Comp Het Hell

This video proves that comp het is real…and dangerous

· Updated on April 12, 2024

We know that being gay is great—so why does it take so long for so many of us to come out? There are plenty of obvious reasons: homophobia, social pressure, family disappointment, and a bunch of other crap that keeps people ashamed and in the closet for longer than they need to be.

But there are even deeper, more insidious reasons for this two, especially when it comes to bisexual women and lesbians. A recent video from the_sexpert on TikTok breaks it down perfectly, and leaves us feeling deeply for all the people conditioned to stay in bad straight relationships.


Satisfying relationships between women are rendered unthinkable, unfulfilling relationships with men are rendered inevitable #fyp #lgbt #lgbtq #lesbian #queer #gender #women #men #wlw #sapphic

♬ original sound – the_sexpert

“It’s crazy how many women will never realize they’re lesbians,” he says, “because being unfulfilled or disappointed in men is just taken to be a standard women’s experiences.”

It’s true—how many sitcoms have traded on jokes about it’s normal to kind of hate your spouse and get no satisfaction from them? Married with Children, anyone? Part of the conditioning of comp het—or compulsory heterosexuality, wherein we’re all presumed to be straight by default—is that you’re supposed to be ok with being in a relationship where your needs are not met, or even acknowledged.

The reality is that the amount of effort it takes to come out—even at this point in time—is more tiring than we think it is, and costs a lot more than we imagine. Especially when you’ve been told your entire life that your purpose is to take care of a man and leave your own needs and desires at the door.

Commenters agreed wholeheartedly. “As a queer affirming therapist,” one TikToker wrote, “I feel like an angel gets its wings every time I explain comphet and a woman has an epiphany.”

No, but for real,” someone else wrote, “this is exactly why it took me 30 years.” Other commenters responded in kind, pointing out how long it took them to embrace their sapphic sexuality.

Compulsory heterosexuality feeds on the idea that many women will never embrace their queerness simply because lesbianism, bisexuality, or even asexuality isn’t presented as an option. Or if it is, it’s an option surrounded by so much stigma that it frightens people into staying in the closet. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

“My sister 100% thought this!” Another commenter responded. “She was in her 30s until she asked “Do you ACTUALLY find dudes attractive?” of multiple people.”

When our culture normalizes the idea that everyone finds sex with men something gross that must be undertaken to keep the species going, it contributes to the problem. The 4b movement is picking up speed for a reason, people!

Bottom line: comp het is a sneaky thing that is still very much alive and well in every area of our culture, and it’s keeping people in (straight) relationships they don’t want or need to be in.

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