The first time I kissed a girl — like a proper wet passionate kiss, not a high school party kiss — I freaked out. It felt different. Like, of course it did. Every kiss feels different in some way. But this woke up something inside me I didn’t know needed to be awoken. It was a moment of simultaneous clarity and confusion.
I’ve always known I was attracted to women, but it wasn’t this overpowering feeling, like something I had to explore immediately, so I didn’t spend too much time thinking about it. Plus, there were an overwhelming amount of books and movies encouraging me to pursue romantic connections with men, so I did that for a while. It was easy. Men like women who look like me; feminine, curvy, soft. I never found myself in situations where women showed sexual interest in me.
Until I did.
When I was 21, I met a girl. I knew instantly we were going to be more than friends. At first, I couldn’t pinpoint what it was about her that made my insides feel all swirly, but then I realised she was flirting with me. A week later, we were drinking daiquiris on a balcony in the city, watching the sunrise after spending an entire night partying and making out in the storage closet (ironic, I know). We ended up in an on-and-off relationship for a few years after that.
Nothing about our relationship felt simple and I think a lot of that had to do with me identifying as bisexual. To her, I was something she felt she had to claim. There was this constant feeling of her wanting me to choose her, over men. I didn’t feel as though I was “choosing” her because of her gender, but because of how she made me feel.
We had an undeniable connection. When you meet people in your life who are meaningful, you just know. And she was that, to me. But my attraction toward her and the way people started reacting to that confused me.
People couldn’t understand — was I a lesbian now? Yes, someone literally asked me that. People I’d known for years began to assume I was less into men because I was dating a woman, while others made remarks about me doing it to be “more attractive to men”. Ugh. I can’t even tell you the amount of times we were propositioned to have a threesome, or asked if someone could “just watch us” having sex. It was as though I needed a reason to be dating a woman, that it was some novelty to me and to others. People couldn’t understand how someone so “straight-seeming” could be into a woman all of a sudden. Their reactions started to wear off on me, and I began to feel confused — why didn’t people ask these questions when I was dating a new guy? Why was everyone seemingly trying to explain my own sexuality to me? Was I getting it all wrong?
I felt as though I had to put a label on it. As though I had to walk into a room and be like “Yes, I have a girlfriend, but I’m still into men and you can still interact with me the same”. But I also felt selfish. Was it fair for me to be attracted to both men and women when so many have gone through so much to be gay?
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Even now, years after that relationship ended, I still feel uncomfortable saying that I’m bisexual out loud. There’s this voice in the back of my head always telling me that I’m not being taken seriously, that being bi doesn’t count — especially when you’re a feminine-presenting cis woman. There’s this narrative that being a bi woman is super easy, because you can explore without implications or needing to label things, but it’s really not easy at all. Being bisexual is a huge grey area that you’re always trying to navigate authentically, but it feels a lot more like a fumble than an experience.
We need to change that. There are so many of us, beautiful bisexual, fluid women in the world, who are hungry to experience each other and talk about our experiences. It may feel less intense, less impactful and super confusing because we haven’t been taught how to be sexual with women. It may be 2022, but it’s still true that the world continues to be patriarchal and the majority of us feel more comfortable being sexy with men, than women.
I can’t even tell when a woman is flirting with me, still. Not only are we not taught to flirt with each other, but we aren’t taught to pick up the signs of same sex attraction. Even now, I feel self-conscious when I see a woman and think about her in a sexual way. Whether that’s my own insecurities around being bisexual, or this inherent instinct I have to be respectful and not sexualise other women; I don’t know. But it’s damn annoying. Because all I want to do is explore this side of myself freely, without judgment.
The other day, I went out for dinner with some friends and got served by this beautiful woman. I felt a vibe between us and instantly thought about kissing her (that’s when you know, babes). But truthfully, she was very busy and wasn’t giving me much eye contact, so I couldn’t tell if the tension was dislike or the total opposite. A classic debacle. Later that night, though, she found me on Instagram and told me I was the most beautiful girl she’d ever seen. I felt flushed. We had a chat and agreed to meet up for a drink*.
I have no idea what her sexuality is. She could’ve just been giving me a beautiful compliment. The vibes I felt between us could be completely my own. This is the thing with female connection; it’s such a naturally strong bond we share, it’s difficult to separate it from sexual tension/connection.
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I guess what I’m trying to say is: being a bisexual woman in 2022 is still really complicated and confusing. The world ultimately wants us to choose something we like and stick with it, but in my personal experience as a bisexual woman, that’s not how it works. Despite how far we’ve come, especially around having conversations about sexual fluidity and sexuality, being a bisexual woman still feels like an entirely unstructured world we need to figure out for ourselves. And that’s okay.
It’s Bisexuality Awareness Week, and I just wanted to tell all you other bi babes out there, that it’s okay to feel confused and lost and a little bit unsure of how you really feel. Just don’t give up and settle for something that feels easy, because your sexuality will catch up with you. Every time I forget how much I love women, one comes along and dazzles me. And you deserve to experience it in its fullness. Let’s work through the bisexxy grey area together, okay?
It all starts with honesty and taking a leap. Try telling those close to you about an experience you’ve had, or ask the next girl you have a sexy thought about if you can kiss her. You might be surprised.
*the drink is yet to happen, but I’ll be sure to keep you posted.