Coming out is a process for most people, myself included. I tried to write about it and realized that to do so in one post would be possible but not ideal. For me, it was an evolution. A collection of starts, stops, and pauses. I will write it as such.
Read previous installments in the Coming Out series.
I went on my first same-sex dates with a girl during my second year of college but, when I started the slow process of coming out to friends and family, I wasn’t in a relationship with anyone. I continued to have romantic encounters with men from time to time. There were a handful of brief hookups at parties and one, pretty illicit, affair that was an awful idea from the start. However, I failed to get anywhere with the handful of queer women that I knew on campus.
After my initial foray into girl-on-girl dating, I got busy with school and with my efforts to carve out a space in the gay community there. Trying to be more social took up a lot of time but I was hopeful that I would find a girlfriend. I stopped bothering with trying to meet someone suitable among the dismal pool of girls from southern Maryland who had profiles on the various dating websites and concentrated on college girls instead.
I made a lot of new friends that year and word that I was into girls definitely got around to the right people. But, my new friendships didn’t turn up any potential, unattached girlfriends. My big crush at the time, Morgan, was graduating and all the other girls that caught my attention (e.g. the pretty redhead who lived down the hall from my best friend) appeared to be straight.
As the school year came to a close, I jumped right back on the cyber market, this time at home.
It only took a week or two to meet April.
In retrospect, starting a relationship with her probably wasn’t a very smart idea. It was doomed from the start. She had just graduated from high school and I was a few years older than her. She wasn’t particularly funny or interesting to me, lived about 45 minutes away, and was still a few weeks away from turning 18 when we met. I was intellectually out of her league and much more mature. We were a difficult match, at best.
But, there was a very small population of women who were online looking for other women in southern Delaware. Most of those women were not even close to being a good fit for me. At the time, I wasn’t old enough to get into bars and I felt like I should stick to dating others who were underage for logistical reasons, if nothing else. It seemed ridiculously futile to think I would find someone suitable. When April messaged, it was like finding a cute blond oasis in the middle of a chick desert. Consenting to our first date was an easy decision.
Looking back, I find it hard to remember much of the time that I spent with her. I don’t recall what we talked about, if we went to movies, or whether we ever had a moment of emotional closeness. She loved soccer and I couldn’t have cared less…every time she started talking about sports, I couldn’t help but tune out.
However, the memories that I do have are crystal clear: driving around in her car, the smoothness of her skin, the fear of getting caught at our parents’ houses. She was shorter than me by about two inches and had a squarish, muscular body. Her hair smelled amazing.
Despite our ages and inexperience, that summer we had one of the more intense affairs of my life.
I had to get through two terribly boring dates before she invited me to her house when her parents were out. We really had absolutely nothing in common and trying to engage each other in conversation was like torture. If we hadn’t had sex that night, I probably would have never bothered seeing her again.
Luckily, we ended up on her couch, watching a movie and making out. When we moved to her bedroom, I was more overwhelmed than nervous. I hadn’t really thought the whole thing through. There was a moment when we stopped kissing and I had a second to think – it was surreal to (figuratively) step back for a second and realize what I was about to do.
In the end, it was easier than I thought it would be. My previous experience with men had been largely tense for me. Sex had been generally uncomfortable and/or painful and I was still inexperienced enough to constantly worry about what my body looked like and what he was thinking and a million other things that made it hard to relax. I always had to concentrate in order to enjoy it.
With April, I was so turned on that none of those things mattered.
She had a way of obliterating all of the thoughts running through my head. She seemed to always know if she didn’t have my undivided attention and found some pretty creative ways of making sure that she got that attention back.
That first night, April took over nearly immediately despite the fact that she was much less experienced than I. It’s sort of amazing took look back and think about how in control she was. I found out later that I was her first female kiss and that she had never had sex before at all. You would never have known it and I am very glad that I wasn’t aware at the time. If I had thought about the fact that she might be a virgin, I’m not sure that I would have gone through with it. Boy, would I have missed out.
We were awesome in bed and, truthfully, I’m happy to give her most of the credit. It turns out that some people really are naturals.
That night marked the beginning of a very interesting summer. For the next few months, we met 3-4 nights a week. I think that not having any emotional ties actually worked in our favor. We were free to explore without really having to worry about all the other trappings of a real relationship and we took full advantage of that.
Sex with April was steamy, fun, and unabashedly enthusiastic. There were quickies, marathons, adventures, and that one time when we figured out that having sex on the beach is ridiculously overrated. It was unlike anything I had experienced before. Until that summer, I would have classified all my sexual encounters as mistakes, one-offs, or two-offs that should have been one-offs.
We came up for air in mid-August
Without warning the relationship ended as quickly as it started. There was no catalyst, no breakup. One day, she didn’t feel well enough to come over. The next day, I had to go do something and couldn’t make it to her house. We had an awkward phone conversation soon after that didn’t result in making plans to hang out and then it was somehow over. The whole thing had just become boring. There was no pretending that we would want to carry on a relationship via phone.
I have no idea what happened to April. She didn’t intend to immediately go to college so I assume that she found a job. At the end of summer, I went back to school, feeling pretty bad ass about my summer stories and slightly concerned that it might be a while before I got to do it again.
I felt lucky to have learned quite a bit that summer. And, though most of the lessons were NC-17, the one that has always stuck with me is very simple: I like to have sex with women. Being with April proved it.
This confirmation was everything to me. I had declared my bi-ness to nearly everyone in my world with only a hint of physical proof that what I thought I knew was actually true. I didn’t need the physical confirmation but it was nice to have. In more than one way…
This knowledge also set me on another curious path of my coming out journey. Not only did I like to have sex with this woman, I liked it better than the sexual experiences that I had had with men. I was still attracted to men and not ready to give up on them but, for the first time, I began to really wonder about where I fell on the spectrum of sexuality. Suddenly, the term ‘bisexual’ had a lot more gray area than I had previously supposed.