Do people know about their sexual orientation before experiencing first sexual attraction?

  1. How can someone know about their sexual orientation (gay, bi or straight not asexual) who never experienced sexual attraction?

  2. Can someone know about their sexual orientation before experiencing first sexual attraction?
    Suppose you are 16 years old and you know that you are sexually attracted to guys/girls but you never experienced sexual attraction to guys/girls. Is it possible? Do people know about sexual attraction after occurring it or before occurring it they already know that instinctively?

  3. Suppose you know you are attracted to boobs/muscle but never feel attracted to boobs/muscle, is it possible?

  4. Is is possible for people to know about their sexual orientation who never experienced sexual attraction? Or after experiencing sexual attraction people know about their sexual orientation? Before occurring sexual attraction people are unaware about their sexual attraction?

If you know the answer then try to give answer with a valid explanation.

I “knew” I liked girls well before sexual attraction (like at 6 years old), but there’s no way to tell at this point if that was due to actual heteroness, or societal conditioning.

I knew the exact moment I LIKED girls. One minute no, then next, HEY! I don’t know if that was sexual attraction per se, or just general “attraction”. I definitely didn’t understand sex at that point, as my classmates never let me forget.

Yes. I have a transgender child who told me she pretty much knew from birth, well as far back as can be remembered.

Can you tell me How can someone know about their sexual orientation before experiencing first sexual attraction?

Hetero cis male reporting.

I knew I liked girls from a young age, I just didn’t know what I wanted to do with them until I was older.

In elementary school I was attracted to girls: I wanted to spend time with them and be near them. I definitely found some girls more attractive than others—“better looking.” However, because I had not yet reached puberty, I wasn’t having sexual feelings. A short time later, at the onset of puberty, that attraction became sexual in that I had explicit ideas about what would be fun to do with girls.

I have no trouble believing that people are aware from a very young age which gender they will be sexually attracted to in the future, but that is based purely on my own experience and the vagueness of memory being viewed through decades of experience and rewriting.

Apologies. I flubbed my answer. In my distraction I was answering the question based upon what gender assignation my child identified with, and not sexual orientation.

When I was six or so I saw a Playboy opened to a picture of a nekkid woman in a Super X Drug Store. I knew immediately that was something I’d like to see in real life. It would be over a decade and a half before I would.

I definitely had “crushes” on girls as early as first grade, long before I had any idea that sex existed. I’ve questioned many things about myself but never my heterosexuality.

Maybe you can say what you mean by sexual attraction. When I was very little and watched the original Mickey Mouse club, I was very interested in Annette and didn’t know why. I had a crush on a girl in second grade. This was long before I saw anything overtly sexual (media was tamer then), but I don’t know if you’d call these sexual attractions or not. I certainly didn’t think of them in that way.

She knew which gender she was attracted to? Or which gender she was? The OP is asking about the first - sexual orientation is about toward which sex a person’s attractions are oriented.

See post number 6.

I discovered when I was 7 (and then it was only a revelation, not a change) that I was interested in boys rather than girls. This was in 1956-1957. I also knew enough to know that it was “shameful” and that I must hide this interest at all cost, which I now attribute to the social culture at the time. I felt nothing in my genitals nor any interest in theirs, but I wanted to be close to some of them in some way that I didn’t understand.

To me this indicates that sexual orientation is about more than purely sexual attraction. I was always attracted to masculinity, I think. I didn’t mind being around girls but they did not interest me especially the way some of the boys did. It’s very hard to describe, but from what I remember there was a sort of tightening in my chest making it a bit harder to breathe. I was not friends with any of these boys, and I wonder sometimes what would have happened if I had been.

When puberty hit, around age 12, it was no surprise to me that my interest in boys deepened to include sexual fantasies, even though I had no idea what 2 men could do sexually (I knew, by then, the bare facts of procreation). It was also interesting to me that when I did see lots of other naked guys in high school gym class, I did not find that erotic at all. One at a time, sure. All in a group, no.

I hope this goes some way to answering OP’s question.

I had my first same-sex fantasy at the age of 5. It was a very powerful fantasy with elements of dominance/submission. There were other instances, over the years, e.g. devising ways to get my friends to pull their pants down. Of course I had no knowledge of anything sexual, and it took me several years to even begin to understand what it all meant.

The interesting thing was that the kid who was the object of that initial fantasy was, to this day, my favorite type… the very type that my husband turned out to be. So whatever triggered that fantasy has stuck with me for life.

I now consider myself to be bisexual, though it’s only been in the past five to ten years that I’ve really fully realized this fact, and I still have a fairly strong preference for women over men.

I had my first crush on a girl (a classmate of mine) when I was in first grade, and I pretty consistently had crushes on various girls (mostly classmates) from then on. I was always attracted to girls, even before an age at which that attraction would be considered sexual.

I don’t remember feeling an attraction to a male until I was already in or past puberty.

I should add that I always had a girlfriend in school, and she was always the prettiest and nicest girl in the class. But there was absolutely no sexual attraction.

Apologies. I flubbed my question. In my distraction I didn’t register post number 6.


My “orientation” began very confused. I found myself sexually attracted to both girls and boys at early pubescence. Because sex was easier with boys, I gravitated towards gay sex, but it was very complicated until I was in my twenties.

Though it would be more than a decade before I could think about actual sex with another guy, I had strong attractions to friends at age 6 or 7. I even remember saying I would marry my best friend Robert, an incredibly absurd notion in the South in 1963. In high school, I played the girlfriend game reasonably well, but I had a deep-seated inner desire for my best friend Bill to somehow know how much I cared for him. Finally, in college, the full picture emerged.

I don’t recall thinking much about my sexual orientation prior to puberty, although there was giggling on the elementary school playground about the word “lesbian”, and a rumor that there were two girls, neither of them me, who were that way, but nobody could quite understand what it meant. :dubious:

And I definitely realized that I wasn’t one, one day when I was 12 years old and that switch was thrown. ZOMG, the boys looked a LOT better than they had the previous day. It was that drastic.

When I was seven or eight, I had a crush on an older boy that went to my church, he was 12 or 13 I think.

I spent a lot of time fantasizing about him being my boyfriend. I found the strange warm fuzzy feelings I got during those little reveries to be extremely pleasant. And, in retrospect, sexual. Even though I didn’t know what sex was at that age.