How To Come Out To Your Boyfriend

Me: *ramble about being busy over Pride, society stuff and life in general*

Him: Why are you so into gay rights and stuff? Is it because you’re a big flaming bisexual? *laughs at the ridiculousness of such a concept*

Me: Yeah that’s pretty much it. Big ol’ queer.

*Awkward silence*

*Glint in his eyes as he muses on the possibility of a threesome*

Him: Awesome.

Feeling Attractive (When Shit Hits The Fan)

When I was younger, I completely associated attraction with proper emotional love. If I was into you, I was into you, and nobody would get a second glance. Luckily, I’ve grown out of this a bit with age.

Much like my entire concept of having a type, I think attraction can be many things. Some people are instantly attractive. The way they talk, the way they look, they just scream bang-able. Other times attraction builds up and you realise that you like this little thing, and this other little thing, and oh yeah, that person is totally cute, and you can’t really remember when this revelation came about.

Attraction can be multi-faceted. Some people are not traditionally good looking but just ooze sexuality (Marilyn Manson anyone?) Some people are so painfully pretty that you don’t want to do anything to them, except to look at them all day long. Like Zooey Deschenel. People can be cute or handsome or hot or any number of things, all difficult to explain, all pretty much understood by everyone.

I wonder sometimes if my feelings of being unattractive come from my own perspective of what an appealing partner is. I worry that if I were to meet myself, I wouldn’t really want to date me. Too sensible, too academic, too booby. All things I appreciate in others but not what turns me on.

Its easy to reassure myself with the old adage of “different strokes for different folks.” But what constitutes attraction? And when the day is shite and the night is long, how can you convince yourself that when the universe was giving out hotness points, you weren’t out having a snaky fag with the rest of the drop outs?

Here’s three tips for not feeling like crap when you feel less than your best.

1. When rejection happens, its not because you’re hideous. First off, people have their own shit going on and the reason they don’t want to get up in your pants is not necessarily because your twinning with Quasimodo. And if it is, they might just be a bit of a douchebag so you probably dodged a bullet.

2. Get all into destiny and tell yourself it was meant to be. I got by heart hurled around the place many a time before I met a really nice person less than a month later. Maybe its because my friends aren’t ones to let you mope around, but getting out of that funk and going out with the sole intention to dance my socks off has often ended well. And if not, sure at least the played some tunes.

3. Sleep naked. Maybe you can’t do this if you share a room with someone and don’t want to explain why you have no clothes on. But if you can, you must. This is nothing to do with sex or anything of the kind. This is about feeling exceedingly comfortable in your own skin. If you can appreciate yourself naked, then you will find it much easier to accept that yes, someone else probably wants to see you naked.

I’m going to take my own advice and run with these and hope that the next time I’m out, the girl I’m talking to won’t reveal that she’s straight mid conversation.

Beaucoup d’amour,

SJ.

When Am I Gay Enough?

I haven’t blogged here in a while. I’ve been busier on my other blog and doing committee stuff. But it has been pointed out to me recently that while I frequently discuss ex-boyfriends and lads I have a vague crush on, I rarely talk about girls. And you know what? It’s true. In spite of all my activism and involvement with the queer community, I am not really fulfilling the main criterion of being involved in same sex relationships.
First things first, I am bisexual and have never been met with a huge amount of enthusiasm from lesbians. Most of my gay friends are guys and thanks to my very femmey penchant for dresses, I’d say most people take one look at me and think fag hag. Without getting into stereotypes (and I hate the next sentence), I look really straight. So plain number wise, guys tend to be more interested than girls. I’ve probably had about five times the interaction with men than women for the above reasons. So that’s quantity out of the way.
It strikes me that I complain about looking straight but I wouldn’t change. And apparently I’m acting quite the hetero. But its not about quantity, is it? It’s about quality. It’s about feelings and attraction and comfort.

I am never attracted to the typically handsome male. I like boys who are funny, can hold a conversation and are usually a little messed up. Anything besides that usually involves a suggestible nature brought on by that mistress Pinot Grigio. Attractive women, I understand. Girls are pretty by their very nature. It’s not something I need to consider. Being with a man can be great but I have too many a morning conversation with the boys about pain and upset and general disappointment to assume that any type of adult situation with a guy will be fantastic. If it is, it’s simply a nice surprise. If not, I was kind of expecting it.
The reason I don’t really talk about girls too much is probably the same reason I didn’t really talk about boys until I was about 18. I simply don’t have enough successful experience to put myself out there. It’s all fine and well to intellectualise sex but to go beyond that? What can I say, most of my friends like dudes.
I wonder sometimes if I’ll ever meet a girl or if straight privilege and convenience are going to get me in the end. But to ask the question: am I gay enough? No. And I never will be. because I’m not gay (as in happy) but queer. As in fuck you.
Beacoup d’amour,
SJ

What’s Your Type?

– taI’m quite ambiguous about the notion of a type. I’ve already alluded to my previous notion of figuring I could date anyone who would tolerate me. Thankfully, I’ve come a long way since then but I wonder if there is a pattern I actually follow with the people I am attracted to.

If I were to write down a few qualities, I probably would say someone sweet, makes me laugh, has a bit of an alternative-rock edge, likes gangster movies and Fight Club, someone who can hold a conversation without feeling awkward. When I was a 14 year emo kid, I wanted to be with an equally metalish boy who had piercings and a skateboard. Ironically, when I did date a guy like this after graduation, nobody got it. After we broke up, people continued to comment that the entire thing had made very little sense.

After that relationship ended, all notions of patterns and types kind of faded into the background and the people I was attracted to varied to the fullest possible extent – tall, short, shy, outgoing, passive, critical, everything.

I can tell you what I can’t abide – rudeness, cockiness, cruelty, ignorance. Even that hasn’t stopped me in the (all too regrettable) past. So the jury is still out on whether I have a type or not. Or whether anyone has one.

Do you have a type that seems to carry through the people you hook up with?

Beaucoup d’amour,

SJ.


Traditionalism, Dating and Vicarious Living

My friend and I were discussing the Zodiac in a bar last night. “You’re not a typical Taurus,” says he. “They’re usually so traditional.” I think we’ll all agree that perhaps my pro-queer, pro-choice, feminist viewpoint is not going to win over the Republican candidates just yet. But when it comes to relationships, I can be quite the traditionalist.

I really like going on dates. The concept of dating in general. I get excited when my friends have dates. Often more excited than they are. I wonder if I lived in America whether I would be the same way because at least half of my enthusiasm comes from the fact that people in this country don’t date. I grew  up in a culture of dodgy discos and a chorus of “Will you shift* my friend?” There was less of that as I got older but the sequence of events seems to remain shiftin’-ridin’-serious relationship-going on a date. This upsets me greatly.

Its been a while since I went on a proper date. Sure, I’ve been out and about to bars, balls and random college house parties but I don’t think I have gone on a real non-group pre-planned date since around September. I like the nerves, I like the awkward conversations, I like the “me toos!” and the “oh he touched my hand, did he mean to touch my hand…”, I like the company and the banter and appreciation of the same from me. I like the possibility of a little action without the assumption of it that comes with meeting someone in a bar.

When I was younger, I used to think that I would only ever end up in a relationship with one of my established male friends. At this point, I had had very little exposure to anyone outside my school and activities circle, was still actively denying any and all female attractions, and was as shy as a traumatised bunny rabbit. I figured that I knew them and that was where the attraction was from but also, they knew me and had accepted that I was pretty much a freak and they were col with that. Unfortunately, I tried out this little plan of mine a few times and not only did it not end well for anyone, I can now go to parties and look around at a small clique of guys who have all had some sort of non-platonic interaction with me. Sometimes I wonder if they compare. I know me and the BF do the same for them.

Since then, I find myself getting crushes on people. Charmers mainly, boys who can talk their way out of any situation, funny girls with a shy streak, anyone who can make a solid Star Trek reference who isn’t more socially inept than I am. And I like having crushes on other people who aren’t already my friends. And I am hoping that I get to go on more dates in the future because I miss the “me toos!” and awkwardly explaining why I just touched your hand.

Beacoup d’amour,

SJ.

For all you classy Americans (and anyone who doesn’t understand my slang), to shift someone is to French kiss.

I Prefer An Approach Of Absurd Bluntness and Nonchalance

It bothers me intensely when people make a big deal out of things. Probably because I was one of these people for a long time.

For the majority of my teens, I presumed that any and all signs of attraction were equal to an interest in starting a relationship. An assumption I can plainly pin down to a lifetime of Disney music and songs penned by Freddie Mercury and assumption that was unfortunately anything but steeped in reality.

Somewhere along the line of retrospectively dramatic tears and outbursts, I started to dissociate sexual activity with emotion. I still don’t know how I feel about this approach but that’s what it has become. Sometimes I miss being able to name and give updates on every person I had kissed. Other days I am happy that each morning after didn’t involve crying and/or hyperventilation because “nobody would ever love me.”

There were two pinnacle moments in which I noticed the change. The first was the shift away from believing that it was enough for someone to like me. Because obviously if they liked me, I would like them for liking me. That ended in heartbreak but for the first time, not on my end.

The second was when I finally ended up with a boy who in my teens I had unrequitedly adored. A few years later and we’re just friends, albeit with a penchant for harmless affection and sexual innuendo. And crossing that line, I thought that I would be thrust back into the flames of attraction that I had felt as a teenager. And the more I thought about it, the more I wanted to just go back to the way things were, congratulate fifteen year old me for having a great night and moving on with my life with my best friend still in tow. No big deal.

There is a small part of me that thinks subconsciously I may be compensating for something having become so blase about my attractions and interactions. An even smaller part of me thinks I should stop checking out doctors and final year students. I’m choosing to ignore those parts.

So here’s to growing up with a confident shrug and a new cry of “Ara sure.”

Beaucoup d’amor,

SJ.

The Invisibility of Bisexuality

There is a clear invisibility to the B in LGBTQ. The plight of the gay community has really come to the forefront in recent years and whilst the rights of the gay and lesbian community are thankfully finally being addressed, there is still a stigma attached to bisexuality.

What stings the most is not the run of the mill homophobia that the greater part of society is aware of – it is the comments and disdain from the community itself. And whilst I’ve come to expect it to a certain degree, there are times when it still cuts pretty deep.

As a bisexual woman who frequents both the gay and straight scenes of this city, it is not uncommon to hear from lesbians that they would never date a bisexual woman, that they don’t think bisexuality is a real thing, or that I am really one way or the other, just undecided at this moment. Straight men either don’t care or want you to jump into a threesome with them.

But what does this mean for the individual? If I am attracted to someone, do I need to change my sexuality accordingly? Do I need to devote myself completely to the queer community and swear off men forever to get a woman to look twice at me? Or should I discard any non-hetero feelings all together and find myself a husband? The fact of the matter is, I am not attracted to every man but I am attracted to some men. I am not attracted to every woman but I am attracted to some women. And that is not a feeling that is exclusive to bisexuality – hetero and homo alike can relate to not wanting to bang every single person in the human race.

With this stigma coming from certain monosexuals, this begs the question – at some point in time, will I have to choose whether I am gay or straight? According to the age old argument of “I was born this way” I shouldn’t have to. But gay and straight people alike have implied that I should.

It is important to note that if I marry a man, I am still bisexual – I will still find women attractive, I just won’t feel the compulsive need to cheat on my husband to get in a girl’s pants every now and then. And if I marry a woman, I will still be bisexual and I won’t be swanning off to remember what penis is like.

To discard bisexuality as an identity insults two notions. Firstly, the ability of humanity to establish complex feelings and attractions in more than one field. And secondly, to imply that I am a lesbian in denial insults me and any men who I have been with. And to say that I am a straight girl look for an interesting quirk to my personality is to insult me and any women I have been with.

An argument that is often brought up to me is that I have explored my heterosexual side far more extensively than my homosexual leanings so far in my life. There are a number of reasons for this. Firstly, I’m pretty shy – my first kiss wasn’t until the age of fifteen and I have only had two boyfriends in the last five years.

Secondly, I really tried to be straight and convince myself that any attractions I had towards women were frivolous, stupid and needed to be repressed. As a teenager, I fell in love – with a boy. So I convinced myself that I must must  must be straight. It is only in the last six months that I found the confidence and support to be myself.

And thirdly, even since coming out I have been more with guys than girls. And you now why? The bi identity repels girls in a far bigger way. Guys really don’t care – except for the aforementioned suggestions of a threesome. And to me this just reiterates the discrimination that bisexuals feel. I have to ask myself: if my own community don’t understand, how can I ever expect my parents – yes, even my extremely liberal and open minded parents – to understand? Is there even a point to being myself? And this type of thinking is so dangerous – to anyone.

That B is in there for a reason. As a community we are learning to accept so many variations of sexuality – asexuality, pansexuality, identities outside the gender binary – all of which are valid and unique to the individual. Can’t we bring this acceptance to the bisexual part of the community? In the end, we are all just looking for contentment, love, maybe one day to set up a life with someone else. And should a person be denied this opportunity simply because they aren’t making the right “choice”?

There’s a reason why cliches and Lady Gaga latched on the phrase “Born This Way.”

Beaucoup d’amor,

SJ.