June is the month of love. The sixth month of the year, June was named for Juno, the Roman goddess of marriage and fertility. It’s also Pride Month. Started in 1970 as a tribute to the victims of the Stonewall Riots, Pride Month has become an annual tradition filled with parades, rainbow flags, and festivals celebrating the LGBTQ community and the belief that love is love.
But that last part isn’t news – I’m sure you’ve been bombarded with rainbow-colored Instagram posts and gay-friendly advertisements all month. And, I’m sure you’ve also seen your fair share of LGBTQ-themed blog posts lately (after all, it’s natural to want to join the conversation as a content creator.)
Join the Dating Bitch Tribe! Subscribe to the Newsletter here.
Earlier this month, I sat down to think about what I could do for Pride month – this blog is about love, dating, and relationships, and a month-long celebration of that right seemed like a perfect topic to delve into. The only problem? I’m straight.
So, I wondered, “Do I have the right, as a cis–gendered, heterosexual woman, to discuss something that I have no firsthand experience with?”
I decided the answer was “No.”
It’s not my place to talk about a struggle that isn’t my own. It would be like someone writing a blog post about parenting when they have no children of their own. Sure, they might be well-educated on the subject, but they don’t know what it feels like to wake up at 3 in the morning when your baby has a fever.
But, I still really wanted to express my love and support to those in the community and to honor the month in someway. Enter Nicci.
Nicci is an LGBTQ blogger who regularly chronicles her experience as a “baby gay” on her fantastic blog, Baby Gay Days. She has both the personal gravitas and the blogging prowess to write about this topic in a beautiful way, so who better to invite on as a guest blogger?
You Might Also Like:
• 5 Conversations to Have in the First Month of Dating
• Multi-Blogger Collaboration
Figuring Out Your Sexuality
Discovering your sexuality is a roller-coaster of a journey and potentially one of the most confusing times in your life. If you’re questioning, you’ve probably taken a “What’s my Sexuality?” or “Am I gay?” quiz.
I don’t know about you but I feel like these quizzes are designed for people who already know their sexuality but are just struggling to admit it. They ask things like, “Are you attracted to women?” (that one was an easy yes for me) and “Are you attracted to men?”
And, honestly, I don’t get how that’s helpful. The whole reason I’m taking this damn quiz is because I don’t know who I’m attracted to!
When I was questioning, I was almost certain I was attracted to women; the difficult part for me was that I couldn’t wrap my head around how all of a sudden I just wasn’t attracted to men anymore.
This, of course, wasn’t the case. I think deep down I was never attracted to men, I had just been conditioned to believe I was.
So what questions should you ask when you’re trying to find that label? Below I’ve listed some of the things I asked when I was questioning:
1. When you think about sex how does it make you feel?
For me, inspecting how certain things made me feel made the world of difference. In terms of working out sexual attraction, sex itself is always a good place to start.
So picture yourself in different scenarios – how does it make you feel? Is it positive or negative or maybe neutral?
Positive emotions generally suggest there is attraction there while negative would indicate there’s not. If you feel neutral or negative in all scenarios then it’s possible you lack any form of sexual attraction, or possibly you need an emotional connection before you can feel sexual attraction. But take some time and really think about how all the different scenarios make you feel.
You Might Also Like: Why Lesbians don’t Realize they’re Lesbians
2. Would you act on the attraction you feel?
A lot of us can become confused about what is and isn’t real attraction. For example, I can tell you male celebrities that I think are attractive but it doesn’t mean I’m attracted to them.
So grab yourself a wee list of different people you think are attractive and then think about whether you would act on that attraction. Would you want them to cuddle you? To kiss you? Would you have sex with them?
If you decide you would act on the attraction then it’s probably a genuine attraction. If you decide that no, even though you think they are attractive you wouldn’t want it to become anything real, then you probably aren’t actually attracted to them.
Case in point is women who say “I fancy her so much” but when asked if they would have sex with her say no; they aren’t actually attracted to that woman, they just appreciate how attractive the woman is.
3. Can you picture a future together?
This brings us into the realm of romantic attraction.
In its essence, romantic attraction is a desire to form a connection with another person on a romantic level. For people who experience sexual attraction, their romantic attraction often aligns with this.
For example, I’m sexually attracted and romantically attracted to women and women only. However, some people will experience little to no sexual attraction but do desire romantic connections. In this case ask yourself if you can picture a life together? How you picture this will depend on the kind of life you want. Can you picture yourself with someone non-binary? A woman? A man? How does it feel when you picture these different scenarios?
Again look at what produces positive and negative emotions and take it from there.
You Might Also Like: Coming Out: Self-Acceptance
4. How have you felt in the past?
Reflection is a great way to work out how you feel; often we have repressed or purposefully ignored signs that have been present.
I spent eight years of my life in relationships with men and even longer thinking I was attracted to them. During my relationships I often experienced a feeling of discontent, this nagging thought of “what if there’s something, someone better out there?”
This is something that I didn’t experience with my girlfriend, even when things went bad, I didn’t have this overwhelming sensation that I was somehow missing out. I just understood that sometimes two people don’t work together.
So have a look at past relationships and really examine how you felt in them, what was good? What was bad? Did you feel like something was missing?
Discovering your sexuality is hard and this is by no means a sure fire way for you to discover yours but these questions did help me when I was feeling lost and confused.
The most important thing to remember is that sexuality can be fluid – the label you identify with today might not be the one you identify with tomorrow. It’s normal to have a changing sexuality, especially when for so long queer relationships were seen as taboo and information about them wasn’t freely available. Now there is more acceptance and with that comes room for more exploration of different and varying sexualities.
So don’t stress about finding that label just enjoy the journey and focus on making decisions that make you happy!
You Might Also Like: The Importance of Finding Self-Love
Thank you, Nicci!
I was so excited when Nicci reached out to me about writing this guest post and she didn’t disappoint. I always want this blog to feel genuine and authentic so it means a lot to me to have the opportunity to showcase a variety of different experiences.
Make sure you check out Nicci’s blog, Baby Gay Days and follow her on Twitter. Even though her blog is about her journey with the LGBTQ community, her posts are truly entertaining and enjoyable for every sexual orientation. (For proof, check out her Inter-continental Hoe Phase.)
As always, thank you for reading and let me know your thoughts in the comments below! And if you’re interested in writing a guest post, too, you can learn more about that here.
Katie, I think you made the right decision to discuss this on your blog, as Pride Month is an important time for many people. Nevertheless, I see why you did not want to write about any related topics yourself and I respect that you collaborated with another blogger who can talk about her own experiences. That was respectful of you and I love Nicci’s blog so I am happy to see her guest post on here!
Nicci, I love this post. I feel like many people can relate to being conditioned to be attracted to the opposite sex so when they start questioning their sexuality, they find it hard to accept that they are not and never were attracted to the opposite sex. Personally, I am bisexual so I cannot relate to that, but I have seen many people come out as bi and then realize they are actually only attracted to the same sex. I hope this problem subsides as different sexualities are more normalized and accepted. The reflection questions you mentioned are much more helpful than those sexuality quizzes, by the way. I think this post could be really helpful for anyone questioning their sexuality. Thanks for sharing!
I definitely agree – it’s so much more complicated than just, “Are you attracted to men?” and “Are you attracted to women?” and Nicci did a great job of putting that into perspective.
I would say, Katie it’s a great step you’ve taken to approach Nicci and ask for a guest post about such an important topic! I found this post very interesting, since the way sexuality has been defined is truly great. Also the difference between romantic connections and sexual feelings was explained very well! Thanks for sharing this with us!
Thank you! I agree – Nicci did a great job of explaining how there’s a difference between genuine sexual attraction and just physical attraction.