Please excuse any typos - I used a transcription software - please feel free to comment any errors that need to be fixed!
Welcome to love the podcast that deals with issues specific to queer culture. My name is Kim, my pronouns are she/they, and each episode I answer the questions you send in via my Instagram, email, and deep dive on an issue you tend to stumble upon when you date queer. This episode, The topic is,
you know, it's just like the head facts of being bisexual or pansexual.
Hey, I'm Kim. I'm a matchmaker serving the LGBTQ plus babes of London. And I'm recording this because the first time it came out way too sleepy - I recorded during the heatwave. So that might be why... it's been a little while. And I've been thinking about the structure of the podcast.
If you know me, you know I love structure. I will still be answering the questions that you send in and giving you advice on heartbreak, figuring out who you fancy and how to slide into DMS when you're not brave. However, I'm also going to pick one topic for each episode, something that I've had a lot of questions on, and do a bit of digging into it so that I can investigate the more common troubles that we all tend to face. Answer lots of questions in one go.
I also want to show off my matchmaking abilities. So each episode, I'm going to make an impossible match, actually on people that could never be together but would be perfect for each other.
So the main focus today is why is it so hard to date queer when you're bisexual or pansexual? I get this question all the time, especially from women. I'm bi but I can't date girls. It's too hard. It's too scary to approach a girl. I don't know how I can't tell if she's flirting with me. So I'm going to break this down for you. And then I'll give you some exercises to try. And that will hopefully make it a little bit easier for you to date queer.
Because I get this question so much from women and people socialized as women. I will be focusing on bisexual and pansexual people who were socialized as women. Also, that's my experience. So that's where I can speak from best.
Okay, so first of all, before we delve into any deep exploration, it's useful to acknowledge the power of the penis in your sexuality. The penis tends to be seen as the deciding factor. I think we know why that is. Okay, let me explain. When you think about it, bio pan men are seen as gay, and bi or pan women are seen as straight. If a guy sleeps with a million women, but one guy, they're gay. If a woman sleeps with a million women, but one guy, she's striped. The stereotype is that women come out as bi for attention, but they're basically straight. And guys come out with buy because they're secretly gay. In both cases, the presence of a man and your dating history dictates your sexuality in the eyes of society and probably your inner by phobic monologue. So yeah, the penis is the deciding factor. It's an organ that seems to have great influence.
I wonder why.
And this can be a huge factor in internalised by and pan phobia. When you fancy a guy those classic lines can play in your head, whatever your gender, and they replace your bi or pansexuality replacing it with gay or straight. And this internalised bi phobia can leave you feeling less valid in your sexuality.
So that's important.
But what causes all of these problems with pursuing a queer partner aside from that?
I've divided it into two categories.
- No one taking the lead and
- The subtlety of queer attraction.
Firstly, no one taking the lead. Alright, so why would it be people socialised as women have trouble taking the lead? Let's look at which behaviours are kind of like rewarded. So being accommodating, being able to mold around somebody else's needs, being able to connect with whatever topic they bring up in conversation.
When this kind of behaviour is rewarded or expected from you, it's hard to know exactly how to lead an interaction. And in the same kind of way you're taught to be pursued, and to only look for signs of somebody pursuing you. Usually a man. This can make it difficult to see the signs of somebody who isn't a man pursuing you, and you don't necessarily recognise it, and so you don't feel as comfortable making a move or taking the lead because you're not sure if they are interested.
And you know how uncomfortable or unwanted detention is firsthand, you know the feeling when you accidentally make eye contact with someone for too long. And they take it as a sign to come and shut you up. And you don't want to cause that kind of squirmy discomfort to somebody else. You don't want to put that attentional pressure on somebody else.
There's also this negative stereotype sitting in many people's heads of the sexually aggressive dyke. You know, that scary woman who is persistent in her approach of a sweet, innocent straight girl? Yeah, this, this person was invented by men, you won't accidentally become her. If you flirt with that girl on the bookshop. This is just the last biphobia living in your mind.
So how can we break away from these kind of like, ingrained norms and behaviours? No, I'm kidding. I know how I have some exercises for you actually a couple of little fixes for you to try out.
First of all, sit down with a cup of tea, and a piece of paper or even a notebook. And think about the ways in which you like to be pursued. If you have a crush in mind, what things would they do that would let you know that they like you? For example
- How would you like for them to ask you out?
- How would you like them to contact you in between?
- What kind of signs would they show you?
You can think about love languages here but don't get too stuck in them. Think about the signs there could be in each different love language. I don't know about you. But I've noticed that playlist is a big one for me. When people share the music that they like with me, that is a type of wooing that I enjoy.
So once you've written all of these down, you kind of get a better idea of the types of things that you want to receive as signs that somebody likes you.
Now, on another piece of paper, write down what it looks like for you to pursue someone from their perspective.
- What does it look like when you want to ask somebody out?
- What does it look like when it's a date rather than a friend thing?
- What signs do you give to somebody else?
- What signs do you want to give?
- How do you want it to feel for them to be wooed by you?
Write it all down this way you get to know better what courtship looks like for you what it looks like when you're flirting, what it looks like when you're interested in someone and what it might look like when they're interested in you. It will build your awareness of romance. Beyond the straight expectations. Oh my god straight expectations lol.
Alright, next exercise, ask someone out but keep it light. So ask someone out just because you like what they're wearing. Even if you just like the shoes that they're wearing a tiny, tiny reason to ask them out and do it. The worst case scenario you get no. The best cases are multiple and include. You learn about what kind of people you tend to fancy you learn how to cope with rejection, you have a lovely day, you find the love of your life, you have the best sex of your life, you make a friend, the possibilities are endless
Try and do it with a light touch. But take the lead. See how it feels.
And then this last one is an exercise for anyone who, like, shit their pants at the last exercise and need something a little bit more gentle. Try being a little bit more decisive. make little decisions based on your own wants and needs. So practice at first with friends. Take the lead in choosing the movie that you guys watch. So they're like, oh, what kind of movie do you want to watch? You can be like, I want to watch a horror film. They're like, Oh, where do you want to meet? You're like, let's meet at the park main entrance by the cafe. And they're like, what do you want to eat tonight? You're like we're making spaghetti. You know, like you think about what you want and assert that. Rather than asking them what they fancy first.
This person is your friend so they will feel comfortable to be like I don't want us to be gay. Let's have something else. You get used to a sir your wants and needs, knowing that they don't have to be fulfilled. But you still are allowed to share them. Oh my god, I love the idea of like two friends having listened to this, and then they're both trying to assert their needs. That's when you compromise.
Okay, but before you get started, I'm going to prepare you, there's a couple of things to bear in mind with all of these exercises, this will be a little bit scary at first your brain or your body might stress out as you ask someone out or as you choose the movie. But that's not a reason not to do it. That's just your your body processing this new, this new way of asserting your needs. It also might feel selfish, at first, to be assertive with your needs, is not selfish at all to ask for what you want. The other person always has room to say no. And if you start off with friends, you know that they will have no problem telling you that they don't want to have spaghetti.
It might be confusing. It might be confusing. If you're used to kind of like going with the flow, or adjusting to other people's needs, you might not be sure what you want. It might not be obvious right away. But instead of deferring to the other person might be like, Oh, I don't know, whatever you want. Ask them for some time to think, even in small ways, like, Oh, I'm not sure what film to watch. But I know I want to watch a comedy, you know, or if you're on a date with someone and you're not sure if it's going in a romantic direction or not. You can say something like, Oh, I want to see you again. But I'm still not sure if it's more of a friendly or romantic vibe. Yeah, I'm not sure yet is a really great phrase to use.
And then finally, remember, the way that people react to your feelings isn't something that is in your control. Or you can do is voice your wants and needs. And if somebody else has a reaction to it, that's their reaction that they've come up with, you haven't caused that for them. your wants and needs are important. And you have a right to voice them whether somebody else wants the same thing or not. You guys can come to some kind of compromise. You don't have to watch a horror film. It's okay. But you have a right to voice your wants and needs. It's not selfish.
Alright, so the other side, the subtlety of queer attraction.
Queer attraction isn't always obvious. There are a few very good reasons for this. We don't really know the steps to that dance as well as we know the moves that take place in hetero dating. Think about it this way. Every time you've gotten with someone in a clear way has it been kind of messy, or it seemed like a total accident or it's like a mystery of how it happened. I definitely feel that way. We have a less clear idea of what it looks like.
Because we've only seen the romantic dance of heterosexuality play out on screen is the only one that we're really familiar with. And then when we have seen LGBTQ i plus love stories, they've often been written or played by straight people. So it's kind of like an imagining an approximation of queer love rather than what it is actually like in real life. Not to mention the fact that queer courtship can be more subtle. And this is by design because of well centuries of queer phobia shaping the way that we connect with each other. And all of the media made about queer relationships is based on that is based on these relationships that have had to be hidden.
Not only does this make it hard to tell if someone is flirting with you, or if they're just being friendly, but it can make it harder to tell if you're interested in them. And if that interest is friendly, romantic, purely a sexual thing, or you just really want to open a bike repair shop with them, like you can't tell what this attraction is to them, and where you want it to go all of the time.
There's another element as well. Your type might be a total mystery to you, or like wrapped up in a lot of other feelings. It could be veiled by layers of fat phobia. transphobia fat phobia, racism, queer phobia, Butch phobia, lesbo phobia, kindly provided for free from society. And without addressing all of this in your brain, it can be really hard to tell what it feels like for you to fancy someone. So the feeling of attraction might be wrapped up in feelings of shame or discomfort, embarrassment or fear, making it harder to identify. If you have a heavy amount of internalised queer phobia, noticing that you're attracted to somebody queer, might not feel like you expect. You might feel like excited and attracted to them. But you might also feel disgusted or ashamed. And this makes it much harder for you to connect with your core desires. doing the work to deprogram all of this from your brain is also essential for us all to make the world a better place. Really. I mean, if you have mental blocks stopping you from fancying people because of their identity, you probably have mental blocks affecting how you think about them the rest of the time too, so it's best to address that shit. I think that's pretty clear. That's, that's enough. That is enough to confuse anyone. And it's hard to consider all those factors. If you're not. If you're not used to that area of your brain.
You're probably dying for some fixes now, so don't worry, I have them for you.
Step number one. This is very important. Don't be so hard on yourself about this. There are so many things hiding queer attraction in your brain is completely understandable if you have trouble recognising your queer crushes, or not being able to connect with how you feel right away. recognise that this is a really hard process. Forgive yourself for not having mastered it just yet.
The next step is an echo of one of the other exercises that gave us a light touch. When you can't tell why you want to spend time with someone, just spend time with them, and you can figure it out as you're with them. And you'll know better for the next time What certain feelings mean for you. Again, ask people out on a whim. taking a walk or getting a coffee together won't take up too much of your day. And if they aren't your soulmate, maybe they're a friend, maybe you can learn more about yourself. Maybe the most lasting outcome is just a podcast recommendation. Either way, you are less nervous next time. The second lot of exercises are a little bit more abstract.
Part of having a lighter touch is letting your mind change gently. It's assist right world that teaches us that teaches us black and white thinking so you know you're gay or you're straight, you're dating or your friends, you're in a relationship or you're alone. as queer people, we prefer a spectrum, actually. And this means you can take your time and just follow your desires even as they change. So as they like, come up or ease off as they change or as you have more time to notice them. Remember that you can have a romantic friendship, of relationship that ebbs and flows from sexual to the tonic that is allowed, there is no laws against it. The secret ingredient is communication, not just talking about what you both want, but doing so with care so that you both know that you are both worthy and deserving of sharing what you want, even if your desires don't match up. And it's much easier to communicate when you know how you feel and what that means. And all of these exercises will help you get in touch with that.
Okay, so lastly, and I would say most importantly, this is not really an exercise kind of like a lifelong, lifelong work is more like lifelong work. address your biases. So this means like all of that internalised queer phobia, and racism, fatphobia transphobia, femme phobia, Butch phobia, all of the different biases that are kind of like baked into your brain from society, preventing you from really connecting with other people and how you feel about them. You have to address those. I'm going to do an episode on this soon. So send in your questions about that.
It's time for a summary because I love a nice structured talk. If you're somebody who finds it hard to date queer, despite being bisexual or pansexual, they you feel too nervous or inexperienced or unprepared to connect with queer people.
Here are your takeaways.
- Get to know yourself better. How do you like to be wooed? And how do you want to woo others? Ignore the rules of the straight world and figure out your own language for that.
- Try asserting your desires. First of all with friends who trust like choosing the movie, they can always disagree with you as long as you get to practice asserting your wants and needs.
- Ask someone out but keep it light. Know that you just have to be interested in seeing them again, you don't have to know what you want with them yet.
- Apply the idea of a spectrum to your relationships. Notice the friends you are more romantic with the lovers you feel platonic towards the babes. You just want to cuddle and know that it's all okay.
Thinking about the complex and changing nature of your feelings towards people will allow you to recognise and communicate and act on them in the future.
I wish you many many combinations of feelings.
Don't forget uncomfortable sensations might come up you might feel selfish for being assertive, nervous to approach a crush ashamed of confused feelings but these feelings are not a sign that you are wrong or bad. That's just the noise societal norms make when you ignore them.
All right. Okay, so I think that that has the head fucks of bi and pansexuality covered. For now. I mean, there's lots more to talk about, but that's for another episode. I'm gonna move on to a slightly lighter question that was sent in via Instagram.
The question is, how can I tell if I'm being politely ghosted? Alright, I first of all, I object to the word politely. I don't think it's polite to ghost someone. There's only two types of ghosting, like purposeful ghosting, and accidental ghosting, and neither of them are polite. If you feel like you're being ignored, whether that person is just really, really busy right now, or if it seems like they're doing on purpose, the best thing to do is to call them out. And that sounds very scary. But it's actually a lot easier than you think. You can say something like I'm taking this lack of reply to mean that you're no longer interested in me, I hope you figure out how to communicate this the next time it happens to you.
If you want some suggestions and tips on how to have these difficult conversations, or how to send these difficult messages, there is an excellent Instagram account called How to say it. That is how to say it with the number two instead of a word to and a full stop in between each word. And this is an Instagram that basically people write in asking, How do I say this to somebody, when it's kind of like a complex emotional thing that needs to be communicated. And the two people that run the account, write up a suggestion, it says to BFFs who love emotional communication, and they're really good at it. So they have quite a few suggestions of how to message somebody who is ghosting you. I would go over there for a suggestion. If you're not sure how to say it. And then another thing to remember is it's rude of them to ghost you. You don't deserve it. Fuck that person. And if I sound too aggressive about this, it's because I know the person who wrote in and they're the sweetest person ever, and certainly shouldn't be ghosted.
Oh, right. Okay, so it's time for me to show off. Because I'm going to share my impossible match. And this impossible match features to women that I have been obsessed with recently.
One of them is dead. But that is the whole point of an impossible match.
The Impossible match is Frida Kahlo, and Fran Lebowitz.
I'm going to explain this more in a blog post, because I've thought a lot about this. I have a feeling it will seem more sophisticated, and maybe less creepy in writing rather than rambling on a podcast. But basically, they're both hilarious and have very dry humour. They both appreciate good art, and good food. They both hate America. And they would both prefer to spend all of their time in bed. Plus, I mean, Fran would never want a relationship and Frieda would never leave Diego. So it's kind of ideal.
For more details, you can find a blog post on this. On the A Whole Orange website, you can also find another post about bisexuality and pansexuality some encouraging content for you, um, and lots of other goodies on the website, like how to sign up for matchmaking, which is what I spend most of my time doing, connecting up lovely queer people that live in London for friendship, dates, romance, and any combination of complex feelings.
Okay, that's it for this episode. If you have any questions, or any feedback, you can find me on Instagram. I'm considering getting a Twitter account. So please encouraged me from doing that because I kind of don't want to but it's where everything exciting happens. So you can contact me via Instagram at A Whole Orange. You can email me the email address is linked in the show notes and also on all the social media.
I would love to hear from you if you have a question or if you have some feedback on my enjoyment of matching up people that weren't even alive at the same time for romantic relationships, and also always available for talking about either of those women and their work. I can give you some great podcasts and documentary recommendations in that area. Um, yeah. I'd love to hear from you. And if I don't have a lovely day bye