Category Archives: About me
I remember, I remember, I remember…
I am friends with a former lover and his wife on Facebook. I have never met her, but I have talked to her directly several times and through her many more times. She likes to post pictures of what their family is up to: her, her husband, their son (who looks like he will be every bit the looker that his dad is), and their daughter, who was born while my former lover and I were still together (near the very end). Their daughter was born November 2009, though I don’t remember what day. I met/saw his daughter once in June 2010, when she was a sleeping babe in arms–he brought her to a presentation that I was holding. She will never remember me, but I have watched some of her growing up through her mother’s pictures. I feel blessed in a small way, that I get to do this.
There are very few people who see me who would think me a slut. I wear tee-shirts and jeans when I go out. I tend to be fairly unassuming.
But people might read what I do and how I behave, without seeing me, without knowing me and perhaps assume that I am a “slut” or one those nasty words that society uses to describe women it doesn’t like or thinks might have “too much sex”. Despite the fact that no one every defines what “too much” is. My guess is that too much is more than the listener has had.
The average American woman has four sexual partners in her lifetime and the average American man has six to eight, according to the Kinsey Institute. Would too much be more than that? I guess I’ve still had more than too much for a woman–I’m looking at eight right now at 23. Now granted, that’s not a lot compared to some people (a friend recounted her total and came up with around 48 and she’s about four years older than I am). But it is more than a few people I know (many of my guy friends). Who’s counting?
Is frequency what counts? Well, geez, I guess I fit into that category too. Only 7.5% of partnered women my age have sex more than four times a week (same source).
Is it when first intercourse occurred? There’s another category in which I look like a slut to the statistics, though not by much: 16.6 compared to the average American female’s 17.4 (same source again).
But who’s counting, really?
The fact that I am a bisexual queer poly woman, with large-ish breasts would be enough for some people to judge me a slut based on stereotypes, even without knowing the numbers. Not that the numbers matter.
What matters is one thing: I do not define myself as a slut, therefore I am not. Period. End of sentence.
I feel like I haven’t written in a long time, so I figured I’d share something I wrote today. I wrote this as a response to someone’s question about what the difference between the terms “cissexual” and “cisgender” is, and I rather like it.
I subscribe to this idea: [www.gendersanity.com] where a lot of descriptors are separated from one another. To use myself as an example: I am biologically female (biological sex–far right); have a gender identity that is close to woman (gender identity–right of center, but not far right); express my gender in a way that on average is sorta androgynous (gender expression–near the center); and have a bisexual orientation slightly favoring women (sexual orientation–slightly left of center). I am both cissexual and cisgender.
Cissexual: my mental and physical sexes are aligned (biological sex and gender identity). I am not transsexual.
Cisgendered: this is a little more complicated. It also means gender normative. By the strictest definition, I am not 100% cisgendered, but I consider myself to be. My gender expression does not exactly line up with society’s expectations of how I should perform my biological sex. Society is conflating bio sex with gender expression in the term gender normative.
It’s only in the last year that I have ever considered getting a tattoo. I’ve always been more of a piercings person, attached to the idea that if I ever need to I can take them out and let them heal over. However, I have been exposed to many people in this last year that have some of the most beautiful skin art and I’m just starting to have symbols that have enough significance to me to have them permanently on my body.
These are my ideas for some I would consider getting should I ever decide to do so:
- The Celtic symbol for the maiden, mother, crone triad, like this. This is one of the ultimate symbols of female power and celebrating the circle of life. I would get this at the spot where my neck meets my skull–on the other side of my neck from the fifth chakra and up a bit.
- The shield of the city of Siena. This city has a hold on me unrivaled by any other foreign city and matching the city I live in now. I don’t know where exactly I’d put this, but I’m thinking somewhere along my right side.
- The poly infinity heart. I wear this symbol daily around my neck since it resonates so deeply with me. It would be asymmetrical and have a red heart and a blue infinity sign. I saw a design once that I loved but have been unable to find it since. I would put this in the far left corner of my back, on the fat deposit right above where my back becomes my butt.
- The claddagh. This ideas represented by this symbol are some of my core values: heart for love, hands for friendship, and a crown for loyalty. I would put this diagonal from the infinity heart, somewhere near my right shoulder.
- The title and the most repeated line of one of my favorite poems: Do Not Go Gentle Into that Good Night by Dylan Thomas. The whole quote would be the last two lines of the poem: Do not go gentle into that good night/Rage, rage against the dying of the light. This poem is written in a complex form called a villanelle. I’m not sure where I’d want this, but I’d want it somewhere where each would have their own line.
That’s it, really. Not sure whether I will ever get any, but this just establishes some possibilities.
I was going to write a few days ago on my poly life, but I figured out that I wasn’t quite ready to say anything on that yet, but be assured, it is something I will write about soonish.
This is meant to be part of a two part series on attraction and attractiveness, both written close together because both are in my mind at this point in time.
As a bisexual woman, I find myself attracted in certain ways to both men and women. However, and this is a big part of me, more often to women. Big secret time: about 95% of the time, maybe even more, I do not find men physically attractive when I first meet them. Women I can be physically attracted to from the moment I meet them. With women that physical attraction does not often change–either you are or you aren’t. With men, I find that they grow on me.
I am usually first drawn to women by their looks. I think maybe this is not such a good thing–this is how society conditions people to view and judge women, on their looks first and foremost. I know this is not how I want to be judged by anyone–I’d rather people find me attractive because of my mind than by my looks. However I am starting to think that maybe this is a function of where I usually meet women, which is at bars. One of my friends I was drawn to because of her personality–I met her online and talked to her for a while before I ever met her in person, and the first time I met her it was at a board game night at her house. She is not conventionally attractive, but in my eyes she definitely is because of personality and appearance, in that order.
Men, I am drawn to because of intellect, usually. To get my attention as a guy you definitely have to be able to hold my attention in a conversation, which usually involves talking about something that engages my mind. What happens after a while is that I decide whether what a guy talks about is interesting enough for me to want to talk to him again and then I will give him my number. Looks usually don’t come into the equation until much later. After a while, usually a month or so, though it has been more and less, I start realizing that I am becoming attracted to them physically. However, with my boyfriend things were a little different. I was first drawn to him because of a physical resemblance he bears to someone I was thinking about at the time. Then the rest of the process unfolded.
I have been emboldened by reading Look Both Ways by Jennifer Baumgardner in describing my attractions. The book inspired me to not be afraid of saying that yes, I am attracted to men and women in different ways and for different reasons and there’s nothing wrong with that. It is all a natural (and fluid) part of human variation.
Just something I’ve been thinking about, off and on, for quite a while. Not addressed to anyone in particular. In no particular order.
- When people assume I am a delicate porcelain doll who cannot take any physical strain. Makes me so upset. I like things a little rough–and I am very vocal if I do not like something or think it is too rough. I have a fairly high pain tolerance, so chances are it probably won’t hurt me. I’ve noticed this is more common among guys than gals.
- In and out fingering. Despite the fact that PIV usually has very similar motions and can be very pleasurable, this kind of fingering has not and does not do anything for me at all. This is a universal offender.
- Silent partners. I like to know what people are thinking, whether they like what’s happening, if they wish I would change something up. I read a theory once that said that guys do this because they are used to silent masturbating. Talk to me, please. Mostly a guy thing, but it does happen with gals.
- Always having to be the initiator–especially with non-sexual activities. I don’t mind doing it my fair share of the time; it can be quite exciting and enjoyable. All the time–it gets boring quick. I have submissive tendencies, so initiating things can be a pleasant challenge, but also a pain in the butt. Most a gal thing, but have also noticed it in guys.
I had a fifth one, but I can’t remember what it was. Oh well.
Look for more pet peeves editions in the far future.
Yesterday I went to Red Robin and had dinner and drinks with my first boyfriend (and first ex), from way back in high school. We haven’t seen each other at all for a little more than two and a half years, and the last time was about five minutes a couple months after we’d broken up so I could get back my stuff from him–plus some stuff that was ours that he didn’t want to keep. It was not out of the blue, however. We have been casually talking on Facebook for a few months and we were going to meet up and do this sometime this summer anyway.
It was interesting, to say the least. I had planned to arrive early, so I could be the first one there. That didn’t work out so well because I had to stop at Target and get some Tylenol for my splitting headache. So I only ended up arriving ten minutes early and he was already there and had ordered a drink. My mom had given me twenty dollars earlier, to buy us our first round of drinks, because, as she has said to me before, she really does like him, and just thought that we should break up because it didn’t look like he was going anywhere significant with his life. I got a lemon drop and after a little bit of talking we ordered food.
The conversation stayed pretty casual the whole time–there were things I was not going to mention to him and I’m sure there were things he wasn’t going to mention to me. We talked about how our types (in regards to people) have changed and solidified. I decided that it would be wise at that time to come out to him–he was a little surprised and said if he had known that back then he would have jumped on it. I was shaking my head that time–that’s not your nature, you wouldn’t have jumped on it, it would have not worked out well–but I didn’t say anything because I figured it wasn’t worth it. We ended up talking a little bit about sex after dinner–I think it was obvious on both sides that we had slept with other people since we had broken up, and that’s no big deal. It’s natural.
Overall, I think it was a worthwhile adventure. I thought for a while it would be awkward, but it wasn’t. We got along fine. Looking at it, I realized both why I had been attracted to him at the time (actually physically looks better now than then, so that obviously wasn’t a part of it) and why it was best and appropriate that it ended when it did. We have both grown as human beings since then, in ways I don’t think would have been possible if we had stayed together, so I have no regrets on that front.
You could tell the story of my life through my email. You’d be missing some details for sure, but you could. You could see the relationships as they are: families, friends, others. Potentials on their way to becoming actuals. Plans form in steps: coming out, going out, coming home (wherever home is). Things coming together and sometimes falling apart. The insignifant things on par with the very significant. No record however, of how signifcant. No ticker to say how many times I’ve read this email, how long I spent with it, how long I spent crafting a response in a way that reflects my true feelings. The times I’ve looked at an email thinking about saying something, really wanting to say something, then deciding it would be best not to. Or the times I give in and send off a response that I may or may not regret later. The travails I’m having in my personal life. My thoughts towards some people in the emails goes unsaid, at least for now.
Combine my emails with my viewing history around those emails and you get a more fleshed in picture of my life. You see when I’m trying to figure out something, trying to put pieces of a puzzle together for myself. Trying to figure out what something means. It would also show my comforts, those sites I go to when I need a distraction or I want something to cheer me up, sometimes the places I go when I’m bored. But this still doesn’t show the times when I need the silence, I crave it like I crave kisses and I crave talking and on some rare days I crave chocolate (usually it’s something else).
For some people my conversations and my relationship with them is mostly or purely digital. Sometimes this is hard to do, hard to find the depth in meaning that type-written words that have no physical existence. I crave that physical existence. Sometimes I find it in their company. Sometimes I feel like printing out the words just to give them some kind of physical existence. Sometimes that’s my only comfort, lacking the physical touch, the words given form by ink and paper will have to do. 😦
I’m an odd one when it comes to my eating habits. I love cooking, even the real simple stuff, and most days I’d rather have a home-cooked meal that took an hour to make than a TV dinner which took five minutes in the microwave. I’d rather have that TV dinner now than a meal in the dining hall, where I don’t know the ingredients, it was made in bulk, and three out of five times it makes me absolutely sick to my stomach.
Since coming to college, and even during my years here, my eating habits have changed a lot. I started out on three square meals a day (on 80-90% of days) to only eating breakfast when I get up really early and it’s the only thing that will keep me awake in my 8:00 class this quarter. Back at my folks’ place, especially on the weekends, breakfast is mandatory and it is mostly eggs, maybe sausage, and some kind of carb (toast, pancakes, cornbread if my dad’s cooking) plus some kind of heavily caffeinated tea. Here, when I do have breakfast, it’s either a bagel with cheese or a peanut butter and jelly sandwich because they both have protein to keep me up and my lovely bottle.
When it comes to lunch, well I do try to have something here between the hours of 11:00 and 2:30, sometimes 3:00. It’s hard when my class schedule almost prevents me from having time to eat anything much. It varies highly, depending on where I am when I get hungry. Back in high school, it was pretty varied too, but I always had it at roughly the same time and I always had something.
As for dinner, that’s the only meal that’s for sure. Not a consistent time, but I will always eat it. They say that breakfast should be the big meal of the day because that’s when you need the energy provided by the food most, but dinner is always my big meal. Back in at the folks’, dinner is some kind of meat (they’re usually nice to me, so it usually isn’t chicken) and some kind of vegetable if someone is thinking ahead. When I cook there, I love cooking dinner. Dinner means most of the family will be there and it means I can feel justified spending an hour or more in the kitchen. When I cook I generally don’t like touching raw meat, especially red meat, so often enough it is vegetarian (which my dad almost loathes) or the meat is pre-cooked/processed. I like making casseroles, so much so that a couple summers ago when I was making dinner fairly often my mother had to tell me to find something other than a casserole dish. I’m better now, but I still do love them. When I’m there for a few hours during the day I will also often make bread in my mom’s bread machine, especially if I’m making Italian food for dinner. There’s one recipe in the cookbook for the bread machine that I modfiy fairly heavily that my sister absolutely loves (she’s a teenaged adult, so there’s very little a family member can make that she loves).
Before I get wrapped up in the deliciousness of food, which is not the point of this post, I need to move on.
I touched on this earlier, but here at school I have practically become a vegetarian, not by ideology, but because of availability and a commitment to try to eat in a more local and sustainable fashion. I have meat twice or three times a week and if you ask me when I ate it last I’ll have to think about it a bit (last night I had a ham and cheese sandwich). This is especially true in the case of red meat. Of those two or three times, maybe one of them is red meat. The last time I had red meat was in a burger I ate half of last Sunday. Red meat for me is mostly beef, but I recently tried bison and found it rather delicious. When I get back to my childhood home I will probably end up eating more meat just because of my dad’s cooking/eating habits, but I will try to look for more local/sustainable meats at the local farmers’ market. Cheese, peanut butter, and hummus have become my main sources of protein, and I’m good with that.
Cheese. I have discovered, since I started college, that I am mildly to moderately lactose intolerant. Not such a big surprise, but kind of a disappointment because I love my cheese and ice cream. The one week I went without cheese was an incredible exercise in punishment for me. However, I have gotten smarter about how I consume my dairy. One, I realize that I can have soy milk or a really good local lactose-free milk in my cereal and it still tastes real good. Anything I think I can substitute soy milk in for regular milk, I will try. It’s pretty good in smoothies and damn fine in chai tea lattes (in fact, better than regular). Two: when I do eat dairy, more than nine times out of ten I will take a lactase supplement with it. The lactase supplement doesn’t help perfectly, but it allows me to eat cheese and gelato without regretting it for hours afterwards. If I don’t take it with gelato sans lactase I do and will regret it for hours because of the stomach aches. I learned that the hard way in Florence, Italy.
That’s the most words I’ve written in a blog post in a long time, if ever. Almost essay-length. Well, now that I’m hungry I have to wait about an hour before I have access to good food. So is life.