Posts Tagged ‘dating’

On heterosexual privilege and my Aunt Mary…

My Aunt Maryis a lovely woman. Caring and kind, she pretty much raised her brother’s kids after their mom developed MS when we were in grade school. She makes the world’s best caramel corn, and even though I have the recipe, it’s never the same. I know she loves me very much. She is also a born-again evangelical Xian, convinced I am going to Hell for being A Lesbian. This concerns her greatly.

I have been extremely fortunate. My family loves C, and her family loves me. Even Aunt Mary likes her as a person. It’s just our relationship she disapproves of. And really, we have faced very little in the way of prejudice. The only outright gay-bashing we’ve endured happened on our second date, when walking around town, a couple of guys yelled at us from their car. I don’t even remember what they said, probably called us “fucking dykes” or the like before driving off. We pretty much laughed it off, being surprised that they’d managed to figure out in the dark that C was a girl. We’ve intentionally lived in blue states, and in urban areas of those states, where even if you don’t approve, you’re expected to keep that fact to yourself, or at least not be outright hostile.

Because we generally feel safe, C and I have never really shied away from showing affection in public. We hold hands, hug, kiss, and basically act like people who love each other. I’m not a big flag-waving activist, but I see it as a daily political statement. I didn’t realize how affected I actually was by gay prejudice or the fear of homophobia (homophobiaphobia?) until I started going out with E. If we’re holding hands or sharing a kiss, I’m not worried that someone will decide we’re offending their sense of morality and yell at us, or worse. I don’t find myself tempering my actions based on where we might be or the demographics of who is nearby. Even people with no malicious intent look at you differently depending on the sex of your companion. For example, when E and I are out, people assume we are a couple. C and I are generally assumed to be friends or even sisters, which, while occasionally handy depending on the situation, is still annoying. And with E there are no questioning looks as people try to figure out “are they or aren’t they,” which always makes me feel like I have to respond, and my response (get closer or separate) is a silent decision to be brave and come out to a total stranger or be safe and accept the shame of denying myself and my love. It’s really of nice to just be a person for once, not a statement, and while I fully intend on enjoying the peace of that, I hope to never take that peace for granted.

There are a lot of people, and I’ll admit that I have been counted in those numbers at times, who think bi folks (women in particular) choose to settle down with opposite-sex partners so often because it is just easier to be (seen as) straight than gay. Really, the numbers don’t bear that out, since there are orders of magnitude more potential opposite-sex partners out there. There’s at least 19 straight men out there to every queer woman. What are the chances a bi girl will end up with a wife instead of a husband? But that being said, it is much easier to be straight. Your relationship is immediately validated, you can marry in any country in the world (including this one), you can have biological children, and none of your relatives will worry about your eternal soul simply because of the sex/gender of your chosen partner.

It leads me to wonder what Aunt Mary would think if she learned I had a boyfriend. She might be dismayed that I was adding insult to injury by not only flouting God’s Word™ with another woman, but ALSO fornicating with a man I was in no way married to, and never will be. Does it count as adultery if God doesn’t recognize your marriage (even though it was blessed by two different religious officials)? But I think more likely she would be relieved, and hope that it was a sign I was turning to the light. If I read the Xians right, being gay is far worse than breaking your vows. And although I have broken no vows and have the full support of my wife, there seems no room for ethical non-monogamy in the Xian dogma. Cheating, however, seems to be pretty much expected, and as long as you ask God for forgiveness, and promise never to do it again, it’s all good. And if you do it again, well just ask God to forgive you again. I can see her starting to send Christmas gifts to me and E and ignoring C even more than she does already, and telling me how nice it is that I found a good man, and will he be coming to my cousin’s wedding.

The meddling relation: that’s one heterosexual “privilege” I have no interest in gaining.


Social conditioning fail or win?

I’ve realized that I failed to fully absorb the appropriate social conditioning for a girl, at least when it comes to things like dating and sex.  See, I’m supposed to flirt and look pretty and hint vaguely until the other person makes a move.  This has never, ever worked for me.  The years I spent stuck in this mode were bleak and luckless.  In my relationship with C, I have been the instigator probably 90% of the time.  Someone has to.

I had my date with E last night (the one I proposed to him).  It was, despite a few logistical issues, a great evening.  At the end, we walked back to my car so I could take him home (note the conditioning fail already), and we did that thing where you stand there looking at each other, and you’re sure the other person wants to kiss you, but isn’t sure of you, and of course no one is allowed to say anything about that so you try to converse about something, anything just to stretch the moment long enough for one of you to gather the courage to seal the deal… (Or maybe this only happens to me.)

Anyway, we’d obviously positioned ourselves too far apart at the start of the stand-off to subtly get close enough to touch, so eventually had to call it a draw and get in the car.  At which point, I used the Power of the Driver to not start the engine, and sit there for a minute or two before deciding, “fuck you, social conditioning, I’m getting what I want,” and leaning in and kissing him.  He was apparently surprised, but in a very good way, and we made out in the car for a good while before heading home.

I don’t know.  It could just be that I’m impatient, but I kinda think I’ve waited enough in the past many years.  If what I want doesn’t seem to be forthcoming, I think I have every right (or possibly even the responsibility) to reach for it on my own.  That strategy seems to be working in my favor so far.

Wait, someone might be interested in me?

A bit of personal history:  I had a boyfriend in Middle School, who asked me out after my best friend turned him down.  Then, nothing, until I hooked up with the girl who is now my wife.  With the exception of a creepy guy on a plane once, I’ve never been hit on by a stranger.  Never been asked out on a date until this year.

So the whole concept that someone would be interested in me is a little foreign.  Especially when that someone is an attractive male who doesn’t really know me that well.

Unfortunately he didn’t tell me this, his GF who is my friend did.  As they are poly and she knows I’m looking, I don’t think she would have brought it up if she wasn’t cool with me returning interest, but I need to actually ask her.  It’s one thing, in my mind, to know your partner is involved with other people.  It’s another when your partner is involved with your friends.  Not that it would bother me at all…

I was just too stunned I think to process past that when it came up.  But yeah, he’s totally my “type,” if you will, and I am totally interested back.  I have been for a while.  I just assumed that he would be in no way interested in me.  I am sometimes dumb.

My problem with boys

Fact 1:  I really, really want a male lover/boyfriend/person in my life.

Fact 2: I’m annoyingly uncomfortable when dealing with the male of the species.

I was interested in boys well before I was interested in girls.  I had my first “boyfriend” at age 5, and my crushes were all on males until HS.  And I had plenty of male friends in elementary and middle school.  But then I went to an all-girls’ HS, sang in a girls’ choir, and was very active in Girl Scouts.  I don’t even have brothers, and the cousins who I saw regularly are girls.  I literally have no guy friends from HS or college, and kept finding myself in very female work environments.  Since puberty, I have just been surrounded by women.  Which isn’t really a problem as I love women…

I just don’t get guys.  I know, I know, what is there to get, they are people, too, blah blah blah.  In a strictly professional setting I have no troubles (and sometimes work better with guys than groups of all women, since I am very action-focused and get annoyed spending all day talking about doing something instead of just doing it.)  But once there is a social aspect to things, and especially if the guy is attractive, I get all flustered and don’t know what I’m supposed to do.

I think it ties in to my fear of “doing the wrong thing.”  I know how to read women and am generally comfortable being myself around them, even women I know to be queer and therefore who might see me as a potential sexual partner.  But I don’t know how to read men at all.  I don’t know if I’m being flirted with, or if the guy is just friendly.  I don’t know how I’m coming across, which freaks me out as well.  Am I too forward or not forward enough, if it’s a guy I’m attracted to, or conversely, is my natural friendliness being taken as interest when there isn’t any?

Basically all is confusion when it comes to guys.  Life would be so much easier if I was just a lesbian.  Girls are prettier and decidedly easier for me.  But despite it all, I have a deep-seated, probably instinctual desire for a male mate.  Le sigh.

My kind of people

I’ve been seeing a guy, R, for a bit now, and I’m growing rather, well, unexcited.  He’s nice enough, and we have a lot of similar outlooks on life, etc., but I’m thinking he’s not really my type of people.  You know, those people who within minutes of meeting you know you’re going to be friends with, or would if you were able to stay in touch.

C and I went up to visit a friend from where we lived before who was in town for a few days.  We were friends with him and his wife for probably two years before they moved away and we moved not long after.  They are lovely, wonderful people who C and I would occasionally joke about inviting over for an orgy (in that way where you are only joking because you’re sure it would never, ever happen).  Well we found out today that they are poly and have been for a while.  She was visiting her BF in the city, so we didn’t get to see her, but we did get to meet up with him and his GF.  The GF was totally one of our people.  And it was great to see him.

It’s making an even starker contrast between what I want and what I currently have in R.  My friend is bright and laughing and we can talk about the ridiculous and the serious at the same time.  I just don’t feel that same lightness from R.  Maybe some of that is just that I’ve known my friend longer, but some of it is outright personality.  Plus, I’m just not that physically attracted to R.  I want to be, but I’m not.  I don’t feel any sort of desire, beyond novelty, to be intimate with him, and I don’t think it would be fair to me or him to take things any farther…

I think I should give him one more shot, without any of his or my friends around (which our last three dates have involved).  But I’m going to keep reminding myself that I don’t need to jump into bed/a relationship with the first halfway decent guy who seems to like me.  I can be choosy, and it’s better in the long run if I am.