I kissed a boy, won’t change the world…

Hey,

I’m 17 years old, and have refereed to myself as bi-sexual since I was about 13. Recently though, I kind of felt that being gay fit better. I don’t call myself lesbian for the same reason I don’t call myself bi – I don’t like the connotations. I prefer “gay woman”.


However, despite the fact that I’m literally afraid of penis, and I’m more attracted to women than men, I am occasionally attracted to boys. I usually see myself dating/being in love with girls, whereas I just hook up with boys when I’m bored. Sorry this is kind of long and rambling, I just want to know, can I still call myself gay, or is that like, offensive? It makes me feel more comfortable, but I don’t want to politically incorrect or something, lol.
Thanks.

First, let me say congratulations on knowing anything at thirteen. I remember thirteen as being a bleak and confusing time during which I pretended to enjoy boy bands. This ended up being a blow to both my dating life and my music collection.

As for whether it is offensive to call yourself gay even though you hook up with boys when you are bored, I am going to go with a no. I still hook up with boys when I’m bored—I guess I should say, men to confirm that I am not some cradle robbing cougar. What can I say, it can be fun. I also like to tell them after we kiss that I am now totally straight again. I figure why not give them the win? In the end though, I have my epic love affairs with women (they are epic, trust me). There are folks out there who have never strayed from straight and others who have never wavered in their gayness. I think that is great. I have a friend who is so straight that although she is very attractive her straightness acts almost as a repellent. Thinking about kissing her seems like kissing a brother. Yuck. For the rest of us, sexuality has a continuum. You sound pretty comfortable as a gay woman so I would say call yourself whatever makes you feel comfortable. It is definitely not offensive that you call yourself gay even if you say it while making out with a dude.

That said, there are some people who will be offended that you call yourself gay. Some people will also wonder “what your deal is” when you hook up with guys. Some guys that you hook up with also might end up thinking that you are “not really gay” or that for some reason sleeping with women is something that you do as a turn-on for them. People will find a bunch of different ways to judge your actions and the language you use and all of that. I have found that as long as I know what my deal is that it doesn’t really matter. I also call myself gay, but I don’t mind being called a lesbian. I try to figure out where people are coming from and if they are working on being understanding and accepting then I’ll give them a pass on some possibly “off” questions. I also am understanding of people who are really adamant about terminology. I am just not as caught up in it.

As a final note, you mentioned that you are “literally scared of the penis”. I am going to say a few things on this. First, here are a few good reasons to be scared of penises. They can get you pregnant which sucks when you are seventeen. Actually, getting pregnant sucks until that point in which you want to get pregnant and can afford the 18-21 (35?) years of financial commitment that goes with the result. Penises also can give you some rather unpleasant STDs, some which can kill you and some which just never go away. Vaginas can too so I guess that is just a general warning against other people’s junk. Valtrex might want you to believe that it’s all kayaking and walks on the beach but it just has so much more to do with oozing than that. Penises can also be attached to people who want to stick them places for all of the wrong reasons and once they get going, they can be real assholes about it. Also, since you consider yourself to be gay, you might not want to get overly involved with a penis because it can really suck to end up with an ironic pregnancy. (“Wait. WHO did you say was pregnant?” “Yup, that gay girl.” “Huh, isn’t it ironic?”) That said I don’t really think they are something to be scared of. They can be attached to some great people, they can get to some hard to reach places, and they do have an endearing eagerness to them. If you start to think about it, there is something sort of ridiculous about everyone’s junk. Watch a naked man jump up and down. It really stops being scary and starts to just be funny. I only mention this because if you fall for someone then you will most likely fall for every ridiculous part of them, so it sounds like you just haven’t ever fallen for a boy. That is definitely fine, but ultimately it’s not penises that are scary it’s brains and the many complicated ways that people find to mess with one another’s hearts. Thus we have the entire works of Journey.

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