Label Me, pt II

Content note: for the sake of this article, and to eliminate confusion, when I use the terms “male(s), “men” or “boy(s),” I am referring to heterosexual, cisgender males. When I use the term “female(s),” “women” or “girl(s),” I am referring to cisgender females.

Click here for Part I

I grew up in a small town, had a lot of friends. My hero was my older sister. She wore baggy Marilyn Manson t-shirts, and Doc Martens. Her group of friends were fearless, authentic and outspoken. They spent their adolescence consuming 90s paraphernalia, and rebelling against their parents. I wanted to be cool like that – grown up, making my own rules.

As a kid, my style alternated between black boots and lady bug t-shirts. I loved pink one week, and despised it the next. I was loud, laughed hard and stood my ground. Other kids followed me. I was a big fish in a tiny, grade-school pond. I was kind, accepting of others, and followed the beat of my own drum. I knew the power I had…it came in the form of unbridled confidence.

Fast forward five years, to budding breasts and my involuntary admission to the blood club. During the week, I was kicking ass in school. On the weekends I was playing football with boys on my street, skateboarding, and hanging out with my best friend. I was the same person, but I could sense something was changing.

Slowly by slowly, the boys I’d been friends with since pre-school started acting funny. They’d still want to play sports, but they’d become awkward when I’d tackle them the way I always had. When I ran, they diverted their eyes, sometimes giggling, sometimes whispering to one another, sometimes making themselves scarce. The activities I always enjoyed were becoming uncomfortable, and I didn’t understand why. My feelings for these people hadn’t changed; neither had my desire to continue the roughhousing and games.

But everything else had.

Boys were turning into men, and my body had taken on the form of a woman, seemingly overnight! I was no longer a buddy or teammate. I was the source for developing boys discomfort and desire. My male friends no longer knew how to steer their emotions of our friendship.

That was the moment I learned: girls and boys couldn’t be friends.

My fearlessness had warn off, my voice turned down, my unique rhythm vanished, and my confidence dissipated. I learned as a big breasted, beautiful young woman that I was the best of both worlds for men – sexy on the outside and “cool” on the inside. This, however, was no benefit to me. It came with a load of expectations, and conditioning that would take years to reverse.

Because of this, I had fallen into a role at a very young age. When it came to guys, I abandoned the inner-self. Everything began to feel abnormal. Even sex, something I had been practicing on my own since I was four years old, became foreign and imbalanced. I disconnected from the qualities society had reserved for men. I lost half of my identity.

That is, unless I was around my friends…female friends. We found comfort in each other, relatability. It was a world that I could be myself in, without having to put forth a face for the sake of making a guy proud. Among women, I wasn’t a trophy. I was human.

Perhaps that’s why it happened. Perhaps that’s why whenever I was given a chance to kiss a girl, I took it. Because there was so much familiarity and acceptance there, without sexualization. No…with girls it was deeper than that, and yet, somehow, more sexually inviting.

The first time a girl touched me was at a party. We were alone in the basement, lights off, lying on the couch, facing one another. I don’t know who kissed who first, or at what point she slid her hand down my pants…but the thrill of it was unprecedented. Of course, I panicked. I was dating a boy from our high school, and besides, she was my best friend; I had to stop it! But when we climbed into the cab later, I couldn’t keep my hands off of her. We kissed, I rubbed her through her jeans…yet, once home, I’d restocked the emotional bricks, creating a fortified wall between her and I.

I’d told my boyfriend.

He lost it.

Her and I remained friends. Nothing between us changed. I think that also stuck with me. It was so easy to go back to normal with her. Even if we occasionally spoke about dating one another, and giggling as if it were some silly, unattainable dream. We’d fall asleep cuddling, and “practice” giving each other hickies, you know, so we could be “perfect” for our boyfriends. We would even kiss each other for the entertainment of male viewers.

For me, it felt like the only excuse I had to be close to her.
It was confusing and beautiful and a rarity. She was the only woman I had my own sexual experience with (without a man present), regardless of its brevity. This saddens me. If I had been brave enough to understand my own desires then, rather than just abiding by the hetero-normative script, perhaps my early adult life would have been more fulfilling.
I’m living proof that this is easier said than done.

The impact of never having been sexual with a woman on my own leaves me anxious about future interactions. It’s a new physical and emotional system to navigate, and one-on-one female dynamics are entirely different than putting a male in the centre. From my experience, once there’s a man in the mix, the authentic coming together of two female bodies is poisoned. The focus is never just on us two, but the overhanging shadow of the male gaze.

This may all sound ironic, considering I recently married a man; however, our relationship is unlike the ones I experienced earlier on. He arrived in my life coming from a culture where sex isn’t viewed under some moral scope. It is, as I so desperately tried to explain in Label Me, pt I, a form of expression, and should be enjoyed. In fact, it isn’t uncommon for the French to have sex on the first date, without perceiving one another as “loose.” For the French, sex is a common topic of conversation, and (for Master J’s generation and circle of friends) puts more emphasis on the pleasure of the woman than it does the man.

Because of his cultural background, as well as our lifestyles choices and desires, I am very open with Master J about my bisexuality. I’ve also explained the struggles I’ve faced regarding my own gender identity – feeling somewhat stereotypically masculine on the inside, yet looking stereotypical feminine on the outside. His unprejudiced and understanding mentality is just one of the reasons I chose him as my life partner, and is why I am comfortable calling myself queer. I connect deeply to my pussy, but my expression and behaviours are dependent on my mood, not societies gender stereotypes.

Some days I only want to wear small skirts and tall boots (shoe addict, remember!), whereas other days I feel most powerful makeup-less and weightlifting. I try so hard not to define these things as male or female, masculine or feminine. They are what I enjoy as a human.

This also plays a role in my sexuality, as I have found, from my experience, that when I am with a woman, I tend to gravitate towards the stereotypical masculine role, in the sense that I hold her, I comfort her; I naturally take one the dominant role. In contrast, when I am with a man, I prefer the submissive, more passive role. This is a simple preference, and is not to be confused as linked to my outward appearance as female.

If I’ve learned anything from all of this, it’s that gender identity and sexual orientation are two COMPLETELY different things. They do not influence each other. One is self-perception, the other is sexual attraction.

Master J and I both understand that if I don’t actively focus on my bisexuality, I am very much content with being a bisexual woman in a heterosexual relationship. However, my hope for the future is that I will eventually move deeper into this part of myself. I think it’s a critical form of self-expression, as it allows me to experience the full spectrum of who I am intimately, romantically, sexually, personally. The idea of connecting with the right womanand not for the sake of my cuckquean fantasy – I believe could be a natural and liberating experience for her and I.

So, tell me, what part of your sexuality do you wish to explore more deeply?

Fuck-well, friends!

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