It’s not unusual for a bisexual woman to be unidentifiable at first glance.
And why should we be? There’s no uniform for nonconformity. Sexual orientation shouldn’t warrant a certain look or dress, or some occult tattoo. The entire point of embracing your sexuality is to live in your unapologetic truth. But I’ve had to stop talking to my friends about being interested in and attracted to women almost entirely
[Tweet "The point of embracing your sexuality is to live in your unapologetic truth."]
Unfortunately for me, and many others, being open and honest doesn’t eliminate the longstanding cognitive dissonance that straight men experience when you try to inform them of this.
Just last week a guy friend of mine—and I’m using the term "friend" very loosely— texts me and asks me if I’m bi, out of the blue, I might add. I quickly prepare for the f*ckery that is about to ensue and start to consider this a learning opportunity for my “friend.”
His response: I didn’t know you consider yourself that. I got somebody we can have fun with.
My first reaction isn’t visceral, although my temper was reaching a boil. I remained cool and politely began to educate him on all the ways that women do just fine enjoying sex in the absence of men. And then, I respectfully declined his offer and send him on his way with a “now go f*ck yourself, have a nice day” text.
My exchanges with straight women aren’t much better.
They assume that I must’ve had a threesome before, or I’m at least interested in having one. They want to know many girls I’ve been with, they may start scouring the room to identify what girl looks like my type, or feel compelled to ask about my religious beliefs. Or worse, they misinterpret me owning my sexuality as an invitation for them to “explore” their own sexuality using my body.
That’s no different than a man objectifying a woman. Lucky for them, I’m always available to help women identify when they’re operating from a heterosexist disposition.
I’ll admit: I once had a three-year on-again, off-again situationship with a woman.
She just so happened to also have an on-again, off-again boyfriend the entire time. She knew my family and friends. We’d go on trips, spend birthdays and holidays together. But after coming to the realization that she herself didn’t consider herself bisexual, and that she associated bisexuality as something to be ashamed of, the secrecy of it all began to smother me.
During that three-year time span, I dated a men. One of them, after learning I was bisexual, began thinking I would cheat on him with my then off-again girlfriend. I later determined it had nothing to do with me but that my sexuality in and of itself was an attack on his male ego. And the other decided that my being bisexual meant he was free to date and sleep with whomever. He tried to use my sexuality against me to argue this to his advantage.
The overarching theme in all of this?
Women should be allowed to own their sexuality without being deemed sexual deviants. It perpetuates the idea that there’s a “norm” to deviate from. I’m not knocking open relationships or promiscuity. Women should feel empowered in expressing their sexuality. But monogamy and bisexuality are not mutually exclusive. In the same way that women’s agency cannot be trivialized to the heterosexual women’s refusal to be objectified by men.
[Tweet "Women should be allowed to own their sexuality without being deemed sexual deviants."]
The brain has a natural tendency to categorize people and things to make easier to understand, sure. But leaning on someone’s sexual orientation to determine his or her sexual behavior is a reach.
The notion that bisexual women are having twice the fun: false.
I can’t speak for all bisexual women but I haven’t had sex in as many moons as cats have lives, or 9 months in layman’s terms. If nothing else, take from this that being open to connecting and expressing a genuine interest in someone of the same sex is a far cry from being casual and unselective in a person’s approach to sex and relationships.
DeJanae Evins is a freelance writer and creative from Los Angeles who grew up in a very diverse community, with an insatiable curiosity about herself and the world. Putting the "nose" in nosey, she trusts her instincts to seek out stories, although, more often than not, her best stories are those inspired by her own experiences. She's a crystal-in-her-bra wearing, flexitarian with a mega-watt personality. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter @dejanaetanye.
DeJanae Evins is a certified cannabis educator, consultant and the creator of GreenGoddessGlow, a digital resource at the intersection of cannabis and wellness encouraging mindful cannabis self-care practices. Evins is also a freelance health and wellness writer often discussing topics around sexual health and women's empowerment. Since learning about the Plant Queendom and the many ways we can use plant medicine to heal ourselves both individually and on a global scale, Evins has been vocal in both the cannabis and wellness communities about integrating cannabis in her approach to holistic health. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter @dejanaetanye.
This article is in partnership with Sensodyne.
Our teeth are connected to so many things - our nutrition, our confidence, and our overall mood. We often take for granted how important healthy teeth are, until issues like tooth sensitivity or gum recession come to remind us. Like most things related to our bodies, prevention is the best medicine. Here are five things you can do immediately to improve your oral hygiene, prevent tooth sensitivity, and avoid dental issues down the road.
1) Go Easy On the Rough Brushing: Brushing your teeth is and always will be priority number one in the oral hygiene department. No surprises there! However, there is such a thing as applying too much pressure when brushing…and that can lead to problems over time. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and brush in smooth, circular motions. It may seem counterintuitive, but a gentle approach to brushing is the most effective way to clean those pearly whites without wearing away enamel and exposing sensitive areas of the teeth.
2) Use A Desensitizing Toothpaste: As everyone knows, mouth pain can be highly uncomfortable; but tooth sensitivity is a whole different beast. Hot weather favorites like ice cream and popsicles have the ability to trigger tooth sensitivity, which might make you want to stay away from icy foods altogether. But as always, prevention is the best medicine here. Switching to a toothpaste like Sensodyne’s Sensitivity & Gum toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth will help build a protective layer over sensitive areas of the tooth. Over time, those sharp sensations that occur with extremely cold foods will subside, and you’ll be back to treating yourself to your icy faves like this one!
3) Floss, Rinse, Brush. (And In That Order!): Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s not what you do, but how you do it”? Well, the same thing applies to taking care of your teeth. Even if you are flossing and brushing religiously, you could be missing out on some of the benefits simply because you aren’t doing so in the right order. Flossing is best to do before brushing because it removes food particles and plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach. After a proper flossing sesh, it is important to rinse out your mouth with water after. Finally, you can whip out your toothbrush and get to brushing. Though many of us commonly rinse with water after brushing to remove excess toothpaste, it may not be the best thing for our teeth. That’s because fluoride, the active ingredient in toothpaste that protects your enamel, works best when it gets to sit on the teeth and continue working its magic. Rinsing with water after brushing doesn’t let the toothpaste go to work like it really can. Changing up your order may take some getting used to, but over time, you’ll see the difference.
4) Stay Hydrated: Upping your water supply is a no-fail way to level up your health overall, and your teeth are no exception to this rule. Drinking water not only helps maintain a healthy pH balance in your mouth, but it also washes away residue and acids that can cause enamel erosion. It also helps you steer clear of dry mouth, which is a gateway to bad breath. And who needs that?
5) Show Your Gums Some Love: When it comes to improving your smile, you may be laser-focused on getting your teeth whiter, straighter, and overall healthier. Rightfully so, as these are all attributes of a megawatt smile; but you certainly don’t want to leave gum health out of the equation. If you neglect your gums, you’ll start to notice the effects of plaque buildup, which can irritate the gums and cause gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. Seeing blood while brushing and flossing is a tell-tale sign that your gums are suffering. You may also experience gum recession — a condition where the gum tissue surrounding your teeth pulls back, exposing more of your tooth. Brushing at least twice a day with a gum-protecting toothpaste like Sensodyne Sensitivity and Gum, coupled with regular dentist visits, will keep your gums shining as bright as those pearly whites.
There’s nothing quite as humbling as navigating adulthood with no instruction manual. Since the turn of the decade, it seems like everything in our society that could go wrong has, inevitably, gone wrong. From the global pandemic, our crippling student debt problem, the loneliness crisis, layoffs, global warming, recession, and not to mention figuring out what to eat for dinner every night. This constant state of uncertainty has many of us wondering, when are the grown-ups coming to fix all of this?
But the catch is, we are the new grown-ups.
As if it happened without our permission, we became the new adults. We are the members of society who are paying taxes, having children, getting married, and keeping our communities afloat, one iced latte at a time. Still, there’s something about doing all these grown-up duties that feel unnaturally grown-up. Enter the #teenagegirlinher20s.
If there’s one hashtag to give you the state of the next cohort of adults, it’s this one. Of the videos that have garnered over 3.9M views, you’ll find a collection of users who are overwhelmed by life’s pressing existential responsibilities, clung to nostalgia, and reminiscent of the days when their mom and dad took care of their insurance plans.
no like i cant explain to her why i had to buy multiple tank air dupes from aritzia #teenagegirlinher20s #fyp
The concept of being a 20-something or 30-something teenager is linked to the sentiment of not feeling “grown up enough” to do grown-up things while feeling underprepared and even nihilistic about whether that preparation even matters.
It’s our generation’s version of when we ask our grandmothers how old they are and they simply reply with, “I still feel 45,” all while being every bit of 76 years old. In this, we share a warped concept of time while clinging to a desire for infantilization.
Granted, the pandemic did a number on our concept of time. Many of us who started the pandemic in our early or mid-20s missed out on three fundamental years of socialization, career development, and personal milestones that traditionally help to mark our growth.
Our time to figure out and plan our next steps through fumbling yet active participation was put on pause indefinitely and then resumed provisionally. This in turn has left many of us hanging in the balance of uncertainty as we try to make sense of the disconnect between our minds and bodies in this missing gap of time.
Because we’re all still figuring out what the ramifications of being locked away and frozen in time by a global pandemic will have on us as a society, there really is no “right” way of making up for lost time. Feeling unprepared for any new chapter of life is a natural rite of passage, pandemic or not. However, it’s important to not stay stuck in the last age or period of life that made sense to us because self-growth is the truest evidence of personal progress.
So whether you’re leaning on your inner child, teenager, or 20-something for guidance as you fill the gap between your real age and pandemic age, know that it’s okay to grieve the person you thought you would be and the milestones you thought you’d hit before you ever knew what a pandemic was. If there’s anything that the pandemic taught us, it’s that we have the power to reimagine a better world and life for ourselves. And if we tap into our inner teenager as a compass, we can piece together our next chapter with a fresh outlook.
Sure, we’ve lost a couple of years, but there are still some really amazing ones ahead.
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