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Auntie SparkNotes: I’m Repulsed By My Boyfriend

Dear Auntie,

I’m dating this guy who is really sweet, dedicated, etc, but I am not really attracted to him.

I often feel repulsed when he touches me and I don’t know why. I find him decent-looking, even cute. He never pushes me sexually, our kisses are very chaste, we don’t make out, we don’t use tongue. But I am still turned off by simple gestures. I don’t really like him putting his arm around me either.

Another thing that’s distressing me is that I find that I am attracted to girls. Very heavily. When I masturbate, I think of girls. I’m getting crushes on girls. The thing is, it’s boys that I’ve been attracted to all my life. I had crushes on boys, I’ve been attracted to boys… but I can’t help but wonder if this is a sexuality thing.

I was perfectly happy in the relationship before the kissing and touching started. When I am lonely I think of my boyfriend, but less do when I am with friends. I find girls more attractive than guys.

I know you can’t tell my sexuality, but is this normal? My feelings towards women aside, is this thing normal to feel? Everyone is baffled as to why I have been spending less time with my boyfriend and I don’t know what to tell them because I don’t know either.

Hmm. Well, okay, darling: call me crazy, and it’s just a guess, but the fact that you’re avoiding your boyfriend might have something to do with the part where you’re physically repulsed by him.

Only hey, you knew that already, right? It’s obvious from your letter. The problem is that you can’t say as much, to yourself or anyone else, without provoking some complicated and uncomfortable questions about your own identity—questions you’re going to need some time, space, and serious thought to consider.

Which is why, before you do anything else, you’re going to need to end things. I know, I know. It’s hard. But you’ve really got to, okay? Not because you can’t date guys or won’t ever date guys again, and not because what you feel is wrong or weird or abnormal, but because it doesn’t serve you to compound your confusion with an unhappy, unhealthy relationship. And also because this particular guy, who sounds like a lovely person, deserves to be with someone who doesn’t find him physically nauseating.

Uh, not that you should say that, of course; a vague “I just don’t think this is working” is fine.

As for the rest of it, you’re right: I can’t tell you what your orientation is. That’s up to you to figure out, and you can take all the time you need. I can only urge you give yourself time and room to think about it with an open mind, and promise you that whatever happens, it’s okay. Even if you’re not straight, and even if that’s not what you expected. And as long as you allow yourself to feel your feelings, whatever they are—and treat the people you date with respect and decency, whoever they are—you’ll be able to feel good about yourself… whoever she is.

Have you ever been confused about your orientation? Tell us in the comments! And to get advice from Auntie, email her at
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