I want to hit on girls on Instagram, but for moral reasons I can’t. I’m in a live-in relationship that I plan on ending as soon as my lease ends for financial reasons bc this is real life and I support more people than myself. I have expressed how fucking much this is not working to my current partner. If the message is not across and shit fixed by August, I’m out. So this is not a sneaky surprise
But I’m horny and over it and I want to be a happy fat slut with a twinkie in each hand and a girl in my lap. but I’m here??? Until August??? It is unethical to see other people, right???? I quit smoking (cigs) I can’t do everything / am not a machine.
This is a truly terrible and miserable predicament. You have around four months left until your lease is up, and while you’re correct that you’re not a machine, I do believe that you can still live through the next four months and come out being the person you want to be — the one who doesn’t see other people just yet.
Also my other advice which you didn’t ask for is, don’t have a second option for if shit is fixed by August. Whatever the shit is, based on the overall vibe of this letter, I believe it cannot be fixed. You’re leaving in August. August! You’re definitely leaving in August! I’m so excited for your incredibly slutty future!
I am a lesbian in my mid twenties, and I am happily married. Genuinely, my spouse is amazing and I love our marriage. The only problem, really, is how others perceive our relationship. My spouse is a trans guy, and so everyone thinks we’re straight when we’re together (nobody perceives me as straight literally any other time, but heterosexism is strong).
When it’s just the two of us, things are wonderful. He knows about my sexuality, and he is fine with it and so supportive. Our relationship may not always make sense to other people, but we’re happy. We have a beautiful, healthy, strong marriage that I wouldn’t trade for the world.
But, when people know I’m married to a man and think I’m straight, it hurts me. In order to be out, I’d have to put him, and he prefers to be stealth. I feel like I’m in the closet because of our marriage and like I’m keeping important parts of myself hidden. I’m not sure how carry this tension in my life.
Hi ok so I took your question to a friend of mine who is a queer woman in a longterm relationship with a trans man, because there some nuances to this situation that I didn’t think I could handle on my own. And I was right! Her situation is different from yours in a major way, which is that her partner isn’t stealth at all — he doesn’t pass, identifies as queer, and is out to his friends and coworkers — and because of these relative privileges, she’s able to express her queerness all over the place. She recommended the thing that nearly every advice question/answer comes down to: you’re gonna have to talk to him about this and find a healthy, safe compromise for both of you.
Unless the reason your partner prefers to be stealth is strictly for safety, we’re both left wondering why the visibility of his gender identity takes precedence over the visibility of your sexual identity. His preference to be read as a cis man relies heavily on you being read as a straight woman, and this isn’t working for you. It sounds like you have a great relationship and that’s something worth haggling over, so get in there and T A L K. Here’s my friend’s advice in her own words:
She should talk to her partner about what it is about passing that he desires (safety? identity validation? ……… privilege?), are there areas he’d be willing to compromise? It sounds like the current situation feels lacking for her and she needs something more. Does she want to be out to everybody, or will the affirmation of a couple of people do? If so, maybe they could look for specifically queer activities or meet-ups, even something out of town if he’s afraid of running into someone. The only thing she can do is talk to her partner and try to find common ground. Identity is tough!! Everything would be so much easier without straight ppl! But short of an alien abduction or a straight rapture where all the straight ppl disappear from earth, leaving behind a queer paradise, I don’t see that happening.
Right now I’m in a relationship that matters a great deal to me. It’s not brand-new but it’s still only about half a year old, so there’s still lots to discuss and find out. During one of those conversations a few days ago, through a series of events, I ended up telling my sweetheart that I felt like they didn’t like my body. And they responded that they didn’t, that I wasn’t their type. I asked if they at least thought I was pretty, and they didn’t respond. They just reassured me that, “It hasn’t stopped the sex from being wonderful.”
This is one of those things where I feel like it shouldn’t matter to me but it obviously has, because I’ve been poking at it and poking at it for days now. It really does hurt miserably, even though “being pretty” is a silly social construct and culturally specific and marketed to women from birth and oughtn’t to be a big deal. I feel rejected, and uncertain, and self-loathing, not to mention really weirded-out and uncomfortable thinking about having sex with them again. If they don’t even find me attractive, why do they want to use my body that way? At the same time, I feel like I shouldn’t bring it up to them, because it’s not like they can help their tastes. Maybe asking about it would just be slapping them in the face with something that’s unfixable.
I suppose I am asking for advice on what to do that is constructive and isn’t just feeling small and snubbed. Do you think talking would really help, if I phrased it right?
EXCUSE ME, but no. This is an unacceptable response to either of those very easy, very basic questions! Someone’s body not being your “type” DOES NOT preclude that body from being likable and also pretty! Jesus what the entire fuck is wrong with this person.
Being pretty is as much a social fucking construct as having a fucking “type” and just as broad and open to fucking interpretation. “If they don’t even find me attractive, why do they want to use my body that way?” You already know the answer to this and I’m so fucking sorry. This person is a shit and apparently stupid to boot because only a complete idiot would’ve responded the way they did. I’M SORRY FOR NAME-CALLING BUT I’M LIVID ON YOUR BEHALF.
This person is cancelled. Send me the bill for the enormous platter of nachos you order after you break up with them.
I’ve been out as bisexual for 18 years, but that identity has been shifting recently and I’m now seriously confused. I’ve dated both men and women but only had long term relationships with men, not for want of trying with women, but I’m a bit uncomfortable outside my niche scene so end up dating “straight” girls I meet there. My relationship with men is terrible – my father was a violent narcissist, and two of my adult relationships with men have been abusive, one leaving me with permanent injuries from sexual abuse. I finally invested in therapy which helped me work through a lot of trauma and learn how to be on my own, but I couldn’t afford to continue. I’ve slept with a couple of men since therapy, but after a while lapse into revulsion and dissociation (with women I feel completely at ease).
What I can’t figure out is whether this is nature (I’m really gay af and my attraction to men is an unhealthy eroticization of a power dynamic I’m trying to resolve) or nurture (I’m really bi but so traumatised I can’t stand being with men anymore). Both these stories ring so potentially true that I don’t know what to think. I’m getting mixed messages from friends too: some think I should write off men and focus on women, others think I should go with the flow. But the flow, for women under heteropatriarchy, often leads towards men, and I don’t think that’s what I want anymore, as flattered as I am by their attention at first. Is it wrong to decide against a sexual identity I’d held for my entire adult life and make the concerted effort required to date more queerly?
Oh friend friend FRIEND let me tell you about a woman whose story could be your story. Her name is Riese and she once wrote this piece of truth that came full-speed out of whatever screen it was read on and crashed like a train into the hearts of many, including mine. Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About My Sexual Orientation And Were(n’t) Afraid To Ask:
So, what am I? I identify as bisexual because my relationships with men were not lies and I think that’s what bisexuality means. I loved them/sex. I never felt I was repressing lesbian urges. I didn’t have secret crushes on my female friends. “Lesbian” seems like what I am but “bisexual” honors who I was, too — it wasn’t just a filling station from there to here, it was another highway altogether. I didn’t evolve, I changed. But that girl was real, too.
Because isn’t it murky, back there? My brain is a dark swamp of memory and nomenclature is a heavy book of abstractions. When you ask me to label you I tell you “you do you” because that’s what I tell myself. I’m just me. I have so many stories, so many little lives, that I can throw together a narrative to prove I’m just about anything in the world.
It isn’t wrong AT ALL to decide which things you’ll act on and which things you’ll stop doing. Riese likes to say she’s “bisexual by birth, lesbian by choice,” and maybe you would like to say that, too.
“i think i am biologically wired to be bisexual, but i choose to be a lesbian because i identify with lesbian culture and lesbian history and want to be in a world that is heavy on the ladies.” -riese bernard
I’m a 24-year-old grad student and after spending literally all of undergrad single and coming to terms with being bi, I finally feel ready to start dating. The issue is I’m not out to my (super religious, non-affirming) family and because I’m in school again, I’m sort of financially dependent on them. I am terrified of either being rejected by a potential partner because of this, or ending up in a relationship and burdening someone with my semi out the closet problems :( Part of me thinks it would be wiser to wait til I have it all figured out (i.e. after grad school), but a bigger part of me knows there’s no such thing as having it all figured out, plus I really want to date. I guess my question is, should I just wait? Has anyone ever dated someone/been in a relationship where one partner was out but not the other? How do you bring this up with a potential boo?
You can totally date and still be in the closet with your family! It’s such a pain in the ass, but you can do it and have fun and be a person and make another person happy, yes. There are so many reasons to stay in the closet for X amount of time and being financially dependent is one of the biggest ones. Practically speaking, I wouldn’t bring this up on like, the first date or even the fourth one? I just mean that it’s not the most important thing about you, so don’t make it out to be.
To reiterate what I’ve already said up there somewhere, you will always ALWAYS burden your person with something. There’s no getting out of that. I burden my person with my crushinggggg social anxiety and body issues, and she loves it! She burdens me with not putting the lid back on the orange juice all the way so that when I shake it in the morning it goes all over the place, and man alive I can’t get enough of it! Being with a person is necessarily burdening them with the full reality of you! Hahaha we have fun!
If you end up getting serious with someone, chances are huge and great that they’ll want you to come out to your family at some point, and to be honest you’ll want to come out to them too! And when you can, you should. And as long as you financially cannot, then you shannot. You’re not doing anything wrong here and you deserve to have fun and make weird faces at someone who cares about you. Get out there!
Hey Autostraddle! I’m a femme lesbian who has identified as such for the past 6 years. I’m confident in my orientation and am not interested in men, however before I came out there was one guy I had a serious relationship with. I was very much romantically in love with him, even if the physical component wasn’t satisfying. After having a series of casual relationships with women since coming out, I’m finally in a relationship with a woman I deeply love. However, I’ve really been missing the PDA component that I was able to have with my ex boyfriend. My current girlfriend and I live in a liberal city, but we’ve been harassed at restaurants and on the street when we’ve tried to do things like hold hands. Neither of us feel comfortable showing affection in public anymore (though I really admire those of you that do!). I know this is all because of the screwed up society we live in, but–and I know how messed up this is, trust me–there’s a part of me that sometimes feels like we’re not madly in love because we only really show it in private, and when we’re in public we just act like friends. I’d love having any help unpacking this. Thank you very much!
We’re all out here making adjustments in how we present ourselves in order to get across a specific story that we want the world to see, so don’t go thinking you’re doing something weird or bad or that what you’re doing is taking away from how much you and your person love each other. You’re making a lot of adjustments all over the place that you never even recognize because they don’t involve her and her heart. Your fear that this adjustment means you aren’t as in love is nothing but straight up HETERONORMATIVE PATRIARCHAL BULLSHIT, which you know. When you think that way, what you’re really saying is, “we’re not as in love as straight people” and just nope. Straight people don’t own being in love just because people leave them alone when they hold hands outside. Straight people just happen to live in a world that was made specifically and exclusively for them but listen, you live here too and so do I and we’re MADLY FUCKING IN LOVE. And we don’t have to do any of the same shit that straight people do in order for our love to mean something.
Think about all the things you do between yourselves when you’re out in public, like inside jokes, your own language, holding open the door, refilling her water bottle before you left AND PUTTING ICE IN IT, making eye contact when that song comes on, knowing you’re going to stop by that one place on your way home for that one thing without even talking about it. Who gives a shimmering self-righteous fuck what other people think they’re looking at when they see you together? You’re two girls in love and I see you.
I’ve been dating my current girlfriend for 3 years! I am SO in love with her. She is kind, funny, cute and makes me feel safe, supported and loved unconditionally!
However, before we dated I had never been a serious and committed relationship. I had always been one to form deep friendships (most of them with women). Do you ever feel like the world is conspiring to bring people in to your life? Like there are people you were simply made for and when you find them it gives you little butterflies? I love flirting with friends and falling in love with someone in deeply intimate but platonic ways.
This being said, since I’ve been in a relationship I find myself feeling guilty about new friendships with women. Because of this guilt I find myself drawn in to a lot of friendships with gay men because I don’t feel like I’m in danger of crossing any lines. We can talk intimately and it doesn’t feel like flirting. Or it is flirting, but we all know nothing will come out of it. BUT I really really miss women. I want to feel comfortable holding hands with my female friends and kissing their cheeks and resting my head on their shoulders and not feel like I’m crossing a boundary. Is this weird?? What is happening here?? Please help!!
This is not weird! You’re an affectionate person with a whole lotta love to give and you’ve been bottling it up for a few years and you want to set it free and that’s GREAT. Talk to your girlfriend! Talk talk talk it out. Talk about how you like being physically affectionate, why you need it, what kind of boundaries you would both be comfortable with. It may be that she doesn’t feel comfortable with any of this, and then you’ll go to a couple’s therapist so that someone else can hear both of you out and be like “oh I see what’s happening here.” Don’t go to just one therapist, though. Try out a few of them. I know a person who went to a couple’s therapist with her gaslighting abusive girlfriend and that girlfriend was SO GOOD at manipulating people she even managed to manipulate the therapist, which supremely fucked with my dear friend’s whole sense of reality. That therapist was shit. Make sure you find someone who is fair to both of you and doesn’t put all of the blame/change/work on one person in the relationship.
I feel like some advice-givers would tell you to look deep within yourself and figure out why you need this kind of flirty physical connection to so many people, but I’m not gonna do that because that’s what the therapist is for.
Oh also you might want to try polyamory wheeeee! I hear that’s a thing. Polyamory doesn’t always have to be about sex I think! Every polyam relationship is unique and wild like a river.
Hi Autostraddle people! I’m honestly drunk rn, but there is this girl that I like that I’ve seen around a bit and chatted with (I go to college) and I want to know how to “make a move” or figure out if she likes me or make anything happen yaknow? I am just trying to embrace 20gayteen but it’s hard to just communicate your feelings and figure this out for the first time. Any advice, esp for college parties would be appreciated.
GREETINGS, COLLEGE PERSON. I’m older than you and never went to college parties, so I’m leaving this to the experts: other readers! I will say that I went to many, many drinky house parties and found that a lot of my flirting could be accomplished during a game of cards and I would change the song to something very specific and pointed and then make DIRECT EYE CONTACT with the person and then suggest we go for a smoke break. But to be fair, boys are super easy when it comes to shit like this. So, again! I leave you in the hands of our readers.
My girlfriend and I have been dating for almost 9 months. We are both each other’s first relationship, and we’ve both never had sex. She thought for a long time that she was asexual and is now only realizing that she isn’t and has told me that she is sexually attracted to me. However, she’s told me she’s terrified of the idea of having sex and can’t or won’t articulate why. I, on the other hand, value sex a lot and really want to do it with her. I’ve brought it up a few times, but briefly and vaguely as taking about it makes me uncomfortable. I want to have an honest conversation with her about her feelings and what I can expect, but I don’t want to make her feel pressured. I feel like I’ve brought up the idea too frequently lately and I don’t want to scare her. I really want to have sex, and I’m not sure what’s holding her back, as we’ve been very close to doing it and she is comfortable talking about sex when it comes to other people. The only thing I can think is that she is insecure about her body (as she had an eating disorder in the past) or confused about her changing sexuality? I completely respect her decision, but I want to understand what I can expect from her sex-wise. What should I do?
She’s terrified of the idea of having sex and you’re uncomfortable talking about, so both of those things have to be met with some compassion but ultimately the only way to get to the center of this is to talk about the idea of having sex! Just take the bull by the horns here and say the things. Here I have made a script for you using some of your own words:
Hello, impossibly cute and wonderful girlfriend. I feel like I’ve brought this up too frequently lately but it’s very important to me, as is respecting your boundaries and feelings! So you can see where this is touchy and uncomfortable to bring up, but bring it up I must! I’m talking about sex! Specifically the sex I’d like to have with you! You’re sexually attracted to me, and I to you, and we’re both kinda freaked out and we’re bringing our own baggage to this table and I think we should dump that baggage out and go through it and take stock of it all, then let’s be honest about what we’d like to do! I value sex a lot, and I also value YOU a lot and this might be awkward but it’s important to me that we explore it in some way. Look I found this 7 page worksheet on Autostraddle dot com (via here btw). Do you want a smoothie or some crackers while I’m up to go grab some pens for us? COOL.
There are zillions of articles, books, etc. out there telling me it’s okay to be single and I should just be comfortable with myself, by myself. However, I have come to a point in my life (college student in sophomore year) where I want a serious romantic relationship. “Oh, but you should just love yourself, you don’t need anybody else!” … Yeah, I know that. I do love myself. I WANT a romantic relationship, I don’t NEED it. I’ve gotten myself an OkCupid account, but haven’t had any success. All of the queer ladies I know in person are either happily single, taken, or hostile. So that leaves the queer ladies I don’t know I suppose. Any words of wisdom for this lonely lesbian looking for love?
Hostile! Ohhhhh bless us all.
My words of wisdom are KEEP LOOKING FOR LOVE. Never fucking ever ever stop until you find it. If anyone tells you you don’t need anyone else and should just love yourself, that person is not on your level. Your level is Looking for Love and I believe in you. I believe you won’t put this search above your own health and sanity and professional goals. I believe you won’t gauge you self-worth based on the outcome of this search. I believe you have the sense of humor and honesty to sustain a person on a search of this caliber.
I BELIEVE IN YOU.
(Have you tried Bumble, Her, Tinder, Autostraddle meetups, trivia nights [why am I obsessed with sending y’all to trivia nights IDK], volunteering at everyone’s fave pickup spot The Local Animal Shelter, etc?)