Is it normal to be attracted to other people, including women?

Q: I've been married almost seven years and am settled in every sense of the word. I'm bored in most areas of my life and having a terrible time getting motivated to change that (such as exercising and losing weight or changing jobs). One manifestation is that I've begun to be attracted to people other than my husband -- especially one friend for whom I've sort of fallen. That person happens to be a woman, which is totally new to me (maybe that's the attraction). I've never been attracted to women.--from iVillager 7_year_itch

A: Here's the way I see it. There are two issues here: your attraction to a woman and boredom with your marriage. Obviously, they are linked, but let's look at them separately first. Regarding being attracted to another woman: I think this is pure and simply a case of bi-curiosity, wondering what it would be like to make love with someone who has the same bits you do. Plus, it's ''forbidden,'' which makes it seem even more exciting, and since excitement is obviously lacking in your sex life at the moment, it's appealing. I don't think it means you're gay, though, so don't try to fit yourself neatly into a box. Some people have always known they're either exclusively heterosexual or homosexual and never, ever waver. Lots of others aren't sure where they fit in. How can you tell? The closest I can get to a definite answer seems to be this: You'll know if you're lesbian if it feels right for you and you're repeatedly and consistently drawn to the same sex and rarely or never to the opposite. In your case, it seems very much to me like fancying your friend is a nice fantasy that's probably best left as that. (Don't kid yourself: Even if it's the same sex you're having sex with, it still counts as cheating, and cheating never solves anything, it just creates new problems). So my advice about what to do with your feelings for your friend is to not worry too much about it -- don't act on it, but feel free to use it as a fantasy, which turns you on.

Now, on to your husband. You sound like you are definitely in a rut, not just in your marriage but in life in general. And you sound a little depressed, too, which is why you can't seem to motivate yourself to make the changes that would make you happier. But you need to force yourself to do at least one of these things to break out of it. If you do make yourself go the gym, lose weight or change jobs, it'll give you the emotional boost you need to snap you out of the boredom and get you back on track and working hard on getting the life you want, one that is more exciting. Your marriage and sex life aren't the only areas that need spicing up; work on spicing up all the areas in your life you're not happy with, and each will happily feed the others. If you start exercising, for instance, you've instantly got more energy to tackle the other problems. You'll feel better about your body, which will make you more adventurous and uninhibited in bed, and so on.

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