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Thursday, November 8, 2012

175

Becoming Bisexual, Part Two: No Longer Just for Ladies!

1. Crush exclusively on boys until you see t.A.T.u.'s “All The Things She Said” video at age 10.

2. Realize that girls can like girls, too.

3. Realize quickly that a lot of people in Arkansas circa 2002 think homosexuality is unacceptable.

4. Quash any non-platonic feelings for girls.

5. Date no one until high school; then, date only boys.

6. Crush on a femme bisexual girl in ninth grade.

7. Crush on her girlfriend, who wears clothes traditionally worn by teenage boys and has the cutest freckles.

8. Tell your mom that said femme bisexual girl is bisexual. Your mother says it's disgusting and unnatural and even worse than homosexuality.

9. This is your first taste of biphobia.

10. You remain quiet about your own sexuality, except to the boy you dated in ninth grade. You tell him the summer after your first year of college that you think you like ladies, too. He finds this totally normal. 

11. Date a boy the first three semesters of college and then have an amicable break-up that has nothing to do with bisexuality and everything to do with incompatibility.

12. Start going to gay clubs with your best gay male friend; you are only hit on by men, which something that you find endlessly frustrating.

13. Your mom starts asking you if you're gay. You say no, and it's the truth.

14. You figure that answering that question with, “Yeah, but only 35-50%, depending on the day,” would confuse and anger her.

15. Befriend a wonderful group of educated, tolerant women. Figure out that out of the six of them, only two are straight. Three are bisexual and one is heteroflexible.

16. Come out the second semester of sophomore year.

17. Make out with ladies, go on dates with ladies.

18. Make out with men, go on dates with men.

19. Fall in love with a really great guy who doesn't care that you're bisexual and who understands that you are both bisexual and monogamous.

20. Realize you're going to probably marry this dude and never do sexy things with ladies ever again.

21. Realize that this is okay, and doesn't make you any less bisexual.

22. Still worry about bi-erasure.

***

1. At four years old, ask dad why mom kisses you on the way out the door but he doesn’t. Note obvious discomfort.

2. At age 12, notice a girl for the first time. Fail to get her to notice you. Dad gives The Talk, asks pointedly if you like boys. Think it a dumb question because of situation with girl. Later wonder if he sees something you don’t. Feel afraid.

3. At age 16, see Memento. Think a lot about Guy Pearce and his smile for several weeks.

4. At age 17, talk with female friends over lunch break. Subject of undesirable sexual acts comes up. Girls all vehemently agree that most effective method for quashing boyfriends’ desire to do undesirable things is to propose a trade in which woman performs acts, but boy agrees to MMF threesome. Be surprised to find that proposition far less revolting than it’s apparently supposed to be.

5. At age 20, fall madly in love with a woman for the first time. Spend several years basking in her rays, before she leaves you.

6. At 24, at a party, meet friend of friend who is into all the strange music you are. Agree to the idea of a shared project. Invite him over, see him, feel the air sucked out of the room. Sit in near-silence. Resist the strange magnetic pull. Make an excuse to get him out of your apartment. Have panic attack. Delete from phone. Never hear from again.

7. At 24, see therapist. Try to interrogate feelings, but feelings are slippery and unrecognizable. Therapist points out that you’ve never had trouble articulating yourself, even around the most shameful things in your past.

8. At 24, listen to a lot of Dan Savage podcasts. Savage pays lip service but clearly doesn’t believe you exist/puts you on continuum of straight. Decide on being straight, but weird (so, straight). Wake up one morning with feelings in a box. Put box away, wall it off.

9. Friend asks if you’re bi, say “no” and feel something moving against the wall you put up.

10. At 25, move to a big city. Attend interactive theater performance. Revisit five more times to see two dancers: small dark woman and tall ginger man. Fantasize about being a dancer, dancing with them.

11. At 26, date women exclusively. Pine after old girlfriends. Meet nice boys, disengage ASAP. Feel tired.

***

1. Have massive crush on Natalie Portman.

2. Realize massive crush on Natalie Portman might be massive crush, and not an admiring of her as a role model.

3. Tell best friend "I might like girls." Realize you had underestimated how much she'd gotten into being an evangelical Christian as she now refuses to have anything to do with you.

4. Agonize for a year.

5. Come out to family as bi, they react like you'd announced you were going to the library tomorrow; are confused given their general disliking of everything else about you.

6. Come out to friends; all thespians, they react with hugs and groping.

7. Date/kiss a couple girls.

8. See a Playgirl, worry you are not actually attracted to men.

9. Have abusive non-relationship with dude. Find that you are really not digging the dude thing.

10. Come out as lesbian to everyone.

11. Cut hair, buy a butch jacket to wear everywhere.

12. Find Boy who assures you Playgirl is not how to figure out your sexual orientation, goes down on you a lot.

13. Find self oddly interested in reciprocating oral sex toward Boy.

14. Continue having reciprocal sexytimes with Boy, agonize a lot, but find orgasms help with the agonizing.

15. Tell Boy you think you might be bi, he responds with "yeah, I figured as much."

***

1. Begin puberty and start to notice girls.

2. Become fascinated and curious about everything that has to do with girls and being a girl.

3. Fascination and curiosity leads to trying on women's clothes. Learn that you really like the feel of women's clothes.

4. Go through high school and college sporadically dating women and enjoying your private time dressing like your girlfriends. Begin to wonder, when dressed, what it is like to "be a girl."

5. After college, think you will explore more of the dressing side of you. Meet a pleasant woman and think that all you need is to find the right girl so you don't need to dress and think confusing thoughts.

6. Marry this woman. Find out that you were wrong, you still enjoy dressing and are now full-on confused about your sexuality.

7. Do you want to be with men? Who the hell knows?

8. Admit your confusion to your wife who, despite being an admitted bisexual who openly dated other women while you were dating, is disgusted by the thought of your possible bisexuality.

9. Cram your feelings into a pit of resentment.

10. As your marriage disintegrates around you, meet with another cross dresser and have some sexy times with him. You are immediately thrown and confused. Feel guilty afterwards.

11. Get a divorce. Later you will privately admit that while there were a ton of other issues, suppressing these aspects of yourself certainly didn't help your relationship.

12. Start dressing again more often and meet some other guys for sexy times. Come to realize that, under certain circumstances, you enjoy being with men.

13. Meet an awesome girl who is slightly out of your league. Desire her and convince yourself of the lie in Step 5, again. Tell her about the dressing, but not about anything else.

14. Find out that you were wrong, again.

15. Make some really poor decisions that end the relationship with cool girl. She, although angry, remains your friend and counsels you as best she can. She thinks you might just be gay.

16. Realize she is wrong. You actually enjoy women slightly more than men, but you still like men as well.

17. Don't tell any of your friends or family about this, because you think it really isn't their business, but you debate it almost constantly.

17a. Watch the entire library of "How to be a Girl" videos by Jane Marie, and wish that you could do your make-up half as well as she does hers.

18. Decide, at the very least, to be honest and open about this with all future dating partners.

19. Go on a first date with a girl. The next day, make a crack about dressing up in your favorite party dress which leads her to ask if you are a cross dresser.

20. Take a deep breath, and reply honestly, about everything.

21. The world doesn't end.

***

1. Enjoy a friends with benefits relationship with your best male friend. Sex and conversation are great, no emotional connection.

2. Start new job at a hospital. Become intimidated by one of the female attending physicians. First encounter nearly puts you in tears.

3. Resolve to bring your A game every time you work with said physician.

4. Physician warms up to you a bit, even asks you for advice regarding a patient.

5. She shows interest in the album you're listening to, thus cementing a mutual love of music.

6. Notice that every time she enters the room, your stomach does flip flops.

7. Start picking up overtime, but only when it means your schedules will coincide.

8. Continue to fuck FWB, but mind is always on the doctor; who she fucks, how she fucks, if she fucks.

9. On your last day of work at the hospital, physician is looking for reasons to linger, has a tear in her eye (!) and finally says "I think we are kindred spirits." Gives you her email address. SHUT THE FRONT DOOR.

Previously: Part One.

Karen D. loves reading your dark, sexy bisexual stories for strictly honorable, non-perverted reasons. Keep sending 'em in:mybisexualexperience@gmail.com.



175 Comments / Post A Comment

Josh is like Germany Ambitious and Misunderstood

A girl I hang out with thought I was gay because a few weeks prior i 'said something really feminist about rape culture'. also that im 'camp'.

another i work with asked if i was gay, then tried to (i assume) 'persuade' me down to bisexual?

theotherginger

@Josh is like Germany Ambitious and Misunderstood ok, apart from your orientation, I would like to say that anyone can be a feminist. at the same time, anyone can be a juicebox.

Summer Somewhere

@Josh is like Germany Ambitious and Misunderstood I hate that people assume dudes are gay when they support women, or are secure enough in their gender that they aren't violently defensive of their masculinity, or display feminine traits. Gender =/= sexuality. It infuriates me when those people feel like they have the right to vocalize that assumption, as if you did something wrong and they need you to explain yourself.

theotherginger

@Summer Somewhere yes. exactly.

Rock and Roll Ken Doll

"Three glasses a day, with food." - Dr. Wine.

hahahaha, ja.

These stories are beautiful and heartbreaking. <3

keynesiancutie

15. Tell Boy you think you might be bi, he responds with "yeah, I figured as much."

I actually laughed out loud at my desk. I don't know why I find that so so funny!

polka dots vs stripes

@keynesiancutie me too!

Blushingflwr

So, this reminds me, since we've also had threads about OK Cupid here:

What is up with all the people who say they are interested in dating "straight guys only"? Like, if you are a lady who likes dudes, then shouldn't you be interested in dudes who like ladies, regardless of whether or not they also like dudes? Is this a homophobia thing, a biphobia thing, the assumption that bisexuals cannot be monogamous? I don't get it.

Also, oh, god, the cross-dresser. I just want to hug you and then buy you silky clothes.

DullHypothesis

@Blushingflwr I know I'd probably have to swallow weird feelings because we all incorporate biphobia and homophobia a bit. I think girls say that because they want a "real man" and haven't questioned the cultural idea of what a man is. I would have to deal with a bit of that, and I'm pretty progressive.

But the idea of being with a guy who also likes guys sounds kind of... amazing? Like sure, there are bi people who are gonna be the same dickheads or whatever. But every bad relationship I've had is because the dude is just doing what he thought he should do, masculinity wise, and it turns them into total jerks who don't self-analyze at all. Being with someone who's that aware of themselves and has had to struggle so much to decide who they want to be, sounds like a good person to be around.

Linette

@Blushingflwr

I just started using OK Cupid and it seems to have a lot of extremely judgily-phrased questions along these lines. Like, I've had it ask me if I would date men who were bi, if I would date transgendered people, if I would date polyamorous men, and the way they phrase it is in that hushed voice like this is a big deal if you say yes and wow that is so huge you are SO BRAVE.

I do not like it. And I think that the reasons it exists is because OK Cupid is working to their audience, and their audience is apparently, on the average, really freaked out by the spectrum of sexuality. I think those people who say they're interested in dating straight guys only are actually quite freaked out by the idea of touching a guy who touches guys.

Blushingflwr

@Linette Yeah, those "would you date" questions are fun. My answer is usually "well, assuming I would date them otherwise..." I mean, my reservations about who I would or wouldn't date are about things like drug use or political beliefs. I think that "would you date a poly person" is a fair question - if you're looking for monogamy all around, you probably shouldn't date people who are looking for polyamory, just like if you're looking for casual sex you probably shouldn't go after people who are explicitly looking to settle down.

OKC is a good site in that it acknowledges that bisexuality and polyamory and kink exist and that we freaks need love too, but I think you're right about that "hushed voice" tone to a lot of the questions (remember that a lot of questions are submitted by the users, not written by the staff). It's like "truth or dare" or "I never".

SarahP

@Linette It's been a few years since I was on OKCupid, but if I remember correctly, a lot of those questions are written by other site users, which may explain the tone.

paddlepickle

@Blushingflwr Personally, when I see that a guy wrote "straight girls only" it's a dealbreaker for me, even though I'm straight. I don't see any non-fucked up way that anyone could not be open to dating a bisexual person.

Judith Slutler

@Blushingflwr I've never actually thought about this that much! Maybe when I was younger I would've been a little bit more biphobic in terms of "but he'll cheat on me with a dude" or something, but today I don't think I would have trouble dating a bi man, and I think the mindset of assuming bi people are more likely to be cheaters is just ignorant as all hell.

Some people might be biphobic about it just because our culture encourages people to be so controlling of their partners' sexuality in that OMG NEVER LOOK AT PORN OR ANOTHER WOMAN EVER AGAIN type of way, and bisexuality has got to seem threatening to that kind of mildly paranoid mindset...

Linette

@Blushingflwr @SarahP Oh, I didn't know they were user-written. That's actually comforting somehow. Then I can trace it back to a single person being judgy-of-tone than a group of guys in the marketing department trying to satisfy an entire judgy community.

I'm with you on the questions that are basically asking if this person's beliefs or relationship goals match up with your own. It'd be hard to make a relationship work if they didn't, and I don't want to start off with that handicap if I can avoid it. I think maybe I'd just had too many in a row, because it seemed like they were asking "would you date a poly person?" in the same tone as "would you date a convicted felon" as opposed to, "Are you open to polyamorous relationships?"

Judith Slutler

@paddlepickle oh yeah, I'd assume that anyone who writes "I only date straight women" is probably not going to be my type even though I am straight.

Springtime for Voldemort

@Blushingflwr I hate it when dudes message me, and then their response to that question "have you had sex with a member of the same sex" is "no, and you shouldn't either." It takes everything in me to just not respond, instead of messaging them back being like "so, why the fuck did you message me then??".

Kira-Lynn@twitter

@Blushingflwr About OKC "looking for"s and bisexuals: why do so many women list themselves as 'bisexual' but ignore that in writing their profile? In this case does bisexual just mean 'I have thought girls were cute on TV'? or maybe that you once kissed/dated/fucked a chick and just want boys to know?

It is weird to me that they write bi, then their whole profile is about the kind of man they are looking for.

stonefruit

@Kira-Lynn@twitter because they are trying to be as honest as possible about being attracted to women but right now, right in this profile, what they are looking for is a dude because that's their headspace?

I mean, maybe.

Kira-Lynn@twitter

@stonefruit I guess I just wish they would acknowledge it then, by writing that. Or choose "straight" so that they just come up in men's searches and note in the text of their profile that they have been bisexual at times?

I just find it this weird hetero-assumptive thing EVEN AMONG BI PEOPLE.

Kira-Lynn@twitter

@paddlepickle smart!

stonefruit

@Kira-Lynn@twitter I can't speak for anyone else, obviously, but in my experience it is possible to be a lady with a strong bi identity and be looking for a male partner. I don't think it's fair to say that all bi ladies who are looking to meet men should pretend to be straight. While it may be inconvenient for you when browsing profiles, some of us aren't always looking to hop on women and yet ... we're still bi (we haven't just "been bisexual at times," which, this sounds very bi-phobic to me but I could be reading it wrong). And we still want to reflect that.

martinipie

@Linette While I was filling out my OKC questionnaire I kept getting super frustrated by some of the questions, because for me it's like....okay, I can't decide anything about how serious I want to be, or what kind of traits I'd like some boyfriend to have, until I meet someone and feel out what our chemistry is! Ugh so weird.

whizz_dumb

@Kira-Lynn@twitter I have noticed a lot of "bisexual" ladies, but I don't put too much thought into ANY multiple choice answered things. There are only 3 options: straight, gay, and bisexual. What about "mostly straight", "previously bisexual", or "presently straight, possibly future gay"? I just look at pictures to superficially judge attractiveness, read written words to judge compatibility in a small sample size. An individual's sexual history and/or preferences should be divulged in person at a later date, is what I'm getting at.

wee_ramekin

@stonefruit With you 1,000.5% on your response. I also felt that the wording of @Kira-Lynn's post was perhaps unintentionally bi-phobic.

I am a lady who identifies as bisexual - both in my personal life and on OKC - yet my preference for which gender I'd prefer to date varies. I'm not really clear on why I should have to have some sort of ticker-tape type update about my current gender preference on my profile. I have been honest about my sexuality; if you are interested, no matter what gender you are, e-mail me. The worst thing that happens is that I don't respond, right? And if I don't respond, it might be because I'm not into dating dudes/ladies at the time, or it might just be because I'm not into you.

It's not really my problem if my current attraction schema is inconvenient for a straight dude or a gay lady.

Blushingflwr

@Kira-Lynn@twitter I've gone back and forth on labeling myself as bi. When the answer is free form, if someone asks my orientation, I usually say "equal opportunity" (I have a friend who says "open to suggestions", which I love). I've had crushes on women, I've had sexytimes with women, but I've never dated a woman. And I don't think when I did label myself as bi I got a lot of attention from women (which I get, my approach to online dating tends to be that I fill out a really detailed profile and wait, I don't spend a lot of time reading profiles and I think I've maybe sent <10 first messages in my life, which is also how I am IRL; I don't make the first move).

This thread actually made me look at my profile to see if I am gender-specific in what I am looking for; I think I tend to talk more about who I am vs. who the other person should be. And it turns out that while I say I'm straight, I don't mention what the gender of my partner should be (I do mention that I have a boyfriend so as to make it clear to the people who don't note that OKC makes a distinction between "single" and "Available").

Blushingflwr

@Emmanuelle Cunt Yeah, the idea that you're not allowed to have a sexual past or any attraction to anyone else is so bizarre to me. I've never really been jealous/possessive of my romantic/sexual partners in that way, and when I have, it's been about my own insecurity and I've usually been able to recognize that.

Which also connects to all of the people I know who are in open relationships but have what we call a "one penis policy" - the woman can date/sleep with other women, but no other men. And while on the one hand I respect that people are allowed to structure their relationships as they see fit, I also feel like that's very heternormative and devauling of queer relationships/sex. (Though I also know some women who are in long-term relationships with men but who are otherwise primarily interested in women, in which case the one-penis-policy is de facto rather than de jure)

LaLoba

@whizz_dumb Presently straight, possibly future gay!! I love.

Kira-Lynn@twitter

@Blushingflwr Hmmmm.... people are saying it seems bi-phobic. I thought my comments are actually PRO-bi, but anti-straight...

TheclaAndTheSeals

I love all this, but need an update from the last one stat. Kindred spirits, omg.

Decca

@TheclaAndTheSeals TELL ME MORE, TELL ME MORE, LIKE DOES SHE HAVE A CAR

stonefruit

@TheclaAndTheSeals SERIOUSLY. Also I was picturing her played by the lady who played Dr. Hahn on Grey's Anatomy, because I am a tool like that.

PistolPackinMama

@TheclaAndTheSeals UM YES!

catalina

@TheclaAndTheSeals
It's me! It's me! I wish I had some sexy and sordid tale to recount to all of you, but it didn't quite play out that way. After leaving the hospital, I spent a couple months volunteering overseas. With her email address in hand, I was determined to become her friend. More than any sexy stuff, I just found her completely intriguing and someone I aspire to be like as I work my way up through a medical career (she's about 15 years older than me). You have to know this woman to understand we couldn't go from talking about Ella Fitzgerald to makeout sesh in a few days. She is quite a mystery; a very disciplined, intelligent, modest, dedicated woman. No nonsense, and she does not suffer fools gladly. Everybody, and I mean EVERYBODY, feared her sharp glance and cutting remark. (For those of you old enough to remember the Cosby Show...she kind of reminds me of Theo's math teacher, the one they called 'Dragon Lady'). But I could detect a softer side in her, and I was determined to bring it out. I had the sense she could use a friend.

Cut to me in the tropics and her in the snowy north, exchanging emails, talking about music, books, medicine, our devastation at Whitney's death. She opened up to me and showed some vulnerability about choosing a career over a husband and kids, something that I struggle with too. She wrote several recommendations and provided references for grad school and job applications. When a mutual colleague committed suicide after killing his girlfriend in a local hospital, we turned to each other for support during the initial shock and grief. At the risk of sounding cheesy, I think we have a very similar outlook on life and our lived experiences resonate on many different levels, despite our age difference and having grown up on opposite sides of the globe.

My coworkers say she brings me up in conversation all the time, which makes me blush to even think about. I've never been with a woman before, but I have had several crushes on strong women throughout my life, though nothing as consuming as this. She has a boyfriend, and her culture and religious upbringing might prevent her from ever considering being with a woman. I would never risk the friendship we have now by intimating a desire for more. But if she ever made a move, I wouldn't hesitate for a moment.

EpWs

@catalina Yayyyyyyy keep us updated? Please?

catalina

@TheclaAndTheSeals Also, Kindred Spirits Day was like top 5 best days of my life. When she (finally) left, we were basically tripping over each other saying things like "It's been SUCH a pleasure to work with you." "No, it's been MY pleasure to work with YOU." My coworkers were just like "WTF is happening here?" I still remember the text exchange I had with my BFF (who knew all about my blossoming love for this woman) when I told her the good doctor dropped the kindred spirits bomb on me. Her response: "THE TENSION"

*siiiggghhh* Just reliving it gives me a special tingle.

wee_ramekin

@catalina Dammit, I so want this to happen for you.

Will you be going back to that hospital once you finish your volunteer work? Or at least that same city?

I'm Right on Top of that, Rose

@catalina "talking about music, books, medicine, our devastation at Whitney's death." This is amazing.

catalina

@I'm Right on Top of that, Rose We had a post-funeral email debriefing, of course. I cried, she didn't. (Tough as nails)

catalina

@wee_ramekin I've moved to a different city, and the hospital where we worked together actually closed in March (merged with a larger facility). We still email, though not as much as before. She has an incredibly busy schedule, and I don't think she is much of a computer person. I want this to happen too. My instincts tell me she feels something that she can't admit, but I wouldn't push anything. She is a very private person, and I am the kind who just puts it all out there. And who knows...maybe I am just projecting what I feel onto her, assuming she feels something just because I feel so strongly about her. That happens sometimes. I'm glad that we've made it this far, though. I really do think she needed a friend at that moment in her life.

I'm Right on Top of that, Rose

@catalina Oh man, she sounds so dreamy. I love those ladies who are terrifyingly brilliant yet emotionally reticent because I like to see if I can crack that hard-candy shell and get to the heart. It's hard though, because some days you feel like you've made progress and then the next time you see her she's blowing past you and not giving you a second glance. Sigh. These ladies, man. They're like smart, sexy magnets.

catalina

@TheclaAndTheSeals Exactly! One must walk a fine line with these sexy magnets. I try not to be too emotive (no small feat!) or ask too many personal questions (even though I'm dying to ask ALL the personal questions!) for fear she'll clam up...and SCENE. This little pas de deux provides such a rush!

MmeLibrarian

@TheclaAndTheSeals SECOND.

I'm Right on Top of that, Rose

"Become intimidated by one of the female attending physicians. First encounter nearly puts you in tears"

This is how a lot of my crushes start (not usually on doctors, but any strong, intimidating woman).

ETA: I'm going to jump on board and kindly ask for an update on this one...

katiemcgillicuddy

14. Continue having reciprocal sexytimes with Boy, agonize a lot, but find orgasms help with the agonizing.

Ha. This whole thing was great.

Sydney C

You first heard t.a.T.u at 10??? Excuse me, I have to go die of old age.

fabel

@Sydney C SAME REACTION, ohgodd

melis

RENEW RENEW

TheclaAndTheSeals

@Sydney C Yeah, I immediately paused reading to google when that song came out, and to feel elderly.

Verity

@Sydney C I was 12 (almost 13!) when All the Things She Said was released. Sometimes I worry I am too young for the Hairpin.

RK Fire

@Sydney C: Oh thank god someone else said this..

Pyxis

@Sydney C Same boat. I don't think we are too young, just on the lower end of the age range.

Bittersweet

@RK Fire Yep. I was 7 months pregnant when that song came out...and I weren't no knocked-up teenager neither.

Flora Poste

@Verity Same (age and concern! It makes me feel very mature and sophisticated though.

Verity

@Flora Poste We are classy ladies.

Liz Kaufman@facebook

@Sydney C I was ten as well when the song came out. *hides*

DullHypothesis

Oh maaaaaaan! I had to work so hard just being OK with my sexual feelings and I'm heterosexual. I can't imagine what this bullshit was like, kudos to all of you and may the journey be a bit easier in the future!

districter

These were such an interesting collection of snapshots of sexual identity discovery. Thank you everyone for sharing.

yeah-elle

Aw jeez. I am still baffled that it took me until 23 to realize that I'm bisexual. My feelings about sexuality and romance are so muddled to begin with (I used to think I was asexual, I always felt like sexual relationships were something that happened to other people, even when my personal experience dictated otherwise) that it took wayyy long to just figure out that the girls I've thought were pretty in an abstract way and really cool and smart and intimidating—DUH, I HAD CRUSHES ON THEM. I kept telling myself, "you just think they're pretty in an abstract way, you can't even imagine them naked!" without realizing that when I think dudes are attractive, it's in the exact same way.

Almost a year later after coming out to myself, and I still haven't come out to my parents because it seems kind of pointless. They're pretty accepting folks, but it seems like it would be more appropriate if I actually start dating anyone. Their offhand questions about if I've met any guys don't seem disingenuous, because, after all, I'm still attracted to men.

fondue with cheddar

@yeah-elle Are you me? Because except for the asexual part, I could have written that about myself. It took me until my twenties to realize I was bisexual too. I really wish I'd figured it out when I was young because I had So Many Chances to be with cute girls but I just didn't understand that that was what I wanted!

I haven't told my parents either, for the same reason. If they point blank asked me about my sexuality I would answer truthfully, but I don't feel it's necessary to tell them unless I date a lady, which I never have. :(

The Frozen Head of Dorothy Zbornak

@yeah-elle

Same boat here. 23 and just starting to kind of figure it out.

I've only even told a couple of my friends because I feel like I still don't really know what to call it? Not sure if bisexual if apt or if I'm more heteroflexible, or god knows what. For me though, it's been less of a slow realization and more of an active shift in my attractions over the last year or so. Fluidity and all that.

So I have told the folks I am closest to, but I find myself waiting until I figure it out more myself before broaching it with others. Especially because many of my female friends are queer, I suppose I don't want to seem like I am co-opting that identity since I am not all that clear at this point. I definitely feel a little weird about it though since I've always been a loud and proud supporter of the LGBT community. I don't want to feel like I am in the closet, but the truth is, I have no idea what kind of dark, enclosed space I am in at the moment.

yeah-elle

@fondue with cheddar I feel bad about it sometimes, like I am lying by omission? What's keeping me from just telling them offhandedly? I am like 99% sure they'd just be like "okay" and move on to something more interesting.

@The Frozen Head of Dorothy Zbornak Ugh I feel like I could type this myself. I also thing it was only over the past year that I think the way I process my attraction has changed in a way that became less, "Why am I not like that?" and more "I want to get ON that." But yes, on the dark, enclosed space. What is it? I do not know. Maybe it's the weird dressing room with a flimsy curtain, or the broomcupboard of sexuality, but all I know is I'm in it.

I'm Right on Top of that, Rose

@The Frozen Head of Dorothy Zbornak I'm not an expert at these things, but as a gay lady, I have trouble imagining LGBT people feeling like you're co-opting anything. Few people are ever crystal clear from the get-go. Sometimes talking it out with people who've gone through something similar can help you feel solidified in your own feelings. But, you know, to each their own.

fondue with cheddar

@yeah-elle I don't think you're lying by omission. Do you always tell your family everything you're thinking and feeling? If you think telling them would make you feel better about it, by all means do so, but I don't think you should feel obligated to do so.

The Frozen Head of Dorothy Zbornak

@yeah-elle: Yes, definitely! My thoughts about women have become far more intense and overtly sexual than they ever were. But part of me also doesn't feel entirely sure whether these thoughts would translate well into sexytimes, since the sexual component of my attraction to women is so new and potentially fragile. I guess I feel like I want to actually try sleeping with a woman before I scream my bisexuality from the rooftops. Which, as noted upthread, is rather silly since I was calling myself heterosexual well before I actually slept with a guy. AND not all women are the same, so sleeping with one would not necessarily tell me anything about women in general. Bah, who knows.

@I'm Right on Top of that, Rose

Thanks for that. The one queer female friend I have told was totally cool about it and barely even batted an eye, and a gay male friend has been my main confidant and super supportive. I am not as close with most of my other friends though, so I have been a little hesitant to say anything, at least until I feel I have more of an announcement. But I recently have resolved to be more open about it when the topic comes up. I figure if I treat it as less of a big secret, so will they (and I'll feel less silly over here in my weird little broomcupboard).

I'm Right on Top of that, Rose

@The Frozen Head of Dorothy Zbornak Well, you never know, they could know the Perfect Lady - someone gentle and nice and patient and cute (duh) - for you to make out with.

The Frozen Head of Dorothy Zbornak

@I'm Right on Top of that, Rose

...I like the way you think.

honey cowl

@yeah-elle You just described my life, right down to the age, but I am 23 and in an LTR with a Dude I Want to Marry and aaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhh

honey cowl

@The Frozen Head of Dorothy Zbornak You are also describing my broomcupboard.

Verity

@LaurenF I am also (nearly) 23 and in an LTR with a Dude I Want to marry, but have been wondering about maybe being bisexual for ages. I identify with so many things said in this thread (especially the fears about co-opting queer identity).

The Frozen Head of Dorothy Zbornak

@Lauren F, @Verity

So many people in this confusing little broomcupboard. We should just all snuggle up and watch The L Word together.

whateverlolawants

@yeah-elle @yeah-elle I am SO GLAD to read this and see there are others in the "broomcupboard." I was about to post about it myself but felt dumb about it. I first figured I might be bisexual when I was 21, and I had a fling with a girl I met online. But there wasn't a big spark between us, and I was really into a guy I knew, so I let it drop for a while. Last year I decided I should take my probable bisexuality more seriously and explore it more. I met a girl at a bar and went out with her a few times, but we didn't have a spark either. (We stayed good friends.)

I was looking forward to more girl experiences when I met my current boyfriend. It was hard to accept that he would almost certainly not want an open relationship... while he's a great partner in many ways, one of his admitted flaws is jealousy. (Not to excuse it, but it doesn't come up much, and his culture encourages it. He doesn't try to control me, and I've made it clear he should not try. He acknowledges its his problem and not mine.) And I don't know how I'd deal with him seeing someone else along with me, either.

Very early on, I'd told him I had dated girls, but when I used the word 'bisexual' to describe myself months later, he freaked out. He was drunk, but still. It was really hurtful and I considered breaking up with him, but we talked it out and I told him that being bisexual doesn't mean I will cheat or that I'm dissatisfied with him. (Him being unaccepting, however, would make me dissatisfied.) He said he believed me, loved me, respected me, and accepted me, and the discussion really hasn't come up again. I don't know if that's because there's nothing more to say or because we avoid it. :/

But back to the closet thing, I've told my sis and a handful of friends. They've all been cool, but I don't like the idea of announcing it out of nowhere, and I never find a good hole in a conversation where the "reveal" would fit. My parents are accepting of LGBT people and have gay friends. They support gay marriage. My mom has said things like "most people are at least a little bisexual"... it's just that I hate the idea of discussing something so personal with them. I stopped giving them lots of details about my dating life several years ago. I also don't want anyone to think I'm not into my boyfriend. Similar reasons with a lot of my friends -- they'd all be accepting, but I don't really like the idea of making a random announcement or talking about my sexuality. I wish my friends who knew would mention it casually to the rest of them, actually. I figured they probably had, but a recent conversation at a party made me realize that they hadn't. Nice of them to not gossip, but I almost wish they would!

And I feel dumb that at 26 I'm not totally out, and haven't totally figured myself out. I've worked with two gay men for years, and we're pretty friendly. I'd feel dumb suddenly telling them I'm bi (and actually, they've said unkind things about lesbians, although I'm sure they wouldn't have if they knew about me... but that shouldn't matter!) It feels too personal to discuss at work sometimes, but why? I know they're gay, and how is that different?

I also feel weird going from "ally" status to "bisexual" status in the LGBT community. I know this sounds stupid and even possibly offensive, but I feel like my previous stance was because I genuinely believe in human equality, but now that I've realized I'm bi, I was just being selfish. I know that's really stupid, because I don't think LGBT people are being selfish AT ALL. It's never crossed my mind. Why am I being hard on myself? Am I just clinging to straight privilege? I try to avoid receiving straight privilege, even though I'm very femme, by using some gender-neutral language ("dating people" instead of "dating guys", for example), but half of the time it just means I avoid mentioning my boyfriend, which isn't great either. And I often feel bad when I'm not as out as my LGBT friends, like I'm a coward or I don't know myself.

I don't want to co-opt this thread by turning it to all of my issues -- I just brought them up because I figure a lot of you are dealing with this too. I'm relieved to see I'm not alone here, even though it's not a fun place to be.

honey cowl

@whateverlolawants Okay you are not co-opting because I think a lot of the things you've got goin' on are relevant to our collective broomcupboard.

You and I are in very different places -- you have had the chance to go out with a girl (um yeah talk about trying to consider whether you are bisexual when you made out with one girl one time in like 10th grade) and it sounds like you have a very different Dude than mine. Mine knows how into girls I am, and he encourages it. I mean, partially it is self-motivated, because he thinks it's hot, but it's also because he is helping me discover more and more of who I am. If I were with someone who was less into it, you can bet I would be keeping any latent interest in fellow females under deep subconscious psychological wraps.

But having spent almost the entirety of my "sexual life" (ugh gross) being heterosexual, how the heck do I go out and hit on a girl? I would want my awesome partner there to give me courage and confidence but it's not like he can come along??! So I am interested in how you took that step (when you were 21) from being a Straight Lady to a Possibly Not Straight Lady.

Also just to speak to the parents thing, since I am pretty much with the Dude That I Will Marry, I doubt they will ever learn that their daughter is not 100% straight. I think they'd be pretty down with that but I just really do not want to discuss my sexual proclivities with my madre.

whateverlolawants

@LaurenF Thanks for your thoughts. That's really great about your boyfriend being so supportive. And that makes a lot of sense about not telling your mom.

As far as how I took that step, well, long story, but one I'd be happy to tell. Hopefully you don't regret asking! :) It was just curiosity at first. I don't remember exactly what sparked it, except that I'd had some sexual/romantic interest in women since high school, but had generally brushed it off as admiration. There was one girl I definitely crushed on, but I called it a "girl crush," which de-fanged it. I was into guys, so I figured my fantasies were just fantasies and not something I wanted or would even like in real life.

But at 21 I was just out of college and a relationship, had recently lost my virginity with a guy, and had moved to another state for a while. I had just come out of a horrible two years of depression, illness, people dying, school problems, emotional abuse, and more. Katy Perry's "I Kissed a Girl" had just come out and while I thought the song was generally dumb and exploitative, it was one of the several sudden reminders that I'd been curious about girls. I went to a Pride festival as part of my job, but I felt like I should be there as a patron, and not just an ally patron either. Patrons were asking my coworkers and me if we were gay, and I felt like I should say I was bi, but I wasn't ready. Everything was happening quickly. These two sexy girls told me they worked on a tourist train nearby and I should come visit. They might have been merely friendly or they might have been hitting on me. Who knows? But I realized I wanted them to hit on me. (I also wish now I'd visited them! Oh well!)

So when I went back to my home city, I changed my OKC profile to "bisexual" and started looking up girls. I just wanted to see what would happen. I wasn't ready to apply a label to myself. I saw Jenny's profile and was interested but didn't message her. She messaged me a few days later and we started talking a LOT online. I was sort of scared to meet people off the internet then, but she lived an hour away, so it worked out pretty well. After a month of chatting, my family left town for a weekend and I invited her to visit me. Her mom dropped her off for the night. We had fun, although it was a little awkward since, you know, meeting someone from the internet. We danced at a gay bar and came back and fooled around. (I don't know if we'd ever explicitly said we would, but we'd definitely made a few suggestive comments online, so it just seemed like we would.) It was fun, though again, a little awkward. But she's very sweet and witty and knows what she likes, so it was a good experience. I asked her to stay for another day and night, even!

I should mention that I am short, petite, and have B-cup breasts that look more like As. Jenny is about a foot taller and has boobs in the realm of H-cups. What a pair we were. She went on to be a burlesque performer. Until she moved away recently, I saw her every now and then, and we always enjoyed catching up. Oh, she also had a vagina with a septum, so it was like two vaginas. She got surgery later on, so I guess it's pretty standard now.

But as I said, we didn't have a huge spark between us, and I moved back to the other state for a while and fell for my male coworker there. And I just stayed in a pattern of guys for nearly three years. Mostly because guys pursued me more, and also because I let the bisexual question drift to the backburner. Maybe it was easier that way. I changed my "OKC orientation" back and forth. I also Lived Internationally (ha) and didn't think about it much there, partially because the guys there were very persistent and I never met any girls there who really did it for me. And whenever I met an appealing girl during those years, she never seemed to be into girls.

The more I think about it now, what happened last year started off accidentally. It was Pride Week again, and Jenny's burlesque troop was performing in my city. I decided to go alone. I just wanted to see what burlesque was like and say hi to Jenny. The bar was packed with delicious ladies. I wanted someone to talk to. I spotted a girl at the bar who was wearing the cutest dress: black at the top, white with black polka dots at the bottom. She was cute, too. But that wasn't why I told her I liked her dress. It was because she was alone at the bar, trying to get the bartenders' attention, and she looked approachable and nice. Heck, she kind of looked like me -- not necessarily physically, although there were some similarities. It was just that I could tell that she and I would have a lot in common. I should add that I'm decent at flirting, and I'm pretty outgoing. So it wasn't that hard for me to just go up and tell her I liked her dress and start talking about the burlesque show. If you can do little things like that, you can pick up a girl! Obviously not all. But some.

She looked excited that I was talking to her, and she invited me to sit with her friends. She asked for my number after the show. We went on a few dates but never even held hands. I liked her, but I didn't feel that spark, which was a little disappointing. And when she said the same, it bummed me out a bit, even though I knew she was right. But we became really close friends! And I've met so many queer women through her. If I was still looking for sexytimes-companions or romance with ladies, I think I'd have a good start now.

Oh, and once I went to a rave and this crazy party chick in an 80s prom dress (who didn't project any queerness at first) grabbed me and we had a long makeout session. So that kind of thing can happen too. Even to people who were relentlessly mocked in junior high, like me! (And everyone else!)

I have made all of this sound easier than it was at times. There were many hours of reading, journaling, frustration, and tears. I still feel that way sometimes, as I noted earlier. I guess what I had going for me was an innate ability to flirt. For me, flirting with women isn't much different than flirting with men. I'm not the most brave or spontaneous person out there, but I do try to challenge myself and not let my fears keep me down. Some days I'm better at that than others. I also decided that labels be damned, I should just try some new things and see what happened.

What about you? How did you know? What kind of things are you looking for right now with girls, hypothetically?

Danzig!

@whateverlolawants I obvs have no input in this thread but that was nice to read, thanks for writing it!

whateverlolawants

@Danzig! Thank you! :)

I'm Right on Top of that, Rose

@whateverlolawants Ah, ladies. I'm enjoying reading about this - not because I like frustration, but because it's an oddly comforting feeling to know that we share the same type of human experience. It's much less lonely, you know?

She Saved The World, Alot

@yeah-elle Gosh what is it about 23? I'm 23 also and have just recently realized (or not "realized" but maybe "admitted"? "come to terms with"?) that I'm bisexual. I guess I first "realized" it about 2 years ago, when I developed this overwhelming crush on this stunningly beautiful and phenomenally talented girl in a creative non-fiction class. Like, I wrote poems about her. But I thought maybe it was just a...writer crush? I don't know, I didn't set much in store by it, probably because I'd had some not-so-nice quasi-sexual experiences with girls before. Like, I had this friend in high school (a girl) who used to grab me and kiss me without my permission (she thought it was funny when I was grossed out by it? Because I suppose I was very sheltered/innocent in high school? I don't know. Non-con kissing from girls you're not attracted to, so they can laugh at your expense? Is exactly as uncool as it sounds.) There was another girl who in my freshman year of college would sneak into my room while I was napping and snuggle and grope me. Which was also squicky. I was laying on the couch in the lounge and she straddled me and unhooked my bra to give me a massage which - what? Why?

But then in junior year of college there was writer girl! And, more recently, I met another girl - also a writer, we both write about mermaids and fairytale retellings! And she is beautiful and makes her own clothes and we danced to Billie Jean and I *swear* there were eyes being made. But she has a girlfriend and lives far away, alas.

But anyway I changed my OKC profile to say bisexual and, because I am an overachiever, the first sentences proclaims that I am only interested in dating girl as the moment. And a girl I messaged messaged me back right this instant! Hurrah!

I haven't come out to my parents yet, though. My brother knows, because he is awesome - we actually met up for lunch a few weeks ago and were talking about dating and its many complexities, he just kind of blurted "Have you ever dated a girl? Or wanted to?" which was surprising in a (Arthur Shappey playing Charade's voice) HOW DID YOU KNOW sort of way. I'm a little scared to tell my parents, too, and like several people mentioned upthread, I probably won't unless/until I'm actually seriously dating a girl.

Most of my friends know and were completely not surprised. One of my friends, who is also bisexual, was really...skeptical? Kind of to the point of saying, "oh, sweetie, you're not *really* bi." Which was hurtful and irritating. I...decided not to waste time trying to convince her. And she believes me now. I guess I've established some sort of street cred somehow? I don't know. I've benefitted so much for SO MUCH of my life from straight privilege, that it was unsettling to experience that from someone. And I totally get what ya'll were saying about not wanting to co-opt the identity - because I do pass as straight and defintely have not experienced prejudice because of my sexuality aside from that one thing.

I'm Right on Top of that, Rose

@She Saved The World, Alot Good lord, thanks for including the picture of the Alot in your profile, or else I would have had to judge you harshly.

She Saved The World, Alot

@I'm Right on Top of that, Rose Haha of course! I would've felt very silly if I'd been all WRITING! WRITING! WRITING IS WHAT TURNS ME ON and then included "alot" in my username without it referring to the Alots!

I'm Right on Top of that, Rose

@She Saved The World, Alot That's exactly what I was thinking. "Oh no, she thinks it's 'alot,' I wonder if these ladies are actually writers..." Phew.

She Saved The World, Alot

@I'm Right on Top of that, Rose This reminds me of an OKC profile I read lately. This girl was like "I like to have very intellectual and philosophical conversations" which, fine. But she also just generally came off as rather...snooty and condescending?

Her favorite book, though? *Withering* Heights.

People are funny.

I'm Right on Top of that, Rose

@She Saved The World, Alot Oh noooooooooooooo withering

honey cowl

@whateverlolawants

Thank you for the long story. It was helpful in a way but not helpful in a way, because apparently you are Someone Who Talks To Other People In Bars, which is not a thing that I am. Also I am on some meds that mean I am really not allowed to drink, so getting up the gumption is not an easy task. Apparently I should work on being Outgoing and Courageous. Or just go to a gay bar, which, where even are those??? I don't know!

Like, there was a lady on my Dude's co-ed ultimate team. I had a huge crush on her. She is hot but not too hot (you know what I mean). She is almost as tall as me. She is laid-back and hilarious and does not make herself look all fancy all the times. My Dude encouraged this crush, even though he did not find her attractive, but now the season is over, and they do not see each other any more! I can't exactly just call her up and be like "wanna make out? I'm still with Dude but it's cool." Can I? Is that a thing?

honey cowl

@She Saved The World, Alot

I think my loins just withered at the mention of Withering Heights.

Danzig!

@LaurenF Ask her to hang out! Be all "hey the team's not meeting rn but yr pretty cool and I have *insert amount of free time* so let's go see James Bond or whatever" and then you go see James Bond and maybe at the end of the night you lay out the Way It Is and state your willingness to see her again in a more maybe-this-will-lead-to-kisses fashion, and if it works it works!

whateverlolawants

@LaurenF I agree with Danzig! And also, I wasn't drinking at the time either, due to an illness. You can still go to bars and not drink alcohol (although if you don't like bars, that's fine too. Bars suck sometimes.) But yes, if you can find a gay bar, or another place where The Gays hang out, that's always good. Softball leagues seem like a prime target. And there's definitely OKC.

I wasn't trying to hit on my friend, exactly, although that was one of the open possibilities when I started talking to her. I just really liked her dress and thought she seemed like a good person to talk to for a minute. Idle chatter turned into a great friendship! I'm amused by the Someone Who Talks To Other People In Bars thing. I know many people are more reserved than I, but I didn't realize it was a thing to flat-out be Someone Who Does Not Talk To Other People In Bars.

The Frozen Head of Dorothy Zbornak

@everyone: Thanks so much for sharing! It is definitely good to know I am not alone.

The fun part of this whole process for me is that I keep getting surprised by my own evolution. Quite timely, actually: I just got a haircut about 5 minutes ago. I went to the hairdresser that I've been going to for almost a year now. I swear, I've never even given the woman a sideways glance, but when I walked in there today I was suddenly struck at how crazy hot she is. Somehow I hadn't even noticed before, but today it seemed obvious and super distracting. I was alternating between admiring her and internally laughing at myself throughout the haircut.

Sexuality is weird, folks.

The Frozen Head of Dorothy Zbornak

@The Frozen Head of Dorothy Zbornak

And unfortunately there was no sensual shampooing to speak of, so I guess I can't assume that she is secretly in love with me and collecting my hair scraps to fill the void between my monthly visits.

Cat named Virtute

@all This is such a great thread, and I relate HARD (more with @yeah-elle's experience of being less sexual and always assuming I was straight and then very much not being so. Obviously it's a different road for everyone, but I gotta say, I'm a few years past the thick of it now (I'm 25) and out and dating a girl and still very much bisexual (though I personally prefer "queer") and really happy and okay with how things are shaking down. And I've finally seen/realized how long this questioning can take some people, and that all lengths of time are okay and the right, important people will get it.

Which is to say that I'm two glasses of wine in, and I love all of you wonderful bisexual or whatever other thing 'Pinners, and I'm sure it's gonna work out great for all of you.

Megasus

I hope this is not a dumb/offensive question, but what's the difference between bi and heteroflexible? Does it mean that you are primarily in hetero relationships but are open to homosexual ones as well?

Springtime for Voldemort

@Megano! Bi tends to be seen as more 2-4 on the Kinsey scale, even just a hard 3, and heteroflexible is more like a 1 (and homoflexible is like a 5). But it's mostly up to how each person chooses to identify themselves.

highfivesforall

The world does not end! This is really great.

stonefruit

"20. Take a deep breath, and reply honestly, about everything.

21. The world doesn't end."

This. This right here. This is beautiful. You are beautiful.

Okay, going to read the rest of this now.

TheMnemosyne

Ugh god I need some kind of series on Coming Out To Your Parents About Being Bisexual, like, right now. Before I move 2000 miles for another woman in the Spring.

I'm Right on Top of that, Rose

@TheMnemosyne I actually just clutched my hands together, smiled huge and went, "EEEEEEEE!" at my desk.

PistolPackinMama

@I'm Right on Top of that, Rose Me too.

@TheMnemosyne... how are you thinking your parents might react?

TheMnemosyne

@PistolPackinMama Not sure, honestly. Siblings know and think it's cool and are happy for me. I feel like the rest of the family (mom + extended) all may be disappointed/disapproving? Which is seriously The Worst.

TheMnemosyne

@I'm Right on Top of that, Rose Awww thanks! She is so amazingly super great and pretty and smart and eeeeeeeeeeeeee. :D

I'm Right on Top of that, Rose

@TheMnemosyne This is such good information because I was going to ask for details and then I thought, "Now, Rose, that's rude, you don't even know her," but I'm sooooo glad you think this gal is super!

You know, having come out about a million times (it's never just once), you may deal with disappointment and disapproval. That is really, truly hard. But, in my experience, it's not as awful as the stress and anticipation of the unknown before the coming out. Once the initial conversation is over, everyone has time to think and process, and during that time, you'll be snuggling with your cute, smart, eeeeee ladyfriend.

iceberg

These are really beautiful and interesting!

thatgirl

Oh do I ever have feelings right now. My sexuality is pretty secure as queer, because then I do not have freakouts about who I find myself attracted to. Hint: it's tautological!

What would be nice would be if my libido would be interested in more than makeouts and masturbation at the moment, because I don't necessarily like having the sex life I did at 15.

Also, I would like to hug everyone who is having a hard time.

PistolPackinMama

@thatgirl This is a brilliant comment.

thatgirl

@PistolPackinMama Hi, yeah, I'm sort of stressed and have a lot of anxiety inducing things in my life, so everything I say is slightly disjointed, and I've been uptalking a lot in person, so I keep wanting to end sentences with question marks that aren't questions?

So if you were serious, thanks, and if you were being sarcastic... that would be really hurtful right now.

stonefruit

@thatgirl If it helps, I read PPM's comment as serious. And I thought your comment was lovely and smart.

wee_ramekin

@thatgirl Rest assured that PistolPackinMama is never, ever, EVER a Cock to a Stranger. She really is just *that* earnestly, comfortingly awesome.

Additionally, I agree with you on the use of "queer". I'll label myself as bisexual on OKC because it's the only choice that feels semi-right, and I will use the label politically to combat biphobia and bi invisibility, but personally?: I lah me some "queer".

polka dots vs stripes

@thatgirl I thought was also brilliant and I am completely serious.

katiemcgillicuddy

@stonefruit Ditto on this, I've never known "being mean" to be PPM's game. And it was a good comment!

Blondsak

@thatgirl PPM was definitely being completely serious. And I second @stonefruit - yours is a lovely and and smart comment. Best of luck with everything!

thatgirl

Okay, thank you everyone. I am clearly on edge today. Sorry, PPM for questioning your motives!

PistolPackinMama

@thatgirl Nope, I really thought it was brilliant, promise, no sarcasm at all. But I can see how it could get a misread.

I am sorry you are having a hard time of it. *Bleh* to the hard times, and hot chocolate vats for all!

Also, the rest of you are lovely, you know. <3

Springtime for Voldemort

@thatgirl I go back and forth on identifying as queer. The big problem I have with it is that I don't really see my sexuality as that political, so much as there and only political when other people are dicks about it. Labeling myself queer tends to mean there's all this internal pressure to have every second of all relationships be the most radical, paradigm-subverting thing EVAR, which is obviously not actually possible and gets into an uncomfortable level of theorizing for when I'm really just in the mood for cuddling and bad movies. And yet... queer has a certain level of fluidity in it that I find appealing.

thatgirl

@Springtime for Voldemort I just wrote like, a four paragraph post that boiled down to "Yeah, words, right? They are complicated. I just want to put my face on pretty people's faces."

My primary relationship is occasionally paradigm subverting, but mostly we just sit on the couch and play Assassin's Creed.

frigwiggin

Speaking of men who wear women's clothing, this is a great blog (and he is a lovely and friendly person!).

iceberg

@frigwiggin GIRL what a great blog. OK I am a sucker for any Outfit of the Day things, but YES.

frigwiggin

@iceberg Right?! I am glad he's doin' his thing and being visible, PLUS he is just so nice.

frigwiggin

I am theoretically bisexual, but have never actually had experiences with laydeez or anybody other than cisguys (and cannot see myself leaving my cisguy anytime soon), so I feel somewhat awkward placing myself in that category, like I'm trying to appropriate something that's not mine in any tangible way. Overthinking things yet again? Probably.

Kira-Lynn@twitter

@frigwiggin I think you can identify that way, but that it is not okay for you to use the term "dyke" etc as it irritates me when my friends in your situation do that.

I'm Right on Top of that, Rose

@Kira-Lynn@twitter Wait, what? Did I miss something? I didn't see @frigwiggin saying dyke anywhere. Is that a theoretical?

thatgirl

@Kira-Lynn@twitter I feel like "dyke" is not just like, a person who likes the ladies, but a specific way of aggressively saying fuck you to the gendernormative, binary paradigm.

It seems like more of a gender thing than a sexuality thing, I guess?

sophia_h

@frigwiggin I'm in a similar situation (I've had experiences but they were pretty minor), and I've learned to just use my feelings to fuel understanding/be an ally, rather than actually putitng myself into the queer group. If someone is interested in knowing my preferences I say I'm a Kinsey 2, but for political purposes I don't include myself on that side because yeah, not leaving my guy anytime soon either so I don't have a personal stake on the issue.

martinipie

@frigwiggin Hehe, this is basically what I asked! Glad to know I am not alone in over-theorizing my sexuality...

fondue with cheddar

@frigwiggin Well, look at it this way...if you are straight or gay before you've ever kissed anyone, then you can certainly be bisexual if you haven't actually been with both sexes.

tee
tee

@frigwiggin We're in the exact same situation! Just wanted to let you know.

Dirty Hands

I LOVE how Jane Marie plays a role in one of the stories! Go Jane Marie!

Danzig!

@Dirty Hands Cameo!

Danzig!

@Dirty Hands She's the Hitchcock of The Hairpin

Which I guess makes Edith… Rod Serling? I don't know, help me out here.

katiemcgillicuddy

@Danzig! I read that as Roger Sterling at first and thought, oh my gosh, what I would give to get drunk with Edith and Roger Sterling.

wee_ramekin

@Danzig! Rod Stewart? Wait....no.

katiemcgillicuddy

@wee_ramekin Rod Steiger?

wee_ramekin

@wee_ramekin ....Unless:

Danzig!

@wee_ramekin what have I done

SarahP

Person #2, no matter who or what you are or decide to be, I hope you are happy. You deserve to be happy.

wee_ramekin

@SarahP Yes, definitely. That story, especially the part I quote below, brought actual tears to my eyes.

"At 24, at a party, meet friend of friend who is into all the strange music you are. Agree to the idea of a shared project. Invite him over, see him, feel the air sucked out of the room. Sit in near-silence. Resist the strange magnetic pull. Make an excuse to get him out of your apartment. Have panic attack. Delete from phone. Never hear from again."

martinipie

I love these. Thank you to everyone who wrote them.

Any other people who have only experienced/desired heterosexual-type feelings, but still felt weird saying "I'm straight" because it kind of excludes any possibility of something else happening ever? Like, I don't want to say I will never, ever want to sleep with other ladies (which is to me what identifying as straight connotes), even though I haven't yet? I don't know.

fondue with cheddar

@martinipie I don't feel this but I am very interested to hear if there is a name for it.

I suppose you could say, "I'm straight so far." ;)

I'm Right on Top of that, Rose

@fondue with cheddar I hope @martinipie actually winks after saying, too.

martinipie

@I'm Right on Top of that, Rose Oh don't worry, I will!

katiemcgillicuddy

@martinipie I'm with you this. It's like, "I've never, but I might, I don't know?" And then I feel a little stupid thinking it, like I'm imposing on a world I'm not a part of, even though I'm being sincere? Ugh, I don't know either. I also am averse to labels so that's maybe part of it, but I hate the preclusion of "I'm straight". (I mean, Jesus, after that traffic investigator Mountie from the earlier post I'm all over the place.)

'riel

@fondue with cheddar This is entirely appropriate and I use it every time. Plus, I feel like Captain Jack approves of me when I do it!

whateverlolawants

@katiemcgillicuddy When I read your comment, the word "world" stood out to me. I totally believe in and support minority communities, but I think it's an open "world" that you can have some place in, some part of. I clearly struggle with it too (upthread, for instance.)

I'm also pretty sure this was very incoherent. Sorry.

katiemcgillicuddy

@whateverlolawants I appreciate the words, and yeah, I didn't like my use of "world" pretty much as soon as I used it (and jeez, while saying "I hate the preclusion of 'I'm straight'") I just didn't want to seem thoughtless in some way? Christ, I have no idea, I just needed to type something. Thanks for the response (fyi, you were not incoherent, and I really liked what you wrote upthread!) I've been hoping someone would say something in response to me at some point, if only so I could type more gibberish.

whateverlolawants

@katiemcgillicuddy I am forever not liking words as soon as I use them, and also needing to type something. Thanks for YOUR response, I liked it.

Springtime for Voldemort

@martinipie Perhaps, "I'm straight, but have also not met all 7 billion people just yet."?

I'm Right on Top of that, Rose

@katiemcgillicuddy The "preclusion that I'm straight" is called heteronormativity, and it affects a lot of aspects of our lives. Regardless, if I think you're cool and cute, I'll likely hit on you because I, too, hate labels. And like to flirt. Sorry (not sorry).

Inkling

19. Go on a first date with a girl. The next day, make a crack about dressing up in your favorite party dress which leads her to ask if you are a cross dresser.

I would be excited/sexily intrigued if a guy were to share a preference for cross dressing with me!!
BUT not like that because I'd take offense to that as a joke, like "Oh WHAT is that supposed to be funny because cross dressers are shameful, or because women's clothing is shameful, or both," and then we wouldn't talk.
Angry Misandrist Strikes Again :c

noodge

i wish i could send this to my dad, without fear that he'd have a spontaneous aneurysm. he needs to know the world won't end if he's finally open to us.

fabel

I'm a bisexual women in a monogamous relationship with a straight dude & this series/some comments have got me thinking. Anyone else in this position? How do you handle it? I like discussing various attractive women with him, because it's fun, but then that open-ness worries me sometimes? He'll indulge me when I mention an attractive dude as well, but sometimes I feel like it's not...fair? This is kind of incoherent, sorry. What I basically am looking for is evidence of others with a similar dynamic in their relationship, I guess.

fabel

and that was a lot more incoherent than I even thought it was. I can clarify, if needed :-\

noodge

@fabel my ex and i were bi/straight. he appreciated my bisexuality in a very (to me) hetero-exploitative way ("yeah! i can have sex with two girls at once like in the pornos!") and kept pushing me to bring ladies into our bedroom. it didn't take long for that to lose it's shine to me. he was completely hetero - no interest in men at all. the dynamic will work, i think, as long as everyone feels respected and nobody gets pushed.

(i think that situation is still having a negative impact on my bisexuality. pouring one out for my absent lust for ladies :-( )

fabel

@teenie yeah, that sounds like my previous relationship-- the guy was very, like you said, appreciative in a hetero-exploitative way, & it got old quick. My current boyfriend & I entertain the "let's bring her home" thing in the abstract, but he knows I wouldn't ACTUALLY be comfortable with that & doesn't push.

I'm sorry about your absent lady-lust :( ! My attraction to women ebbs & flows sometimes-- always there, but at times, it's like that's all I think about & I totally forget about dudes.

owlie

@fabel I have kissed two girls, in a club, badly, because I had no idea how "kissing" works. And I had a massive crush on my best friend in high school. And I get very distracted by boobs, and I get teased by my boyfriend when I momentarily stop talking and slightly stare when a hot lady goes past. Gender-neutral pronouns come very easily to me, and I think perhaps I could be in a relationship with and love and have sexytimes with a woman? But said boyfriend is the only person I've been in a relationship with, the only person I've done more than bad kissing with, and I want to be with him indefinitely/forever, I have no desire to break up with him to experiment.

So what am I?? I feel like one can't say "I'm bisexual" without some significant experience, but I don't think I feel straight, but I'm not sure about anything, I'm so confused.

whateverlolawants

@owlie I know someone else said it elsewhere, and I struggle with that feeling too... but you don't have to fool around with a woman or date her or fall in love with her to know you're bi or call yourself that. After all, were you pretty sure you were into guys before you ever kissed one? Maybe not (and that's fine!) but for a lot of people, that's how it works, so I don't think you have to "try" being bi or gay to call yourself that.

whateverlolawants

@fabel That's interesting about the fairness part. I don't have that dynamic, but I could see how it would be a little frustrating. It sounds like he's pretty open to you being bi, right?

Apocalypstick

@fabel I personally handle it by having many queer friends, and making it a significant part of my life in a platonic/political sense rather than a kissing-all-the-pretty-people sense. It does freak me out a little to be with a guy for so long, and bi-erasure (combated by experimenting with dress sense), but Boy is luckily very up on social issues and non-exploitative about my sexuality -he'll tell other people to knock it off if they get weird or make assumptions, for example, we have chats about queer news and so on that include phrases like "our future potential wives", & supports me through coming outs. In terms of objectifying ladies together, we have quite different tastes but it's pretty great to have complete understanding when one of us is distracted by boobs. That's what it boils down to really -across the bridge of sexuality and experience, we can agree that boobs are awesome.

I'm Right on Top of that, Rose

@owlie I don't mean to be glib, but I think you can call yourself "a human with impulses and desires that most other humans have, too," and don't give yourself too hard of a time about it.

nonvolleyball

this was great, but the second story made me so sad. :( I hope you find your way soon, dude.

I'm Right on Top of that, Rose

@The Frozen Head of Dorothy Zbornak Well, you never know, they could know the Perfect Lady - someone gentle and nice and patient and cute (duh) - for you to make out with.

mystique

I relate to this on a million levels. I have been in this position, and have seen people in that position. Especially Person #2. That story makes me so goddamn sad. I love you, person #2. You are perfect.

theotherginger

@mystique is it love actually time yet?

Bittersweet

All these were amazing! This part made me really sad, though:

Come out to family as bi, they react like you'd announced you were going to the library tomorrow; are confused given their general disliking of everything else about you.

Thumbs down on the general dislike from the family. Makes me thankful for my family, even though they drive me crazy on a regular basis. Hugs to you, sharer person!

Springtime for Voldemort

@Bittersweet Eh, they're abusive shits. But totally tolerant of homosexuality and only very, very mildly not entirely tolerant* of bisexuality abusive shits.

*Like, both parents have made at most 5 biphobic comments in the decade since I've been out. Given their ability to pick on my dishwasher-loading skills, that's really the most accepting of anything they've ever been.

Oh, squiggles

Regardless of reality, I just want to go around saying I'm a "pansexual" in the same tone of voice as Jenna Maroney from 30 Rock.

Verity

@Absurd Bird While I am completely in favour of "pansexual" as a term which avoids the gender-binary issues of "bisexual", it makes me think of this. Hard to take seriously.

Oh, squiggles

@Verity sexy!

I think, in some ways, not taking it seriously is a good thing. In a thousand years if humans are still around, I think they would think it pretty laughable that we spent so much time debating ways to define our sexuality.

FearlessFire

I never, ever thought I’d be posting on one of these forums, but I have to tell somebody and can’t afford a shrink, and I’d REALLY appreciate it if some wise person took the time to read my whole story and reply…

I will be 23 in a few weeks (SO relieved that I’m not the only one this age still thrashing around in her sexual identity), and I have a story that I will try to keep short: I grew up in the religious right, homeschooled, then was put through a fundamentalist Bible college that we “innmates” joked was a “concentration camp,” never had a boyfriend or was attracted to real boys, only movie stars, but always assumed I was straight. When I was 9 I hugged onto my cousin when we were both naked and she pushed me away and called me gross, but I didn’t think anything of that until I was 14, when I questioned my sexual orientation for about one minute but was so panicked I shoved the thought from my mind. However, I REALLY, REALLY identify with what Yeah-Elle said. I was weirdly obsessed with couples, with setting people up: "I always felt like sexual relationships were something that happened to other people." I just had one crush on a boy ever, in ninth grade, and I’m starting to think that was half-fake, because it was after a friend told me he was hot. However, I adored many girls over the years, most significantly Lexie, Mrs. Thomas, Brittanee, Alisa, Miss Valica, the-girl-in-the-deli . . . as yeah-Elle says: "It took wayyy long to just figure out that the girls I've thought were pretty in an abstract way and really cool and smart and intimidating—DUH, I HAD CRUSHES ON THEM. I kept telling myself, "you just think they're pretty in an abstract way, you can't even imagine them naked!" without realizing that when I think dudes are attractive, it's in the exact same way."

Looking back it is beyond obvious that I had a major crush on my best friend age 11-20. I eventually lost her because I was “clingy,” and I was crushed. I never considered that maybe me writing poems about her, having a file labeled “hot pics” on my computer of her, etc. was “gay” behavior. Gay people, after all, were those sick devils who lived Somewhere Else, and it’s not like I wanted to fuck her. I only wanted to fuck a nice Baptist boy after I was married. Uh, huh, right…I was also in complete denial that I was an agnostic. But that’s another story.

Anyway, I managed to graduate, then worked at a camp the following summer where I met two fellow counselors who fell in love at first sight and we became best friends. Watching their lesbian relationship turned me on as nothing else ever had. That summer I got drunk for the first time and while I was drunk I kept whining about how I wanted to make out with another counselor (straight). This made things super awkward back at camp but I never told my best-friends-the-lesbian-couple about it because I thought I might have been faking/experimenting and anyway I wanted to be straight and not ruin the dynamic of our friendship.

They still don’t know that happened; I figured it would “never matter.”

So I will skip the drama about how I told my parents I was an agnostic and they told me I’m going to hell and I got a plane ticket to live with my lesbian friends and we share an apartment now, which is pretty cool. I was still telling myself I was straight, even though I didn’t really want a boyfriend, and never had been able to picture a life with a man, had always felt vaguely bothered by the idea. But I had never had had a fantasy about a girl and I could make myself have fantasies about guys, so that meant I was straight, right…

I have now fallen in love for the first time in my life. With a girl. She has no idea. She is a coworker of one of my friends and it wasn’t love at first sight, but I really liked her personality and life goals the first time I saw her. I asked for her phone number and noticed she had a cute butt the second time I saw her, and also noticed she had bluer than blue eyes and dark feathered hair, just like that best friend I lost (uh, duh, anyone?). Then I found out she is a lesbian, but didn’t think anything of it. Then the third time I saw her…

She was standing on our balcony smiling down at us, waiting for us to get home so we could open the door and all watch a movie (Imagine Me and You, of all things), and I Felt It. I felt what I had waited all my life to feel. I was shocked, people. Scared out of my mind. The feeling just got more intense throughout the night, and since my friends were all talking about how they had come out, she turned to me and asked, “How about you?” She had just assumed all along I was a lesbian!

“Um, I’m straight,” I said, and I wanted to cry and smack myself in the head, because what was I supposed to say? “I thought I was straight until tonight when I saw you and time stood still and I can’t imagine going through life without you”?

It’s been a week since then, a week I barely remember because I have made myself so sick thinking about her, stalking her on Facebook, and I work at a library so I hacked into her library account to find out her middle name and birthday and what she likes to read (creeper!), and I figured out how to see her again (I was brilliant and asked her to a movie and she AGREED but it’s not ‘till next weekend!). She is without a doubt my soul mate, exactly the kind of person I always wanted. I knew that even before I had these other feelings for her. I have never felt like this about anyone—like I’m going to have a nervous breakdown if I don’t see her again. I always assumed my soul mate was a guy. Silly me.

I have not told my best friends I live with, and I feel horrible. They know something is wrong with me, that I’m hiding something, but I’m so scared that if I tell them what I’m feeling that they’ll say it’s a phase or a “girl crush” and maybe be right, and even more scared of what’s going to happen if the fates are beautiful and I do get it across that I’m in love and this girl does reciprocate, because then all my hundreds of relatives in the religious right will be able to say “See, the gays recruit, it’s a choice to be gay, her lesbian friends turned her gay, etc.” Did they turn me gay? No, because I still thought I was straight until this girl, and never matched up the puzzle pieces of my past… I just feel in agony about this and the effect it is going to have on the couple that saved me in so many ways, and our friendship, not to mention my future. I never imagined spending my life with a woman, but now, it’s even harder to imagine anything else.

Oh, and the kicker? My best friends the couple are moving in a couple months, and the night I fell for her, this girl offered to move in and be my apartment mate for the rest of the lease because she's looking for a place to stay!She's already packing her dishes... Oh my god is this beautiful fate or a disaster waiting to happen...

I know some of you are going to say I just need to go out and fuck a guy, that I’m just confused because I never have, but I don’t want to. (Attractive guys have asked me out and I’ve been flattered but said No. If this girl were a guy, sure I would . . . I feel like maybe it’s not the gender that matters to me but the person.) I just want this girl. I would appreciate any advice. And I’d like to share a poem I wrote last night, curious if anybody else can relate to it:

Common Man

Someday I will find a man
With clumsy but gentle hands
Some muscle and white teeth
Kind, likes cats, knows
Better than I how to be
Of the world, how to speak to it—
A man who will make me feel
The way my friends say
Men make them feel:
Beautiful, rooted, blown into flickering flame.
He must be European
I always thought.
A man on the other side of the ocean,
A Different kind of man from any I’d seen
—Or hooked up with an awed friend
—Or shared coffee with in a college cafeteria—
A European man will make me Feel,
So I will catch a plane someday
And find him.
But it was a November day in Kansas
Of all places
Not blustery, not exotic, but rather
Hushed,
Mundane,
That I looked up at a balcony
And there she was.

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