Purveyor of Pleasure

Pleasure is my business, my life, my joy, my purpose.

Tag: identities (Page 2 of 8)

National Coming Out Day

Yesterday (October 11th) was National Coming Out Day. If I had been on top of things this post would have come out then, but I’m a little bit behind on just about everything at this moment. I used this day to reflect on my identities. Here are some of my thoughts.

I’ve been out for quite a while. Unless this is your first time here and/or you haven’t read the about page yet you should already know that I have a long string of labels I like to use in order to describe my identities. I am a genderqueer fat femme drag queen fagette and pomo queer intellisexual polyamorous switch. I am also an occultist, sacred whore, astrologer, and all manner of other things. Specifically NCOD refers to coming out of the proverbial closet, or LGBT(QQIA) people coming out, so I focused on my identity string.

I’ve talked about this before, but the main reason why I use so many identity words strung together like I do is so that it is nearly impossible to pigeonhole me into one identity or another. Instead, it forces people to acknowledge the way the identities blend and interchange between them, and how my identities are fluid. At least, that’s my theory.

I don’t really have a story of coming out to my parents. I remember being a teenager telling my mother I was bisexual. Her response? “Oh. I thought you were a lesbian.” And that was it. During the triad with Marla I told both of my parents about her and our relationship configuration and they both responded without judgment, just asked practical questions about the situation.

Coming out, ultimately, is an ongoing process both for me and, really, for everyone. While there are people who fit into the stereotypical way that a certain identity or another looks there are just as many if not more people who are not so easy to categorize with a look. For those of us who are not blatantly obvious we have to come out over and over again, to just about everyone we choose. This is compounded by the fact that I present femme most of the time and have a cisgendered male partner so we are often mistaken for a straight couple even though neither of us is straight.

This isn’t to say I walk up to new people and give them the string of identity words I used above, but it does mean that there are times I have to come out, sometimes coming out multiple times to the same person.

It can be exhausting, but I appreciate the ability to live stealth as well, so I can be privy to those possibly bigoted conversations and attempt to put in my own two cents, and as a result maybe change some minds.

One thing that continues to amaze me is the ability someone has to be an inspiration for others simply by being themselves. By doing what is right and good for you others can be inspired to do the same for themselves, and I love this. Every time you come out is an act of courage. Feel free to come out in the comments.

30 Days of Kink: Early Hints

This is the fourth of my 30 Days of Kink in which I will be answering each of the thirty questions in different posts. I thought these would be interesting to answer and (hopefully) interesting for you to read. These will be posted in order, but not always back-to-back.

Question 4: Any early experiences that, in retrospect, hint at your kinks?

As I mentioned in Question 3 I discovered kink at a very young age. I would say that even before the events I told in Q3 I had already had kinky fantasies, somewhat obviously because I started reading non-consent erotica. I remember playing things like captor and slave and things like that in elementary school and all sorts of games that might have hinted at my enjoyment and desire of power play.

I’ve always had a bit of an outsider complex and thus always felt like I didn’t fit in, I think stemming from being naturally fat and never looking “right” therefore I never tried very hard to fit in and ended up reveling in my difference. While I don’t think this is the reason why I’m kinky or queer or any of the other “out of the norm” identities that I embrace I do think that because of that outsider feeling I found these outsider identities at a relatively young age.

I started exploring my sexuality at a very young age as well, and not because I was molested or abused as a child, in fact my childhood was relatively normal. Maybe because of my exposure to the internet at a relatively young age I discovered sexuality, or maybe just because I had been watching R rated movies since I was fairly young as well, who knows. But my exploring of my sexuality online in chat rooms and such was definitely what ultimately lead me to kink.

So I wouldn’t say I have many “hints” per se, but who knows, maybe there are things I’m forgetting.

Don’t Be Afraid to Ask

More thinking about my post Tired from the beginning of the month has lead me to this: if you don’t know, ask. Don’t ever be afraid to ask. While it’s not always enjoyable to me to explain how I identify to someone that doesn’t mean it’s not highly appreciated. I would much rather have an hour long conversation (or even five-minute) about my identities than have my gender, sexuality, spirituality, or anything else assumed. You know what they say about to assume…

For the most part I’m pretty open when asked a question directly. I don’t skirt around things and I will take a question at face-value and answer exactly what was posed. I might not offer up additional information, but I am not shy about answering questions when asked directly. While I don’t always enjoy talking about myself (I know, that may be hard to believe considering that’s most of what I do on this blog) that doesn’t mean that I would rather not be asked about something. If I can clarify something or explain something I am always happy to, as long as I have the time. I also try not to assume that the other person will know what I’m talking about.

This doesn’t mean I think they are stupid, but because I use terms in mostly academic ways and since I don’t know if they have read something I’m referencing in my identity or explanation I try not to make assumptions either way and opt to ask questions myself. “Have you heard of…”” “Have you read…?” etc. If not I try to explain as fully as possible, and even if so I often will still mention some of the basic ideas of what I am referencing to make sure we are on the same page. I do not assume anyone is on the same page as I am, but that doesn’t mean they are not as smart as me or any other nonsense like that. Knowledge on one specific subject has nothing to do with intelligence.

Specifically what I was referencing in Tired had to do with two types of people. People with whom I have had conversations regarding identity who then turn around and seem to ignore everything I have expressed about my identity regardless. Or people assuming they know my identity without asking or having a conversation about it. It is difficult for me in either of these situations to come out and say “I don’t identify that way.” I’m just not a confrontational person and it is often difficult for me to assert my identities. I realize not being able to do that is my problem, but I do think that making assumptions about someone else’s identity is never a good idea. Similarly, disregarding a conversation about an identity is also not a good idea.

It’s hard work to have identity conversations in general. I realize this. It’s difficult to ask someone a question about their identity, you can’t always know how that question will be reacted to. Just keep in mind that when you ask make sure to ask something regarding identity rather than pinning an identity to it already such as “how do you identify?” versus “are you a [insert identity here]?” You can use specific terms such as “What is your gender identity?” “What pronoun do you prefer?” “What is your sexual identity?” as well, though the slightly more open-ended “how do you identify?” may get you the widest variety of options.

Please, ask questions, ask clearly, ask for definitions of things if I or someone else uses a term in a way that is unfamiliar to you. Don’t be afraid to ask for clarification. It is far better to ask than to assume. While there may be the occasional person who is offended that you would ask or who doesn’t think it is any of your business that doesn’t mean everyone would be. That said, also think about what you are asking and of whom. Should you be asking complete strangers about what genitals they have (though this isn’t the same as gender identity discussed previously) or who they like to fuck? Maybe it is, depending on the context of wherever you are at the moment, but maybe it’s not. Be smart about it, segue into it, make sure it is appropriate, but don’t be afraid to ask if you sincerely want to know and don’t.

Similarly, if you identify with something out of the norm please don’t scare people away from asking questions, if they’re asking that’s at least a step above assuming your identity and questions are an excellent time to educate them and open their minds. Who knows what kind of chain reaction you might set off. If they ask in an inappropriate way then tell them so politely and educate them as to how to ask in a better manner next time. I can’t say I’m perfect at this, but I’m trying.

It is not easy on either side of the conversation. Sometimes I just wish I could fit into societal standards in one way or another and not have to worry about things like this, not have to figure my identities out in order for me to enjoy them and understand them. I get tired of explaining the same thing over and over to the same people, sometimes I’m tired of explaining in general even to new people who are genuinely interested, but that doesn’t mean I would rather not be asked. I’m glad to challenge normalized ideas and maybe, just maybe, open a mind or two.

Tired

I’m just plain tired. I’m tired of having to explain how I identify, especially to the same people over and over again. I’m tired of people making assumptions about me rather than letting me make my own definitions and letting them know what my labels are. I’m tired of people thinking I’m straight because my partner is cis male or that I’m a lesbian because I enjoy women. I’m tired of people thinking I’m a woman because I dress femme. I try not to let it bother me when someone mislables me, but it hurts every time.

It’s difficult to inhabit middle identities while living in a binary world. There are many days when I wish I could just feel “one or the other” instead of seeing all the wonderful options out in front of me and wanting to have one of every flavor. Call me indecisive if you want, but when I can see the beauty and joy I could get from every option I can’t just pick one, it’s not in my nature.

I’m not straight or a lesbian, I’m queer. Bisexual, maybe, though I don’t like the binary aspect it implies and prefer other terms. Queer is the best description I have. Really I tend to be attracted to other queer people regardless of their gender and specifically because of their intelligence and/or personality. I’ve used intellisexual for quite some time, sapiosexual also fits which is a slightly more common term. I am attracted to people’s brains more than anything else, and usually those brains have to be queer in some way shape or form.

Similarly I do not identify with the term woman. It’s simply not a word that I identify with nor is it a way I see myself or desire for others to see me. While I may often wear feminine drag that does not make me a woman (or any spelling variation thereof). The same goes for girl. My gender identity is genderqueer regardless of the gender expressed within my gender presentation1. My gender presentation is always drag.

While I do associate with the term femme I embrace it as part of my gender presentation. I embrace the gothy glittery drag femmeininity that is all mine most days, though not all days. Femme is my presentation more than anything, but there are also days when I wear my too-small-sports-bra-slash-makeshift-binder and present as fagette. I do think that my “fagette” presentation confuses some people, however, because it still some femininity in it, dressing in boy drag is not a spectrum-banging event for me. I am realizing more and more, though, just how much femme and fagette go hand in hand for me. There are no days when I am femme that I am not a fagette, and no days when I am not genderqueer.

Recently I’ve begun using gender neutral pronouns when I am able and it makes my entire being sing. A friend of mine referred to me using ze and hir without my first requesting it and it nearly brought me to completely unexpected tears to be seen in a way that aligned with my own gender. I catch myself internally wincing when words and identities other than my own are thrown at me in conversation, but often I don’t have the energy or desire to confront the misconception of me in the eyes of others, which just ends up perpetuating it.

I’m trying to get to the point where I am not looking for the validation of others for any of my identities, but it’s difficult not to want that. I want to be seen rather than assumed away as something else. I realize that I am responsible for making myself a whole person in the eyes of others and do not put the responsibility of figuring me out completely on other people but I’m so damn tired of having to correct people. It seems like a petty difference to ask someone to not refer to me using certain language, and yet it cuts me deep whenever it happens. I just haven’t gotten to the point where I am comfortable asserting my gender identity, perhaps because it is such a fluid work-in-progress.

  1. I’m using gender identity and gender presentation to mean two different things. Someone’s gender identity has to do with the internal gender feelings the person has, whereas their gender presentation is the outward gender they show to the world. These do not always go hand-in-hand. []

This Is Gender

I just discovered Kit Yan and Good Asian Drivers today. You may or may not have heard of them or seen them before, but in case you haven’t I have two videos for you. The first is Kit alone doing his awesome piece titled “Third Gender,” the second is Kit and Melissa Li in a piece titled “Queer Nation.” They are both extremely powerful, and I’ll let them speak for themselves.

there may be as many as a million genders, identities, and sexualities,
just floating around, searching for the right person,
to snatch them up,
put them on, and proudly parade around in their new skin,
unrestricted by layers and identity, and
limitations of culture, society, and social construction.
this new gender is a function of inner desire, and
genuine understanding of self to be lived…

Hey, I thought that our people were past this
That everyone was a feminist non-conformist boundry-pushing progressive
and enlightened spiritual being but I’m wrong
to think that queer people were born with an inherent knowledge
that push past the nurture of America
but the truth is that we screw up too
see we still haven’t found our groove on the outskirts of society
we’re still using old blueprints with bad foundations

And for a little more humor…

Doublethink Over Dissonance

Onyx and I have settled in to a remarkably comfortable D/s dynamic. We have talked extensively about it, but the difference this time is that it just clicks, for lack of a better term. All the background issues that were making so much noise the last time we were trying these power roles have been resolved, thanks in large part to the many things we learned through the trial of the triad. I find myself enjoying to do things for him, and he is now more able to push and guide me than he was before. It is, in a word, wonderful.

I have noticed that I am hesitant to share this power dynamic with others, even on here to an extent. I believe this is in part due to it still, in some ways, being so new and foreign but mostly it is because it is still private and vulnerable. Despite the abundance with which I share my private feelings and thoughts on this blog (less so now than I have before, but I’m working on writing more when I don’t have writer’s block) I have an extremely difficult time sharing personal things with others, especially in person and especially those I don’t know very well. Hell, I even have trouble expressing things to Onyx sometimes which I would have no issue writing to him.

The last couple of weekends while going out with amazing people I’ve noticed myself being slightly more comfortable but still not all that comfortable with expressing my submissiveness, and that was with fellow kinky perverted people who have read my blog including stories of me being slapped and dominated and fucked. I don’t mean showing my submissvieness to them, but just talking about it.

I see others so secure in their submission and happy to proclaim to the world that they are submissive and I find myself having trouble with that. Perhaps it is because I am a switch. I can’t fully embrace my role as submissive because, although I feel submissive to Onyx, I do not feel wholly like a submissive. I cannot throw myself into submission with complete abandon because I am also a Top. Or, that is the roadblock I come to in my mind.

Although I don’t consciously think this is true, there is a part of me that thinks embracing submission fully would mean giving up the parts of myself that are not submissive. Call it internalized binary programming that says I have to be one or the other but never both. The way some people say someone can’t feel Dominant and submissive at the same time, but I highly disagree, I say I am always both and it is the people I am with and situations I am in that bring each out in me.

However, I don’t have any hesitations about expressing my dominant side. I think in part this is because it is less vulnerable, less private, in a way. I am more comfortable with it, but also because it seems to be less normative. It’s more “okay” to express because it somehow shakes up the expectations.

I feel the same way with sexuality and gender, I’m far more comfortable expressing my desires when they have to do with cis-females or trans-people than when they have to do with cis-males. Essentially, I’m far more comfortable expressing my queer sexuality than what would be seen as a hetero-sexuality, as if expressing desire for cis-males somehow makes me less queer. Of course, in some minds it does. In some minds it would completely invalidate any other expression of queerness.

Similarly with gender I have been desiring lately to express my masculine side, the personae (yes, plural) I designate as Quyn or Sebastian sometimes. I used to dress more masculine and drifted to the feminine and now I’m working on finding the way to be both or neither, to dress as I please. While I’m more comfortable expressing my femme drag queen gender identity I think because that, in some ways, is the one that is less normative, despite being assigned female at birth, but that’s a whole other post.

Perhaps in the same vein expressing submissive desires could somehow invalidate any expression of dominance. I’m not saying this is the case, but I do think that Aristotelian logic is so ingrained in our culture that it is difficult to work against. If we express ourselves as being on one side of a cultural binary we are not only saying what we are but we are saying what we are not. By this logic when I say I am submissive I’m also saying I’m not dominant. It works for everything, really: power, sexuality, gender, etc. All the identities I hold middle ground on, certainly, and others as well.

I’ve talked about this many times before, I know, and read about the phenomenon. It’s not new, but it is significant. The point I’m trying to make here, though, is that I’m more comfortable expressing one aspect but not another on these supposed binaries (and I should point out that I do not see power dynamics or sexualities as part of a binary system, but they are largely seen culturally to be so which makes operating outside of them difficult and that is why I am referring to them as binaries), and my comfortability seems to be backwards. I am comfortable expressing the non-normative desires, those outside what is culturally expected, when it’s usually (or so I think) the opposite.

I want to be just as comfortable expressing and embracing all of my identities, and the first step just like with anything is acknowledgement. I have internalized binary and aristotelian logic programming. I have internalized power dynamic programming. I can actively work on acknowledging this programming and work to move beyond it, and that’s what I’m trying to do. Instead of thinking of these socially contrary ideas in terms of conflict and feeling dissonance over them I want to get to a point of doublethink, where I am comfortable with embracing these identities that seem to be contradictory and am, further, comfortable in my own skin. That’s what it’s all about in the end, anyway.

What A Year

One year ago I wrote an introduction to Marla. We had already been talking for a few weeks previous to that. In so many ways it doesn’t seem like it has been a year, but in others it seems like it should have been far longer. Everything happened so quickly, she was living with us less than six months after I first introduced her, and then everything split apart just a few months later.

She once asked me if I planned on writing a post to commemorate our anniversary. This isn’t what either of us had in mind.

In some ways it makes me extremely excited for what the next year will bring. Where will I be in March of 2011? What will be happening and what will I be thinking? How will my identities and thoughts and passions have changed and grown and evolved?

In some ways it makes me sad that I have not posted as much this past year as I wanted to or wish I had, but I also know that was a product of the situation. I just couldn’t write about what I was thinking and feeling, for various reasons. I was highly distracted. I know I write about her quite often, but it’s difficult not to write about someone who had such an extreme impact on every aspect of my life as she did.

I will be moving back to Seattle in five short days, hoping that the situation I am coming back to will encourage me to write rather than the opposite, though I also hope to be far more busy so I may have to finally learn how to prioritize (and judging by the half-dozen drafts I have open while writing this that may take a bit to do). I am a different person now than I was a year ago, in so many ways. I’m looking forward to what the next year will bring.

My life is a series of changes, a series of hits and misses, ghosts and corpses. I’ve lost a lot and gained what I’ve taken. This time next year I won’t be this girl anymore, I’ll be something new. I’ll be a new image, a new collage in the making. But no matter who I become next I will always remember the people I’ve been and all the pieces I’ve kept. – We the Living Photography [image]

Civil War

I feel as though I have warring factions within me, aching for battle and unsure of what to do, trying to figure out who comes out on top, but there is no “on top” to come out onto, not that I would have it if there were. In a world of innumerable options I can see them all and wish to partake in all of them, and not just one by one.

It is an ever-constant ever-changing process to become the me I wish to be, and so often I have no idea how to do it. I look at the past to help inform my present, to see what worked and what not to do, but I can only do so much without the freedom to explore beyond the limited space I am in now. I am made up of not just one but many dichotomies that are constantly at war and trying to figure out how to live together harmoniously.

As much as I don’t believe in binary systems for most things because these ideas are so solid in their construction it does often feel like I am being pulled in two directions. I must be one or the other at any given time as both cannot exist in the same moment or in the same space. It’s okay to have different aspects in yourself but for them to be existing at the same time seems to be something that is not believable.

I’m tired of rigid lines separating me from myself. I feel constantly torn, constantly at war with the sides I am told are opposites. They do not feel like opposites. I never am not one while presenting as the other, so how do I adequately express myself?

So I am exploring and learning, growing, changing, as much as possible but it never feels enough. I don’t know how to become who I will be, I only know how to be the me I am right now. The trick is to be okay with that and only that in the moment while striving for better.

Rediscoveries

Now that I am somewhat outside of the relationships that have consumed me and took over my life for the last eight or so months I find myself getting more in touch with my needs. I am glad to have so much alone time and time to focus on me as me rather than me in a relationship. I’m thinking about this blog again much more than I have for the last few months, though I still have more drafts than posts.

I have so many different aspects of myself that I’m trying to appease all at once and am realizing there is no real way for me to do that. They are easily expressed by what appear to be binaries, but only because of the limitations of language and binaries being so ingrained in our way of thinking/expressing. There are multiple facets within each of the “binary” (appearing) identities, such as Top and bottom each having different aspects of power roles as well as sadomasochistic roles and kinks and fetishes of their own, and there is a multi-identity as well, such as switch. The same is true for my gender identities, though they can be broken down into femme and fagette there are multiple aspects within each and a multi-identity being genderfluid or multigendered.

I’m getting back in touch with the kink side of me, which is sad that somehow it got lost in the relationships I was having, but also understandable. The ability to have sexual intimacy was strained basically since July when Marla moved in with us, and before that it was strained as well for different reasons. This impacted a lot of things, but the little sex and sexual intimacy we were able to have was almost always short and usually fairly vanilla.

Specifically I miss bottoming. I haven’t done a lot of it in the last few months at all, though I have done some Topping. I actually miss more than bottoming, I miss submitting, and these days I often find myself desiring intense power play situations. I miss analyzing things on here as well, and having things to analyze beyond the triad. I realize I used to write a lot about power play, especially being a feminist submissive and all that can come along with that, back when my site was Fem(me)inist Fucktoy. I just miss power play in general, so much that I’ve actually gone on IRC and done some anonymously, though it’s no substitute for the real thing.

Onyx came up here for New Year’s and leaves tomorrow, which was good timing considering the desire for bottoming I’ve had. We’ve had a wonderful week so far and it has helped me remember how well we work together, how we used to work years ago before a lot of other things started getting in the way. I still don’t know what that means for us as partners, however. He’s been my lover, my friend, and my family for over four years and I hate that he spent both his birthday and the recent holidays alone, which was a big factor in my wanting him to come up here, but not the only factor. However, I still feel broken and damaged. I wonder when I will be able to trust anyone again, myself included. I still maintain that I need to be alone for a while, and he knows this and is willing to give me the time I need while still being able to be in touch and see each other.

Juneau is a good place for me to be for a while, to heal my wounds, to figure things out, to rediscover parts of myself I lost or forgot about. I’m not yet sure how to reconcile everything I feel inside, and often wonder if it is legitimate. I am still trying to figure out the underlying desires and drives which cause me to act how I do, but it’s a life-long task which may never be finished. In many ways I feel like I don’t know what I’m doing, but I’m taking it one day at a time.

Gender Exploration: Femme Fagette

I’ve been gravitating toward a much more “masculine” gender expression lately, really since we moved to Seattle. I’ve been slowly making my way over, though it’s only selectively masculine, it’s my fagette persona, my feminine masculinity that I’ve been working on developing.

Like my transition from bottom to Top to switch I believe this gender exploration will bring me from femme to fagette to femme fagette. Just as I knew I would end up a switch I had to explore the individual parts of that identity expression before I was able to really claim switchness for my own.

I believe in order for me to truly embrace all that is my gender identity of femme fagette, my own gender phrase and identity, I will end up never staying still in one gender for too long or coming to rest, much like switch is it’s own identity along with being Top and bottom identities and various other aspects of power and sadomasochistic and any other sexuality aspects thrown in. I claim femme fagette in the same way I claim switch, as a identity in perpetual motion, forever morphing and changing to fit my current desires.

The fagette aspect of my gender identity is somewhat femme in and of itself, so the two really are tied up within each other no matter what I do. I have days where I want to pack, wear a binder, and walk with a swagger and other days when I feel like putting on a ruffled skirt, corset, and a wig, and those days might not coincide with the identity automatically assumed.

My gender definitely has to do with both masculine and feminine energies but also a purposeful queering of those energies as much as possible. I often feel the most feminine when wearing traditionally masculine clothing, and visa verse. For me it is less about the specific gender expression than it is about playing with gender and experiencing it in a way that jives with me, however that might be.

As I mentioned in my last post I’m a bit of a chameleon, which is why, I think, I cling to such transitory identities. I enjoy labels, as I’ve gone on about ad nauseum, but the labels I end up claiming tend to be ones that are fluid such as queer, switch, poly, and femme fagette/multigendered/gender fluid, each of these can mean different things depending on the day and my mood.

One thing I worry about with terming myself “femme fagette” is that damned gender binary.

I recently opened FetLife and Twitter accounts for a “masculine” persona, Quyn or Quyntin Ari St. Syr. It was somewhat of a spur of the moment thing and inspired by Mina Meow and her persona Aiden. Ever since I’ve been thinking about what that means to have the two accounts and I know I as a whole am not fully represented now by either Scarlet or Quyn, but I wonder if I’m even partially represented.

I don’t feel like I have split personalities, both Quyn and Scarlet are me but are aspects of me but not the end all and be all of me either. There’s something missing there, and maybe that’s the complexity of how the two personae interact and feed off each other and there may be another aspect of me not yet fully grasped. I occasionally toy with the idea of getting rid of the Scarlet persona and expanding the scope of Quyn, but Scarlet has been such a part of me for so long.

I worry, however, that splitting the personae up in to, basically, a “masculine” and a “feminine” persona isn’t doing justice to what I’m actually feeling and is just working to reinforce the gender binary, as if in order to express an “other” gender identity I have to break it down into accepted gender norms. Though it could have the opposite effect, I suppose, since although I am setting up these two personae I think what I do with them could be potentially gender explosive and bust through the confining ideas of binary gender. I guess it all depends on how it’s perceived and what I do with it more than anything.

I’m still exploring and getting used to my newly embraced identities and I’m excited to see how everything progresses. I have had a lot of time recently to think about myself and my genders are something that I am working on figuring out more.

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