Hi Roomies, I’m Nari!
Introducing Nari, aka. Lily Smith. A Room of One’s Own’s very own in-house Sexologist, all the way from Australia.
Nari is going to give clear answers to our Roomies questions in The Circle about love, life and sex.
🙋♀️ : Everyone loves in different ways. You can name it whatever, whenever you want.
When you don’t have much experience with romance, it can be hard to know just what it is your feeling. Is this love? attraction? A crush? Even more so when your a woman crushing on another woman.
Modern society is both homosocial and heteronormative. Homosocial refers to a preference for socializing and building bonds within ones gender. Girls are friends with girls. Boys are friends with boys. Heteronormative refers to romantic or sexual relationships between two genders as being considered ‘normal’ and ‘natural’. This means we are taught to look for friendships with the same sex, and to expect to date the opposite sex. Which can be confusing when you think you might be same-sex attracted.
It’s okay to take it case-by-case. You might be attracted to an individual and that doesn’t mean you have to only like people of that same gender for ever. It might be something else, beyond gender, that you are attracted to. Maybe you’re attracted to people who are kind and like basketball and have freckles, regardless of their gender? Maybe your attracted to people who make you feel safe and supported? And maybe you’re just not really attracted to anyone at all, that’s fine too. If you’re a woman who finds herself attracted to other women, you might find that the label ‘lesbian’ connects for you.
🙋♀️ : Of course. 200%!
Don’t try to force yourself to fit into one word, one definition.
Labels like ‘lesbian’, ‘bisexual’ etc can give people a sense of identity and community, but they can also be limiting and restrictive. There are many different types of attraction; sexual, sensual, romantic, personable. You might feel a combination for any person at any time, you might have a preference for a certain gender for some and not for others. And throughout your life your preferences might change. You might enjoy heterosexual relationships throughout your 20’s, but then feel attracted to women in your 30’s. It’s okay to prefer dating women while still enjoying have sex with men. Or vice-versa.
For some people, their preferences are very strong and they just know. They never question it, whether that’s an attraction to men, women or both. For probably most people however, it’s just not that easy. It’s totally normal to be confused and uncertain. It’s also totally normal for your preferences to change. Umbrella terms like ‘queer’ and ‘fluid’ are popular with younger generations who don’t want to be restricted by a single label.
Wouldn't it be okay not to be so strict and serious about sexual identities?
“Banjiha, you identify as queer, don't you?”
When asked, queer artist Banjiha replied like this
”Yeah, well. Not completely… but yeah. Not all the time but... sometimes. yeah.”
🙋♀️ : We get by with a little help from our friends.
Dating as a sexual minority can be difficult. Especially in more conservative societies there can always be some kind of risk. Many people prefer to start meeting potential partners through apps like tinder or bumble. These allow you the safety of anonymity, and an automatic understanding of sexual identity. There’s no need to stand at the bar and wonder, ‘is she flirting with me or is she just friendly?’.
After connecting with someone online you might decide to just be friends, but that opportunity alone will allow you to start building your ‘queer social circle’. You can potentially meet other queer friends through them, or be introduced to bars or clubs that other queer women go to. You can take it slow, dip your toes in the water, and start meeting open-minded people who will support you. Drag-shows are also a great place to meet lots of amazing, friendly, queer people.
The great thing about queer sex of any kind is that you get to make the rules. You get to decide together what ‘sex’ is for you. Maybe you just want to touch each other with your hands or your mouths. Maybe you like to experiment with penetration. Maybe you feel that you like to ‘give’ pleasure, while your partner likes to ‘receive’. Maybe you take turns. Maybe you would like to introduce different kinds of lube, vibrators, strap-ons. You can decided together and as long as you both consent, that’s sex! You win! Remember, sharing sex toys can spread STI’s and potentially cause a vaginal or urinary tract infection. Clean them between use or use a condom.
Check out the lesbian sex position recommendations in A Room of One’s Own for ideas and inspiration. 😉