Girl Talk: Being A Lesbian Doesn’t Mean I Can’t Enjoy Sex With Men

For 10 years, I struggled with my sexual orientation and what to call it. I searched for labels that seemed to fit me best — bisexual, lesbian, fluid, queer? I had been with my first girlfriend for over two years, but still didn’t identify as gay because I continued to be attracted to men.

When I started dating men again at the age of 26, I wasn’t really falling for any them. One night, while I was having sex with a new guy for the first time, I burst out into tears because I realized I was a lesbian.

It wasn’t the intercourse itself that made me come to this realization, it was that being with a man emotionally and physically didn’t feel right. I wasn’t emotionally capable of loving a man. I had feelings of lust, even romantic attraction to the guys I dated, but I never felt that magic spark that bring couples together.

For a few weeks, I abstained from sex altogether as I tried to understand what being a lesbian meant to me. When I figured it out, I felt that I was attracted to women both sexually and emotionally, that I loved women, but didn’t feel I could ever love a man. I wasn’t ruling out being with a man in the future, but at that time, I felt certain I couldn’t be romantically involved with one. In a way, I felt liberated, because 10 years of confusion seemed to come to an end.

“I’ve figured it out! I am a lesbian!” I exclaimed to my other Sapphic friends.

Within weeks though, I was engaging in very unexpected behavior. I resumed sleeping with men with a vengeance, and yet, still identified as a lesbian.

It started with an ex-boyfriend, Eli*. He got back in touch with me a few months after we broke up. After some email exchanges, we decided to hang out. I met him at his apartment and we caught up over wine. As the saying goes “one thing led to another,” and like a scene out of a movie, I was laughing, fell on top of him, looked into his eyes, and we started to make out. Minutes later, we were having sex.

For nearly a year the pattern continued. Whether I had one-night stands or was screwing guys casually, I still identified as a lesbian, and most of these men knew it. I never experienced any cognitive dissonance, confusion, or felt I wasn’t gay. I had learned the art of compartmentalizing and detaching emotions from sex. Sex was sex, not a declaration of sexuality. I liked having sex with men because it felt good and fulfilled all of my urges and cravings.

I found it easy to get laid. Maybe men picked up on the fact that I wouldn’t get emotionally invested or clingy. Maybe I finally figured out how to flaunt my sex appeal or flirt well — two things I never felt I figured out how to do while I was questioning my sexual orientation. Whatever made me attractive to men, it worked, and I relished in my very own sexual revolution.

I’m not saying this is something all lesbians do, quite the opposite. Most of my friends who identify as lesbians have either never had sex with men or stopped dating and sleeping with men as they came to terms with their sexuality. Some of my friends don’t even find men sexually attractive. I’ve only met two gay women who’ve slept with men while they were out-of-the-closet lesbians. One was a girl I dated years ago, Monica*. She told me she still slept with men on a regular basis. Being naïve and still very label-oriented, I told her she was bisexual, not gay.

“No,” she replied. “I’m a lesbian. I still have sex with men because it’s just sex. If I’m horny, and I can’t do it with a girl, I do it with a guy.”

About a year into my sexual spree with men, I stopped. Not because I didn’t want to, in fact, I did want to. But, I met my fiancée, a woman, and fell in love.

I’m lucky in that I can share my feelings about men with my fiancée, and she is neither jealous nor threatened. We even had a trial while she was out of the country of being allowed to kiss boys. I kissed one guy, in a bar. He was definitely sexy, and a great kisser. I got aroused and I knew I would have slept with him had I been single. I still have sex dreams and fantasies about men, but as long as my fiancée and I remain monogamous, my love and sex will remain strictly with my lady.

* Name has been changed.