One day, I was hanging out with some friends; myself and another brother that experiences same-sex attraction were asked the question: what are you attracted to? I knew that this wasn’t an accusation, but a real question from someone who had never experienced attraction to their own gender. They wanted understanding because to them, it just didn’t make sense. So here is some of the conversation that followed as we talked about attraction…
Female Questioner: What are you attracted to? Because I can think a woman’s body is beautiful, but I don’t let it go further. I know men are more visual than women though, so seeing a billboard with a scantily clothed woman automatically makes you think sexually. But for me, seeing a guy in swim trunks doesn’t effect me at all; I just don’t let that arouse me.
Friend: Because I’m SSA, when I see a scantily clothed woman, it doesn’t cause sexual thoughts in my mind or feelings of attraction. I still look away because I don’t want to agree with it and because I know that’s right to do.
I’m in a relationship with a girl right now and many fears come up concerning attraction. I question whether I will experience on-going attraction to her? I have shared with her that there are still some same-sex attractions that I have. But how do I communicate to her that my same-sex attractions are stronger than my opposite-sex attractions? Even though that is the case, it doesn’t take away from my attraction to her. This is a wrestle!
Female Questioner: Are you being open with her about this wrestle?
Friend: I haven’t gone very deep yet with her about this. I’m not agreeing with the same-sex attractions, but they are still there and I do believe the Lord can change attractions…He already has for me.
Female Q: Do you know where the source of it came from? Because sometimes it helps to know.
Friend: My guess is the sexual abuse when I was young and because of the exposure to porn. I’ve prayed a lot, but my experience of same-sex attraction hasn’t gone away completely. But, after years of purity, they aren’t as strong.
Female Q: Interesting…I am learning today! What about you Kyle?
Me: For me, I can’t say I’ve ever been attracted to a woman but only men. It is a choice of not dwelling on it like with anything. A choice of saying no and not entertaining things. But it hasn’t changed the fact that its still there. But the work that I’ve done has gotten me to see and ask what is the underlying thing behind the attraction, asking why. This helps diminish it. Like I’m actually seeing something that this other guy has that I want..like more masculinity, physical muscles, strength, confidence, etc.
Female Q: You’re as masculine as any other man, you know?
Me: Thanks! That’s something I’ve had to learn and grow in believing to get past insecurities. So a lot of my attractions stem from a reflection of what I see or don’t see in myself. The lack of emotional connect with men, not belonging, and not being included as “one of the men” is my story. Because of that rejection, men then become the other, the mysterious, the one that I’m not involved with rather than women cause its easier to connect with women on an emotional level. I have a deep deep need of that with men. And when that’s lacking, that’s when attractions flare up for me.
Friend: I think for me, the emotional has also been a strong thing as far as how I approach friendships with guys. I would have dependent relationships and most of the time, my friends wouldn’t have any idea. I felt rejected by them(though it was a lie) and felt the pain and hurt constantly. Anytime I would become friends with someone new, I immediately wanted to go really deep in friendship. Whenever I felt that need, I had to learn to back off which was hard to do.
Female Q: So then you have to balance dependency with intimacy. Because you’re seeking intimacy and don’t want to be afraid of intimacy though it might feel at times like dependency.
Friend: Sure and that becomes a confusing thing.
Female Q: Here’s a secret. When you’re dependency is in the Lord then you can seek intimacy. I still remember the moment in my marriage that I came to understand that my husband couldn’t meet my needs; I can’t put my expectations on him. The Lord is my source. It doesn’t mean though that my husband doesn’t meet needs. But I can’t look to him to meet my needs. You get married, not to meet your own but to give to another, that’s love.
Me: I have so many questions about that! How do you keep that balanced and right Because you are in a covenant commitment yet the Lord is the only one able to meet your needs.
Female Q: It doesn’t mean we don’t meet each other’s needs. The Lord uses others, but my security and emotional stability is in the Lord.
Of course, there is so much more that we could discuss about attractions and maybe later on we will. But this conversation gives a little insight on this topic. I’m thankful for friends that can openly talk about things like this because it helps bring understanding.
LEAVE A COMMENT – SHARE YOUR EXPERIENCE
How do you define attraction? Are all attractions sexual or good/bad? Do you believe that attractions can change? How do you wrestle with attractions?