A Woman Works

(Originally written on March 9, 2014.)

I am a bisexual woman engaged to a woman. A wonderful woman who has made me happier than I’ve ever been before. There is that saying that, someday, someone will walk into your life and make you realize why it never worked out with anyone else. This is what I have, and it’s phenomenal. I feel like I’m the luckiest person alive! But of course, all my exes are men, and my fiancée is a woman. So the question always comes:

“Do you think it’s working out so well because of who she is, or because she’s a woman?” Continue reading “A Woman Works”

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So…Threesome?

In January of 2012, I was coming to terms with my sexual orientation. The process was more difficult than I had thought it would be. In truth, I didn’t even take my attraction to women seriously. I always brushed it off. It didn’t mean anything.

But the thoughts didn’t go away just because I brushed them off. It was becoming almost an obsession, to the point where if I was dating a man and things were going well, I’d have sinking thoughts like, “but what if it could be better with a woman?”

With the support of a friend, I explored my feelings, and they took me to a party hosted by one of their gay friends. I was entranced by the wide variety of women present. Butches, lipstick lesbians, and chicks who styled in the middle; a casual mix of feminine and masculine. I had an instant crush on one woman in particular, and in my heart, I knew.

But I had doubts. I didn’t trust myself. I thought, how do I know I’m actually attracted to women, if I’ve never been with a woman? The refrain echoed by many outside the community when someone comes out before they have any “experience.” I worried that I would come out, date my first woman, and be horribly embarrassed when I realized that I was only into boobs aesthetically, and not sexually. I had to know. I needed to reassure myself that my attraction to women was not just a phase.

I had talked about my concerns with a male poly friend of mine, whom I had dated briefly for a while (but polyamory had been a huge stumbling block for me). He offered himself and his main partner for an experiment. He pitched it as a service to me: I could explore his lady as I desired to either confirm or rule out my attraction to women, with the safety of a nearby penis if it proved to be the latter. A threesome.

Continue reading “So…Threesome?”

Rx Marks the Spot: Finding a Queer-Friendly Therapist

In 2006, when I was eleven, I attended a camp for young writers, and I fell hard for a boy that I met there. I had a crush on him from the first time that we spoke. One day, we walked together as all of the campers made their way down to the river. While we were walking, I remember him mentioning that he identified as bisexual. I had previously assumed that everyone was capable of having feelings for anyone, like I did. Once he corrected me, I knew that I had a new label for myself.

Being in therapy had given me other labels, already. At that time, I knew that I had clinical depression and an anxiety disorder. As the years went on, I was able to overcome my depression, but added Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder to the diagnosis list instead. A few years later, I gained a new diagnosis: having some of the traits of Borderline Personality Disorder. My internal life has often felt like a collection of acronyms: BPD, LGBTQ+, PTSD, with a nice marinade of anxiety and dysmorphia just to keep things interesting.

In a dream world, my sexuality would never have had a negative impact on my treatment for mental illnesses. Unfortunately, not all mental health professionals are well-educated in what it means to be young and queer. (Hell, not all mental health professionals are even good people.) Continue reading “Rx Marks the Spot: Finding a Queer-Friendly Therapist”

Evolution of an Orientation

Guest post by Devin.

Both of my parents are artists. My dad is an illustrator and my mom a photographer, and they were married for the entirety of my childhood. Growing up I visited my fair share of museums. I loved them. They were so quiet and serene. The modern art exhibits were by far my favorites. I loved how different they all were; the styles were easy to differentiate and every one was beautiful. But it was the classical art that fascinated me. How open they were with their bodies, how the naked body was equated with innocence and purity. I had never seen the human form celebrated until I discovered them. Showing skin was at the time, and still is, thought of as sexual and vulgar.

I remember staring up at The Birth of Venus at six or seven years old and noticing how different she was compared to images of beauty of the day. Britney Spears and Jennifer Lopez couldn’t hold a candle to Venus in my mind.

They say hindsight is 20/20 right? Maybe someone could have pieced together the clues and realized I was of the queer variety long ago, but probably not. Most of my queer cues happened when I was alone, doing things and not knowing why. Take, for instance, the time when I got new Barbie dolls and immediately stripped them of their clothes. I was entranced by the curves and smoothness of them. Innocent child curiosity. Continue reading “Evolution of an Orientation”