On Discovering My Sexual Orientation


I had a crush on a girl once.

She had hair the color of a reddened sunset & eyes like blue-tinted glass. She was feminine, assertive, audacious — all the things that were lying dormant within myself. She spoke of eroticism, sensuality, feminism. She influenced me to enjoy wine, to buy lacy underthings, to embrace my inner femininity, a side of me that felt cut out since I shaved my head. She called me nicknames. She inspired me to write boldly & courageously. We collaborated on ideas & encouraged each other’s work. She fed my creative expression.

In my mind, she was my June and I was her Anais.

Thousands of miles separated us, but distance couldn’t stifle our chemistry, our connection. It was instantaneous, my affection for her. I truly couldn’t help it. She was the type of woman that electrifies you, where people fall in love (or lust) just at the sight of her. She possessed a spirit that enticed you, took you in, made you feel comfortable, worthy, adored.

I truly couldn’t help it.

In the dark of the night I would think of her. I filled pages in my diary about her, craving to know every part of her mind. I wanted to be her; to embody her essence, her sex, her light. And in the midst of all of these things I was terribly shy, incredibly apprehensive, for I knew that there would be consequences to my silly, whimsical fantasies. And they really were silly. And unexpected. And improper. And contradictory. But none of that really mattered.

I was lovesick.

The discovery of my emotions ignited a strange kind of fire within me. I felt sensual, blissfully conscious of my deepest carnal instincts. I wanted pleasure; I sought it, dived head first in it. (And it was through this rousing enthusiasm that this very blog was birthed.)

The results of my sexual awakening trickled itself into my marriage. My husband & I were intensely intimate, frequently & emotionally. There were moments between us that were so passionate, so lustfully driven, that neither of us could contain it.

My tryst with her barely scratched the surface, but provoked a strange kind of fervency in my own relationship.

It was feisty, it was raw, it was good.

Everything was so, so good.

And then… it ended, just as swiftly as it began. Communication slowed, circumstances got complicated, emotions became excruciating. It all happened too soon & too late. There were too many emotions involved. It all got out of hand.

We both were given a harsh reality, but mine was more vicious, more penetrating.

It was all just a fantasy. It didn’t really mean anything. It never would have worked out.

The pain I felt as I acknowledged that it was over was as surprising as it was devastating. I denied my feelings because they were so random, so out of context. It was almost a little absurd. There had been no physical contact between us; no promises made or lies told. Why did it hurt so bad?

In the end I attributed everything I was feeling, all the heartache & despondency, to losing a dear friendship, one that had the potential of being deep & meaningful, but was never fully manifested due to a series of unfortunate events. Nothing more or less than that.

But when I told this story to my husband, to my sister, to a new friend… their reaction was one of sympathy (even if they didn’t understand) & gentle tough love.

“You are bisexual,” they all said in not so many words. It was as simple as that; I was the one making things so difficult.

And as they tried joyously & supportively to get me to face a new reality that is almost too much to bear, I couldn’t find peace within it. I abhor the word “bisexual.” I feel that there are too many holes in it & not enough nuances. The word implies a passing “phase” one is going through. It implies confusion, indecisiveness, recklessness. It implies “choice” rather than a deeper origin. Bisexual is a word that baffles people; it baffles me.

I tried to make excuses as to why that word wouldn’t ever fit for me. I tried to tell myself that my desires weren’t valid since I had not physically acted on them. I’m still trying. It’s so much easier to deny something than it is to surrender to the truth, a truth that is especially perplexing & fills me with far too many emotions.

But it is what it is. Though it makes me cringe, though it floods me with bewilderment… I am bisexual.

The questions & sentiments that arose from this newfound realization have been unbearable.

Should I “come out”? Maybe I’m just confused. What will my parents think? Was I born this way? Perhaps it really is just a phase. Should I let it rest? What does this mean for my marriage? What happens next?

What happens next?

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