1. Accept it for what it is
Maybe it's a friend whose tequila-fuelled "I love yooooooous!" are getting you more and more hot and bothered at the weekends. Or perhaps it's that woman who always makes a point of sitting next to you at yoga (and who picked your car keys up with a wink when you dropped them after class last week). It could be that you've started to re-watch old episodes of Mad Men and you know deep down it's only for Christina Hendricks. Whatever it is that's making you question your sexuality, try not to push it out of your mind. That way lies madness.
2. Don't panic about labels
There is no need to lie awake until 5am watching The L Word on repeat and asking yourself "Am I bi then? Am I bi then?" If and when you do decide to define yourself differently, then you are allowed to do it in your own time. It's not like you have five working days to fill in a form or face a penalty charge.
3. Pick the right woman to test the waters with
If you decide you may want to explore your feelings further, respect who you explore them with. Every lesbian or bi woman lookin' for lurve (or at least something more than a tease) hates a "tourist" who leads them on and then disappears or changes their mind. If you're going to consider experimenting with another woman and you're not yet sure it's for you, make sure she knows know the score. And if you believe your desire to try it might be a bit more certain, then of course you need to make sure you protect yourself from tourists and confusion.
4. Got a boyfriend? Tell him!
Our society seems programmed to assume that all men who like women are turned on by the idea of girl-on-girl action. This is not true. You might think that your boyfriend will be cool with you sleeping with another woman, but lots of men don't feel that way. Even if you have both fantasised about the idea – and perhaps watched a few sapphic skin-flicks together – it might just be that. A fantasy. You need to discuss how you both feel. Will he want to join in? Will he be happy with the idea of you going off with another woman without him?
5. You don't have to go all the way
The lights are low, she's kissing you like you're every Ben and Jerry's flavor going and now her hands are starting to move across to post-watershed areas… Suddenly, you feel like a rabbit in headlights. It might be a bit embarrassing, but it's OK to slow things down a bit if you're sensing that you're a little out of your depth. If kissing is as far as it goes, so be it. There's no pressure.
6. Listen to your body
If you do decide to take it further, it's easy to find yourself having a minor heart attack about what to do next, what to put where, and generally have the words "OMG WTF?" running through your head on a loop. Here's a handy guide I prepared earlier which gives a few pointers. That said, there is no official 101. Just as you probably navigated straight sex a little clumsily the first time, so you may find yourself doing the same here. If something feels good to you both, do it. But it's probably safer to remove your three-inch acrylic nails before you meet her, just in case.
7. It could feel a bit awks afterward
You don't want to end up in a situation where your bestie sleeps in six layers of pyjamas on the other side of the room the next time she stays over, just because you had a one-off rumble in the jungle last time you met up. If you can find a way to laugh about it, do. If pretending it never happened works better for you both, then that's fine too. Just don't lose your bestie. That's silly.
8. Some people might judge
Also, as mentioned above, "bi-curious" girls who aren't sure if they want it or not don't have the best name amongst a lot of lesbian and bi women.
9. You might judge yourself
Same-sex attraction is still stigmatized in our society. It's not at all unusual to feel shame, confusion and regret after you've recognized and possibly explored your feelings for women. The first time I slept with another girl, I cried on my (male, gay) best friend for hours afterwards whilst he soothingly repeated "It's OK, I remember feeling like this" about 100 times.
10. It's OK not to do anything about it
So you think you might like women. But for some reason – nerves, a monogamous relationship, or just being happy with the fantasy – you're not planning to make your dreams flesh. So what? There's absolutely nothing wrong with that.
This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.co.uk. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.