I never thought “new year, new me” could be so real.
The year 2016 has seen me mastering new skills that I would never have pictured myself learning even last year. I learned a lot, like working on self-identified problematic flaws in my character that keep getting me into awkward situations. Also making new friends (as well as drawing closer to friends who I wasn’t close to in the past) has shown me that I wasn’t experiencing true, selfless friendship.
*takes a pause to appreciate the awesomeness*.
Then, there’s the reason I’m writing this. In 2016, the opposite sex is suddenly fascinating. Wait, what?
It’s weird for me in several ways. Weird that I am now nurturing this curiosity towards men. Weird that I feel I need to dissect and explain it. Weird that I seem to be coming up with excuses. Weird that I recently spent hours flirting with an older man and excused myself to use the bathroom, only to see that my panties were soaked through. Just plain weird.
I personally always thought I was flexible and was willing to go that extra step of loving women that men didn’t even cross my mind, except when they were being dismissed as inconsequential.
The few relationships I’ve had in my young life have been with women. I remember balking when someone told me a story of a woman who was married to another woman and had been with her for years suddenly getting a divorce and marrying a man. I didn’t think that would be me. It’s perhaps this and the fact that I always announce that I’m more comfortable loving women that people outright told me I’m a lesbian. I’ve always danced around the topic of sexuality and I wasn’t comfortable with any label other than queer. That was before I read this amazing book exploring the sexuality of African women through a historical lens, but that’s another article for another day.
Anyway, I personally always thought I was flexible and was willing to go that extra step of loving women, however men didn’t even cross my mind, except when they were being dismissed as inconsequential. So what changed? Did anything change? Am I confused? Did I go from queer to questioning?
One thing I have done repeatedly is question myself.
I’ve wondered if my new man-curiosity isn’t an attempt at healing after a rollercoaster ride of a relationship. That I have become the ‘queer-till-heartbreak’ kinda girl. Then the other side of my mind speaks up. You see, the problem with that theory is, why didn’t this happen after my first breakup? I’m not suddenly erasing my attraction to women, I just want to give room for men. And so the mental debate continues.
I’ve been having dreams and in them I’m happily married to a man who’s face I can’t see.
Perhaps, I should mention the spiritual side of things. As an African, you can’t ignore the spiritual. I’ve been having dreams and in them I’m happily married to a man who’s face I can’t see. We’re doing different things in different dreams. In one, we’re having sex (enough of a basis for my ‘deliverance”). This dream happened while I was dating my ex-girlfriend by the way. I remember waking up not just very aroused, but also happy. My heart felt content. I swear there was a smile on my face. In another, we’re sitting down discussing stuff. In yet another, we’re out on some mean adventure, driving somewhere.
When I told one of the people I was close to last year (new year, new me remember?) about my dreams, she dismissed them. She essentially said, “you’re gay, that dream means nothing.” That was her opinion, but it made me clamp up. And I’m kinda sorry to say that I’m yet to talk about my newfound curiosity with 99% of the people who knew me when I was with my ex-girlfriends.
I worry that they won’t take me seriously and yes, that they will judge. One of the character flaws I’ve highlighted in myself is that I’m a people-pleaser. I care too much what people think. I know I shouldn’t but I haven’t been able to tamper it down. I’m learning to handle it though.
So far only THREE friends from last year have understood, and I’m a popular girl! One basically said, “anyone who really knows you won’t be surprised. Yes, you’ve only dated women but you’re innately curious.” Another friend, the one who the goddess Oshun guides, told me that I need to learn to interpret my dreams on my own and not depend on anyone else to do that for me. She’s such a wise woman and her words encouraged me to cut back and meditate. I reached my own conclusions and have decided to roll with it. This is why 2016 has me meeting men for “intrigues” and even talking about marrying a man.
But, even before the dream, I stumbled upon amateur clips of couples having sex on tumblr. I’m talking those kinds that were shot on mobile phones, presumably featuring “real” couples. I’ve never liked straight mainstream porn. It’s gross, the women look uncomfortable and I can never think of a man ejaculating on a woman’s face without thinking “gonorrhoea of the eye” (something that I know of thanks to a documentary I watched years ago).
Anyway back to these homemade clips on tumblr. Most of them don’t even last for a minute, you’re watching couples get at it for like 30 seconds and can tell someone uses an Android. Watching them, I was at once turned on and fascinated. It was like, can women really enjoy dick like that? Can I enjoy dick like that? I’ve never shied away from penetration with my exes but didn’t enjoy sex with the two men I tried to have sex with whilst I was beginning to engage with my curiosity of women years ago.
The gears in my head started turning.
I’ve never been in a relationship with a man, so how do I truly know that I don’t like sex with men? I mean, if I want to get very real, I’ve faked orgasms with women. I didn’t know what bad head felt like, and that it could hurt like hell, till I meet one enthusiastic girl in 2010. One or two unsavoury sexual encounters wasn’t enough to rule out men, I reasoned.
As this year draws to an end, I’ve seen the fruits of my curiosity. It hasn’t been bad but it hasn’t been all roses either, for example, I’ve found out I’m allergic to latex condoms. I feel like I’m learning about sex with men but also about forging emotional ties with them, for example I never really took them for the cuddling kind. It’s like interacting with a whole new species for me. I do know that my interest in men isn’t going to die down anytime soon and I’m very okay with that. I shouldn’t feel guilty, ashamed or need to explain myself to anybody.
I am still not sure I have all the answers. I’ve struggled so much putting this down to words (this must be the 169607th draft) but I knew this was something I wanted to write and put out there. Just in case someone else is going through the same thing, so she knows she’s not alone.