I’ve been thinking about my sexuality lately. Not in a “must figure this out” kind of way, more in a rambling kind of experimental way. Due to circumstances, I can date whoever I want right now, and I’m in an environment where I can experiment. That lends itself to musing thoughts and possibly new situations.
For a while now, I’ve considered myself to be “heteroflexible:” not fully straight but not quite in the realm of bisexual. Lately, I’ve been reevaluating that decision — is calling myself heteroflexible a way to “fit in” and be “more straight” or is it really the best definition for me? Because under some definitions I’ve been hearing lately, maybe I should really consider myself bisexual.
I had fantasies of girls around puberty and didn’t think much of it. (I was more concerned that they were BDSM oriented than anything else…but that deserves an entirely different post.) The interesting thing about those fantasies is that many of them still included a guy and a girl — it was just that I was the guy instead of the girl. But I don’t consider myself gender fluid, although I can understand the concept, so should I consider myself bi?
By the end of high school and early college, most of my early fantasies were relegated to the filing cabinet in my mind and I had a new set of fantasies that were almost exclusively heterosexual. (BDSM stuck around though.) And yet I knew that I was capable of being attracted to girls. That’s when I heard the term heteroflexible for the first time and thought, yeah, I think that defines me.
Because while I could see myself kissing girls, I couldn’t see myself having a romantic relationship with a girl. The element of lust, or sexual love, was there, but romantic love didn’t seem to appear.
Then towards the end of college I started actually being attracted to girls occassionally, in a way that I had to either pay attention or ignore it. Since I wasn’t a very forward person, if I was attracted to a stranger I tended to ignore it — for boys and girls. But I was also occassionally attracted to a couple friends of mine. For the boy, we ended up gettting into a relationship, but for the girls, I pushed it to the side and ignored it. Because for the girls, I was already becoming best friends with them, and I wanted to stay best friends and keep them in that box, instead of turning it into a relationship, if that option was even available.
But then the question remains — am I really incapable of having a romantic relationship with a girl? Platonic love and romantic love are not the same thing, but can you turn one into the other? I’m very good at boxing up my mind, and making my brain create boundaries where there might otherwise be none. Could I have been creating a false definition all along, one where I just don’t want to see what the possibilities could be?
When I think about it abstractly, with random people I don’t know, it’s easy to say that I’m sexually attracted to girls but sexually and romantically attracted to boys. I’ve definitely fallen in love with boys, but I don’t see myself doing so with girls. But when I think about it with people I know, I wonder if I could have fallen in love with one of my friends, rather than just becoming best friends. But if I could have, wouldn’t I have done so? I don’t think you can really stop such a thing from happening, as long as the connection is there.
And that’s the crux of the matter. Because I don’t feel comfortable calling myself bisexual if I don’t think I can have what I consider to be a full romantic/sexual relationship with both girls and boys. Even if I’m less often attracted to girls, and more often attracted to boys, the option for a full relationship with girls must be a possibility for me to consider myself bi. If I can have a full relationship with boys, but only a partial relationship with girls, then I’ll stick with heteroflexible.
(Followup post: Heteroflexible vs Bisexual)