I don’t know how to approach this… I identify as a cisgender heterosexual woman and I think I’m attracted to women. I’ve been turned on by women (women whom I interact with in real life, and women I see on screen) and they often enter my fantasies. However, I have never been able to approach women because I’m scared that I’ll chicken out when it’s time for me to get to business. I also don’t want to seem like I’m fetishizing women in the LGBTQ community. Can I get some advice?
– Questioning on Queensview
Once upon a time I was the co-ordinator at my university’s pride centre and this was one of the most common questions I would get from students. A lot of people would be really disappointed to learn that there was no quick and easy way to answer this question.
And I get it, because it’s so tempting to believe that you could use something as concrete as a magazine quiz to figure out your sexuality. Wouldn’t it be great if it was easy as checking mostly As to find out that you’re straighter than a Gender Reveal party, or checking mostly Bs to learn that you’re gayer than the entire cast of Queer Eye?
In reality though, sexuality is a lot more fluid than we would like to believe. Attraction can also be really confusing, especially when it’s up against the narrative that all queer people have always known that they were queer. Though that’s definitely one way that people experience their sexuality, lots of us spend years thinking we just really love gay porn before realizing that it goes a bit deeper than that.
It seems like you’ve already spent a lot of time thinking about this, so I think the time may have come for you to just jump in and experiment. I know that’s probably a terrifying sentence to read, but I’m just saying to try one small doable thing and see how that goes.
Maybe it’s having a drink at a queer bar, or attending an event at the Gender and Sexuality Resource Centre, or creating a profile on Her (an app that is basically Tinder for queer women).
Whatever action feels right for you, the idea is to take one tiny step toward queerness, take some time to get used to it, then evaluate how you feel. If the first step feels good, take another one, then repeat as needed.
As long as you’re being sincere in whatever you do, you probably don’t have to worry too much about fetishizing queer women. Even if what you’re doing is grinding with women on the dance floors of straight bars, I actually don’t think there’s a wrong way to explore your sexuality.
What’s most important with whatever step you take is that you’re being honest with yourself and the people you’re interacting with about where you are emotionally. It may happen that some queer women will not want to get romantically involved with you if you’re not 100 per cent sure about your sexuality, but I’m sure there will be lots of other women who would be happy to be your experimental make-out partner.
And for more info about officially getting down to business, I would definitely recommend the book Girl Sex 101 by Allison Moon. It is such a comprehensive read, and will answer all the questions you don’t even know you have.
If you do take a little leap and then chicken out, that is totally fine! It’s so normal to feel nervous about new experiences, and there’s no rush to figure anything out. Plus, you’re not on anyone else’s timeline here. Put yourself first, take it as slowly as you want to, and enjoy yourself as much as you can.