I'm going to give a vague Glee spoiler alert here if you happen not to have watched any of season 2 or season 3 thus far. Okay?
Santana is in love with Brittany. She's come to the conclusion that she is gay/lesbian. Now, these two things could very well both be true, both in the world of brilliant television musical dramadies, and life, but the first does not necessarily make the second true.
What do I mean?
I mean that who a person loves does not encapsulate and define all of, or even most of their sexuality. Sometimes, a person just falls in love with a person, or for that matter, is just attracted to a person and that person may be of a sex and/or gender that they have never before or never again been attracted to, collectively or individually.
This is a tricky thing to talk about. "Okay Kinsey, so if who you love and who you fuck doesn't define your sexuality, what does exactly?"
The answer is: lots of things. Those included. Right now, for the sake of brevity, I just want to talk about this one person idea.
A person can be a revelation. I always had some sense that I was attracted to women and really didn't think much of it until I had been given a vocabulary and context for those attractions: lesbian, gay, dyke, and, the women with whom I wanted to get all dykey, or, specifically here, one woman. At the start of grade 11, when I had not yet turned 16 there was this new girl in my English class. It may have taken all of five minutes being in vague proximity to her, without her even flashing that heart-melting smile at me, or becoming my friend and cuddling with me while we watched movies to turn vague sense in to,
"WHOA BABY DEFINITELY DO I LIKE GIRLS!!!"
or at least "WHOA BABY DEFINITELY DO I LIKE THIS GIRL OH MY GOD SHE'S LOOKING AT ME WHAT DO I DO WHATDOIDOWHATDOIDO???"
That single revelation allowed me to understand that there were a whole lot of other women in the world who were going to make me feel and act like a complete idiot. I was right. There were, they did, I did.
It didn't take much time, maybe 3 years all told to go from crazy about the girl from English class, for whom I would carry a torch during the rest of high school, which included: her dating a boy with whom I had a brief flirtation thing the year before and him being super weird about our friendship and me thinking it was so funny how backwards he was on the matter that I almost told him, both of them getting expelled, her coming back the next year, me marshaling all my courage and asking her to go to the prom with me and her telling me she didn't want to be my date to the prom because she wanted to go with a boy, and later turned out also to be queer and is some roller-derby superstar now. I digress.
We were talking about some time later when I had mostly come to the conclusion that I was only interested in women. I solid in my identity as gay, BUT, even then, I did hope and believe that I was capable of loving people as people and not just social constructs and bodies. (again, tricky stuff)
This change was a little more gradual, but the big, HOLY SHIT, MEN! moment came again with an individual first. I was so unbelievably head-over-heels in love with this man that I didn't really consider for a while whether or not other men might possibly be appealing to me, because I was in a place in which I couldn't imagine ANYONE ever being interesting except for him ever again. Well, life happens, and as I mentioned Mon Amore and I went our separate ways over a year ago now, and I have found out that, yes, men are, if you will, 'on the menu' for me, they held appeal. I believe what I discovered somewhere along the line was that BOYS held no interest for me, where as MEN sometimes do.
Being as I am now one of those confounding fence-sitters who will not even allow themselves to be called 'bisexual' because it is a label that, for me, does not fit. I am frequently asked to explain myself in this regard, or break down my attraction into ratios or fractions. I believe I have addressed my annoyance at this point ad nauseum in the past. I like people, I love individuals for who they are, not 'what'. People are 'whats,' they are 'whos'
In brief review: loving a single person does not define a person's sexuality. Individuals can help personify and clarify desire. Identity is complicated. Love kicks my ass.
One of my absolute favorite things about spending time alone where I live is the freedom not to wear any more clothing than I want to or is necessary due to temperature.
I just took a shower after trying to plant some things. I may have put the sprouted avocado upside down, and that potted basil may have been too late in meeting the garden. That's entirely beside the point. The point is, that I am sitting here bare-ass naked, save for my glasses. I do not even have my nose-ring in and am not wearing the lucky Japanese coin which seldom leaves my neck.
There is a delightful breeze coming through the window, my bedroom door is open, and as I am not expecting anyone else to be here for another 24 hours and the downstairs door is locked, that is all just dandy.
I think I came late to appreciating nudity, relatively speaking. Little kids seem to love to be naked, and having worked with youth a lot, I can tell you some take a lot longer to pick up the social conventions of when/where and how much clothing they are expected to wear in various circumstances. From what I remember and have been told, I was not one of those kids. I was on board with being fully clothed just about as soon as I could get clothes on with minimal assistance. I didn't want to change without a lot of privacy, which was difficult given how many sports I played. When I got involved with theatre I started to loose some of those boundaries. When you've got to do a quick-change, you've got to do a quick-change, but that was only ever down to my skivvies, which were pretty modest and uninteresting at that point - I once had to do a quick change in an alley for a show that I did when I was 14. The same truck drove by 3 times in the minute it took me to change from a full male military costume into a tea dress, matching hat and shoes.
When I became sexually active nudity in that context never seemed like a big deal to me. Of COURSE I have the hang-ups about my body that people have but I guess I always figured that if someone thought I was sexy enough to get to that point with me, what they found underneath my clothes wasn't going to send them running for the hills. I embraced well (not harshly) lit sex almost right away. Otherwise, I stayed pretty clothed. My beloved Alma Mater was, to put it mildly, a pretty naked place. I would take off my shirt and leave on my bra at parties, or go to underwear themed parties, in boxers and tshirt, not lingerie, and not just barely lingerie like some of my dear, darling classmates.
A few years ago I read from some very authoritative source, as in, some womens' magazine or other, that part of the reason that women tend to like their faces more than they like their bodies is because they SEE their faces all the time, and do not often really see/look at their bodies. I immediately took up the practice of looking at all me naked in the mirror at least once a day, and HEY! It's true. Having a better idea of what my body actually looks like made me like it more, and feel more comfortable being naked - alone, around other people, just for the heck of it. I don't feel as though my body needs to covered when it does not actually need to for the sake of social comfort or warmth. It's great. I am not suggesting even a little bit that I no longer have my hang-ups or any such thing, I just like chilling out naked now. That's all.
My darling wife reminded me of the conventional wisdom that it takes half the duration of a relationship to 'get over it' once it has ended. Mon Amore and I were together for 45 months, meaning I should 'be over it' in April of 2012. You know, if the world hasn't already ended by that point.
Not long after my split from Mon Amore, some friends from the world of fringe theatre was consoling me over a drink. They began pondering who they might fix me up with 'What guys do we know that are good enough for Kinsey'? I told them guys weren't the only or even necessarily the primary market for me, of which they were apparently totally unaware before. This led to the inevitable question of identity and labels. What I came up with on the spot was that these days, I am:
I recently pontificated that if my Kobo, iPod, and vibrator were all one magical device that could also tell me how great my ass looks in those jeans and that I'm way prettier than my ex's new flame, I would pretty much never have any need for a Significant Other again.*
Listener's response: There's got to be an app for that!
*except for the part that a magical literary/musical/film/orgasm inducing/self-esteem device can't hold you at night or go to the pharmacy for you when you're sick.
I should probably start by saying, because I don't believe that I have yet, that Mon Amore and I went our separate ways back in June.
In August I moved from Colorado back to my home town in Nova Scotia.
Yeah, I know, I never post, one more excuse, I probably have zero readers. Whatever. I write because I can't help but write, I'll try once again to do more of it in this forum than on paper or never going past my personal screen.
The next thing that I'm going to say is how not being in a relationship, and specifically not being in my relationship with Mon Amore has sort of re-opened some questions for me about my own sexuality. I used to be fairly solid in my gay-ness, but always allowed for the possibility of being attracted to or loving anyone. Then I found myself in a relationship with a wonderful man with whom I'd been friends for many years. At first I had a certain sort of defensiveness about my sexuality, some sort of need to justify myself or prove that I was still queer 'enough'
"Queer enough for whom, Kinsey?"
Queer enough for all of the Lesbians with a capital L who glared at me for holding his hand at GLBTTQQIA spaces and events, that's who. I never expected to experience discrimination and dirty looks for being a 'hetero' couple. I'd also like to add that, quite honestly, my relationship with Mon Amore was far more queer than any other I've been in, if we are going to use that term to indicate non-normative in some manner, challenging established and binary systems.
I came to a point at which for the most part I would pretend, in the majority of casual company and situations, to be straight, and always to have identified that way in an attempt to protect every other queer person from the old 'oh well they just need to find the right man/woman' bullshit that so many spout. I wasn't going to be used as evidence of that. I would put part of myself out of the public preview for the sake of the community. It might sound noble, it might sound stupid. It probably was a bit of both. I think largely I just got tired of explaining myself and seeing that 'I told you so!' look on people's faces.
So, now I'm single. I am very adamantly single. I have in fact made the decision that I will continue to be for at least the rest of 2011. I will not be anyone's someone during that time.
I have already reached the bench mark of having been single for the longest period in my adult life thus far - having only really been in two serious relationships. I have decided that I need to be me, on my own, without the influence, however positive, of anyone else in that way. I need to be completely my own person, because people are different in relationships. They just are. That doesn't mean that they necessarily cease to be themselves, but we are different when we are with different people, sometimes it's good for us, sometimes it is not.
Being single does not mean being alone at all times, by which I mean, I'm not a monk. I have been left with much to ponder about loves and lusts past and present regarding exactly who interests me and in what ways, and what that suggests to me about my own identity now. I'm sticking with 'queer.' I am not enjoying how frequently I have to define that word and what it means to/for me, especially to health-care providers, but there you have it.
I know I've been more conspicuously absent than usual, but then, only if you were ever paying attention in the first place.
I just had something to share: I just made myself ejaculate without being high for the first time ever. Ejaculation is not unknown or even uncommon for me, but very, very difficult to manage by myself, and on the rare occasions it has happened, it has been after smoking.
Here's yet another pledge to post more and actually update you (few, and valued) readers on where the hell I've been and what my excuses are this time.