bisexual

"Coming Out" Without a Label

Am I bisexual? A question I sat with and ruminated over for months. Coming out, for some, is easier, because they just know. For others—myself included—it takes time, because they don’t know.

All I knew was that the attraction was there, but I didn’t know how far that attraction went. I kissed women in the past, but kissing a woman is one thing, exploring her body is a whole other thing.

In October of 2017 I had my first experience with a woman. Instantly, it became clear to me that it wasn’t just admiration, it was more.

But here’s the catch...

Three months passed by, and at this point, I knew I loved being with women (I was even in polyamorous relationship with one), but I was uncertain about what that meant.

Does this make me bi? Could I be something other than bi? Would I be with a woman romantically, if a man wasn’t involved? WHAT THE FUCK DO I IDENTIFY AS?

I felt overwhelmingly frustrated and bemused which equated to hiding it. I didn’t talk about my experiences...or my girlfriend.

It wasn’t due to shame, it was more or so that I didn’t feel comfortable claiming a label....yet. And I knew if I did talk about it, people would ask, “So are you bi?!?!” “Are you gay?!?” “WHAT ARE YOU?!?!”

I didn’t want to be pried with questions I didn’t have the answers too. So, I avoided it all together.

My then-partners told me something extremely helpful and it made my “coming out” process a hell of a lot easier:

You don’t need a label in order to “come out” or to talk about the things that make you happy. People want black and white answers, but it isn’t your job to give it to them.

So, for awhile, it was just, “I’m Devon and I like both men and women.” If they asked for more, I just said, “I don’t know.”

^^ and there’s nothing wrong with that answer.

We get so wrapped up in labels and identities, which can create unnecessary stress, pressure, and removes the joy from the freedom of expression.

Don’t let labels or meanings keep you from exploring your sexuality. You’re YOU. And whatever you do doesn’t have to mean anything.

You’re more than welcome to claim a label...WHEN and IF it feels right, but you’re not obligated to take that on ⚡

What I Learned From an Open Relationship

𝐖𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐈 𝐥𝐞𝐚𝐫𝐧𝐞𝐝 𝐰𝐡𝐞𝐧 𝐈 𝐰𝐚𝐬 𝐢𝐧 𝐚 𝐧𝐨𝐧-𝐦𝐨𝐧𝐨𝐠𝐚𝐦𝐨𝐮𝐬, 𝐩𝐨𝐥𝐲𝐚𝐦𝐨𝐫𝐨𝐮𝐬 𝐫𝐞𝐥𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐬𝐡𝐢𝐩:

If your partner loves someone else, it 𝘫𝘶𝘴𝘵 means they love them, too. If you’re partner finds someone else attractive, it 𝘫𝘶𝘴𝘵 means they find them attractive, too. It doesn’t detract from the love they have for you or the beauty they see in you.

Love is expansive. You can love multiple people.

ALL your insecurities will bubble up to the surface. You’ll even become aware of insecurities you never knew existed. Being in an open relationship doesn’t mean you’re immune to jealousy or you’re less susceptible to feeling it. It will come up, even when you least expect it. It’s inevitable.

^^ When insecurities or jealousy arises, it’s important never to judge, but seek to understand. Examine the external situation causing it, and identify the internal emotions triggering it. Dismantling these feelings will allow you to have a greater understanding of yourself.

Being jealous or insecure does not make you a jealous or insecure person. It means you’re a human, having a normal emotional experience.

You must let go of the need to control the outcome and accept all possibilities.

It’s work. A tremendous amount of work. It’s easy to get lost in the glamor of it all—the sex, the multiple connections, the novelty you can frequently experience. But let me assure you, shit ain’t easy. It’s a lot to manage, and requires so much bandwidth.

It will lovingly force you to dive a little deeper into cultivating more self assurance, more self awareness, and more self confidence. It will demand you to vocalize your needs, have difficult conversations, declare boundaries, and effectively communicate. It’ll remind you to stop trivializing your feelings in order to please someone else, because the way you feel is just as important. It will ask you to neglect beliefs no longer serving you or your partners.

Ultimately, for me, this relationship paved my path to a road full of self discovery and growth. And I’m utterly grateful for the valuable and crucial lessons this set up brought me.

Devi

What Happened When I Entered a Polyamorous Relationship

In January of 2018, I started dating not one, but two people. I entered into a polyamorous relationship with an established couple. We became what’s a triad: a configuration in which all three of us were dating each other, equally.

The relationship was unconventional, and beautiful, and challenging. But I loved it, even the messiness of it. I loved it so much, I decided to pack my bags in Ohio—the place I lived since the day I was born—to move to NYC to live with them.

That decision set off a cascade of events. There was almost never a humdrum moment. Some of it was joyful. Some of it was painful. All of it was awakening.

I really didn’t know what I was getting into, but, I mean...do we ever? 🤷‍♀️

It worked for awhile. And then it didn’t. One person left. And then there were two. That worked awhile. And then it didn’t.

I often credit NYC for breaking me open—and don’t get me wrong, it did. But, fuck, these two people broke me open in more ways than anything in my life ever has.

When I reflect back on how I’ve changed this past year, those changes all track back to them and my decision to be with them. They were highlight and very much the center of my 2018.

They pushed me in ways I needed, including the ones I wasn’t aware I needed. They loved me so much, it made ME love me so much. They showed me the world with a different lens. And through that lens, I saw things more clearly and with greater understanding. It brought questions. And lessons. It stretched me. It transformed me.

Devon then compared to Devon now isn’t remotely the same.

She’s smarter. She’s braver. She’s stronger. She’s bisexual. She’s monoga-mish. She’s sluttier (but with strong boundaries). She’s unapologetic. She’s weirder. She’s sillier. She’s louder.

She knows what she wants and asks for it, even when trepidation sits inside her. She operates from her own agency, standing powerfully in her autonomy.

She’s shifted into an entirely new way of being—something brighter.

And so much more herself.

And fuck, she is ever grateful. I’m grateful for them and everything they brought. 2018 was a was a life altering experience and a year I’ll never forget.

Thank you 2018. I’m ready to harness this potent power, this magic, this new way of being in 2019.

Happy New Year.

Love,

Devi

Bisexuality - My Story.

It’s not unusual for anyone to look at an attractive person and recognize that individual is objectively beautiful. But there’s always been so much more to it wrapped up in that admission for me.

For a while, as I struggled with my eating disorder, admiration was colored with jealousy from a lack of self-esteem. Acknowledging another woman’s beauty in some way diminished my own: she was prettier, thinner, sexier, whatever-er. The negative self-talk hid a lot of things.

Coming to love my body changed everything for me. I no longer spent energy hating myself, I could focus it on discovering myself.

I began to accept and love who I am in other ways. Including my sexuality. Once I stopped hating myself for the way I looked, it was easier to simply appreciate another woman’s beauty instead letting it detract from how I felt about myself.

Accepting your sexuality is different for everyone. For some, it’s always been obvious. For others, it’s a process, one of both development and discovery.

For me, once the veil of *something* had been lifted and I no longer viewed other woman with jealousy, I realized I was looking at them with something else. And that I had always looked at them that way; I just didn’t allow myself to see it.

“Wow, she’s gorgeous.” I was saying the same words as my friends if we were looking at the same woman. But I became more and more aware that for me, it meant something very different. It was more than admiration or objective analysis.

I wasn’t just seeing that she was beautiful—I was seeing that she was beautiful and I wanted her. Wanted to talk to her, to flirt with her, to kiss her. When I looked at certain women, I felt all the things: the butterflies, the nervousness, the beautiful trepidation that comes with any crush. Whatever magic comes into being whenever you realize you like someone, want someone—I was feeling that with women.

Yet it was a feeling I shut off and shoved down for the longest time. Part of this was the eating disorder, and the way viewing myself through its lens forced me to view other people.

But there was more to it, so much more. Like so many of us, I thought it was wrong. Not necessarily wrong in the absolute sense. But for me. Wrong for me to feel it, to want it, to want to feel it. And especially to express it.

I was influenced by my Catholic upbringing, and while I wasn’t exposed to what you’d call overt homophobia, I was being convinced to think that ALL of my sexual urges were wrong. That I should want to be with just one person, one man—for the purpose of getting married and having children.

Contrasted with this, I had an experience watching a same-sex relationships. After my mothers divorce, my mother began dating a woman. In our conversations during that time, though she never referred to herself as bi/queer/pansexual etc, she revealed to me that she’d had other relationships with women throughout her life. While that should have in some way made it easier for me to accept and declare my own sexual identity, it had the opposite effect. My mother’s relationship with her then-girlfriend—the first same-sex relationship I’d ever really experienced up-close—was incredibly toxic.

Witnessing this had it’s own effect on me, but there were other factors: my biological father criticized her for it constantly, implying the relationship itself was wrong, and that the wrongness of it explained the toxic relationship.

A clear picture was being painted for me. I internalized it, and subconsciously came to believe being with a woman was wrong, inappropriate, and difficult.

These beliefs lasted a long time, and guided some of my actions, at least in that they prevented me from exploring in ways that were desirable.

Owning my sexuality in a powerful way—abandoning negative attachments to words like “slut” or what it means to have a certain number of sexual partners—was liberating in so many ways. Being able to enjoy sex and not judge myself for wanting to be with more than one person was a learned practice. As I got better at it, being comfortable with myself in one sexual context allowed me to carry this comfort and confidence to another: my interest in women.

My fantasies about threesomes began to focus more on what it would be like to be with a woman, rather than what it would be like to be one of two women with a man. And so on.

By 2017, I was at a place in my life where I was actively working through childhood trauma, unpacking beliefs I had, and learning let go of an image that society wanted me to be.

All of which led me to meeting and creating absolutely beautiful friendships. I was surrounded by people who supported me, accepted me, and made me feel comfortable with exploring this piece of my sexuality.

From there, it was a matter of time before I was not only accepting of my interest in women, but ready to explore.

Through Instagram, I connected with someone, a man whose work I’d admired for years. To put it bluntly: I slid into his DMs. We developed a (mostly) professional dialogue, and when the opportunity presented itself to go to a seminar he was speaking at in NYC, I jumped at the chance.

Before I booked my flight, he said that he wanted to be clear and that he was enjoying developing our friendship, but currently had no desires or expectations beyond that. I’d had a crush on him for years, but agreed that keeping it professional was best.

At this point, he revealed two things to me: firstly, that he had a partner with whom he was completely in love; and secondly, that they were polyamorous and the relationship was open.

My weekend in New York was amazing. They were kind and generous, we had fun and built a strong connection.

For the next few months, I visited them and learned more about their relationship, about polyamory, and about sexuality.

The woman in the relationship, was (is) amazing in every way. My crush on her was instant. By the time I met her she was openly bisexual, but it turned out that she’d had an upbringing very similar to my own. The Catholicism, coupled with having been raised in the south, led her to shut off or ignore her desires. For a long while, she felt intense discomfort with the idea of exploring with women. And because we related on that level it made it even easier for me. I felt like it was okay that I had all these feelings, like I wasn’t the only one who went through this and dealt with this.

Shortly after meeting these two, things ended with the person I’d been dating. The rest is reasonably predictable: the attraction between us had grown, as had the comfort, and I had my first sexual experience with a woman and my first threesome in the same evening.

That woman became my girlfriend and that man became my boyfriend. And I learned more about myself in that relationship than I ever thought possible.

I interpret my sexual identity as bisexual, but I’m aware that may expand to something else as I continue to explore myself. And where that once would have filled me with fear and shame, now there is only excitement and curiosity.

I want to end this by letting any of you who are struggling with their sexual identity: it’s okay that it’s scary and uncomfortable and troubling. But you are not alone and there is a community of people out there who are willing to help you work through it.

XX

Devi

Coming Out As BiSexual - Becca's Story

Just like any other day, I was mindlessly swiping through Bumble, except on this particularly day, someone caught my attention. A beautiful soul named Becca had sent me a message and I was immediately drawn to her - not just because she's beautiful, but because of the conversation we exchanged. We talked about bisexuality, polyamory, and non-monogamy - all things I was new or open to exploring and it felt great to discuss it with someone who shared common ground.

Exploring your sexuality can be absolutely fucking terrifying.  I want to do my part by bringing more awareness in hope that it can help others experience ease and comfort through their exploration.

I am thrilled to put the spotlight on Becca today as she shares her truth and story about coming out as bisexual.

 

When did you realize you were sexually attracted to women?

I realized I was attracted to women around my freshman year of high school. I can’t remember how it occurred to me or if I saw a particular woman that made that part of me “click," but I know it didn’t happen until I was about 15 years old.

 

Was it hard to come out?

It has not been super difficult with those I opened up to, but I won’t lie, not everyone knows yet - including both of my parents.

I recently wrote a blog post talking about my sexual orientation and "coming out" because I felt it was easier to write than it was to put in words. And despite the fact that most of my family members are still kept in the dark, I willing shared the post to Facebook. Right when I posted it, I couldn't help but hide the post from my parents. Part of me realizes that their opinion does not matter and I also don't even think they would be upset...but I just have not felt ready to address it with them yet, and you know what? That's okay.

 

Have you faced any negative judgement? If so, how did it make you feel and how did you handle it?

Fortunately, I haven’t faced much scrutiny. I think part of that has to do with the fact that I've always had boyfriends and haven't publicly been with women.

But, a frequent thing I hear is that bisexuals are merely "fetishizing" the same sex, and that we don't actually find ourselves romantically interested in them - this really bothers me.

If you date a woman, you are lesbian. If you date a man, you are straight. People want black and white answers and they have a hard time understanding that you can be bisexual while just dating a man or just dating a women.

It is frustrating when someone tries to tell you that your feelings are wrong and certainly isn't fair because no one has the right to take your feelings away from you. No one can tell you how you feel - only you know how you feel. And in my own experience, I have been sexually and romantically interested in both genders. Sometimes it's just one of those feelings and sometimes it's both. It changes, but it's never wrong.

 

Do you identify as bisexual?

I do identify as bisexual. For the longest time, I told myself there wasn’t enough evidence nor did I have enough experience to say that I was. But, I have since grown to understand that there is no specific definition I need to follow. I like men and I like women, regardless of who I’ve been with and who I am with now.

 

Knowing that you are engaged, how does your fiance feel about you exploring your sexuality with women?

He has been very supportive of my exploration in women. I told him from the beginning that it was something I was interested in and he was completely open to the idea of letting me experience that. The reason this is entirely possible is because we have a great communication skills with each other. We communicate our needs,  yet set clear boundaries so that we both feel safe in the relationship.

 

Have you always felt confident in your sexuality? If not, how did you get there?

It’s been a process, but in the last few months, I have become more accepting and comfortable with owning my sexuality. I realized that it is just as factual as the color of my hair. It’s not an extension of me - this mega-secret that no one should know. It’s just a factual piece of information. I have green eyes. I love wine. I sleep a lot. I like women and I like men, too. That's it - there is no hidden or negative meaning behind it.

 

What is one thing you have done that has helped you feel more confident in your body during intimate moments with your partner?

Intimacy has always been a struggling of mine, but there have been a few things I've put into practice that has allowed things to flow easier for me.

The first being that I prefer encounters start slower rather than rushed. I like to feel physically connected not only with my partner but with myself.

The second being that I feel sexiest if I am fresh and moisturized while wearing my silk robe. I also find that aroma therapy with scents of rose petals and lavender helps get me in the mood.

The last is that I feel most confident if I am direct and honest with my wants and needs.

 

What advice would you give to someone who is curious, but feels shameful about exploring their sexuality?

I say just go for it. If you want to try it, try it! With that said, I think it's important to factor in two major things:

The first, it's still sex so practice safe sex. The second, when you are figuring out your sexuality, feelings can still get hurt.

It is always important to remember that no matter what you’re doing or who you’re doing it with, it is crucial to be open and honest so that clear intentions are set. Be upfront and be truthful - even when it's difficult. But most importantly, have some fucking fun.


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Becca is a 23 year old from Columbus, OH. She has always had an interest in psychology, especially with adolescence.

When she isn’t watching a crime series, you can find her singing around the kitchen cooking dinner and online shopping. Becca enjoys wine nights, makeup, and time to cuddle with her kitten.

Instagram: @labeeuhtriixx

Blog: https://wordsthoughtsstuff.wordpress.com/