Dear Joanna: "I'm ashamed of my girl-on-girl fantasies"

woman-244179_640

“I don’t want to date a girl… but I can’t stop thinking about them”

Dear Joanna,

I have struggled my whole life with confusion about my sexuality. My sexual fantasy is to use a strap-on with another woman; yet emotionally, and in all cases of real relationships I have had, I love men. I would rather just have relationships with men, because I don’t have the same romantic connection with women, and I have never felt romantic feelings for another girl.

I feel shame in connection with the fantasy and have rarely told anyone about it. I need to heal this shame because I feel that it may be sabotaging my chances of getting into relationships (with men) because it is creating low self-esteem. Somehow I feel that it makes me less “feminine” (I know “intellectually” that there is nothing wrong with those fantasies; but part of me just feels like any man would be put off by them. It makes me feel suicidal because I want the love of a man I love more than anything. I am not against the idea of a relationship with a woman (love is, after all love) but I’ve just never been drawn to women emotionally – never had a crush or a desire to be involved. Please help because I am so depressed and confused about it all.

Thank you – I would value any light you can shine on my situation or any suggestions you have to help me with my confusion.

– Babelicious

Dear Babelicious,

I’m glad you want to be free of the shame you feel in response to your fantasy – wishing it is the first step to making it happen. I do have to advise that you consider seeing someone if you aren’t able to accept it soon and your feelings of depression continue – if not a therapist (your GP should be able to refer you or provide information about nearby possibilities), then perhaps a local sexuality support group. No one should have to feel suicidal about their gender, sexuality, or sexual fantasies.

The reason I’ve separated sexuality and sexual fantasies in the sentence above is because I want to stress the difference between them. Having a sexual fantasy about females doesn’t necessarily make a woman gay, nor does it have to mean she’s bisexual. Due to how fluid it can be, sexuality is a very complex matter. We attach labels to ourselves because it’s more comforting than to spend our lives wondering, “What am I?”, and because we like to be able to associate with others, but it can be argued that the main labels (lesbian/gay and bisexual) don’t account for men and women who only fall in love with members of one sex and haven’t even had crushes on someone of the other sex, yet who think about them solely when receiving pleasure.

I want you to know you’re not alone. This isn’t something a lot of people talk about – there aren’t many who are happy discussing both their sexuality and their sexual fantasies, especially if the two don’t match up – yet I’ve had a couple of close friends confide in me about similar experiences. One was a straight male who adores the female form and who has only ever formed emotional and physical attachments to women in his life, yet who occasionally masturbates to the thought of male celebrities in their underwear; the other was a female friend who has always been unsure of which label to give herself – publicly changing it from straight to bisexual a few times over the years – because she, like you, wants to be with a man and has only had feelings towards men, yet she enjoys thinking about women.

Insights into porn statistics suggest such thoughts could be much more common than one might think. Last year I watched the 2010 film The Kids Are All Right, in which Julienne Moore’s character and her female partner of many years can be seen enjoying gay male porn together in the bedroom. This raised the question amongst some viewers of why two women in a relationship would be turned on by watching men, leading Jacob Bernstein (thedailybeast.com) to ask self-identified lesbians about their real life porn habits and reporting that, actually, it isn’t uncommon for women who love women to get off on watching guys (all referenced articles and studies will be posted in the comments section).

Last year, the website Pornhub posted insights into what their male and female members were viewing, revealing that their ‘Lesbian’ category proved the most popular category amongst women – not only this, but it was 132% more likely to be clicked on by females than males. The demographics show other similar results, with females 900% more likely to search for “eating pussy” videos and over 600% more likely to search for “lesbian scissoring” and other videos focussing on females.

Although we don’t have the data for how many of the site’s female members identify as bisexual or homosexual, women do make up around a quarter of its tens of millions of unique visitors, so it’s probably safe to assume that a number of them identify as straight – and yet they’re seeking “girl-on-girl” pornography.

"I dream of using a strap-on on a woman"

“I dream of using a strap-on on a woman”

Studies also support the idea that fantasies aren’t reliable as a true indication of a person’s sexuality. One study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine presented 1516 adults (718 women and 798 men) with 55 questions about their fantasies. Of these men and women, 85% identified themselves as heterosexual, 3.6% as homosexual, and the remainder as “somewhere in between” – meaning only 15% identified as anything other than heterosexual, and yet 36.9% of the females said they had fantasized about having sex with women, 42.4% had fantasized about watching two women make love, and 56.5% had fantasized about having threesomes with both men and women. The study also found that, unlike men, women usually reported very little interest in making their fantasies a reality.

Which brings me to this: This fantasy of yours might not be anything more than an enjoyable thought when you close your eyes and reach downstairs. Our minds can take us to new places when we’re aroused – places that are far from where we would actually want to be. As I hope I’ve made clear, this is very common, particularly (studies say) for women.

It’s difficult to say why our minds do this, but it can be for all sorts of reasons. One woman in Jacob Bernstein’s article is quoted as saying, “You don’t have to want to have sex with a man to be attracted to masculinity in a specifically sexual context”. This could be true for you in regards to women: you could simply find femininity sexy – this idea of females being gentler, more sensitive, and softer than men. Alternatively, the fantasy could come from a desire to dominate – another fairly common fantasy (46.7% of the 718 women in the aforementioned study said they had fantasized about dominating a person).

These are just suggestions. I can’t tell you why you have the thoughts you do, only that you’re not alone in having them. Some people do base their sexual identity on their fantasies, and if you do conclude that having the fantasy must mean you’re sexually attracted to women, please know this doesn’t mean you have to try having a relationship or even sex with them. I notice in your post you don’t mention bisexuality – the physical and/or romantic attraction to both males and females. Bisexuality encompasses a range of feelings, from (for example) people who are equally drawn to men and women on both a romantic and physical level, to those who are more romantically and physically attracted to one sex, to people who are physically drawn to both but only romantically interested in males or females. A person can be bisexual and still choose to be with only one sex.

As for your worries about a male partner’s acceptance, I can’t promise every man will be accepting of the fantasy, but there are those who will be, and even some who might be excited by the idea. If you search this website for past polls, you’ll see results for the question, “How did your current/last male partner (straight or bi) react to your bisexuality?” and that the top result, with almost 50% of votes, was, “He accepts/accepted it and we are/were happily monogamous”. The other top results were also answers about acceptance, but suggested the male partners were turned on by the idea of their girlfriend or wife with another woman. Studies support these findings.

Lastly I want to add that your fantasy doesn’t have to be something you bring up immediately, or even at all if you’d prefer not to – it’s believed the majority of people in adult relationships have fantasies about someone other than their partner, with research by Hicks and Leitenberg reporting the numbers to be as high as 80% of women and 98% of men (!). However, if you do broach the subject, make sure your partner knows that you’re telling him because you want to be open with him and not because you want your fantasy to become a reality (unless this does become the case); otherwise he may receive the wrong message (e.g. that one day he’ll be with or watch you and another woman).

I hope I’ve helped, and that you soon start to feel much better about where your mind wanders during private moments. 🙂

Joanna.

The following two tabs change content below.

Ask Joanna

Joanna is Biscuit's resident agony aunt. Got a question? Go to Ask Joanna and ask away!

4 Responses to Dear Joanna: "I'm ashamed of my girl-on-girl fantasies"

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *