Exploring A Queer Sexuality

Beginning to explore your sexuality can be both a freeing and intimidating experience. Here are some useful tips to help you embark on this journey.

Beginning to explore your sexuality can be both a freeing and intimidating experience. You want to begin this enlightening journey but might be struggling with where exactly to start. Especially when trying to explore a queer sexuality, things can be even more difficult to navigate. The good news is that there is no right way to explore and you shouldn’t expect it to be a smooth and linear process; everyone’s experiences are different and can affect their own personal sexual exploration. 

When it comes to exploring a queer sexuality, there is often much more for folks to consider in addition to pleasure, fantasy, adventure, etc. Things like family, religious beliefs, your culture, the country you live in, etc. can all be factors that either help you with, or get in the way of, your queer identity. For example, if someone were to explore a lesbian identity/sexuality in a country where not only is same-sex relations legal, but also celebrated through pride events, the media, etc, they will most likely have a more positive experience compared to someone trying to explore the same sexuality in a country where it is heavily shamed, or illegal.

As mentioned earlier, there really is no right or wrong way to explore a queer sexuality. However, you may encounter different phases of this experience that you will move through in your own way and at your own pace – or maybe not even at all. By no means is the below a “one-size-fits-all” type of queer development, instead think of it more as offered ideas and suggestions on how to possibly explore your queer sexuality wherever you are in your journey and/or the world, from one LGBTQ person to another. 🙂

owever you may encounter different phases of this experience that you will move through in your own way and at your own pace – or maybe not even at all. By no means is the below a “one-size-fits-all” type of queer development, instead think of it more as offered ideas and suggestions on how to possibly explore your queer sexuality wherever you are in your journey and/or the world, from one LGBTQ person to another. 🙂

1. Questioning and/or Curious

We all have to start somewhere! You may or may not know where the feelings came from or how the thoughts started, or maybe there is that special person who has you questioning everything; but you find yourself thinking maybe “I’m not so straight” or “I think I’m attracted to/identify as/am curious about _____”. Although it can be frightening at first, it can also be exciting as this begins your exploration. You might even think back to this time in the future when you reflect on where it all began for you.

If you feel like you might be in this stage, it could be helpful to try:

  • Reading queer books & blogs
  • Listening to queer podcasts
  • Going to queer events and spaces to meet other people – look on campuses, spaces in your community, online, etc.
  • Talking to any queer friends/family if you have them about their experiences and ask them questions
  • Watching Tv shows & movies either for/about queer people or with important queer characters (link to SE’s lgbtq movies blog?)

2. Experimental

For some, the exploring of your queer sexuality could stop there. Yet for others, you may find you need to do some physical exploring with other folks. This can be trickier for those in rural areas and/or where the LGBTQ community is still shamed or it is even illegal, however although that may be the case, that doesn’t mean that LGBTQ people in those areas don’t exist.

If you feel like you might be in this stage, it could be helpful to try:

  • Online dating apps (some are made specifically for lgbtq folks & identities) – it can be courteous to let potential matches know exactly what you are looking for i.e. casual sex, longterm hookup partner, relationship, more queer friends (some of these apps even have “friend” options!), etc.
  • Going to queer dating/hookup events if there are any in your area
  • Going to queer spaces like bars and cafes to try to meet new people – some places hold dating events too!
  • Reading sex blogs written for and by queer people with any guides on how to engage in a type of sexual activity you may not be familiar with.

Make sure you play and explore safely as you could be engaging in different sexual activities than you might be used to and with new people – so consider things like condoms, dental dams, gloves, etc.

(https://giphy.com/gifs/Etos-d8v3nj8ITgNO3BrE52)

3. Coming Out

Once again, for some, that could be the end of your queer exploration. However, after experimenting, possibly engaging in queer relationships, becoming more of a part of queer culture, etc., you may discover a queer identity and/or sexuality about yourself that you want to label and tell others about. 

Here’s the thing with labels though – some love them, some hate them, some love to hate them, and some folks have a really complicated relationship with theirs. They can be positive, endearing, and yet also problematic and confining to some. You do you! If it feels right, use and love the label that makes you feel closer to YOUR identity and let others do the same. If you find the idea of labels to be well, labeling and restrictive, you don’t have to have one! Once again you do what is right for you and let others do the same.

If and when you feel ready to come out, just remember that YOU decide who you want to come out to and when. You don’t have to come out to everyone, anyone, in a certain way, after a certain amount of time, etc.

It’s not really a one time thing either, more like something you have to continuously make the choice to do with each new person you meet. This decision can be based on a number of important factors such as personal safety, job security, family, religion, etc. Ultimately, you will know what is best for you.

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