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advice

advice on questioning your sexuality

I feel I am bisexual but how do I actually know it. I have had, for a fact, attraction to men but when it comes to attraction to women I am not sure if it is something real. I am so confused that, probably sadly, I have not lost my virginity. Help?

Not sadly. Not sadly at all.

I identify as straight, so while I wait for an incredibly insightful friend who identifies as bisexual to give her anonymous advice on this question, I will address the virginity part.

I had sex for the first time when I was 23. I am currently 23. A penis never got near my vaginal opening until, literally, five months ago. I think it’s really bullshit that we are supposed to suddenly be experienced once we have penetrative, penis-in-vagina sex. This is such a heteronormative way of thinking, as if a penis suddenly comes around, and we suddenly are better than we were a mere 10 minutes, if that, before.

I know this isn’t about me, but I’m stalling because my friend still hasn’t texted me back. 

I’ve been playing around with the idea for a year and a half now that I want to be a sex therapist. I made the plunge and applied to grad school in the fall, but withdrew my application because I didn’t want to make a decision at 23 that would put me in debt forever. So this time last year, when I was super excited about the idea and was planning to move back to San Diego from my full-time job and life in Los Angeles to save up some money, I started telling everyone about my plans. And everyone was super excited for me.

Everyone but three people, that is.

I had three people in my life, three people that I hadn’t talked to since college, hear about my plans that I was absolutely thrilled about and ask me, “Wait… aren’t you a virgin? 😂” 

It was demeaning. I didn’t expect anyone to use my sexual history against me in such a cruel way. I mean, if someone announces they’re going to law school or nursing school or literally any other program on the face of the earth, you don’t throw it back at them that they aren’t good enough to pursue their dream because they haven’t had a penis enter their vagina.

And, update, I love penis-in-vagina sex. But that didn’t change who I am and my knowledge on that, or any, subject.

So, fuck that. “Sadly” nothing. You’re capable of understanding who you are and your sexuality, with or without this idea of heteronormative sex.

Now to answer your actual question, because my friend replied to me. Here’s what she said:

I think that I struggled a lot with knowing too. I think I was super cautious because I didn’t want to do anything with women as an “experiment” or whatever because I didn’t want a HUMAN to be an experiment. I know that there are a lot of feelings about people who aren’t sure. And I still haven’t ever been physical with a woman. In fact, I’ve only been on ONE real date with a woman. But I still am very sure of my physical attraction to women without having to “prove it”, I guess. My mom often asks how I can be sure without having really done anything. A lot of my friends have commentary along those lines too, but it’s really just the same way I was sure I was attracted to men.. the way straight identifying people are attracted to their s/o. 

So! With that being said! I also felt unsure for a long time, and that’s okay! I was following someone who identified with being bi on twitter and I had asked her about it. She was really kind and basically said to not worry about labels while you’re trying to figure things out because that might put a lot of pressure on you. 

If you feel attracted to women, you are attracted to women. That doesn’t have to mean anything until you’re ready for it to. And you can take that at your own pace! I switched my dating apps to “everyone” before I was out to more than 2 people. I think that because a) I had no issue swiping and b) I enjoyed talking to women, it did solidify what I thought but it never felt like an “experiment” in an uncomfortable way (like I mentioned before) because it was just genuine conversation. Just like dating apps with men, I didn’t have to flirt if I didn’t want to. It was only talking, there wasn’t any physical piece and realistically, it isn’t anything different. 

I was questioning my sexuality for a LONG time. And this was for a lot of reasons. To list a few: 

1) religious family- what if they “don’t approve”?

2) my friends- are they going to think I’m attracted to them and make it weird? They’re just my friends! I’m not trying to date them!

3) generally, homophobia! Biphobia! 

But looking back, I was questioning for so long because I was questioning if I felt safe or true saying that I identified that way. Not really because I didn’t think I was bi, but because I was worried of what others might think. 

Take it at your own pace, don’t give yourself requirements of how you’re supposed to feel in any situation, and if you’re attracted to women. Ultimately, you get to decide if that means anything else and if you want it to.

Oh my god. Amazing. She deserves to run this website, not me. (Just kidding, it’s MINE!)

But seriously, like she said, you don’t have to and shouldn’t have to put a label on yourself. If you feel comfortable, swipe through women on apps. Do what you want to do when you want to do it.

Take your time. Whether it’s career or sexuality or defining who you are, you don’t need to have it all figured out right now. And don’t let society make you think you should.

Submit your anonymous questions/stories here.

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