I’m a bisexual woman who’s totally out of the closet. I’ve dated women, but mostly I’ve dated a whole lot of men. For a while, I wasn’t really sure why I’ve been with more guys than girls when I’m attracted to both sexes equally, but I think I’ve finally figured it out: it’s because I’m kind of afraid of women. Here’s why:
I have less experience dating women. I started off dating men as a teenager. I didn’t come out or have my first girlfriend until I was 18, so I have much more experience with the nuances of dating men. I have minimal experience with women, leaving my confidence a bit lower with them. I feel more like a teenager when I’m dating them! As someone who’s highly confident usually, it’s hard to feel like a little kid again.
I’m afraid I’m not gay enough. There’s a weird stigma to bisexuality: you’re not quite gay enough to feel totally welcome in the gay community and you’re not quite straight enough to feel like you fit in with straight people. Because of this, I worry that I’m not “gay enough” to date another woman. Perhaps this stems from the fact that I think I should be different than I am. I’m super femme, I still love men, and I don’t have a ton of experience with women. It is what it is, but I fear going out with a woman and having her think I’m not gay enough to date.
I worry about judgment. I’m privileged to live in Boston, Massachusetts, a very liberal state. Unfortunately, there are still homophobic bigots everywhere. I even have some in my family. I think at this point, my grandparents know that I’m bisexual because I dated a girl for a while. I even lived with her. But I still fear their reactions. I worry that taking home a girl for a holiday would result in a totally different reaction than taking a guy home.
I find men easy to manipulate. This is difficult to admit and it’s not really something I’m proud of, but I find most men fairly easy to manipulate. Manipulation is a habit I’m trying to break, but if I want to flirt with a guy and pick him up, I have plenty of tricks up my sleeve. It’s a piece of cake most of the time. With women, it feels like trying to nail jello to a tree. It’s not so straightforward. I don’t turn on a prowess around them. Instead, our interactions are much more natural. In a way, it’s healthier for me, but it’s more vulnerable and human.
I don’t want to lose my straight-passing privilege. It’s easier for me to date guys. I know what I’m doing sexually, I don’t have to fear homophobic judgment wherever I go, and I don’t have to worry about people asking me if I have a boyfriend when I actually have a girlfriend. In a very real way, I’m afraid to give up the passing privilege that comes from dating a man, even though I’m bisexual.
I’m afraid to get my heart broken. I find that I interact differently with women. It’s more emotional and intimate. It’s probably a mix of nature/nurture, but it’s my truth; I connect with women on a different level than I do with men. A big fear I have is that I open up to a woman romantically on a deep emotional level and I totally get my heart smashed to bits.
Women are more sexually complicated. It’s a fact. If you’ve ever seen the Vagina Monologues, you know that “there are 8,000 nerve endings in the clitoris — twice as many as there are in the penis.” This makes the clitoris an amazing focus for sex, but what do you even do with it?! Every girl is different. In my experience, getting most guys off is simple and straightforward. With women, our emotions play a huge role in addition to our complex anatomy. The pressure is on.
I’m scared I’d miss guys. This is also a weird and scary thing to admit. I fear that I’d miss dudes. I don’t really have the same fear about dating men (that I’d miss women). I don’t know if that makes me less of a queer, but I’m just spitting my truth. I worry that I’d miss traditional intercourse and masculinity.
Sexuality is complicated. I’ve seen a funny meme floating around the internet about the struggle of being a girl who likes girls. “She said I’m cute, but did she mean cute cute or just cute?” Like, are you flirting with me, or are you being friendly? How do I know if someone is queer or just a hipster?! I recently read an op-ed piece in the NY Times called Hipsters Broke My Gaydar.
Sometimes I have crushes on straight girls. Being queer, gay, or bisexual is tough because under 5% of women identify as anything other than straight. So, nine out of 10 women that I come in contact with are straight as can be. I already have a hard time meeting people I’m compatible with, so if I do end up having a crush on a girl, there’s a good chance she’s straight. And that just sucks because it either means I have to get over it or I can tell her and see what happens (which I’ve yet to have the guts to do).
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