Last Thursday I told my mama that I was bisexual. I had been dancing around the subject for months. She knew about Liri as my closest friend in my new city, but I stopped short of telling her the complete truth. Each time that I bit back a word, I told myself that it was to protect her. This past year has been chock full of major life revelations for me: divorce, Master/slave relationship in BDSM, polyamory. Oh yeah, I hit all the high notes. I’ve told mama about them, and she has stood by me through it all. On top of my own challenges, though, my brother just announced his divorce which rocked the entire family. I thought that the last thing mama needed was to know one more thing about me that was nonconformist, nontraditional and different.
I spent weeks giving myself a pep talk about how to have “the talk.” My stomach was a mess of butterflies every time I heard mama’s voice. After everything I had told her about my sexuality, I didn’t understand what was making me balk. I suppose it boiled down to what every child worries about; I hated disappointing her. I hated upsetting mama and being a cause of her worry. Then on Thursday morning, after we discussed her cat, my dog, my daughter and the weather, I took the plunge.
“Mama, I have something to tell you.”
“Do I need to grab my bottle of whiskey?” she asked.
“It’s ten o’clock in the morning, but probably yes.” I replied.
The truth is that I have no fucking clue what I’m doing when it comes to women, and I said as much to mama. I’ve been bi-curious since elementary school, but I never had the courage to act on my desires. Well, except for making out with Crissy in the woods behind her parents house when I was twelve. Aaaaaand I may have gotten a little fresh with a drunk friend at a party in high school. It was the first time I felt boobs other than my own, and the next day she didn’t remember me copping a feel. I felt guilty but also elated. I had touched breasts!
It wasn’t until Liri popped my lady cherry that I had my first taste of what it felt like to be physically intimate with a woman. I remember telling Nikki that now was the perfect time to explore my desires, and being the supportive soulmateclone that she is, she said “DO IT!”. I would be foolish to remain lusting on the sidelines while a beautiful, intelligent woman like Liri beat me with a flogger. So Liri and I flirted, kissed and talked about all sorts of things. We were becoming close friends, but the crucial difference was that I wanted Liri naked.
If she was a man I would have had the confidence to boldly make my move. I would have recognized the signs, known the steps to the courtship dance that I’ve performed over the years and engaged in it instinctively. Liri is not a man, thankfully. She is tall with legs that go on forever. Her hair is wheat colored and long, and her breasts are full and gorgeous. She’s incredibly intelligent, funny and can out-belch any frat boy. When we’re together, I have an excruciatingly delicious combination of feelings: nervousness, lust, love and frustration. I’m working with no roadmap, and for my Type-A personality, the cluelessness is maddening.
I know the exact moment when I realized that I wanted something more with Liri than the occasional scene at a party or an evening at my place. We were at Frisky Business checking out the sale on Aslan leather strap-on harnesses. We wore dresses and heels and were riding the high of having devoured a bag of Cheetos before our shopping expedition. We held up different sizes of silicone cocks and debated the sizes and shapes. After some discussion we asked the clerk to unlock the dressing room so we could fit the harness on Liri.
The dressing room was large and square, and what I really wanted to do was slip to my knees and run my hands up Liri’s bare legs. I wanted to lift her skirt and bury my face between her legs to have my way with her for as long as I could before we attracted notice. But I didn’t. I was too shy. Too unsure. Too inexperienced. Dear God, I felt like I was seventeen again. We exited the dressing room without sexual incident, and Liri made a quick trip to her car for a coupon. As I waited at the counter, the clerk commented that we made an adorable couple. She said that they didn’t get many “fems” in the store, and she thought we looked really pretty together. My heart soared as I thanked her. It was that moment. That second when I thought, “holy fuck, I want to be Liri’s girlfriend. I want to be something more with her.”
I didn’t give any of these details to mama. I sketched the barest outline; I’m bisexual and finally exploring what that means to me. I’m dating Liri, and she’s amazing. I’m being thoughtful and responsible. There were tears shed on both sides of the conversation, and surprisingly, mama said that she thought it was common for people to have same-sex desires. In her opinion, lots of people have them, they just don’t act on it. Later in the day, she wrote me an email. She wrote that she had been journaling and wanted to share some thoughts, and at the end of her message, I was crying again because of my love for her.
As a therapist, she helps people discover their authentic selves, their true selves. Growing up she gave the message to my brother and I that living a life as your true self was more valuable than going through life living in fear of rocking the boat. So here I am, discovering my authentic self, and even though she’s worried, she’s also proud. I’m doing the exact thing she teaches others to do. I’m my mother’s daughter. I am me. And mama will love me no matter where my journey takes me.