What is attraction?

Young woman is making a love heart using her hands.

There is a difference between seeing someone as a friend and being attracted to them. This feeling of attraction usually fills us will a variety of emotions. These might include excitement, curiosity, nervousness, confusion and even fear. When you’re around a person you are attracted to, your heart might start racing. You might feel hot or flustered. You might have romantic or sexual thoughts or fantasies about them, or both of you.

The arrival on these emotions and feelings of attraction can happen at any time in your life. Many people start to notice the feelings more when they are a teenager or early in adulthood. Particularly when you are teenager it is common to have a lot of sexual feelings toward both boys and girls. You don’t need to put yourself into a category (straight, lesbian, bisexual, etc.) as soon as you start having feelings of attraction.

One (very false) stereotype of women with disabilities is that we are ALL asexual. Asexual means we have little to no sexual attraction to anyone.

 

I am attracted to boys…

The word heterosexual means people who are romantically attracted physically, emotionally, and/or mentally to people of the opposite sex. In simple language, girls who are attracted to boys; and boys who are attracted to girls.  Heterosexuals are sometimes called “straight”.

Teenage boy/girl couple in love drawing hearts in their book instead of learning.

I am attracted to other girls…

The word lesbian means females who are romantically attracted physically, emotionally, and/or mentally to other females. Homosexual is a broad term used for people (both males and females) who are attracted to the same sex.

A long time ago, some really ignorant people convinced others that the only “natural attraction” was between heterosexuals (straight people). Because of all these ignorant people in the past, some people in society STILL do not accept same sex attraction today. However, we now know that same sex attraction, just like opposite sex attraction, is completely natural and normal.

Ignore all stereotypes linked with the word ‘lesbian’. There is no defining image, style, clothing, food, sport, or anything that is ‘lesbian’. People are people. We all like different things, look different, act different. The only thing that that is defining about being a ‘lesbian’ is being a woman that is romantically attracted to other women.

 

two teenage girls. One is staring off into the distance, the other has her eyes closed and is lovingly leaning into her her face.

I am attracted to boys and girls…

The word bisexual means people who are romantically attracted physically, emotionally, and/or mentally to members of both sexes (males and females). Modern society generally likes clear definitions of either heterosexual (straight) or homosexual (lesbian). That does not mean that romantic attraction to both sexes wrong, or invalid. It just means that some people in society do not understand it.

There are a lot of stereotypes linked with the word ‘bisexual’. These stereotypes are often the reason some people are afraid to identify as bisexual. In reality they are just stupid myths that should be ignored. Stereotypes do not actually define individuals.

 

IMPORTANT

If you are feeling attracted to other girls, or both boys and girls, try to ignore any negative beliefs about homosexuality or bisexuality coming from your friends, family or society. Whilst our friends and family are important, try not to suppress any sexual feelings you are having just because you think they might not approve.

The most important thing you can do, is spend some time understanding yourself, and how YOU think and feel about your own sexuality. It can be really useful to talk other people who have experienced, or are experiencing, the same feelings you are.

 

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