For our gayest episode yet, we are so thrilled to be joined by Marine from The Vegan Vanguard podcast to talk about compulsory heterosexuality and how it impacted our individual queer (and in Nichole’s case, gender) journeys. We had a lot of laughs, a lot of deep moments, and some delightfully TMI conversations along the way!
We take just a brief moment to acknowledge the current “win” for the queer community with the recent Supreme Court ruling that the Civil Rights Act covers the LGBTQ community in terms of employment. A poignant post from the Instagram account @Chikalogy pointed out that the online celebrations from the white LGBTQs was missing how painful it is for queer BIPOC folks that their murders at the hands of the state are still legal and happening nearly everyday. Job protection is great but it matters little when your life is perpetually in danger.
- Landmark civil rights law extends to LGBTQ employees, Supreme Court rules | June 15, 2020 (LA Times)
- Chikalogy’s Instragram Post
What will the first gay Transformer be?
Main Topic: Examining Compulsory Heterosexuality and Our Queer Journeys
We had a BLAST celebrating Pride month with this topic. We start off with the lovely Marine from The Vegan Vanguard podcast defining compulsory heterosexuality and talking about how it appears in our daily lives, impacting our own awareness of our sexuality. Then we all talk about our own experiences with discovering and defining our queerness. Callie says the “p” word, Nichole shaved her head, and Marine confesses to past loves. It’s great.
- Shame | ContraPoints (YouTube)
- gal pals and compulsory heterosexuality by Sophie Jerrome (YouTube)
- What Is Compulsory Heterosexuality? // Comp Het Explained by Tallulah Guard (YouTube)
- Compulsive Heteronoronmativity by Hannah Witton (YouTube)
- No More Secrets, No More Lies African American History and Compulsory Heterosexuality by Mattie Udora Richardson (Journal of Women’s History)
- Queering Anarchism by Various Authors (AK Press)
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Nichole [00:00:27] Hey everyone. I’m Nichole.
Callie [00:00:29] And I’m Callie.
Marine [00:00:31] And I’m Marine.
Nichole [00:00:33] And this is the Bitchy Shitshow podcast. Today, we’ll be bitching about…
Callie [00:00:40] CompHet. Also known as compulsory heterosexuality.
Nichole [00:00:46] Yes. And we will be bitching about it. But we’re also just going to talk about a lot of gay and queer shit. It’s going to be really fun. We have today, as you’ve noticed with us, Marine from the Vegan Vanguard. And you also may recognize her from her YouTube videos on her channel, A Privileged Vegan. She’s a dear friend of ours and came out as bisexual, was it last year? Year before?
Marine [00:01:12] No, I think it was like three years ago.
Nichole [00:01:14] I have no concept of time.
Marine [00:01:15] But maybe on YouTube it was like a couple years ago.
Nichole [00:01:20] Yeah. And it’s just, off-air, you know, a big part of our friendship has always been talking about our queer journeys together. And she sent us the ContraPoints’ Shame video, which was amazing. And we just decided to collaborate on this episode. So we are super excited. Before we get into that, we are going to do a very quick news item just because it’s something I’ve been meaning to mention for a few weeks. So add this to the stream. As you can see, a little while ago, I think it was a couple weeks ago, the Supreme Court ruled that the civil rights law does extend to LGBTQ employees and gives them the protections afforded in that act. And this was something that, you know, blew up all over social media and you had a lot of people talking about how this was a huge win and finally, some good news. And we certainly don’t want to discredit the fact that this is an important piece of legislation, but it did create a lot of issues for black LGBTQ folks because they are currently, at the same time, trying to fight for, you know, their right to not be murdered by police.
Nichole [00:02:38] So we just wanted to highlight this as another way that we sort of segregate the LGBTQ community by giving protections that, I don’t want to say they disproportionately impact white people, but they do create this rift where now white folks have further protections but black folks still don’t have a lot of the protections that they’ve been fighting for in terms of like, please don’t let me get killed out in the street and have that be legal. So we just wanted to take a minute to point that out. And, you know, I thought it was pretty, I didn’t even try to do this but like that there is this white dude wearing an “I can’t breathe” mask and I was like, that kind of says it all right there. Yikes.
Callie [00:03:24] Yeah.
Nichole [00:03:25] Yeah. And I don’t know if you two had anything to add?
Callie [00:03:32] I mean, just second everything you said, you know. On your recommendation and constant reminders in a great way of how fire the book Queering Anarchy is, I just started reading it and I’m just reading the essay right now where I was last night about like the gay marriage movement and how that became such a like focus of the entire kind of queer political movement, was just focused on like equality. And how really that like leaves… It allows people that are marginalized because they’re gay, but like privileged in other ways to kind of try to gain equality with like the cis hetero white supremacist patriarchy, right? And doesn’t really help at all with like, upending these oppressive institutions or really questioning if, like, you know, we shouldn’t even be fighting for the institution of marriage considering how problematic the history is.
Callie [00:04:39] And, you know, I kind of have mixed feelings reading the essay, but I just think this news story brings up and, you know, your take on it brings up a lot of that, just like, you know, when the whole focus of a radical political movement is about like trying to assimilate, right, into like the dominant culture, we just end up leaving a lot of people out. And I think we should be having conversations about like maybe assimilation like isn’t the point. I mean, we’re the queer community. It’s, as we’re gonna talk about today, a noun and a verb. Right, like, I’m trying to like, queer shit up, not become more, and buy into the power structure of the cis hetero patriarchy, so.
Nichole [00:05:23] Yeah, I really like in that book how it made the point of, like, we should be trying to get the state out of our relationships. You know, not trying to like, beg them to be part of it. And I was like, yeah, that’s a pretty, pretty good point. All right, let me remove this from the stream. So, Callie and Marine, what will the first gay transformer be?
Callie [00:05:57] I’m pretty sure we’ve already had one, but I don’t know.
Marine [00:06:01] I’m not very familiar with Transformer, so I feel like this is a reference I’m not going to understand.
Nichole [00:06:13] A Prius. Callie is so mad.
Marine [00:06:18] I don’t understand.
Nichole [00:06:22] The Prius is a very gay car.
Marine [00:06:25] Ohhh.
Nichole [00:06:25] Listen, it was one of the only gay jokes I could find that wasn’t, like, questionable.
Callie [00:06:29] Right.
Nichole [00:06:29] You know?
Marine [00:06:30] Well, I was just listening to last week’s episode where you were talking about how that was your favorite part about the joke is like explaining the joke. Or no, Callie’s favorite part, so you’re welcome.
Nichole [00:06:42] When I wait point two seconds and I’m like, do you get it? Yes.
Callie [00:06:47] Yeah.
Marine [00:06:49] OK. I thought it was going to have to do with something about like “trans” former.
Nichole [00:06:53] Ohhh, I’ll workshop something.
Marine [00:06:57] Please do.
Nichole [00:06:58] See if I can come up with something good. Yes. So gay stuff.
Callie [00:07:04] Gay stuff!
Nichole [00:07:05] Queer shit. So I think, we asked Marine to kick us off the topic with a definition and some explanation about CompHet. What it is, what it means, and Callie and I will certainly jump in to flesh it out, too. But we figured there are probably a lot of you who already are familiar with the concept, but just in case anyone is not, it certainly was new to me until recently. So, Marine, if you will.
Marine [00:07:33] Sure.
Nichole [00:07:34] What the heck is CompHet?
Marine [00:07:35] Yes. I agree. When CountraPoints’ video came out, I don’t think I’d ever heard of it and then now just, I feel like since her video came out, all I can hear about is CompHet. So I don’t know if that’s just because I’m more, like because I know the term and so I’m more tuned in or because more people are talking about it but. So the term compulsory heteronormativity originated from an essay written by Adrian Rich in 1980. So over 40 years ago, which I did not know, which is pretty cool that people have been talking about it for so long.
Nichole [00:08:14] I know.
Marine [00:08:15] Yeah, so CompHet argues that heterosexuality is not natural and it is actually a violent political institution imposed on society and its people. It assesses heterosexuality as an oppressive institution, so like classism and racism, in that you will find rewards for abiding by heterosexuality and its rules, and also be met with punishment if you deviate from it and all of our institutions. So in our legal institutions, political, financial, medical, religious, educational and social. And so CompHet doesn’t only apply to women. Obviously, heterosexuality and heteronormativity affect everyone in society. But it’s been particularly studied as it relates to women because of misogyny and lesbiphobia. That’s how you say it right? Lesbiphobia?
Nichole [00:09:14] Mm hmm. I know, it always sounds wrong to me.
Marine [00:09:15] Yeah, it sounds weird for some reason. Yeah. And it is a slightly different, well, it’s slightly more nuanced than heteronormativity because of this element of like being compulsory, like compulsory heteronormativity. And it speaks to the like that particular dimension that because of the patriarchy, that compulsory piece has been more imposed on women because they have more often been stripped of the capacity of making another choice besides heterosexuality because they were in the subordinate position. So, for example, when they relied on men financially and needed like a husband to open a bank account or secure housing, et cetera, all these things that are tied to like, yeah, needing a man for survival.
Marine [00:10:05] And CompHet as it relates specifically to women has also been vastly supported by art and media. And this is the, like all the things that I find really fascinating. But so, we’re obviously going to talk about a lot of the stereotypes but just a few that I wrote down here, is women falling in love with men as like the pinnacle of their lives and actually the point at which their lives can finally start, which we’ve seen again and again and again.
Nichole [00:10:34] Wonder Woman.
Marine [00:10:38] Yeah. Or kind of conversely, normalizing, like if it isn’t the pinnacle of their lives, then normalizing the fact that relationships with men really aren’t that fulfilling and they should just put up with it anyway. The idea that yeah, it doesn’t really matter what we want anyway so if it, yeah, if it sucks or if it’s not driven by our desires, like that’s also totally fine and normal and like our place. So it’s just not, I feel like, yeah, it’s just not shown, being romantically with another woman is just not shown as like a real fulfilling, long-lasting option. And another thing, another stereotype is, for example, the stereotype of “gal pals” in like in movies. I feel like that’s something that really affected me when I was younger. Just this whole idea, like I remember with my best friend, we were so close. And honestly, now I look back on it like totally in love with each other, or at least I was, I think, in love with her. And we’d have these long, drawn out conversations of like, oh, if only like one of us were a man, it would be like so great because, like, we could get married and spend the rest of our lives together. It just didn’t really occur to us that, like, maybe we just weren’t really close gal pals.
Marine [00:11:59] And I watched like a video about how some friendships, like I can think of the one in Bend It Like Beckham, it was a movie that they brought up. But I think there were a few other ones. Just that these like very close female friendships that, they just like sort of lazily put a man in there at some point for one of the friends to, like, fall in love with. But it didn’t even seem very central to the point of the movie. It’s just that lesbian relationships were not like an option. And then, of course, like lesbian porn or the portrayal of lesbian sex being just from the male gaze and being like for the pleasure of men, just not for the pleasure of, like, actual the women partaking in the act. And this is tied to, like, the myth that women are less sexual than men. And I think, yeah, like CompHet also talks about the fact that women then take less seriously the fact they may not be attracted to men, since we are socialized to see ourselves as like less sexual beings or not actually take our desires very seriously or explore them, then it just makes maybe like a bad sex life seem more OK and not something that we actually question.
Marine [00:13:21] And I also found that statistically way more lesbians have been with men before, like prior to coming out, then the other way around. And the lesbians that I watched, I think it was a video that I heard this from. But she was talking about the fact that, yeah, the fact that that is tied also to the idea that women are less sexual so don’t ask themselves really if they want another option. And… or they, yeah, they don’t ask themselves that question sooner. Whereas men, even though obviously like homophobia and heteronormativity affects them as well, they might just, since they are taught to see themselves as very sexual beings from day one, and to have sexual desires then that question just might come up sooner.
Marine [00:14:19] And then the last thing that I wanted to mention that I found really interesting is I read an essay by Mattie Udora Richardson, and it’s called No More Secrets, No More Lies: African-American History and Compulsory Heterosexuality. And she talks about the fact, she’s a black lesbian, I believe, and she talks about the fact that that compulsory element of compulsory heteronormativity is also, also affects people of color, and African-Americans specifically is what she focuses on much more. Because she explains that there is a big pressure in the African-American community to abide by heteronormativity in order to be seen as more respectable. And abiding to like respectable heteronormative practices is a way to protect themselves against defamation and wanting to establish themselves as decent, moral and normal human beings. And that any diversions from social norms of marriage and domesticity and the nuclear family have brought serious accusations of savagery and pathology upon African-American people and especially black female sexuality. So I feel like that’s an element that we might want to also dig into. But yes, that was my recap.
Nichole [00:15:47] Well, excellent job. Yeah, there was, when I was watching videos about it and thinking about it, there are so many just little pieces for me that were clicking into place. Like I remember reading years ago about an experiment that they did where they had men and women’s genitalia hooked up to monitoring machines and they would play porn or, you know, show them sexual imagery and they would tell them to report like when they felt aroused. And women would be physically aroused, but still reporting that they weren’t feeling arousal. Which shows just a huge disconnect, right, between like our actual experience of arousal and our conscious experience of like our bodies.
Nichole [00:16:36] Like there’s such a… I mean, I feel like we could go on forever about how, like people conditioned female are disconnected from their bodies through eating disorders and all kinds of things. But, you know, it just shows this complete departure for us between… Like that was part of my cool girl phase was that I was like, I love sex and I have a high sex drive right, because it’s so counter to what we’re told, which is that, like, women don’t want sex as much so they’re supposed to be the gatekeepers of sex. And I think with CompHet, one of the most chilling parts of it is that there is such a normalization of women not enjoying the sex that they’re having and that that is just part of the deal. So it’s not that you might be asexual, it’s not that you might be a lesbian. You know, it’s just that, like, women just don’t enjoy sex as much but, like, it’s part of what you got to do. And that was just really, like it was like, oof, for me. And it reminded me of that study I had read and I was like, oh, fuck. Like, that was part of that. This way that we just become so completely, utterly out of touch with our own bodies and our own desires.
Callie [00:17:50] Yeah. Yeah, I mean, the biggest thing for me about all of this is how much we learn and internalize without, like, even realizing that we are. You know what I mean? I mean, Nichole you and I have had so many conversations about this. Like you and I are both obviously like very deep thinkers and people who like are very own in our own heads with stuff. We think things over, we process for years. And the fact that both of us were like just really disconnected from our sexuality, our true sexuality, for so long. And it’s not even like I didn’t consider it. You know, it wasn’t like, oh, shit, actually, I may be kind of into people besides just cis het men. It was like I really had so many times over my entire life where I was like, am I? Am I?
Marine [00:18:48] Mm hmm.
Nichole [00:18:48] Me too.
Callie [00:18:48] And then I was like, no, I don’t think I am. I don’t think I am. Girl, what? Like… yeah.
Nichole [00:19:00] Well and I think too, that the erasure of like asexuality and demisexuality also confuses it because like, realizing that I’m demisexual and I know that terminals like, you know, whatever. But like realizing that, it makes so much sense now that I had, you know, like I can remember one friend I had in high school in particular, that she and I even talked about, like trying to make out with each other because we had this like, almost like fascination and like obsession with each other. We were really good friends and like would hang out all the time and I remember feeling like I wasn’t sure if I wanted to kiss her and thinking that proved that I wasn’t like gay or bisexual or anything. But now understanding myself better, like, I often don’t want to kiss people or like don’t know that I do, people that I end up being, like, crazy about, like madly in love with later. And for me, because it’s so hard for me to kind of cross that physical barrier, it’s normal for me to kind of not know and feel uncertain before it happens.
Nichole [00:20:15] So, you know, like, I just always think back now and I’m like, if we had made out, I might have been like, that was great and I really liked it. But just this idea that, like, I wasn’t jumping in with both feet immediately because I didn’t even understand my own sexuality, kept that from me and kept me thinking. And then over the years, you know, I would have girl crushes, which is another part of CompHet, have girl crushes-
Callie [00:20:43] Not just crushes, they gotta be girl crushes.
Nichole [00:20:46] No, they’re just girl crushes.
Callie [00:20:47] Because they’re not serious.
Nichole [00:20:48] They’re not serious. They’re silly. Girls do silly things like have crushes on other girls.
Marine [00:20:52] And like all girls are beautiful, so it makes sense that… Yeah.
Nichole [00:20:56] Right!
Marine [00:20:56] That we just, yeah.
Callie [00:20:58] We all make out with our friends, and cuddle and, you know, definitely never develop feelings.
Nichole [00:21:03] Go down on each other, you know. Just friend stuff.
Marine [00:21:10] We’re just practicing for the boys. That’s what I said when I was like 12 years old. I would just say can we practice again. I just want to make sure I’m really ready for when I make out with my first boyfriend.
Nichole [00:21:22] I just wanna be really good at it.
Callie [00:21:24] Yeah.
Marine [00:21:25] Exactly.
Callie [00:21:28] By the way, this feels like a good time to remember to say, this episode is gonna be not safe for work. I know many of our episodes aren’t.
Nichole [00:21:39] I was like, do we have any that are?
Callie [00:21:40] But I just feel like extra, you know.
Nichole [00:21:44] It’s going to be very sexual and sensual.
Callie [00:21:46] Yeah, we are not going to be holding back. So if any of this is gonna make you uncomfortable, then don’t listen cause I got some shit to get off my chest.
Marine [00:22:02] Ohhh, alright.
Nichole [00:22:02] OK girl, we’re ready. And Birdie brought up a good point that I wanted to make sure to hit before I forget. But also this appropriation of female sexuality for like the male gaze where bisexuality or being into girls is seen as like something to just titillate men. And I feel like that was always confusing to me, too, because it’s like part of it, part of me cool girl phase was like, well, I would make out with a girl, but it was always kind of like part of this story I was telling about myself of being like, cool, you know? And, you know, just in recent years, understanding my gender and becoming more radical and just really getting away, even though I still am very much into cis het men, just getting away from, like, the desire to be conforming to the male gaze or conforming to what the patriarchy wants and being able to finally separate that, like finally separate my own sexuality from how, like a man would benefit from it. And it was like wild to me, like how deeply embedded that was in my psyche. That like, that would be, like my omnisexuality, bisexuality, pansexuality, whatever would be acceptable, because it would be seen as, you know, a guy would probably think like, oh, well, we could have a threesome and that would be fun for me, you know? And it’s like but it has nothing to do with you. And that’s not something like, you know? Like it just really hit me like how deeply buried that was, this protection of the patriarchy in, like, even my sexuality being still palatable because it had been co-opted by, like, the male gaze.
Callie [00:23:50] Yeah. I mean, think about the messaging that we start receiving from, like, a grossly young age. Right, like and it’s kind of a double pronged thing. It’s like in one sense, everything about our sexuality is supposed to feature or center around men and what men want, right? We get Cosmo magazines that are teaching you how to, like, give the best blow job and how to be wild in the bedroom and like a boss in the streets and it’s like all of this bullshit. And then we’re also hearing messaging at the same time saying like, oh, the vast majority of women, really meaning straight women, are not having orgasms during sex with their partner, you know, and like, that’s normal. And in some sense, like, I’m glad that there has been more discourse in the recent years over the fact that, like, there is a huge pay gap in orgasms between, you know, in heterosexual relationships.
Nichole [00:24:53] Girl.
Callie [00:24:53] I mean, let’s talk about the real pay gaps.
Nichole [00:24:53] Yeah, but see the female ones are worth more so you just need fewer of them. That’s how it works.
Marine [00:24:58] Right. And they’re incredibly difficult to attain. I mean, it would just be unrealistic.
Callie [00:25:05] Exactly. So I’m glad that people are actually starting to talk about that. But in a sense, it almost like normalizes that it’s like, oh, you’re normal if you’re not having orgasms. Like it’s OK, it’s OK that it’s harder. It’s like I have orgasmed literally one time during sex with a partner. And I can get off in like under five minutes by myself. You know what I mean?! Like, I have no problems achieving orgasm, like, whatsoever. And yet it like never happens with a partner. Because you know what, they don’t give a fuck. Like the people, granted, I’ve been sleeping with the wrong people. But, you know, there’s this like huge, everything about our sex education and everything about the way we’re supposed to be as like people socialized as like women out in the world, right? It’s all about men. Like, and Birdie, I think this was maybe the point you’re trying to make. I haven’t seen the, lost track of the comment. But, you know, bisexual men are considered to be like gay, they just haven’t like figured it out yet. And bisexual women are like experimenting. Because both-
Nichole [00:26:17] And they’re straight. They’re just like, “going through a phase”.
Callie [00:26:18] And they’re straight because both of those lies, yes, still trace back to like, sex with men being the pinnacle, right? It’s fucking insane. Like everything about what we’ve been taught. I remember being told, like, from a little little kid, like how, you know, I was going to, like, get married and have a family. And I was taught how to be like a great wife and hostess at a party. And I mean, it all sounds like very 50’s Leave it to Beaver now looking back on it, it didn’t really feel that way at the time but there’s a lot there to unpack. Most of which has come up on the show in the past so I don’t really need to retread it. But, you know, every, it like didn’t even occur to me of like thinking about sexuality from a way that, like, didn’t involve a man or like a man’s pleasure. You know what I mean?
Callie [00:27:08] My really moment where I accepted that I wasn’t straight was a conversation I had with Nichole. And I kept like kind of timidly over the span of a few months bringing things up with her. And, you know, you had gone on your journey of coming out and realizing that you were queer. And so I was kind of using you as a little bit of a sounding board while I was still processing. And you were the very first person I told in my life that I didn’t actually like penetrative sex. And you’re like, girl, that’s like gay. Like, you know? And like in the most affirming way. I was like, holy fuck. Like it never even-
Nichole [00:27:48] Yeah. I was like there’s a whole world of people out there who don’t give a shit about penetraysh, you know?
Callie [00:27:57] It never even had occurred to me, you know? I just, I just thought, like, oh, well, like a lot of straight women, like don’t get off through penetration so like, that’s fine and normal. That doesn’t really say anything about my sexuality. And like, I guess in a way it didn’t need to have. Like, if I really was like, oh, I know that I’m like super into men and like, whatever, then that could have just been fun. I could just be a person who likes different forms of sex. Which is also something that’s not normalized. Right, like everything we know about sex is that it’s like P and V and we know exactly how it progresses. And it’s different, I mean I didn’t even realize.
Nichole [00:28:40] Well and that’s maintained through our definitions of virginity, right? Like p and v is when you’re not a virgin anymore. It’s very heterosexual. It’s very one way. And yeah, it’s just another way too that, by the definition like, we’re not encouraged to explore our sexuality and what feels good and even just like our physical form of like let’s try something different, you know, that’s not really working for me. Because if we do that, then we might be like, oh, you know? I’m into other stuff. And that is dangerous to the patriarchy that needs us, needs our uteruses… Your uteri? Our collective uterus full of babies at all times to keep capitalism going. So, yeah, if we decide we’re like, you know, sapphic vibes, we’re not contributing to the economy.
Marine [00:29:43] Yeah. And Callie like what you said about penetration just makes me think about how much like penetration is never, like even in the way that it’s talked about, it’s just like expected to be sort of like painful and unpleasant for women, or like respectable woman. Or it’s like, you know, ridiculous, over-the-top orgasms and porn that just are sort of are faked. But just when I think about it-
Callie [00:30:07] What?!
Marine [00:30:07] Yes! You didn’t know?!
Callie [00:30:12] Spoiler alert!
Nichole [00:30:12] Wait… Is wrestling real? You’re blowing my mind!
Marine [00:30:18] I know. Whether or not you believe it, they have been known to over-exaggerate at times. And I even think about like, the way that we used, like, being fucked or being like banged into, or like-
Nichole [00:30:32] Screwed.
Nichole [00:30:32] Screwed, exactly. Not banged into, that’s a French expression. But like, just it’s never, like I feel like if you’re a woman and you don’t like penetration or you don’t, that you’re not having, like, fulfilling sex with a man, it’s just like, just so expected and normalized. And like yeah, it’s so difficult to identify whether or not like OK, do I just not like penetration but still like sex with men in other ways? Because I feel like penetration since everything is centered around it you just think it’s synonymous with people with penises, even though there’s like other types of things to explore. Or is it just because like that particular relationship is not working and I would like penetration with other men, or with other people with penises? Or is it just because, like, I’m actually like only into people with vulvas, you know? It’s just like so… Yeah, it’s yeah, it’s kind of a mindfuck I think, once you start to really realize, like, how much we’ve been socialized to not actually question or explore anything beyond heteronormativity. I mean heterosexuality.
Callie [00:31:44] Yeah.
Nichole [00:31:45] Yeah. And it just leads to like bad consent culture because it goes back to like if you’re conditioned to not seek your own pleasure, you’re conditioned to not communicate, and then you… I mean, how many of us have had sex that we’re not even sure if we wanted or consented to? And, you know, I mean, I think almost every single person who’s had, like heterosexual sex has a story like, or it kind of blurs together. Like, there’s so many things where I’m like, I just kind of let it happen or, you know, I felt pressured into it or I just didn’t really say much. And it’s such a normal part of the experience. And that’s another way that sex is reinforced as this thing that happens to you. That you’re somehow the gatekeeper of, but then you’re not actually a participant in.
Marine [00:32:34] Yeah.
Callie [00:32:36] Dude!
Marine [00:32:37] Well, yeah. I mean, it’s so true. And that reminds me kind of what Callie was explaining at the beginning. Like, you know, bisexual men are just seen as like actually gay but faking, and bisexual women, it’s just that they’re heterosexual but faking. And like that, I think that’s because we’re conditioned with the idea that, like, men seek out what they want and women just like are sought after, you know? And so we don’t, like if they’re bisexual, it has to be like since they’re taught to, like that choice factors into their sexual behavior, then it must mean that they want to “go all the way” or whatever and are only into men. But if women are bisexual, then obviously they’re, like they’re not choosing that and actually that fits in perfectly with the whole myth that like, you know, of like lesbian porn or that like lesbian relationships are just for the male gaze. It’s because they’re not actually, since they’re not actually choosing anything about their sexuality, then they must just be doing it for the attention of men, you know?
Nichole [00:33:40] Mm hmm.
Callie [00:33:41] Yeah.
Nichole [00:33:41] Yeah, and Callie, it was really interesting to me to hear your thoughts about all of this, because I feel like that was a big part of what we would talk about, is you, kind of back to Marine’s point earlier of like, you weren’t sure if you even wanted to have sex with men or if you were just supposed to think that. And it’s been difficult for you to piece together like is this something I even want or not? And it’s still confusing, right?
Callie [00:34:09] Yeah. Yeah, I’m right now trying to figure out, like, am I actually a lesbian and I don’t even know? Like I thought it was a big deal for me to realize, like, oh, I’m queer and not strictly straight, and I’m, like, very much attracted and down to have, you know, a relationship or, and sex with people of other genders. But now I’m like…
Marine [00:34:34] Do I ever want to have sex with men again?
Callie [00:34:37] Yeah. And I honestly cannot tell you. I do not know. I do not know. It’s… And it’s just so… It’s just so weird. I think the biggest thing, the mindfuck for me is like how many little things I like learned and was, and internalized as a kid that like I didn’t even realize were in there now that I’m trying to figure out, you know what I mean? Like, and I think things that don’t even necessarily feel directly related. Like, I was just thinking of, remembering how like when I was young, anything like woman related or feminine was like, would gross my dad out. And like, he would get really pissed off at, like, tampon commercials, you know what I mean, like on the TV. And yet, which like, it’s not like you’re seeing anything, it’s even blue water, you know? I just, you’re married to someone who had two of your fuckin babies, like, grow up. But anyway. So anything female was like really kind of dismissed and seen as like gross. And I just wonder how much of that, like, I internalized about like my own body and also like other bodies with vaginas. You know what I mean, like for a long time I thought, like, oh, I can’t be gay because, like, I’m not like, oh my god, I really want to, like, get in a fuckin pussy, you know what I mean, so I must not-
Nichole [00:36:12] Callie!
Callie [00:36:15] I know, right? Well, I told you!
Nichole [00:36:17] The p word! I’m so proud.
Callie [00:36:22] Thank you! Well, I just told myself, like-
Nichole [00:36:25] “I’m gunna say it.”
Callie [00:36:25] That’s why like I did the, yeah, the NSFW. I was like, listen, don’t hold back bitch.
Nichole [00:36:30] Yeah, do it!
Callie [00:36:32] But I just wondered how much I internalized that. And it took me a long time to realize, like literally only within the last year and I’m thirty fucking two years old now, that I don’t feel that way about penises either. Like I thought because I didn’t feel that way about vaginas then I must like only be attracted to like one certain type of person. But then I was like, I’m not like oh my god, a dick, like let me… You know what I mean, like I don’t feel that way.
Nichole [00:36:59] No, that was one of the moments that we had, cause you were messaging with someone and you’re like, oh, he just sent me a dick pic and like I don’t like looking at dicks, but do you want to see it, you know? And I was like, you don’t? And you’re like, no they literally do nothing for me. And I was like… This is why I think I’m a gay man on the inside because I’m like, they do a lot for me. Like a lot. But yeah, but it was just, it kind of was part of this ongoing conversation we were having where you were just so… And that was part of the ContraPoints video that I found so compelling, like sad, you know, but like compelling is that, like, I have always noticed that my strait girlfriends will say stuff like that, like they’ll be like, yuck, my husband, or yuck sex, or yuck dicks. And it’s like… What do you… Like, what do you like then? You know what I mean, like why are you in this relationship or why do you identify as straight?
Nichole [00:38:06] Like I remember my friend at work way back got married and had a kid and then she was joking with all of us that she would only have sex with her husband when she wanted to get pregnant. And she was just laughing about it like it was normal. And again, it’s not to judge like she, I don’t think she was asexual. She just was kind of like, uninterested. It’s just like, well, I mean, is it him or is it like, do you want something? Or like do you want to be polyamorous? Like you know what I mean, there’s just so many other options. But so many women I’ve met have just been like I accept that I don’t get off during sex even though I am able to orgasm otherwise. Like I accept that I feel meh towards my partner. Even to the point of like having disdain for my partner. And that’s all normalized. It’s like normalized that you just kind of hate the person you’re with and you don’t have sex anymore and like, that’s a relationship.
Callie [00:39:11] Yeah. I just, Carla just posted, “It does not spark joy.” And I just fucking died inside.
Nichole [00:39:20] Give the penis back, it does not spark joy. Hold it in your hands. That’s my favorite thing, when it’s soft and I just hold it like a bird. And then my partner is like, what are you doing?
Callie [00:39:33] Yeah. No, but for real, I really didn’t know that like, other people, like that that wasn’t kind of a universal thing. Like you are like, I love dick. Like I will… love it. And then we have-
Nichole [00:39:48] Girl, when I used to have Tumblr it was dicks all day. All day. And it’s so funny because I don’t, like, get, you know, my sexual attraction, like my actually wanting to have sex is like a thing that takes a while. But like, when I see dicks I’m just like, this is beautiful. I think they’re beautiful.
Marine [00:40:07] Wow, yeah I have not heard that from a lot of my girlfriends. My, quote unquote, straight girlfriends.
Nichole [00:40:10] I, no, I haven’t either. And that’s always like why I was like, well I’m cool, cause I think dicks are cool. And now I’m like, well I think I kind of want to have one. Maybe that’s why I have such a deep appreciation for it. But like, yeah I just, I always noticed this with my friends. I had one friend who was such a slut, and I say that like lovingly with appreciation. But like, we were sitting around having girl talk one day, the three of us and my other friend and we were joking about like orgasms or something, and we realized that my slutty friend had never had one. Period. And I was just like, what are you doing? You know, like what’s going on?
Callie [00:40:55] Yeah.
Nichole [00:40:58] And I mean, she was slutty in like a self-destructive way so it was a whole thing. But it just was, it just, it was another thing that made me realize because I had been lucky and I had very sexually, like, giving partners when I was younger and I had waited a while to sleep with the first, like have p and v sex with the first person. And I had always had orgasms with my partners. So I just didn’t realize that that was not normal. And I didn’t realize this disdain for sex was like a thing that a lot of people were feeling.
Callie [00:41:31] Yeah.
Marine [00:41:31] Yeah. I appreciate, Callie, what you said about your dad being like grossed out by, by vaginas, because that’s also, that like, I had actually completely forgotten about this up until this moment and how long in high school it sort of like kept me from… I was really worried that I’d be perceived as like a huge pervert if people knew that I was bi or people knew that I was into women. I mean, and I think part of that is because, like lesbian has become a sort of dirty word because it’s been so appropriated by, like the porn industry and like so misrepresented and actual like lesbian history has been totally erased. So I think that was part of it, I was like, oh I’m gonna be seen as like hypersexual or gross or perverted.
Marine [00:42:19] But I remember one of my friends who was like the ultimate cool girl. Like, I still think about her as just like, she was like the coolest of the cool girls, you know? Like all that, like hung out with all the dudes and like had, and like was attractive but had like sort of like a deep voice and like laughed really loudly and like was into, I don’t know, you know the type. It’s like all I wanted to be for a long time. But I remember like at a party she was like, oh yeah, like lesbians are fine but like the idea of like, you know, I’m not a homophobe, but just like vaginas are so disgusting, like, I can’t imagine the thought of, like, you know, getting my face in one or something, like that’s just so gross. And just like so many women like seconded that, were like, oh yeah, that’s like so gross. And I was like… they have vaginas!
Nichole [00:43:04] Yeah, I’ve had, we’ve had lesbian friends who have said that. Like who have like talked about certain vaginas they were with and how gross they were. And it just is like…
Marine [00:43:16] Yeah. I was like that would be so embarrassing if people then saw me as being like a vagina lover, you know?
Nichole [00:43:25] Right?! Yeah, horrifying. Right.
Marine [00:43:25] But yeah, it’s so weird that it’s, I don’t feel like guys have, you know, definitely don’t have that. They like are supposed to love their dicks and be all about them, you know?
Nichole [00:43:37] Oh, they love them.
Marine [00:43:37] But it’s like, oh, women are supposed to say that women’s vaginas are gross even though they have a vagina? You know, it’s just like… Yeah. And I remember there was like also, just there’s so much, and I’m not in these circles now anymore, so I forget, but just like all that pressure there is around, like waxing and not having hair down there and making it as clean as possible. Like, I remember in high school, there was one girl who, like was a rumor of a girl who got, like went to get waxed and the esthetician told her, like, oh, you should really trim before you get a wax, it’ll be less painful or something, I forget. And that was like seen as like the ultimate, like I remember all the girls, like including me, we were like, that’s so disgusting that she doesn’t like regularly trim or regularly get waxed and just has these long vagina hairs. Which now looking back on it, I’m just like… Yeah.
Callie [00:44:32] Yeah. And that’s what I think is the problem with CompHet, and that it’s so hard to wrap your brain around because people always want to look for that like, oh, I remember being sat down when I was six years old and being told like, you’re going to make a wonderful wife and you’re going to love men and have lots of babies. And it’s like something like that would be easy to, like, disregard or undo. It’s all of the little things that are just constantly surrounding us and oppressing us with this like, just general societal disdain of vaginas. You know what I mean? And also the fact that, like, men are just like the pinnacle of sex. They’re the only ones who, for the longest time, have really been able to be sexual creatures in the public eye. You know, in not a way that’s like kind of shamed, right?
Callie [00:45:22] Like, it’s only extremely recently that women even get to play a character on TV or in a movie or something where they get to, like, openly appreciate sex without everyone being, like, fuckin whore! You know, like it’s a big deal. So it’s all of these little things that I think build up to this, like disconnecting, especially as people socialized as female, like to our sexuality. Right, and like our own body and appreciation for it. Like I, growing up in a house where I had to hide the evidence of having a menstrual period. Like I had to put my, my mom taught me how to, like, bury my tampons in the trash because, heaven forbid, my dad or brother even found the wrapper. that would be really gross. And it’s like, how could I not then have, like, weird stuff I’ve internalized about my bodies or bodies that are like mine. You know what I mean? Like, of course.
Nichole [00:46:17] Yeah. I grew up, it was me and my mom and my two sisters and my dad. And I don’t think my dad was ever exposed to like the four menstruations that were happening in the house, like, ever, you know?
Callie [00:46:32] Yeah.
Nichole [00:46:32] And it’s… Yeah. It’s just like, I remember I posted, I may have mentioned this a long time ago, but I posted this funny thing that was going around that was like the last movie you watched is like the name of your vagina. And it was, I like reposted it and I was like, oh mine’s The Force Awakens. And I, like, made this whole joke about, like, how in my, it was like very apropos in my 30s because I like having that, you know, women come into power in their 30s kind of thing.
Callie [00:47:07] I love that for you by the way.
Nichole [00:47:14] Thank you. I know, everything about it was just so perfect. But, and so a bunch of, like, women hopped on and we were just having so much fun with it, and you can just tell the vibe of the thread was like very like celebratory and like jokey and we were just having a really good time. And then, I have my Facebook profiles public because it’s kind of like my LinkedIn, it’s like how I connect with everyone else. And so that means that all these other people who I don’t know we’re seeing it, and all these men started jumping in on the thread and then naming stuff like Swamp Thing or like Crimson Tide or whatever. And I finally had to jump in and be like, can you all stop? Like women or, you know, people have vaginas, I wasn’t as woke back then, are conditioned to, like, think that our vaginas are gross and you’re not helping. And I remember, like, one of the guys was like really upset and was like, I didn’t know that, like, I’m so sorry. I just was making jokes and like, I’d seen my wife posted on here. And yeah, he was really nice about it, but like, I’m like, how could you not know that, though?
Callie [00:48:27] Yeah.
Nichole [00:48:27] Really? Like, your friends have never joked around about it? Like your wife has never mentioned it? Like you really don’t know that women are shamed for their bodies constantly? And the thing that I’ve always struggled with is that weird disconnect between the fact that like men are always trying to get our vaginas, but like, they’re also gross. Like, we have to be sterile at all times, but it’s like all they can think about. And it’s like, listen, if you’re a connoisseur like that, listen, like if you are into cheese, you usually like blue cheese, right? You know what I’m saying? You appreciate.
Callie [00:49:01] Do we get it?
Marine [00:49:13] You paint quite a picture.
Nichole [00:49:14] It’s tart, is what I’m saying.
Callie [00:49:14] Oh my god.
Nichole [00:49:14] But like if you’re in to pussy then you should be into pussy. You should be into like, hair and you should be into like the natural scent. It shouldn’t have to be this like sterile thing that came out of a lab for you to be into it. Then you’re not really into it. Like you’re just buying into this, like, porn version of what that even is. And it just, yeah, it was always like I agree Callie, well both of you, I think, like I have realized that I had deeply internalized hatred of my own body and that was heavily impacting my sexuality. Because I would think of that, I would think like, well, I could make out with a girl and I would love to play with some titties. But I was like, ooh when it comes to vagina, like, I just can’t. And then I was always like, oh, well, I’m just not queer then.
Nichole [00:50:02] And now, like, I’ve gotten over that but it took like literally years of processing, like now I’m like, let’s do this. But I’m like, it took years of processing that, to like work through it and to even realize that’s what was happening, was like I had so deeply internalized that, like, vaginas are disgusting. And I’d had gay or bi friends who had, like, made comments about other people’s vaginas that like, I just always, honestly, it’s not even so much me interfacing with them. It’s like I’m interfacing with me and this, like, fear that I would be like gross to someone else who has one and theirs is better, you know? And I could go on for hours about like competition and how that impacted my understanding of my own sexuality, but I’ve already talked a lot so I’ll bring it up later.
Callie [00:50:53] No, I think, I mean it’s a huge problem, you know? And I’ve had, like I, when I was late teens, early 20s, I was a bit of a party girl and it was like my favorite thing to, like, make out with, like anyone and everyone, you know?
Marine [00:51:11] Girl, same.
Callie [00:51:11] I would just, yeah, I would get buzzed and I’d be having a good time. And I loved, like, making out and kissing and stuff. And, but then I was like, yeah but I’m not gay though, because, like, oh, the idea of like getting into a vagina is like, no. And it’s like, well, I never, again like I never stopped and been like, yeah, but are you really that excited about, like, being around a penis either? And it took me until my 30s to realize, well no I’m not.
Nichole [00:51:42] Actually, not that jazzed.
Callie [00:51:42] You know, so yeah. Yeah. Not that I’m like against them, just that it’s like, that that’s not the way my sexuality presents. I’m not like super into body parts, you know, I feel attraction when I’m like I have a bond with someone and I feel, you know, attracted to them and we’re having a good time. And it’s like then yeah, absolutely. But I think a big part of it was just like being intimidated and being a little insecure about just in general. You know, my experience has been mostly casual and I think that kind of lends itself to like, you know, not having a trusted partner that you can work through a lot of stuff with and just have like time to explore each other’s bodies. I think gives you kind of a different sense of like what sex is and how to be comfortable asking for what you want. You know, you’d think that if in a casual situation you’re like, well, I don’t really know you, there’s no reason to be embarrassed because I’m probably never gonna see you again so, like, I’m gonna tell you what to do. But it’s like the exact opposite, you know?
Nichole [00:52:46] Well and you may not know what they should do. I mean, that is part of, I hate how much rhetoric we, I don’t completely disagree with it, but I hate how much rhetoric we have around, like figuring out your own body. Cause it’s like well I can only do that to a certain extent and then like I need someone else there and I need a partner who’s willing to play with me and be open and experiment. Like I’ve learned a lot of stuff I like because I had a partner who is just like loving my body and like trying stuff out. And I was like, woah, wait, go back to that, that was great, you know?
Nichole [00:53:19] And I think we, that’s another thing is like we yet again, like, put so much pressure on women to know everything, right? They’re supposed to know all these sex secrets for, like, the guy. And we’re also supposed to know everything about our own body. And it’s like, yeah, we can, obviously we should explore and get comfortable and figure some stuff out. But like, we also just need someone else, or multiple other people, to play with to like, really figure that out. And, you know, when you’re only having casual hookups, sometimes you get lucky and there’s a person who is kind of like that. But, you know, most times it’s more transactional than that. And so you’re, and a lot of casual like cis het hookups are the same. They’re almost like a script. Right? The same thing happens every time. So it’s not like you get the experience to be like, oh, I know that this is what I like. Cause you’re just getting the same stuff. And if none of that stuff works for you, you’re kind of fucked.
Marine [00:54:17] Yeah. Yeah totally like, I find the question, I think that guys now have been, or know that they should ask like what do you want or what do you like? That’s their, like attempt at being, I guess, like more connected to their partner sexually. But like that question, like when you don’t, yeah, if you’ve only had sort of like, very heteronormative sex with another partner. Also, and as Nichole, you were saying, like a lot of just discovering what you liked and what felt good was just like exploring that with a partner and then being like, oh woah that feels good, or like let’s go back to that. So sometimes the question like, what do you like, is super, you’re just like, I don’t fucking know.
Nichole [00:54:58] It’s a lot of pressure.
Marine [00:54:58] Like, I don’t know, like let’s just keep experimenting or whatever, you know?
Nichole [00:55:02] Yeah. It’s a lot of pressure and you’ve been conditioned to not communicate and to not know your own body.
Marine [00:55:08] Yeah.
Nichole [00:55:08] And I always feel like, when I’ve been asked that, sometimes when I’ve been asked that, it kind of feels like another extension of porn culture. Where it’s like I’m supposed to know, like I’m supposed to have this menu of exciting options where I’m like, I’m going to teach you things, boy. You know, get ready. And it’s like, I don’t fucking know. I mean, there’s just some stuff like maybe you like getting your ass eaten, but how are you gonna know that until someone eats your ass? You just don’t know, right? Like, that’s what partners are for, is to like play and find out and be able to have the comfort to say I didn’t like that and to have the comfort to say I did like that. Let’s try that again and then maybe I’ll figure out ways to, like, adjust, you know, and make it better. But yeah, I just hate how much pressure there is put on the individual for a thing that should be a partner activity.
Callie [00:56:01] Yes. Yeah. Well and again, going back to, we kind of expect that, like if you’re into sex then you’re into all the same things, especially in like a heterosexual encounter, right? And like I remember having a conversation with you years ago where you were talking about a friend and how, I don’t know how, I mean I’m not going to use any names or anything, I don’t put anyone on blast. But you were just like I have a gay male friend who’s, like, not into blowjobs.
Nichole [00:56:34] Oh, yeah.
Callie [00:56:35] You know? And the idea, that was like, I just look back at like all these little breadcrumbs that over the years have like built up into me, like figuring stuff out. Because the idea that someone, because we assume like, oh, if you’re into this type of sex then you must like all of these things. And then you realize like, no, there are people that like aren’t into certain sexual acts, you know? Like it’s funny, you hear so often right, like oh, straight woman being like, oh, I don’t really like having sex with men, but I can never imagine eating a woman out. And it’s like, well, maybe you don’t have to.
Nichole [00:57:07] You can be a pillow princess.
Callie [00:57:07] Like maybe you’ll find a partner who doesn’t like that. Yeah. So anyway, it’s just interesting, this like…
Nichole [00:57:14] Yeah. Like there’s, there’s such a wide, that’s why like, I feel like a baby queer when I do it, but I just really freak out over shows, like in a good way, over shows and movies that show queer sex because I literally don’t know what’s like normal or what’s… You know, I’ve had little fantasies, but I’m like maybe a queer person would laugh at me for wanting to try something like that. Or like just stuff that you might not think of. And now seeing so much, seeing stuff on Netflix and like different shows that are showing, like really showing queer sex, it’s like amazing to see, you know, all the possibilities out there. And just it really highlights, like, how narrow a view we have of just literal physical sex acts that are possible to us.
Marine [00:58:03] Yeah, I completely agree. And a big part of my intimidation with, like I feel very intimidated to like flirt with other women or have sex with other women, partly because I’m like watching like lesbian, like standard lesbian porn is not educating me at all on what is considered normal in this community that I’m terrified to enter, you know? So I agree, it is very nice to have shows that at least I’m like, OK, so this is, at least they’re trying to be realistic and to cater to the audience whose demographic this is supposed to represent. So like this must, this must be normal or like, you know, this must be like acceptable. I mean, now I feel like I’ve luckily, like, you know, explored that a little bit more so I’m not as, you know, daunted by it. But, yeah, I think there is such little representation of, like, you know, bi representation or lesbian representation in our media that like it’s kind of just like this big, spooky thing you don’t, you, I don’t know, that’s like mystified. That you can’t really, you can’t really access until you’re, you know, with the real people. Yeah.
Marine [00:59:23] And it’s making me think like back to our talks about vaginas. I was thinking about like how many like heterosexual women also just say like they hate getting eaten out or like they don’t want, they’re like so nervous about like there, because it is that disconnect that is so weird of like men being like obsessed with pussy and with women, but like also thinking like vaginas are so gross. That sort of added, I was like, OK, well if men love pussies, but then vaginas are supposed be gross, maybe my vagina is just really gross or something. And so I think a lot of women, like, internalize that about their own bodies and so are, so don’t you know, like don’t want to be eaten out. And that’s also something maybe that keeps them from exploring the thought of, just like being with other women and having like their vagina being sort of like the central part of the show instead of just being able to rely on like a dude’s penis. But I’ve been having, like, way more talks with my friends about like, just like, what are your complexes around your vagina or like how does your vagina look? Because, like, there’s so many different shapes and sizes and colors of vaginas. And it’s just represented always as like a V with like a slit, you know, in like textbooks or in porn.
Nichole [01:00:41] And it’s pink.
Marine [01:00:42] And it’s pink. It’s symmetrical.
Nichole [01:00:44] Right? Yeah, perfectly smooth.
Callie [01:00:45] Yeah.
Marine [01:00:45] It’s just actually like the more conversations I have with women around me, like people with vaginas around me, the more I’m like, wait, actually does anyone’s vagina actually look like the standard vagina that we’ve been seeing in porn and in our textbooks? Because, like, the more I like finally bridge that topic with people, the more people are like, oh yeah, my vagina looks like super weird or like it looks totally different, you know?
Nichole [01:01:09] Yeah, I had a friend who’s an esthetician and she does waxing and she was like, she kept trying to give me a Brazilian and I was, I’m just so weird about stuff like that. I’m like I can’t have you see my puss and then go to brunch. Which I know is my own thing. But she would tell me, she’s like I’ve literally seen hundreds of vaginas and she’s like, they’re all different and they’re all the same. And I just always thought that was really beautiful. She’s like they literally all look different, but there’s an essence there that’s like the same. You know, and so she was like, it’s kind of this experience where you get desensitized in a way. Well, I should say it’s normalized. Where like you can still appreciate the individuality and the beauty, but like, it also isn’t like this big deal. And that’s why she was like, just take your pants off and let me do it. And I’m like, no! She’s like, I don’t care, I’m so over it, you know what I mean? And that just always kind of like, it’s interesting that I always remembered that and would think about it, you know, given that I was so sure that I was straight. But it was a big piece for me of like trying some way to like come to terms with my own body and not feel so much shame and so much embarrassment and just feeling uncomfortable.
Callie [01:02:30] Yeah, yeah.
Marine [01:02:30] Mm hmm.
Nichole [01:02:35] Heavy sigh.
Callie [01:02:37] I just… Like to live in a world where we just… Like this is wild. Like we’re two bad ass people that regularly post like very radical shit and have all these deep conversations. And yet we’ve like all suffered under this like extreme self-consciousness and up to even like hatred of our own bodies and bodies like ours. It’s… Wow. Like the patriarchy’s like, really got us fucked up, like, really… Yeah. Fuck the cis hetero patriarchy, man.
Nichole [01:03:13] Yeah, the worst.
Callie [01:03:15] It’s so bad.
Nichole [01:03:18] Yeah. And part of that too, I kind of mentioned previously, but I have really realized that for me, my gender identity factors in a lot to the confusion. Because, well because first I was confused about my gender identity. Still kind of figuring it out. But I always had this, like, jealousy of other girls that I would also be kind of obsessed with. And I still haven’t fully pieced it apart. But it’s occurred to me in recent years that, like, it’s a combination of like I don’t know if I want to be them or be with them. Right? And then it’s also this like intimidation that like if I do want to be with them, I see them as like better than me. So it’s that feeling of like, could I be with someone who I find so attractive?
Nichole [01:04:17] And one of the, like, landmark event in my life that got me started, like realizing that I was queer, was hanging out with a bunch of queer people in L.A., some like queer punks that Callie and I knew. And the way they would, they were all, I think they were all bisexual. And they would talk about like, oh, I’ll walk up to a dude and be like, what’s up? You know? But then they’re like, if a girl’s pretty, I’m like, I can’t even talk. And it was just like, ohhhh. And there is something there that we, I think being conditioned to see other female-presenting people as competition really fucked up, like both my gender identity and my sexuality. Because I thought, like, I have to not like you and I have to like, if I’m jealous of you, then I have to, you know, feel that your separate from me and find some way to, like, reclaim my self-esteem.
Nichole [01:05:16] And I just remember one night I was watching YouTube and I was watching this ASMR artist who’s like, really hot. And I was, like, jealous of her. And then I just like kind of pictured, like, having sex with her, and I was like, that was nice. And I realized, like, a lot of that jealousy, it’s not that it was desire, but that, like, I realized like I could hook up with someone like that and I could just, like, be involved in that beauty. And I don’t need to see it as something that’s a threat to me, you know? And it just completely changed, like now when I see people that I think are super hot, I just think they’re super hot, and I don’t get that like, horrible jealous, like, dark feeling inside of myself. But it took a long time to, like, work that out and that’s clearly like capitalism and the patriarchy, like with that, you know, everyone’s trying to be special. Everyone’s trying to be a cool girl. And like people who seem to have achieved it just feel like they’re taking something from you. And I just realized, like, oh, this is someone I could just have a really nice experience with and we could both benefit from that. And it doesn’t have to be this weird competition.
Marine [01:06:24] Mm hmm.
Callie [01:06:25] Yeah. God, I feel that’s so hard. I’m still trying to kind of figure out who I’m, like, attracted to. And part of it is kind of like, you know, I’ll look at like a just stunning woman and I’m like, OK, do I want to be like her or do I find her sexually attractive, you know, like at myself being attracted to her. And I haven’t quite figured that out yet.
Marine [01:06:50] Mm hmm. See, I, like, definitely know. I mean, but I feel like with women now, I’m at the point where I’m like I’m definitely attracted to you and it’s not a jealousy thing. Or sometimes, like I find women really stunning that I’m not attracted to. But I, yeah, I think a lot of my, like, deconditioning from like internalized misogyny came maybe early on from like just trying to not see, or not seeing women as competitors, but rather just as like, you know, allies and friends and humans. And I feel like I don’t, yeah, I think what you’re describing, I used to feel a lot of the beginning like but now it’s whenever I see, like, a really beautiful woman, I’m just like, oh, I’m like really into this person.
Marine [01:07:39] But I feel like a lot of the conversation, and we had touched on this like when we were starting to talk about it yesterday, but around CompHet has been, you know… I should premise this by saying, like one of my favorite YouTuber’s called Alayna Joy, who was like a bi, was one of the first bi people I started watching on YouTube. She was like very vocal about bisexuality and bisexuality being like a valid identity. And she was engaged to a man and she had been dating him for like ten years or something like that. And she had this, she had all this merch about bisexuality. One of her merch like, cups and shirts was like Confirmed Bisexual, just to say, like, you know, I’m still bisexual even though I’m with this man, et cetera.
Marine [01:08:31] And she came out recently actually saying that, you know, she was lesbian and she realized, like, she was not bisexual. And she didn’t explicitly talk about CompHet but it was this, she described this, she described the fact that she thought she was confirmed bisexual because she was attracted to women also, on top of like, obviously being attracted to men, and being attracted to her boyfriend and her fiancé. But she never really questioned the piece of like, but am I attracted to men, though? And like Callie, that reminds me of what you were saying of being like, well, I must not be lesbian because I’m not, because maybe I’m not attracted to vaginas, but never questioning like, but am I attracted to penises more than I’m attracted to vaginas, you know?
Callie [01:09:17] Or at all, yeah.
Nichole [01:09:18] Do I even like sex?
Marine [01:09:18] Right.
Callie [01:09:20] No girl, that’s too real. Yeah.
Marine [01:09:26] Right. And I think for me, like CompHet kept like, I think for a long time, it just took me forever to figure out that I’m bi and I still question it all the time. And like, you know, one day I’ll be like, definitely straight. And then the next day I’ll be like, I’m definitely gay. You know, it just is, it just constantly changes. But I think that was it, I think CompHet in this way also kept me from, like, realizing that I was bi because I thought that, like, if I wasn’t heterosexual then I needed to like, you know, then lesbian was the only other option. And I was like, but I’m definitely, like I definitely do feel like I’m still attracted to men though.
Marine [01:10:11] And I feel like CompHet in a way like now that I feel like fairly confident, like fairly confident that I am bi or pan, I feel probably homosexuality is homo… What is the word? Homophobia is partly to blame for the fact that I’m like, oh, I’m not sure that I’m bi but CompHet is also. Because I feel like, just I would be so much more comfortable with just like being… I just feel like it took me forever to realize like, oh I didn’t need to, like, completely opt-out of heterosexuality, whatever that means, because it’s such like a pillar of an institution. I feel like that was like a lot of rambling. But basically I’ve just been thinking a lot about that video by Alayna Joy, because I think after watching it, I was like, oh my god. And like I identified to her bisexuality so much that if she’s not bi even though she made all this content about it and has been such a vocal advocate for my community for so long. If she has realized that she’s actually just attracted to women, like, is that the case for me?
Marine [01:11:23] And I had to really, really sit with it and really think about it. And like, I have these conversations with myself often where I like actually reminisce on, like, all of my very real attraction to men in the past to be like, OK, no, no, you’re still bi, you know. But I think earlier on, like, I would have loved to just be, like, lesbian, because it was really confusing and I felt like I wasn’t valid in the lesbian community, and I wasn’t really valid in the straight community, or this society. So it would have been nice to, you know, to know and to not have that in-between. So I think like both are hard. I don’t know.
Callie [01:12:06] I think our view, too, of attraction isn’t as straightforward as we’ve always been told it is, which I think is part of the problem and why people struggle so much with trying to figure out their sexuality. And I’ve seen this repeated a lot, especially with like those like, are you maybe actually a lesbian type, you know, quizzes or, you know, content and stuff. Because people will be like, oh, well, I like, like I’m attracted to this, like, male celebrity. So I must, like, not be a full-on lesbian. But there’s something different I feel like from being able to like see someone, especially when, like, it’s in our face literally nonstop of like what an attractive body is, right, of like how we like are attracted to certain people. But it’s like yeah, but would you, like are you actually sexually attracted to them and would you actually want to have sex with them? If they were standing in front of you right now being like, let’s do this, you know, like would you still want to do it?
Callie [01:13:04] And I think for a lot of people that seems to be this like, a lot of people like socialized as women, right, like, that’s the thing. They’re like, oh, I find this like male celebrity attractive so I must, like, not be a full-on lesbian. And I think being able to, like, look at a person and be like, oh, they are attractive, or like do I find them attractive in a way that I would want to like be intimate with them, I think are very different.
Nichole [01:13:31] And there’s also this weird policing we do of like, almost like a purity test on being straight or being gay, that I have found over the years after having gay friends that like it’s just really not there. And I mean, I’m sure a big part of it is like CompHet. Like I have a gay male friend who, you know, had girlfriends and even was engaged at one point who still, like, loves tits, loves them, you know, and doesn’t really like, didn’t really feel gross having sex with women, or it just like he is gay. But he’s not, he doesn’t talk about sex with women or women the way that we would expect like a gay man to talk about it. And I also have a lesbian friend who like had a boyfriend in high school. And she’s like, I still, she’s like I was super into him. I loved his dick, like, sometimes I even get myself off thinking about him. But she’s like, but I’m a fucking lesbian. Like I am a lesbian.
Nichole [01:14:36] And it’s like, yeah, like I just think for all of us, like, you know, yeah, someone could say, well, maybe you’re actually bisexual, but like she identifies as lesbian and I don’t think there’s a need to challenge that. I think there’s more of a need to challenge, like the way that we try to box people in and describe these things in such a pure term because then, I mean it on one hand makes it more confusing. But on another hand, I think that is a lot of the struggle that a lot of people have is like, oh, well, I’m attracted to like one human being of this gender on the planet. So that means I can’t adopt this label that otherwise feels perfect for me. And it’s like no girl, you can. You really can. And it can be confusing.
Callie [01:15:18] And listen if you have a hall pass for one person, that’s fine.
Marine [01:15:25] Yeah, but it’s so hard because so many of these conversations that are so internal and fiercely personal, like are, we have to have them with ideas and words that are coined like outside of us and by society and have all these implications. Like it’s so hard to feel like you really own or are in touch with your sexuality when there is such like, when you’ve always been, like, socialized in these incredibly heteronormative oppressive ways. And that was like a realization I had also a few years ago around my body image. I was like, you know, I want to have this, I want to have, like, ownership over my body image and the conversations that I’m having in my head about my body. But it’s actually just realizing, like, well, the only kind of words that I have for it are words that are not defined by me, or like there’s all these ideas that are incredibly public and ingrained into me that I think there is no such thing as a conversation like solely with yourself that’s completely divorced from the, you know, the society we live in.
Marine [01:16:38] And there’s a bit of grief in acknowledging that, like, I think of just letting go of that idea. Like, no matter, we’re never going to get to, like, a true comprehension, whatever the heck that would mean anyway. But like, I think the idea, like, it’s always gonna be an illusionary idea. Yeah, like the illusion that we could ever like fully 100 percent authentically know without, like, exterior influences from like the media and from the society that we’ve been conditioned in. I’ve kind of sort of made my peace with that even though, like, I want to keep being critical about it and keep having conversations with myself in an honest way and that’s why I love talking to you all. But yeah, it’s like all of these things are, from like day one have, like we have been taught to like think about them and verbalize them in such a specific way that it’s like a life long journey to unlearn them, but it’s never actually going to be a destination that I arrive at, you know?
Callie [01:17:45] Yes. Yeah.
Nichole [01:17:46] Yeah. And that’s why I think, and I see it more with the youth. And old fogies like me are like, wait a minute, I’m super gay! You know.
Callie [01:17:59] That “I’m old” thing is not going to fly anymore with you looking like that fire. OK? No one’s buying that bullshit. We didn’t before and we’re definitely not now.
Marine [01:18:08] Yeah. I died when in that episode you talked about like how Nichole always like pretends you’re like a hundred years old.
Nichole [01:18:17] Oh my god I’m ancient.
Marine [01:18:17] And I remembered like one time, I remember one time you referred to me as a baby genius or something like that. I was like, but we’re, I feel like we’re the same age. And you were like, no because you’re just like a little baby genius.
Nichole [01:18:33] You are a little baby genius.
Marine [01:18:36] I’m not.
Nichole [01:18:36] Just some polite infantilizing. You know, no big deal. What was I saying?
Marine [01:18:43] I’m sorry.
Nichole [01:18:45] Oh! But I think to your point, Marine and beautifully stated, that part of, so I’m reading this book, Queering Anarchy which I bring up in every conversation because it’s blowing my mind.
Marine [01:18:56] Yeah, I need to read it.
Nichole [01:18:56] I know. But, you know, part of the, a lot of the essays in there kind of deal with this sort of thing that like we can’t really escape the fact that so many of these things are externally defined and determined and that there’s clearly like all these influences that we just can’t, no matter how queer or anarchist we are, we can’t like divorce ourselves from the fact that we’ve been raised with these influences. So it’s important to get rid of these, it’s important to encourage this fluidity and this exploration and the conversations. And like I know that that is at the heart of why we all wanted to do this episode today was just to put out into the universe like stories that weren’t like, “I was born and I knew I was gay.” You know, like stories that celebrate, like me with my gender identity. I mean, I can see so, to me, that’s even more clear than my sexuality throughout my life. I can see so many times where I tried to assert a different gender identity and it was just coded… When you’re female-presenting and you try to adopt masculine things, it’s just seen as you doing what you should do because masculine things are cool.
Marine [01:20:11] Totally, totally.
Nichole [01:20:12] Right? Like I joke about my cool girl phase but part of that was actually me trying to assert a different gender identity and it being erased by the fact that like I was just trying to be, like it was interpreted as like I’m trying to be one of the boys or I’m trying to be a cool girl or I’m just like different from other girls, you know? And it really was me, like trying like, you know, I just like wearing like boys t-shirts and jeans. But that’s seen as like a cool girl thing to do. It’s not like expressing a gender. Yeah or, you know, whatever. Like, I’ve always had my worst gender dysphoria around people coding my ideas or my content as like girl stuff. But that’s interpreted as me just having like a feminist reaction. But I can tell you, like, it actually is like gender dysphoria for me. But that’s not something you ever hear, right? You just hear like I’m born in the wrong body and it’s very binary. It’s very like I was this and then I wanted to be that and I knew from a young age.
Nichole [01:21:12] And then similarly, sexual identity is treated the same way. Like I realized I wasn’t like the other girls, and I liked girls and I was gay and I knew that. Or I liked boys and I was gay and I knew that. But, like, that’s not really the case for a lot of us. And as you were saying, like, it’s impossible to pick apart how much of this is external and how much of it is internal. All we can do is try to make space for each other and just have these conversations and talk about it.
Callie [01:21:45] God, you’re such a genius. I was literally just going to, like, bring up some of this stuff. Obviously not as much the gender issues, as you just beautifully did. But yeah, how much like we really are… I really understand why the LGBTQ Public kind of movement followed the pattern it did. But I think a lot of people were probably kind of confused by, like the one narrative of like realizing you’re gay, you know? And like the oh, it’s something you’re born with. It can’t be changed. And like, you know, at a young age and everyone was always able to see it on you. And it’s like there’s a lot of these things. And I can understand why these narratives were spread, because there was so much and continues to be so much homophobia and people thinking that they can, like, bury their sexuality, or families trying to put people through like conversion camps to like get them to not be gay anymore.
Callie [01:22:43] But it’s like for, there’s a lot of people that didn’t, like, know from the time they were like five years old, like, oh, I’m fucking gay as hell, you know? And I think having all these narratives and stories in our heads of story after story of like I always knew, and this is exactly how my coming out story was and being like, oh, well, that’s not me so I must not be, you know, I must not be gay. And it’s funny because we can kind of understand the Kinsey scale, right, that there is like a spectrum of like how close you are to heterosexuality versus homosexuality and stuff. But then you only ever kind of hear stories of people that like definitely know, you know? And there’s a lot of people that are in the middle of that scale who, like, don’t know. That like that’s very valid.
Callie [01:23:34] And I think for me, I kind of feel like I did choose to be gay, to be queer. You know, I probably could have kept going with, like, boring, unfulfilling sex with cis het men and like being a very normal person out in the world and like, would have been fine. It wasn’t like torturing me inside. And I think the fact that I wanted to keep, like, digging. You know, I wanted to keep, like, questioning and reading things and talking to queer friends and reach a level where I could, like, have kind of this epiphany. So it’s been weird feeling like, oh, I understand why saying like, you can choose to be gay or you can choose not to be gay is problematic. But it also feels like it really fits for me.
Callie [01:24:28] And I get a lot of joy in knowing that like I’m choosing to queer my life in a very obvious way, queer my sexuality and queer my relationships. You know, part of this for me isn’t just my sexuality. It’s also like how I’m wanting to approach my friendships and the people in my life. And I want to get more comfortable with intimacy. It’s something I really struggle with. It’s something I want a lot. But then I realize, like, I’m actually, like, terrible at it, you know? And I’m like I want to have friends where it’s like come over and we’ll like fucking cuddle, you know, and watch a movie and like, that’s cool. Like, I just want a queer life and I’m going to work towards it and I want our society to be queer. And I’m going to work towards that too.
Nichole [01:25:13] Yeah! Queer them up.
Callie [01:25:15] Queer it!
Marine [01:25:18] Yeah, I mean, all such, such great points. And I think there are other things that like, I mean… Yeah I think about my attraction to men and how much that has changed. Like before like only very masculine like, men that fulfilled like gendered, like perfect gender norms I was attracted to. And I would have, at that time I would have told you like that’s like one hundred percent inbred, you know, like I grew, I was born this way and stuff. Whereas now like I, it’s, yeah. I mean it does come from like as a byproduct of the fact I went on this like exploration to actually like critically deconstruct gender norms and be critical of toxic masculinity or see it et cetera. And like now I’m really not. But it’s not like I’m, yeah, I’m choosing not to be attracted to those kind of men, I guess. But it’s not like a choice at this point. It’s like my attraction, like those men, like do not attract me at all. And if anything like now I really like androgynous or like feminine, feminine men or like that, that sort of energy. Whereas before I would have thought that was like just really not my thing when I was in high school.
Marine [01:26:32] And I’m like way more open to it, like I also feel like my attraction to women is super, it’s like all over the place. Whereas before I when I was growing up, I was like only attracted to, like women with very masculine energy. And I think that that was definitely partially like internalized misogyny of just thinking like, oh, okay, well, maybe I could, like I am into women but they still have, like I still have to be like a bottom feminine person. And they still have to be very masculine. Whereas now, and now I really feel like actually the gender of the person like doesn’t actually have like an influence over my attraction to them. And even before, I think when I just thought gender roles had more legitimacy or when I saw the world in a more gendered way, I was, and even when I realized, I guess, that I was bisexual, I was like, well, still my attraction to men and my attraction to women is still different. Like I’m attracted to them in different ways. And like the more I’m exploring that, the more I’m like, actually, I’m really, I don’t feel like I’m attracted to them in different ways. Which is certainly fine if you are but I really feel like my attraction is almost like gender blind. Or whatever the non-ableist version of that is.
Nichole [01:27:49] Yeah, and I feel like you’ve explained it that way to us, like, for a while.
Marine [01:27:53] Yeah.
Nichole [01:27:54] Cause I was thinking about that for myself, and for me it’s very different. Yeah, like I think you’re like a true pansexual, you know like as that definition is.
Marine [01:28:04] Yeah.
Nichole [01:28:05] That like gender just literally doesn’t factor in. I just feel like you’ve always talked about sex and dating in that way. Like it, just it literally doesn’t make a difference.
Marine [01:28:16] Yeah. And I think even when I like have been intimate with women, it doesn’t… That was another thing I was confused about is like, you know, I was scared when I identified as heterosexual, like, oh, but maybe one day if I have sex with a woman, that’s gonna be it. Like I always had that fear growing up, just that, like, really I wanted something else. But actually, like when it did finally happen and when I kissed a girl and like, had sex with a girl, I was shocked by how not different it was for me in, like, my relationship to the person’s body and stuff. I was like, oh, actually, really I guess gender or like genitalia doesn’t actually make a big difference for how I experience, like, my desire.
Callie [01:29:08] Yeah. Interesting, because I was wondering if labels would, you know, come up at all because Marine you, as far as I knew before, you were very much like oh, I am bisexual, you know, and that was your label. And I, when I came out, I was like, oh, I think queer is kind of the label I would use first. But, you know, pan is kind of the more specific explanation. But, yeah, it’s been interesting to hear you kind of like deconstructing, like, that you really do seem to be like gender blind when it comes to, you know, attraction, so.
Marine [01:29:42] Mm hmm.
Nichole [01:29:44] Yeah, it’s interesting. Something I wanted to hit on that I think was touched on earlier, but there, for me, I know another big part of my… I think part of my inability to, like, experiment or explore has been this idea, I think, Marine, you kind of brought it up, that like there’s this idea that there’s something about being with women that’s, like, inherently perverted, right?
Marine [01:30:16] Yeah.
Nichole [01:30:18] And I know I’ve really struggled with, like, friendships. Because I’ve had guy friends that I’ve messed around with, and that’s been fine. I am not someone who, like, necessarily crosses that line easily. But like, I don’t feel weird about it. But with my female friends, it always feels like, like even I actually had to talk to my therapist about this for a while when I first came out as queer that I just had this feeling that I was like going to be a pervert to my friends. Or like I was going to be a pervert to like, like every woman I met, if it seemed at all friendly, then it’s like if I ended up having feelings or wanting to do something, that it was going to be, like, perverted. And it’s weird because I would not have, like if you had asked me, I would be like, no, never in a million years would I think that. But then all of a sudden I was in the middle of realizing, like, oh, wow, I really like have internalized this idea that this is like, weird. Right, like I’m like forcing my queerness on people or something. And I still kind of struggle with it. Like how to not see it as so much of a stark line when, like, I could fool around with a guy friend and not have it feel that way, you know?
Callie [01:31:36] Yeah.
Marine [01:31:36] Yeah. And I feel-
Callie [01:31:38] Dude, I worry about that too.
Marine [01:31:39] Yeah. No, I mean I worry about that like all the time also. And I think that’s because we’ve also, we also see men as like a lot, or like people who are interested, like pursuing women, so, you know, in our collective imagination, men, as being sort of like manipulative or perverted or like playing all these like mind games. So like all of a sudden, like when I found myself in the position of like pursuing women, I felt like it must mean I was like, I should be feared or like I was like a threat to this person. But yeah. And also realizing, like, actually there’s so many of my friends, and because I think I’m a little bit, what, not sapiosexual but demisexual, right? I want to know the difference between those two. I’m not very well educated on those terms.
Marine [01:32:38] But I feel like there is, there are like so many of my female friendships that like, when I’m, like I think all my, I think my girlfriends are like the most like beautiful, smart, awesome people in the world. And I’m like I, yeah, actually most of, I think most of my girlfriends, like when I met them, I totally had a crush on them and I was like, wow, they’re so pretty and beautiful and smart and like, OK, I guess we’ll just be friends and I’m totally fine with that. And it’s not like I’m sitting there just being like, oh, I wish we were other things because, like, our relationship is a friendship. But there’s just not like a clear line for me. So I was scared. I was like, well, yeah, maybe my girlfriends are now going to be scared that I’m like this predator, this person that, like, actually wants to hook up with all of them. But like also like I kind of do. Like they’re all super hot and fun and cool and nice, you know, like.
Nichole [01:33:27] Well, and it’s weird, right, because if they were dudes and you felt that way about them you would probably date.
Marine [01:33:31] It would not be weird. Exactly.
Nichole [01:33:33] Or you’d hook up or like whatever. Yeah. One of the, I think Marine at least you watched this video because you brought up something, but the video that brought up Bend It Like Beckham had said that it was originally written to be like a female romance movie and it couldn’t get produced because everyone’s like, lesbians gross. And, you know, that’s obscene. We can’t show that. So they were talking about how like this happens a lot. And we see this with a lot of cartoons as well. Like there are ones that have managed to eke through and be queer. But a lot of them, like currently, like She-Ra is, you know, even She-Ra’s pretty like, coded gay. Don’t spoil it anyone, I’m only on season four. Cause I know there’s a gay kiss at some point.
Nichole [01:34:28] But there’s a lot of stuff that was made for kids or tweens or young adults that like was actually queer but I had to be, like, hidden, right? And so what happened, they were saying what happened was that intense female relationships, friendships, have been normalized to us. Where you love each other and you’re obsessed with each other and you think the other person is like the most beautiful, amazing person ever. And you cuddle and you spend all your time together, but you’re just friends. And you both have, like, boyfriends who are kind of on the periphery that, like, don’t really matter that you’re not that into.
Nichole [01:35:08] And I just, like when I heard that, I was like, fuck, that is so true. Like, it’s so true that we’re told that, like, it’s normal to be, like, obsessed with your girlfriends, but never question that it might be something more. Or that you might just want to try it with each other. Like maybe you want to make out one night and see how that feels, you know. And I think a lot of people do make out one night and it feels nice, but then they get freaked out and it just stays this weird thing. Like I’ve had so many friends, too, that they’re like, oh yeah, we’ll make out when we’re drunk. Like, every time. And it’s like maybe you like each other. You know? And I mean we all, it’s fun to have make out drunk buddies, but like yeah, it’s just, it’s just this weird thing where it’s just so just cordoned off.
Nichole [01:35:59] And when you look at our media, it’s not surprising because that’s like, you know, I’m thinking of like Adventure Time, which is one of my favorite shows ever. Like there is, you know, Princess Bubblegum and… Marcey? Why am I, I have a crush on her and she’s a cartoon character and maybe a teenager, it’s very confusing. But you know, like Princess Bubblegum and Marcey have this, like, fucking intense relationship and they always seem like mad at each other in a way that you get mad at someone that you’re in love with, like you get, like, heartbroken by what they’re doing, but they’re just friends. And you’re like, why? You know, but it’s like because it’s a show for kids. We can’t show homosexuality. That’s not right. And it, and especially like lesbian homosexuality.
Marine [01:36:46] That’s just gross.
Nichole [01:36:46] We can’t show that being like a valid relationship structure. So, yeah, it just really like blew my mind when she said that, that I was like, god, that’s so true. You watch constant, intense female relationships that are never romantic. Never. Even though they are and that’s why we have fanfiction. Right? But like, it’s never explained or shown that way, that it’s because they’re in love with each other.
Marine [01:37:18] Yeah, totally. That just really reminds me of my… like my-
Nichole [01:37:24] Whole life.
Marine [01:37:25] My whole life, really. My entire friendship history, as matter of fact. But yeah, I mean, especially this friend in high school where, like, I look back on it and I remember we went off to college and she got a boyfriend that she became like obsessed with and I was like heartbroken. And in a way that I was like, oh, well, just because it feels like I’m losing my best friend. But it was so much more than that. It was like I, yeah, I think I was like super in love with her. But never, yeah, never questioned it. Even though once again we had all these conversations like, wouldn’t it just be great if one of us could turn into a man so that we could get married and like never, never part each other’s side, you know?
Callie [01:38:13] Yeah.
Nichole [01:38:13] Yeah. One last thing I had that I wanted to talk about specifically with Marine here, because I know this ties into stuff that you’ve talked about around veganism. But I think for me, another big epiphany that I had was that, so I got into being a feminist in high school. Like I already, I always had, like, these kind of inherent feminist leanings. But like, I actually got formal education and like joined a young women’s leadership group and this whole thing. And I remember that the people who led that group were very like second wave. And I hated it. Like, I did not identify, like they hated men. You know, it was like crunchy, hippie style, like fuck all men and advertising’s evil and everything was evil. And it just felt like it didn’t relate to my life. And I was like, well, I don’t want to, like, hate men. I just don’t want to be oppressed, you know?
Marine [01:39:14] Wild thought.
Nichole [01:39:14] It almost felt like they were trying to turn us all into lesbians to me at the time and even actually thinking back on it, I’m like, I think they wanted us to all be lesbians. It was like if someone would talk about a boyfriend, they would get mad, you know?
Callie [01:39:30] Red flag.
Nichole [01:39:30] They were just, yeah, it was major red flags. I’m like, we would have an annual retreat where we would go out in the middle of the woods and spend like a weekend together. And I’m just kind of like, what was that? Thinking back on it now I’m like… Not that there’s anything inherently wrong with it, but it just, it was it’s a weird situation. Anyway. I think a big thing for me was like my dad would say, would call me like a feminazi and then my first long term relationship, which he was great in a lot of ways and abusive in a lot of ways, very confusing. But he would call it, he would be like, you have penis envy and like you probably just want to be a lesbian and blah, blah, blah, like you hate men. And I was like, I just hate the patriarchy! You know, I’m like-
Callie [01:40:14] Your dad told you you have penis envy?
Nichole [01:40:19] No, my boyfriend did.
Marine [01:40:20] Oh, my mom told me I had penis envy!
Callie [01:40:20] Oh. Wait what?!
Marine [01:40:25] Yeah.
Nichole [01:40:25] My dad probably said it too, I’m sure. But like-
Marine [01:40:26] My mom’s like super Freudian and like believes in all that. Yeah.
Nichole [01:40:31] The funny part is, I do have penis envy. And he was kind of right because I would sort of pretend to have a dick all the time so. Sometimes it was like to police my feminism and sometimes he was like, I think you actually want to have a dick.
Callie [01:40:48] And now you’re like, surprise, I do!
Nichole [01:40:53] Surprise! But anyway, to relate to you Marine, I think that looking back, a lot of my rejection of potentially being, you know, queer is that I felt like it would feed into this idea of my feminism just being this like, man-hating thing. And also that it would like discredit my political beliefs. That there was something about being someone who loved men and loves sex and like was a modern woman, but still having, like, these radical feminist beliefs that was like validating to me and that, like, being queer would invalidate that. And it just makes me think of a lot of what you would say about, like, not wanting to go vegan for kind of similar reasons. Like this sense that it was like a femme, a feminine thing to do. And you were like holding yourself apart from this, you know, stereotypical idea of like women and what women do and how they behave. And it kind of felt that way to me. It was like, I don’t want to be a typical feminist who’s just like a lesbian.
Marine [01:42:01] Yes.
Nichole [01:42:01] Like, I want to be a cool modern feminist who’s fighting the patriarchy and, like, sucking dick, you know? It’s like, mission accomplished but also, it turns out I’m really queer.
Marine [01:42:13] Right. Yeah I relate to that in two ways. Like in the way even that you’re describing of being like, well, I want to be able to like have these beliefs and I feel like if I come out as queer, like my family is going to be like, oh, well, like she had an agenda this entire time and like her views aren’t actually, like her views were just motivated by, like her queerness and like, you know, they were bias.
Nichole [01:42:38] The queer agenda.
Marine [01:42:39] Right. But yeah, I definitely had that around veganism. Like wanting, yeah, I mean since we, since like men are, you know, at the top of the hierarchy in like the patriarchal structure and like so, you know, they’re, they eat meat. Like, I wanted to just, like part of my whole act about being a cool girl was like definitely partaking in that and like eating chicken wings and-
Nichole [01:43:05] Mm hmm. Me too.
Marine [01:43:05] And, but and the other thing is like since I think I could eat, you know, because you were saying, like, I still want to be cool and like, suck dick and like blah, blah, blah, like I’d-
Nichole [01:43:18] Play video games.
Marine [01:43:18] Exactly. I feel like those things are only cool if, like, you fit like the feminine ideal in other ways. So I feel like eating all of this like gross animal food only is OK if, like, you still have a body that is considered like traditionally, you know, acceptable. And I was like, oh, great. Like, I actually can do this. Like, I can eat this stuff and like be seen as this cool girl, but like still have like, you know, still be a thin person. And that was a privilege I kind of had to let, like, had trouble letting go of, because then all of a sudden, if I was vegan, then it’s like, oh, I was like this like fragile, like health-conscious person who like had an eating disorder, like only ate salads or something and like that’s the only reason that I was thin. Which, you know, is another, that’s like a whole problematic stereotype of vegans, obviously, because like vegans have all different types of bodies. But I felt like that was like a privilege that I had to, like, let go of that was sort of particular to the cool-girl vibe I wanted to have. Of like eating meat and, you know, being able to, like, eat bacon and still be really thin, you know? Yeah.
Nichole [01:44:31] Mm hmm. Yeah. Yeah and that’s kind of what I did with my feminism was like, I can be a feminist, but I also can, like, make jokes that, like, trip up the guy. You know what I mean, like I can make like the dirtiest jokes or like the most, like just say the most ridiculous shit or I can play video games or I’d eat steak, you know, and like…
Marine [01:44:55] Right.
Nichole [01:44:56] Be straight.
Marine [01:44:58] Right. But it’s like those things are only cool if-
Nichole [01:45:00] Yeah, and be like thin with big boobs, and be like this whole package of a thing where it’s like I am internalizing some radical things but I’m packaging it in a way that’s marketable and acceptable. And realizing that, like, people didn’t take it seriously in that, you know, a huge part of queerness is embracing that stepping away from the privilege of passing, in whatever way that you were passing, to carry those ideas. It’s to step out from being palatable.
Marine [01:45:30] Yeah. Yeah. Well, it’s like this whole idea of like being natural and being, like that’s only cool and admired by men if you’re a cool girl, like when you’re a cool girl, if you’re actually like, if you have like perfect skin and perfect hair and a perfect body. It’s actually like “being natural” is like, it takes so much effort and is like not natural at all, you know what I mean? But like I guess like being, being seen as like being super low maintenance and natural is only cool if you can still tick off all the boxes of like traditional attractiveness. You know, it’s not actually cool if like being low maintenance and natural means that you’re just like, that you don’t fit those conventional gender roles, you know?
Callie [01:46:14] Yeah.
Nichole [01:46:15] Yeah, exactly.
Callie [01:46:17] I get a lot, I get a kick out of knowing that if my dad was aware at all about, like, who I’ve become now, and I don’t know that he is, but that he, it just like probably turns his stomach, you know? Like this like proudly fat, like not dieting, pink haired fucking queer, like self-described anarchist queer is like he probably, it probably kills him. And honestly, like I’m glad.
Nichole [01:46:54] My dad would probably be like, yeah not surprised.
Callie [01:46:54] Yeah. No, exactly. Like my dad would be like-.
Nichole [01:46:58] Which exactly was what I was fighting against for so long.
Callie [01:47:00] Yeah. Like I knew it, I knew if you let them get radicalized this is what happens. It’s like I guess you’re right!
Marine [01:47:10] Yeah. And I think struggling against that idea, I know that a lot of people feel validated when they come out and people are like, oh, we knew all along. And I get that. I get that in a sense. But also when my mom was like, well, I mean, we figured, you know, I was like so insulted cause i was like, that actually doesn’t feel validating at all because I want you to take all of my beliefs, like she kind of said, like we figured like since you were into like, queer activism and like, you know, you had all these, like, feminist ideals. Like, I was like, I don’t want you to, I don’t want that take away from, like, the legitimacy of all my other beliefs, you know?
Callie [01:47:44] Yeah. I definitely do think about that with other people.
Marine [01:47:51] But also, most people should have figured. Yeah. Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Nichole [01:47:54] Yeah, I hate the idea of my thoughts being dismissed because it may be part of my identity. Or my beliefs, you know, my convictions now being invalidated by being part of that community. And it’s like…
Marine [01:48:10] Right. Well, and yeah.
Nichole [01:48:11] That again, that policing of the mainstream of like things are only valid, you know, if someone else is saying it.
Marine [01:48:19] Right. And it goes back to the whole idea that like being male, being white, being straight, like is the neutral place that you can speak from. And that actually like-
Nichole [01:48:28] It’s the pinnacle of logic and reason and truth.
Marine [01:48:32] It is the pinnacle, yeah…
Nichole [01:48:33] Get it right.
Marine [01:48:34] And so, you know, it’s just like a black person will be seen as less legitimate when they talk about racism because they must have an agenda than like a white dude who’s never thought about race in his life, you know.
Nichole [01:48:47] A white woman? Who’s making millions off of it?
Marine [01:48:50] Or a white woman. For example. What do you mean?
Callie [01:48:53] We’re playing devil’s advocate?
Nichole [01:48:56] Yeah, just a hypothetical.
Marine [01:48:58] What is the devil’s advocate reference?
Callie [01:49:01] Oh, no, just that that’s like a thing white people are, they always feel the need to play devil’s advocate.
Nichole [01:49:07] They love playing devil’s advocate.
Marine [01:49:10] Makes me so mad.
Callie [01:49:11] Yeah. It’s like no one is surprised by you choosing to play the devil’s advocate against racism. We know. We’ve heard it before
Nichole [01:49:20] Yeah, shocker!
Marine [01:49:21] Right. The most patronizing part of that too is like, well, I’m just trying to help you develop your thought process by like challenging you.
Nichole [01:49:29] Thank you for patronizing me.
Marine [01:49:29] Right? Oh my god.
Callie [01:49:29] Well.
Nichole [01:49:37] Well, anything else, ladies?
Marine [01:49:42] I’m gay.
Nichole [01:49:42] I mean, I know it’s one of those things we could talk about endlessly.
Marine [01:49:46] Yeah, it is.
Callie [01:49:47] No, I think for our first Queer T.M. episode, I think we covered an awful lot. Everything I think I wanted to hit on.
Nichole [01:49:59] I think we did pretty good.
Callie [01:49:59] Yeah.
Marine [01:49:59] Yeah. I was a little nervous about the live situation.
Nichole [01:50:02] You were great.
Callie [01:50:02] Yeah.
Marine [01:50:02] But it’s true, I did end up looking past it. I have not looked at the comments yet though.
Nichole [01:50:12] They’re great comments.
Callie [01:50:14] The comments have been so great. I keep like, yeah looking at them being like, eee I can’t wait to like dig in and start talking to people. But yeah.
Nichole [01:50:23] I know. So anyway, I was going to say, if you’re listening to the podcast recording, we’re gonna go party, have our little afterparty with the livestream.
Callie [01:50:34] It’s Pride, bitches!
Nichole [01:50:38] It’s Pride! If you want to join us in the future, we livestream podcast episodes Sundays at 12 noon Pacific Time. And we also have a town hall situation which is under construction, Thursdays at five p.m..
Callie [01:50:57] Yes. And just thank you so much, Marine, for coming on and having this conversation with us.
Nichole [01:51:02] Yes.
Callie [01:51:03] This was so much fun and so validating. I feel so much lighter just getting some of this stuff off my chest. I can’t believe all the things I just admitted to the internet, but you know what? I love it.
Nichole [01:51:16] People need to hear it.
Marine [01:51:17] They do.
Callie [01:51:18] Yeah, so.
Nichole [01:51:19] And Marine, where can people-
Marine [01:51:19] Thank you so much for having me on. Where can people find me?
Nichole [01:51:24] Yes.
Marine [01:51:24] These days, nowhere, really I’ve heard.
Nichole [01:51:29] I’ve heard.
Callie [01:51:29] You’ve heard?
Nichole [01:51:30] Some people tell me.
Marine [01:51:34] No. I mean, so I have a YouTube channel called The Privileged Vegan that I have not uploaded in a couple of years. And then I co-host a podcast called The Vegan Vanguard with the wonderful Mexie. But I’m on there kind of infrequently also, but…
Nichole [01:51:51] Yeah. Well, your videos are still fire.
Marine [01:51:55] Thank you.
Nichole [01:51:55] So we still highly recommend the channel. So go check that out. And yeah, listen to The Vegan Vanguard because it’s great.
Marine [01:52:02] Yes.
Callie [01:52:02] And I think Mexie was here in the comments, I saw.
Nichole [01:52:06] Yeah, I saw Mexie pop in.
Marine [01:52:07] Ooooh!
Callie [01:52:07] Yeah. With a “Hey loves” earlier. So, hi babe!
Marine [01:52:13] Thank you so much again.
Nichole [01:52:15] Yeah. Thanks for coming on. And we’ll talk to you all next week.
Callie [01:52:19] Bye bye.
Nichole [01:52:20] Bye.
Marine [01:52:20] Bye.