By Megan Sims
What it means for a woman to casually date a woman for the first time.
In October of last year, I turned off men.
What I mean is, I clicked that little button on all my dating apps that allows you to remove the sometimes-kind, often-predatory men that haunt Tinder.
What I mean is: I made a conscious decision to take my queerness fully into my own hands. I decided to embrace the harder path of pursuing the kind of people I wanted, not settling for the easy ones. I joke every now and then after a few drinks that I would like to make out with a mediocre straight boy that night. Without fail, someone raises his hand, proudly proclaiming, “I’m a mediocre straight dude.” Most recently, I took up a self-described moderate bisexual named Teddy at a dorm room party a few weeks ago.
Casually dating men, not women, would be a lot easier. I could probably much more easily keep myself out of one of those relationships that always seem to crop up in my life. I could go on dates—get coffee, go to parties, listen to music—and feel practically nothing. But I want more than nothing.
It sometimes seems like my sexuality is a moving target.
I throw a dart into the void and hope it sticks on something. It never does. I fear labels as much as I love them. I am afraid of what I have to give up by choosing one. I am afraid of what is lost when I play this game of sexuality chameleon. I’m also afraid of meeting new people, making mistakes, and the unknown in all of its staring-back glory.
So why am I embarking on a journey to casually date in D.C. for an entire summer?
I’m not sure. Perhaps I just need to prove to myself that I can. I’m some sort of traveler in this city, impermanent. I can take my experiences with as little weight as I need to, send them down the Potomac if I fail. This isn’t my river anyway.
But I still feel alone. I don’t know how to do what I’m doing here. I found myself last weekend during Capital Pride in the middle of a lesbian party completely paralyzed.
Why someone with a tendency toward introversion and deep-seated social anxiety and serious relationship issues would seek these situations is beyond me. Perhaps I’ll have more nights like that one, sitting in the back of the room missing people who are long gone. But I suppose I’ll have to keep trying. And I’ll keep documenting my adventures.
So, let the games begin.