So, how do you know if you’re a lesbian or bisexual? Its actually a big question to ask yourself. However, you’re not alone in asking this – a lot of women find themselves questioning their sexual orientation at different stages of their lives.
The truth is that no one, but yourself can find the answer to this question. It’s YOUR identity, and no partner, parent, friend, mentor, or stranger can figure it out for you. Sexuality is often very fluid. Its is a moveable feast and many people move across a continuum during their sexual lifetimes, with heterosexual on one pole and homosexual on the other. In addition, orientations change over time — sometimes temporarily and others permanently. So, don’t worry too much about being right and finding the right answer.
Even people who identify as strictly homosexual can find themselves in a situation in which they are aroused by heterosexual images or by a heterosexual experience. Or fantasise about genders and sexual experiences that they would not actually physically enjoy in reality.
Then there are the people who identify as homo-flexible or hetero-flexible. Homo-flexible are people who are sexually attracted to people of their own sex, but there are certain situations in which they might be attracted to those of another sex/gender. Hetero-flexible people are primarily attracted to people of the opposite sex, but on occasion they may have a sexual interest or encounter with someone of the same sex. These are often classed as bi-curious women, who occasionally become sexually involved with other women, but who would not have a full romantic relationship with another woman.
There are those who identify as bisexual who lean toward one pole or the other, and tend to confine their serious relationships to either homosexual or heterosexual, but have shorter term liaisons or relationships with people falling toward the other pole.
In the middle are those of us who are closer to 50/50 in our orientations. We come close to equally preferring partners of our own sex and partners of another gender. Many of us find that it is the energy and connection that determines the large part of our attractions.
There are those whose gender orientation is fluid as well and this interacts with sexual orientation. Fluid gender orientation means that the person does not identify as strictly one gender all of the time. He may identify as male some of the time, female some of the time, feel like a mix of the two some of the time or identify as being without a gender.
At the end of the day, you don’t need to label yourself unless it’s what YOU want and it helps YOU. There’s a wealth of info about coming out as LGBT on the internet. We especially recommend the Queer Youth Network website, RH Reality Check or the Both Directions booklet from BCN.