What are the Boundaries of Love?
“I’m straight but I think I may like a girl. Is it a normal feeling?” This question was posted in the Love, Sex and Relationship community on SHEROES. And guess what? Instead of raising eyebrows it helps raise many potent questions. At the same time, it also clears various assumptions.
The Change in society
The societies that we grow in have for generations defined a particular way of making and maintaining relationships with the opposite sex.
Historical references point that gays, lesbians and bisexuals have been around though their presence has rarely been acknowledged let alone accepted. But times are changing.
There is far more awareness as people are beginning to be aware that each individual may not always conform to the standard perceived notions of sexual or social behaviour.
Yet, confusion does prevail both at the individual and societal level.
Can a straight person also like someone from the same sex?
How does one know for sure in which gender to look for love?
The confusion is, of course, compounded by a sense of guilt and shame. It is hard enough to first accept that one is not exactly ‘normal’ and then follow it up with the grit to stand by that choice.
At the same time, it also takes courage to ask these questions in the open and not let them be tightly knotted at the bottom of clandestine thoughts and emotions.
The thread on SHEROES is proof enough that such courageous people, especially women do exist.
We need openness in such matters because the spread of information and sharing of thoughts is the best way to understand an issue that cannot be swept under the carpet anymore.
Another point to note is that this question garnered ‘likes’ and very encouraging comments. There was not a single opinion that degraded or induced guilt and shame on the questioner.
Each of the commenters was extremely supportive and advised her to follow her instincts. And this perhaps was the biggest takeaway. That our society is opening up to letting individuals be who they are without forcing them to become what is deemed conventional and even moral.
The Fluidity of Relationships
The universe is designed in such a way that both men and women together can take forward lineages. It has been considered a natural process for men and women to be attracted to each other. But there have always been undercurrents of repressed passion and attractions that have not towed this line.
In recent years, there has been a lot of awareness and interactions that have put forth the understanding that attractions or love is not confined to the opposite sex alone. And hence a lot of people, with celebrities leading the way have come out of the ‘closet’ to accept and announce their true orientation. Ellen DeGeneres, Jodie Foster, Kristen Stewart are some big names amongst many who have openly shown their preference and love for women. On the other hand, Lilly Singh, Daya, and Tessa Thompson are celebrities who have on record said that they are attracted to both men and women.
But in spite of the fact that there are straight, gay and lesbians each interacting with their most preferred gender the demarcation in relationships is not always crystal clear. And that is how the term ‘fluidity’ comes into the discussion.
Since relationships are becoming increasingly hard to compartmentalize, there is fluidity in transitions of sexual orientation.
In short, according to studies and opinions, you can be straight and still like girls, because what attracts you to someone is hard to define or explain.
“I am straight but I like girls”- What experts say
Studies show that straight women get attracted to both men and women, which is not the case with men, gay or lesbians. According to a study by the University of Essex, straight women are more likely to be turned on by both men and women. On the other hand, straight men and lesbians show clear a preference to their preferred sex. The experiment was conducted taking into account the physiological responses of the different participants acting to any sexual stimuli. The findings open the doors to a whole new kind of discussion which only further aggravates the blurriness of the lines that are meant or not meant to be crossed.
“Am I normal?”
It is hard to know what ‘normal’ really means in a world that is ever-changing in perspectives, ideas, values, and communication. Just as the grey areas are increasing in almost all walks of emotions and thoughts, it is not surprising to see the same happen when it comes to carnal, love or even crush instincts.
Confusion is bound to happen and studies show that not only teenagers or youngsters find it hard to locate their love preferences. There are women and men who are married, have children and a family and then suddenly find themselves craving or being attracted to someone from the same sex.
In the end, it all boils down to your choice. Who you chose to like or love is totally up to you. But yes, it is good to gauge and introspect and know yourself before jumping to any extreme conclusions.
Straight women can still like girls and that does not mean that they need to think that there is something wrong with them. Neither do they need to jump the gun and be conclusive about their sexuality.
At the same time, it is best to read up and be well informed. Do the research and ask the right questions to be aware of all the possibilities, studies, and scenarios. As for the others, it is important to understand and support anyone who is going through the dilemmas of trying to find their true orientation and identity. It is the least we can do.