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I Am Jealous of Vanilla People

June 2, 2009

The other day I was in a conversation with three men in their mid- to late-twenties who as far as I can tell have pretty average male sexualities. The conversation mainly revolved around attraction and desire, what to do about it, and what they personally did about it. The youngest of the men asked another very timidly, “How did you… break the physical barrier?” The rest of the conversation dealt with ways to break this apparent barrier, such as palm-reading, teaching self-defense techniques, flirting, and “So, you wanna kiss me?”

I stared on, uncomprehending.

That “breaking the physical barrier” could be the most complex thing someone has to deal with in finding a sexual partner, is just, how– How can it be that simple? How?

The next day two of the three went with another man to a bar, and I heard secondhand that it was to teach the youngest how to pick up women. So this morning I asked this guy, “So how was the bar-hunting?” And he spent the next flustered half hour trying to convince me he’s not the kind of guy to pick up women in bars. I believe him.

I only consciously meant to be teasing, and I finally said, “Dude, it’s okay. I’m not trying to bash you for going to a bar.”

“Uh, that’s… awesome.”

Thinking about it later, I realized I am jealous. And my jealousy probably came through on some level as judgment.

I am profoundly jealous that these men can walk into a room at any given establishment, and have a good chance of meeting someone who is sexually compatible. I am jealous that it is as simple as attraction > desire > pursuit > yea or nay.

I know it’s not actually that simple. I know people with mainstream sexualities have just as many issues finding sexual relationships. But I think about how many sexually compatible people one of these men has met in his life. Probably hundreds. I’ve met three. And I am so. Terribly. Jealous.

Describing this interaction later to another man, and describing how isolated and frustrated I feel, I challenged myself to describe my dominance to him without using the vocabulary of the subculture. Like the tropes of kink, the vocabulary of kink is not mine. It might be a useful tool, some of it might crudely describe what I feel, but it really cannot be accurate to me.

My concept of my sexuality is largely driven by my desire to be active, the do-er of activities. But also to a lesser degree there is my desire to be receptive, the accepter of activities. My sexuality is about receiving control from another person that is freely given, and receiving trust, freely offered. It is about giving pleasure and pain. It is about stretching boundaries. It is about embracing someone with everything that I am.

I desire people who are receptive, and active participants in their own desire. I desire people who want to receive pain and pleasure, who want to give control over to me freely, who accept my trust. Who want me to stretch boundaries, theirs and my own, who open to me everything that they are.

Sometimes that might involve rope. Sometimes it might involve only fingernails.

8 Comments leave one →
  1. June 3, 2009 12:49 am

    Hey, at least you know what you want, more or less. I still feel utterly clueless about that. I really have no idea how it’s ever going to be possible for me to have a healthy sexual relationship with anyone.

    Can you tell I’m feeling a little down? :)

  2. ranat permalink*
    June 3, 2009 1:51 am

    I can indeed tell. But Ireen is going to be writing Wolverine/Gambit slash, so there’s a small spark of hope in the world, right?

    I’m feeling really challenged about not knowing what I want from experience. I can sift through all my repressed fantasies that I’ve had all my life, searching for my basic desires, but part of me feels like there’s no way to really know until I just do it.

  3. June 3, 2009 12:18 pm

    Wolverine/Gambit slash? Yeah, baby!

    Hm, I really should go trawling for new!K/new!S, too.

  4. June 4, 2009 3:32 pm

    My concept of my sexuality is largely driven by my desire to be active, the do-er of activities. But also to a lesser degree there is my desire to be receptive, the accepter of activities. My sexuality is about receiving control from another person that is freely given, and receiving trust, freely offered. It is about giving pleasure and pain. It is about stretching boundaries. It is about embracing someone with everything that I am.

    I desire people who are receptive, and active participants in their own desire. I desire people who want to receive pain and pleasure, who want to give control over to me freely, who accept my trust. Who want me to stretch boundaries, theirs and my own, who open to me everything that they are.

    Beautifully, wonderfully described.

  5. ranat permalink*
    June 4, 2009 4:16 pm

    @Nameless – Trawling for what?

    @thumper – Thanks.

  6. subversive_sub permalink
    June 10, 2009 5:29 pm

    I hear you. And the problem gets exponentially worse the farther out you are from the mainstream in other ways: it would be a lot easier for you to find a sub man if you weren’t also bothered by the gender politics of the vast majority of sub men out there (for example). And building an actual relationship gets even trickier–finding a sexually compatible man who’s also anti-civ or anarchist or at least has *some* affinity with radical politics? (I’m feeling pretty damn lucky right now…)

    Also, this: “I challenged myself to describe my dominance to him without using the vocabulary of the subculture. Like the tropes of kink, the vocabulary of kink is not mine. It might be a useful tool, some of it might crudely describe what I feel, but it really cannot be accurate to me.”

    I think I don’t do this nearly often enough. I have definitely adopted a lot of mainstream BDSM vocabulary for simplicity’s sake, and that does bother me. (Not to mention the fact that a lot of the vocabulary wouldn’t even really make sense to someone who wasn’t already steeped in that culture.)

  7. ranat permalink*
    June 17, 2009 12:27 am

    @subversive sub –

    “it would be a lot easier for you to find a sub man if you weren’t also bothered by the gender politics of the vast majority of sub men out there (for example). And building an actual relationship gets even trickier–finding a sexually compatible man who’s also anti-civ or anarchist or at least has *some* affinity with radical politics?”

    This is the part where I was getting really frustrated. I felt like I was either in one world or the other, with no happy mixture. I was especially afraid of being condemned by people in anti-civ circles. But the guy in the last conversation I described said something that really resonated with me: If I discuss my sexuality coming from a place of fear, then the people around me will probably react from a place of fear. Now obviously my own attitude about my sexuality will not always assuage people’s fears, but it does make sense to me that if I treat it matter of factly and as an integrated part of me, people who know me will be more likely to feel comfortable around that part of me. Plus the exercise will help me heal through the lingering consequences of my self-repression.

    “(Not to mention the fact that a lot of the vocabulary wouldn’t even really make sense to someone who wasn’t already steeped in that culture.)”

    Yeah, I kept finding myself about to blurt an acronym into these conversations, and I was like, “Wait…”

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