I remember when I wrote this and then later revealed this, I got a few emails from readers who ranged from shocked (“Omg! Who knew?!”) to, well, men (“Do you guest star regularly? Me and my fiancé…”)* One of the emails I received stayed with me long after I read it;
“I have struggled with my attraction to both sexes for a long time. I have usually only been comfortable exploring it when a boyfriend has wanted a threesome. Cuz then, it’s for him, you know? How is it that you are so matter of fact and OK WITH IT?”
It puzzled me for the longest, and I will admit that despite the fact that I try very hard to respond as timely as possible to reader emails, I had to sit with that one for a few days. It confused me because I once I was very clear about who I was, I WAS VERY CLEAR ABOUT WHO I WAS. For me, trying to deny my sexuality was much like trying to deny the fact that I have (unruly) curly hair; I could do a ton of things to change it, disguise it, hide it or make it look different but underneath it all, it would still be curly.
So, no; I never had any particular problem with being “okay with it”, nor did I regard it as a big deal. There was no huge, looming, “coming out” moment. I was blessed enough to not lose any beloved family members or friends (although when the subject was broached, many said they figured as much and weren’t shocked…? Could y’all have told a bitch? I mean, damn), and really, I woke up the exact same person the next morning as I was the night before when I told my mother; the dog was putting her cold nose on my forehead to signal that she had to pee, my equilibrium was all messed up cuz I was still half sleep, my favorite color was still red and I still thought that Kahlua in morning coffee shouldn’t be frowned upon.
In short, nothing was changed.
I replied to that email with (what I hope was) a long, thoughtful response that was as middle of the road as I could manage that made one very important point: no matter who you do, you are still you. (I like for my advice to rhyme.) And maybe, that was the root of my calm and matter-of-factness: I recognized early that my sexuality was as authentically a part of me as being female and southern and black and anything else; I could be me in secret or I could be me out loud. I chose the latter.
Because I’m lazy. Secrets are hard.
That was really great right?
Also, totally not the point of this post.
Having been with less women than Queen Latifah likely has (#shade) but more than many of my readers, I want to pass on a little bit of wisdom that I have learned via my Sapphic exploits…
These lesbians ain’t playin’ with y’all out here.
I know, I know. It’s totally in style to kiss girls in bars. And every week a new celebrity is touting her purported penchant for pussy as evidence of how “edgy” she is (we see you Christina and Fergie and so on). On behalf of the entire bisexual community let me tell you; we are full.
The last few years, I have watched the onslaught of this new type of fetishism become more main stream. Back in the 90s, the Thing to Be was black and Asian; it was “exotic”. Now, apparently it’s a girl who likes girls. It’s all over ever form of media you drown in everyday and not even just your guilty pleasure trashy reality show or favorite faux rapper’s club anthem anymore; now it’s commercials for selling vastly unrelated products and in pop music.
And everyone knows once it is all over pop music charts, it is no longer avant-garde or trendsetting. Kinda like an electronic/dance/pop fusion (*waving at Aguilera’s “Bionic”).
Sadly, it isn’t even some sort of artistic movement towards the acceptance of one’s self (and by extension their sexuality). Rather it is about fulfilling some rappers’ threesome fantasies and making him look like the man to other men who apparently are not rich/famous/well endowed enough to get two women to go down on each other just for the chance to blow him. (Don’t even get me started on the fact that not all lesbians look like Megan Fox, despite what Maxim would have you believe.) Now it is just the attention grabbing stunt you do to be ‘It’ girl in the club. It’s the 2010 equivalent of accidentally vadge flashing the paparazzi. Much like that particular brand of unintentional porn, I want it to die. Painfully.
And don’t try to call one of these barsexuals on their same sex marketing ploys. Well then, THEN you’re just trying to define them and they don’t want to be boxed in, and they TOTALLY didn’t mean that they ACTUALLY sleep with women (cue: “Go Hard”).
Perhaps that is the saddest part of this all; that somehow what could be a vital and potentially life changing move towards normalcy for a group that is often marginalized in both gay and straight communities, is even more marginalized by girls who play act the role of Angelina Jolie to make boys notice them (I totally believe Angie’s heart is purple, by the way).
I get it. I really do. It’s hard out there. Marriage rates are declining. Women are getting married later, having children later. There is a man shortage, supposedly. Add to that the much hyped plight of the lonely, never married black woman (*HARD eye roll*) and I understand; you are in this game to win a husband and you will do what you have to do to gain the competitive edge.
But for real though, these lesbians ain’t playing with y’all.
They don’t think you’re funny. They don’t appreciate you playing with them and touting your supposed lesploits out for you boyfriends so he thinks you are sexually exciting enough to sleep with for the rest of his life. Remember that time in college that you and your best friend Stalked and Slashed because the guy you felt so strongly about strung you along? Yeah. Except now you have crazy College You with Adult You resources out for revenge after the realization that your “curiosity” was just for the sake of winning back your ex-boyfriend.
Have a seat.
Maybe you actually have questioned your sexuality, and this entire “my girl got a girlfriend” foolishness is giving you breathing room to explore your attractions with substantially diminished fear of judgment. Maybe I don’t get it because I didn’t particularly struggle with it despite my own religious upbringing and it wasn’t all that scary to me; it just was. Maybe I don’t understand because I am prone to side eye anything that encourages female sexuality to be used as a tool of manipulation and satisfaction for men.
I seriously doubt that shit though.
Long story short, I’d appreciate it if all you Real World rejects kissing your bff in the bar when Katy Perry comes on would have a seat. It’s insulting, really. My life is not your foreplay. And promoting the idea that it is only ok to like girls if your boyfriend wants you to like girls is so incredibly damaging to people like the girl who sent me that email way back when. Explore your sexuality if you truly desire to do so but do it like the rest of us; when you are living in a fairly gay city far away from family and friends
*actual quotes from actual emails