I'm a bisexual college student. My peers beg me for details about my sex life — but I refuse to be their entertainment.
When I started dating, my friends at Georgetown wanted more details about my sex life with women.
I didn't want to be their entertainment, so I tried to keep all the details to myself.
Now, I feel more confident dating as a bisexual young person.
As a senior at Georgetown, I've noticed that details about people's sex lives are often used as social currency around campus. Once taboo gossip about sexual positions and partners is now easily spilled — especially after a few glasses of wine in a dorm or on the dance floor of the college bar.
For most of my time at Georgetown, using my sex life as a topic of conversation wasn't just harmless, people expected it of me.
But all that changed a little over a month ago after I broke up with my ex-boyfriend. I started dating men and women; I've known that I'm bisexual since my junior year of high school, when I had a crush on my lacrosse co-captain.
I quickly noticed that many of my peers were curious whether I was going to start dating women, who those women would be, and how I would meet them. It only a few conversations for me to realize that many of these questions were more voyeuristic than genuine, and I decided to stop sharing details of my sex life with my friends.
When I first hit the dating apps this semester, I was very open and candid about my experiences
Talking about dating-app escapades was common; less than a week after returning from winter break — several gin and tonics deep — one of my male friends asked me who my "girl target" was at Georgetown. He was basically asking, if I could have sex with any girl at Georgetown, who would it be?
It wasn't something he would have said sober, but the question made me feel infuriated and inadequate. I would never call someone I'm pursuing a "target," especially not a woman; I know what it feels like to be reduced to a sexual object, and I would never do that to another person.
Another time, one friend told me that it would be "more exciting" if I shared more stories about going on dates with women. Her comment fell nowhere near the disrespect of asking for my "girl target," but it did make me realize that several of my friends were only interested in hearing about my sex life with girls.
After multiple questions like these, I've realized that my friends may not have malicious intentions but reflect a broader voyeuristic interest in the sex lives of women who are exploring their sexualities. At Georgetown, I've been lucky not to have experienced a negative reaction to telling my peers that I am bisexual. However, what I have experienced is an underlying sexualization of bisexual women in college overall.
I've witnessed several similar interactions with other friends who are starting to date across the gender spectrum.
I noticed that my dating life exists to be a source of excitement for others — especially because of my sexuality
That was when I decided I was going to stop sharing details of my sex and dating life with my friends; I didn't want my sex life to be a source of entertainment anymore.
My method for maintaining more privacy has varied from friendship to friendship. In one case, I explicitly told a friend that I would no longer be sharing details with her because I wanted to date multiple genders without her asking probing questions about those experiences. She was slightly hurt but understood. In other situations, I have simply omitted details of my dating escapades from casual conversation, intentionally doing more listening than sharing.
Choosing to reveal less about my sex life to my close friends has resulted in some awkward, one-sided conversations. But my short answers, long stretches of silence, and abrupt topic changes feel necessary right now; it means that I can go about my queer sex life without feeling like a character on a TV show.
Even if it comes from a place of genuine excitement and interest, the phrasing of these questions has made me objectified and uncomfortable — whether directed toward me or toward my bisexual peers.
Now that I'm keeping my sex life to myself, I'm feeling more confident in my queer identity
Recently, I've felt more empowered to meet and date women now. Without constant questions from friends, I feel free to make my own judgments about how I actually feel; I don't have to worry about their opinions.
This newfound privacy allows me to explore my bisexual identity on my terms. As a young person with only a couple of dating experiences under my belt, that's important to me.
Read the original article on Insider