There's Pleasure In Variety
By Laura Paris
February 10, 2023
Photo credit: Pexels/Alexander Grey
You can call me Juliet, and this is my story. Since I was a little girl, I have always been strongly attracted to women. For 10 years I attended a girls-only Catholic school which extolled the heterosexual model of the Holy Family — Mary, Joseph, and Jesus — and taught that every woman should marry a man and be a virgin until marriage. The strangest thing about my religious education was that I never identified myself with it. I existed outside of the rules I was taught, like an observer from afar. I knew something was different about me.
My adolescent years brought with them a rush of crushes and teenage loves. I was attracted to girls, and every day at school, I noticed their smooth skin, heard their soft voices, and observed the ways in which their bodies moved in every detail. I realized that I could see myself in a relationship with another woman — and that this desire must be kept a secret.
In high school, we had occasional gatherings with other mixed-sex schools. It was at those get-togethers that I had my first interactions with boys, and I noticed how different they were from girls. The sensations they produced were not quite the same as I had grown used to, but they had that same intensity.
This left me confused. I had thought that I only liked women. Perhaps it had been a phase? But as I continued to interact with men and women, I realized I didn’t like one more than the other. Discovering myself as bi meant more than finding the right word in a dictionary; it meant experiencing these sensations. This is not to say that someone who has not had experiences is any less bi, of course. They may want to, but the circumstances of life have not allowed it. What I learned about my bisexuality is that I can fall in love, respect, and share a life with both men and women.
Feeling loved by a man or a woman are different sensations. It’s difficult to compare the two, since each one has its own way to lead us to pleasure and love. Each sex is experienced and lived differently, but I believe that everyone dreams of having a person who loves, values, and respects us, and one who provides us with trust, understanding, peace, and company.
Bisexuality, for me, is being the mythical character in Plato’s The Banquet — a perfect being with two heads, four arms, four legs, and a single body. These bodies could be man-man, woman-woman, and man-woman. This perfect being aroused envy in Zeus, who separated them so that they would wander in incompleteness, forever seeking their missing part. Bi people then are like these two bodies united, regardless of which physique we show; inseparable by Zeus or any other celestial force. We are passionate beings who embrace the true pleasure found in variety.