This post I put up on Monday has gotten a lot of traction. As of Tuesday afternoon, it has been read almost 400 times and has reached more 2,300 people on Facebook. It maybe the most popular post ever on the Eagle. The reason is both good and bad. First, it’s about a first for an event that is one of the largest primarily LGBTQ events held in Chicago.
This year, I’ve been thinking a lot about where I came from, and how our community feels so very different now to me than it did then. I’ve spent some time watching and participating in hard conversations with people, both new and established. And what I realize is that my perspective is framed by the people that were my elders when I was fortunate enough to find this community. No, I wasn’t excitedly learning from them at the time; at that point in my life, I tended to think that I had already learned a lot about myself and the world around me. In fact, I was probably bitching quietly about why I had to do something in a certain way, or why I had to go talk to people and show up for bar nights (and as a woman in an almost-exclusively mens club, there wasn’t the lure of rough sex tucked down into the crotch of a pair of Levi’s 501’s to get my engine revved up about going up to the Eagle).
Sometimes there are occasions where you meet someone who is so overwhelmingly rare and stimulates your mind and touches you in ways that are undefinable. I am almost 100% sure many of you out there have experienced these ‘wow’ moments, yet felt confused about how to define your feelings for that certain someone who doesn’t seem to fit so neatly in your world view. I recently saw a special friend who hasn’t been around much and although I thought I had gotten a handle on my feelings for her and where she fits in my life, I was reminded how complicated relationships can be, whether lover or friend. In any relationship, there is give and take. People are complimentary and usually provide something to the other that meets a need, want or desire in them. Traits, characteristics, intelligence, and experiences are mutually shared and even in vanilla relationships, there is power exchange.
The other day I had a lively discussion about verbal and written agreements and how they relate to play, whether you are in a public space or a private home. A friend approached me about playing after seeing 50 Shades of Grey and wondered how realistic contracts were. I have been fortunate that in my longevity in the BDSM community, I have negotiated verbal and written contracts. But unlike 50 Shades of Grey, my first contract with my Sir was only 4 pages long. When I began to explore play more frequently, I learned a lot about myself from both the top and bottom perspectives when it comes to scening.
I recently came out of a monogamous situation yet again due to compromising too much of myself in order to meet my partner’s needs and her unable to meet all of mine which has me re-considering poly. Poly-amorous arrangements can work as long as all parties communicate effectively in an honest and open manner. It can however be difficult when emotions run high or if one person wants more than the others involved. This can sometimes create conflict within the entire poly-arrangement, but despite the risks, it has been my experience that these relationships, because they are ongoing and intimate, fulfill multiple desires and/or wants much better than most conventional one-on-one situations because we are programmed to believe that one person should meet all our needs, but how realistic is that? So, what exactly does poly-amorous mean?
I think Shakespeare was correct when he penned, “All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players…” The popular verse was written about 1590s-1600s and still seems as accurate today as it was back then. I can certainly relate to this perspective as a leather gay woman who happens to be a switch and being a part of a culture that tends to put people in a box or force individuals into neat little roles, at least that’s been my experience. Identifying as a switch can be a double edge sword, full of variety but with certain limitations. Some might say the only people who understand switches are other switches. However, what people may not realize is that it’s not a choice necessarily to be a switch, it just is.
With November being Trans-Awareness month, I thought it might be apropos to write about this topic. I’ve had a few people ask me about the piece that got published in Minerva Rising about loving beyond gender. It was an excerpt from my memoir “Scenes from a Not-So-Ordinary Life” that I am still working on finishing. Some of my readers have shared their thoughts about this and inquired about my own experience some 16 or so years ago when I was in a relationship with a woman who had transitioned to male. It was a confusing time for me which I’m sure those of you who may be going through this now with your partner who is trans can relate to. It was the second of the five years we were together that I watched him administer injections of testosterone weekly to assist in his transition.
I’d heard a little about the Occupy Wall Street protest a few weeks ago, but hadn’t thought too much about it. There’s a few reasons for that. One, daily life keeps me busy enough. Two, I thought it would be just another action that I’ve seen mentioned on Facebook that would fizzle out before long. Finally, I’m actually always iffy about things people get really loudly passionate about.