J&J Chats: Bisexual or lesbian? Plus sexism.

The title reads, J and J chats, bisexual or lesbian? plus sexism.

Anonymous advice-seeker questions their identity and wonders if their thoughts about men are sexist. (Read all chats here.)

We are back with a J&J Chats! In this series, Jas and I provide our best attempt at advice. To submit a J&J Chat request, become a patron for $2/month. Or, you can submit an anonymous request on Curious Cat, which we may publish in this series.

Question: I think I might be bisexual but I might be lesbian. Is it sexist to say that I don’t see myself having day to day conversations with a guy like I do with a girl? Because when I think about being with a guy I can’t imagine the in between stuff like talking and watching movies and cuddling up, but with a girl I can picture all that? Like, when I think about a relationship with a guy I think it would be boring? I don’t know if I’m sexist in thinking that a guy can’t be fun in those same ways or that a guys conversations are more boring? Please help cause I need to change my mindset if it is in any way sexist.

Jess: First impressions?

Jas: I can totally see why they think they’re being sexist.

Jess: You can?

Jas: Yeah, because you see on Twitter a lot, there’s people like, “Ew, I can’t even talk to a man for five seconds,” and all this about men being boring—and to be fair it’s true [laughs]. But that circling around all the time is going to make you think, oh yeah maybe men are boring and stupid and I don’t want to talk to them.

Jess: But is this person sexist for finding the in-betweens of dating men boring?

Jas: I don’t think they’re sexist, but I can see why they think they are being sexist by thinking that.

Jess: Okay. I think that’s probably a very much of a Twitter mindset, to think you’re sexist for having “meh” feelings about a man. When I read this question, it was so weird to me to see that the actual main question here is “is it sexist to think this?” Whereas, at the beginning, the question was “am I bisexual or a lesbian?” and it’s like, what’s the real question here? Are you asking if you’re bisexual? Or are you asking if you’re sexist? I feel like there’s one that is clearly more important than the other, but for some reason the emphasis is on the sexism.

Jess: When I read this, I automatically think this person is younger. Not because they aren’t sure about their identity, but because they’re very careful about how people perceive their inner thoughts by not wanting to come off as sexist.

Jas: They may be younger with the sense of caring about what other people think.

Jess: Very much care about what people think and might feel like Twitter is some kind of ethical battleground. Not that that’s wrong—because I buy into that thinking sometimes too and get swayed into thinking something is concrete right or wrong like black and white only.

Jas: Oh, I do that 100%.

Jess: You also have BPD, so it’s a little different. But, just to answer that part of the question: No. No, I don’t think this is sexism.

Jas: In regards to the sexuality labels, we can’t really answer that.

Jess: We can’t answer that; that’s something you’re just going to have to keep finding on your own.

Jas: I think exploring it and researching is what’s important. And that doesn’t have to be like “oh, go find a man and see how you feel,” you know. You could, you know, porn?

Jess: Porn???

Jas: Porn.

Jess: Okay, don’t listen to that advice.

Jas: What? Why not!?

Jess: What? Did watching heterosexual porn make you realize you were a lesbian?

Jas: No, I don’t know. Like, watch gay men having sex?

Jess: Watch gay men having sex? This person is asking if they are bi or a lesbian!

Jas: I know, but if you’re attracted to men, you’re going to be turned on by the sound of moaning men. That’s what I mean.

Jess: Oh, okay oh that makes sense, actually. So, okay. The thing here is that Jas and I both started identifying as bisexual and later realized we were lesbians. So, if this is kind of where you are at right now (I don’t know what kind of ID you use on a day-to-day basis, but if you’re thinking you’re attracted to men and women, which is kind of implied in this submission, then you’re probably using the bi label right now, if you’re using a label at all.) If you’re thinking you could be a lesbian after thinking you’re attracted to more than one gender, I would recommend reading (I don’t mean to self-promo), but I recommend reading my identity journey, just because I started with the bi label, and the journey explains how I realized that I wasn’t. And I guess this isn’t something I ever noted in the series, but I guess porn is part of it. In the past, I had watched heterosexual porn, and then just stopped and realized it wasn’t helpful in any way.

Jas: Yeah, I just found it like, 1. Very cringey. And 2. Very much more focused on the female.

Jess: Yeah. So, that could be a signal for you. Another thing is just feeling like the percentage of male attraction is just extremely low. Like my preference for women was always very prominent and I recognized that for sure. I was attracted to every women I saw, every woman I talked to, every women I interacted with, and to like, justify me being bi, I would be like “I remember that one crush I had on a boy in high school” which was like, 5 years ago. So, if you’re having thoughts like that, I’m not going to say you’re not bi, but you just might want to consider your attractions. Are you actually attracted to these men? Or is it something that happens as a compulsive reaction to society’s norms?

Jas: And I feel like for me, the only way I got through that was, “will I have sex with a man?” I could’ve had a relationship with a man—maybe—but I could’ve never had sex with a man. That’s literally how I discussed it in my head. Like, “No! That makes me feel EH!” I thought maybe I could have a romantic relationship with a man then, but I could’ve never had sex with one.

Jess: See, and looking back at this question, it almost seems like, they’re experiencing this, but flip-flopped. They don’t talk about sex at all, but they talk about not seeing themselves with the man in the “in betweens,” like having conversations, and that’s more of the romantic stuff. So maybe they have had sex with men and think about having sex with men, but they just are not romantically attracted to them. That kind of gets down into the romantic and sexual split attraction model. So that’s another thing you can look into, is breaking down whether or not you are sexually attracted to men, women, other genders, and whether or not you are romantically attracted to men, women, other genders.

Jas: And I guess sometimes TV shows help too. Because if you’re watching a show with lesbians or bis, and you start relating to a certain character more. Like if you are relating to some characters’ sexuality and coming-out arcs more if they are bisexual or lesbian?

Jess: Yeah, that can also help. I also think it might help to hear other people’s stories. I think it can be hard to find these stories, especially a balance of that too. I don’t think I have any friends who thought they were a lesbian and later realized they were bi?

Jas: Yeah, me neither.

Jess: I hear more about lesbians first IDing as bi. Although, our friend Steph, went through a period being attracted to women, and later realizing he was bi. He wrote a guest post on his bisexuality for AL&HL before, so you can read that story. His story is more complex because it involves gender identity, but the post focuses on being attracted to exclusively women and later realizing he was attracted to other genders too.

Jas: Yeah, so reading about others’ stories can also be helpful.

Jess: Actually, I think there were some other posts related to this, about women thinking they were lesbians and later realizing they’re bisexual. (Post 1 | Post 2).

Jas: Honestly, I just think it’s looking through the blog posts. And not just Jess’, but stories in general about coming out and identity journeys, just so see how they can vary.

Jess: Exactly. And before we conclude, I want to go back to the split attraction model. So, if you are sexually attracted to both men and women, and just not having these romantic attractions to men, which is kind of what it sounds like in here, that split attraction would look like “homoromantic bisexual.” And I don’t know you’re familiar with this model, but I don’t think a lot of people use it like they use “bisexual” or “lesbian.” I’ve had a lot of friends with whom I’ve had personal discussions with who will clarify their attraction with the split model, which is something I’ve done too. Especially when I was becoming disassociated with the bisexual label and more aligned with the lesbian label. I thought “I’m going to make this as specific as possible because I don’t feel like I fit in either label right now.” So, like, use those labels to describe your attraction if you want to. But also know that I don’t think a lot of people use them on a day-to-day basis.

Jas: It seems to be more like if people ask for specifics, or for yourself to know how you categorize your own attraction. Most people don’t just introduce themselves using the split attraction model.

Jess: Yeah, because you’ll still be bisexual if you’re a homoromantic bisexual, but it’s an add-on identifier.

To summarize: We can’t tell you what your identity is, but reading others’ stories may help you figure it out, and not feeling romantically attracted to men is not sexism.

If you enjoyed this post or found it helpful, consider donating $3 to the blog’s Ko-Fi page. To submit your own J&J Chat request, become a patron for $2/month (which comes with other fun perks!). You may also submit a J&J Chat request to Curious Cat, but there is not a guarantee for publication.

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