Sex-ploration: An Odyssey to find your Authentic You.

Approximately a lifetime ago I came out as Bisexual. I was young but I knew my mind. I had had enough sexual experience to know what I liked and I felt fairly certain my preferences would not change. I had a raft of folks telling me I would pick a side eventually, however, here we are over 40 years later and while I have picked a side it is the same one. I am Bisexual. It has been a lifetime of surfing the spectrum of bisexuality but there has been no sea change in my sexual orientation.

However, it is common for most young folks (and some older folks) to feel unsure of exactly how to define themselves. There is absolutely nothing wrong or abnormal about that. Especially now with so many acronyms and labels it can seem overwhelming to figure out where you fit in.

I propose not calling that time confusing. I would like to coin a new term called sex-ploration. It doesn’t necessarily mean it is all sex all the time but rather language to define the journey to determining who you are and how you, or if you, fit into the Queer universe. I would argue saying you are setting off on sex-ploration is more fun than saying you’re confused, you don’t know who you are yet, you can’t make up your mind.

Sex-ploration indicates looking at unexplored territory and confidently making your way in uncharted waters. I know I used the term confidently while fully knowing how challenging it can be sometimes to feel confident as you try new things and meet new people. If you are uncertain just own that…remind yourself that you have a lifetime to know who you are and what you like. It could be using a term or acronym for yourself does not feel right. Don’t jump into saying you’re Bi, or any other term,  if you are not certain you identify that way. You would be surprised how understanding people can be of the journey to find your sexual (and your gender) identity. Many of us have been there and would not even consider pressuring you to explain yourself. Beware of anyone trying to tell you who you are. You are the only one who can give yourself a label or express your own sexual and romantic preferences. In fact, the more open and honest you are it is likely you will find the support and advice you truly need. You may need to actively seek support but it is there, if not locally, then on the internet somewhere (needless to say, sift and winnow, where you are seeking advice and look to legitimate organizations such as GLAAD, Bisexual Resource Center, BiNet, HRC and many others).

There is absolutely nothing wrong with being curious. Curiosity is a wonderful personality trait and one that maintains your mental and physical flexibility. Call yourself bi-curious if you like, say you are on a sex-ploration journey in search of yourself, whatever you want but don’t set anything in stone. While being Bi is not a phase and, in fact, a legitimate sexuality you need to make sure it is the right one for you.

Take your time. Be fair to yourself and to your partners. Be honest. If you do that you will be true to yourself and that is what matters the most.

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