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Lesbian or Mommy Issues?

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Lesbian or Mommy Issues?

Postby Rodomontade » Mon Nov 19, 2012 10:00 pm

Since this is my first post on this forum, I'll just start out by saying that I'm a 26 year-old female with absolutely no real relationship experience and only minimal sexual experience (with men only.)

My problem is that I am kind of confused by a pattern that I've noticed in my behavior over the years; I have 'crushes' on older women, usually (but not always) teachers, and I also have crushes on women my own age. Both of these types of crushes have occurred frequently since as early as I can remember, and it wasn't until my college years that I started allowing myself to incorporate sexual feelings into my peer-based female crushes (not the teacher ones, just the crushes I had on women near my own age.) I say "allowing myself" because it was a deliberate decision to stop mentally forbidding myself to imagine women sexually, and once I did that, it sort of opened the flood gates to my homosexual desire.

At this point, after a particular incident wherein I started having sexual feelings for a female friend in grad school, I decided that I was probably either bisexual or full-out lesbian, and I devoted the next couple of years to slowly introspecting about which might be the case. But then recently I found this forum and started reading about others who had confusion about sexuality over mommy-replacement-esque obsession, and I started to wonder if maybe I just have some fundamental emotional problem that, once worked through, would do away with my sexual and romantic feelings for women. It makes me feel anxious, to be honest. Not because I'm necessarily against being gay or anything like that (actually, I quite like the idea), but because I don't want to decide on one sexual identity, act on it, and then find that I've been deceived about myself.

Anyway, I'll go ahead and describe the quality of my 'attachments,' if you will, and then give a brief rundown of why I originally thought I might be lesbian.

My teacher/older-lady-in-authority crushes have generally been less frequent than my peer crushes, but somewhat more intense. I've found that I have a 'type,' too...she's usually older (30-40s), attractive, warm/outgoing, and the intellectual, open-minded sort. My strongest ones have been professors from my undergraduate, and I'd have fantasies in which I'd do something really impressive like rescue the prof from danger and earn her affection/admiration. I suspect that this has something to do with some childish perceived deficiency in my own mother, with whom I have no real problems except that we don't really have a close, lovey-dovey, share everything with each other kind of relationship. She's kind and good to me, but she does tend to be in general personality a bit judgmental, rigid, and concrete-thinking instead of intellectual. So I started thinking that perhaps that's why I sought out women who were pretty much the opposite of her to fawn over.

Anyway, since I'm a bit of a reserved person, and I hate the idea of appearing or acting in pathetic and/or dependent ways, I always do my utmost to prevent anyone (especially the object) knowing about my feelings. I would try and control my obsessional feelings by channeling them into impressing the person with the quality of my work, and I'd usually succeed, which had the indirect effect of calling my 'crush's' attention to myself in a positive way. But then when they'd attempt to show me special attention, I'd freak out and feel like I'd been found out, and then purposely try and destroy it all by acting badly (like, skipping class or failing to do an assignment...childish, I know.) That would have the even worse effect of having them summons me to their office for "a chat," and then I'd feel slimy as though I'd subconsciously just wanted this all along, and I could barely look them in the eye/refused to talk about anything personal. It's all very embarrassing, yes.

Over the years I've learned to control these feelings a bit better and have learned to use them positively, I think. I have learned, for instance, to enjoy the feeling of working to impress this mother-figure because it gives me an emotional reason to do my best work, and I've learned to be satisfied with a compliment here/a pat on the back there without escalating my desire. Do you think this is a positive thing, or have I just learned coping mechanisms that don't solve the underlying problem? I sometimes feel as though I've become dependent on this kind of motivation, and in its absence/the absence of an adored mother-figure, I sometimes have trouble finding motivation on my own.

Regarding my peer-based sexual attractions to women (sorry, I know this is long and rambling, but I'm almost done), they've been a bit different than my mother-based ones in that I don't necessarily idolize them in the same way/solicit myself in the position of the subordinate. I still obsess a bit over them and find myself fantasizing about impressing them, but since I see them as attainable, and I usually know them as friends/acquaintances, it's a bit more based in reality. Also, it's sexual. I don't know if in the mommy-figure scenarios I simply repress sexual feelings, but all I know is that it feels gross and wrong (almost like incest) to think of them that way. Not so in these cases. I allow myself full access to sexual thoughts and fantasies about these peer-based crushes. Both types still feel like I'm automatically playing some game of seduction, though, even though consciously my end-goal is different for each.

As I said earlier in this post, I've never been in a real relationship. I've always been a bit afraid of them, really, when I limited my thoughts to relationships with men. When I'd get hit on by men, I'd feel irritated and sometimes hostile. It wasn't until I got to grad school that I tried sex with anyone, and it happened to be a male friend. We liked each other well enough, though neither of us had more than friendly feelings for one another (AFAIK), but sometimes when we'd go out drinking we'd end up having sex for fun. Sort of like the corny "friends with benefits" situation one hears about in sitcoms. I started to think about what it would be like to be in a relationship with someone like him (and to probe my own feelings for signs of growing attachment), but I found that I just instinctively reject the idea of a romantic relationship with men. I can have and enjoy sex with them just fine, but I have no emotional desire to be with a man in a romantic way, and in fact the idea of getting married and having kids with a man repulses me. With women (despite my lack of experience) the opposite is true. I can easily and with pleasure imagine myself in a relationship with a woman, even doing the corny stuff that most couples usually do (like snuggling, holding hands, giving gifts, listening to their problems and caring, etc.,.)

Long story short, are my lesbionic (hehe) feelings authentic, or are they a biproduct of my subconscious desire to be mothered? Also, are my feelings of repulsion towards relationships with men some other sort of biproduct of the way I was parented? There are overlaps between my lesbian feelings and the mother-soliciting, to be sure, and I feel like sexual feelings (for me at least, if not for all women) can be summoned for just about anything or any reason, given the right conditions. So are they real and lasting? Or will they go away if I therapize my mommy issues away?

Sorry for the novel, and thanks in advance for taking the time to read this.
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Re: Lesbian or Mommy Issues?

Postby TheScrambler » Sat Nov 24, 2012 1:00 am

Your feelings are authentic in that they actually exist. A lot of sexuality is tied up in imprinting and attachment in early years, so I don't think that feelings stemming from some sort of emotional neglect are less authentic than those that may be more biological in origin. I tend to think that it's a bit of both in almost every case of non-hetero sexuality.

Of course, there may be a sex that you feel more comfortable with or are more attracted to. I know several women who are more sexually attracted to men while being more romantically attracted to women and vice versa. Sexual attraction is more readily apparent, but romantic attraction needs time to build in most cases. It's difficult to understand, and we want to try to categorize everything so much and fit something as complicated as sexuality into discrete boxes, but that sort of classification limits us and can create problems.

For example, those who define themselves early in life as either hetero or homo only to find out in middle age that they prefer the opposite. They were living in the rational world of labels and language which blinded them to their deeper emotional world.

Anyway, my advice would be to avoid labeling yourself for now, and if you have to just say that you are bisexual. Then just follow your feelings while trying to analyze whether what you desire is something that will be healthy for you or not. You could maybe even try to have an older non-sexual mentor/cuddle buddy woman while attempting to find a sexual partner who is accepting of that maternal/comforting relationship.

I feel for you. I am a man who has only just come to this same realization of desiring a mother-figure in older women. It took a while because I think it's stigmatizing for a male to admit that he needs some sort of motherly emotional attention (not at all macho, haha), and of course the emotional coldness which goes along with it kept me from examining my feelings. It has mostly been tied up with sexual desire, but it has been of a different kind than that I feel for younger girls (more approval seeking).
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Re: Lesbian or Mommy Issues?

Postby minotauros » Fri Nov 30, 2012 10:24 pm

Freud's Mommy/Daddy issues is folkpsychology, its outdated and innacurate. You're attracted to older women, so what? It's a beautiful thing. :)
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Re: Lesbian or Mommy Issues?

Postby timetomoveon » Wed Dec 12, 2012 2:28 pm

To the original poster -- I totally understand where you are coming from. I am 37, and still have these "mother figure" crushes that are quite intense. I honestly couldn't picture actually getting naked and having sex w/ these older women, but I want their attention, approval, and time. I want physical contact w/ them, but my fantasies are more about hugging, holding hands, back rubs, snuggling on the couch, and playing with their hair than about sex, which I honestly can't picture. Basically, it is pretty innocent in that respect. (Unless of course, I am merely repressing deeper urges.) I do have crushes on peers my age, but I've never fallen in love w/ a woman my own age.

I am married to a man, and utterly miserable sexually, by the way. I LOVE my husband deeply as a human being, but I am most definitely a lesbian. I feel horrible that I got married thinking that I could change and evolve into a heterosexual, but what is done is done. I don't want to outright cheat on my husband, because I KNOW it would break his heart, so perhaps these "mother figure" crushes are a more "acceptable" way to get my emotional and physical needs met without actually having sex, because I just don't feel comfortable crossing that line.
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Re: Lesbian or Mommy Issues?

Postby randomandrea » Fri Dec 14, 2012 4:56 am

Just a thought...

You mentioned two groups of women you think about--friends/acquaintances and former teachers. You have different thoughts about each group, at least in a sense that you'll allow the former group to be in sexually oriented dreams but not the latter group. So, this might seem either too simple or too complicated, but it seems to me that you might have two groups of people with two separate sets of feelings for them but they are becoming a bit overlapped. Maybe you are a lesbian, and you do like some of your friends/acquaintances. And maybe you also like your professors, but in an "I need a mother figure" way. They two could be related, but maybe you are both a lesbian and have mommy issues together. It doesn't seem like you're looking for sexual satisfaction from your former professors, but at the same time it seems that you want a sexual relationship with a woman. So, it seems like you like the group of people you want to date and the group of people you want to be mother figures in different ways. I hope that makes some sense.

Long story short? You could be experiencing both issues...
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Re: Lesbian or Mommy Issues?

Postby jaydeblooms » Wed Sep 11, 2013 9:07 pm

First of all, I know this is an older thread, but I have been searching the internet for some relatabilty to my own situation, and I have found a few sites that touch on the idea of motherly figure issues, but this is the first I've seen that deals with both. I had to share my own experience and reading about others with these same kinds of feelings is incredibly validating and I hope sharing my own experience can be validating for others as well.

Anyways, wow, OP, I have to say first of all that I almost completely identify with you. My situation is very similar, although it differs in that I have had a few serious relationships with men (and am currently in one - I identify as "queer", but simply put bisexual would be the best way to explain my sexuality), this older, "motherly figure" is the first woman (in my real, every day life anyways) that I've had sexual feelings for, and also that once I receive affection from this person I have never "lashed out" as you described and then felt "slimy" afterwards.

To share my experience: Over the past year, I have become increasingly closer with a woman who is my own mother's age. We have naturally gravitated towards each other. When we first met, I knew her as a very animated, upbeat and funny person. She was always telling stories, cracking jokes and generally being silly and making me smile. As we've grown closer, she started to share some gripes and complaints with me about mutual acquaintances. I felt deeply appreciative of her trust in telling me her irritations. I felt privileged to be her sounding board. After a while, it got a little much, which I think she realized too because she has since told me that she will try to be more positive for me. Lately, in the last few months, she has been very touchy, playing with my hair occasionally, touching my shoulder or running her hand across my back, leaning across me and touching her chest against me, etc. I tingle (though not in a sexual way) when we make contact because it is so lovely and affectionate and is all of the affection I lack(ed) from my own mother.

I should say that like the OP, I have always had a mother who I know loves me and cares about me, but she has never been physical besides an occasional brief hug. She is very analytical and approaches things in a logical manner. I remember often being frustrated as a child by being around her because when I asked questions she took a very long time to explain her answers, trying to think of the exact way she wanted to say it in her head before she answered. In short, I have always felt distant from her.

Anyways, for me, this relationship with this motherly woman has meant everything to me for the past few months. In some ways, it has opened up a hole in my heart that I never knew was there. It has revealed this longing to me for motherly affection and attention that I never knew I needed until now.

In the last week or so, some sexual thoughts have slipped into my head about her. I have thought about her touching me, feeling my chest, kissing her, etc. I don't feel weird about these thoughts, by which I mean they don't disgust me or feel incestual. They just confuse the heck out of me! I am not sure if I am having these thoughts because for me, affection from a woman, whether older than myself or a peer, has always been absent in my life, so I am confusing the kind of affection I want in my own head. Perhaps because I want both kinds. I can also easily imagine myself cuddling close to her, running my own fingers through her hair, resting my head against her, etc. I think I am just seeking intimacy

My feelings towards this woman have almost turned into obsession, thinking about her a lot, wanting to be around her all the time, to just soak in her presence and her light and beautiful soul. I have dreams about her, not necessarily sexual, but of being closer to her. It literally ruined my weekend when I asked her if she wanted to hang out and I never received a call back confirming whether or not we would get together. I just can't stop thinking about her.

I guess there is no real point to my reply other than to share my own experience, and to hope that it can help someone else feel better about their own confusing feelings! I can't really offer any "advice" or insight into what these feelings may mean, sorry OP, as I am just as confused and lost myself right now. But it has helped so much to read similar stories to my own.

I would LOVE any feedback anyone has to give into my situation!!
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Re: Lesbian or Mommy Issues?

Postby david439 » Thu Sep 11, 2014 5:34 am

It's not mommy issues. No human, including your mother, is going to meet all your needs for love and affection.

Humans are kind of like bonobos in many ways. We form strong emotional, affectionate bonds with others, often of both sexes. When you have those kinds of intense feelings for someone often you're going to want to be physically and sexually affectionate with them as well. It's really just a normal form of human bonding that for some reason society has taught us to try to repress in many situations.

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Re: Lesbian or Mommy Issues?

Postby ridingthewtfbus » Thu Sep 11, 2014 3:56 pm

timetomoveon wrote:I am married to a man, and utterly miserable sexually, by the way. I LOVE my husband deeply as a human being, but I am most definitely a lesbian.


My stay-at-home cluster B ex-wife was apparently hiding her true feelings just long enough to get impregnated and convince me to sponsor for a pie-in-the-sky art project (which failed). Then she had some surgery, took lots of pain meds and booze on top of grueling physical therapy while simultaneously starving herself to lose weight, then the $#%^ hit the fan. She started acting crazy when it all finally came out. Then she nuked the marriage, vilified me with her entire family, and now alienates me with my kids.

My current girlfriend claims I'm the best she's ever had, so I don't think it was sex. Could've been the lack of it due to my ex's poor hygiene problem.

I guess my point is this: why go on this way? Does he know you feel this way? If not, how can he even begin to take steps towards addressing the issue (improving your sex life), if he's clueless? Suppressing feelings is a sure-fire way to detonate the relationship.

Crap, I just realized how old this thread is. David439 you should probably just start a new thread if you're interested in this topic.
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