relationshipping, the sex

The last time

Inpatientis a mindfuck.

I never know that the last sex will be the last sex.
It’s a hollow shock once realization hits.

***

We break up.
Oh, right, we did buy those tickets for the show next week.
In another state, hotel room for the night.
We decide to go.
Ol’ times sake.

We sit at a famed meat-and-three joint on the road to the show.  We’re quiet, but able to maintain conversation.  Things feel comfortable for the first time in our post-break-up world.  I look out the window, breathing in the cloudless Missouri sky; it’s a beautiful blue and suddenly—

Her: What?  What is it?  Why are you looking like that now?
Me: I’m just processing…you really want to know?
Her: Yeah, you got obviously sad and quiet all of a sudden.
Me: It just hit me that we’ve had our last sex.
Her: Silence.  Whoa this is weird; she’s never at a loss for words.
Me: What’s up?  Are you okay?
Her: I thought we’d have sex tonight, you know, because…it’d be the perfect ending.
Me: Seriously?!  But we’re broken up…and I need to process that and…I just…can’t.

She’s affected, which surprises me.
Slow tears roll down her face, which floors me.

Neither of us eat anything else and as I pay for the check she gets on her phone.
She’s texting her crush, who happens to live not so far from where the show is.

I can count the number of days we’ve been broken up.  She has a new crush.  Why the hell would I think she’d want to have a last sex?

She drives.
I think.

A meaningful last sex sounds sweet but sweet sentimentality like this is not a language I speak.  As she grieves over a last sex that won’t happen, I recall and play our last in my head.  Only because it was fairly recent am I able to remember any of the details: she came, I came and a plastic bottle, one-third full of orange-colored Vitamin Water stands on the edge of the platform bed.  Wow, that was our last time.  That the damn bottle of Vitamin Water is the most detailed part of last sex memory indicates how unremarkable it was.

***

A decade of sex: many firsts, orgasms, toys, locations, positions, the list goes on.
I believe in the decade of messy, innocent, funny, awkward, loving, real moments…not in a perfectly designed last memory as my heart still breaks.

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relationshipping, the sex

A meaningful first

My eyeballs need cocaineis possible.

“Sometimes I’m grateful that the first time I had sex was someone I was in love with but sometimes I think it set me up for years of disappointment,” says my insightful and beautiful soulmate.

I ponder this as first sex is on my mind this week.  With each new person, the sex changes; it’s always a totally different experience and not fairly comparable in the context of relationships.

I don’t have expectations of grandeur when it comes to first sex.  It’s been boring, unexpected, romantic, fun, exciting, drunk, awesome, exhausting, curious, painful, sweet, incredibly nerve-wrecking and possibly…love?  Never the same and always revealing.  What can I say, the nekked is an interesting tell, from grooming habits to…well, the naked truth.

So no grand expectations but in a relationship, evolution is crucial.  How it evolves depends on the other person and navigating that how has been the most fun and fascinating thing.  I learn about myself, my person, limits, curiosities et al.

Toys?  Sure, but not all and which ones really depend on my person.  And not all the time.  Public sex?  Why not?  But just how much of an exhibitionist is (s)he?  These are interesting reveals.  Cabs are fun, galleries and theaters too but as they give way to tiny, red-bulb bathrooms and I’m increasingly missing a warm bed and lazy sheets, a limit is within reach.  Then there’s open relationships.  Some, like S, can do this beautifully whereas I end up confused and emotionally drained; great in theory but a mess in my practice.  Or, You want me to tie you up?  Not a problem until I realize that I’m terrible at knots which is kind-of a problem and when it’s either do my damn knot homework or move on, I walk.  Then there are the myriad variations within the realm of two people simply doing it.

Oh relationships…sometimes the sex is disappointing and the ending even more so but looking back, I don’t remember the mediocre or even bad sex.

I remember the awkward sweetness of youth, fumbling out-of-sync, habits and routines, random on-drugs camping, the laughter, rocky boats, staying silent, the cocoon of stars so close to the equator we are floating in the sky, the most comfortable bed ever because it’s ours.

I remember making up, rainy days, early mornings, late nights, breakfast in bed, different beds in different cities, states, countries and seasons changing.

I remember the love.

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open relationship, relationshipping, trans talk

I’m the Q

You are a slutpuppy“Bless your heart but you are so not a lesbian,” says S.

The fact that we can have this honest conversation is huge.
The fact that S can have her sense of humor about a hurtful point of conflict is even huger.

Until this moment, S would often wonder why I couldn’t stay attracted to her if she’s still the same fabulous person on the inside and I was in a lesbian relationship for a decade.  In her shoes, I’d wonder the same thing but the best truth I’ve got is: the attraction cooled to something tepid within me and tepid is a pretty lame concessionary temperature for a love relationship.

I nod and recollect, ” ***(my long-term ex before S) said the same thing when we were dating.”
S shakes her head and pats my own.  “It’s really LGBT-supportive and I love you for it but you are not gay.”

I concede this point.

Before S, I maintain that I fall in love with the person, not the gender.  Although that statement pretty much announces my bisexuality, by mentioning gender, I qualify being a lesbian and/or having been in a lesbian relationship.  It’s as though I can’t commit to simply being gay, even though I was in a lesbian relationship for a decade.  No wonder my long-term ex wouldn’t call me a ‘real’ lesbian; it took over half the length of that relationship before I’d say was a l-l-lesbian.  
Then we broke up.

As S transitions, I am forced to dissect how true this ‘not the gender’ assertion is.
It’s not so true.

Without a doubt, my relationship history defines me as bisexual.  However, every person I have dated since S and I have open-relationshipped and broken up has been male, which then makes me feel like a bit of a liar if I call myself bi in the present.  But the second I identify as a straight girl, I have a feeling the universe will find a way to have the last laugh.

So.

In my apparent quest to self-identify, I’ll go with queer.
I’m the Q in LGBTQ.

Because one sure thing is that my past, present and future sexual identity and experiences sure as hell (will) fall outside the hetero-defined mainstream.

Thank. God.

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trans talk

Did I ever tell you

HOW can you think it will stay the samethe first time I saw S en femme?

***

She is so nervous.  So much so that the first time I’m supposed to see her as a lady, she can’t do it.  So we put it off for a few days.

S is afraid I will reject her, judge her, dismiss her very early steps into transitioning.
I have my own insecurities.

Will I instantly feel differently towards her?
What will my reaction be?
Will my face give away any number of emotions- disappointment, relief, apprehension, rejection- that hit my heart?

I text her a heads-up and slowly make my way home.

Usually when I enter the house, I receive an insta-greet but tonight, we are both beyond trepidatious.  I have to call out; she’s nowhere in sight.  She’s in the bathroom, readying, steadying herself to come out.

It’s one thing to tell me she’s trans.  It’s another thing when I see evidence in the way of heels, makeup, clothes strewn about.  It’s another league of confrontation when I am about to see him attired undeniably as a female.

I am so anxious, I feel queasy.
I tell myself to calm it because odds are, S is more nervous than me.

And she is.

She super cautiously opens the bathroom door and so gingerly steps out.  She can’t look at me.

I take her in.

I give her an honest, deliberate once-over, starting with her nude pumps and traveling up to her above-the-knee dress.  I gaze at her bare arms, her wrists and her poor hands are trembling.  It hits me just how nervous she is; I look into her eyes and I barely notice her makeup, which I know took serious time to apply.

She is wide-eyed and terrified.

I immediately take her in my arms and give what I hope is the most reassuring hug ever.

“You’re so nervous…”
She can only nod, fear still screaming from her eyes.
“It’s okay.  Really.  You look different, more natural than I expected.  I love you.  We’re okay.  I’m so glad you came out to me.”

She finally starts breathing.

Phew.

This is the first time I’ve seen this side of S.  I’m not talking about her physical transformation; I’ve never seen her so vulnerable before, so unsure and emotionally scared.

It then hits me.  The emotional transition process will be a time to face feelings that we often choose to deny or gloss over because they’re rather uncomfortable little fuckers.

And thus the adventure begins.

***

Happy New Year, beautiful readers!!!
2014’s adventures will be decidedly different but no less honest- yikes and cheers!

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relationshipping

An impossible love

My eyeballs need cocaine

is not fun.

I was talking to a most awesome individual the other night, playing holiday catch-up, telling him what amounted to tales of a heart-hammering 2013.

At one point he said, “Wow…everyone loves you.  You have all these people who love you.  I have a lot of people I can fuck but nobody loves me.”

This disarmingly honest statement is the most endearing thing he could have said.

But what happens when none of that love is possible?
What good is being loved if life and individual circumstances don’t allow it to be fully realized?

Because that’s my situation.

2013 has been my year of impossible loves.  The love part has been tremendous but being hit with the reality of said impossibility hurts something equally tremendous.

Why impossible?
Physical and emotional unavailability, a waning sexual attraction, a disparity in levels of commitment…factors that can’t be compromised without compromising oneself.

So my year has been chock full.
Of expectations.
Of love.
Of letting go.

And the trade-off?
I stay true to myself and the situation at hand.
This truth fucking hurts me and causes hurt but it’s honest.

But truth?  I want to roll my eyes at pretentious honesty, ignore its gnawing presence and live in denial-land except I am incapable (thank you, fuck you previous life experiences).  I want to rationalize growing chasms in my relationships but I just can’t.  Once I feel that certain break, the one where my instinct high-alerts my heart and brain to prepare for impending sadness and grief, I know an ending is inevitable.  Ignoring my instinct isn’t an option as it has saved my ass too many times; my life, even, on occasion.

After an ending, I am a puddle of grief.

What to do between cathartic cries?

I focus on myself.
I hurt, I think, I grow.

And I appreciate this difficult thing that is love.

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random love, relationshipping

Let’s jump ponds

Sex changesIt’s time for an adventure.

But why does anyone do an international move?
To find themselves
or to run away.

Before I started dating S, I knew I’d move from the American South but that was to be a decidedly domestic decision between my beloved NYC and possibly Philadelphia.

Then when S and I got serious, so did the international-ness of next destination- Spain or Japan.

Why Japan?

I used to give what I thought was a well thought-out answer:
I wanted to get in touch with my cultural roots.
I wanted to be in a big city again.
I wanted to be in a more creative city.

As the move-out date approaches after S comes out as trans, I begin to doubt.
I ask S on occasion, “We’re not pulling a geographic with this move, are we?”

She’s not.
She’s fulfilling her original goal of living abroad.
She’s had enough of America and her mostly very conservative and narrow-minded hometown.

But me?

I think if I name the thing I don’t want to be guilty of, it will keep it at bay. Except every time I want reassurance that I’m not running away, something in my gut sends an, uh-oh alert to my brain. As in, I’m definitely running away. Because these days more than simply wanting an adventure, I want to be in a new place. I want to consider my transsexual relationship away from the trappings of a small and (too) familiar town where everyone who finds out about S’s transsexuality has a pointed opinion they are not shy about sharing; usually it’s ultimately supportive (after many questions) but sometimes it’s downright mean.

A year and some months pass and I think about living in Japan.
I haven’t run away yet as I haven’t escaped the confrontations that come with a rigorous raking over of me and S’s future.
Case in point: we are no longer coupled and despite moments of wanting to jet on the immediate, I stay put. I work out the highs and lows of living in a far-off unfamiliar that still doesn’t feel like home. I’m also at peace knowing that I may not ever feel completely at home here; Tokyo was never intended as a final destination.

As for finding myself, that’s certainly happened and continues to, thank goodness. This life is an often funny and delightful little mindfuck in that just when I’ve figured something out, made the hard choice and breathed a sigh of, “Okay…that bit is finished,” I am shocked at what comes next.

So the next side of my never-ending relationship Rubik’s cube?
I’m just beginning to unpuzzle this one but it revolves around a specific notion of control as a new adventure begins…

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random love

A share

…because some poems strike like that.

“After learning my flight was detained 4 hours,
I heard the announcement:
If anyone in the vicinity of gate 4-A understands any Arabic,
Please come to the gate immediately.

Well—one pauses these days. Gate 4-A was my own gate. I went there.
An older woman in full traditional Palestinian dress,
Just like my grandma wore, was crumpled to the floor, wailing loudly.
Help, said the flight service person. Talk to her. What is her
Problem? we told her the flight was going to be four hours late and she
Did this.

I put my arm around her and spoke to her haltingly.
Shu dow-a, shu- biduck habibti, stani stani schway, min fadlick,
Sho bit se-wee?

The minute she heard any words she knew—however poorly used—
She stopped crying.

She thought our flight had been canceled entirely.
She needed to be in El Paso for some major medical treatment the
Following day. I said no, no, we’re fine, you’ll get there, just late,

Who is picking you up? Let’s call him and tell him.
We called her son and I spoke with him in English.
I told him I would stay with his mother till we got on the plane and
Would ride next to her—Southwest.

She talked to him. Then we called her other sons just for the fun of it.

Then we called my dad and he and she spoke for a while in Arabic and
Found out of course they had ten shared friends.

Then I thought just for the heck of it why not call some Palestinian
Poets I know and let them chat with her. This all took up about 2 hours.

She was laughing a lot by then. Telling about her life. Answering
Questions.

She had pulled a sack of homemade mamool cookies—little powdered
Sugar crumbly mounds stuffed with dates and nuts—out of her bag—
And was offering them to all the women at the gate.

To my amazement, not a single woman declined one. It was like a
Sacrament. The traveler from Argentina, the traveler from California,
The lovely woman from Laredo—we were all covered with the same
Powdered sugar. And smiling. There are no better cookies.

And then the airline broke out the free beverages from huge coolers—
Non-alcoholic—and the two little girls for our flight, one African
American, one Mexican American—ran around serving us all apple juice
And lemonade and they were covered with powdered sugar too.

And I noticed my new best friend—by now we were holding hands—
Had a potted plant poking out of her bag, some medicinal thing,

With green furry leaves. Such an old country traveling tradition. Always
Carry a plant. Always stay rooted to somewhere.

And I looked around that gate of late and weary ones and thought,
This is the world I want to live in. The shared world.

Not a single person in this gate—once the crying of confusion stopped
—has seemed apprehensive about any other person.

They took the cookies. I wanted to hug all those other women too.
This can still happen anywhere.

Not everything is lost.”

— Naomi Shihab Nye (b. 1952), “Wandering Around an Albuquerque Airport Terminal.” I think this poem may be making the rounds, this week, but that’s as it should be. (via awelltraveledwoman)

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