Demisexual, pansexual, heterosexual, bisexual, polyamorous?? All of the above.

I have spent a good portion of my life being fairly confused about my sexuality. I say fairly because, overall, I knew exactly how I felt about things, but didn’t know if it was normal, ok , socially acceptable, or if I would ever be fulfilled completely. I knew some things, many things, were best left kept secret. Which, for those of us who are sexually progressive and liberated, we know that just ain’t right, right??

Let’s start at the beginning. Lets psychoanalytically break this shit down.

I remember my first crush. I don’t remember his name. I remember he was a year older than me, I think I was 4. He was blonde, like me, and had an awful mullet, that I’m sure was rockin’ at the time. He was the son of a parent’s friend. And I loved him. I knew I wanted him in some way, more than what I was getting him. I didn’t know how to explain it. I just knew giggling with him and playing his rough games weren’t enough. That memory is definitely vague. But then I remember my next crush, which was much more intense and memorable. I was in kindergarten. Her name was Kanita. She was either Asian or Hispanic, and just a tiny little thing, and I wanted, more than anything, to protect her, and kiss her. I was way possessive of her on the playground. And I, literally, just wanted to put my mouth all over her and eat her up. No language to explain this at the time, and it felt just fine to me. I didn’t know in 1980’s Arkansas, that little girls eating up other little girls was frowned upon. I was often peeled off of her by teachers, and she came to loathe me. I was heartbroken, but quickly moved on.

Elementary school is a series of crushes on boys, lots of sloppy kissing, crushes on girls that were fleeting and went nowhere, and lots of masturbation at home. I knew where my clit was by the time I was 3 or 4 years old. And, you better believe, I knew how to use it. Unfortunately, it is possible that I learned where it was because my biological father may have shown me, in a most illegal way. I truly do not remember, but it’s a huge possibility. Regardless, as this truly has no effect on me, I loved the sensation that it gave, and used it to my advantage on a daily basis. I used my own toys to pleasure myself. I was often caught by my grandmother, who thought the human body was sinful, in and of itself, and shamed me endlessly for masturbating. It didn’t stop me.

When I was 8 and 9 I had a female neighbor who enjoyed masturbating with me when we played. We didn’t touch each other, but sat beside each other doing it, making it part of our game. Totally going until we finished, and were breathing heavily. I felt, intuitively, it wasn’t the most socially acceptable thing, but I didn’t feel like I was doing something terribly wrong either. I never had any desire to masturbate with males at this time.

At 10 years old, I got my first sloppy tongue kiss at my own Halloween party, with a male classmate. Not impressed, but excited. I had a lot of boyfriends that year, and no girl crushes. At this point in my development, I had not even questioned or examined the fact that I was a pendulum that swung back and forth between the genders. I had no concept. At age 11, I had lots of boy crushes, who had no interest in me, because I was awkward and unattractive, I was. Horrible feathered hair with huge thick bangs. But I was obsessed with my best friend at the time’s giant breasts. This was the first time that I started worrying that my sexuality was different, and the thoughts of “gay” crossed my mind. It was shameful, yet appealing, and a huge secret I had no intentions of sharing with anyone.

In 8th grade, at the age of 13, I had an intense crush on one of my female best friends. We often stayed the night together, and I longed to cuddle and be close, but was too scared and worried about my own sexuality to ever say anything or act on it. I remember crying in the dark of her room, typically sleeping on the floor, because the desire to be close was overwhelming, and made me feel incredibly lonely. But then at the age of 14, I came out of my physically awkward and unappealing phase, and males started noticing me a lot, and I was only interested in guys at that time. I didn’t even revisit my feelings for females. I started having sex at the age of 14, although I was much too young, and careless, and nervous. Had I had better parents, it never would have happened that young. I definitely would have waited until I was more mentally prepared, although I am sure oral sex and heavy petting would have been happening. Instead, my neglectful parents were totally accepting of my 14 year old self taking 19 year old males to my room, and locking ourselves in for the evening. I have no idea how I didn’t end up pregnant.

At age 15, I had sex with a female for the first time. I had a boyfriend, and she was one of my close friends. We stayed the night together often. She was already experimenting with other girls. We came back to my house after being out drinking with friends, and we went in that direction. Although I enjoyed it very much sexually, I was again ashamed and confused and asked her never to talk about it to others.

Fast forward to living with that same boyfriend, who became son’s father, who became husband, now ex husband. We lived in a situation in which a lot of partying and drugs were happening; LSD, mushrooms, MDMA. Drugs that broke down barriers and inhibitions. For me, the ages of 18-22 were filled with radical self exploration with a tight knit group of friends. During this time, I allowed my feelings and females to resurface, and finally, openly, and I started to realize that monogamy was very constraining for me. I enjoyed the circle of people laying on each other and rubbing each other’s feet while on MDMA. The flirting and sexual tensions. I started to realize that I didn’t want to remain married to my ex, for a multitude of reasons. I told a male friend that I could actually see myself leaving him and then not becoming attached to anyone, but wanting to be attached with several people, and was slut shamed for even thinking that way. I remember retreating into my shame after that. Although many in my social circle knew I was sexual with females, I made it clear to the girl that I spent the most time with that I was uncomfortable with it being totally out in the open, and that we couldn’t “date” each other.

For the next several years, after leaving my husband, I dated men, mostly, and had one female lover, though always thinking about women and their bodies. I found that I enjoyed amateur online porn, but only of the lesbian sort. I had many casual sexual male partners, but kept all my sleeping around a secret from friends. I kept it hidden from my young son. I had an insatiable sexual appetite, but I see now in hindsight that I enjoyed drawing men in, having sex, with them with only a faint connection, and then being done with them. I often didn’t allow them to stay the night, and often left their homes too. I did not want to cuddle. Due to my neglectful and abusive upbringing, coupled with 2 abusive relationships early on, I enjoyed the power my beauty and body gave me. It was a healing experience for me to hold the power, knowing I had something that person wanted, needed even. There was healing in the energy exchanges. Although it taught me that I only truly enjoy sex and can orgasm when there is a big emotional attraction.

As my soul healed and calmed, the desire and ability to have a meaningful partnership bloomed, and I began dating my now partner and husband. Becoming monogamous with him was not difficult, as it was what I needed at that time. He eventually came to understand and support my need to start dating women again, but in Arkansas, there seemed to be little opportunity for this. The idea of having a threesome with another woman was very appealing to us. When we really began our planning to relocate to Portland, we knew this would become very possible. During this time, I started reading literature about nonmonogamy in tribes and in nature, and had the insight that it can be a biological, normal drive to be with more than one partner at one time. We had friends who were putting some of this into practice, and I enjoyed living vicariously through her experiences. When we finally made the move, we got involved in the organization Sex Positive Portland. I wanted to jump into experimentation in full force, let my hair down so to speak. We had some interesting and wild experiences, group sexual experiences, but that group was not for us. At this time, I also began dating another man, and that bloomed into a full on secondary relationship, though for only about 8 months. My husband and I experimented and pushed our boundaries, learning what is for us, and what isn’t. I have been using online dating for the past year and a half to meet other bisexual women, and have also learned a lot about what that means for me.

I do think I am pansexual, as gender doesn’t matter to me. I have found over the past few months that I am attracted to more masculine appearing females who only date women. I have found that I enjoy being a nude model very much, and like being an exhibitionist. I enjoy sharing my photos with others. I enjoy flirting with males and females. I enjoy loving the fuck out of my gorgeous life partner, and showing him how important he is to me. I enjoy the connections with the new women in my life, and love being seen in public with them. Not gonna hide it anymore. I am grateful for my partner’s open mind, and being able to really examine my fluid and complex sexuality has been healing to me. I now know it is ok to flow in and out of different feelings and urges. I know it is possible to love more than one person, and I also know how difficult that can be too. I urge all to find their tribe who accepts them and allows open dialogue about sexuality. We owe it to ourselves. Speak your truth.