March 6, 2012
A Guest Post by SUCH AN AFROHOLIC
I just…don’t know how.
I mean, I get the physics of it. I would love to have a girl back up on me on a dance floor, love to taste her sweet lips in the darkness, love to take her back to my place and feel the exhilaration of undressing a body that’s as soft as mine for the first time. I dream about feeling her writhe under my touch, my kiss, my tongue.
Trust me, I’ve got all of that planned. I’ve been thinking about it for a long time. What I don’t know is how to get the girl. I don’t know how to be at a party or a club or a bar or walking down the street and see a girl I think is hot and convey that to her so that she understands that I’m hitting on her, not just giving her a compliment, woman to woman. I don’t know how to give off whatever secret signals would tell like-minded women that I’m down for that, or how to read the secret signals women around me might be sending off. Is there a class for that I can sign up for? A YouTube tutorial?
I don’t know how to be a feminine woman in heterogeneous social spaces and convey a sexual orientation that is broader than straight without being bi. I have no problem with a (cute, non-sketchy) guy coming up and dancing with me at a club, but what makes him think that I’m open to that? And how do I let other women know I’d be open to them too? How do I get the world to stop assuming that I’m straight just because I’m fairly gender-conforming?
And I know, I know, if I want to meet women who are into women, I should just switch it up and go to primarily LGBTQ places, right? I plan to hit up some such spaces when I move to DC in the summer, but how do I avoid being interpreted as a lesbian in those spaces? I imagine that no guys would dance with me at a gay bar unless it was just for kicks, the same way the only women who dance with me at the clubs I frequent now are friends of mine who are just putting on a show. I don’t know if there’s anywhere I can go to find both men and women who might be interested in me, and on an even more basic level, I hate that the space in which to be my interested-in-people-of-multiple-genders self isn’t the general world.
And even if I could find some magical social space in which people would automatically interpret me as bisexual or pan/omnisexual, I probably still wouldn’t be happy. I am interested in men and interested in women and I don’t know that I would necessarily be disinterested in someone who doesn’t fall neatly into that oh so problematic binary, but I still don’t identify as bi or pan, and I just want to be interpreted as that which I identify as—heteroflexible. It’s hard for me to check boxes with regards to sexual orientation on forms and surveys. They usually give me hetero, homo, and bi as options, which just leave me feeling sort of invisible. Those terms are well and fine and good for some people, but none of them adequately represents who I am, how I identify, and who I want to have sexytime with. An ex from high school once described me as “dickly but not strictly,” and I’ve come to think of that definition of my sexuality as one of the very few productive things to come out of that relationship.
This is similar to being ‘bicurious,’ I suppose, but I think I’m a little too committed to this to be considered curious and bi-anything plays into a gender dichotomy I don’t want to support. I’m a firm believer in the idea that sexuality is something to be played with and explored and developed over time through experience and experimentation. I know that can be interpreted as a dirty word, but I think that there’s a difference between wanting to experience something to see if you like it and want to pursue it seriously and toying with a person or a group of persons that you know you’re not interested in. We all experiment, be it with an overall sexuality or a variety of sexual practices—it’s how we learn and know and grow.
And so, I want to experiment with women. I’ve had some fairly tame experiences—kissing, boob play, some over-the-pants fondling—that have ranged from being pleasurable but not really overwhelmingly exciting to I-need-her-to-stop-right-now-before-I-cum-in-this-room-full-of-people. It seems to vary from woman to woman, just as my experiences with men vary from man to man, and I want to see if being with a woman is something I could want in a long-term every day situation like I could want to be with a man. That’s what it would mean to be bi, to me, and that’s not where I am right now.
I’m…heteroflexible. But sometimes that makes me feel like I’m nothing and nowhere at all. Labels can be these great things to rally behind with a group of other people that feel the same way as you, but what do you do when you don’t fit any of the definitions for popular labels? What do you do when creating your own identity feels more isolating than liberating? I want to say “Fuck the status quo; I don’t need societal validation,” but that just leaves me feeling like my sexuality is this ideology I struggle to live by, rather than a set of practices I can easily enact.
I want to successfully flirt with a woman. I want to be able to dance with a guy without it being assumed that I am only interested in men. I want to practice what I preach; I just don’t know how.