I just did a podcast on some lesbian movies over at Cocktail Hour and before the show was even posted, people had already begun talking about how Kissing Jessica Stein was not a lesbian movie. It was a bisexual movie. Ok yeah, Helen is kind of bisexual. Although I’d argue that she just likes sex with who/whatever (what is that, pansexual? I’m bad at labels). But yeah, Jessica is pretty damn straight. And many many lesbians HATE this movie because she’s “an experimenting straight girl.”

It’s not an unknown fact that many a lesbian has been in a relationship with a straight girl that was just “experimenting” and ended up ultimately going back to guys. Which seems to be the crux of why so many lesbians “don’t trust bisexuals.” Because they’re gonna leave you for a man! (Don’t get me started on bisexuals being untrustworthy. It is unbelievably judgmental and pisses me off, and we’d be here all day because some of my favorite humans are bisexual. )

I think a lot of this comes down to human nature. We all need to find a reason why someone left us. When you’re dumped you think “what is missing about me that this person has found somewhere else?” Then, when you have a specter you can spew all your vitriol at, we feel better. We think “oh this happened because she’s experimenting and really likes dudes.” Instead of seeing it as “this person (human, get rid of the pronouns) just wasn’t that into me.” You get hurt, brush yourself off, and move on. Now this can get harder if you end up dating several women in a row and the same thing keeps happening. I would argue that your problem could stem from not being able to see “this person might be an asshole” red flags. It wouldn’t hurt to look into.

Let’s say I date a girl (I wouldn’t, I’m married, but you get the point) and we connect really well, have a great time together, make each other laugh, things are GREAT! But, I’m not that sexually attracted to her. But I want to be. I want to be in a relationship with the girl because she is just stellar. So I try. I like her a whole bunch, but it doesn’t work out because I’m not that interested in that way. Does that make me a bad person for trying? Maybe, it’s completely subjective.

Straight girls do this too! I’ve seen it many times. A friend of mine dates a guy that’s just super nice. It doesn’t last, because she’s not that into him. But she’ll try, dammit. Is she an asshole? Is she a girl that just likes to experiment with nice guys before going for a motorocycle ridin’ bad boy? Does that question even matter?

This is what I think. I think that 100% of dating is experimenting. You think “I’ll just try on this person and see if they fit.” If it’s a nice fit, you’ll keep them around. If it’s a nice fit, but “ugh I just wish this sweater didn’t have these fucking useless pockets” then you’ll wear it until the pockets drive you fucking crazy. It’s possible the sweater you’re looking for absolutely has to have a penis, but how the hell are you going to know that for sure unless you try? I recognize I probably went with that analogy too far, but you get what I mean. Sexuality is just really confusing for a lot of people.

I think we’re getting angry at something that doesn’t need it. I don’t think we need an entity to blame. Will it make you feel better to say “she only left me because I’m not a man”? Maybe. Does that make a single bit of difference to the situation? I don’t think it does. The fact is, she tried you on, you didn’t fit. And that’s ok. Cause you’ll fit someone else like a glove, trust me.

I think the attitudes toward a more fluid sexuality is changing. It seems like that to me, anyway, just from conversations I’ve had with people. But I’m sure I’ve probably pissed off a bunch of lesbians already anyway, so I’ll stop here with a hearty happy Wednesday!


10 thoughts on “Experimenters

  1. I get what you’re saying and agree for the most part.

    I think that many lesbians have a problem with the film – I’m not going to address the bisexual phobia issue directly – because we expected a lesbian romance and that’s not what it was. At the time, there were very few lesbian movies available and we were really desperate to see some happy endings. There were a few other movies where the f/f couple ended up a f/m couple with a broken hearted f off to the side, eventually ending up happy for her ex-gf.

    I think we need to look at lesbian reactions to this type of thing while keeping in mind that the world was much different for those of us who came out in the late 80’s or earlier. Our relationships were widely thought of disposible or “not real” or a way to pass time until a suitable husband showed up. We were already used to feeling less than a m/f couple. For me, and for many others of my generation or older, these films seemed to mirror those views.

    I’ll be very honest, technically, I’m a bisexual woman but I’ve never identified that way. I had a lot negative notions about bisexuals – even though I am one! – and I think that has so much to do with the time that I came of age. It took me many, many years to come to accept that bisexuals aren’t all of the horrible stereotypes that I thought they were. I still know lesbians that don’t trust bisexuals. They’re all my age or older. It takes time and exposure to folks to change perceptions. And good conversations.

    Thanks for starting this one.

    1. You just couldn’t help yourself. I think that’s why the attitudes toward it really are changing because of what you said, new exposure, new conversations. I think they are so very important. Kissing Jessica Stein wasn’t really what this blog was about. It was about the inevitable conversation that always springs up whenever a movie like it is mentioned.

  2. Lori Janos says:

    Nikki, while I don’t know anything about the movie, I really enjoyed your comments on “experimenting.” I am having a bit of a tough time visualizing the “sweater with a penis,” though. lol

    Great job!

  3. […] When you talk to lesbians (#notalllesbians, I know) about bisexuals, a lot of them will say “I don’t trust them, she’ll just end up with a man.” So really, they only like lesbians. Now ask straight guys the same question. A lot of them (#notallstraights, I GET IT) will answer similarly, suggesting the only “bisexuals” they like are drunk girls at college kissing girls to turn a man on. So basically, they only like straight woman that kissed another woman. You can read more about my thoughts on bisexuals and experimenters here. […]

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