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A really self-indulgent thread about sexuality and feminism and whether it's just me.

(106 Posts)
NotAnotherFuckingNamechange Mon 26-Jan-15 20:35:43

As the title says. I've NC because my usual name(s) are both pretty obvious, but if you're especially keen to figure it out PM me - I just don't want to die of shame by having this memorialised on the net.

So, my totally non-identifying (!) backstory. I'm bisexual, I've been out since I was in my teens. I've been in relationships with men because, frankly, it's a damn sight easier. Only, I've got more and more into feminism. I have had quite a lot of conversations, some of them with people on here, where people say that if they weren't with their current (male) partner, they don't know if they'd seek out another male partner - not because we don't like men, but because it is stressful.

I wondered if anyone would like to talk about that?

I'm currently single, and dating, and I keep on thinking, wow, I really don't want to go through the hassle of coping with someone else's male ego. Which feels horribly bigoted of me.

I must admit I also feel faintly embarrassed to be doing a teenage 'questioning my identity' because, for goodness' sake, I've been out for more than half my life and it really shouldn't feel as if I have to explain myself. And yet, I do.

Please patronize me gently, keep the eye rolling to yourselves, etc.

SardineQueen Mon 26-Jan-15 20:41:25

If I were you I'd just stick to women and be done with it!

You're bisexual, but have predominantly stuck to men because it was easier, which is fine obv. At this point in your life you feel it will be easier to stick to women. That's fine too. So...

Don't worry about discriminating against them or being unfair or something! grin

Lots of women decide they don't want a relationship with a man, once they get to a certain point in their lives. It can be hard work and the compromises involved can be unappealing. I don't think how you feel is unusual.

So in short, I'm not sure why you are feeling unsettled (?) about how you are feeling with this. Sounds perfectly reasonable to me!

SardineQueen Mon 26-Jan-15 20:43:41

FWIW if I split up with DH now I think I'd really enjoy being by myself. I enjoyed it before I met him. Living with someone else can be hard work, and he's lovely, but I miss having totally my own space and totally pleasing myself.

Like I say I don't think it is unusual for women to feel this way.

Maybe ties in to expectations around roles and housework and stuff as well.

NotAnotherFuckingNamechange Mon 26-Jan-15 20:44:41

Well, quite.

If it were someone else posting, I'd say, why on earth are you bothered, just go with it and stay with women. What I can't figure out is why I feel unsettled by it.

I'm honestly not remotely worried about being 'unfair' - I think I actually wrote that as a knee-jerk response to the anti-feminist position.

CaptainHolt Mon 26-Jan-15 20:45:23

I'm bisexual and have been with a male partner for ages. I'm almost certain that if I was single I wouldn't want another male partner, not because I'm a secret lesbian or I'm not sexually attracted to men (I am), but just because it's too much hassle at my time of life.

SardineQueen Mon 26-Jan-15 20:47:27

If you felt it was easier to be with men before (and of course it is from a day-to-day POV) then maybe taking that step despite your sexuality feels like quite a big deal? I mean if you've had partners of both sexes but your main relationships have been men then although you've been out as bisexual you've not had to confront being in a more serious relationship with a woman and the stuff around that from society?

No idea about your past relationships so that's a total guess!

NotAnotherFuckingNamechange Mon 26-Jan-15 20:47:59

Cross post.

Yes, but sardine, you're not splitting with your DH (not that I split with my ex for that reason). And there is a difference between thinking you'd be single if you split up, and thinking you'd date women. And yet, until recently, I don't think I'd quite cottoned onto that distinction.

BuffytheReasonableFeminist Mon 26-Jan-15 20:49:34

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

PenguinsandtheTantrumofDoom Mon 26-Jan-15 20:50:01


I think about this sometimes. I am not sexually attracted to women at all. But I often think that, if DH and I split, it would be a serious consideration whether I wanted another relationship.

Not sure if that contributes much, but it is something I think about.

NotAnotherFuckingNamechange Mon 26-Jan-15 20:50:42

Yes, you're quite right - I've never had a serious relationship with a woman; I've had partners of both sexes.

I'm sorry, I'm not really managing to spit out what I think. But I do think it's the internal 'what does this mean about me, and me as a feminist' side of things I'm feeling I need to reassess, not the external 'how will people see me' side of it.

PenguinsandtheTantrumofDoom Mon 26-Jan-15 20:51:07

And what Buffy said. Absolutely.

SardineQueen Mon 26-Jan-15 20:51:47

Yes that's what I''m getting at. Even if you've been out as bisexual, if you haven't ever been in a serious relationship with another woman then that is a new thing and a big deal.

If you haven't. Which I dont' know grin

SardineQueen Mon 26-Jan-15 20:52:18

Ah OK x-posts.

ocelot41 Mon 26-Jan-15 20:53:54

I hadn't realised just how deep social conditioning goes for men...all men. It is just so wearing. But then some of the women I have been with have been equally hard work because of the whole ' I think I might be gay/bi so clearly I must now hate myself' gig. That's pretty wearing too.

CaptainHolt Mon 26-Jan-15 20:54:09

I used to identify as lesbian from about 13-17. Accepting that I was bi was hideous because it felt like all the 'it's just a phase' people were right and it made my relationships with girls, adolescent as they were, seem less meaningful because of that. Maybe you're feeling that if you decide to only date women, then people will start to think of you as a lesbian, not as a bisexual, then your past relationships with men will be judged as something that you just tolerated for an easy life. I don't know <helpful>

NotAnotherFuckingNamechange Mon 26-Jan-15 20:54:24

Big cross post.

Thank you, buffy, you are very lovely and kind. I will live with my negative space. smile

I like the wisdom of just 'being,' but I don't want that to turn into putting my life on hold.

penguins - YY, that is what I was thinking I'd heard people say. And of course, it is complicated, because I think in any relationship, there's this social pressure to say that if it ended, you'd obviously want to get together with another bloke at some stage. And I find it really interesting that feminists seem to be ok with the idea that, actually, that might not be ideal.

BuffytheReasonableFeminist Mon 26-Jan-15 20:54:34

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

NotAnotherFuckingNamechange Mon 26-Jan-15 20:58:38

ocelot - well, yes. Fair point.

captain - yes, similar here.

I think, more, it's feeling I am still second-guessing.

TtipParty Mon 26-Jan-15 20:59:23

Yep, I can relate. I've been in and out (pardon the pun) as bisexual since my early twenties. I became more and more attracted to women as my marriage was ending and I can see myself with a woman now in a way I just couldn't before. Stbxh was a particularly unpleasant and abusive man to live with. I'm also getting to feel like the odds of meeting a decent man aren't as good as the odds of meeting a lovely woman, despite the ratio of straight men to gay women.

NotAnotherFuckingNamechange Mon 26-Jan-15 21:04:40

buffy - it's daft, isn't it? But it does worry me.

You're right, I know there's that stereotype. I could claim to be a brilliant lesbian feminist, and I could bang on about my oppression. And I would feel like a giant fraud, you know? Because I do not have that experience, not all of it.

I don't in the least regret relationships with men - I regret my wanker ex, but that was because he was a wanker. I have two absolutely lovely male ex partners and I'd be so much worse off as a person, if I'd never been with them.

I think part of it is, I've got comfortable with the kind of feminist I am. I get to say I'm not straight, but I get straight privilege, I'm with a man, and I see both sides.

I have a thing for someone who is very much a 'wow, yes, just come out, seeing the world in full colour' lesbian, and I think it's making me feel as if I need to find a way to do this differently, so I feel comfortable.

NotAnotherFuckingNamechange Mon 26-Jan-15 21:05:53

Sorry to hear about your ex, ttip. sad

I do agree with you - I think it probably is easier to find a non-abusive, nice, feministy woman than a man.

PenguinsandtheTantrumofDoom Mon 26-Jan-15 21:06:13

I suppose for me it is that realisation that I met DH very young (teenager) and have been lucky that he has more or less come along for the ride as I've become more feminist. But any relationship with the opposite sex in this society is difficult. And I look around most of the men I know and think "nope, couldn't live with you" (not that I fancy them you understand, in the abstract) and there is this overwhelming feeling that, well, maybe there aren't many men out there where living with them on a daily basis would actually massively improve my quality of life.

If I was bisexual, I can certainly see that there would be a positive of experiencing life with someone whose societal experience of life was more in line with my own, and where we were, to a greater extent, writing our own rules (e.g. it wasn't until I met a gay couple who merged surnames that I thought "bloody hell, that's brilliant, why didn't I think of that", but of course they hadn't had easy societal norms to fall back on if they wanted to share a name).

Does that make even the tiniest bit of sense?

BuffytheReasonableFeminist Mon 26-Jan-15 21:10:12

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

NotAnotherFuckingNamechange Mon 26-Jan-15 21:12:53

Thanks, buffy. flowers

penguins - well, I met my ex when he was 19, and brought him up in feminist ways (ish)! grin Unfortunately, my feeling is that he will provide some other lucky person with a feminist partner. And you're so right ... I can talk to him, and I don't have that awful feeling of 'you are not seeing me as human'. And, honestly, it is depressing how often I do get that feeling, talking to othermen.

Thank you, that's really clear.

Blistory Mon 26-Jan-15 21:26:38

Straight, split up with last partner almost two years ago. I have no interest in having a relationship again.

Feminism plays a huge part in it, for me. Maybe I'm still at the angry stage but I honestly can't be arsed with dealing with someone who doesn't get my strongly held beliefs. I can't be arsed with the eye rolling, the patronising, the frustration that comes with it all. But then again, I don't have children, don't want them and am used to being invisible now that I'm older.

I get companionship from others, I enjoy my space, I enjoy deciding when I want sexual contact, I am able to be more protective of women without feeling like I have to justify it.

I still won't admit to anyone that I don't want a relationship because the assumptions are that I'm secretly a lesbian, have been abused by a man or am one of those man hating types of feminists. None of which is true. The thought of being in a relationship with a woman, it has to be said, is equally as unappealing as one with a man. I think that reassures me that aloneless for me, is a positive choice rather than a rejection of men.

Sorry that went nowhere and I still don't know if wanting to live alone is a feminist issue or a personality one for me. Society doesn't care and judges anyway.

For you, I think it's never a good idea to make decisions when you're still bruised . Whilst you might discover some fundamental truths about yourself, it's equally likely that nothing will make sense and you end up over analysing. All you can do is be open to love, be open to friendship and trust in your judgement.

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