As soon as I started writing this story, it became clear that plenty of women have what we call ‘girl-crushes.’ It’s a pretty common phrase, for sure, and for that reason it seems very innocuous. But calling our desires a “girl-crush” minimizes what queer women feel for one another — and it may even suggest that women who like women aren’t serious about it, that we’re playing around or doing it to get attention from men.
So, instead of finding out who women crush on (Monica Bellucci and Jennifer Lawrence were top picks from my friends, by the by), I asked women to dish on what they feel or have felt about women — because a) it’s empowering to talk about the fluidity of sexuality and b) people out there may be feeling the same thing but are too afraid to ask others what they think. All of these women consider themselves ‘straight’ or are in a relationship with a man.
1. It’s definitely platonic, but EVERY time I’m with her, it’s like…I feel this rush.
“I’m in a relationship with a man — have been for like 3 years — but I have this one female friend who makes me so happy. It’s definitely platonic, but EVERY time I’m with her, it’s like…I feel this rush. Not sure why or what started it, but it’s gotten more intense. It’s not necessarily sexual although I admit to checking her out. I’ve never kissed a girl or even watched lesbian porn! But it does make me question my sexuality in a way.” — Tia, 30
2. I find myself checking out women way more tan men.
“I don’t know if I’d say I’m bisexual but I find myself checking out women way more than men. I don’t know why….it’s so crazy, because I date dudes only and have never been with a girl. I don’t mean I look at their outfits. I find myself looking at their bodies and not just thinking they’re hot but wondering what it’d be like to touch them! I don’t act like a man about it though, haha.” — 25, Gina
3. I absolutely think we have the capacity for sexual fluidity, but….
“I absolutely think we have the capacity for sexual fluidity but I date men exclusively. I would never want to be with a woman — not for all the silly reasons like they’re emotional — but because I am so fulfilled by my physical life with men. Still, I have a fantasy of being with women, and not just sexually, explicitly. But romantically. I want to kiss them, hold them. I just don’t see it happening. It’d be so outside the context of my life. I don’t know what this means for me.” — Maria, 29
4. I check out this girl at work.
Like, I think about her. I look at her and I get weird around her. But I totally date a guy who even knows her. It’s so weird that he would never ever guess it.
5. I can’t get off to men…in porn, but with women I can.
“I definitely masturbate to women. I am not in a relationship with a guy now, but I date guys and I’m sure 100% that I’ll be with a guy again. I can’t get off to men…in porn, but with women I can. I don’t know why, but I’m sexually attracted to women more and romantically attracted to men more. It’s an odd problem that I’ve not known how to solve, short of having a threesome with a boyfriend. But I won’t do that.” — Emily, 32
6. I’ve spent a lot of nights worried I was gay.
“I don’t know how to put this…but sometimes I feel like I’m bisexual. I’ve spent a lot of nights worried I was gay — not in a bad way out of shame, but my family would kill me! — because I flirt with women and like being around them and smelling them and maybe even like dancing with them…I didn’t just feel like they were just women friends, but people who were sexual objects. People I desired. I didn’t group them into a ‘friend’ box. Does that make sense? I don’t know. I guess what I mean is that women are really alluring and I wonder if maybe I’m bi?” — Val, 28
7. I turn to the memory of her over and over.
“My brother is gay. My step-dad came out last year. I have made out with one girl in my whole life and have had really fulfilling relationships with men my whole life. I worry I am gay, too, though, because I turn back to that memory with her over and over again, even during sex.” — Twyla, 34
8. I definitely love boobs and wanna play with them.
“I would never be with a girl. I can’t stand the thought of a vagina….like, no! I just see it as wet and warm and not a penis, haha! But that said, I definitely love boobs and wanna play with them. I have no shame in it. I think women are hot. But then again, if I were really bi, wouldn’t I want to go down on them? I don’t know how that works. I guess we can all like one another in our own ways and it doesn’t mean all or nothing.” — Tilly, 23
9. Can we admit that we’re all curious?
“I don’t use the term “girl-crush” because it’s problematic and I think it might be somehow insulting to my gay friends and their relationships. But I’m straight and I definitely find women attractive. I don’t believe for a second that other girls don’t. I have met SO many women who say “ewww” at the thought of being with a woman…and I ask them: why? Why are you so disgusted? Can we admit that we’re all curious, even if we’re primarily hetero?” — Annie, 34
10. I’m in love with women every so often, but I definitely date men.
“Oh please. I’m in love, I think, with women every so often. But yeah, I go just tend to date men. I don’t think there’s a reason. It’s just circumstantial.” — Dea, 30
11. I’m a sorority girl, so being bi is out of the question.
“I hang out with a lot of sorority girls. Like, I’m a chapter vice president. They tend to be with a lot of men and being feminine is a priority, like aesthetically and socially. I couldn’t admit I like women in some ways. I’d be ousted probably. Not sure if that’s 100% true, but it’s what I think.” — Haya, 21
12. I like celebrities and models and I think women are beautiful.
“I would never date a girl. I just know that about me, like I know my name. It’s just a truth. But I do think we are gorgeous and maybe that I should find them hotter than a smelly guy, haha. Only thing is, I can’t force my sexuality. But I do like to look at them and even look at them naked.” — Paige, 28