Dating is tricky enough, but when you add the ever present layer of society’s binary viewpoint, it can be downright difficult to navigate….that is unless you start to educate yourself on what non-binary really means.
First, I should say that I am not speaking as a non-binary (or “NB”). I am a cishet person who identifies as a womxn and goes by the pronouns “she/her”. I identify as queer or fluid. I have never dated an NB. So my perspective on this topic is much narrower than I would like. I have a close friend who used to date a non-binary and took the time to call me out on a few things.
Even though I identify as kinky and really open-minded and sexually “worldly”, one of the first things that had to change was my vocabulary.
“What are your pronouns?”
Yes, it is 2019 and we do give a f*%ck about pronouns. So if you have any resistance to asking a potential date about what pronouns they prefer or if the idea of calling someone a “they” bothers you, then I would take a step back and really assess whether you can call yourself an ally. If you don’t have a problem with this, but are simply in unfamiliar territory, you can either (a) read up on pronouns (if you are into comics, this is a fun read and informative) or (b) simply and respectfully ask questions. An honest question can avoid a whole heap of trouble in misgendering someone.
Realize it’s a daily battle
The world is ridiculously binary. And people get stuck in that mindset, making it hard to get out. People who don’t identify with a gender tend to have to deal with constant assumptions about their gender and who they date. Calling someone a “partner” instead of default to “boyfriend” or “girlfriend” is a good way to start offering a better dialogue.
Go ahead and talk sex!
Don’t shy away from getting to know your potential date or getting to know your partner even more by asking about sexual desires and preferences. Don’t assume anything. Be curious and open and listen. There are many ways to have sex, and gay or queer sex is a broad category.
See if your sexual desires match up to theirs.
But whatever you do, don’t ask questions like “how do you do it?” or you will out yourself as blatantly heteronormative.
Above all, remember that we are human beings first, and whatever gender we choose to put on top of that is a personal choice.