‘what is whispered in your ear, shout from the rooftops.’

Almost everyone I know who’s of any significance to me knows that I’m ‘not straight’1; and while this is important to me, my non-straightness doesn’t loom large in my imagination when I think about the tangled, politically incorrect mess that is my sexuality.

‘my sexuality’ – Writing those words makes me revert back to those boring, hackneyed essays teachers asked me to write in middle school about patriotic holidays & uninteresting points of Christian dogma: ‘What July 4th Means to Me’, or ‘What the Nicene Creed Means to Me’.

I’m sure that if I were forced to write an essay about ‘What My Sexuality Means to Me’, I’d spend a lot more time blabbing about my penchant for power play & refusal to participate in monogamy than about my attraction to broad categories of people who aren’t straight dudes.

..and while my identity as a bottom & non-monogamous person deeply color the way I understand my sexuality, I’m far less open about talking about it with other people, partly because I don’t have the words. It’s much easier to tell someone, “I’m gay.”, and have that be the (perhaps somewhat awkward) end of the conversation. What’s far more uncomfortable is delving into a long conversation about what polyamory is, and why it’s different than cheating; and what power exchange means, and why it’s different than abuse. It’s so awkward to talk about precisely because it pushes your own ‘deviant’ sexuality to the fore.

Publicly identifying yourself as a top or bottom or switch or polyamorous person is a statement about what sort of sex you like, and how much you like it; it means openly acknowledging yourself as a sexual being, which some of us aren’t allowed to do.

I know that sex is not ‘private’, no matter what the conservative, ‘what they do in private is ok’2 crowd says. The division between ‘private’ sexualities and public display isn’t so wide – though he may not know, a straight man who casually mentions his wife to a stranger is proclaiming to the world, “Hey, I’m monogamously involved with a wet pussy & lovely soft pair of tits that I like to manipulate in vanilla sexual entanglements!”

…yet no one consciously thinks of it this way – straightness is  ‘normal’; monogamy is an assumed ‘universal’; vanilla sex is the default.

But not everyone has that privilege – gay men wouldn’t even hold hands on the el without thinking long & hard about it first; and openly poly parents run the risk of losing custody of their kids.

So, you weigh the pro’s and con’s – Can I really trust this person? Might this come back to bite me in the ass? If I go through the trouble of explaining queerness or non-monogamy or some obscure kink to this person, will they judge me? Do I care?

…and you either decide to stay ‘closeted’ for your own well-being, or you take a deep breath and say it.

Everything is either self-defense or an act of rebellion. You can never just be.

This is part of why I take blogging seriously. Sure, I’m a self-absorbed whiner who likes to imagine that people are actually listening to me; but it’s also a form of resistance, a violent pushing back against the suffocating sexual norms of everyday life and saying, “Fuck you, I’m a sexual creature.”

..and not the giggling, coquettish porn creatures whose sexualities only exist to be poked and prodded by men. I get off on my own terms; I take greedily take pleasure without apology or shame. And if I can’t always grab the world by the balls and twist, I can at least hope to work someone else up into a revolutionary furor with my own incessant typing.

1. I’m not entirely sure what this means for me. I’m definitely not a lesbian; but I also don’t feel ‘bi’ describes me very well, as the word implies (to me, at least) a sort of pansexuality that doesn’t apply to me. For now, I feel safest squatting in the comfortably vague land of ‘queer’, even though it’s inaccurate.

2. ..as though the acceptability of someone’s sexuality rests on their ability to neatly confine it to a bedroom, away from innocent vanilla eyes. Fuck that.


~ by fistfulofsunshine on May 24, 2009.

One Response to “‘what is whispered in your ear, shout from the rooftops.’”

  1. “fuck you, i’m a sexual creature.”

    i love that line! again, another work of sheer brilliance.

    thanks for making the background black. it is the most energy saving background for computers to pull up!

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