“So would you, like, date a girl?”
asked the man from my latest failed date, my coworker, GYM.
We got into this conversation like it usually comes up. He first asked,
“Have you ever kissed a girl?” curiously.
“Yes” I reply confidently.
“So you are into…’that’?” he inquires hesitantly.
“um yeah” I answer, plainly, unsure of what he means by ‘that’.
Then comes the infamous question, “So you would you, like, date a girl?”
Now, there are a couple ways that I could deal with this question. I could blow it off, say “yes” and then quickly change the subject. Or I could deliver a rant about sexuality and how women being attracted to other women is not simply for the enjoyment of men. I stare at him blankly as I can see into his perverted mind, imagining me kissing and touching another young, attractive woman.
“Yes, I would. Contrary to popular belief, bisexuality is not a party trick.”
Bisexuality can be very misunderstood. From what I have experienced, bisexuality is treated it like a “phase”, like the individual is just confused, experimenting, or from the anecdote above, a fun thing girls do when they are drunk. I can’t act like I am the expert because I am still trying to get my bearings on the single life, let alone the single queer life. When I am attracted to a man, it is super easy for me. I go up to him, introduce myself and strike up a conversation. If it goes well I ask him for his number. If he obliges, then I pretty much know that he is sexually interested in me. But with women, I AM COMPLETELY TERRIFIED. I clam up. I turn into a nervous wreck. For me it is uncharted territory. I transform from Magellan to a child in the pacific ocean playing ‘Marco – Polo’ with a humpback whale.
My journey with bisexuality began when I was dating BIRDIE. In college, I would go to parties and my friend, HONEY, and I would often find ourselves in private, intimate situations by the end of the night. We were both in serious, long term relationships with men, but we knew that we were interested in each other. Our chemistry was out of this world (it finally manifested after we broke up with our boyfriends, but that is a different story altogether). I finally worked up the courage to talk to BIRDIE about how I had been questioning my identity and sexuality (because up until this point I figured I was straight, yanno, by default). Although, to my dismay, this conversation only made him more insecure and paranoid. So it became something I continued to sweep under the rug and feel slightly ashamed of. Because if your best friend and partner does not accept this aspect of you, how could anybody else?
In addition to the gym, I also work at a bridal shop. Most of the time, it is great! It is relatively easy and fun. Although, the other day, my sexuality made an unsuspected and unwelcome appearance. A woman came in, to buy a bridesmaid dress. She brought a guy and girl friend and they all had magnetic personalities. They were all lively, funny, sharp and smart, but this woman was fire. Her intelligence and presence were equal parts brilliant and intimidating. She glowed. She brought me into the fitting room to help her change dresses, and casually asked me to remeasure her (a different stylist had measured her earlier). I turn around to measure her and she was completely naked except for her lacy underwear. And I felt my cheeks burn bright pink. This woman was magic. Measuring people naked is not common practice, and she had tried on plenty of dresses, so we knew what size fit her. She was so incredibly confident I couldn’t tell whether she was just extremely comfortable in her body and curious about her measurements, or subtly trying to come on to me. My mind was reeling so fiercely, I am unsure how I remembered the measurements long enough to write them down.
I can’t get this woman out of my mind, and I still think about HONEY from time to time. I desire being with women so strongly at times, but feel so lost. When I tell women that I am bisexual, they kind of get stiff and say things like, “yeah, I like the idea of liking girls, but I could never do it, yanno?”. When I tell men that I am bisexual, they look me dead in the eyes and say “That’s hot” and I feel completely devalued. They then tend to question “So how far have you gone with a girl?”. I sit, astounded by this, as part of me wants to say “NONE OF YOUR GODDAMN BUSINESS!”, but another part of me wants to say,