After making a living documenting her sex life online and giving advice on the bedroom, Nadia Bokody made an impressive revelation.
A few months ago, I couldn’t stop crying.
My perpetually effervescent personal trainer had innocently asked how I was when I entered the gym, and I promptly started to cry.
“Oh no! Do you need to have a chat?” She asked.
I shook my head silently through watery eyes.
My world fell apart, but I was not ready to talk about it. Which says a lot, since I playfully refer to myself as “the queen of the Internet TMI” (an acronym for “A lot of information”) and I am often warned by my mother to “tone down”.
The problem was that I was unable to articulate what was happening to me. All I knew was that I had just told the man that he had loved me unconditionally for the past four years, that he no longer wanted to be together.
There was no dramatic struggle, no case, and no lost love. I just felt … different. As if a switch that has been inside me all my life has finally turned on and I’m seeing everything in color for the first time.
About a year ago, I declared myself bisexual, which was not particularly surprising to my closest friends. I had been “experimenting” with women since I was a teenager, although the shame and stigma surrounding it (and, in fact, the fallacy that what I was doing was the result of casual curiosity) meant that I was clandestine about my experiences. .
There was something about no longer having to treat my feelings for women like a dirty secret that slowly started poking at that switch inside me …
A few months before our relationship ended, I approached my boyfriend about the idea of an open relationship. He was pleasantly relieved when I said that I was only interested in sleeping with women.
Heteronormative conditioning taught him the same thing he instilled in me: that two women together were less legitimate than the alternative and therefore less threatening.
Although having sex with women was not new to me, I was open about it. I felt a strange emotion take over me with every encounter I had, and I began to allow myself to imagine what it would be like one day to walk out of a bar proudly holding hands with a woman I loved.
Meanwhile, my relationship followed a familiar trajectory.
The chaotic intensity of desperate desire and the seemingly bottomless well of my need for male validation dissipated and in its place came sexless nights that spanned weeks and, eventually, months.
“You just haven’t found the right man yet,” a friend told me after I announced the end of my marriage, a few years earlier.
This relationship was also hampered by tumultuous emotions that faded into indifference.
“It’s as if nothing I’ve done is enough for you. I don’t know what you need to be happy about,” my husband said, as he packed up his last belongings in what we had planned to be our home forever.
I didn’t know, either.
With the band-aid of his constant love recently ripped off, the unresolved wounds of my past were suddenly exposed, and I was plunged into pain – not because I lost my marriage, but because I lost the one and only stable male figure I had in my life. life.
Unable to spend an evening with thoughts spinning in my head, I worried about the men. Their beds offered temporary relief and what appeared to be a kind of sexual release from the monotony of my marriage.
And yet, there was a void inside me that no man seemed to fill.
A few months later, when I met my now ex-boyfriend, I waited for him to dissolve. Did not work.
Instead, I repeated a familiar scenario: one in which I became obsessed with the idea that he was leaving and addicted to the chaos and torture of trying to prevent this from happening.
That was love, I told myself. Love was something that seemed distressing and exhausting, just like the romantic movies I grew up watching and most of my parents’ wedding.
Unfortunately, the agony of what I perceived as love came at a high price.
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I got hurt in private, going in and out of psychiatric facilities, trying to fix what was broken inside me. If a man could just love me the way I lost it as a child, I would finally be happy, I told myself.
Except, I have been with men who loved me with the fullness of their hearts, and I was no longer happy. Still, in the intimate moments I shared with women, I grabbed something that tasted like peace.
At this point, of course, I had written about my sexual experiences with men on the internet, hiding my growing discomfort with them. I made swanky story videos on YouTube about my passions and the hilarious distances I made to get his attention (including flying 500 km to a Bumble date that tried to blame me for giving him oral sex an hour after the meeting).
Then, while browsing a strange dating app one day, the switch was turned on.
Like fireworks lighting up a pitch-black sky, it lit up so spectacularly that I couldn’t take my eyes off it.
I started to cry and texted my boyfriend.
“I’m sorry for being a coward and not doing it personally, but I can’t do it anymore,” I wrote.
“Do what? Us? What’s wrong ???” he texted back.
“I am more attracted to women than men,” I replied, still unable to fully articulate.
Having grown up in a Catholic family with a steady diet of Disney films that promised life began when a man chose to ride with me until sunset, I was still struggling with the idea that my sexuality did not actually include men.
“It’s not like I’m a lesbian!” I played nervously with a friend a few weeks later.
Yes, I had romantic feelings for women. Yes, I had sex with women and enjoyed it much more than being with men. Yes, the porn I watched was focused exclusively on women and my TikTok algorithm was basically lesbian content, but I had sex with men (like, a lot!) And I still noticed handsome guys.
So, as if I knew about my internal anguish, my YouTube homepage offered me a video about something called “compulsory heterosexuality”.
It featured a woman who had a long-standing relationship with a man and identified herself as bisexual before declaring herself gay.
She spoke about heterosexuality being presented as a kind of defect and the ways in which women are conditioned to covet male validation and sexual attention. Then she explained the difference between finding men attractive and really feeling sexual attraction to them, and everything came into focus …
I often joke that my whole sex life is on the internet because I don’t have the concept of IMT. And yet, this was the most difficult thing I ever had to write – in part, because I felt I owed it to the readers who followed my story to see it; that I had no right to change the plot of the narrative.
But my life is not an aggressive sex column. It’s messy and nuanced and totally unedited.
And that’s fine. It is normal to say that, in fact, it may have taken 36 years and write about sex with men on the internet to elucidate that, but I am gay.
It’s okay if your story doesn’t play out the way you expected. You are allowed to change course. I promise, everything will be fine on the other side, and it is worth every bit of pain and discomfort when you get there too.
As someone who has done this, I am here to tell you, it tastes a lot like peace.