I am rarely timid or shy about my body, or about sex, which I think can come off as arrogant. The truth, though, is that the confidence I display started as a behavior I adopted out of experience and necessity. Although not really shy, I have never been loud or outgoing, which can be tough as a very nerdy/bookish only child. Middle School girls were especially cruel, and for some reason I was chosen as a favorite target from day one. At 12 years old, I learned very quickly that the boys in my class were interested in being my friend, and much easier for me to deal with in general. You can probably see how that kind of mindset is a slippery slope for a teenager.
It started as a survival mechanism but has been a pattern that I unfortunately dragged into adulthood. Even though I have a kind of militant feminism and independence that occasionally border on misandry, I am still extremely intimidated by other women and I find it easier to turn to straight men for companionship and friendship. That kind of behavior is practiced and habitual, and I can feel myself turn on the charm sometimes when I don’t mean to do it. It’s a part of me that I am not proud of, and I have worked on developing a view of my own sexuality that is a little less...utilitarian. All of this makes me sound like an emotionless femmebot, but don’t get me wrong, I am also an absolutely hopeless and reckless romantic. Sex and infatuation can be empowering, but love can make a fool out of me. We are allowed to contain multitudes, right?
It’s easier to understand and control others when you can fit them into categories, and I think that is especially true when it comes to women’s sexuality (this is from the perspective of a cis-hetero woman, but I can see that limiting sexuality on this kind of binary affects the lives of queer and trans-women on an even greater scale). I am fully capable of having relationships that are strictly physical/sexual, developing no romantic feelings, and remaining distant. I am also capable of falling head over heels in love within a week, and being a truly adoring, affectionate, and nurturing partner. Realizing that I contain both of those pieces, plus many more in between, and learning how to be ok with that, has been a big part of my own awakening (😜). Society tells women that we are: madonna or whore, slut or ‘wife material,’ and these are outdated beliefs that were put into place long ago to suppress and commodify female bodies. I have a lot more to say on that subject, but that’s not what this is about so...see me after class for a reading list.
It has made me miserable in the past when I have forced myself into either of those roles, either as a blindly devoted girlfriend or a promiscuous serial dater, and taken me a long time to realize that I am the happiest and feel the most authentic when I refuse both of them. Our sexual (and all other) behavior doesn’t have to fit white-women-in-NYC television character tropes. Maybe I am a Carrie and a Samantha and a Miranda depending on the day, ya know? This means that I have to confront what sex means to me, what love means, and how to reconcile things like monogamy, independence, and sexual freedom in a world that doesn’t want those things to live side by side. I’ll let you know when I get that all sorted.
Tapping into things that are under the surface, elusive, and require work to reach, is important to me. That’s why I hate small talk, and generally come off as intense and serious (I can also be fun, I swear!), and that’s part of why I find sex and magic so interesting. There is power in exposing or hiding pieces of yourself; secrets, dreams, ideas, or your body. Sharing my body with someone and actually opening up to them are different pieces, and I find it almost impossible to give both. I spent a lot of my 20s in long term relationships, and I don’t regret that, but a couple of broken hearts have made me approach things with a kind of Voldemort mentality. My pieces are carefully separated and scattered, like Voldemort’s horcruxes in Harry Potter, and it’s rare that I show the full picture. I get to hold on to my own secrets, power, and independence, sharing only what/when I want and never feeling like someone can take it all away. Not a bad thing, but it certainly makes real intimacy difficult, and I’ve been told it can make me a bit of a monster to date. The last year has been a fast and intense exploration into who I am, and let me tell ya, I barely have answers. I know that I refuse to be chained down and packaged up into tidy behavior and relationship boxes, I see that my contradictions and flaws are what make me ME, and I am fully aware of my own power and limitations, but I am still working out what that means for love life/sex life/etc. I’ve shared some pieces here, stood in some of my own bullshit and flaws, and I cannot tell you how supportive this little Instagram-slice of the world has been. Opening Awakening has been a life changing experience, I happily admit that I will ALWAYS be learning from this community, and I am honored that you all want to learn/teach/share with us as well.