Men are not better in bed, but neither are women. I’ve come (and cum) to discover that “better” is no way to describe two things that are so inherently different. The ingredients are all the same — the attraction, sexual tension and the novelty — but the execution could not be more out of step. Both have their upsides and downfalls and both work toward the same conclusion. However, I will admit the success rates are also very different.
In the most academic of explanations, one is a run-on sentence, the other an abrupt period — like the difference between a TV series or movie. One is reliable, drawn out, slower and more thoughtful. The other is more exciting yet also the widely accepted standard, with a huge, unpredictable climax. It is no secret what section men and women typically fall into.
I became familiar with women long before I interacted with men. And, while it seems like the clear explanation for my timeline was my four years at an all-girls high school, the more accurate reasoning was fear. No one taught me to trust boys my age — our interactions isolated to the occasional school dance or party.
Femininity was safe. The curves and supple skin of a woman are native and predictable. With time, the feminine form morphed from the naive “safe” to the skillfully “seductive.” And, contrary to popular belief, sex with girls was not limited to scissoring. Generally, sex with women has always been more enjoyable for both parties — a symphony of meaningful movements ending with a crescendo and emotional encore.
The slower pace allows me to appreciate the woman in front of me, as I become more invested in her pleasure and our embrace more emotional. We could go for hours. That is the privilege of being a woman: riding and recovering, sex a cyclical climax. Sex was physically easier, it never got hard — literally. Truthfully, heterosexual couples are not easily having sex in showers and cars. Girl-on-girl sex doesn’t require the amount of space to get down doggy style or reverse cowgirl. Our sex is travel size: it really can be done anywhere, legally, of course.
On the other hand, the “hetero” hookup is a lot — but not in a bad way. Physically, it takes greater commitment but not mentally. Commitment is rarely in the playboy playbook. Fast paced, exciting and unpredictable, men always offer entertainment in the bedroom, from the aggressive kisser to the heavy lifter. I am a sucker for his strong arms lifting me up and pushing me against the wall, my legs in his hands and wrapped around his waist. Unlike women, his actions do not match mine, and the tension grows. Our disparities shroud us with mystery — the male form always pungent with discovery.
To me, the only real difference between straight and gay sex has become psychological. Girls no longer feel so safe — this isn’t my all-girls high school. In a social sense, boys seem safer. The room doesn’t go quiet when I talk about hooking up with a guy. Living in a sorority, it definitely feels more acceptable to chase after masculinity, no matter how toxic it tends to be in Greek life.
I’m reluctant with pronouns, worried that identifying the gender of my hookup will ostracize me. I walk a thin line between approval and being tokenized: the feminine “bi” girl, an ideal threesome candidate and sexual experiment.
I have convinced myself that the straight girls around me don’t want to hear about the gentle embrace of another woman. No, it’s much more fun to gossip about the tiddling touch of a man, mind blown by blowing, a quick entrance and early exit. But, maybe this isn’t true. Maybe, I am just getting in my head, trained by society to be careful with whom gets head.
But Berkeley isn’t like that, right? It’s the home to the outspoken liberals, loud “LOVE IS LOVE” signs and a queer student union. Believe me, I am appreciative of Berkeley culture. I know I am lucky to be in such a forward-thinking environment. However, there still is a clear divide between the pride parades, frat parties and pledging.
I can’t help but cringe when my peers confuse my best friend with my girlfriend or hastily conclude that because I brought a girl to a party, I am fucking her. Quite frankly, I had it coming after signing up for the beyond-heteronormative Greek life. No one is trying to make me uncomfortable, but I am the enigma.
Sometimes, I would prefer to be conventional. It would be easier that way. I could avoid the threesome questions, assumptions and the “who is better in bed?’ interrogation.
Well, my answer is: no one. That is the answer we’ve all been waiting for. It’s the difference between a rom-com and a thriller, the choice between reflection or erection. The ideal lover, woman versus man, is up for interpretation and completely a personal preference. Why else would I hook up with both?
Being bisexual is not limited to genitals or sexual endeavors. I am driven by my surroundings; my “preference” peaks with the varying accessibility of men and women in my life. Unfortunately, it can’t be as simple as hopping into bed.