One year in, and I’m amazed at the difference T has made. My wrists are still small, but my neck has grown into a size that makes nice shirts more easy to find. My facial structure has changed dramatically, and my legs are a whole lot hairier… well all of me is. I’m growing a decent amount of facial hair, even if it isn’t enough to grow anything fun, it’s still enough that I really do need to shave more than once a week. I revel in the newfound fuzziness of my chest, the furriness of my stomach, and the muscle definition in my legs. I’m ecstatic, and without regrets.
It’s also obvious that there is a long way to go.
I want to be able to be comfortable in my body. A year ago, there was a degree to which no matter how I phrased it out loud, this body was not mine. That is the main thing T did, my situation went from dealing with “this body” to dealing with “my body” in my own head. Except, it is still really uncomfortable.
Sure, there are some things I could do fairly easily to help myself be more comfortable. Lifting weights would probably be the first thing on that list. I’m always more comfortable when I’m stronger, when I’ve got more muscle. But that doesn’t change that when I look in the mirror, my eyes are immediately drawn to the shadow on my shirt showing that I have a chest. A shadow that is difficult to detect for anyone else, looks massive to me. Everyone else thinks I bind so well, enough that I’ve had people be surprised to find out I have not yet had top surgery (though anyone who has seen me with my shirt off would definitely notice.) I see breasts. I see between them, to my new chest hair and I smile a nice big smile. Then I look again at my chest, and so long smile. These are mine, in that they are attached to me, in that I can feel them, but they aren’t mine in that they don’t feel like they belong, they don’t feel like they have anything to do with me.
It isn’t surprising, my biggest body issue that I could easily put a finger on has long been my chest. Especially since senior year of high school when they just grew so much more.
Broader shoulders helps in some ways, but they still are there, still staring at me, and anyone else who sees me shirtless (or rarely, binderless.) Surgery is a thought for the future, not even something being planned yet, let alone something to count on. So, I work on figuring out how to be more comfortable in this body I’ve got. Part of me really wants to try to grow to be okay with my chest. The rest of me responds in a fashion of “Fuck no.” Or points out the irony that would be, seeing as way back when C and I were dating, when I first explicitly told her that I’d ideally prefer to switch name and pronouns (this was definitely not a high point in our relationship, on either of our parts) and she reacted poorly, but had suggested I get top surgery earlier in the conversation. Hopefully that sentence makes enough sense. I want to be able to be comfortable enough to do things like go to The Floating World next summer, and be shirtless in the dungeon. I’d love to go to CampOut and go swimming completely topless. The first, possible. The second, technically possible but highly improbable.
Yes, going on testosterone has done awesome things. The acne is even getting more manageable. But I’ve got so much more still to think on, to process, and to learn to tolerate about my body. In the meanwhile, I’ll go back to squee-ing over my rough cheeks.
Tomorrow, I get to act like a fool (in a good way,) spend time with good friends, be with S, and probably even dance. Which might have something to do with the fool part. Tonight, I spent time with friends and had a blast at a movie. Today, I had a good day with my mom. Yesterday, I got a bit more of my life in order. Things fall into place.
Maybe, maybe not. The puzzle pieces are going together and everyone keeps asking me what the picture is. Y’know what? I don’t know yet either. (/bad metaphor.)
I have never wanted my life to be an 80s movie. At times, I have wanted moments from certain films, but they were always 90s movies. Yeah, I’m a 90s kind of person, what can I say. But, somehow along the way my romantic, movie-esque side got squashed. In high school I aptly refered to myself as, “A romantic who’s hopeless, and probably a hopeless romantic.” Also, that line turned out to be great for online profiles at the time. Regardless, I gave flowers to the girls I dated, in fact I gave them their favorite types. I learned how to say ‘I love you’ in a ridiculous number of languages, as well as the different gendered ways to say it in each depending on how I felt any given day. Yeah, over-the-top high school romance. I did it. Badly, often. Cliche at times. But highly entertaining, and if nothing else, it was a lot of life crammed into some really hellish years.
Romanticism died. I used to have songs for everyone I dated, but that hasn’t happened recently. My last big romantic moment I threw away on a girl who it turned out wasn’t worth it, though I can’t actually regret the choices I made. Maybe I’m just jaded, and interested more in the slap, the bite, the dance against the wall in a room so crowded I’m grinding as much with the person behind me as S in front of me. Sure, it can be romanticized, but somewhere along the way, I buried that piece again.
Because part of me will always have a soft spot for candle lit nights, even though I want that hot wax dripped across bodies throughout it as well.
Dating requires a certain amount of self-assertion, of putting oneself out there enough to get rejected. Except the rejection I can handle, it is the self-advertising bit I’m not so great at. I’ve always let others come to me, rarely gone after anyone. I can’t advertise myself though. Self promotion is why I fail at cover letters, and only after a good amount of training could manage interviews. I don’t do it well, much like I don’t take compliments particularly well. I blush, and get shy and embarrassed because I have absolutely no idea how to react. Trying to compliment myself? Yeah. Not happening.
Somehow all of this relates in my head, besides just being under the category of ‘dating/hook ups/relationships/etc.’ My mind connects my lack of romance to my lack of self promotion… that there is a causation somewhere in there that is significant.
Just haven’t found that significance yet.
Sorry for the lack of updates, been recovering/getting life in order so that I don’t accidentally end up having such large gaps in entries. But, the other weekend I attended the Floating World 2010, and had a blast. So here is my entry on it!
I don’t quite know when I started thinking about myself as a kinkster, as someone in the BDSM scene. I mean yeah, the first physical relationship I had included the obvious BDSM characteristics like a safeword, and there was definitely kinky play, like knives, choking/breath play, hitting, scratching, biting, and intentionally drawing blood. But as of FW, I had only been “in” the more public BDSM scene, the community, for like six months. I had been to one major event (the winter Fetish Flea) one play party (in NYC) and sure I talked about things at KinkForAlls, and yeah I did go to the summer Flea, I still feel very like a new comer.I know the words, the gestures, anything I could have read about the community… but being a part of that community is a new thing. So, I pushed myself. I felt uncomfortable, and pushed myself. And I’m really glad I went.
There were massive number of classes, some of which I attended, many of which I did not simply because it was not possible. Classes began at 9:30am and went until 12:30am with breaks for lunch and dinner… but still, that is a ton of classes. Needless to say, I want to many of them.
The first class I made it to was run be the fabulous Lee Harrington, and was called “Inner Monster: Tops.” Basically, it was a chance to sit down in a room full of tops/doms/dommes/masters/etc. (and switches speaking from that perspective) and talk about all the things that we in the BDSM and kink community don’t talk about. We talked about the taboos of our little world, from not giving aftercare to nonconsensual situations. In many ways, it dramatically altered how I looked at the rest of my time at FW. I began thinking a lot more about what was being said and what was not, looking at how certain assumptions about “how things should work” existed in our quaint little isolated culture. It also began my semi-stalking of Lee Harrington for the con.
The next class I went to was by Cleo Dubois, which I went to because it seemed like it would help me with topping/doming. Instead it was a kind of bleh presentation with a power point… and then a fairly cool scene. The things I got out of it were eye contact can be a great tool, and making people reenter a space if you don’t think they are in the right mindset can also help a lot. Oh yeah, and zippers rock.
Then, after dinner and meet & greets, I went to Dov’s class on mindfucks. It was fun, though I was a bit sad that S went to that class with me simply because the whole point was mindfucks made easy… which really aren’t as easy when the person I’d be mindfucking is sitting next to me. After that, we went to the super cool class on FtM CBT. Yes, there was a class on cock and ball torture for people like me. And it was awesome. It was run by Lee Harrington and Bo Blaze, and they talked about everything from how for some people this could mean putting needles through their packer, while for some it could mean putting needles through their actual bits. S got a lot of evil ideas from this class. Apparently she got a whole list of ideas, though I have yet to see/hear/feel them. We’ll probably go over it soon.
The next day I woke up early, just to go to the “Making Leather” class. It was good. Little to say about it other than that it was exactly what I expected and wanted- an intro class on making stuff out of leather and talking a bit about the tools and leather and places to get both without paying too much money. That day also had me attending a class by Barbara Carrellas on breathing. Yes, breathing. It was a cool class, but I think to really get a lot out of it I’d need to spend a lot more time working with her on my breathing. Though I did learn that orgasms from breathing alone are actually possible, as in, Barbara has sat in an MRI machine which showed her brain registering an orgasm without stimulation besides breath. That, I thought, was awesome.
Later, I went to a fabulous class run by Mollena, who wore her “International Ms. Leather 2010″ and began the class by walking around and personally introducing herself/saying hello and shaking the hand of everyone in the room. That alone kicked ass. And then she started talking, and engaging with the ‘audience.’ It was about boundaries, about what those words mean, how people mean different things by words like “limit” or especially “hard limit.” She was fabulous. People were bringing up cool things. And again, Mollena was awesome, had great stories, and told them hilariously. Needless to say, after such a great presentation, I stayed in the room, and enjoyed another Lee Harrington class (he had been in Mo’s class as well… oops?) about energy exchange and how we focus so much on safe sex, but not on safer magickal sex. It was awesome, and I got up the nerve to actually ask a question relevent to my life. Someone had asked about how to stop attracting toxic people, and my question was what about being attracted to toxic people? Lee’s response boiled down to that’s a class (at least) by itself, here are some things to go read.
That night I played with puppies. Go read about it below.
The next day I slept in because I was a very tired xMech… and then went to a fabulous class called “Creative Disobedience: the Art of Being A Wiseass.” I liked Zac’s comment to me about this, “You needed this class why exactly?” It was so much fun, and the presenter, Laura Antoniou, was truly entertaining. There were delightful stories, there was frank honesty, and there was fabulous movie references. “I’m shocked, shocked to find cocksucking going on in here.” (props to whoever knows that movie.) Kept making me think about how often I used to quote movies in a wiseass manner, and how I really should start doing so again. Then I went to another fun workshop, this time by Scot, on Liquid Latex. It was a lot of fun. Scot is a lot of fun. And, as it turns out, is friends with my friends. But we got to watch a hot girl get covered in liquid latex, and then as it was peeled/torn off. It was fun. By that night, I was again exhausted. So, I went to low key classes, like Wendy Blackheart’s Buttsex, which I went to because Wendy is awesome, and buttsex is always fun, and I didn’t need to pay attention to the basics, just keep an ear open for things I didn’t already know. Same goes for the final class I attended, which was Dov’s class on knives. He had pretty knives. Also, I want a straight razor. Maybe I’ll even start shaving with it.
So that was the classes I went to. The abbreviated edition. There will be entries to come inspired by thoughts from those classes. If you have any probing questions, feel free to comment/email and ask :D.
I was not big on the dungeon. Part of this was simply that I am uncomfortable with my own body and having my shirt and binder off in such a public space, which severely limits the ability for S to top me. The bigger issue for me was the lights and sound. The lights were really contrasty between the darkened ceiling, the bright lights, and the reflective tendencies of the floor. Also, lots of loud music. There wasn’t a quiet corner, or at least, quiet enough for my overly sensitive head. Needless to say, after the first night, I took some Excedrin from Tylerpup, and had a much better time.
However, there was a lot of really cool stuff in the dungeon. There was suspension frames, there was essentially a jungle gym looking thing, there was a play area, there was a pony area, there was a medical area, st. andrews crosses scattered about, and at one point, a ten person suspension on Zac’s 2 ton frame. That was an impressive moment. Also, I had fun walking around and seeing the little things I had done/the things I had helped build. Even though I didn’t play particularly much in the dungeon, there was an energy to the room, a feeling just from walking around, and it made me happy to be there, surrounded by fellow kinksters, perverts, and deviants.
That first night though, found me and S in the back area, where it was a bit darker, cuddling, and talking a bit. She’d have to jog my memory for me to know what we were talking about (as my memory is like swiss cheese) but I remember the mood I was in then. It was pensive, vaguely depressive, dark, relaxed, tired, pained, and analytical. Not really the best mood for public play, though common enough for my head.
The second night, however, was a blast. I had leashed S, and we went off to wander the dungeon, perhaps for inspiration. We ended up near where friends were their puppy selves, romping around on a mat, watched over by two owners. S went into kitty mode (if she wasn’t already) when it was decided we’d stay and play. After a bit, I asked her if she wanted Creature to come out, and she replied with a strong affirmative. So, I took off my shirt, and thought a moment, and started romping with puppies as Creature, in my binder. We all got a lot of “Aws” and a lot of cute responses. It was a lot of fun to play with the puppies and the kitty. There was lots of biting, some scratching. And a ton of scritches. So many scritches. And I was a happy Creature who kept getting scritches, and had adorable (and hot) puppies and a kitty to play with. And they all seemed to like my creature noises.
After that, thought it wasn’t in the dungeon, we briefly went to the pool party. As I hate being submerged in water, i just sat with my feet in the water. Lots of nudity. It was fun, and then bed.
Oh, I also got hypnotized at one point.
I met a lot of fabulous people. Made friends, got closer to people I had met before, things like that. Amusing moments included when a friend apparently realized/found out that I’m trans, on Saturday. So the second day of the conference, and we had hung out over the summer, and every mutual friend we have knows… somehow he didn’t actually know. Apparently he guessed, but only because I look so young for my age (I’m lucky if people think I’m 18 or 19… which is a problem when I’m buying alcohol.)
When I first checked in, we were all told to sign the release with our vanilla name, our “real” name, our legal name. For some in the BDSM scene, their real name is their scene name not their legal name. And for those like me? I mean, my “real name” is one thing, which is different from my “legal” name (as I have not yet gotten a legal name change), which is completely different from my scene and blog name (xMech.) They did not do well at specifying what name initially. Then when I got up to deal with registration, the person behind the table checking me in starting talking at me about how I could get my gender marker changed on my passport, as some family member of theirs did. I walked away thinking, “Well, you’re trying at least? But really, wtf- my legal gender marker is none of your damn business.” Also, there are complications, and yes, I did know they had recently made it easier to change on passports. Wasn’t the best impression I got at FW. On the upside, I definitely had many better.
I got lots of scritches, and some bites. I got to give quite a few bites as well.
At one point, over some meal or other, I was sitting down with some of my more newly made friends and a person I didn’t really know, and the topic ended up on anti-war activism. It was interesting, because I’m pretty sure I’d actually met the person I didn’t know before, but wasn’t up for the whole “So I was in DC at this time, at this event, where I think we met through this organization” and instead went with “So you know my friend so-and-so?” Which she did. Trust me to go to a kink convention and end up in a really engaging discussion about anti-war and peace activism and the military industrial complex. Also, we talked about food. My kind of conversation. My kind of people.
Sadly, one of the people I was sharing a hotel with got sick right before FW. Turns out, it was whooping-cough. So we were down a person in the hotel room, but even worse, Zac lost his vender’s assistant. I stepped in at one point, and held down the fort with Tylerpup to give him a break. Met some fun new people that way, also got to play around a bit with some of his stuff, which is always fun.
Lots of fun things happened. I’m really glad I went. Even though there were moments, like of me being exhausted, or feeling uncomfortable, where I wasn’t having a blast, I learned a lot, and pushed on my boundaries. I got a sense of where many more of my boundaries were. So that is my long overdue write up on floating world! I should be back on track to writing a lot more frequently again. Hopefully I won’t have another giant down month like August was anytime soon!
I haven’t written in a week and a half, which is a long absence for me, and also missed two AwaAs. I’ve been good, but busy in my own way, and decided two things. One, I’m going to force myself to write in here regardless of level of busy, and two that I’m switching AwaA to every other week.
Life is a crazy thing. Lots of updates to come on things like my relationship with S, kinky thoughts, and of course, more on transition.
Because getting cat called and honked at by passing cars is not something I am particularly used to. I was walking down the street, to a free outdoor movie, and some guys in a passing car honked, waved, and shouted at me. Now, I was confused for a moment, looked behind me to see no one there. I figured they had to be waving at someone else. Or maybe they thought they knew me? Regardless, I returned to the phone conversation I was having. Then, walking back, I was eating falafel (mm, tasty) and some random guy I passed said “Hey, hoststuff.” Again, I looked around to see who he was talking to.
I eventually realized both times the people were talking/honking/waving at me. Which was really strange. I pass, so that meant they were doing that to someone they saw as a guy? Because for a second I wondered if I just didn’t pass, and then I looked down at myself… Even to my overly critical eye, (chest sticks out too much, god why are my hips so big, etc.) I knew I passed. And if I didn’t, then I certainly wasn’t the stereotype of a “girl” to be catcalled.
Because I’m used to people shouting shit like “Are you a boy or a girl?” or “What are you, harry potter freak?” (I used to look a lot like harry potter, at least, when my hair was shaggy, I had glasses, and I wore my trench coat.) I’m used to “Faggot” or “Dyke.” I’m used to insults, to assholes trying to shit on my one-person pride parade.
But “hotstuff” ?!
Part of me is flattered. I mean, sure it is always nice to know I still look good when I pass. Hell, gay guys finding me cute? Definitely a compliment. But shouting or saying stuff at me while I’m clearly tuning out the world, as in on my cell or eating a falafel wrap, is still being an asshole. My body is not yours to objectify, unless of course we’re in a scene and I’m in a mood to be an object and give my consent to such. But yeah, getting stuff shouted to me on from a car while I’m on my cell phone? Doesn’t matter that you see me as a guy not a girl, it’s still being an asshole. Why? Because you are interrupting me.
I’m all for compliments. I like giving them, and I’ve gotten better about taking them with grace. And know what? I’d actually be perfectly welcoming of someone walking up to me, and telling me honestly that they find me attractive. I mean hell, I met C when her friend walked up to me and said, “You see that girl over there? She’s been staring at you all night.” Another time someone said “I want your cute boy butt.” Neither of these times was I offended. The first left me stammering awkwardly and eventually engaging in a conversation with C. The second lead to a hookup that night. Forwardness is not a problem. Compliments are not a problem. The main difference? Situation.
Walking down the street while on my cell phone, I’m busy in another conversation. No, I have no interest in being hit on. While I’m walking down the street, eating falafel on my way home, I’m far more interested in food than any random person I passed who feels the need to make me feel like an object without my consent. It is situational, it is tone of voice, it is thinking before doing.
It is something I honestly didn’t expect to be dealing with again. Admittedly, the only time I dealt with it before was dressed up for Rocky in high school and running a few blocks from my car to the theater, and it was directed less at me than who I was with. Part of me assumed that with our cultural fucked-up-ness being very much cismen objectifying, I didn’t expect to be the objectified when I pass as a cisman.
Maybe that is its own form of internalized sexism. My mind is still so wrapped up in battling the internalized dialogue of “I’m a freak, who could ever want me,” that I’ve let something else slide.
Because it didn’t happen like I’ve watched it happen to my female-presenting friends. The guy just walked on, didn’t even turn around to watch me walk away eating my falafel. They just drove on after honking and waving and shouting. No follow up, no more harassment. And it mostly stuck out because it happened twice in one day. I was just wearing jeans and a tee-shirt. Nothing special. So part of me thinks I should just be grateful I look good.
But I know that isn’t right. Backhanded compliment of asshole-ness is not something I should be thankful for. Things I should be thankful for? Friends in the area who are awesome and invite me to stuff and thus make me be social. A really great and healthy relationship with S. Good phone calls with Q. Having my brother back safe from Israel. Somehow, being objectified without my consent just isn’t on that list.
Also, I am going to be on KinkOnTap tomorrow! Come join us in live at 8pm. There is a fabulous chatroom too, so it isn’t just listening, but interacting as well.
I don’t watch much TV. It and I don’t quite get along. I mostly only watch when I’m at my mother’s, because it’s a family event. But the main reason I don’t watch much is because most times, television shows end up erasing my personality a bit. As in, I get rather zombified. So, I don’t watch television, except for the kinds of shows that don’t do that.
And Joss Whedon shows have never done that.
Firefly, Dollhouse… Yup, I’m a geek. But, I hadn’t actually seen any of his television shows until I was in college. Firefly? Well okay, I had only heard of it during high school, so that I just got around to watching it in college makes sense. But what surprises people, especially myself in hindsight, is that I had never seen an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer until my frosh year of college. Somehow, I missed that phenomenon.
And now, I’ve started to get S into it. We’re into season 1, and seeing how it goes. Meanwhile, I’ve decided to finally finish the series (no, I never did make it all the way through) and picked it back up partway through season 6 where I left off. Which creates some really interesting dynamics, watching where the characters end up and where they came from at the same time. Watching the much fluffier first season just start to grapple with these characters, versus the much more serious issues and confrontations of season 6. Buffy engages with sexuality, stereotypes, drugs, gender roles, and family dynamics. It’s cliche, it is about a modern day superhero girl and vampires, and I have no delusions about that.
But, the early seasons are so delightfully 90s that I can’t help but enjoy myself. At heart, I am a 90s child. Just with a very different sense of gender and masculinity.
The first time through puberty I got incredibly lucky. I had great skin, from day one through the bitchy days of middle school and the angst-ridden days of high school. Acne was never a major problem, except sometimes on the backs of my arms. But my face? I rarely got zits. My back, never. So here is a demonic duck to express my frustration.
I knew that acne would come with T. I knew that, I had been told that, and naively thought because I got so lucky the first time through that it would be the same this time. S and C are probably shaking their heads, laughing at me, because even though I have been dealing the worst acne of my life, it isn’t that bad. I haven’t felt the need to go to the dermatologist, so long as I scrub my face a few times a day with acne wash, and every other day with a deeper exfoliant.
No, the pet peeve are zits just inside my nostril. They hurt. Moreover, I have pretty terrible allergies, and so every time I blow my nose, it hurts even more.
It drives me crazy. It annoys me endlessly, or at least until it goes away again. I know I’m lucky, I’ve never needed Accutane, and I still barely get break outs on my back. My arms have also been calm this time through, so that’s better than last time. I know I’m lucky but it is still driving me crazy. Because it isn’t angering, it is incredibly annoying, constant, and every time one goes away, within a week another one appears at my nostrils. Recurring, highly frustrating… yup, pet peeve of T.
Generally speaking, acne also makes shaving a pain in the ass. Or perhaps more accurately it is a pain in the face, as it makes cutting so much more likely. Shaving is difficult enough, but adding painful bumps I have to dodge just makes it worse. At least I have some whiskers to shave, right? Still…
My mind shivered at the feel of the rope in my hands. Sliding it through to get the right length for tying her hands together; nothing elaborate I have to remind myself. My mind shivered, but I could not let her see, instead I smirked keeping control.
After over a week’s aftercare being done in one shot that same day, I agreed to play on one condition: we kept it light.
If you want me to dom, then submit. You have to be willing to give up that control… and as I moved her head, turning it however I would, I saw surrender in her eyes and I thought “I love her.” So, I leaned in and bit her hard, digging deep into her muscle, her traps, loving the feel of her between my teeth, of her tensing, then slowly relaxing into me, submitting. I pull back and look at the mark before slowly licking around those enticing indentations…
I had her pinned down, ropes laying across her chest held by my hands, enough pressure for her to know there was no point in fighting me. Black rope, blue sheets, white skin, light from the windows reflected into an ambient glow by the white walls, she glowed under the rope. I pulled back to watch, pinning her down with the rope pressed into her skin. Keep it light, just some rope, just some power, add a dash of teeth…
Curled around her after, aftercare was no issue this time. We had talked about the last two times, finally talked, and she was trusting me again. Wrapped around her, I let go. I let myself open up in return. It wasn’t make up sex from the night before, it wasn’t “just” anything, because no matter how “light” it seemed it reached both of us as we needed it too. I don’t know quite what opened up for me the last few times… but I want to keep finding out.
I loathe the word “Primary” in regards to my own relationships. Recently, I was sitting down in my friend’s kitchen, and we were talking a bit about my relationship with S, and jealousy, etc. She asked, “So you guys are essentially primaries then?” My immediate reaction was very strong, very negative, and a massive recoil from the entire conversation. Being the rather internal, introverted person I am, I made note of “Hm, I need to think about this more later and figure out why.” I don’t think my reaction showed to my friend, though I’d have to ask her. I don’t even know how I responded to that query, because in many ways that is the understandable version for others. Except I don’t like doing things just because it is what is “understandable…” Or “expected,” “normal,” etc.
S is not my Primary partner for a few reasons. The number one reason is that we have never sat down and discussed holding primary status with each other; in no way have we discussed this word. We haven’t explicitly discussed our relationship in a sense of hierarchy to my other relationships for a very simple reason: S is my only partner of the moment. I have no one else in my life that could fall under that category of “Significant Other” be it girlfriend, boyfriend, SO, boifriend, girlboifriend, boygirlfriend, Master, slave, etc. But those are not the reasons I recoiled so strongly from the query by my friend.
Primary means hierarchy. It means it comes first; it is the first, the most important, the deepest, the “most” of any relationship. I abhor all of those connotations. I do not like ranking things; it grates against my anti-hierarchical sensibilities (of which I have many.) I have so many friends, some of whom I have had for years, and would I really say that S is more important to me than Q? I have known Q for years, been close to best friends with her since middle school, and though I have never fucked her, or wanted to, I know quite many intimate details of her body and life.
Here is the thing- if I was having an important moment with S but my brother really needs something, I will go help him. Family is family; that concept is so ingrained in my head that it is immutable. Friends are the family I chose. Significant others are a type of friend, a very intimate and (to me) incredibly important type of friend, but I do not see someone I am in a relationship with as inherently more valuable than my other friends.
I have a lot of relationships. Most are friendships, and S is very much one of my friends. As are Q, C, and my babies. As are almost all of my exs. S is incredibly important to me, but I have never been the kind of person with whom my entire life revolves around one relationship.
A friend of mine was talking to me about how she truly didn’t understand polyamory. She told me how she tells her boy everything, how she has him in her life in a way that she does not involve any of her friends. And though this system is not only desirable, but workable for her. For me it is as bewildering as poly must be to her. How could she NOT seek that connection, that trust, that emotional intimacy from her friends? Some of our mutual friends, she told me, had not reacted particularly well to being told they were not told things when her boy was.
Friendship is a relationship. Families are a set of relationships. I don’t believe in ranking people into “primaries,” “secondaries,” etc. I don’t believe in ranking people because there is not some set amount of love in my heart, that must be divided up among people, and ranked in order of importance. Time, yes that is a limiting factor. Distance is as well, but never love. Different people mean different things. As I’ve heard the comparison (though I freely admit, nothing compares to a parent’s love for their children,) having a second child does not decrease the love a parent has for their first child. Love is not a limiting factor.
I am the kind of person who would maim, kill, lie, and die for my friends and family. That is a large part of who I am. I cannot rank that, because beyond all that, one thing it says that when I am dating someone, and then we break up, they can’t become a more important part of my life. That we can’t become closer, because they are no longer the “Primary” relationship I have. Maybe you think I’m thinking too hard about this, but I think a lot, and that will never change. I refuse the idea that I am so limited that I cannot expand upon my relationships.
Maybe I’m just fickle, maybe my attention wanders too much and it is a fault. But even if it is, I refuse to let it remain a fault, and would rather it be an asset.
NB- Figured I should put this in here because of my very strong feelings with regards to my own relationships and the term primary. I do not think less of people for having primary relationships, nor for being monogamous. Do what works for you. For me, that tends to be much less on definitions and much more on long, drawn out conversations.
Recently, I keep being the more experienced person in a relationship; however, that has not always been the case. I’ve been the lost one, the “n00b” if you will, when it comes to actually doing those sexual things that I had read about, thought about, and otherwise never actually enacted before. More recently, I had a string of SOs who were dramatically less experienced than myself, and ended up having a lot of really great conversations as a result.
How do you deal with a partner with a very different level of sexual experience?
Now, a lot of what I say can be applied to other things, such as experience with relationships generally, and there is probably going to be overlap with last week’s AwaA, but this is more than worthy of its own post. Or twenty.
First, if you are the less experienced person, there are a few responsibilities you have. The first is that if you have never done something before, do your best to mention it. For instance, it is better to find out someone is a virgin BEFORE having sex with them than after (and yes, I’m speaking from experience.) If you have never been hit before, good to mention especially if you have an unexpected reaction. If you have never strapped-on before, and are about to strap-on and give someone a good anal fucking, it is good to mention to said person that you are new to this.
Why? Because that opens up a lot of communication, like “shift a bit to the left” or “don’t let the flogger wrap.” It enables the other person to realize that you may not be amazing, but that you also have the potential to learn (which anyone does, so long as someone is patient enough to teach, but newbies don’t have the same bad habits.) But also, knowing one’s partner is new to something also helps the other person not push them too far, too fast.
Which leads me to the more experienced person’s side of things and their responsibilities. First of all, stop, take a breath, and realize you are going to be moving more at their pace than yours. Realize this, let it sink in. If it is with your monogamous partner, and you are very used to having sex on a regular basis, and they have only had sex once, it may be time to increase your masturbation schedule. That isn’t to say they aren’t pleasing you, stop that thought (in either your head or theirs) now. Reframe it to think about your being responsible for your own needs, while learning and growing with your partner. Cheesy? Quite possibly. (On the other hand, if you’ve been together for years, and your sex drives are completely incompatible, you may want to discuss dealing with that… slash, if your partner is truly not meeting your needs it may be time to break up.)
Okay, so move at their pace, but also be ready to push on their boundaries a bit. For me, that is incredibly difficult. I hate pushing boundaries, because in my head that walks very close to pressuring someone, which is close/can sometimes lead to/already is at nonconsensual situations. But leading is often good, and pushing is okay, so long as you continue to check in and communicate. Oh yeah, that part…
See, what is most important for everyone involved is very basic: you need to communicate. Wait, is this a theme of my AwaA? Yes, and for good reason. Checking in while pushing someone’s boundaries (“Is this still okay?” “Do you want/need to stop?” “How about some water?”) really helps make sure that you don’t either pressure them too much as well as just generally being a good thing. However, this also means the less experienced person also has the responsibility to make sure that they actually respond accurately. Moreover, if as the less responsible person you realize something is too far, too fast, or too anything, say something or do something about it. No means no (or in some cases, safeword means no) but that only works if you use it. People are not mind readers…
On the other hand, if no (or safeword) means no, then remember the very important corollary: yes means yes. If you want something, ask for it sure, but more importantly if someone else asks for it, don’t check in fifty billion times to confirm that they mean what they say.
Realizing that the first time you sleep with someone is very much a first is very important . You may be the kind of person who can only do things in “Never Have I Ever” like “Never have I ever had sex in an airplane while flying over Iceland…” because you have done pretty much everything else. You may be the kind of person who has never kissed, let alone fucked, a person of desire before. Either way? You got to start from scratch. (Hehe, scratches…)
The first time with anyone, don’t expect to get off or to get them off. Don’t even have that be a goal. Take the pressure off yourself as well as them, and focus on learning about each other. If it happens, great and it is all the more an accomplishment because it wasn’t the primary goal. Instead of trying to get them off, try to give them as much pleasure as possible. One of the most satisfying experiences recently was at a play party (my first in fact) with S, where I did not get off (expect a story about this at some point.) It was intense, and intensely satisfying. Also, I had no orgasm, nor did I really want one that night. Rather than focus on some extra goal, have whatever activity you are doing at that time be the end in and of itself. If it is sex? Sex is the end, not the means to an end. If it is sucking on your SO’s nipples for the first time, don’t have that simply be the prelude to sucking on their cock, even in your mind. It leads to less disappointment, but more importantly it helps prevent pressuring someone because the constant expectation of “more” doesn’t come through as much.
Experience matters a lot less, except in giving a baseline sense of what to try. Having played around with quite a few cunts, including my own, I know that some people can’t handle direct contact on their clit, while others need a lot of direct pressure. Learn these things about your partner, and about yourself with said partner.
- Pay extra attention to their reactions- Just because one person likes their tongue bit, does not mean someone else will.
- Pay attention to how what they do feels to you- Even if you really know what you like, the way one person nibbles your ear may be fabulous, while another just squicks you out.
- Similarly, listen to your body- if you need to change positions, get some water, etc. (Having a cup of water right next to one’s bed is fabulous.)
- Remember, yes means yes and no/safeword means no. Listen to it.
- Listen to your partner.
- Don’t try to get them off.
- Have fun! Explore! Think like a kid… “Oh, what will happen if I push this button?” Now, use your dirty little mind to come up with all sorts of devious ideas on what that button may be…
Experience comes in many forms. With S, I am much more experienced with relationships and had a longer background in fucking other people with cunts. S had done a LOT of other things though, which left me feeling at a loss at times. In a way though, it was balanced. I had a relationship background, she had a BDSM background. We navigated until we were both at the point where what mattered was both of us, with each other and with BDSM.
A lot of these things I say because I’ve been on both sides of this equation, but especially because I had a string of SOs who were dramatically less experienced than I. All those experiences, including getting yelled at by one person for not pushing enough and getting thanked by another person for always repeatedly asking if something was okay, informed my thoughts. But for those of you who read this, what do you think helps?
So, first an apology. This week (and a half) was crazy, having been in 11 states plus DC since last Tuesday. On top of it, Saturday was KinkForAll in DC, which was fabulous, hectic, but I met a lot of great people. Needless to say, Answers with an Agenda did not happen on Thursday. It’ll be back next week.
Since coming out as trans, and especially since transitioning, I have dramatically increased the amount of which I touch and cuddle with other people. Some of this has nothing to do with my transition, but when is it okay to or not to touch another person?
People need to listen to each other more. We talk and talk, but so often people say many things without ever listening to what other people say. Actually, a lot of people don’t really listen to what they say themselves, but that is a slightly different issue. I’m a big proponent of consent, like it is not okay just to walk up to some random person and start groping them. This includes for people with buzz cuts, things like asking them if it is okay to rub their head. Some people will really appreciate this, and curl into the person petting them. I am often this way. But I’m that way for my friends, for lovers… not for everyone.
People would have to ask. Those who have known me long enough are surprised that the answer is ever yes, because I used to get anxiety attacks from people touching my head/hair/hat.
Before I came out, before I began to transition, people were a lot more hesitant about asking and being willing to cuddle. They would ask, and I would ask, and it would happen far less than I would like. Both the cuddling and asking, I mean.
More than that, a lot of the nature of how I cuddle with my friends has changed, but mostly with my cisgender, straight(ish), female friends. Before I was out, I was seen as a gay girl, since I’ve come out I’ve been seen as a straight guy. Without either being true, both have really effected the way a lot of people interact with me, including cuddling. Now, said friends assume it to be a lot more okay to cuddle with me, they ask less, and assume more often that non-sexual touch is okay. When I have a haircut where some or all of it is buzzed, they rub my head. Which is fascinating, because before I had a haircut that gave me a fuzzy head, I would get anxiety attacks. As in, part of the reason I buzzed the sides of my hair into a mohawk was because I wanted to get over flipping out whenever people touched my head, because they did it without permission far too often.
I had to learn to accept it, because so many people did not ask. I didn’t really put it together until a presenter mentioned it at the Flea in February, but there is an underlying assumption in our society that men always crave touch and it is always okay for women to touch them. I’m a cuddly person. I am someone who prefers to stand against the stereotype that physical contact for more masculine people requires combativeness, like sports or rough housing.
Somehow, being cuddly translated to always wanting touch. That’s not accurate. Actually, there are plenty of times I cannot handle any human contact.
Sometimes, I overheat. I will be lying down, and the heat from S’s hand is too much for me, and I have to tell her to back off. From just her hand. It wasn’t a hot night, and we were in air conditioning, but it happens. Sometimes being touched can flip me out, disrupting my ability to think because I’m so aware of someone else in my personal space. I’m not actually a people person. My response to severe stressors is to go find a nice, quiet, dark room by myself and lie down. It isn’t to go find someone to curl into.
Some friends of mine learned always to ask, and have done a great job of it. In some cases, they did a much better job than I did for far too long of respecting their own physical boundaries, but I like to think I’ve continually gotten better.
People need to listen more. People need to accept that men are not always desperate for a woman’s touch. People also need to accept that men can cuddle, that masculine people not only can cuddle, but might well want to. Or feminine people. Or that touch can be okay, can be not creepy, but touch requires consent.
Maybe that got a bit soap-boxy, but I can’t get a lot of it out of my mind. Friends who walk into a room, and just inform me that they are going to cuddle with me on the couch. People who walk up and start rubbing my head without asking. That isn’t always okay.
And then someone does something fabulous. Like simply asking before touching, and listening to my response. That is something that is so often missed from conversations. There are questions that are really great to ask, especially when hooking up, but it doesn’t matter if you ask them if you aren’t going to listen to the answer. Sure, it seems obvious. But I’d rather not be asked at all if the person is just going to ignore the answer.
Despite my tendency towards delightfully long blog entries, I am a really quiet person (to certain people’s occasional dismay.) A large part of the reason is that I try to be listening a lot more than talking. Now, I need to do a lot more of the talking thing, because I have managed to be so internalized that I have let relationships falter due to my lack of expression. People aren’t mind readers. So, if I dont’ tell them, why the hell should I expect them to know? And at that point, if shit goes down, if I lose someone I really care about, it is my own damn fault. Ah well, musing for another time.
Anyways, Answers with an Agenda will be posted Thursday. Also, in the next few days, my first sex toy review will be up. Hopefully in the next week or so my life will calm back down, I won’t be driving all over the place, and I’ll be able to have a much more consistent schedule for things like updating.
This blog contains sexually explicit material, so please be of legal reading age for your location. Any questions, concerns, or things you don't want to leave in a comment, feel free to email me at xmechbeyond AT gmail.com
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