What Queer Women Who've Only Dated Men Understand

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If you're a woman who is sometimes sexually attracted to other women, but you've only had romantic relationships with men, then you already know that queer women who have only dated men come across their own set of struggles and insecurities. Of course, I'm by no means trying to compare the struggles of queer women like myself to the vast amount of bullshit that gay, lesbian, and transgender individuals experience in our society (though you can also be a trans queer woman who's only dated men). I mean, I've come across blatant disapproval of my queerness before, and people have certainly doubted my sexuality just because of my lack of experience with women — but being a queer woman who's never dated men has never put me in danger, or kept me from being served at a restaurant, either.

That said, being queer and inexperienced comes with its own set of challenges. In my experience, queer women who have only dated men often feel like their inexperience with women somehow makes their sexuality less legitimate, and it can cause all kinds of unpleasant insecurities and self-doubt. In fact, for me personally, my lack of experience with women is part of the reason why it's taken me this long to start writing openly about what it's like to be a queer woman. Even now, I sometimes still feel like my lack of dating experience with women gives me no right to talk about what it's like to be queer, but I'm starting to realize that's a waste of energy, because I am.

Perhaps you can relate. Here are nine things queer women who've only dated men understand.

1. Some People Don't Believe You're Really Queer

I'm not saying every person you talk to about your total lack of dating experience with women is going to doubt your sexuality because of it. In my experience, though, at least some of the people you choose to share this information with will respond in disbelief. They might show it by saying something like, "OK, so you're just curious then," or "Oh, so you just haven't decided on a gender." Or, they might express their doubt simply by saying nothing at all. However they showcase their doubt, it always sucks to be disqualified from your own queerness just because you've only dated men.

2. It Probably Took You A While To Believe It Yourself

I'm sure this isn't the case for all queer women who have strictly dated dudes, but it was definitely the case for me. Although I can remember having crushes on women from as far back as pre-school, (hello, Hallie Berry's character in The Flinstones. I mean, that leopard print costume though?), I didn't really start to accept that the attraction I felt for certain women was more than superficial, but actually quite sexual, until I was in my twenties.

Before my twenties, and especially before I ever fooled around with a woman, I used to say, "I can appreciate the beauty of a woman like I do the beauty of a painting," and other things that weren't really true. It makes me laugh now, but as you likely already know, coming to terms with the fact that your sexuality is more flexible than you thought it was is kind of scary.

3. At Least One Of Your Boyfriends Has Probably Been Threatened By Your Queerness

Maybe he said it in jest — but if you're a queer woman who's only had boyfriends so far, then at least one of those guys commented that your attraction to women meant he had to deal with "twice the competition" for your affection. One of my former boyfriends said this to me more than once. He always seemed to be joking — and I thought it was kind of cute at the time — but it would really bug me to hear it now.

If you're anything like me, then when you're really into someone, there is no competition. Period. Personally, any man who would see my sexuality as a threat to our relationship is not the kind of guy I want to date in the future. I'm insecure enough about my sexuality without dating someone who's insecure about it, too.

4. At Some Point, Your Sexuality Has Been Assumed Incorrectly

I don't know if every queer woman who's only dated men dealt with this when they were growing up, but I sure did. People spread rumors that I was gay at my childhood church just because I'd expressed doubt over whether I'd end up marrying a man when I grew up. Some of my family members thought I was gay just because, until high school, the color pink sickened me, I hated dresses, and I ran around in bare feet, baggy t-shirts, and cut-offs. Plus, I've called myself a feminist for as long as I can remember, and unfortunately, that's sometimes branded me as a "man-hater."

Once, a guy friend of mine who wanted to sleep with me asked me if I was "into the ladies, now?" just because I refused his offer of de-virginization. Hell, even after I'd dated a couple of guys, and started dressing more "feminine," some of my friends and family members still questioned my sexuality because I went through pixie cut phases and enjoyed dressing up as cool dudes — like Captain Jack Sparrow, Ringo Star, and James Dean — at costume parties.

I don't know if they could just tell I was queer before I could or what, but I doubt I'm the only queer woman who can relate to frequently having her sexuality labeled — and labeled incorrectly — when she was growing up.

5. You're Probably A Little Insecure About Your Lack Of Experience With Women

I'm sure there are some queer ladies out there who have never had a girlfriend, or even gone on a date with a woman, who still aren't that insecure about their lack of experience with women. I, however, am not one of them. I feel like I'm not alone in this insecurity, either. If it took you as long to embrace your queerness as it took me, though, then rest in the knowledge that your current lack of experience with women is just part of the journey.

Fortunately, inexperience can be remedied if you want it to be. (Check out this guide on how to explore being with a woman for the first time.) And even if you're already settled down in a monogamous, heterosexual relationship (and as such gaining experience with women is currently off the table), you shouldn't feel like your lack of experience with women makes your queerness any less valid.

6. People Sometimes Assume You're Into Having Threesomes With Your Boyfriends

Maybe you are super into having threesomes with your boyfriends, and as such, this assumption doesn't bother you. If that's the case for you, awesome! Personally, though, when I come across this assumption, it bugs me a little bit. Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against threesomes; but just because I'm queer doesn't mean I'm not monogamous in my relationships.

Since I'm attracted to both men and women, I can understand why some people automatically assume I dig threesomes. Honestly, I wouldn't mind experiencing a threesome myself under the right circumstances. I mean, when I watch porn, threesomes with two girls and one guy are generally what I prefer to see because the women get to experience each other and also enjoy having sex with a dude.

That said, when I'm in a relationship, I like for that relationship to be monogamous as hell. So when people automatically assume that queer women are just naturally down to invite other women to have sex with their boyfriends, it irritates me. If you're also monogamous and sexually interested in both men and women, then you probably get where I'm coming from.

7. You Sometimes Wonder Why You Check Out Women More Often Than Men

I can't speak for all queer women, but I've always been this way. And since I moved to NYC? Forget about it. I'm practically the heart-eye emoji in human form. There's just so many beautiful women to admire here that I can't help myself. I mean, it's not that I don't love looking at attractive men here in NYC, because believe me, I do. (So many handsome men in suits, omg.) I just can't help but look at attractive women more.

Maybe I look at women more than men because I have less experience with women; maybe it's because our society sexualizes and objectifies women more. Or maybe it's just because I know that if a girl catches me looking at her, she'll usually just smile or ignore me completely — whereas if a guy catches me, he'll probably try to talk to me. Whatever it is, though, I definitely check out women more often than I check out men.

8. You're Worried About The LGBT Community Thinking You're A Phony

My gay and lesbian friends have had to go through so much more crap to accept their sexuality, and they've already experienced way more discrimination than I probably ever will, so I often worry that they — and the LGBTQA community in general — will see me as just another straight girl who's looking for attention. I'm sure this says more about my own insecurity than their feelings, but I also don't think I'm the only queer woman who worries about this.

9. When You Meet Other Queer Women Who've Only Dated Men, You Feel An Immediate Bond

When I meet other women who can relate to being queer and inexperienced, I pretty much want to be best friends immediately. It's just so nice to have a few friends who truly understand where I'm coming from. Plus, you know, that whole wing-woman thing comes in handy, too.

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