What Does it Mean That All My Exes Go Back to Dating Men?

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I am a lesbian through and through. I’m not the “eww gross, a penis” type of lesbian, nor am I one of those lesbians who actively searches out straight girls to convert to my team. I am a pretty palatable lesbian. I don’t necessarily blend in, but I am not particularly threatening to those who are afraid of my people.  

The other thing you should know about me is that almost all of my exes from the past 20 years are dating or married, to men. To give you an idea of how consistent I am, there are about 12 of them. Some identified as lesbians when I met them, some identified as bisexual, and for some, I knew I was their cunnilingus one-hit-wonder. A few continued to date women for a few years after we broke up, others jumped right on the dick lickity split and never looked back.

So what is it about me? Do I turn gay girls straight or straight girls gay? Or both?

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I joke onstage about being a one woman conversion therapy camp, with a 100% success rate.

It all started in college. I was a first girlfriend for a few girls, and once you’re three for three in the area of “getting a straight girl,” you start to get a reputation. I never actively searched out straight girls, and it is not my fault they put all of us in the same dorm. I was not out to “convert” anyone, let alone bullshit a lady to get her in the sack to raise my numbers. I know those people exist (of all genders and sexualities) I just wasn’t one of them. I was a little tender nugget of a baby dyke that fell hard for pretty girls who would inevitably break my heart.

By my mid-20s, my “converting” reputation started to wane, mostly because I had lost one or two to the other side. Not to mention, by the time most people hit that age, they’ve done some experimenting and figured out what works for them.

Then came 30, that time in our life when we are all supposed to settle down. Even butch lesbians are raised in a culture that tells women they had better settle down before they get old and ugly. The active hunt for a femme lesbian was on. My years of dabbling in the middle were going to have to come to an end unless I wanted a life of endless heartbreak. 

Girls in the middle are always going to pick the guy, right? If you are unsure why some lesbians have a deep-rooted queasiness around bisexuals, it is very simple. We are scared. Society makes life with boys easier, so if all things are equal, why wouldn’t  you pick a boy? It isn’t a hatred of bisexuals; it is a direct result of society telling us that the “straight” way is right. How could any of us assume that we are so awesome you would risk your safety and possibly the approval of your friends and family?

My plan for my thirties was foolproof. I would keep a casual, sort of open relationship with a younger bi-sexual and hunt for my mature, experienced lesbian soul mate. This lesbian would be adorable and a creative genius, with a cool job she didn’t hate, and she would be instantly attracted to me. Too tall of an order? NOPE! I found her and I played it cool. Too cool.

That bisexual open relationship thing I had, well that taught me two things. The first,  30-year-old me wasn’t evolved enough for an open relationship. The second thing it taught me is that if you’re going to order an adorable, creative genius with her shit together, you better believe she won’t have much time for you to get your head out of a 25-year-old’s ass.

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On the bright side, I got to introduce my heaven-sent lesbian to her future husband and take advantage of the open bar at their wedding.

The next woman was not only a lesbian, but a lesbian who had dabbled in the D recently, and this re-affirmed her lesbianism in both of our minds. Needless to say, 30-something-year-old me put a ring on it in no time. Getting into the details of how that played out is another blog entirely, let’s just say I am no longer engaged and, best as I can tell, she no longer identifies as strictly a lesbian.

What is the point of telling you all of this? I guess to share with you how my experience shaped my views about my sexuality and sexuality in general. Sexuality is a component of a relationship, and while physical attraction is often the catalyst for the beginning of a relationship, it alone can’t sustain a relationship.

I attend the weddings of exes and regularly get pictures of babies texted to me and sometimes I have to meet new husbands, it’s awkward for a minute, but it passes. I’ve learned that I underestimated the power of love and that some people really are just looking for their person. I’m still a hopeless romantic, but with a few more scars than I expected.

I’ve learned things about myself in the process.  I’ve learned that my personality doesn’t fit into a box (hehe) and the women that love me are as complex as I am. I’ve learned that love is a messy and dangerous proposition, not meant for the faint of heart. I’ve learned that fluid sexuality is as real as gender fluidity. I’ve learned that the labels we put on ourselves are merely descriptors for where we are in our life.  I’ve learned that my authentic self deserves its freedom, and I was lucky enough to get a front row seat and watch the process of finding oneself unfold before me, time after time. I’ve learned we humans are infinitely convoluted beings.

Most importantly, I’ve learned that I am a girl that dresses like a boy with lots of girly feelings looking for a girl that dresses like a girl, with a real dude interior. I’ll let you know how that turns out.

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