emotionally abusive home that I never even considered whether I might be a lesbian until many, many years later, after I got into therapy and on antidepressants. The "female sexuality is fluid" bullshit did some damage, too. Any attraction I did allow myself to feel for women was rationalized away as "well, they're objectively attractive, all straight women think so, too." I'm better now and I've cut off the toxic family members. But I still have so much baggage to work on that I'm terrified of starting anything with any woman, because I don't want to fuck up someone else's life.

[–]oofreesouloo 8 insightful - 1 fun8 insightful - 0 fun9 insightful - 1 fun -  (2 children)

Great post! I'm not really sure what comphet is anymore, because as someone else here said, I've heard already so many different definitions lmao. But I can speak a little bit about my experience. I'm currently 23 by the way. Since I was born that I had absolutely zero homosexual visibility, be it in movies, from family members, from friends etc etc. The ONLY reality that was shown to me as a child and a teen was that girls dated boys and boys dated girls. So, as a child, I thought that was the only option for me and as I thought the idea of dating "cute", I wanted to have someone so I would basically "choose" my boyfriends and a few weeks later I would get fed up of my current and would move to another boy I "chose" LMAO. Remember, I'm talking about 6-11 years old. But as soon as puberty hit (14 years old), meaning I started to actually feel sexual, physical attraction for the first time, and guess what? It was towards girls, women! And I realised at the same time what I felt towards my girl best friend wasn't a close friendship but love and what I felt towards all those dudes I "chose" was just friendship and I thought they were cool dudes lmao. Because with dudes i wouldn't ever get jealous, and if they left me I would be "okay whatever" and I would get fed up very quickly of them as romantic partners LMAO. With my girl best friend I experienced for the first time what was feeling reaaally jealous, when I saw her with her bf. I was shocked at first because I had been convinced since childhood that I liked boys and I didn't know anyone homossexual at the time. I thought I was like some sort of alien I swear... Since pubery, I've never pursued men ever again, only women and I'm actually a gold star lesbian lmao (the "bf's" I had as a child, we didn't do literally anything. We would simply ask each other if we would date each other and that was it lmao) . I don't know if this counts as comphet or not, but I thought I could share this.

BUT! I feel like nowadays there are lots of women who use comphet as an excuse to claim to be lesbians when theyre NOT. "Oh, I only like fictional male celebrities". "Oh, I only like Harry Styles". Dude, lol. A lesbian doesn't care about males at all, and doesn't have "exceptions" lmaaao.

[–]QueenOfTheNorth[S] 6 insightful - 1 fun6 insightful - 0 fun7 insightful - 1 fun -  (1 child)

Thank you for sharing! Personally from ages 6-11 I remember having very close girl best friends, who I would become obsessed with and kind of possessive lol. I'd follow them around everywhere, court them by giving them things (one girl I gave a glow in the dark bracelet which I told her to always wear, another girl I wrote a list of "10 things I like about you" with coloured markers as a gift. Illustrated of course) and I'd get unreasonably jealous when other people tried to get close to them. I'd actively discourage and try to stain the name of their guy crushes, lmao. Then the girls wouldn't give me the level of closeness I wanted anymore and I'd get frustrated for some mysterious reason and fall madly in love with another girl. My longest one of these was with a girl called Rosa up until she 13, and around 12-13 I always wanted to hug, share her bed during sleepovers etc. It wasn't sexual yet at all, just a desire for non-sexual closeness, but probably a sign in retrospect?

YES I hate all of the lesbians with exceptions bullshit. I literally don't find any male celebrity attractive, ever, they look like thumbs to me... I just don't get it. Even the more "pretty boy" actors like Leonardo DiCaprio which I repeatedly see so called lesbians obsess over do nothing for me. The most interest I've ever shown in males is when it comes to musicians, but that's about their work, not how they look... I find men so bland to look at artistically. All smooth lines where there should be curves

[–]oofreesouloo 6 insightful - 1 fun6 insightful - 0 fun7 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

That's so cute omg lmao. You're a very protective woman haha :) I totally understand you. I also had really close friendships with girls when I was child, but they were really really few because I was a tomboy as a kid and practically all my friends were guys. But I still remember very well my girl best friend of kindergarten (I was maybe 4?) and remember feel really sad that she is leaving... I remember us giving hands to each other. I also remember having a crush towards another girl during my childhood (5-11 old), I was totally fixated on that girl in a way I've never been towards a boy and none of the "bf's" I had 😂 and I would get really sad and hurt if she would say something I didn't like. But thing is at the time I didn't know that those were crushes... I thought it wasnt possible for me, as a girl, to like other girls you know? I only reflected on it later during puberty.

And yeah, those women aren't lesbians anyway. If you like ANY men in a physical/sexual/romantic way, you aren't a lesbian. Simple as that

EDIT: I totally forgot to tell this super funny thing until I realised I was a lesbian. Every time I played games, I would ALWAYS choose to be a man, instead of a woman because I wanted to get women's attention and have lots of gf's lmao. I used to play online games where you had a character you created and talked to actual real people. I had lots of success and had several gf LMAO.

Bottom line: I thought I NEEDED to be a guy to date women lmao as homosexuality wasn't exposed to me at all growing up.

[–]MannyMandrake 6 insightful - 1 fun6 insightful - 0 fun7 insightful - 1 fun -  (2 children)

What is compulsory heterosexuality? I've seen so many different definitions. I thought it's about societal pressures and expectations for everyone to be heterosexual, not about having crushes on the opposite sex.

[–]QueenOfTheNorth[S] 4 insightful - 1 fun4 insightful - 0 fun5 insightful - 1 fun -  (1 child)

Interesting, the definition I just came across is from a conversation on a lesbian only discord server I'm a part of. Some of the women were talking about comphet claiming they'd convince themselves they were having heterosexual crushes, would mistake fear and anxiety for butterflies around them and at the same time would mistake adoration of females for deep friendships. So, they repressed homosexual desire while lying to themselves that whatever they felt for men was indeed how desire "should" feel. They'd tell people they were really into this boy or that when asked by friends, but for "some reason" would never want to actually flirt with them or date them. It was a crush with zero desire for action past the thought they'd tell themselves of "ah yes I have a crush on that boy."

The part that doesn't make sense for me may just be because I'm the kind of person that is very sure of my feelings? I've never gotten fear confused with desire, and I've never felt the need to try and force myself to be attracted to anyone. It's obvious to me when I see females as more than just friends because it feels so good to be around them, I constantly want to talk to them, constantly have an urge to touch them when in physical proximity to them, fantasise about being with them when zoning out, even dreaming when it's a hardcore crush. Which I think is normal for teenagers filled with Hormones. But I've literally never even felt very interested in a man intellectually, apart from David Bowie, let alone any of those other markers, and while I understand some people may mature later than others these women were talking about having these so called crushes ages 19-25 and by that point as a lesbian I think you'd have had a serious, strong female crush right? It just kind of baffles me. And these are women in the UK, and while I don't deny there is lesbophobia everywhere it's not like they're from an extreme place.

[–]MannyMandrake 11 insightful - 1 fun11 insightful - 0 fun12 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

they repressed homosexual desire while lying to themselves that whatever they felt for men was indeed how desire "should" feel. They'd tell people they were really into this boy or that when asked by friends, but for "some reason" would never want to actually flirt with them or date them. It was a crush with zero desire for action past the thought they'd tell themselves of "ah yes I have a crush on that boy."

This looks like pretty standard behavior for people who are figuring themselves out/ in denial. I think it's great that you've always had it figured out, but everyone's journey is different :)

[–]lovelyspearmint 5 insightful - 1 fun5 insightful - 0 fun6 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

I had supposed crushes on boys and men when I was younger, and I definitely think it's a mix of me wanting to seem normal and not really being exposed to gay people in general (no family or friends were (openly) gay). I was unaware at the time that I had autism spectrum disorder, and so I unknowingly acted as if I were interested in men as a way of masking, which is a defense strategy for autistic people to mimic how others behave to appear normal. I only realised around uni that whenever a man was close to me, I would feel revulsion and cut things off immediately. I thought it was because I was inexperienced, but I started to notice that I felt the exact opposite when I was in close proximity to women I found attractive.

I definitely think there is a pressure on women to be in relationships with men, not to mention lesbians used to rarely be portrayed in a good light in media, or their love would be a doomed one, often with the death of one or both women. Had I had more contact with lesbians in my formative years, I might have seen the signs earlier, but then I would have had to tackle the knowledge of being a lesbian in a girl's high school, so perhaps it was for the best, considering I didn't feel confident enough to kiss or sleep with men anyway.

[–]SickOfThisShit 4 insightful - 1 fun4 insightful - 0 fun5 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

I had a few 'crushes' on guys when I was in elementary and high school. I mean they weren't really crushes looking back on them they were me picking guys I thought I could like because in my friend groups the question of 'which boys did you like' would come up all the time or we'd do quizzes on what your dream guy is like and I'd have to come up with answers. At the time though I didn't realize I was gay and the crushes I did have on some of my friends just didn't register as crushes. The idea I could have feelings for another girl just wasn't something on my radar. I wasn't surrounded by homophobia or anything, its just all the media I saw and all the relationships I witnessed were women being with men. The idea I could be anything other than straight just didn't occur to me until much later.

[–]babystud 2 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 0 fun3 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

i knew i was gay from elementary school but being in a christian family that was obviously a no no so i decided to ignore it till highschool. In middle and high school i would literally have a “crush” on a guy for exactly 3 weeks every once in a while but end it as soon as it looked like like I’d have to do anything more than surface level “i like him”. Even in university i forced myself to bed 1 man of every race cause i desperately hoped that i was just very bi and hadnt found my type yet. So i don’t think i went through comphet, more like comp ”dont be lesbian so then u can still end up with a man and be typical”. That weird masterdoc and its version of comphet did nothing to help and I really think its just a wikihow for girls who want to be ~queer~ when they obviously arent.

[–]radlesbian 2 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 0 fun3 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

Absolutely. I'm a detransitioner and compulsory heterosexuality is one of the things that caused me to transition FtM.