I’m a 23 year old female who has been in a long term relationship with a guy for about 2 years. I began questioning my sexuality about a year ago as I started looking at girls in a whole new light. I always hear about gay people having that confusing time in their life as pre-teens where they know something is different and they feel attracted to their own gender. I never had that. I have a feeling I am just curious about exploring my sexuality but I don’t know how to do this. I don’t want to find a girl and make her interested enough in me to kiss me only to have me step back and go “hmm, yup, right. I’m straight” But if I don’t experience kissing another girl I think I will remain confused. Any tips?
Thank you for reaching out and asking your question.
It sounds like you are trying to figure out who you are, and that’s awesome! Self discovery and identity are a large part of deciding who we are or who we want to be.
It sounds like you’re feeling confused about these strong feelings of attraction that you’re experiencing. I also hear that your confusion is compounded by the fact that you never had these feelings early in your life.
I feel like it’s important for me to stress that while certainly there is this idea that queer and trans* folks “always knew they were different”, that’s not how it is for everyone. Research has shown that people (especially women) experience sexual fluidity – sometimes our feelings change, and our identities can change with them (or not). Many folks who grew up knowing they were straight may suddenly find themselves with strong feelings of attraction for their same gender, and that’s okay too.
I get the sense that you’re not as concerned about what these new feelings mean for your identity, as you are about finding ways to explore them with someone.
Since you’ve mentioned that you’re in a long term relationship with a man, I think one of the first things you might consider is, if you feel safe doing so, talking to your partner about your feelings and desires. I don’t want to assume that you’re in a monogamous relationship, but if you are and you experiment with a girl without his knowledge and consent, he could be really hurt. It’s true that some straight men might brush off girl-on-girl experimentation outside their mixed-sex relationship (which is frankly kind of biphobic!), but not all men feel this way. Check it out with your partner and find out how this could work (or not work) in the context of your relationship.
If you decide that you’d like to experiment with someone, there are a few places to meet around Guelph where you can meet other queer and questioning folks.
If you dig the bar scene, you could try hitting up the Albion Hotel on Thursday Nights (colloquially known as Thursgays in the queer/trans* community, but officially billed as Liberal Thursdays). Unfortunately their upstairs dance floor is only accessible by stairs, but they have a nice lounge and bar area downstairs. They’re located at 49 Norfolk Street in Downtown Guelph.
Another way you could start meeting some queer ladies is by checking out Guelph Queer Equality’s Tuesday Night Socials – they do everything from board games to button making to tea parties! Email them at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out where the next one is happening.
If you find yourself in a situation where you have the opportunity to explore, be honest with your new partner about what you’re looking for and what your relationship situation is. That way you won’t accidentally hurt someone’s feelings, or waste your time with someone who doesn’t want what you want.
It’s really important to make sure you’re being safe; sex between two women still carries the risk of STI transmission! Use a dental dam for oral sex and condoms if you’re sharing toys. Check out the Wellness Centre in the JT Powell Building for information and queer-friendly resources about hooking up safely.
Also, remember that consent is sexy. It goes both ways, so give it and get it! Asking “can I kiss you?” is a great way to get on the same page with a new partner.
Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide how to move forward and explore your feelings of attraction. If you get stuck, why not give us a shout at (519) 836-4550? We’d be happy to help you as you figure it out. We’re open Mondays (3:30-6pm), Wednesdays (6-9pm), or Fridays (1-3pm).
All the best,
❤ Liz and Nadia