The Journey of My Questionable Sexual Orientation (Not that it’s any of your business)
I was a late bloomer. I probably still am a late bloomer, I think that is a life-long label. Because of this, my sexuality has constantly been under scrutiny.
In high school, I just wasn’t very interested in boys. Mostly it was because they were boys. They were grossly skinny, stupid, and weren’t always comforting or fascinating. I didn’t actively flirt or attempt relationships with any of the guys in my high school.
“How come you don’t, you know, get with someone?” One of my friends asked me.
“I don’t know,” I responded, “I’m just not very interested.”
“What do you mean, you’re not interested?”
“I don’t know. I just don’t find very many of the guys here cute.”
“Are you like asexual or something?”
I didn’t know how to respond. So I told her no. She went on to tell me that I probably would never marry, and only get into a serious relationship once I got into the office, in my 30s. She got married later that year as a beautiful, perky, teenaged bride. Sadly, her rude statement, stripping my life of any possible partnership was not the last one I would hear.
I didn’t know if I was asexual or not. I hadn’t really thought about it. I honestly just didn’t find very many boys attractive. Those I found attractive were boring. I just wasn’t interested.
A few of my friends observed my disinterest in men. My nosier friends would ask me if I was a lesbian. I always shut my mouth, refusing to answer. In my high school, it was not popular to be a lesbian. Lesbians were feared. This was not in a cool, tough way, but in a way that suggested some kind of contact disease. They hung out together, and only with each other. I was not a popular kid. I only had a few friends. I didn’t not want to limit my already awful social status by only associating people with similar gender-attraction.
Tired of being called a lesbian or abnormal, my freshmen year of college I finally got wild. This meant that in one day I hooked up with my exes’ roommate, my exes’ roommate’s best friend, my exes’ other roommate’s best friend all within 24 hours. Everyone stopped calling me a lesbian. All of my guy friends instead branded me with another title intended to take away my power as a woman.
I got sick of being identified by and through my sexual relationships with men. I wanted to find my own form of self-expression. I wanted to relax into myself and my personality, free of the pressures of fulfilling my biological destiny. So for a year (possibly spurred by some jackass cheating on me) I completely ignored any and all urges.
At this time, I began to analyze my orientation again. During this period, I latched onto the idea of sexual fluidity. I loved that who you are attracted to can freely change. Sexuality is not on a black and white grid of gay or straight, but rather shift based on mood, status, attraction, or any one of the numerous facets of each individual’s personality. I love that I could be more attracted to women one moment and more attracted to men another. It was liberating. And it was finally a non-labeled sexual orientation I felt comfortable with.
I talked about this concept incessantly with all of my friends. I actively researched sexual fluidity. I watched films and documentaries about the subject. I wrote about it. I urged classes to discuss it. I brought up the idea on first dates and during initial meetings. In fact, just as all of my friends were getting sick of listening to me spew on about sexual fluidity, I met a guy who was interested in what I was saying, a guy who ended up being my next ( and latest and now ex) boyfriend.
Even though I was in a more traditional straight relationship, it did not discourage my sexually fluid nature.
After that traditional relationship ended, I once again began to analyze my sexual orientation. Most of my female friends tried to force me to identify as bisexual or as a lesbian. I refuted those titles. It was not how I viewed myself. If I did not view myself that way, I figured there was no purpose in adopting those labels. However, during this time (and still now) I wanted to explore my sexuality through those who were same-sexed.
Now I am in a happy place. I do not (usually) obsess about my sexual orientation. Not like I used to, anyways. I am pretty happy with my non-identification. I think that this makes many people feel very uncomfortable. We like schema and titles so we can easily sort through things. I just don’t like the limitations this places on me. Plus, I don’t feel like I can say with confidence that I am on either end of the spectrum, so I don’t need to bother. It has taken many people questioning my sexual orientation, myself included, in order to reach this point.
But my ultimate conclusion is that this was my own journey. And although I like discussing this process, truly it is no one’s business but my own. My identification is not interesting enough to require inquiry. Rather, it’s something that is a piece of myself that I do not actively think about. It’s like my right arm. I appreciate my arm, but I am not always thinking about my right arm, or analyze what it is doing. Rather, I let it do what I need it to do and I don’t really question it.
At this point, I am very happy with all of this and hopefully I can keep up with this healthy view of my label refusal.