Question: To be honest, I’m not really sure how to ask my question. I’ve tried finding the answer myself but I can’t find information on people with a similar problem. For a few years now whenever I fantasize sex I’ve always been able to ‘feel’ it in both the man and the woman’s point of view, and over the last few months it’s gotten to a point where I’m actually experiencing a kind of phantom-limb syndrome for a penis that I’ve never had. I’m really not sure of what to make of my sexuality at this point. I’ve always considered myself heterosexual, but seeing as i’m always thinking in both gender’s POVs I wonder if i’m two-spirited or something along those lines? Any idea as to how I can find out what this is?
It sounds like there is a conflict between how sexual arousal is experienced and the identity label chosen to describe sexual orientation. How we experience sexuality is as varied as there are people. The experiences and feelings that affect our sexual arousal are diverse and not necessarily indicative of the identity label we choose for ourselves.
For example, some people are stimulated more through verbal communication or visual cues or some people are more comfortable in submissive or dominant sexual roles, however these do not indicate sexual orientation as all sexual and gender identities can experience this.
Another example is heterosexual men who enjoy anal stimulation, which is often seen as an indication of a gay sexual orientation. This isn’t necessarily the case as some heterosexual-identified men enjoy the sensation of anal stimulation with a woman and some gay men don’t engage in anal sex at all.
Some things to consider:
- There was mention of experiencing the “phantom-penis” as being a “problem”. How does this experience prove problematic during sex?
- Does a heterosexual identity label still have meaning for you? Do you feel it still best describes you and the potential partner(s) you are currently or would like to potentially be involved with sexually?
- Similarly, does a woman gender identity still have meaning for you? Do you feel it still best describes you and how you experience the world?
Typically a trans identity describes an individual who experiences the world as a gender that differs from their biological sex (i.e. an individual born with female physical characteristics, but experiences the world and identifies as a man). A two-spirit identity typically describes someone of a First Nation’s background that chooses to adopt the Aboriginal traditions of sexual orientation and gender identity rather than the Western ideas of gay, lesbian, trans etc.
The bottom line: If there hasn’t been a problem during sex and your current heterosexual and woman identity labels ring true for you, then perhaps this is just an aspect of how you experience sexual arousal. However if this experience is proving problematic during sex, and the current labels don’t seem to ring true for you anymore, then perhaps some research and experimentation with alternative labels or the removal of the identity labels altogether may be worth some thought. Take a look at the earlier response to the question about being bisexual which talks a bit more about identity labels.
The above are only two of many possibilities. It really comes down to what makes you feel the most comfortable with yourself in order to communicate with current and potential sexual partners and enjoy sex to its fullest. If you want to chat about this further, please feel free to give us a call Tues-Thurs 6-9pm at 519-836-4550. We would be happy to listen to your thoughts and feelings on this.