I believe that I posted something to the effect of this on National Coming Out Day last year: “I’m pretty comfortable with pansexuality, I’m still figuring out the polyamory, and I’m terrified of the transexuality.” I can’t tell for sure because you can only access the last 3,200 tweets, and boy howdy is it depressing that I tweet that much. I had a bit of a rough evening tonight due to the tic in my neck, and so I decided to take a bath, which always leads to reminiscing. Just what has changed in that statement in the last four or so months?
Things remain comfortable on the sexuality front. However, that has to be taken with just the biggest grain of salt imaginable. Starting in June last year, I very carefully removed my sex-drive and set it aside. Before I get called on it, yes, I know that there’s more to an orientation that just sexuality, but conversely, having had that willfully set aside, I ask you to reassess just how much. There’s a lot that goes into an orientation, by all means, but the amount of that which is desire certainly occupies more than half. There is, after all, a desirous aspect to love and affection, and with desire often (not always, by any stretch) comes sexuality. My stated goal with that little experiment was to see what the overlap was with sexuality and gender, but the end result also involved the overlap between sexuality and desire, and there is rather more than I would have thought, in some sort of ideal world. We are, has many have stated, just animals. Our desires have a driving force, and I’ve found that this plays a big role in expectations. In kissing and cuddling, in cooking dinner, in being close. Everything, everything changes when one changes sex.
The experiment, such as it is, ended in November, and the end of the experiment is playing out basically as a reverse of the beginning. Feelings are starting to change back (though it’s been long enough that it all feels rather new), and testosterone levels are starting to rise. It’s been an interesting time, by any stretch of the imagination, especially with the ways in which things are returning: mental and intellectual libido is returning much faster than physical libido. That is, for those keeping track, I feel turned on much faster than I actually get turned on. This has its ups and its downs, in a way, for someone who tends to be the type to play an…ephemeral dominant role in relationships (TMI: I’m fine teasing).
When it comes to polyamory, I’m really also sort of in the same boat as before. The intellectual and emotional sides of me both agree vehemently that there’s something to be said for liking people. A lot to be said, actually. Liking people is great and fantastic. A++ experience would like again and again and again. The practical side of me, however, is still as cautious as can be. I’ve been in situations before where one party is not content being just one of the parties, or some variation on the theme of boy howdy I’d like to be around you more, and I know quite well that there’s two ways out: through and around. Around doesn’t jive with the ‘liking people is fantastic’ bit, and through is often quite fraught, but take it as it comes, I suppose. I’ll take it.
The gender thing is decidedly more confused than either of the previous two. As I said, my cute little experiment was set up originally to determine (read: play around with) the overlap between gender and sexuality. As before, it’s perhaps a touch disappointing in just how much they do overlap, but mostly from some sort of idealist standpoint. They do overlap. Quite a bit. However, I’m not at all convinced that this is a bad thing. Gender, after all, is complex and contradictory, and contains the multitudes of sexuality, expression, and identity. My experience toward neutrality in the sexuality side of things just helped define the borders of that little segment, and, as is visible from this silly bit of trite writing, I’ve played around with more than my share of either of the other two. I can’t quite express how they overlap - it’s one of those day-to-day, lets-just-call-it-complicated sort of things, you know? I can say quite easily that power roles in terms of sex and in terms of gender are pretty intertwined, and removing sexuality greatly confuses power roles in general (I should note I mean sex as in the activity, not biological sex, there; I’ve had a few fascinating conversations on power roles as they tie into biological sex and gender, but that’s something for some other time).
When it comes to gender, I suppose I could boil it down to the fact that there is the simple explanation that “it varies” - I feel like I was veering much more feminine during those months, but I feel back sort of in my neutral, middle-of-the-ground territory now - and the overly complicated explanation that there are just too many aspects of gender to really describe the changes, so much as experience - the fact that my expression has changed greatly over the last year is testament to that. There’s too much going on in that whole area to boil it down, but there’s also too much to understand without doing so. It remains, of course, quite terrifying.
And what about this blog? Goodness knows. I mean, I still find things to write about here, but honestly, the problem has become too many things to write about, and too little concentration to spare. I mentioned the tic before (and but for the grace of hot baths and melatonin, I wouldn’t be writing now), and that combined with a flood of, to be honest, not terribly useful information, means that I’m less willing to keep up with writing about this than maybe I should. I love writing, and I try to do so as much as I can, but that ‘can’ bit gets in the way more often than I’d like. Either way, I’m glad to be around. I’m glad to like everybody no matter what, to like lots and lots, and to feel totally weird about gender even still. I’m glad I still have people peeking at this, and I’ll be glad if they’ve made it to the end :o)