am i a lesbian who is experiencing comphet?
first, let's take a moment to discuss what comphet is and how it affects lesbians and their relationships with their identities. tap the lesbian flag below to continue!
what is comphet?
comphet is short for compulsory heterosexuality. compulsory heterosexuality is the idea that heterosexuality is forced upon us by our culture.
comphet is studied in lesbians because of the misogyny and the patriarchy that causes the sexualities and identities of lesbians to be defined by their relationships with men and is a lesbian-only term. tap here for more information on why comphet is a lesbian-only term as well as some information on heteronormativity.
there is no way to deny the idea that, from a very young age, lesbians are accustomed to the idea that they have to please men or that they are required to be attracted to men.
an example is how heterosexuality is presented in media. there are so many movies that feature heterosexual couples. when a young lesbian sees that all of the time as they are growing up, it is only natural that they are being trained to believe that heterosexuality is the only option that they have.
as these lesbians get older, how will they separate what they want from what they were conditioned to believe? this is where comphet comes in!
am i a lesbian?
if you're questioning if you're a lesbian with comphet or not, here are some questions that you may want to ask yourself:
“can i be truthfully happy with a man?”
“can i see myself having a happy and fulfilling relationship with a man?”
“does my attraction to men make me uncomfortable?”
tap here for more questions to ask!
a big thing to remember is that attraction is supposed to feel good! it's not supposed to scare you or make you feel uncomfortable.
if you find yourself having thoughts like “wow, that is how i feel” when you answer the questions above, you may be a lesbian! and that's okay! being a lesbian is a beautiful thing. lesbian is not a dirty word.
it's important to know that those questions can be difficult to answer, though! it takes time to accept yourself and be happy about who you truly are. it'll all be okay. it's also important to know that, even if you know that you're a lesbian, comphet can still affect you! and that's valid. so many other lesbians are in the same boat as you. you are so valid.
“but i still feel attracted to fictional men and celebrities! does that mean that i can't be a lesbian?”
no! lesbians are allowed to feel attracted to fictional men and celebrities. that doesn't mean that it's actual attraction! you can find men attractive but not be actually attracted to them. that can be a hard concept to understand, especially when you're struggling with your sexuality!
these men are unattainable. having crushes, per-se, on unattainable men is a symptom of comphet!
because it's impossible to ever be with an unattainable man, lesbians get to avoid the idea of legitimate intimacy with that person, which can be comforting. it can also make self discovery a little more difficult, though.
long story short, you can like unattainable men and still be a lesbian.
that doesn't make you any less of a lesbian!
“but i have had meaningful relationships with men in the past. i was legitimately attracted to who i was with. does that mean that i can't be a lesbian now?”
no! you could have had relationships with men in the past and still be a lesbian now. a lot of lesbians have had boyfriends in the past! that does not make you any less valid.
people change! feelings change! attraction changes! you are 100% allowed to identify differently than you have in the past.
it is not shameful to change your label to something that you're currently more comfortable with, and it's not shameful to experiment and change it again as you continue to discover yourself and who you are!
your identity is based on how you feel now. your feelings in the past don't have to pin you down!
you are growing and learning more about yourself every day. change is expected sometimes! and that's okay! you'll be okay.
thank you for reading!
hopefully i was able to clear some stuff up about comphet and how lesbians can identify whether or not they are struggling with comphet.
this carrd is always going to be a work in progress! if anyone has any ideas of anything that they'd like me to mention on this carrd, this is my twitter. please don't hesitate to reach out, my #1 goals are to educate and help and i would love to hear what other lesbians have to say!
you are loved so much.
please educate yourself and others on comphet. it is a universal lesbian experience and it can be so helpful to know about when it comes to learning about who you are and finding the label that makes you the most comfortable!
if you're here trying to figure out if you're a lesbian or not, you'll get there! sexuality can be a really difficult thing to grasp and it takes time. don't stress yourself out! go with the flow. you'll be okay and you'll find yourself soon, i promise.
more questions to ask yourself!
“do i feel like i must be attracted to men? does it feel like an obligation?”
“do i test my attraction to men and decipher whether or not i am allowed to be attracted to them based on their traits?”
“do i find myself thinking about how badly i wished that i did or didn't like men?”
“do i feel intrigued with the idea of being with a man hypothetically but then feel uncomfortable when it's an actual possibility?”
“do i have incredibly high standards for men?”
"i still have warm, positive, and strong feelings towards men that i know. is this actual attraction? can i still be a lesbian if i have these feelings?"
you absolutely can be a lesbian and still have positive feelings towards men in your life!
these feelings can be very easily confused with actual attraction, but it is not actual attraction for lesbians! these feelings are platonic.
lesbians are allowed to have close and meaningful friendships with the men in their lives, but when it comes to self-discovery, these feelings can be really hard to figure out.
"is this romantic or platonic attraction?" is an intimidating question to ask yourself, but you'll come to a conclusion, i promise. there's no rush.
give yourself all of the time that you need.
why is the term comphet only for lesbians? what is heteronormativity and why is it different?
comphet is a subcategory of heteronormativity that relates to the patriarchy that makes everyone feel like they have a requirement to please men. the patriarchy makes lesbians feel as if there is an obligation to feel attracted to men due to how society centers around them.
that is why the term comphet is only for lesbians to use.
anybody can experience heteronormativity, no matter what label they use. gay people, bi people, pan people, ace people, aro people, anybody who feels any type of attraction.
people who struggle with heteronormativity can feel like they must force themselves to like the opposite gender and feel denial about feeling attracted to people of the same gender, but it's not comphet because they still feel attracted to men.
the biggest difference between comphet and heteronormativity is that anybody can experience heteronormativity, but comphet is a term only for lesbians because of its relation to the patriarchy.