Should a 29-year-old woman who has always felt in the "grey area"… (JORGE GUERRERO / AFP/Getty…)
I'm 29 years old and have always sort of felt like I was in a "grey area" sexually, not overwhelming attracted to girls (though I did notice them), but not overwhelmingly attracted to guys on a physical level either (in fact, of the guys I've dated, I've never felt any real physical kind of connection toward them. Before, I thought it was just because we were a bad match, but now I wonder). I've gotten crushes on both girls and guys before but just thought maybe I had the crushes on the girls because I was attracted to a quality of theirs (nice hair/friendly/outgoing/etc.). Lately, though, I've been wondering whether my feelings might actually be because I'm bi or gay. I've never been with a girl before, and, while I like guys, I feel sometimes like I'd be more "myself" around a girl. Problem is, my family is not someone I could ever come out to (they're a little on the judgmental side, to put it lightly) and I don't know how my friends would react. So right now, I'm feeling a little like the feelings I have (I've got a pretty decent crush on a friend of mine who's a girl) are kind of in my head or something.
Short of coming out to people, I don't really know where to go from here, and it's not like I have many opportunities to even kiss a girl to see what I feel like (I know when I see it on TV or in a movie, it makes sense to me and I even like it sometimes, but that's literally the limit of my experience right now). Do you have any advice?
I sure do! About 400 words-worth of advice actually, per my agreement with the RedEye for unlimited access to the office mini-fridge. Diet Mt. Dew, don’t mind if I dew!
Though it may scare and excite you in equal measure, it sounds like you should probably make out and sleep with a few girls. You can wonder and think about it and get hot watching girls kiss on TV -- I watched six hours of The L Word recently for that purpose -- but sometimes you can’t really know if girls give you the Nether Feels until you, like, actually feel them netherly.
You don’t have to take out a billboard ad to announce your possible newfound interest in boobs or anything like that, nor do you have to label yourself or sign up for an REI membership. Though I would recommend you tell at least one or two people who you think are trustworthy and non-judgey, for three reasons: One, it’s liberating. Say it to your computer right now: “I like girls!” (Fun, right? Except now your coworkers think you’re crazy.) Two, you’ll see it doesn’t have to be a big deal. And three, it’ll take some of the edge off. Right now it’s like this Big Secret Whirligig and so you’ve built it up in your head and are assuming all kinds of things about yourself and other people. But you shouldn’t.
Worry about all the other stuff -- if, how, and when to come out to your family, having a latent identity crisis, becoming an REI member, etc. -- later. Now just focus on finding a girl (your crush seems fine, as long as she’s not your boss or roommate and doesn’t have a boyfriend), make out with her, and see how that feels. Of course, TV and movies make it seem like everyone and their orthodontist is kissing girls in their free time and that making it happen is as easy as saying, “Have another beer, Amber!” Which is actually my strategy for seducing people, and, coincidentally, getting drunk. Anyway, take your crush out for a drink, work Angelina Jolie into the conversation, (or any girl celebrity you think is attractive), but maybe avoid the double mastectomy topic, and then be like, “You know, I’ve never kissed a girl before and it seems awesome and you are also awesome. Do you want to make out?” And then see how you feel. If possible, do it a few times because nervousness and Malort-breath and crippling insecurity can get in the way of your true feelings. Also homophobia, but especially the Malort.
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