General

Why Do Queer Women Fall in Love so Fast?

Every queer girl knows that when you come out, you’re instantly handed two things: a plaid shirt and the keys to your very own U-Haul. I’m kidding…but only slightly (you actually have to pay for the U-Haul).

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But in all seriousness, why do queer women seem to fall in love with other women so quickly? Are we just enamored by the mere possibility of feline co-ownership? Do our hormones fire without discretion at the first sight of an undercut? Or is there a real biological phenomenon behind this? 

According to Dr. Lauren Costine, author of Lesbian Love Addiction, when two women fall in love they emit massive amounts of oxytocin and dopamine. Due to innate differences in biology, men do not release these chemicals in the same way.  So, when two women connect with each other romantically, there is an enormous influx of “feel-good” chemicals flowing freely from both parties.  This results in something Costine coins as an “oxyfest,” aka the real life version of Amortentia, and it’s literally addictive.

In fact, researchers have found that falling in love has the same effect as cocaine on the human brain and neuroscientists have linked “passionate love with intense changes in emotion and attention.” Assuming the vast majority of us aren’t interested in a strict regimen of hard drugs with a splash of emotional instability, these studies are seriously concerning.

However, since romantic love has been associated with lower levels of serotonin (a key element found in those with obsessive, intrusive thoughts), it’s easy to wonder if queer women are just doomed to repeat this cycle.

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Carmilla · General

5 Animal Species That Are Totally Gay

Did you know that homosexual behavior has been observed in more than 1,500 different species of animals? That’s right. Regardless of what your sixth grade religion teacher may have said, homosexual activity is natural and the overwhelming majority of animals are queer.

It’s actually extremely rare for any animal to exclusively exhibit heterosexual or homosexual tendencies. By our societal standards, that would make nearly all animals bisexual (or pansexual) because they have intercourse with members of the same and opposite sex. In fact, same-sex sexual activity may actually be adaptive among animals, helping them get along “ maintain [ superior fertility] and protect their young.”

So, why are people still shocked that human beings (who are also members of the animal kingdom) engage in homosexual behavior as well?!

Here are five animal species that prove being queer is totally normal.

1) Giraffes

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Humans aren’t the only animal species to enjoy neck stimulation! Male giraffes partake in a form of erotic foreplay, called “necking.” As the name implies, this activity involves two male giraffes rubbing their neck together until they’re ready to have sex. (Who knows, maybe all those spots are actually just hickeys!) Interestingly, one research study claimed that 94% of all observed sexual activity in giraffes occurred between two, or more, males.

While the statistics in this study have been fiercely contested, male giraffes indisputably seem to enjoy having sex with other male giraffes.

2) Chilean Flamingos

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These gorgeous, majestic and super gay animals should be mascots for the queer community. In recent years, there have been several heartwarming stories about these birds. For instance, two male flamingos adopted a baby chick after it was abandoned by its biological parents at the Edinburgh Zoo in Scotland. Additionally, another pair of male flamingos (who also raised a chick together) have been together for more than 30 years.  [That’s longer than far too many human marriages]  “They spend time together, they eat together, they walk around the exhibit together,” explains Monica Halpin, keeper of birds at Zoo Atlanta in Georgia. “They’re like a normal flamingo pair, except they’re boys.”

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General

Why I’m trying to love my mental disorder

Imagine this.

Your entire body is submerged in water. Ice cold waves are crashing over your head, forcing your torso downwards. The strength of the tide is causing your muscles to ache with exhaustion. You’re barely able to swallow a breath before the next waves comes. You’re absolutely certain you’re minutes from death.

Then someone manages to throw you a rope.

You look up. Your family is waving frantically from the shore, your friends desperately pleading with you to take the rope into your hands. Relief begins to flood your veins. If you just grab it, then you can pull yourself to warm, safe land. You extend your arm, realizing that this is your one chance to escape the torment. But then…

“What if the rope snaps and I end up worse than I am now?” “Can I even make it all the way to shore?” “Are those really my loved ones or are they trying to trick me?” You recoil and drop your outstretched hand. The rope sinks. And you continue to thrash desperately in the water.

For me, living with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) can feel a lot like choosing to drown. I can see that there is a way to escape the endless onslaught of thoughts, but sometimes I just can’t seem to grab the rope.

Since I wasn’t diagnosed with OCD until I was 24, I really struggle to determine whether my behavior is genuine or the result of an obsession. As a child, I experienced your stereotypical OCD symptoms (repeated actions, methodical behavior, counting) but, as I’ve gotten older, the vast majority of my symptoms have shifted internally.  Now, I present as a perfectly well adjusted person who can laugh, smile and work a room all while secretly engaging in my compulsions. 

Most of my friends are shocked when I tell them about my OCD. While they knew I had a tendency to fixate and had difficult dealing with change, my messiness seemed to preclude the possibility of actually having a disorder.  [Fun fact, not every person with OCD cleans compulsively or fears germs…we’re not all Emma from Glee]

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While some of my OCD does present in a visible manner (like having to walk in a specific way or laying out my clothes at night in the order that I put them on in the morning), I predominately deal with something called “Pure O.” It’s essentially OCD without the noticeable behavioral modifications. For instance, in high school I had a phobia of throwing up and all of my compulsions were centered around abating this fear.

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