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How Much Sex Is “Normal”?: A “Dear Lesbian” Question

I just received an anonymous comment on my Lesbian Bed Death post, and since I think others may have the same questions/concerns, this comment will be the subject of today’s “Dear Lesbian” post.

Here is the comment:

The comments about happy couples still having sex after years worry me. I am a 45 year old lesbian. My girlfriend of 3 years never wants to have sex. Well, maybe not never, but hardly ever. Maybe like once every 3 months if I am lucky. I have been assuming it was lesbian bed death, but now I am worried. Does this mean my girlfriend is a Straightbian?

Without any further details, I am going to have to speak very generally, but first of all, I want to stress that there is no “normal” amount of sex to have.

What is “too much” for one person may be “too little” for another. Some people might want to have sex once a day, others once a week, others once a month, others once a year, others the 12th of never. (And any variation thereof).

While there is no “right” and “wrong” amount of desire for an individual, things can get tricky when we partner with another person, because one partner’s preference for frequency of sex may differ significantly from the other’s.

Ideally, couples will be (at least mostly) compatible regarding desire for frequency of intimacy, but sometimes, one partner will want to have sex much more frequently than the other, and when there is a big discrepancy, that is a really tough position to be in, for both partners.

This situation can happen with heterosexual or gay male couples too; so this issue is definitely not limited to Lesbian couples.

Bottom line: It’s impossible to say whether or not this person’s partner is a Straightbian, and it’s really not my place to do so anyway.

It is unclear whether the sex is still good when it does occur, or whether there has been a sudden and/or significant change at some point. Those are questions that the commenter will need to consider herself.

There are many non-Straightbian-related factors that can potentially decrease a woman’s sexual desire, including, but not limited to: thyroid dysfunction, parathyroid issues, chronic fatigue, chronic illness, chronic pain, stress, overwhelming responsibilities, perimenopause/menopause, post-hysterectomy issues, body image issues, grief, surgical recovery, hormonal issues, relationship issues, mental health concerns, etc.

And since so many issues can potentially inhibit sexual desire, it’s not always easy figuring out the cause(s).

As difficult as it will be, if the discrepancy in sexual desire is an issue (and it sounds like it is indeed a concern for this reader), the only way to start is by having a kind and supportive, but frank, conversation about the situation, approaching the issue directly but sensitively.

But don’t just assume that if your partner doesn’t want to have frequent sex that it must mean she’s a Straightbian. The discrepancy in desire may be caused a variety of other issues, and those answers can only be determined by the individuals involved, using good communication/problem-solving skills, and seeking professional help if needed (while also using our Lesbian intuition at the same time).

Hope this helps explain further, and as always, please let me know if you have any questions or comments.

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER: This blog is NOT intended to be professional advice, nor to substitute for the advice of a licensed professional. The reader should consult with an appropriate professional regarding all mental health needs.

Lesbians Are On Our Own

I have written before about homophobia and false allies.  I have been out for a very long time and have had many disappointing experiences and have answered many offensive questions about being a Lesbian.

So: I know how people are.

Or, more accurately, I should have known.

But: every day, I find myself more disappointed and more disillusioned with my fellow humans than ever before.

The election and its aftermath have stripped off the remnants of faux acceptance from our so-called “friends” and “family“, revealing a massive gangrenous sore which had been festering,  unnoticed, underneath the surface all along:

Lesbians have no true allies. We are on our own.

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#PicsArt #FreeToEdit

My spouse, partner, and all-around sweetiepie, Dirt, recently changed her Twitter bio to say: “If you’re not us, you’re against us.”

Meaning: Unless you are actually one of us ~ a LESBIAN ~ you are against us.  I misread it the first time, thinking it said: “If you’re not WITH us, you’re against us”. But she clarified that she meant that unless you ARE one of us, you are AGAINST us.

At first, I thought, “Wow, that is really cynical, because surely we do have some allies…well…somewheretheoretically“.

You see, I wanted to believe that we have allies. And, pitifully, I still want to believe that we have allies: perhaps because I am still a four-leaf-clover-picking, peace-loving optimist underneath my current defiant exterior; perhaps because it would be easier and more pleasant to stay in denial about those who we mistakenly thought were our loved ones; perhaps simply because the truth hurts.

Sadly, however, I am now convinced that Lesbians are, in fact, on our own. More importantly, I am now convinced we always were on our own…because the appearance of support and acceptance from our alleged “allies“, “friends“, and “family” was, in reality, only a BandAid which was unceremoniously ripped off with the election of a bigoted dictator, revealing the repugnant stench of straight privilege and lesbophobia beneath.

Repeated Twitter attacks, hetsplaining, unfollowing/blocking and subtweeting by so-called straight feminist “allies“; unfriending and blocking by Facebook “friends“; and being admonished by various alleged former “friends” and “family members” to “calm down”, “be nice”, “don’t take it personally”, “get along” (etc.) have all coalesced in the last few days to irrevocably prove to me that most straight people, even seemingly well-intentioned ones, remain clueless, insensitive, unaware, and arrogant in their ignorance.

Plus: (unrelated to the election, but pertinent to this topic): Some (alleged) “lesbians” on Twitter have continued minimizing, denying, arguing, and/or even outright mocking our series about the existence of Straightbians and how Straightbians are detrimental to Lesbians.

The reasons why the truth matters to Lesbians should be stunningly obvious to anyone with an IQ higher than a Chia Pet, so the attitudes of these individuals indicates that not only are they Straightbians themselves, but furthermore, they are NOT even allies to Lesbians…and they never will be.

They don’t want to listen to Lesbians. They want to believe the false notion that any woman can magically become a lesbian, because their own pathologies are tightly tied to that illusion, and they have gained lovers, friends, attention, followers, fame, speaking engagements, and/or money from perpetuating the lie that they are Lesbians themselves, at the expense of actual Lesbians.

These individuals want to preach feminist theory about “political Lesbianism“, but they don’t want to actually deal with hearing the pesky truth from REAL Lesbians. They appear to be “inclusive” and “accepting” by promoting the untruth that a woman can “magically become a Lesbian”, and therefore, they are popular amongst the “feminist” crowd, because straight women want to keep “Lesbian” open as their backup Uber ride in case the dickmobile runs out of gas.

Furthermore, in addition to all the many traitors listed above, even our supposed “allies” who are purportedly fighting for Lesbian self-acceptance in order to to avert transitioning often show shocking covert lesbophobia. How? First, true Lesbian allies would care what happens to ALL lesbians, not just up until our 18th birthday. Second, the terms “gender non-conforming” and “gender defiant” are offensive terms to Lesbians (**See Note, below**), but despite being told this repeatedly, these purported “allies” continue to use these (and similar) inappropriate terms. Third, some  of these alleged “allies” will respond favorably to straight people’s input, while completely ignoring, or even rudely arguing with, polite Lesbian comments/questions.

Bottom line: True Lesbian allies would listen to Lesbians. They would believe Lesbians. They would fight for Lesbian issues/rights, even when it is inconvenient to do so. They would include Lesbians. They would remain in conversation with Lesbians, even when it becomes heated or uncomfortable.  They would support Lesbians. They would recognize Lesbian is a real thing….not just some choice to be made or discarded at will or whimsy. And: they would stand with Lesbians in our pain and fear about this election, without attempting to tell us how to feel or to “be nice”.

None of these things are happening.

The time for nice is over. The time for hoping that people will do the right thing is over.

It is time for Lesbians to wake up, stand up, and realize that with “friends” like these, who needs enemies? It is apparent that not only was Sappho ahead of her time poetically, it seems that she too realized that Lesbian needs to be its own island.

**Note**:  Edited to add:  After a comment, I realized that I should have clarified further why the terms gender non-conforming (GNC), gender-defiant, and similar terms (hereafter shortened to GNC for brevity) are offensive to Lesbians:

The way these terms are being presented is that the so-called “GNC” people (including the Lesbians who would fall under this description) are intentionally defying gender norms.

In other words, the idea is that GNC is some sort of conscious performance, rather than just being who people are naturally.

For the lesbians who would fall under the GNC category, this is an insult, as well as a dangerous assumption, because it implies a willful disobedience of “norms”, which, in turn, implies that it can be changed with a simple conscious decision to conform.

So the use of these terms is both dangerous and insulting to the Lesbians who are being referred to as falling under those categories.

Hope this clarifies better, and as always, if you have questions, please feel free to ask!

“It’s Nothing Personal, It’s Just Business”(Written By Dirt)

NOTE: My partner, spouse, and all-around sweetiepie, Dirt, wrote this today & it is originally posted here on her blog.  I agree 2,987,674,342+++ percent…:

I had worked for Corporate America for 20 years. Throughout these two decades I witnessed from time to time (time to time being whenever 3rd quarter rolled around and it was apparent that projected/promised stockholder numbers weren’t going to be met by years end) people (workers) being let go.

Not let go because they were not doing their jobs well. Not let go because they frequently called in sick. Not let go because they were just plain assholes.

Let go because the company was accountable to stockholders and the company needed to show those stockholders a certain profit. In business, particularly Big Business, in order to excuse and mitigate PERSONAL responsibility for firing people (workers), businesses have enacted a get-out-of-guilt/responsibility-free mantra.

A mantra so eerily similar to the Nazi lyrics of the Nuremberg Trials (we were merely following orders/we did as we were told)-It’s nothing personal, it’s just business.

Corporate America is notorious for lining the pockets of their favoured presidential candidate. Business as usual we could say. But a few days ago something insane and unprecedented happened, for the FIRST time in US history, Corporate America was elected President of the United States of America!

Elected from a contemptible campaign of female hatred, racial hatred, homosexual hatred and religious hatred; all melting into a cancerous ball of hatred against the very foundation that America was built upon-a multi cultural, multi national melting pot!

No sooner did this happen when those of us who are of a certain sexual orientation, a certain color/race, certain origins, certain religions and a certain sex were quickly squelched for verbalizing what the win for President Corporate America means to us now, will mean more to us in the immediate future and may mean for us in a now not so unforeseeable future! And squelched by people we once believed truly knew us and cared about us, our closest friends AND family. We’re being reminded all over social media sites:

  • just calm down
  • it’s not that bad
  • that can’t really happen
  • he can’t do that
  • you’re being dramatic
  • stop acting like someone kicked your dog
  • stop acting like your mother just died
  • it’s time to unify
  • time to find common ground
  • stop name calling
  • grow up
  • we’ve lived through Reagan and Bush (no, many of us did not!)
  • we are all still Americans
  • let’s just pray on it
  • let’s pledge our allegiance to the flag

As a Lesbian and only speaking as a Lesbian, President Corporate America not only has the power to change my family’s life, it has promised to do as soon as it took office. My marriage will likely legally end in a few months. Not because my wife and I are having problems. Not because I or my wife cheated. Not because my wife and I have irreconcilable differences.

  • But because President Corporate America and EVERY person who voted it in, whether directly, or indirectly by voting for a 3rd party or not voting at all, believes heterosexual love TRUMPS Lesbian love.
  • Because President Corporate America and EVERY person who voted it in, whether directly, or indirectly by voting for a 3rd party or not voting at all does not value the love, the respect, the bonding, the beauty and the honesty between two Lesbians is worthy of legal marriage.
  • And because President Corporate America and EVERY person who voted it in, whether directly, or indirectly by voting for a 3rd party or not voting at all want to obliterate all traces or reminders that Lesbians exist in the first place.

This election yanked the thin diaphanous veil of liberalistic pretense from this country and scarier from the people we once called family and friend. What true family member or friend is going to tell you to calm down or grow up when you have just been told your legal marriage to your wife is going to be revoked? The very word WIFE is being ripped from our Lesbian mouths as I type!

And before President Corporate America even realised it had won, the words DYKE and LESBIAN were being violently turned back in Lezbophobic slurs. Our vehicles being vandalized, our homes spray painted with repugnant graffiti, our jobs threatened, our housing possibilities shrinking and our Lesbian nature and Lesbian love desecrated!

But hey, it’s nothing personal, it’s just business.

  • It’s not personal, it’s just business when President Corporate America ends our marriages and bans all future marriage between homosexuals!
  • It’s not personal, it’s just business when President Corporate America declares an open season for vandalizing homosexual possessions!
  • It’s not personal, it’s just business when President Corporate America declares an open season for homophobes to vandalize homosexual lives!
  • It’s not personal, it’s just business when President Corporate America removes our right to visit the love of our life in hospital because we’re not married or related!
  • It’s not personal, it’s just business when President Corporate America removes our right to receive our partners health benefits!
  • It’s not personal, it’s just business when President Corporate America removes our right to inherit from our partner even though we’ve been together 40 years!
  • It’s not personal, it’s just business when President Corporate America removes the intangible legitimacy of committed homosexual couples!

You tell me dear reader, HOW THE FUCK IS ANY OF THIS NOT PERSONAL?!

I grew up in Flint Michigan and was a teen in the 1980s. I know FIRST hand what happens when Corporate America needs to please its stockholders. When Corporate America is ran by an idiot so far removed from the working class that laying off 35,000 people in one town means nothing outside of dollar $igns and number$. I personally watched my hometown fold it on itself as factories closed, then businesses who sold parts to the factories closed and all the businesses that relied on factory worker consumerism closed.

I personally helped foreclosed and evicted family members move to trailer parks when their money ran out and no new jobs were created. I personally saw my hometown reach such a miserable low that the horrific increase of crime and violence reached such a high, that people celebrated Flint being the most violent and worst city to live in in the country, simply to have something to celebrate!

And what did Corporate America aka Roger Smith have to say? It’s nothing personal, it’s just business. When you’re getting shot at because you were lucky enough to scrap $20 bucks together to buy yourself a winter coat so you wouldn’t freeze to death when you slept in your car and those less fortunate are willing to kill you for it?

That’s fucking personal!

Just as personal as Corporate America becoming President of the entire country! If you want to know what America is going to look like in a year or so, watch Michael Moore’s documentary of Flint Michigan Roger and Me. If you want to know what America might look like in four years?

It may look just like this:

or this:

or this:

 

We ARE personal. We are ALWAYS personal. And when humans becomes big business, we have been stripped naked of all humanity. America as we used to know it was founded on a “government of the PEOPLE, by the PEOPLE, for the PEOPLE“! And that, dear readers, is NOT business, it is PERSONAL!

dirt

A False Sense Of Well-Being

There has been a nebulous feeling fluttering at the edges of my consciousness lately, something that I haven’t been able to put into words until now. This bewildering feeling has nagged me every time I log into Twitter; it is a vague sense of apprehension, a certain wariness that I wasn’t even fully aware of until very recently.

For one thing, I have been super-busy lately, so I haven’t had much time to contemplate my thoughts and feelings (thank goodness for an Election Day holiday today!). For another thing, I have been sick, several times in a row now, so what little energy I’ve had has been focused on getting well.

Dirt and I recently wrote Portraits of a Straightbian and writing that started to bring this ill-defined feeling I was having into a clearer focus.  But it wasn’t until we published that post that a bigger picture was revealed to me; sort of like when I first wake up in the morning and I can only see the blurry outlines of shapes, but then I put my glasses on and BOOM! I can see.

The clarity happened when joannadeadwinter and Mint Leaf, both commenting on Portraits of a Straightbian, articulated precisely what had been nagging at me, finally bringing the actual underlying issues to the forefront of my consciousness ~ please see the “Comments” section of that post for details.

So, in essence, here is a basic list of some of what has been nagging at me:

Lesbians, in our eagerness to support our straight feminist “sisters”, often willingly jump on their bandwagons and spend our precious time and energy fighting for causes that do NOT directly affect Lesbians (abortion; male domestic violence; etc.).

In fact, Lesbians spend so much of our precious time and energy supporting Straight feminist causes that we fail to notice that it is not reciprocal; Lesbian-only issues are typically ignored and we are often too depleted from fighting other people’s battles that we have nothing left over for our own battles.

When Lesbians speak out against this omission of our needs, or about other issues affecting Lesbians only, we are typically ignored, muted, blocked, mocked, minimized, and/or outright excluded by the very people we mistakenly thought were our “allies”.

Furthermore, Lesbian solidarity with our straight feminist “sisters” allows Straightbians a wide open door into Lesbian space and lives, often with devastating consequences for Lesbians. As Mint Leaf said so well in one of her comments: I think lesbians believing that they share fundamental values and a worldview with feminist Straightbians is actually a common way for these damaging relationships to get started. It’s not hard to confuse being really passionate on behalf of women’s rights with being passionate for women themselves.”

A lot of radical feminist rhetoric is actually shockingly anti-lesbian; for instance, the common phrase used about “eschewing femininity” is not only inaccurate, fake, and ridiculous (as joannadeadwinter‘s comment said: “…when you go out of your way to avoid anything that might be considered feminine…that’s an act.”)…but even more importantly, it is also deeply misogynistic, because it displays an underlying disrespect for so-called “feminine” women, and reinforces the patriarchal idea that the so-called “masculine” is preferable. As joannadeadwinter said: It reinforces men as the default human, which is supposedly what rad fems are trying to oppose.”

There are a LOT of mistaken assumptions and underlying straight privilege that leads to often-seemingly-subtle lesbophobia among straight feminists, something that I have been noticing for some time while trying to put my finger on exactly what was bothering me. Mint Leaf summed the main issues up excellently in her comment: “The really upsetting part is the underlying assumptions which fuel all of this: that heterosexuality is a relentless shitstorm for women, chosen out of social pressure; that lesbians are fortunate to escape men, and lead some sort of charmed, misogyny-free existence; and thus, that it’s a positive ‘lifestyle choice’ for straight feminists to become lesbians.”

I will likely think of more issues later, but those are the basic points that are at the forefront of my mind at the moment.

The underlying lesbophobia that exists underneath the shiny surface of “sisterhood” is illustrated well by something that recently happened to me:

After doing a guest post, I was initially included by some straight feminist “allies” in conversations and in the possibility of future projects together. It seemed like a good opportunity to bridge the gap between lesbian and straight feminist interests, and I was excited about being a part of a group of (what I thought were) like-minded individuals.

However, when Dirt spoke out against a particular straight woman who is associated with them…someone who has publicly admitted to having previously called herself a Lesbian and to having gained attention for it, by the way…I very quickly found out where I stood with these individuals who I had mistaken as “allies“.

I was blocked immediately by the majority of these straight feminist “allies“, without any conversation…I was excluded from their clique more quickly than you could say “Adios, Lesbo!”

I was immediately and firmly (though very politely) informed by the one (one!!!) individual who would even still speak to me that it would be better if we parted ways.

Would they have excluded a straight woman for something her husband did?  I don’t know…but I highly doubt it.

And, the thing is, I agree that it is actually better that we parted ways. Better for them to rid themselves of the pesky Lesbians with our Inconvenient Truth(s), and better for me to have seen clearly that the initial excitement at being included was really just an illusion, much like the warning on some medications:

A false sense of well-being.

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Because that is what happens to Lesbians…all the time.  We are often lulled into a false sense of well-being by various people who we mistakenly think are on our side, but when the high wears off, as all highs inevitably will, that false sense of well-being is replaced by the dull ache of cold, stark realization that we were always outsiders.

The major lesson here is it is up to Lesbians. It is up to us to fight for our own rights; speak out about our own issues. We are on our own, as we really always were…but that is okay, because we are stronger than we have given ourselves credit for. We don’t need others’ approval, friendship, or help.  We just need to stop diverting our valuable attention and resources and begin ALWAYS putting ourselves and our LESBIAN sisters first.

Why The Truth Matters To Lesbians

The most frequent comments/questions my sweetie Dirt and I have received since we began our quest to expose some of the fake “lesbian experts” who are neither Lesbian nor expert and to call attention to the myriad of ways Straightbians wreak havoc upon Lesbian lives are some variation/combination of the following:

“Why do you care?  Why does it matter? Why can’t you just live and let live? Why are you being mean? Who are you to say who is really a Lesbian? Etc.”

This post will attempt to answer these questions (as well as endless variations of the same theme) by explaining why the truth matters to Lesbian lives…and yes, even to those Lesbians who are asking these questions.

At least on the surface, it initially seemed that it would be obvious why the truth matters to Lesbians (or, at least, why it should matter).

Intuitively, it would seem that everyone would want to know the truth about themselves and their partners, as well as about the so-called “lesbian experts” that have taken it upon themselves to define “Lesbian“.

After all, who would consciously say to a potential love interest: “Please lie to me, because I don’t care who you really are and I don’t care that I am going to get hurt!”?  Who would intentionally pay hard-earned cash to buy a book or to attend a lecture by someone who is an active charlatan peddling false facts?  Who would deliberately follow an alleged “Lesbian expert” on social media if it were known that their “hero” is not really a Lesbian (or an expert)?

What we have learned (and are still figuring out) from the backlash is that there is much more going on underneath the surface than was/is immediately apparent to us.

There is so much resistance to hearing the truth that all women cannot just magically become Lesbians and so much resistance to hearing the truth that the much published and publicized alleged “Lesbian experts” are neither Lesbian nor expert that we need to pause to consider the underlying reasons for this brouhaha.

The primary, and most obvious, issue with facing these truths is denial. It might be that a Lesbian has already fallen in love with a Straightbian, perhaps even invested years of her life with said Straightbian. To admit that it all has been a lie is too painful, so it is much easier to knee-jerk into defensiveness and to lash out at Dirt and me.

From the Straightbian‘s perspective, there are also many reasons to either stay in denial herself (if she is trying to convince herself that she “really is” a Lesbian)…or, if she is self-aware enough to realize on some level that she is a Straightbian, to deflect the attention in order to maintain the ruse. For example, perhaps she has been sexually, emotionally, and/or physically abused by male(s) and is therefore resistant to being with a man, and being a faux “Lesbian” is her safety net, rather than dealing with the real issues.  Perhaps she is getting positive reinforcement for being a fake “Lesbian“: money, attention, security, adoration from a lesbian partner, fame, followers, book readers, lecture attendees, interviews, etc.  Perhaps she is having fun “exploring her sexuality” and feeling like she is “edgy” or a bad-ass rebel. Perhaps she wishes to dominate her relationships and finds it easier to dominate Lesbians than men. Whatever the case (and the situation will vary depending on the reasons she is a Straightbian), there is enough gain for her to continue her behavior — and she doesn’t want us pointing her out as a trespasser, a fraud, and a Nightmare on Lesbo Lane.

One thing that both of us initially underestimated was the sheer amount of Straightbians who have invaded Lesbian lives, both in our everyday social circles and in our collective consciousness. We will write more on this topic later, but, for now, I just want to say that I used to wonder why someone would say she is a Lesbian when she is not.

After all, it is not always easy being a Lesbian. We face many hurdles that straight people do not: potential discrimination in jobs or housing; possible rejection from family, friends, and society; legal struggles;  even the possibility of violence; just to name a few. Lesbian don’t have the straight privilege that heterosexuals blithely enjoy.

So, Dirt and I have both frequently wondered in the past why a woman who is straight would choose to say she is a Lesbian.

Well, the potential reasons vary, as mentioned above and in this post, but a major point I want to make today is that it does, in fact, happen ALL THE TIME ~ for various reasons.

And: most importantly, I want to make the point that because, as Lesbians, we do intimately know the potential problems inherent in coming out and therefore we cannot imagine why someone would falsely claim to be a Lesbian, we, as a group, have had a tendency to automatically believe any woman’s claims of being a “Lesbian“.

Lesbians’ own good-hearted, but ultimately naive, suspension of disbelief has had the chilling effect of leaving our metaphorical windows open for intruders to easily enter and to rape, rob, and rapine whatever they want from right under our trusting noses, including the very definition of our existence.

This harsh truth is difficult to face, but it is necessary for us as a community to start facing the truth in order to reclaim our existence and begin to finally define true Lesbian existence for ourselves.

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As long as Lesbians believe, promote, and/or support the false myth that any woman can become a Lesbian, we will be at least partially responsible for the devastation wrought upon our own Lesbian community.

The truth matters, because Lesbian lives matter. The truth matters to Dirt and me, and we have the right to speak out about it, because we are LESBIANS and because we care about other Lesbians. We can say who other Lesbians are because of a little thing called gaydar (and common sense once you know what to look for). And: we won’t shut up as long as Lesbian lives are being harmed and until only true LESBIANS define Lesbian.

“Dear Lesbian”

Today, after witnessing the vague “advice” given to a lesbian in this column, I have decided to start a “Dear Lesbian” feature.

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Image: #PicsArt #FreeToEdit

Feel free to email me at sayebennett@gmail.com to ask any lesbian-related questions and/or submit requests for topics. Dirt and I will be happy to answer, and we hope our lesbian readers will feel free to chime in with your thoughts also.

(Note: As a blanket cover-my-ass statement, note that everything I say on my blog is my opinion as a lesbian, and should never be considered as any sort of therapy or professional advice).

Today, I will start with addressing the lesbian’s question from the link above.

I will paraphrase the lesbian’s question to the advice columnist (you can read the entire question at the link above if you’d like, but it can be quickly summed up as follows):

Lesbian Question: “My girlfriend of 2 years recently had sex with a man. Should I take her back?”

The advice columnist at the link above gave some generic advice along these lines: “Blah blah blah, get some counseling, it’s not up to me to say, relationships are tough, blah blah blah“.

I can sum up the correct answer to this lesbian’s dilemma very quickly:

Correct Answer: No, you should not take her back. Run like the wind, sister. She is a Straightbian.  Thank her for showing her true colors before you wasted any more precious years of your life, and hold your lesbian head up high as you’re escorting her sorry ass out the door. You deserve someone who will love you for you. You deserve a lesbian.

Sometimes, the answers in life are pretty darn obvious.  This is one of those times.

Truth & “Later-In-Life” Lesbians

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Image: #PicsArt #FreeToEdit

All of us probably know, or at least likely know of, a lesbian who initially married a man, had children (or not), and later (sometimes even much later), finally came out of the closet.  I have known a few myself, and I have heard many other such lesbian-coming-out stories over the years.

Some of the objections to recent posts regarding the question of “Can any woman become a lesbian?” have used this scenario to suggest that it is possible.

Many people also apparently mistook our posts to exclude these women in these scenarios from the category of lesbian, when that is not the case at all.

Although we previously addressed the topic of “behavior versus orientation” a few times in various posts, we neglected to do a entire post focusing on this specific subject.  I belatedly realized, thanks to a commenter, Shine Brightly, that we needed to clarify this aspect of the topic a bit more, because it seems to be a major point of confusion.

So I will attempt to answer this question in this post by using an explanation based on a compilation of all the stories I have heard over the years of various lesbians who came out later-in-life.

So: what is the difference between a lesbian in this scenario mentioned above, versus a “Straightbian“?

The difference is actually quite simple, but the explanation is more complicated.

The key factor is the difference between behavior versus orientation.

In the scenario mentioned above, the woman in question is indeed a lesbian, and she always was.

This woman grew up internalizing all the messages that everyone gets from family, friends, school, church, community, and society in general that being straight is the only acceptable route.

She is likely, although not necessarily, an over-achiever, a “good girl”, an extrovert, and/or a people-pleaser, and she likely received a lot of reinforcement while growing up for meeting other people’s expectations.

She likely felt “different” while growing up, but maybe could not pinpoint why.  She probably had close friendships and attachments with other girls, and likely preferred their company to that of boys.

She likely married young, perhaps to her high school or college boyfriend; and she married him not because she was passionately, head-over-heels in love/lust with him, but because he felt safe, and because marriage was the expected next step in life.

She may or may not have children, but regardless, she really tries to be straight. She tries to be everything that society expects, she tries to be a “good wife”, and she tries very hard to be happy with the life she has chosen.

She ignores feelings of emptiness, boredom, and ennui and sublimates her energy into work, family, volunteering, crafts, church, home projects, etc.

She may stay in this holding pattern for a relatively short time, or she may stay there for a very long time.

She may have some conscious awareness of  her attraction to women, or she may be so practiced in shoving her own feelings down so deep that even she has difficulty excavating them.

Then, at some point, for some reason (and the reasons will vary), she wakes up and she just cannot do it anymore.

She cannot continue to pretend to be something she is not.

She realizes (or has always known on some level, but is just now admitting it for the first time) that her true romantic/sexual orientation is to women.

She starts the process of making the changes needed to move toward an authentic lesbian life.

And even though it is the right path for her, the journey will almost certainly not be easy.  Often the process will be fraught with pain and difficulty.  Many people that she cares about will likely feel hurt, confused, or betrayed.  She will likely lose people she thought she could always count on.

There will likely be much resistance, anger, heartbreak, and angst along the way, but her need to live an authentic lesbian is a more powerful force than the backlash she encounters.

So, yes, the woman in this scenario is indeed a lesbian, despite whether she was married to a man for a couple of months or for 30+ years (or anywhere in between).

There will obviously be variations between lesbians’ individual unique stories, because of each lesbian’s unique circumstances, temperament, background, and situation.

But the general story is universal in such scenarios: genuinely trying to “do the right thing” (that is, what is deemed “right” by society’s standards) by initially attempting to live a heterosexual life before eventually deciding to be true to herself and coming out as a lesbian.

Also, the coming-out process itself will be different for each lesbian, and will be based on individual circumstances and personality characteristics.  Some lesbians come out right away and relatively easily, while others may take months or even years to complete the coming-out process. Some may need therapy to help them sort out a variety of issues like guilt about not meeting expectations, dealing with internalized homophobia, learning self-acceptance, etc.

Again, the key factor to always consider is the difference between behavior and orientation.

In this scenario discussed above, the woman’s behavior (initially) appears to suggest that she is straight (after all, she married a man!).  But: this woman’s true romantic/sexual orientation is really toward women. This woman found intimacy, closeness, love, and “rightness” with a woman that they never even remotely felt with a man, and she moved toward her true lesbian orientation when she was ready to come to terms with it. She did not marry a man for true love, attraction, or lust, but rather for such reasons as familial demands, societal expectations, security, a desire for approval, convenience, religious convictions, companionship, etc.

In contrast, a “Straightbian” is someone who is actually heterosexual but she has chosen to partner with females due to a variety of potential reasons, including, but not limited to: political reasons, being sick of dating men, curiosity, thinking “the grass is greener on the other side”, trauma, mistaking friendship for love, rebelliousness, etc.  The “Straightbian’s” behavior appears to suggest that she is a lesbian (after all, she is dating a woman!).  But:  The “Straightbian’s” true romantic/sexual orientation is toward males, regardless of her behavior.

I hope this post helped to explain the difference between lesbians who come out later in life, after experience with men, versus “Straightbians”.  I realize that it is a complicated topic because no two stories are exactly alike, but the underlying answer is actually quite simple: it’s not what you do, it is who you are.