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Sexplorations with AJ: Sexuality, Labels and Everything In Between

Hello again! Yep, it’s the first Thursday of a new month again already - meaning this is officially our third month of Sexplorations!


I hope you’re having a lovely summer wherever you are in the world. 


I’ve been staying close to home this year, scouting out the best summer spots in the North East of England (and because last minute holidays are far too expensive).


But, while I’ve been staying at home, I’ve had the pleasure of watching the build up to Newcastle Pride. 



Over the past month, I’ve been greeted by the luscious tones of local drag legend Miss Rory on my commute to work as well as seeing every pride flag you could possibly imagine on the streets of Newcastle’s City Centre. 


Despite the less than desirable weather here, I can definitely still say it’s been the brightest month in the city by a mile.

 


That being said, as I’ve been walking through a colourful and supportive city, smiling and comfortable in my queerness, it made me think about a time when I wasn’t so comfortable in my sexuality (I know, the sex columnist wasn’t always sex confident, pick your jaws up off the floor). 


Not just in terms of queerness but also in how I’ve expressed myself sexually in the past. 


It sent me into a spiral of cringing: how I’d over-sexualise myself to feel good and then complete 180 and removed any sexualising factors about myself after realising I didn’t want to be sexualised at all. 


This, accompanied by discovering my queerness, was definitely a tricky time. 


But hey, through all that I am here today more confident and self-assured than ever - and with some little advice titbits for you all too.

 


First of all, while it may sound cliché, sexuality is a spectrum. 


It really is a diverse and varied thing, so please try to remember that if you don’t know what you want or labels don’t feel good for you or you feel any confusion; then that is absolutely valid. 


There is never a need to ever give your sexual preferences a name or even to acknowledge them with anyone other than yourself and any partner you may have. 


Sexuality is completely and entirely, yours. 


Nothing is set in stone unless you want it to be and even then, you can always change your mind and start again.

 

Also, it’s important to note that nothing anyone says should have an impact on how you feel love and attraction nor who you want to feel it with; whether it’s physical, emotional, or both. 


Personally, I’ve had a ride with my sexuality. 


With the journey to discovering and feeling comfortable in my own queerness to experiencing the full range of hyper and hypo sexuality, I’m now in a place where I can feel comfortable with myself. 


Even if that means I’m ever changing. 


I used to think that I would never be settled in myself until I sat and solidified every single detail about every single thing to do with the way I expressed myself socially, emotionally and sexually. 



I believed that I wouldn’t be queer enough or sexy enough. But, the thing is, that is completely unrealistic impossible. 


I’ve tried to explain this concept of overanalysing through this analogy: 


You’re never going to find every freckle of mole on your body because sometime they’re just in places we can’t see. 


You know they’re there so why bother looking? 


Is it for you or is it for other people? 


Because, I can tell you now, if you took society out of the equation then you wouldn’t give a rats arse. 


So, take it out of the bloody equation. 


Actually, don’t even do the equation because maths is gross.

 

Anyway, we’re all just animals. We have been loving and fucking since the beginning of time. 


We’re designed to want companionship whether it be platonic, romantic or erotic; we’re social creatures who need connection and the odd little kiss and cuddle. 



Taking sex away from the matter, we can still find this sense of contentment from friendships and platonic relationships so those non-physical aspects apply to the sexual ones too. 


These things are essential in any relationship, so why would you compromise on it when it comes to your most intimate ones? Shame? Uncertainty? I don’t mean to call you out but... that’s what it was for me.


By partaking in sex and companionship that actually aligns with your sexuality, it’s like tasting the best meal you’ve ever had. And you’ve ate your favourite meal how many times in your life? Yeah, exactly. You wouldn’t want to go without it, would you? 


And the population of Queer individuals is on the rise too! 



Our generation is possible the most open and honest one in recent history so its no wonder that, according to the a recent census, the percentage of Lesbian, Gay or Bisexual people in the UK has increased from 2.7% to 3.1% between 2019 and 2020 and has almost doubled since 2014 where the percentage was 1.6%. 


Not to mention that census only included people ages 16 – 60+ who had access to it. Not taking into account those younger than the threshold or those who couldn’t access online or postal forms could mean thousands of queer people are unaccounted for nationally.

 

With Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual populations on the rise, groups and societies are on the up too. 


Branch groups from the charity Stonewall are available all across the UK and Ireland and independent groups such as Canny Queer Collective in Newcastle are also useful for LGBTQIA+ companionship and company. 


By searching for your local queer support group, society or even swim or sewing club, you’re able to connect and interact with other people of the same sexuality, ask questions and have conversations with people who understand and won’t judge, or simply just feel like you belong.

 

Thank you for coming along to another Sexplorations with AJ. 


It’s been a bit of a vulnerable one but, nonetheless, a very important one too. 


Hope to see you again next month!


If you feel like you need additional support, please use services such as:


Switchboard:

Phone - 0800 0119 100

Email - hello@switchboard.lgbt


Just Like Us:

Phone - 0300 365 5002

Website justlikeus.org


Samaritans:

Phone - 116 123.


Edited by Emily Duff

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