As a bisexual woman, I’m in the very fortunate position of sharing intimacy with both men and women—basically, I have the best of both worlds. While admittedly most of my relationships have been with guys, there are so many unique and special things about dating women that I love.
Unlike in the straight dating world, there’s no script. Personally, I’ve noticed how much easier it is to navigate flirting and dating with men as opposed to women. My whole life I’ve seen examples of heterosexual relationships so I know the process inside and out. With women, I have nothing to go on, which makes it more challenging but also much more liberating. Instead of following a predetermined pattern, we’re free to develop our own dynamics. Our connection depends more on our individual personalities than on societally ingrained gender roles.
Periods are a non-issue. As sympathetic as my boyfriends have tried to be, there’s something particularly comforting about having a partner that can actually relate. My girlfriend can empathize with my mood swings, my lethargy, my pain and my low energy during my cycle and vice versa. There’s also something strangely satisfying about sharing my bleeding and all that goes with it with someone who experiences the same thing every month.
There’s something wonderful and special about the female form. While every person’s body is different, there’s a certain comfort that I find in another female being. The familiarity of her curves is a beautiful reminder of my own and I can appreciate the subtle similarities and differences between us. My own femininity is reflected back to me and in some way, I experience myself through my female partner. It’s a profound confirmation of my appreciation for the female body, which becomes an appreciation for myself.
Sex isn’t focused on penetration. While I’ve been lucky to have extremely attentive and liberal male partners, there’s always something about sex with men that’s been focused on penetration. Having sex with a woman is totally different. Just by virtue of nature, I feel that lesbian sex calls for more imagination. This means we spend much more time and energy exploring each other’s bodies in ways that don’t depend on the “goal” of penetrative sex.
We can switch dominant/submissive roles. In my relationships with men, I’ve always happily submitted to their more dominant personalities. With women, however, I’ve personally found much more fluidity in who plays which role. Sometimes I find myself much more assertive and willing to take control, and I lead the situation with self-assurance and confidence. Five minutes later, my girlfriend will be bending me over the bathroom sink. This unpredictability and fluidity allows me the amazing opportunity to discover both sides of my personality, and both sides of my partner’s as well.
Being girly together is way too much fun. I’m usually not willing to admit it but I actually love playing with typically ‘girly’ things and while I have never felt comfortable being this way in front of a man, with a woman it’s incredibly fun. When I’m in the right mood, doing make-up, playing with hair, trying on pretty dresses, painting nails, are all fun and silly bonding experiences that I love to share with women. With a girlfriend, I don’t have to be afraid of being ‘too girly’ and can let go into these wonderful self-indulgences without any shame or self-consciousness.
She’s not just my lover, she’s my friend. Generally speaking, women are very comfortable being affectionate with their friends so there’s a fine line of differentiation between girl friends and girlfriends. This means the dynamic of a lesbian relationship has within it the dynamic of a friendship that, to me, looks and feels almost identical to any other female friendship I have. There’s an ease to this that I love because it feels so comfortable and simple.
We gossip about boys in between make-out sessions. This is one of my favorite things just because it’s so silly. My girlfriend is also into men—and into gossiping—so we get to giggle about cute boys in between kissing each other in bed. It’s such a weird and fun dynamic and to me, it perfectly combines the dynamic of friend and lover into one adorable girlish bonding experience.
Feminism is a given, not a perk. Being with someone who understands what it’s like to be a woman is like letting out a long-held breath. Feminist rhetoric is understood in a way that I’ve often struggled to explain to men in the past—not just men I’ve been in relationships with but also friends, coworkers, parents, people on the internet, the list goes on. In a relationship with a woman, I know I’m understood and accepted and supported as a woman. I celebrate the opportunity to offer the same.
We’re making an important political statement by being together unapologetically. Queer relationships are not without their political elements. Just by being together we’re standing up for equal love in a world that somehow still hasn’t fully grasped the concept. Of course, it’s much easier for two cis women to present as a couple than it is for many other marginalized demographics. Nevertheless, we’re still part of a growing shift in the direction of full acceptance of all relationships, no matter how small a part we play.
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