I can’t sleep. So I have a question for you about sexual orientation. How exactly do you define “queer” as an orientation? I know I don’t have to label myself. But I am desperately trying to understand who I really am so I can embrace it. In the last year, I’ve discovered that I thrive when I’m being submissive during sex, as well as when the sex rides that sharp edge between pleasure and pain. I’ve also definitely realized that monogamy isn’t for me, and I’m learning how to navigate having more than one partner in a healthy way. And I don’t think bisexual is right because although I fantasize about women and have enjoyed the few times I’ve played with a woman, I don’t necessarily have visceral, physical attractions to them like I do with men (both cis and trans). Does that sound queer to you?

Who Am I?

Dear Who Am I,

For most queers, “queer” is a lot more than a sexual orientation. It’s a political statement. It’s not just about being cis, trans, or nb. And it’s not just about being attracted to or having sex with folks of a different gender. It’s really more of a statement that you are here to fuck this shit up. It’s about pushing boundaries and challenging norms. It’s kind of like saying “you can’t even handle the reality of my sexual and/or gender identity, so it’s best to not peek behind the curtain.”

The only person who can name your sexual orientation is you. If you feel like you’re queer, then you are. From what you’ve shared here, I’d probably guess your orientation is something like, kinky pansexual (short answer) or kinky nonmonogamous panromantic heterosexual (long answer). But again, I don’t feel like I have the right to bestow these titles on you. Your orientation comes from within, and only you can know your truth. Additionally, for a lot of folks orientation is fluid. Over time, you may find that what is true for you right now at the beginning of 2020 shifts into a different thing altogether. Your orientation now is real, and a different orientation later would also real.

One more really, really important thing! This process you’re going through is known as “questioning,” and it’s a really difficult one. As a matter of fact, we know that folks who are questioning their gender identity and orientation are at the highest risk of violence, both from self harm and from other people. Shifts in identity are so hard, and very taxing on our mental health. It can be very scary/frustrating/angering, and very preoccupying.

Because of the difficulty of this process I always tell folks in these situations to try to embrace “questioning” as your identity. When you’re trying to define your orientation (for yourself or other people), try to be comfortable thinking and saying, “I don’t know yet. I’m questioning everything.” Wear that questioning label with as much pride as you would any other. It’s okay to need time to figure this shit out. Many people reach out and try to quickly grab the first thing that sounds kinda right. But you are allowed to take the time to question, to get know yourself. When you do, the answer of your orientation will likely make itself evident.

Curious about cunnilingus? Anxious about anal? Do you have questions about queefs or problems with your prostate? Lucky Tomaszek is the education coordinator at The Tool Shed: An Erotic Boutique, Milwaukee’s only mission-driven, education-focused sex toy store. Send her an email at [email protected] and she’ll get back to you with an answer.

About The Author

Avatar photo

Lucky Tomaszek, LM, CPM, is the education coordinator at The Tool Shed: An Erotic Boutique, Milwaukee's only mission-driven, education-focused sex toy store. Most mornings you can find her balancing her cat and her keyboard in her lap, working to make the world a smarter, safer place for people of all genders and orientations.