So You Think You’re A Dyke

Are you a woman who has previously considered yourself heterosexual or perhaps maybe bisexual?  Has that come into conflict with your feminist ideals?  Are you catching yourself thinking more and more about how attractive other women are?  Do you get jealous when your female friends who ‘aren’t quite there yet’ talk about their totally boring nigels?  Do you kind of want to put your arm around another woman, play with her hair, smell her skin?  You are not alone.  You may in fact be going through what many of us already have.

Political Lesbianism.

If you’ve previously considered yourself a supporter of basic human rights for gay people you may find these feelings at odds with what you’ve previously been told about sexuality.  You see, we’re told by most gay rights activists that sexuality is an inherent trait, that its something we’re born with.  That it cannot change.  This view of sexuality makes sense if you’re fighting crypto fascists for basic human dignity.  It doesn’t make so much sense if you’re someone whose going through these feelings, yet haven’t before.  Or not to the level you currently are.

You see, the big con in all of this understanding of sexuality is that heterosexuality is actually a learned behavior.  It is not natural.  At least not in the sense it exists institutionally today.  In fact, it is the very conduit by which the global oppression of womankind is taking place.  Each man gets to own his own woman, or group of women depending on local custom and enjoy what amounts to nothing but glorified prostitution and drudgery from them for as long as he wants/is convenient to him and the preservation of his precious male seed.  

All of this is background stuff really.  I want more to talk about this phenomenon.  Yes, its a phenomenon.  Political lesbianism pisses a lot of people off for various reasons but it is a real thing happening, it is something that feminists go through as a result of the awakening that our consciousness brings.

Theres a lot to shed.  First off there’s the nigels.  Shed those things, my god knock it off with the nigels already.  They can’t and won’t ever change, you’re deluding yourself into thinking otherwise.

Secondly there’s the exposure to creepy male sexuality.  If you were lucky enough to choose the man who would *deflower* you.  I want you to think about your first sexual experiences.  They were pretty good right?  Up until he stuck his penis in you, right?  You were having all manner of intense sexual feelings that then had to be sublimated into doing what he wanted, right?  Then there’s all the porn shit men bring into sex.  If you’re a woman reading this there’s no hope for nigel to not be porn sick.  They’ve all been exposed to more porn than any generation before.  Porn is everywhere, it is the air they breathe and it is the shit they act out on your body.  That porn reel shit they have going on when they’re “making love” to you has an effect on your sexuality and psyche.  You need to work on that.  Its traumatic shit and you need to get it out of your system.  I can’t recommend anything in specific.  For some women, reading about stockholm syndrome helps, for some women mysticism helps, for others various forms of therapy, reflection, study, meditation all help to get that shit out of your body.

To do that you’re gonna need to give yourself time.  Time to heal, time to really think about what it is you want, explore your feelings.  That time should be spent in celibacy.  Do not pursue relationships with other women until you have began doing this work.  There’s enough trauma in this world, lets not inflict it on each other, ok?

So you’ve been doing all this stuff, rethinking your sexuality, reclaiming it, etc.  You’re noticing intense feelings about some women you meet.  You’re attracted to them.  You start to remember little bits and pieces of your life you’d buried.  Times before your feminism when you were attracted to women, when you had intense erotic moments with other women.  You start to realize just how much you’d been repressing just so you could make it work with nigel.

That’s what I mean when I talk about political lesbianism.  I don’t really feel the need to differentiate myself apart from other lesbians except when they’re attacking political lesbians.  Because I am one.  I chose to be a lesbian.  I was bisexual for many years.  Had relationships with other women but repressed a lot of my feelings, was scared of being a dyke.  It took feminism to break that shit down for me.  Make me realize how trauma-bonded I was to men and how it never worked with them because it could never work with them.  This choice to love women is a positive affirmation of my desire.  It wouldn’t have been possible for me without feminism.

I of course, am not the only one whose been through this. That is why the concept exists.

I also believe heterosexual relationships are inherently unequal.  So whether you love women or not, please, love yourself.  Dump your nigel.


22 responses to “So You Think You’re A Dyke

  1. “Shed those things, my god knock it off with the nigels already. They can’t and won’t ever change, you’re deluding yourself into thinking otherwise.”

    Someone had to say it! Love this post.

  2. Beautiful post. It speaks to my own experiences. Thank you for this.<3

  3. “Love yourself, dump your nigel.”


  4. Thanks for this post. i am through this process right now and i needed to read something like this. i am scared to death. and in the moment,for financial reasons,i can´t leave Nigel. also,i may be pregnant with his kid. i am not yet sure. i just know that it is getting everyday more dificult to pretend i still love him. this was a very sensitive post.

  5. This was very well written and explained. The real truth of a lot of lesbians is that were once married to men, or thought they were heterosexual because that is the dominant social system. It seems natural because it is everywhere. Gay Inc., has made the situation worse with this “born that way” ideology. People choose things all the time. The idea that women can actually choose to love women is threatening to patriarchy, much more so than the born that way argument.
    It’s why lesbian only space causes such a fuss, why radical llesbian feminism is so hated, and why there is such oppression of women who want lives without men at all. So great article, all women should read it. All women have been colonized in male supremacy, had our feelings crushed and made fun of, been negated as an erotic person in our own right, and been coerced by horrifying male sexuality. Marriage really is glorified prostitution, and as long as heteroreality dominates everything, we know this is being forced on women.

    • “…all women should read it.”
      Thank you! The more time I sit with this the more important I think it is to spread the good word. Heterosexuality is not normal, rational or inevitable.

  6. “Heterosexuality is not normal, rational or inevitable.”
    This should be on a poster carried in the next women’s march of freedom down 5th Ave. or Hollywood Blvd.!

  7. Thanks for this post, I too am going through this right now the first experience, the porn, the buried attraction to women, the questioning about my own heterosexuality … I dumped Nigel! 13 years of marriage! I feel more free than I never have!

  8. Thank you for this post, it really struck a chord with me. I’ve long since done with the nigels and have had 5+ years of celibacy. I might start to let myself believe I will one day meet a woman to love.

  9. This is beautiful, sister. The “born this way” Gay narrative doesn’t help Women. This does. You are a shero.

  10. Thank you so much for this, really. I won’t get into the specifics about my situation but these are EXACTLY the feelings that I’ve been having but haven’t been able to put into words. I’m also relieved to see other women going through the same thing. With the “born this way” mentality I’ve had a hard time accepting the fact that I could like women even though I am attracted to them now more than ever and would like to explore the possibility of a relationship with one. I have had very traumatic sexual experiences with men and and know exactly what you mean about needing to heal. Those experiences have very much changed me emotionally and how I feel about my sexuality. Thank you for sharing this, you’ve helped me a lot.

  11. Love this post! Like the other women commenting above, I’ve been experiencing this heterosex and male in general -detox recently as well. Mary Daly’s Gyn/Ecology & Sheila Jeffrey’s Anti-climax really helped me get clear about the need to eradicate het-sex period to the point where I was able to see heterosexuality for what it is: the eroticization of domination. Getting this really helped me to sit in the last het sex I had, almost a year ago fully awake and really observe what was happening. Noticing that all his “pleasure” was coming from breaking down my inner barriers. The barriers that I realized later are literally the root of my inner strength and power. It was truly sickening when I realized how much (literally the walls of my cunt) have been taken from me because of this fucked up societally induced norm. Even more sickening was when I considered that it isn’t even likely bringing him any real pleasure (like perhaps a good ass fuck [for him of course] and some cunninlingus would), but instead it was just feeding some fucked up ego aspect of him whispering in his fucked up head that his pleasure equates to my submission.

    I’m practicing integral self referential cunt awareness now (a sexy addition-based type of celibacy). Realizing how much the tensions and relaxations within my cunt’s canal and clit are related to the tensions and relaxations of my entire body (something like kegels but much less forced and fragmented), how the warm and wet pleasure that organically arises makes the deep stretching, aligning, and feeling I do in general that much more enjoyable. My cunt has become something of a completely self referential focal point for the deepening and full body expression of my every sensation, slowly becoming something that I can count on to determine my actions in each moment, literally what tastes right by the lips of my cunt-body. (Its funny when I think about it, like this is what all those chakra kids are talking about, all that align with your root chakra nonsense. Except for women the root is our cunt, in the kundalini rising from there is that heat we experience orgasmically. So, bam, we reach the full expression of our Selves, instead of it being stamped out in het sex, we embrace these root sensations and ride them to enlivened states of integral and interconnected self experience.)

    And I revel so much in my appreciation of women like you who are continuously reflecting on and writing out the path that was and is so necessary to consider and walk in order to truly break the het chains that so limit this embodied way of being that comes so natural to us cunt-beings, making what I think is the most important reclamation in the world a very real potentiality.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! May your work reach billions. ❤❤❤

  12. dworkinsdaughter

    I am going through this as well. You make a great point of giving yourself time to heal in order to stop the cycle of trauma. Great point and one I will heed. Single now for 2 months a serial monogamist beforehand. I’ve finally grokked the fact men will never treat me as an equal and thanks to feminism I care too much for my own self to tolerate it. (Oh and the porn sickness, verbal and physical abuse sure helped me realise)

  13. ‘Cunt Being’ I LOVE it. I worship at the Yoni of my choice, INCLUDING my own! Really liked what you had to say L.K.T. Nature, nurture, what does it matter, if we love womyn and love to share ourselves with them? I know I came out as a Dyke THROUGH the Feminist Alliance and Lesbian Caucus, which helped bring me out….but I also knew it was no longer working with dudes and wanted to try something else…and here I am! A lifelong Dyke! Both Nature and Nurture!

    P.S. I think the gay movement went with the whole ‘born this way’ thing to convince the straights being Lesbian or Gay was ok, like blue eyes or brown hair and that it’s an innate thing. But then it puts people in a rigid box, that you had to have certain traits (which indeed I and many Butch Lesbians do have) that were lifelong. But others come out much, much later in life, especially women, and part of that is strong female friendships morphing into a sexual/romantic relationship especially in finding commonalities with those women, deep solidarity and political/spiritual or other kinds of work women do together. For many it was forms of radical and cultural feminism, then finding that sexual/emotional unity together. Women come out as Dykes in different ways, some through the bar or pure passion, some lifelong knowing, others through tiring with one way relationships with men and wanting something different, or through watching Lesbians and other women bond in a women only environment and falling in love with their Sisters(or a particular one) or lust, for the night. I have seen it OVER AND OVER again this Female bonding going to a women’s festival on the land year after year….and women opening up to female love after we’ve been bonding all week socially, spiritually, emotionally. Recognizing the beauty, the power, and the passion of their Sisters, and honoring their strengths and wanting to bond with them in ever deeper ways…

    For some it’ll merely be an experiment. For others it will be a life change and they will come out and be changed forever, or find the Lesbianism they denied to themselves lifelong. Or it will be a unique connection with a particular woman that brings them to that point. Or they will feel they have more permission to bond with other women sexually and erotically in a community of loving women, including strong Dykes within that community.

    I don’t see why things always have to be so polarized as into “Nature vs nurture” or ‘clitoral orgasm vs vaginal one” or any other polarity like that….sometimes it’s one thing, sometimes both, why choose or feel it’s gotta be strictly one way or another when very likely it’s both!
    -In Sisterhood,

  14. I’m so glad I found this 6-month-old post. I needed to read it. Thank you. Especially for this:

    “You see, the big con in all of this understanding of sexuality is that heterosexuality is actually a learned behavior. It is not natural. At least not in the sense it exists institutionally today.”

    Right there, with that qualification, “at least not in the sense … ” is so helpful. It helps to remove a stumbling block to my understanding. To understanding that while heterosexuality (apart from its reproductive function) might exist, and that it might, in a truly free and liberated social context, be natural for some, it can never really be natural under the shadow of domination.

    We have to continue to remind one another that it IS an institution, that it IS still compulsory, and that there are threats, both explicit and implicit (but mostly the latter), even in a liberal society, against non-participation. There are threats and cheerleaders, every day and everywhere that are so pervasive as to be invisible, that we have to continue to “out” the propaganda, its messages and machinery. All of which is highly suspect. Why all the force-feeding of something that is supposed to be a priori, objectively, and unequivocally delicious?

  15. Thank you so much for this post, and thank you to everyone who commented! I thought I was the only one going through something like this. It feels so much better to know that I am NOT alone.I am going through a bit of a difficult time with it. You see, I was one of those radical feminist dating the magical unicorn. My ex boyfriend of 5 years was a wonderful partner for the most part,, caring supportive, never called me names or raise his voice to me. but still there was something that wasn’t quite right, & I felt it was myAlmost unexplored attraction to women. so basically, I broke up with him because my politics said that I should, and I maybe wanted to have sex with other people. but it was mostly the politics. and he didn’t even exemplify the behavior of men that I have a problem with., I pretty much have just broke up with him because he was a man. I even still think he’s a wonderful person. am I crazy? Has anyone else ever broken up with someone who was pretty perfect for them just because he wasn’t a woman? and I was so sure about what I was doing when I did it, and now that I am having doubts a couple months later, I don’t know if that’s how I really feel or if that’s the Stockholm Syndrome talking. anyone else’s experiences or opinions on this would be greatly appreciated.

    • Yeah thanks for commenting. I think its great you’ve broken up with your dude because he’s a man. I mean that is what women should be doing if they want to take their politics seriously. It isn’t easy at first, its not as if this is a choice that gets any respect in mainstream society and we’re basically taught that if a guy doesn’t beat you, cheat on you or treat you like a slave you better be damned happy and do what you can to keep him. Thats bullshit. That is basic decency and so few men measure up to even that. Let some other chick find this “great guy” you’ve got work to do.

  16. I KNOW I’m a Dyke. I thought I chose to be one when I came out on the college campus in 1981 after relationships with men just didnt work. Plus their penises repulse me. Then I realized once I came out when Lesbian Nation and Radical Feminism and Womyns spirituality were all in full flower and we were questioning questioning everything, that this is what I was meant to be all along: a Butch DykeAmazon.

    So part Nature, part Nurture…and I have NEVER wanted to go back!!!
    -In DykeAmazon Sisterhood,

  17. I’m not a political lesbian; I came out in high school. But, if women want to unlearn their heterosexist behavior and attitudes, then I don’t see anything wrong with becoming a lesbian via radical feminist politics.

    I can sort of understand the “born this way” logic because being a lesbian is a more innate choice than forcing yourself to love men. Still, it often seems that that line is a plea for equal rights based on pity. I wouldn’t choose to be heterosexual.

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