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  1. MeiYouMayo
    MeiYouMayo August 16, 2010 at 9:27 am |

    This really struck a chord with me, because right now I’m going through basically the same exact thing you went through; it’s very reassuring to know that I’m not the only one who’s dealing or has dealt with this sort of thing.

  2. Bushfire
    Bushfire August 16, 2010 at 9:59 am |

    This sounds exactly like me in my first year of college. It’s amazing how your first experience with a woman can change your whole world.

  3. PrettyAmiable
    PrettyAmiable August 16, 2010 at 11:46 am |

    Sometimes I wonder if we only recognize enthusiastic consent once we’ve experienced it with another person, such that we don’t notice when it’s simply affirmative consent prior to that experience. I’m not saying this is an excuse that we can use, but it’s something that I hope will be part of sex ed in the future – the identification of types of consent.

    I’m glad things worked out for you, and to commenter one, I hope everything works out for you as it did for Amelia.

  4. elizabeth
    elizabeth August 16, 2010 at 12:15 pm |

    I could have written this. I think that many of us share very similar experiences when we begin the process of coming out to ourselves and to others.

    It’s so hard to understand, without having experienced it, what enthusiastic content feels like. It’s possible to consent for years without feeling enthusiastic consent. It was so shocking for me to consider that all the experiences I’d considered satisfying for years were, upon closer examination, not what I’d wanted at all.

  5. Astrid
    Astrid August 16, 2010 at 1:15 pm |

    This was really the right post at the right moment, as I struggle with what it means to give consent for sex you’re not really interested in. I am not sure of my sexual orientation (or whether I even believe in sexual orientation labels), but I can certainly relate to the idea that you’re “supposed” to have sex in a relationship, even though I know this is not true.

  6. Jim
    Jim August 16, 2010 at 3:33 pm |

    Amelia, this whole post is wonderful, and I especially apprecite this piece of nuance you included:

    “but I had never been very interested in the sex I had had with men in the past. My boyfriend and I did have sex, and it was something I had convinced myself (dishonestly) that I wanted. I had bought into the idea that I was supposed to want to have sex with my boyfriend, even when I could tell that I was not truly interested.”

    Your experience of coming tracks pretty closely with mine, in the essentials, and I get tired of being asked why if I knew or should have known or must have known I was gay did I go through with that charade…. from people for whom everything is just so clear and simple for them. It must be wonderful to be them. They rarely see how crude and insensitive that formulation is by the way.

    Elizabeth, I like yopur whole commnet. I takes the words right out of my mouth.

    elizabeth: I could have written this. I think that many of us share very similar experiences when we begin the process of coming out to ourselves and to others. It’s so hard to understand, without having experienced it, what enthusiastic content feels like. It’s possible to consent for years without feeling enthusiastic consent. It was so shocking for me to consider that all the experiences I’d considered satisfying for years were, upon closer examination, not what I’d wanted at all.  (Quote this comment?)

  7. Comrade Kevin
    Comrade Kevin August 16, 2010 at 3:52 pm |

    I appreciate the stories I’ve heard. Since I’m currently in an opposite-sex relationship, I can’t completely relate to your role, but I do relate to his.

    A former partner came out as a lesbian a couple years after we’d (briefly) dated. I suspected that something was up because things I’d say during the act itself were very well-received with prior partners, but tended to either repel her or have no effect at all. At first I assumed something was wrong with me, but after giving it some serious thought I eventually figured it out.

    She tried, though. Growing up super-religious as she was, I know that it was something she tried to deny for a long while. This is in great contrast as another friend of mine who also identifies as lesbian who never felt any compulsion to date men at any point in her life and came out in high school.

  8. Heather Aurelia
    Heather Aurelia August 17, 2010 at 7:53 am |

    I am bi/queer as well and I have a boyfriend. He is terribly sweet guy and I love him a lot. But I do the flip-flop all the time! It’s insane!! Some weeks I really don’t want to be with him and other times I can’t wait to be bed with him. So it is very confusing. The weird thing is is that I am not attracted to guys but I am terribly attracted to girls/women all the time! He knows about me and that’s wonderful that he doesn’t care and he uses consent but sometimes I wish for a girl.

  9. Bushfire
    Bushfire August 17, 2010 at 9:29 am |

    Heather, I’ve gone through the exact same thing. I’m in a great relationship with a woman now, but my previous one was with a man. I ‘flip-flopped’ a lot, too. All I can say to you now, years later, is that I feel my female relationship is more stable, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy being with him or that I was “faking” in any way.

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