Recently, I was lying in bed, cuddling with a close friend of mine, when she suddenly asked, "Do you ever think you'll date a woman again"?
I knew immediately what she meant by her question, and it's not what you may think. It wasn't that she thought I had lost my attraction to women. She wasn't asking to see if I had "picked a side" or turned "fully gay". She didn't believe any flip-flopping stereotypes about bi folks.
She's been unconditionally supportive of my bisexuality for as long as she's known me. She knows that I have romantic and physical attractions to folks of all genders.
However, she was asking because she knows me and my lifestyle all too well. She knows that I never voluntarily choose to exist in straight spaces, especially when there's the option of a queer space. And in the queer spaces that I inhabit there are mostly gay men.
I've also been meeting more and more folks offline. I've gotten off all dating apps entirely, with no real intention of using them in the near future. At this point in my life, I enjoy (and thank God have had some success) meeting people at parties, queer events, through friends, and most recently, the gym.
The thing is, I don't like the majority of straight spaces. This wasn't always the case, but it sure is the case now. Not only do I not enjoy straight spaces, but I'm also not good at engaging with folks in straight spaces either.
I don't like that when I approach most women in a straight bar, they immediately look over to their friends hesitantly before I've said anything. I understand why they do this, as God knows they've had a million creeps come up to them in their lifetime, but I don't like this antagonistic relationship from the get-go.
This is not a relationship I have with men. It's very clear if he's interested in me or not from the first sentence. I like not having that ambiguity when approaching new people I'm interested in having either a romantic or sexual relationship with. Because of this, I feel a lot more comfortable being myself and acting flirty around queer men than I do around women.
I've also come to the conclusion that I have no idea how to interact with the vast majority of straight men. I recently got a bartending job at a swanky hotel in Boston. Needless to say, straight men worked at the bar with me. In weird and subtle ways, I noticed how they would perform masculinity. They'd be competitive about their bartending knowledge, or weirdly attempt to boast about how their drinks were better. (It's like girl, do you think I care? I'm literally just here to make some money.) I'd watch as they bro out over sports (something I can fake knowledge about, but in general, couldn't care less about). The only way I earned some of their respect was by being able to lift some of the heavier boxes. This is simply because I'm a full-fledged gym queen.
Now as I'm moving to Brooklyn, I'm only going to look to work at gay bars. (Luckily there are enough there that I can still find employment, even when limiting my options to gay bars.) I just don't want to work in a space with straight men who feel the need to constantly perform their masculinity.
Because I don't feel as comfortable around women, deleted my dating apps, and tend to avoid straight places, I meet many more queer men than straight or bi women. Nevertheless, I'm still attracted to women. I've still dated more women seriously in my life than I've dated men. I still love and respect women unconditionally. I'm just not currently in a position to meet any women, nor do I see myself in that position again anytime soon.
This is why my friend asked whether I'd ever date women again.
It's definitely a valid question, and I told her the truth: I have no idea. I'm open to dating women, but am not actively pursuing women, nor am I in spaces where I might meet straight or bi women.
As I get older, and presumably only get worse in existing in straight spaces (as I'm really beginning to think that it's a skill I need to practice, and if I don't, I'll simply lose), I don't think it's likely I'll date many women.
Of course, this doesn't make me any less bi. It simply means that I know where I feel comfortable and most welcomed, and that's in queer spaces with a lot of men. If that's what I like and need right now, then I'm going to keep on hanging out in those spaces.