Features

Love and sex looks different for everyone, but that’s why it so great. Illustration: Sarah Pixie.

A personal essay on how love and sex look as a bisexual person

Love and relationships can be confusing, let’s face it. Whether you’ve only experienced friendship or have dated six people in the last month, we all know that relationships take effort and can leave us questioning the most integral parts of ourselves.

Sex is no different. There are endless ideas from media about what sex should entail and who it should be done with, ideas we’ve been absorbing since we were able to read, or even earlier. Then we get drilled with the idea that sex is dangerous in school. It’s no wonder that so many teenagers and young adults are confused about what the birds and the bees are really all about.

For some of us, we also experience the confusion of sexuality from a young age, and figuring out where you land on the sexuality spectrum can be the most difficult experience of all.

Being a bisexual woman has given me the ability to be a part of both same-sex and different-sex relationships. Although I don’t have nearly all the answers, I hope my experiences can help to guide you through the maze that is love and sex.

Virginity

For some of us, losing your virginity is sacred. For others, it’s just plain old sex. No matter when you decide to do it, everyone seems to have an idea about what “counts” as losing your virginity.

When I was in high school it seemed that everyone just assumed losing your virginity meant a boy and girl having penetrative sex. So when I shared that I lost my virginity to a girl, most of my peers stood there with one question: “How?”

I don’t blame them. Almost everyone is confused about their first time. But if I was so sure about my experience, why was there still doubt? But I realized that most of my friends were straight and probably had never thought about different forms of sex and how individuals in the LGBTQ+ community have it.

When you are bi, from my experience, it can be easy to fall into the trap of believing that you have to lose your virginity with a boy for it to count, since you are attracted to boys and girls. And when you are gay it can feel like society will never truly accept that you have lost your virginity because it doesn’t hit the checklist of including penetration or the opposite gender.

Losing my “boy virginity” and “girl virginity,” as I refer to it, has shown me that the genitals really don’t matter. What does is the intimacy you feel with that person. Whether you count sex as a kinky threeway or a make-out session, you are valid in that belief: No one can tell you what losing your virginity means except for you.

Falling in love

What does love look like? Thanks to TV and movies, growing up I always saw love as a man and a woman getting married and having children. As most of us know, things are much different in the real world. But how do we possibly figure out what kind of love we desire when the majority of us have only been exposed to heterosexual monogamous relationships?

I grew up having so many feelings towards girls in addition to boys, but since liking boys was the “norm,” I went with it. It wasn’t until I was almost 15 that I knew exactly what “bisexual” meant.

Even if you have been confident in your sexuality your whole life, curiosity can always slip in. The point is, this is anything but a bad thing. Being curious and accepting the spectrum that sexuality is is one of the most beautiful things anyone can realize. I believe that experiences and trying new things are the best ways to figure out what works for you and what you actually enjoy.

Do the things that you’re interested in, even if you’re scared to try. Get to know yourself first. No matter what sexuality you identify with, you can follow RuPaul’s iconic advice which I wholeheartedly believe: “If you can’t love yourself, how in the hell you gonna love somebody else?”

Romantic relationships

Once you’ve figured yourself out, it is also important to never stop educating yourself about all the different types of love that exist outside of the love you know.

If you are straight and have never experimented with the same sex, you are probably wondering how same-sex relationships work. Being bisexual and trying to figure out my sexuality in my teens exposed me to both same-sex and different-sex relationships.

When I dated girls I often felt more comfortable with them simply because we were both women, usually facing a lot of the same struggles so we could relate to each other and bond on a new level. When dating boys I usually felt more sexually attracted than romantically attracted and it took me longer to develop serious feelings for males. But this is just my experience.

That is the beauty of human uniqueness. We all have different experiences with different people. Although I thought I could never seriously fall for a man as hard as I have for a woman, I found a man who I love more than anyone I have before.

No matter where you fall on the romantic or sexual spectrum with your sexuality, we all have new experiences with each new person we meet. I don’t believe all gay relationships are the same or that all straight relationships are the same because every single relationship is different.

So if you feel like you are out of luck with love, never stop trying. Focus on a person for who they are, not what’s in their pants, and you may open new doors to love you could never have imagined.

Sexual Relationships

It’s no secret that being in university allows for many sexual opportunities. The key things to remember (which should be common knowledge) are consent and safe sex, which means checking in with yourself and your partner and using necessary protection.

Sex is an amazing thing, but just like relationships, it won’t be amazing until you truly know what you enjoy first. Don’t be scared of masturbation or porn, which are great ways to figure out what gets you off, and you will have incredible sexual experiences with others.

If you are straight and just want to experiment, go for it! Every sexual act you perform does not determine your sexuality; sexuality is fluid and you can develop new feelings and learn something new about yourself every day.

If you are LGBTQ+ and are stuck in the idea that sex for you and your partner has to look a certain way, you are denying yourself so many experiences. Not all gay women scissor, not all gay men have anal sex, and not all straight people have penetrative sex. Try to remove the label that society has set for you and begin to explore other options.

You may be scared about what others think about your sex life (I know I was).

To those who are ignorant, all I can say is that sex is unique for every couple. What others may like could be completely opposite to what you do, and that’s okay. We all need to start being more comfortable with the fact that everyone is different and what they do in the bedroom really doesn’t affect us.

Whether you’re straight, gay, bi, trans, pan or anything and everything in between, you are special and deserve to have the best romantic and sexual relationships possible.