by Dan Savage
on Fri, Oct 30, 2009 at 3:35 PM
I read your column all the time and I'm hoping you could help me with something. I'm a straight 16-year-old female and I like porn. But for some reason I really enjoy watching Girl-On-Girl or a Girl-With-Toys. If there is a guy in it I find myself looking at the girl. I have no sexual desire for women when I'm not watching porn and I have all the normal teen girl fantasies about boys. But I do remember when I was around eight experimenting sexually with a neighbor (also a girl, also around eight). Does watching lesbian and/or bi porn have something to do with processing that experience or am I a lesbian and don't know it yet? I'm seriously trying to figure this out.
You might be a lesbian or bisexual but not because you experimented with a neighbor girl at age eight—if that made girls queer, VC, there wouldn't be many straight women around. If you do wind up being a lesbian when you grow up it’ll be because you’re emotionally and sexually attracted to other women, not because your were spooked into lesbianism by the kind of run-of-the-mill sexual experimentation that almost all children engage in.
Why can’t you take your eyes off the women when you watch porn if you're not queer? Well, you could be projecting yourself into the porn, i.e. wishing you were those women, wishing you were experiencing what they’re experiencing, getting off vicariously. Or… you could wanna fuck those girls. You need to ask yourself this: What goes through my mind when I'm watching porn? And why didn't I include that highly relevant detail in my letter to "Savage Love"? If you want to kiss those women, if you want to get all girl-on-girl with ‘em, if you want to be the one manipulating those toys, or being the toy, then you might be a dyke.
As for those normal-teen-girl-fantasies-about-boys, do you fantasize about having a boyfriend or do you fantasize about doing a boyfriend? If your boyfriend-related fantasies revolve around the social perks alone—the companionship, the affirmation, the status—you might be a dyke. But if your fantasies about a boyfriend include sucking face (and other things) in addition to the social perks, well, you might be straight or bi.
You’re only 16, VC. Right now all you can do is listen to your heart and your twat and trust that they will, in good time, let you know who and what you are. In the meantime, enjoy—because what other choice do you have?