Most misconceptions we hold about sex begin with its very definition. It’s exclusive, to say the least. And I didn’t realise that it marginalised me too.
I discovered that I was bisexual when I was 16, all alone in an empty room, in front of a laptop which has probably seen more of me (I’m not making a metaphor here) than anyone I’ve ever known. Judge me all you want but I have no qualms with the way I found out that my dating pool had expanded because I’ve known others who had it much worse, falling in love with their straight best friend. I will omit the strange details of this mega event of my life owing to the natural tendency of leeches that are known to infect the Internet, to hyper-sexualize a woman’s honest encounters with her sexuality. But I will tell you this; it had a lot to do with the tabooed kind of self-love. For the uninitiated ones, it was while masturbating (although I hadn’t really learnt about the “how” of this utterly satisfying art at the time).
I grew up fairly well-read and well-informed and wore the badge of a liberal feminist ever since I was a 12-year-old who never hesitated when talking about sex. I wasn’t ashamed of being involved in lengthy conversations about sex.
So what came next was surprising.
You see, I had read about internalisation of “heteronormativity” but I never thought I had done it too until I really started thinking about the virgin jokes that were thrown in my face by the adult friends that surrounded me and how easily I accepted them. I knew that virginity was a construct of patriarchy and the comprehension of straight people about “losing your v-card” was confined to penetration – which I’m guessing was to really just stroke the fragile male ego and make men believe that they were in-charge of this sacred task just like every other “sacred” task.
But come to think of it, I believed it for a really long time too. And when I started dating a woman, we were both pulling our hair out in the confusion of “have we had sex or not?”. Even though we’d accepted the revised definition of – “sex is about orgasms, if you’ve had one with your partner, you’ve had sex,” I don’t think we’d really understood what it meant. Subconsciously, we were still stuck on the ancient version, at least I was. Anyway, thanks to Internet education and the adolescent enlightenment, we now think of “having sex” in a way that is much more accommodative of who we are.
I’m about to turn 18 and I think have started placing things in a political context. I want to tell all those boys who in a very cavalier fashion replied with, “Wow, your boyfriend would be lucky,” while talking about my sexual orientation – I don’t exist for your fantasies. I don’t exist to help you get off with the thought of a threesome with my girlfriend and me. I don’t exist for you to fetishize when bored and condemn when charged with a nationalism that teaches you to call me unnatural. I don’t exist for your male gaze, neither does my sexuality. I, in simple words, do not exist for you. It took me a while to understand this, but now I know.