Nomi… So, I have a question about sexuality. I think I’m kind of bisexual. Whoa. I haven’t really explored it. Past relationships have all been with men and none of my friends know that I feel this way. I don’t even know how I feel. Any advice for a girl who may like girls… and guys?
Congratulations! You are part of a slim minority of people who have enough grit and gumption to explore their inner unknown with casual fearlessness. You peer inwards, unsure of what lies beyond, but still take step after step with sure footing. Curiosity and commitment to authenticity anchor your values – you, sails full of wind.
As I write this sitting in Brooklyn, New York – forever a forefront of progressive ideals, especially ones of sexuality – it’s tough to imagine a world in which bisexuality would be something… scary to explore? And not to say you’re scared, no you seem emboldened if anything, I say this more to remind myself that the majority of the world is in fact not like Brooklyn, New York, and that situations like yours must still be treated delicately. You seem, from what I can dissect from the few words you’ve offered, proud and excited and, well, ready. Ready for what’s next, ready to meet a realer you, a more… shall we say… sexually satisfied you?
I don’t think there are such things as gay or straight or bi.
I believe it’s just all various shades of grey. I think you’re attracted to who you’re attracted to when you’re attracted to them for whatever reason you are currently finding them attractive. I think we kid ourselves when we attempt to confine sexuality to names and terms and definitions – and though we’ve gotten exponentially more progressive when it comes to sexuality, we’ve also gotten incredibly complicated.
There are now anywhere from nine to nineteen to thirty nine sexual orientations depending on which articles you read and who you talk to (for example, have you heard of “akoisexual”? Definition: The feeling of attraction but not wanting it reciprocated or losing it when it is reciprocated; used as an alternative and potentially less problematic form of lithosexual/lithoromantic. Which, what are lithosexual and lithoromantic?!)
In the face of my own ignorance I will acknowledge the importance of having nuanced labels. Labels are not always confining, they can give us strength and power and validity. Giving something a name gives it power; labels enable people to build community around feelings that have long been marginalised. But one can get lost in the seemingly endless combinations of root words and prefixes that equate to complicated sexual orientations.
And, darling, sex is the one thing in your life that should be very, very uncomplicated.
Ideally, your expression of sexuality should a. empower you and b. (hopefully) get you off. Unless, of course, there’s a sexual classification of people who have no desire to get off, or are even perhaps repulsed by it, which no is not “asexuality” – which pertains to the genders to which one is attracted to, not one’s personal desire for an orgasm. Desire for orgasm seems pretty consistent across the gamut. But again, I’m no expert.
But let’s find our way out of this rabbit hole. What you are saying is that you may be attracted to women – that you feel the desire to be physical with them and to explore romantic relationships with them.
Go for it. Take it from me, girls are better kissers than guys (sorry boys). They’re soft, they smell good and they’ll listen to your problems without immediately trying to offer a solution. It’s truly a wonder that we haven’t all wised up and just started to pair up with one another. If part of you is curious about intimacy with women then you owe it to that part of yourself to try it out. Maybe it’s just that, a curiosity. Maybe it’s more.
In a way sexuality is the purest, most “us” part of us.
It’s our sheer desire, our passion, our yearning. Do not cap that; do not fix it to the ground. And for God’s sake, don’t fizzle the flame with the need to label it. Let it run wild. Unchain the thing and see what it comes back with.
Find a supportive community, whether it be online or in your city, and hear what other people who are feeling what you’re feeling have to say. Support is crucial. We need to know that there are other people out there like us whose struggles match our struggles and whose strength gives us strength. If you don’t feel like you can talk about it with the people in your life yet, don’t. You don’t owe anyone any information until you feel you’re ready.
Sex has gotten so PC it’s not even sexy anymore – it’s almost scientific. To me, it sounds like you have a lot of exploring to do. Test the waters, dive in, get wet, and please… have some fun. It is sex, after all.