Life dating 101

“More often than not, the interest I get from [heterosexual] men is fetishizing,” says Katie, 29.

“I have gotten requests for wild sexual interactions as well as requests to be a ‘unicorn’ — a bi chick who sleeps with or dates couples.

It is important to be open to the way people choose to identify, and in the process to be respectful of the labels and terms people use. Identity politics — the ways in which specific ideas and interests surrounding a particular group are formed — are a vital part of the queer experience and the LGBTQ community.

Remember, sex, gender, and sexuality are not one and the same.If you are new to dating a queer-identified woman, the best thing you can do is be honest about where you’re at and ask questions.People within the queer community try to be upfront about where they are coming from, and it’s fair to expect this kind of dialogue to go both ways.“When I first meet someone, I try to make clear my expectations about who I am, what the queer community means to me, and what I need from my potential partner regardless of their sexual identification,” Emily, 27, says.I’ve also encountered cishet [hetrosexual] men who have very little in common with me yet hit me up, which leaves me confused as to their interest.”Queer women often feel as if they are being fetishized for who they are and who they choose to date.This can be incredibly frustrating and is the opposite of how we want to be approached.

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