Welcome to Week 2 of ‘Kitty Love’ – Cambridge’s only LGBT+ sex and relationships advice column!
Let me introduce myself, my name is Katt Parkins – a polyamorous pansexual sex and relationships geek who loves to listen and give advice. Each week I’ll be responding to your questions which you can submit using the box at the bottom of the column. Please do feel free to ask anything 🙂
And now to our first query of the day…
I’m a cis female who identifies as heteroromantic and asexual, and I think I’m experiencing romantic attraction towards a guy who has asked me out several times. But how do I explain to him that I want to be in a relationship with him but I don’t find him sexually attractive? I don’t think he’s very clued up on LGBT+ stuff so I don’t know if he’d understand asexuality. Help!!!
My initial recommendation would be to breach the subject gently, maybe talk about asexuality without mentioning yourself, and see how he reacts, and then, if he still seems unfazed, tell him more. Although you say that he is not too clued up on LGBT+ issues, I still think it’s better to come out to him as asexual rather than to simply explain you’re not attracted to him. By coming out/breaching the topic in this way, you will avoid him misinterpreting your lack of sexual attraction as some sort of rejection. Its your sexuality, and if he condemns you in any way for being who you are, he’s probably not worth pursuing.
That said, it’s important to remember that different people have different needs, and neither your or his are unreasonable. It is possible that he might want a romantic sexual relationship, whilst you would prefer a romantic non-sexual relationship. You are both fully entitled to these desires. It’s possible they might not be compatible, and that’s okay too. I hope that chance is on your side.
This week, I was also asked…
I keep falling for men who remind me of the various father figures in my life and this is becoming quite destructive. How do I break this cycle?
First off, its okay to find men attractive that remind you of various father figures. It happens often, even on a sub-conscious level (yeah c’mon… you knew Freud would make an appearance). Explanations for this have cited things such as setting your parents relationship as a standard for your own, or your fatherly figure(s) being your central male role models for future involvements. That said, whatever you define ‘falling for’ to be, I think you should give yourself a little more credit..
There was a really interesting article written in the New York Times last week, entitled “To Fall In Love With Anyone, Do This’. (http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/11/fashion/modern-love-to-fall-in-love-with-anyone-do-this.html?smid=fb-nytimes&smtyp=cur&bicmp=AD&bicmlukp=WT.mc_id&bicmst=1409232722000&bicmet=1419773522000&_r=1)
It describes a study where a psychologist managed to make two complete strangers fall in love. Although this seems like a deviation from your question, the idea that love is not as determined as we think is important. As the article says, love is an action. If you become more conscious of why you like/are attracted to someone by asking yourself questions, and choose to walk away if you feel you are being maltreated, this could lead to better relationships in the future.
If the destructive nature of the relationship directly stems from the fact that they remind you of father figures, there are ways in which this can be transformed into a more positive thing… As the article suggests, love is built on mutual vulnerability. There might be a kind of fatherliness which is good for you, and your experiences/connections.
And someone asked me this…
I came out last April to my father and it went terribly…
He reacted badly and threw me back into the closet threatening that he would stop financing my studies (I’m an overseas student with higher fees and no room for support/finance) if I didn’t try to act like a man. This summer it escalated and now he wants me to be straight and I just can’t…
I agreed because I can’t afford to lose Cambridge and I can’t afford the opportunity for an education and some independence from my dad at some point in my life. It’s hard but I still want to embrace who I actually am whilst in Cambridge. I have no idea what to do?
Firstly, I can understand why you’re feeling trapped. It hurts, having someone close to you completely reject your identity. While some people will eventually come around to the idea, others are too set in their views and just won’t budge.
However, your existence before you came out was still an existence, albeit a compromised one. Perhaps there are ways to embrace your identity outside of the presence of your father. Many people aren’t out to their families, or some of their friends. There are places you can go to where you will not be out-ed, and people who will respect your closeted status that you can form relationships with. LGBT+ events include everything from debates, to coffee meet-ups, to clubbing.
Psychologically, your dad’s rejection can have a huge impact on your well-being. Being black-mailed (yes, I am going to call it that) this way could very well be affecting your study. There are many services/support networks where you can chat and be listened to – from the general University Counselling Service, to CUSU LGBT+ provisions, and, if you’re lucky – a JCR LGBT+ rep. There also might be support you can seek from your college: tutors etc. can look into administrative solutions that I could never offer as a columnist.
I’m not going to deny it, you’re between a rock and a hard place in the worse way possible. But we’re all here for you, and, if you don’t feel you can go behind your dad’s back, just remember that university is only a few years of your life, and afterwards you will be financially independent – free to choose your identity without sacrificing your future.
If you have any questions about sex lives or relationships and you’d like to send them to Katt please fill in the form below: