(I found this draft from last year, and thought it was worth resurrecting. It was originally intended as a continuation of this post, but will make sense without it.)
Part of my (albeit minimal) romantic attraction towards men is probably innate and unexplainable-- I'm guessing that's how most people perceive attraction. But I wonder. What about the fact that I assumed I was heterosexual until I was almost 21, and that people who don't know me very well assume the same? What about the fact that, as far as I know, I "pass" as heterosexual without trying to? I wonder how much of my attraction to men would exist in a cultural vacuum.
Whatever romantic attraction I have, I don't see it as a shadow of sexual attraction. I see myself as queer, not as a straight person with one form of attraction missing. A conversation with a friend comes to mind-- she told me she was "attracted to masculinity". For her, this manifested in her romantic relationship with a man. But for me, this attraction to masculinity was only realized on an inward level, through my "mental androgyny". I wouldn't find masculine traits in men, but in myself. That one comment made me realize how different my concept of gender might be from most other people's.
On AVEN, I remember a transwoman (male-bodied, mentally female) writing that part of her distaste for sex related to the idea that she didn't want to have sex "in the male role". I can relate to that. Having sex "in the female role" makes the process sound even more unappealing to me than it already does. However, having sex "in the male role" doesn't seem like much of an improvement. I feel the same way about dating and other social rituals. I don't want to be in a romantic relationship in "the female role". However, I don't want to take "the male role", either. I want to escape those roles altogether, as much as such a thing is possible in this world. It's not surprising that I've always been single.
My romantic attractions never facilitated relationships, not even close. Years ago, I lamented the fact that I couldn't seem to be attracted to a guy that one of my friends didn't already have a crush on. But looking back, maybe that was part of the point and/or reason. I felt like as a woman, I was supposed to maintain this constant hustle to "get a man". But these straight men in question seemed to display no effort whatsoever to get their admirers. If they tried desperately to be liked, it wasn't visible. They seemed confident, unstudied, and autonomous. They weren't freaked out by the attention, like I would have been. Would dating them-- and most likely, being placed immediately in the "female role"--been gratifying for me? I'm not so sure. Maybe what I really wished for was the chance to be seen by others in the same way these boys were seen by girls. That alone, unadorned, and despite my flaws, I was something worth getting truly excited about.