Magical Thinking (Why Being A Lesbian Is NOT A Choice)

Definition of Lesbian: A Lesbian is a female who is exclusively romantically/sexually oriented to other females.

Seems simple, right?

Well, the definition of Lesbian is actually simple…but many people apparently want to believe otherwise, making it unnecessarily complicated, and then typically becoming quite adamant and irate in their misguided attempts to expand the definition of Lesbian.

This baffling but ongoing argument usually arises when people get peeved regarding the topic of Straightbians ~ otherwise known as straight women who, for a variety of reasons, will choose to partner with Lesbians or other Straightbians. Potential reasons that straight women might make the decision to partner with a female include, but are not limited to: political reasons, curiosity, trauma, simply being sick of dealing with men, mistaking closeness/friendship for love, thinking “the grass is greener on the other side”, rebellion, etc.

Some Lesbians, and many others too, apparently want to believe that any woman can ~ POOF! ~ magically become a Lesbian.


Magic: #PicsArt #FreeToEdit

While the incorrect idea that any woman can magically “flip to the Lesbian team” may seem to be a harmless fantasy on the surface, the reality is often far from benign.

Straightbians have a history of wreaking havoc on the hearts and lives of real Lesbians in many ways ~ a topic that my spouse, partner, and all-around sweetiepie Dirt and I have written about several times, and which I am reiterating here.

Typically, in the best-case scenario, a Lesbian will partner with a straight woman (who, by definition, literally cannot be truly and genuinely romantically/sexually interested in other women), leading to an unfulfilling, one-sided  relationship. If the Lesbian gets “lucky”, such a unhealthy relationship will end quickly.

In less-fortunate scenarios, many Lesbians have wasted many years of their precious lives.

The truth is that straight women cannot change their sexual orientation, just as Lesbians cannot change our sexual orientation. The much-accepted but ultimately faulty idea that sexual orientation is “fluid” is the very slippery slope that led to idiotic ideas like conversion therapy.

If some Lesbians want to believe that straight women can change their orientation, how do they reconcile this with the simple fact that Lesbians cannot?

How about considering this question, instead of getting defensive and assuming that I am being callous or exclusionary: Don’t we all want our romantic/sexual partners to want us for exactly who we are?

If a woman is not a Lesbian, she can never experience the true desire, nor the depth of connection, with another woman that a Lesbian can feel.

Don’t get me wrong: I am not trying to tell anyone what to do. Whatever floats your proverbial boat is fine by me, as long as it involves consenting adults. Everyone is completely responsible for her own life.  If Lesbians knowingly decide to partner with Straightbians, that is certainly their choice, and when both parties are honest with themselves and each other…more power to them!  (It wouldn’t be my choice, but it is not my life).

Also, I am not saying that it is wrong to be straight, nor am I saying that I believe most Straightbians are intentionally trying to harm Lesbians.  In fact, I believe that most Straightbians are unaware of the inherent problems involved in this scenario, likely primarily due to straight privilege.

I am simply saying that is unhealthy for anyone to be dishonest with herself and/or her partner regarding true orientation.

 I would hope that everyone would agree that informed consent in sexual relationships is imperative; but if a Straightbian is appropriating Lesbianism for her own purposes without disclosing her true heterosexual orientation to her Lesbian lover, then informed consent is not happening. We all deserve to know the motivations and orientation of those we are intimate with.

Bottom line: Just be honest. If you are a straight woman, and are curious about having a relationship with another woman, just say so.  Then your potential lover can make an informed decision on how to proceed.

Magical thinking may be fun for fantasy, but if you hope to solidify a relationship based upon it, don’t be surprised to find the (so-called) “magic” dissipate into the very thin air from which it arose.

**5/30/2016: Edited to Add: Please also see my partner’s companion piece about Straightbian Privilege: Heterocentricity and Dyke Vulnerability.

9 thoughts on “Magical Thinking (Why Being A Lesbian Is NOT A Choice)

  1. Lmao straightbians (all I can think of is the L-Word).

    I definitely see where you’re coming from! I also think, though, that the fluidity of sexuality is a valid concept. Not necessarily that you can change and manipulate your orientation over time, but that there’s always more to explore and discover. Our society imposes heterosexuality on people; thus many “straight” folks are really people who have just never explored otherwise.

    Obviously you know this! But I thought I’d reiterate it here. The colloquial phrase “straightbians” could potentially preclude women from really experimenting with their sexuality to its full potential.

    I think many queer ladies have gone through a lot and feel a bit territorial about lesbian “experimentation” (myself included). As well, though, I believe that territorialness can often interfere with our own growth as both individuals and partners!

    Just some food for thought. I enjoyed the piece 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi and thanks for your comments!

      I obviously have pretty strong opinions about the topic, LOL…and I have those opinions because of years of seeing Lesbian lives get messed up in various ways because of Straightbians.

      I don’t feel that sexual orientation is fluid, although I do agree that some people are just more adventurous than others, so yes, some women may be open to exploring sex/relationships with other women, for various reasons, but unless they are solely oriented sexually/romantically towards females, they aren’t Lesbians.

      Our main point is: Do whatever you want with whomever you want (as long as it involves consenting adults, of course!), but just be honest with yourself and potential lovers about true orientation.

      In other words, if a woman has never been attracted to other females before, she should just say so to her potential lover….in other words, she shouldn’t say she’s a Lesbian, unless she actually is.

      That way, everybody involved will be adequately informed and therefore able to give consent (or not) to the terms offered in the encounter/relationship.


  2. As a hetero man, I have a few questions regarding the supposed fluidity of sexuality. I am purely curious based on the fact that I have just heard that a woman I know has recently romantically partnered with another woman. She had been married previously and has teenage children. I know that she has been single for some time. I also know that the other woman is what one might call butch – It’s pretty clear that she is a very out lesbian. Now, the formerly married woman has romantically partnered with her lesbian friend and this has caused some ruckus in her community. Her family do not accept it and she has had a big falling out with some of her friends who say that she has changed for the worse.
    From my perspective, I was actually always surprised that she wasn’t a lesbian in the first place. I would say that she has always presented as soft butch and I found it hard to imagine her with a man. It is only that her former marriage cast any doubt on this. This is why I was not surprised at all when she partnered with a lesbian recently. I think she has simply awoken a part of herself through this other woman who perhaps recognized something in her.
    My questions: was it that she had always been a lesbian and it was simply repressed? If it had been somehow repressed, how is it even possible not to have an inkling of one’s sexual preferences?
    There seems to be this current thinking that one can suddenly turn. This seems to apply more to women than men, however. I can’t even remember a time when I had any questions about my own preferences to be honest. Are some people so blind to their own inner lives, despite external pressures?
    I have noted some other young women I have known turning from hetero to lesbian, seemingly, though I suspect that in some of these cases, they are curious or doing it for political reasons, as in wanting to fit in with something trendy or of the moment. Do you find that very common in young women?
    I have also noted that this phenomenon is absent in young men. It seems that men are more sure of their preferences in this context, or maybe it is easier for women to explore.
    Thanks for an interesting blog.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, Thanks for your comment! Of course, it’s a topic that can’t be fully addressed in a single reply; but it’s something I have written a lot about, so please just let me know if you’d like me to send you some specific links.

      I will attempt a brief (relatively) answer though: 🙂

      Basically, there are 2 types of females who previously dated/married males who end up with other females:

      1). The Later-in-Life-Lesbian (who is REALLY a Lesbian, who finally comes out and accepts that she is a lesbian, after a struggle to fit in with society’s/family’s demands);


      2). The Straightbian (who is really straight, and always will be, but for various reasons, decides to have sex/relationship with a female). It doesn’t matter how long the Straightbian stays in a relationship with a female (or multiple females)…she will always be straight.

      It’s impossible for a straight woman to “become a lesbian” (and, likewise, it’s impossible for a lesbian to “become straight”).

      Behavior is “fluid”/changeable but orientation isn’t, Most people look solely at behavior to define “lesbian” and that’s where the crux of the problem/confusion is.

      Hope this helps! Please let me know if you have any questions…

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you. It seems to me to be interesting that there are now so many younger people calling themselves ‘queer’. Having read about the topic at some length due to wanting to understand more, it seems to be a term that has largely been used by a formerly underground section of people who reclaimed it for their own uses, largely in a political context. Once used in a derogatory fashion, in seems to have been reclaimed at some point in the last several decades by the LGBT community, and those who see themselves as not heteronormative. What I find most fascinating is that many younger people, both young men and women, are now applying it to themselves. Indeed, it would seem that some people are using it if they find a member of the same sex even remotely attractive, and even if they have never actually slept with a member of the same sex! Surely this cannot be a good thing? I might find another man handsome in an aesthetic sense, but I’m not going to be identifying with the queer community. It seems that even the lowest level of attraction is now good enough to encourage someone to call themselves queer (bisexual seems to have fallen out of favor in the 21st century).
        I am also confused by the intermingling of sexual orientation, so-called queerness, and concepts of sexual fluidity. Having had a few self-identifying lesbians wanting to sleep with me over the years seems to support my suspicion that women have a more flexible sexuality and approach to sex in general than men. Men, it seems, are very rigid in their own sexual self-concept. That is, gay men rarely sleep with women once they are ‘out’, whereas gay women seem to be a little more flexible in this regard and will occasionally sleep with men and still call themselves queer or lesbian. I have even read about one lesbian who had never slept with a man, and always identified strongly with the lesbian community find herself being attracted to another man romantically and sexually, and dating him exclusively. How can that work unless there is some fluidity at play?
        Now we have terms like pansexual to contend with. It seems that so many younger people are taking up the torch of queerness, and I just do not think that it is all that it seems. As you have mentioned before, it is entirely possible that many straight women are calling themselves lesbian or queer for political reasons, trauma, rebellion, and coolness.

        Liked by 1 person

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