The Hook Up: A Relationships Column

Hailing from the rough-and-tumble deserts of southern Arizona, where one doesn’t have to bother with such trivialities as “coats” or “daylight savings time,” Anna Pulley is a professional tweeter/blogger for Mother Jones and a freelance writer living in San Francisco. Find her at annapulley.com and on Twitter @annapulley.

A question I’d love to see raised is why lesbians/bi women seem to go straight after 30? Lot’s of my friends have done so. Sure, children might be a reason, but that’s possible in a gay relationship too. People have started to try to fix me up with men since they seem to think it’s about time I got over my youthful follies, or something. Not going to happen for me. Am I missing something here? — Anonymous

Anna Says: Right, you must’ve missed that addendum in the Lesbian Handbook. Let me paraphrase it for you: It’s like Cinderella. Once you’ve hit 30, your carriage turns into a pumpkin casserole recipe from Martha Stewart Living. Your L Word DVDs will also turn into Katherine Heigl rom-coms, so look out for that.

This is all speculation on my end, of course. As a lowly 27-year-old, I still have a few good years of lezzin’ it up before The Curse kicks in. The time span is even shorter if you’re a gay penguin, like Roy and Silo from And Tango Makes Three, who became ex-gays after only a few short years in the limelight!

I’m kidding, folks. I can think of quite a few (hundred thousand) people who’ve managed to stay gay past 30 with seemingly little effort. Sexuality is rarely something that stays fixed our whole lives. It’s a narrative, and it takes as many variations, forks, U-turns and U-hauls as necessary to fulfill this crazy little thing called love. After all, very few lesbians are lifers, meaning they’ve at one point or another sampled the male species, and some continue to partake even after they’ve expressed their love for the ladies: We call these people “Republican Senators.”

I’m sure there are a few people who go back to being straight because it’s easier, culturally and socially. But I think mostly, people simply change. Or maybe they only change on the surface, but they still desire, fantasize, and occasionally hook up with women, even though outwardly they may seem like just another straight chick. Sexuality is incredibly complex, but it’s (sadly) often only defined by who we are sleeping with at any given moment.

As one of my friends put it, “I think that there is a visibility question here — people read me as straight because I present the image of a straight woman. It is easier for me, being married to a Marine and all, to not be “out” about being bi. People see what they want to see, no matter what is going on internally/emotionally.”

It doesn’t help that bisexuality is a sexual identity that is often shrugged off as “a phase,” “confusion,” a “gateway,” “homosexuality lite” or “college.” The more we counter these stereotypes, the easier it’ll be for us all to live the lives we want to live.

You can start by telling those friends trying to hook you up with dudes to STFU.

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