Bi curious girl stories

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That would happen later. First, I had to come out to myself.

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Growing up in a socially conservative religion, I was taught that sex was reserved for monogamously married men and women. Well, I could chalk that up to appraisal, not desire. Women check each other out all the time, I told myself. I want to be like them, not with them. And sure, I thought about kissing my best friend, but that was just hormones misfiring I blamed a lot on hormones misfiring.

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I was convincing. I started having panic attacks in elementary school. Something was wrong with me, and somehow it was my fault. Boys pushed these anxieties to the back of my mind. I liked how being with them made me think about sex. And I liked being liked by boys, how dating them meant participating in a narrative that everyone in my world could understand, including me.

In my early twenties, I married the best of the boys, an attractive engineer with a dry wit who made me laugh until I cried and saved all the receipts from our first year of dating. My feelings for women never went anywhere, but I got better and better at explaining them away. As I got older, my world expanded. Little by little, I unlearned the homophobic lessons I had been brought up with — at least as they applied to other people.

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Instead, I told myself that my attraction to women was just a side effect of growing more comfortable with my straight sexuality — basically a grown-up version of the hormones misfiring story. The day of the wedding arrived, and so did Miriam, devastatingly beautiful in a rainbow jumpsuit. I spent the day torn between wanting to talk to her and wanting to hide.

Over the next few days I lost my fear, but not my fascination. My 31st birthday happened to fall that weekend, and to celebrate, Liam, his new husband, Miriam, and I all drove out to the White Springan ancient well with supposed mystical properties in Glastonbury. Visitors are allowed to swim, so we all jumped into the icy water. Maybe the White Spring really is magical, and I was blessed by that strange, old place.

Or maybe I was just sick of lying to myself. I spent the rest of the day in a haze. None of these three beloved people were straight, and they were all happy and confident in their sexualities. I could be like them. I could be myself. It was both. Do I have a type? So far, the deepest joy of coming out has been learning to trust that the things that make me me — what I want, who I want — are valuable.

But why should that matter? Thankfully, this is changing as more and more shows introduce bi characters who are at ease with their own sexuality. Two of my favorite shows, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend and Jane the Virgineach have more than one bisexual character. Darryl even gets a song!

Even coming out to my husband was surprisingly easy. But the lingering regrets I have are less about my present, and more about my past. Haylie Swenson is a writer, educator and cool aunt living in Bi curious girl stories, with her husband and two cats.

Coming out at workand 15 great reader comments on sex. Illustration by Alessandra Olanow.

Bi curious girl stories

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