Miley Cyrus has opened up about her first-ever relationship - revealing it was actually with a female.

The 23-year-old actor and singer discussed her journey to understanding her own sexuality in a new interview with Variety.

"My eyes started opening in the fifth or sixth grade," Cyrus said.

"My first relationship in my life was with a chick. I grew up in a very religious Southern family. The universe has always given me the power to know I'll be OK. Even at that time, when my parents didn't understand, I just felt that one day they are going to understand."

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The former Disney star, who's now dating Liam Hemsworth, also admitted it took her a while to feel comfortable with herself.

Miley Cyrus is now dating Liam Hemsworth. Photo / Splash
Miley Cyrus is now dating Liam Hemsworth. Photo / Splash

"My whole life, I didn't understand my own gender and my own sexuality," Cyrus said.

"I always hated the word 'bisexual,' because that's even putting me in a box. I don't ever think about someone being a boy or someone being a girl."

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Cyrus has received plenty of attention in recent years for her 'sexualised' image - but she doesn't view it as a racy statement.

"My nipple pasties and s*** never felt sexualised to me," she insisted.

Surprisingly, the one thing Cyrus may regret a little - is her 2013 smash hit Wrecking Ball.

About the song - and unforgettable video - she says, "On my tombstone, I didn't want the Wrecking Ball lyrics."