Is She Really A Lesbian?
What is sex? It is an instinct, an impulse, a drive, a raw, irrational energy that flows through all animals. It is the means by which different species survive. In human beings, it assumes rather complex forms. The highly developed and flexible nature of our minds gives us all bi-sexual tendencies when we are young. We are open, uncertain, and experimental while growing up. As we reach pre-pubescence, our instincts become more settled. Most men go with women; most women go with men; a great many individuals go with members of their own sex.
Our bisexual natures are never completely eliminated however. And it is important to keep this in mind when answering the question that constitutes the title of this article.
You may have met your latest crush when she was out with her girlfriend. She is beautiful, warm, and charming (your crush, that is)—the kind of girl you would like to be with. It may seem that the fact she is already with someone is the least of your problems. You may assume that because she is with another girl she will not be attracted to you. But this is just not how human sexuality works.
The longer I live the more I come to realize that sexuality simply cannot be fixed. If you and your crush are in college, you should be especially wary of giving up on your desires. Living near a university has given me some insight into the habits of twenty-somethings. One of my most significant discoveries is that people in that age group—women especially—experiment openly with sexuality.
For the life of me I cannot figure out what is driving so many young women into what can only be described as make-shift lesbianism. I suspect that many of these relationships begin as really good friendships. Away from home for the first time and looking for a bit of steadiness and security, many young women throw themselves wholeheartedly, at times obsessively, into new friendships. The passion and intensity with which this takes place drives the two women into greater intimacy than either expected, which results in the blurring of lines between non-sexual and sexual love.
In any case, you should not assume that the woman you like is not interested in men just because she happens to be with another girl. Writing her off would be doing yourself a tremendous disservice. The most obvious sign that she is not completely in the nappy dugout, that she is not as committed to playing for the other team as she seems, is if she flirts with you. This can occur explicitly—through the usual varieties of eye contact, touching, and hitting—or in ways that are more subtle.
It is sometimes hard to read the latter. The mean, man-hating lesbian is and has always been a rather nasty meme promoted by the ignorant and the bigoted. No such lesbians exist; and if they do they are in the minority (though I will say that I have been at lesbian parties in which a few of the women found my very presence an annoyance and almost refused to acknowledge my existence).
The point is that you should not confuse warmth, charm, and common civility with an attempt at flirtation. Although in some cases, that may be exactly what it is. If you are unsure, it is best to press ahead and ask your crush out for a coffee or a lunch. That will tell you for sure where she stands.
About Christopher Reid Chris was born in Washington, D.C. and lives in Britain. He works as a blogger, essayist, and novelist. His first book, Tea with Maureen, has just been published.