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I don’t need to have a deep and meaningful conversation with a woman for her to catch my eye – part of me’s not proud of it, but I can be shallow and superficial sometimes. For the longest time I couldn’t admit to myself that I was attracted to women: no matter how I contextualised it something felt wrong. It was the actual looking – not the physical attraction – that bothered me and I wish I’d realised this a lot sooner as I’d have been a lot less confused in my earlier days. And here’s a newsflash for all you hets – (how het are you anyway if you’re reading this?) – we queers manage to go about our daily business without lusting after everyone we see – especially those of us who can admire handsome women and men. Once I got my head round a sexuality that didn’t have to fit into the normative gay-straight paradigm I still, for a while, had a tough time lusting after women. Because that’s objectification right? That’s what pervy trouser fumblers do right? That’s how advertising and the media and just about everything else works – isn’t it: we objectify women to make the products basking in their reflected beauty more attractive (products like cars, and shoes, and deodorant). As a woman, part of me still feels uncomfortable having a purely superficial look at another woman, because I know what it’s like to be on the receiving end of unwanted attention. I wear sunglasses in the winter to hide my eyes; I try not to ogle because I know what it feels like to be talking to someone who’s only interested in my cleavage. Of course there’s a big difference between admiring a woman respectfully from afar, and actual furtive looking that morphs into a creepy invasion of her personal space, with boundary crossing and all manner of inappropriate behaviour. Women are beautiful – and so are men – and I like to notice and admire that beauty sometimes, just for the sake of it. There, I’ve said it, so maybe now I can put down the remainder of my guilt about it.