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‘What Being Queer Taught Me About Sex’

‘What Being Queer Taught Me About Sex’

Laura realised she was bisexual in her teenage years, and while coming out was relatively simple, having sex with a woman—not so much! Here’s what being queer taught her about sex.

When it comes to my sexuality, I feel like I’m one of the lucky ones.

In my teen years it was pretty obvious that I was attracted to women. Some evidence to this fact included:

  • I had an undeniable crush on my beautiful, blonde, sporty best friend;
  • I was a bit too eager to drunkenly kiss my female friends whenever the opportunity playfully arose; and
  • I am still to this day desperately in love with both Brendan Fraser AND Rachel Weisz from the 1999 movie ‘The Mummy’.

As such, looking back it was pretty clear that I was at least a little bit queer, but as I spent the majority of my teen years with different boyfriends, I didn’t really have to come out in any way until I was at University.

This revelation wasn’t much of a surprise to most of my friends, who had frequently witnessed me on Saturday nights, enjoying all the gay bars had to offer. In fact, I remember one day at University someone told me that a friend had seen me getting quite handsy with another girl at a club, and I for some reason made the impulsive decision not to deny it.

I remember saying, “Yeah, she was very pretty. I should have asked for her number.”

It was invigorating to simply own my queerness in that moment, even if it was also a little bit terrifying.

But after a brief look of surprise, my friend just laughed and said… “Okay then.”

No hellfire. No judgement. Like I said, I was one of the lucky ones.

The surprise from people was to be expected as, even in 2013, society wasn’t quite as out and proud about these things as we are now just ten years later—though we can all admit it’s still a general work in progress.

Slowly but surely, I told the people in my life about this side of myself.

I am bisexual.

That at least I knew for sure, even if I was still figuring out what exactly that meant for me.

In theory I was pretty comfortable in my queerness by the time I was 19, but even though I kissed more women in bars and at parties than I can possibly remember, there’s one thing I repeatedly chickened out of doing…

And that’s actually having sex with a woman.

Look, it terrified me, plain and simple. I was scared, anxious, and completely intimidated by the idea of being sexual with a woman, a level of nervousness that I never experienced even in my beginning days of sex as a teenager.

I was in my early twenties, and I’d hardly had a thrilling and skilful sex life up to that point anyway. Sex with men so far had been okay (I guess) but sometimes (mostly) terrible, largely due to the general awkwardness and inexperience of myself and my partners.

I guess you would expect nothing else when sex education in the 2000s was nothing more than scaremongering around pregnancy and STIs, and absolutely nothing to do with actual enjoyment and intimacy.

However, despite all that awkwardness, I’d still managed to actually have sex with several men by this point, and so I ended up spending a lot of time trying to figure out what on earth made the concept of sex with women so terrifyingly different.

Why I felt like more of a virgin than I ever had when I had actually been one.

I conveniently ended up in a relationship with a man for a couple years, and so I could compartmentalise the embarrassing issue for a long while whilst engaging in reasonably frequent mediocre sex.

But then I was 22 and newly single, and I developed the most soul-destroying crush on a woman that I worked with. Unfortunately, due to my very distracting desire to have sex with her, I kind of needed to figure myself out.

In the end, figuring myself out was achieved through the simplest of means... Talking to other queer people who love having sex with women.

So, we talked about it. Why did I get into a state of panic whenever I imagined getting naked with a lady?

Was it a comparison thing? Was I self-conscious due to our bodies being more similar, and it thus being easier to draw comparisons—good or bad?

Was it a dynamic thing? I was used to being quite submissive, but what if my lady-friend was the same and we both ended up twiddling our thumbs with no one ready to make the move?

Or maybe, mortifyingly, was it a skill thing? I had only had sex with cis-gendered men, and insecure or not, I felt like I had a pretty good handle on how to make penises tick… but vaginas. God, they just seemed so much more complex and unknown…

Yeah, it was definitely the last thing. I was scared of having sex with a vagina.

Once I had realised this, my dear friend did the only thing a true friend should do… They laughed at me and reminded me of the simple fact that I too was the owner of a vagina.

After an embarrassingly long moment, I clicked to what they were inferring… that as a cis-gendered woman I had a built-in ‘how-to’ kit in regards to female pleasure, and if I could make myself feel good, chances are I could probably do the same for a partner.

As much as my friend’s advice helped me with my immediate issue, the more important thing it did was make me realise how close minded and boring my mindset was in regards to how I approached sex.

In reality, the thing I was missing from my sexual mindset… was communication.

I was young, and less educated than I am now. I was still ignorant to the diversity of gender expression, sexual preference, and the fact that there is so much more to sex than just what you do to each other’s genitals.

Eventually I managed to break down my mental barriers, and when I finally had sex with my girlfriend, I began to learn so many important things about the role of communication, consent, and boundaries in sex.

No guess work or conversations with friends was ever going to help me be a good sexual partner or calm my anxieties. The only way I would know how to have good sex with a partner, no matter their gender identity or body parts, was to talk to them about what good sex was to them.

Afterall, sex is not a one fits all kind of thing. Two people with the same bodies and gender will not necessarily enjoy being touched in the same way. When I was still figuring myself out, I was so desperate for a definitive handbook on how to do the sex thing correctly, that I really missed the mark on how to actually enjoy myself.

Had it not been for my queerness, I wonder how long it would have taken me to figure this out for myself? How long I would have spent having mediocre or terrible sex because I was too awkward to tell men—“sorry but missionary really doesn’t do it for me”.

For me, the LGBTQIA+ community has always been a bastion of more than just queer pride, but also a place of education and sex positivity. Breaking the moulds of a heteronormative society benefits more than just queer people, as it also gives the space for anyone to explore themselves without expectation or judgement.

The queer people in my life helped me navigate my own journey of sexuality and growth without judgement, and rescued me from beneath a mountain of self-doubt.

This Pride month I am thankful for all the wonderful queer people who continue to make a difference by simply living as their authentic selves, and paving the way for each new generation of our future to be able do the same.

Want more?

Visit our Pride Hub to explore your pleasure at Adulttoymegastore with guides, product recommendations, videos and more!

Read next:

Laura Gardner, Mental Health Advocate & Sex Positive Columnist
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