I remember very clearly the first time I met her. We worked together at a local store and I remembered being completely enamored. She exuded an energy that I was immediately drawn to and I found myself being very attracted to her.

I had always identified as a straight woman and had only previously had sexual relationships with men (apart from a few tipsy teenage encounters with close girlfriends). I was baffled by this new experience. I knew that what I valued the most in my relationships with women was connection and depth, but this added layer of sexual attraction had never appeared before.

The label that I’ve found feels most true for my experience is the term ‘pansexuality’ – a sexual, romantic or emotional attraction towards people regardless of their sex or gender identity. For me, my attraction has always been based on a person, rather than on a preference of gender.

I have found myself being drawn towards others based on their personality, or qualities beneath their aesthetic appearance. Sometimes, the initial attraction has grown over time as a result of building relationship in a slow, organic manner. Only as I started to care more deeply for the person did I begin to understand the essence of that person, and from there the emotional connection moved into a sexual or romantic desire.

Due to life circumstances, in the past I’ve felt inadequate or underserving to embrace the label of being a true “pansexual”. But today I am comfortable in myself. By allowing myself to be fully seen, I am able to step into an experience of fulfillment and satisfaction.

My intent in sharing my own experience is that it may just provide at least one person the ability to share theirs too.  I would also like to share one of my favourite quotes of all time – so much so that at the age of 21, I decided to have it tattooed on my body so I could never forget! – “To thine own self be true!”

 

This piece was written by one of the ICLA eFriend Peer Support Workers. eFriend is an online platform where you can connect with a trained peer support worker whom has their own lived experience of feeling lonely, isolated, stressed or worried. You can speak to your eFriend Peer via video or phone call. Your eFriend Peer will listen, validate and provide hope. If you like, they can also assist you to identify any other services you may like to try or help you create plans to improve your personal well-being. Or they can simply listen.

To book your first call visit: https://my.efriend.org.au/preregistration/