How Do You Solve a Problem Like a Dry Spell?

…or, “How The Keeper and USC Girl have ruined everything”

A couple of days ago, I got a message on the dating site saying that someone had selected me as a person of interest. I wrote her a pleasant note, which she replied to, and things were off to a fast start.

Already, I am feeling like this is too easy. I told DW last night “The new girl is not asking enough questions.” One example is that there was no conversation about my status after I came out to her. To my thinking, it makes sense to ask questions like “Is there anything that I need to be doing to be respectful of, or sensitive to that issue?” That didn’t happen. For all I know, she isn’t even aware of what trans* means.

…and, she’s never been with a girl.

She’s recently divorced, and is distinctly not looking for anything serious. I’m fine with that. It would take a lot to get me to be serious about anyone but the most exceptional people right now. Honestly, just being in the outer social orbits of USC Girl (whom I may begin to call ChattingAboutHeidegger… thoughts?) and The Keeper has my want for people of substance pretty well satisfied.

I just need some freaking contact! Sex would be magnificent, but just being held, and cuddled would fill a huge empty place in my life.

I can tell you that she is …um…very actively exploring her freedom as a single person. I have a couple of concerns for that, and they are health related.

so…there’s that.

And, while easy to talk to, she isn’t a person with whom I feel I can have particularly meaningful conversation.

So, what do you think? Meet her and hope for uncommitted fun time, or take a pass and wait for someone with more potential?

Help a girl out!

MWAH!

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Original Poetry: “I am All of These”

I love queer girls, because I don’t have to explain the appeal of a body and heart like one’s own

How it feels to come out and join our great, gay family, and yet…

To be disowned

to be a survivor, struggling with drawn claws to grasp the dignity which is afforded most without request

I love fat girls, because I don’t have to explain how much the world insists that we hide ourselves

how we vacillate between allowing and refusing to be policed by thinly-veiled bullshit rhetoric about health

that Loving myself is brave and subversive

to stand proud in my size 22 body, knowing that I would fuck me…  a lot

I love trans girls, because there is no one with a greater ability to deconstruct what being a woman really means

We will never birth babies.  Our forms may be forever odd and prolapsed, confusing partners and gawkers alike

But we know a different womanhood than those whose first bra came at 12 and not 30, We are fire-proven

to be radically unafraid, and say to that condemning delivery room doctor YOU ARE MISTAKEN

I love poly girls, because Hearts can be too big for one

We have great big arms, and great big tables, and great big listening ears

Our villages are warmly lit by the glow of generous giving

To refuse society’s fear, and give of ourselves as fully as we know how

I love nurturers, and counselors, andteachers andbestfriendsandsisters-in-armsandromanticsandcreativesandsillies, and those-for-whom-things-haven’t-been-easy, and 

AM   ALL   

OF   THESE

Infighting in the Trans* Community

A few weeks back, Calpernia Addams, a prominent transgender activist, was talking about her difficulty with members of the trans* community as she attempted to cast a TV show featuring transgender people. It seems she was receiving emails and messages from people who wanted to make sure that her casting selections were composed entirely of transgender people who met some specific concept they had of what a transgender person should be seen as.

I remember well, when I was first transitioning, that some of the hardest people to cope with were other transwomen. For some members of the community, I was ‘doing it wrong.’ Really?  Doing it wrong? How do you juggle flaming chainsaws while blindfolded and riding a unicycle? Any way you can!

It wasn’t just early transition, this has happened to me even recently. I was at a housewarming party about six months ago in a mostly transgender crowd. Most of the ladies were extremely thoughtful to one another, and took efforts to build each other up. That said, there were a couple of my sisters who hadn’t gotten the memo to be nice.

One of the things a trans* person has to learn for themselves is which behaviors from their old identity are genuinely a part of who they are, and which parts they were having to embody in order to keep up the lie of being what people expect them to be. (Which is to say, which behaviors were just to prove their gender as assigned at birth.)

The ladies with whom I took issue (and, this is the first of several places where I will likely make angry comments happen) were still hanging on to the ugly competitive boasting which had likely been a centerpiece of their false male identities. This was absolutely something I had to do in my feeble attempts to be seen as male by my young peers.

I feel like I can hear you talking to your screen right now.

“But, cisgender women have ugly competitive behavior too.”

That’s definitely true, but I hope you’ll allow for the possibility that the two seem a somewhat distinct in my observation of their tone.

I do not know why people within this community, who are so marginalized, have the energy to both fight against the vicious discrimination that we face, and still have enough fight left to turn against one another.

 

 

 

 

On Sirens

Another fascinating talk with The Keeper tonight. (I should just hand the blog over to her.)

I finally feel like I have put my proverbial finger on a major reason (beyond the obvious liking her traits) that I feel so drawn to her. She is a hub. Remember Alice’s chart from The L Word? The people on here who had lots of connections, Shane, for instance, were called “hubs.”

Now, I do not pretend to know how many relationships The Keeper has had, nor do I necessarily assume it’s a lot. Really, that’s irrelevant to her status as a hub, because she is that girl that everyone develops a crush on. People treat her like a hub, and thus, it is so.

Now, I will gladly admit that I have absolutely not figured out dating in L.A. despite having grown up here. That said, I was definitely a hub during my years in Dallas. I don’t think this status is revocable once conferred. Feeling the ego surge of being desired like that… you never go back to wallflower status.

The few times I have had the privilege of a relationship with another hub, it’s always been electric! These relationships operate on a different plane. It’s as though the questions get stripped away… the doubts subside. You know the romance is going to be good, you know they can take your breath away with a glance, you know they are incredible lovers, and you know that they know these things about you. Hubs are good at relationships!

I want to take time out to dispel any perception that I am unduly boastful. I suck at a huge number of really critical things in my life. It just so happens that I am good at things that people find attractive. I am a good communicator. I’m genuinely interested in my partner’s wants and needs. I know how to use my body to full effect. I am a skilled and attentive lover. None of these should really be all that remarkable. In essence, this all boils down to “I give a shit.”

I don’t need to master some playbook of how to get women to come on to me. (What I actually need is to listen to myself when I have an intuitive sense that someone isn’t a great fit.) I think the last year has taught me that selectivity is worthwhile, and, that it isn’t important to date for the sake of dating.

Anyway, The Keeper has less free time than it would take to start a romance. (She has a lovely one already, on top of a very busy schedule.) I’m genuinely okay with that. We can throw wonderful sparks at each other without being in a relationship, per se. Will it be something I think about if her availability changes, I’d be foolish not to.

What I will not be doing, though, is my former trick of trying to compromise myself into a pretzel in order to have a relationship which is doomed by circumstance to fail. It’s a totally pointless exercise, and people will get hurt.

Keeper, I am not sure whether I hope you ever read this or not. One way or the other,

You are a magnificent person.

I have unspeakable amounts of fun acknowledging and exploring our excellent rapport with one another.

I see you for the powerful being you are.

Being around you (physically or metaphorically) reminds me of how powerful I am.

We have something great, which I really treasure.

My best advice for anybody is to just get out there and throw sparks with somebody. I can’t tell you what it will turn into, and that isn’t really the point.

The sparks ARE the point!

Love ‘ya!
Mwah!

One Happy Girl

Today was a day that had everything feeling right. No one thing stood out, but the day, in its totality was a most agreeable one.

My dear friend, who writes under “Beatrice” is safely beside her new lover/Master. (For her blog, go here: http://beatricesufferlove.blogspot.com/ )

An awesome Texas friend of mine, and huge inspiration got married to her fella.

DW and I have gotten along really well today. We shared a very meaningful cry over the Glee episode “The Quarterback.”

The Keeper remains Keeperish, and messaged with me a bit during her classes.

I went out for a lovely solo errand-running trip which found me spontaneously deciding to peruse one of my favorite clothing stores.  It was a great thing that I did, because I found two sexy-as-hell dresses, one of which was on clearance!

The dresses segment of the story is mostly important because I have been feeling much differently about my body, of late. What I chose for myself today was decidedly the wardrobe of a confident woman, happy to show off my features.

Tonight finds DW and me chatting over “The Sims-Medieval,” which she is playing on the laptop, as I type my thoughts for all of you at the desk.

I wish this kind of day for each and every one of you!

MWAH!

 

What the Actual Fuck?

…or, if you like… “It’s not me, it’s you.”

Alright, my loves, Here is the weird one for this week (hopefully!)

So, as we talked about in a previous episode, a new girl (whom I am not even going to bother to name, because *spoiler alert* she was a one-date wonder) wrote me Friday afternoon. Things went well right away. She liked me, I liked her… she was cute, she found me cute… all the pieces of the puzzle.

Saturday morning, I drove about a half an hour south of here to go meet her at a (well traveled) nature preserve. She and her husband share a car, so he came to drop her off. I made my way over to introduce myself, and (as was the only polite thing to do) to invite him to join the girl and me for a walk. They both seemed nice. He spoke for her a few times, and that always makes me want to slap men. Still, on the whole, an agreeable guy. I talked them through a post-mortem on a recent failed relationship of his. (Where I go, therapy follows.)

That segment of the morning was probably an hour or so worth of pleasant talk. From there, Mr. Husband departed, and the girl and I went to get a tea at a place she recommended. Tea was lovely, we walked about the strip mall afterward, then proceeded to spend the next couple of hours trying several places to do more walking and talking.

We finally wound up at a large outdoor mall. We took in the shops briefly (she is not a shopper) then decided on a movie. By this point, we are very comfortable, the date is going well, there’s lots of smiling and eyelash batting. We sit down for the movie (“Don Jon”- an excellent social commentary) She does a fair amount of whispering through the movie. I don’t catch much of what she says, but she is still loud enough to catch the unwelcome attention of fellow patrons. I decide to simply let it happen.

That decision marks a profound amount of progress for me. I decided to both stop worrying about not understanding her, and stop worrying about the unwelcome attention. As painfully self-conscious as I am, it really did feel like a revolutionary concept. Setting these worries aside gave me the space to take hold of her hand, snuggle in, and enjoy.

When the movie ended, we sat down at a table in the shade, took each other’s hands, and talked about how well the date was going, and how much we enjoyed the one another. After a bit of this, I asked (as I had at many points throughout the day) if she needed to get home, and she decided it probably was time to wrap it up. At this point, I’d had about seven hours of her time, so I was certainly not complaining.

I walked her to my car, my hand guiding the small of her back. She looked back to tell me that she liked how that felt. I’d become most assuredly smitten by this point. A short car ride, then a long hug goodbye, and some kissing, and goodbye again, and more kissing. I waited to see her make it in the gate, and drove off with my head in the clouds.

On my way home, I began crying over how much the feeling of being with someone was not one I’d had in a very long time. It had been pointless to agonize over such feelings any more than I absolutely had to.

I arrived at home and texted her that I had made it back, thanking her again for a wonderful day. She replied at length, thanking me, and sending me the names of a few things she’d mentioned throughout the date which she thought I might like to watch. This was about seven o’clock. I bid her a good night, and she responded in kind.

The next morning, I found myself doing my usual routine of checking Twitter, Facebook, and the like. (It’s interesting to ponder that “Twitter” will sound like “cassette tape” if I ever go back and read this later in life.) Anyway, in checking my Facebook, I discover she has disappeared from my list of friends. Further investigation suggests that she has blocked me from viewing her.

Not wanting to assume anything is out of place, I sent her a text simply saying “Good morning.” … no reply.

A few hours later, “Is everything okay?”

A few hours still, “If things aren’t okay, will you please extend to me the dignity of saying so?”

…nothing

What happened? I really can’t say. I had a great group of friends supporting me throughout the day. They seem to think the best guess that the husband got jealous upon hearing about a good date. That’s my working theory too.

This experience was a proving ground for lots of the progress I’ve been making over the last year. I was stronger, smarter, more self-assured, and better supported by the people I have been surrounding myself with.

Today finds me much more secure and content than before any of this happened, and the value of that cannot be overstated!

I hope you’ve enjoyed our trip to The Twilight Zone, my loves!

Please feel free to take up the conversation in the comments 🙂

MWAH!

 

 

 

 

My First Collaborative Blog!! (part 3)

As someone who identifies as Polyamorous, how did you build a framework for the relationship you have with your Significant Other and future relationships?

When I met my partner (whom I refer to as “DW” or, “Darling Wife” elsewhere in the blog) we both already identified as polyamorous. Within any non-monogamous relationship, there is a need for in-depth conversations about what the parties envision, and what boundaries and expectations exist. In most open relationships, the rules early on are rather limited. As time goes on, and trust builds, the rules almost always relax. It can sometimes be a bumpy process, and there are bound to be hurt feelings at points, as everyone figures out how it all works.

My personal belief, and the way my relationship works, is that open, honest, and complete communication is really the only factor in success or failure. Rules may provide a temporary sense of security, but ultimately, I think that those who are ultimately able to make non-monogamy work flip from being worried that non-monogamy will drive them apart, to seeing it as a source of enrichment and happiness. For me, I want anyone I have a relationship to have as many of their needs met as possible. I welcome anyone that can make my partner happy.

Much of this is covered this post

https://serialnonconformist.wordpress.com/2011/09/21/by-request-ii-polyamory/

There is a common misconception about Polyamory being just about having sex with whomever you’d like. How do you describe Polyamory to peole who think this? What is Polyamory to you?

Well, first off, there definitely is a form of non-monogamy that is exclusively about sexual non-monogamy: swinging. But even at that, swingers typically have very specific rules and expectations. There are two issues I take with this argument (and it’s a very typical argument) the first is that polyamory is merely an alibi for wanting to have sex with everyone in your zip code. The second is that there is some quantity of sexual partners at which someone becomes “a bad person.” If a potential partner told me they’d had one thousand sexual partners, and had clean sexual health, the only thing I might be inclined to worry about was that they might find me somewhat pedestrian. Slut Shaming = BAD. Moving on….

For me, polyamory is about the freedom to be honest about one’s feelings. I have a deep and abiding love for my friends, sometimes romantic love develops from that. I don’t have to try to pretend I’m not falling for someone. Likewise, if I have a crush or sexual attraction to someone I meet, I can be honest about that too.

Everyone has feelings of attraction to people other than their spouse. For many people, the wise thing to do is to repress that. I don’t disagree with this notion at all. I think most people are probably better off remaining monogamous. No matter what anthropology tells us about past cultures, current American culture is built on an expectation of monogamy. We are socialized to accept only this. Stepping outside of convention takes tremendous courage and conviction. In this way, polyamory is not dissimilar to being a part of the LGBTQIA community. You become a target for traditionalists immediately. In addition to the courage to face detractors, poly relationships take a lot of work! It’s really not for most people.

Do you come across any predujice in the dating world? If so, does that predjudice tend to come more from men or women?

Polyamory is not a relationship model most dating candidates are interested in, but I don’t see this as any more problematic than not wanting to date someone younger, or taller than oneself. People are completely entitled to know, express, and act on their wants for a relationship. I have had a few people write to me about my “immorality” but it’s been a long time since the last one of those.

I think that many people incorrectly assume that polyamory is a male-driven oppressive institution. While there are forms of non-monogamy which force multiple women to have relationships with a man of power, polyamory is entirely egalitarian and consensual. Polyamorous people seek to meet the needs they have for emotional enrichment in an open and honest way, that seeks to be fair to all involved.

What is the most beautiful part about being you?

Simply put, the best part of being me is that I get to! The ability for a person to  live with truth and congruity of self is a rare and wonderful thing. In many other places, and many other periods of time, I would be forced into a life that I wasn’t meant to live. I am very aware of the privilege of self.

My First Collaborative Blog!! (part 2)

This installment of my interview response blog has the added benefit of me having a buzz. It probably bears saying, that my perspective should not be seen as speaking for every person’s experiences.

Do you feel that with the openness of polyamory, a definition of your gender “status” isn’t an issue when dating?

I feel like both polyamory and transgenderism limit my options in terms of whom I can date. With each niche thing a person finds themselves a part of, more and more options are closed to them. In my case, I would say that my demographic narrowing runs in this order from most to least profound.
Lesbian, transgender, poly, scheduling conflicts,distance, being a parent, falling in love too easily, no college degree or career, age difference is too great, not vegan enough, too curvy, and not religiously or politically aligned (though being an atheistic liberal does yield many more open doors than other possible configurations.)

It is likely that people being accepting of one minority status are, perhaps, more likely to accept others, but there is also the notion that a person can have too many caveats to be a good candidate. I think I generally fall into that category.

How do you deal with what is essentially a loss of privacy, when people expect you to discuss topics like your genitalia?

In a general sense, I see myself as being in a position to educate others about transgender people. It is certainly a conflict with what might otherwise be my privacy, or even my dignity. I know, though, that plenty of people have (often ill-informed) questions, and I would rather be the one to field them than to A: let the questions go to transpeople who are less inclined to be probed in this way, or B: let the questions remain unanswered, contributing to ongoing issues with an ignorant general population.

In terms of dating, questions of anatomy and surgical status would seem to center around two issues. The first one is “Can I actually see this person as the gender they intend to present?” The second is “Do I feel able to sexually gratify this person?” I sincerely hope that I live to see a day when the first question is really a non-issue for almost everyone. As a culture, we are learning about what gender actually is, and that will change the dialogue that transgender people get to have about their lives, especially where romantic relationships are concerned.

In terms of wondering how sex will work with a transgender person, everyone should be having a discussion of sexual likes and dislikes with a potential or current partner. There is certainly a way to handle this sensitively, without making someone feel that they are odd. If any of you find yourselves preparing to engage in such a conversation with a transgender person, be cognizant of the idea that people typically prefer to feel accepted as what they seem to be. It is certainly not necessary to remind someone of their status… believe me, they know.

In simpler terms, it’s better to say “Please tell me how you like to be touched.” than it is to say “What am I supposed to do with your (name of mis-asigned genitals of one kind or another)?”

Here is a hang-up which I do not have a good answer for: I do not know how to tell you to get really specific with your informed consent and also not rub somebody’s face in their gender dysphoria. (the feeling of unhappiness with one’s assigned gender) For me, I prefer that someone not use anatomical terms, or their corresponding slangs. Some alternatives might include asking “May I touch you?” while running your fingers just beneath your partner’s waistband, or underneath their hemline. You can also use phrases like “Touch you all over,” “Touch you here.” Touch is easily replaced by taste when appropriate 😉  I can go on… “I want to please you.” “I want you to cum for me.” …See, there’s lots of ways to not say “cock” and “pussy.” -I should keyword those and see if my readership increases 😉

What are some common misconceptions about transpeople that you’d like to set straight.

I think some things get covered in my post “Serialnonconformist’s Transgender Media Stylebook.”
Outside of those, I think it’s important to simply trust a person to know who and what they are. If someone tells you a name or pronoun preference that is unexpected based on your preconceived notions, trust them to be the expert.

I included a couple of links that parallel this debunking theme at the end of this post.

Outside of its definition in the dictionary, what does the word “gender” mean to you?

I think what’s important to remember about gender is that it is a societal construct that varies by culture and over time. Gender is not experienced by the body, as it is entirely a matter of the “self” that is only observable within the mind of the individual. How a person wants to be identified and treated is informed by this truth of self. The ignorant often ask why, if saying one is a toaster doesn’t make it so, how can saying one is anything other than the sex they were assigned at birth be so? This is really just a variant on the homosexuality=bestiality=incest=objectophilia argument.

The truth is, as far as one can tell (and there is compelling and solid research on this) there are brains configured for life as a female, and those configured for life as a male… and, presumably, brains for which neither gender is a fit. As it happens, these brain systems develop separately from reproductive anatomy in-utero. Occasionally these processes disagree on which sort of person is being developed, and a transgender individual is the result. Thinking of a transgender person as being physically malformed is probably as close as I can get to explaining the reality of it. So, we can think of a transgender person as being someone who, through accident of birth, inhabits a body which is incongruous with their identity.

Here are the links I promised:

http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2010/nov/03/what-not-to-ask-a-transsexual

I love you all

MWAH!

My First Collaborative Blog!! (part 1)

Alright, my loves, I have a real treat today. A reader of mine, who is also a long-time friend IRL agreed to collaborate on a series of blogs, and be the voice of an outside viewpoint.

With that, I’d like to thank my contributor and her husband for creating a really thoughtful dialogue.

Here we go!

 

Is the dating style of a person who identifies as transgender different from a person who identifies as cisgender? How so?

I’m not sure that I would say that there’s a difference in dating style. There are definitely some hurdles and considerations which transpeople face in all parts of life. Dating brings many of these differences into focus. One major issue is the question of whether to share one’s trans* status, and if so, at what point? Another thing to consider is that most of the population (gay or straight) have difficulty envisioning themselves in a relationship with a transperson. I think this happens because transwomen are not seen as being ‘real women,’ and transmen are not seen as ‘real men.’ As that’s the case, this challenges people’s concept of their own sexuality.

What struggles are unique to transwomen in the dating world?

To elaborate on my earlier point, I think the people we seek to date often have a definition problem in accepting a transwoman as being truly female. Cisgender, straight men are taught by their peers that looking at, or touching a penis is disgusting and shameful and DEFINITELY means one is gay (which is seen as basically the worst thing a guy could ever be.) Much of how men experience male privilege requires the convention of heteronormativity. In this way, a cisgender, straight man is known to be dominant over a cisgender, straight woman. In my experience with male socialization, having a penis is central the experience of what being a man is. And men tend to hold the idea that sensitivity, compassion, and other ‘feminine’ expressions of emotion must literally mean that one’s penis is physically smaller than it should be. Now, obviously most or all of this programming is based on truly absurd ideas, but it is still deeply engrained in the psyche of those who are socialized to be male.

With all of this in mind, it may become more apparent what a transwoman identifying as straight or bisexual/pansexual is up against in trying to find a man to date.

As it happens, I identify as a lesbian, and that has many of the same challenges, just flipped upside-down. Women are also given to conflating ‘man’ with ‘penis.’ In this way, the penis becomes the literal symbol of male privilege and oppression. So, if I want to date a lesbian, I do so knowing that I bear the damning mark of the patriarchy. As a vehement feminist myself, it is emotionally complicated to walk the earth bearing any such symbol.

As a transwoman, what is your biggest fear when going on your first date.

I think the biggest fear that is specific to my status is that I will not be seen by my date as I see myself. I have this experience more strongly when dating women who do not exclusively date other women. I worry sometimes that someone will see me as being both male and female and be attracted to me for that reason. Whether the difference is a positive or negative in the eyes of the person I’m dating, seeing me as different is painful.
Straight transwomen have even more difficulty with this, because there are a substantial number of men who fetishize transwomen.

What do you think about the forced responsibility most cisgender people tend to place on transgender people when it comes to making your “status” known.

I don’t know that I believe the cisgender population are actively thinking about our responsibility to be ‘out.’ Then again, we hear over and over justifications for violence against transpeople because the perpetrator(s)suddenly became aware of a transperson’s status. (If that’s news to you, You might find the film “Boys Don’t Cry” eye-opening.)

It’s a delicate subject. For pre-operative transsexuals, like me, it seems a given that a conversation will be necessary before any physical intimacy can happen. I guess I am part of the problem, really. I expect not to be treated as anything but a ‘real woman’ and yet, I have been disclosing my status on my dating profile, because I expect that it will be a deal-breaker for most people. My thoughts on this subject are moving, though. It may be that I start practicing what I preach and stop ‘warning’ people about me at some point.

In any event, the bottom line is this: I would love to live in a world that did not differentiate between transgender people and cisgender people, but that is not the world that exists at this time.

 

Two is the loneliest number

The departure of VL has me in a tough spot.  I have been awoken from my emotional numbness which had been a useful tool in coping with the shortcomings of my relationship with DW.  In this way, things are significantly worse to cope with than they had been before the arrival of VL.

Tonight was the flash point.  I need someone who understands me on a VL-like level, or I am going to really start to fight with my situation.

 

Be well, my loves!

MUAH!