It’s weird to think that exactly eight years ago, I moved into my freshman dorm. I was barely 18. I had no idea how to dress. I had no idea how challenging college would be. And more importantly, I had no idea that my queer sexual awakening was about to begin. My sexual identity journey would not be an easy one. It would be one filled with confusion, denial, and self-loathing.
I hooked up with my first guy my second week of college, and continued hooking up with guys until I graduated. Every time, nearly blacked out. Most of the time, I ended up puking. It wasn’t until after college I was able to embrace my bisexuality (and hook up with guys sober).
So here is what I wish that a bi man told me before heading to college that would have made my time in college a lot easier.
1. People are really going to want to label you as gay
It’s honestly weird how much other people will be consumed with labeling your sexuality. How invested they will become, and how they will love to tell you that you’re actually just gay, instead of bisexual. You need to remember that at the end of the day, you know yourself better than anyone else. I didn’t hold steadfast to the belief that I was bisexual. I was swayed by well-meaning friends that I’m actually straight or gay. This is what contributed to my confusion. Don’t give them any piece of your mind.
2. You will probably meet more gay men who use the bi label as a stepping stone, than out bi men
I’ve worked very hard in my time to dispel false stereotypes about bisexual folks. One of the bigs ones that I attempt to dispel is this idea that bisexual isn’t a legitimate or stable sexual orientation. It’s one that gay guys use when they’re too nervous to come out as gay, so they come as bisexual beforehand. Obviously, this isn’t the case for all gay or bisexual men. But it is the case for many. You will undoubtedly meet gay men who use bi as a pit stop on the way to gaytown. That’s great for them, but that says absolutely nothing about you. You are still bisexual.
3. Hook up with guys sober
It’s nerve-wrecking. It’s scary. It feels a lot realer when you can’t blame your hookup on the alcohol, but just do it. It took me five years to hook up with a guy while I was sober. If I had done it a few times freshman year, I would have realized that this isn’t just a “drunk and horny” thing. I’m sexually attracted to men as well as women.
4. You might not really love it the first couple of times
I didn’t have that "aha" moment I was expecting. I thought I would hook up with a guy, and all the fog would fade and I would I be able to see clearly for the first time. That’s not the case. I put too much pressure on my first hookup with a guy. Because of this, I couldn’t allow myself to enjoy it. It might take a couple of times until you really allow yourself to enjoy hooking up with men.
5. Date someone who gets you
Especially when you’re figuring out your (bi)sexuality, or just recently coming out, find someone who understands what you’re going through. You’re not going to want to have to explain every emotion, how biphobia is real, and how it seems like your attractions to men and women seem to switch daily. Find someone who accepts you, accepts that you’re figuring yourself out, and accepts that you’re attracted to multiple genders.
6. You don’t have to have everything "figured out"
I always struggled with not knowing exactly "what I am" or what I wanted. As someone with anxiety who needs to "get" everything, so to speak, it was difficult to not fully get myself. Sexuality is complex, and honestly, no one has it completely figured out. Definitely not in college, but even out of it.
7. Have fun
Explore. Make mistakes. I used to have this friend who would always say, "Just suck a dick, you know? When else can you do that but in college?" The answer to that question is always, but I agree with his sentiment. Just have some fun while you’re there.