Guest Post by Nikki: “I Still Don’t Know How to Be Me”

The author, a bisexual woman, felt compelled to write this post “because it’s just so hard to find others like me.”

Here’s Nikki’s story:

I am a 26-year-old with woman parts who identifies as bisexual because it’s the easiest way to explain it in passing. Although, I think I would prefer, now, to call myself a unicorn. I hoped that at 26, I would have had myself figured out by now, or at least more of me than when I was a teenager, but it is only now that I am even beginning to understand who I am, which, in turn, has made me more horrified.

I find myself in an unusual and inconvenient predicament. When I was 13, I was in my first relationship ever. It happened to be with a girl. I was raised within a strict Catholic family, attending Sunday school since I was 4. My perspective of being any kind of gay was a negative one. My parents had an inkling that I was fooling around with my “best friend,” and amidst that great time of receiving the “sex” talk, I also received TWO gay talks.

For those of you who might not be able to comprehend a gay talk from two Catholic parents, it’s filled with a lot of hellfire and brimstone; God put AIDS on earth for gay people; there are murderers, and then there’s dirt, and then theirs child molesters, and then there is gay people; etc. It was everything a 13 year old girl needed to hear to feel like the worst thing since Hitler.

My first girlfriend was kind of insane. We dated for almost a year… well, maybe over a year. I remember breaking up with her a few times until she really understood that we were broken up. The break up actually took about four months to complete. It even kind of bled into my first relationship with a guy. Ssh. He never knew.

The point of that is this: after breaking up with her, I swore off on dating women for the rest of my life. I came to that conclusion for a few reasons. First off, she was crazy. And I was going to label all women as crazy because of her.

I also could not bear continuing the lying and deceit. I pushed a lot of my closest friends away because I didn’t want them to know. I pushed away my best friend of five years because I was scared how she would react. As a 13-year-old, I worried that my girl-friends would disown me because they wouldn’t feel comfortable around me anymore–no sleepovers, no close, intimate conversations about girl things, etc…

I didn’t want to keep lying to or hiding from my parents. Sunday school even had a whole lecture on the evils of being gay, so I was feeling pretty repulsive. I watched a great teacher get fired for being gay. I was so overwhelmed and disgusted with myself that I attempted to drown myself in the bathtub. I don’t recommend that, by the way.

So, from then on, I only dated men. BUT… as I backed away from the Catholic church and began my journey of self-discovery, I found myself a lot of pussy. I think I fooled around with more girls than I dated guys. It was a ton of fun. I had a wonderful group of close friends that we all just got naked together and did whatever whenever we had the chance. I could be me; no secrets, no hang ups.

I got religious again, at 19, but not Christian. I’m going to avoid revealing this religion mostly for the sake of the stuffy old fools within my faith who still feel the need to keep a clean image of our faith, thinking that the promiscuity of individuals is going to tarnish its reputation. I think that’s balls, and most people my age within my religion are actually pretty awesomely open-minded, but I digress.

At 19, however, contending with faith and sexuality was a battle too hard to fight. During this time, I had been dating a guy for a long time, and one thing was clear, I couldn’t imagine my life without him. So, at 20, we got married. At that point, I believed that being bisexual meant that I could choose. So I chose. I chose to be with a man. For the rest… of… my…life. And that would be easy. Because I liked both. So I could choose. Right?

Wrong.

I wish, at 13, I had someone to guide me, or some kind of reference, or role model. Precedence. Something. I had no idea what being “bisexual” meant. Especially within myself.

Just a little after we got married, something awful happened. I stopped having orgasms during sex. I began hating sex. I started having all of these uncomfortable hang-ups, and for the longest time I kept rationalizing it as, that’s just what happens in marriage, blah blah blah. That’s bullshit. I was the second horniest female I ever knew. (The first is a woman that I had A LOT of great times with). But how does that just go away a few months into a marriage?

A year later, I met a woman. And all those horny feelings came back. For her.

She’s a long story, that would only make this post even more dreadfully winded, so none of that. Nothing ever culminated between the two of us, however. And midway into this situation, I became pregnant. My husband and I were having sex. Occasionally. And we did want children. I always wanted kids. My maternal clock went off when I was 17. By 21, it was insatiably annoying.

I found that, when masturbating, I could only ever orgasm when I thought of a woman. And during sex, my brain would just be this conflicting mess -stuck between trying to be in the moment, and thinking of women just so that I could orgasm. In the end, I never would orgasm, but instead, be completely mentally drained. It was enough to put anyone to sleep after sex.

My husband and I had a revelatory conversation during this period. This whole time, he figured that someday I would date women, even though we were married. I never thought of that. He apparently understood what being bisexual meant more than I did. After talking it out for a long time, and trying to determine if this is something I could do…and one more child later… I found myself with a very clear understanding of the type of person I am – what it means to be my kind of bisexual. I can’t choose. Choosing means that I stifle one side. Stifling one side means that I turn into a sexual hermit. Sex becomes less fulfilling not just for myself, but also for my husband. If I’m not into it, he’s not either.

I don’t want to say that if I could do things differently, I would not have gotten married and had children. My husband truly is the best life partner I could have ever asked for. And I always wanted children. And I am a damn good mother. (Seriously. People should take notes). My sexuality/sensuality should not determine these other aspects I’ve wanted for my life.

The hardest part, however, is society. Even amidst gays and lesbians, I am a sore thumb. Even amidst other bisexuals, I am a sore thumb. Who wants to date a married woman with two small children? I’m in pretty good shape, and I know how attractive I am, I’m not dumb, but it’s the situation. I honestly would never want to impose myself on another person as dating material, as I think that would be disrespectful to them. Most women want something stable, dependable, durable… all the things a married mom can’t provide in a secondary relationship.

Being in an open marriage where I live is impossibly unfulfilling. We live in the kind of place where we don’t even really have close friends. They aren’t easy to make. I find myself longing for my old artsy community from my teen years.

I don’t even know how to tell all of my friends and family. I came out as bi to my mom over a year ago, but that didn’t really amount to anything. She made it clear that cheating is cheating, though. So, I know that I can’t tell her that I’m interested in dating women any time soon. And she’s supposed to be moving in with us in a month. Awesome. I’ve told a couple of people, but they can’t get over the fact that I’m married. If my husband and I are most certainly okay with the whole situation, what does it matter to anyone else? To me, I think marriages are as unique as the individuals who make up the relationship. Whatever…

I’ve tried the whole internet thing to no avail. I met a couple of women in my situation, married with children, but one woman totally bailed on me, and the other, I just wasn’t feeling it. Just because our situations were compatible, doesn’t mean that we are. My options are about as small as they come.

While I haven’t found any women to date online, I have found women to talk to. Which, even in a small way, has made a difference. Just being able to express myself with women; to flirt a little, and find women to get off on the lesbian erotica that I write, helps free up my sexual tension. It has even helped my sex life with my husband. The more I get to be close with women, even just in communication, the easier it is for me to be in the moment with my husband, and enjoy him.

This is such a strange place to be, nonetheless. I don’t want to come off shallow, and lust-hungry, or greedy. I’m still terribly conflicted. Most women I meet don’t want to date a married woman. Or a bisexual woman. Or I meet those women who are fishing for other women to come join them and their boyfriends or husbands–no thanks, I’ve got more than enough penis in my life at the moment. I don’t even know if I’m looking to date women. How wonderful would it be to just have a really good friend? A really, REALLY good friend? Why do I have to be this complicated? I don’t know…

I wish I could write something inspiring, and say, “this is how I got through it and this is who I am!” But instead, I’m still searching. I’m still just trying to understand who I am, and how I fit into this rigid world. I don’t want to hurt people. I don’t want to be shallow, lust-hungry, or greedy. But I want to feel complete. I want to have a healthy sexual relationship with my husband. I don’t want to USE anyone. I feel like I am asking for too much. I feel like I am not deserving of so much. I feel like I am wanting more than most. I don’t want to want. Ugh. At 26, I still don’t know how to be me.

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2 responses to “Guest Post by Nikki: “I Still Don’t Know How to Be Me”

  1. You are not asking for too much, nor do you want too much, and you are deserving of everything that you want and more.

    The only thing I’d say is that it might be a bit presumptuous to assume that you are not fulfilled by only one relationship *because* you are bi. The two things might be related, or they might be entirely separate. I promise they can coexist. Being bisexual does not mean that you will never be satisfied with monogamy, but if you are not satisfied with monogamy, you should do whatever you need to in order to be at peace with yourself.

    Try not to panic. It sounds like you have a tough journey ahead of you but don’t despair. Keep using the internet! It can be lonely and brutal but I think there is a lot of healing to be found here, if you happen across the right places. Good luck! I’m with you in spirit …

  2. Wow. Thank you for writing this. I’m in a similar situation to yours, and you basically just spelled out everything that’s been bothering me for over a year now. I’m not married (and don’t have kids), but I’m in a dedicated, live-in relationship with a man. I’m interested in dating women with the sole exception of the guy I’m currently with, but lesbians generally won’t bother with me because of him, even if they’re ok otherwise with open relationships.

    I’ve gone out with a few women in my situation, and I even managed to fall in love with one of them. Partway through, though, her husband decided that he wasn’t happy with them being open anymore, even though he had been dating as well. It was one of the most heartbreaking experiences I’ve been through. Most of the bi women I meet online are either in a similarly tenuous situation or are just looking for a threesome (which I’m not at all interested in).

    I’m so sorry you have to go through all this, especially with the added disadvantage of having children, but it’s such a relief to know that someone out there understands what I’m going through. I wish you all the wonderful girlfriends you can handle and none of the ones that can’t handle themselves with you.

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