Walking Between Worlds

March 21, 2010 at 8:30 pm (Walking Between Worlds) (, , )

Thoughts on Coming to Own My Butch Cock:  [Part One…I think] 

Like many lesbians of my generation, I grew up in the peak waves of the civil rights and the women’s movements, as well as the human rights political efforts and grassroots movements that were inspired by and birthed by those earlier attempts to progress our society.  And, like many of us, I read fervently every piece of feminist literature I could get my hands on from High School onward. [I still read feminist theory even though I find I disagree with most of what I read; I guess I keep reading now and then in the hope that I will disagree less and more of it will seem applicable to a life as a human being human.]  I became politically and socially charged at an early age.  I was 16 when I came out and I was in school at a fairly well known art school at the time.  I was surrounded by “people like me.” Artists of all kinds; actors; dancers; musicians; and women—lots of women of various ethnic, racial, religious and socio-economic backgrounds, my own age and older.  We did what people in a community like ours did:  we read, we studied, we played and fooled around, we talked; we sought [as we all do] to understand the world and our place in it; we sought to better ourselves and our world.

Naturally, it was a wonderful environment in which to come to know oneself and in which to come out as a lesbian.  And, as one would expect, there was an array of common and differing views on feminism and lesbianism.  I was not impressed with the separatists.  But, I did find myself responding to the rhetoric regarding the oppression of women as the first cause in all subsequent oppression of all who were “other” and the psychosocial evils of “the Patriarchy” for both women and men.  I drank the Kool-Aid.  Thus, for some time anyway, I fell victim to the scattered logic and dogma of the lesbian feminists.  Our elder role models—who had, indeed, suffered much so that we could be a little better off—delivered the message, on paper and in person, that anything that appeared male-emulating was bad form at the least and woman-subjugating at the worst. At the same time, we were sent the loud and clear messages to be ourselves, to be true to our identities, to own our love of women and of ourselves and to never let others define or diminish us.  Walking that walk was difficult to say the least. 

Particularly, if one was oriented toward things that, typically, were viewed as being connected to male social and cultural roles.  It was OK in the community to be “butch” as long as you were not too butch and did not appear to emulate males.  It was even worse if you actually looked ambiguous—androgyny was not cool at that time.  For many, it harkened back to the darker times in history when women over-emphasized male and female roles in ways that implied lesbian relationships were deranged caricatures of the existing male and female norms.  It was only in the fringe groups of our community that using a dildo was not seen as some kind of frustrated attempt to compensate for not being born a man.  Worse yet, the dominate voices in the lesbian community viewed the fringe groups as traitors to the cause, unenlightened, and as sexual deviants. It never ceases to fascinate me how effectively minority groups create minorities within the greater group:  we prejudge and discriminate against ourselves and wonder why the society as a whole does not see us as normal in the range of human experience and expression.  Because of this fact, the primary focus of most feminist literature addressed [and still does] the problem of developing a common, inclusive, and practical overall vision—a kind of mission statement of the equality of women as persons and the kinds of change that need to occur.  Interestingly, even though sexual behavior is part of sexual identity, the dialogue is still woefully convoluted in regard to the range of sexual exploration in the actualizing of ourselves as lesbians.  I just read, for example, a recent piece by a respected lesbian writer that plainly states that being butch and/or femme—and all that these orientations might involve behaviorally—somehow betrays us all in the fight for equality.  Stunning…and not in a good way.

So, what are we to do, those of us who are biologically disposed to love women, to be androgynous, and to enjoy and be good at things traditionally viewed as masculine?  I cannot speak for others, but I chose, a long time ago, to become a recovering feminist.  In my early 30s, I found myself returning to my more Peter-Paul-and-Mary roots and becoming more focused on the issues of simply being human and the internal and external struggles and joys inherent in being alive in the world and in relationship with it and its inhabitants.  After the ending of my last long-term relationship almost four years ago, I began to realize that I had sexual inclinations that I had not felt comfortable enough with my partner [or the previous one] to explore.  The last four years have been a time of greater self exploration and have resulted in a deepening sense of self regarding many aspects of my identity.  I have come to deeper levels of understanding and acceptance of my androgyny, my butch center, my mission in life and, in particular, my needs and dispositions regarding loving relationships.  Several months ago, I reconnected with a woman I have known and loved since college.  Aside from the fact that she and I have always had wonderful chemistry, I love her deeply and hope to spend the rest of my life with her.  

Her role in my freedom to explore the sexual aspects of my nature is large indeed.  We both are evolving sexually—and emotionally, spiritually, and personally.  Her understanding of me as a person, the dispositions of my personality and personhood, have been and are a much needed echo of my own growing self acceptance.  My understanding of her, I believe, has been the same kind of liberating and affirming acceptance for her as well.  In fact, in her high femme way, she is the perfect mate to my androgynous butch identity; she not only accepts my whole personhood, she revels in it.  It thrills her.  As her femme nature thrills me.  I not only accept her and her needs, I revel in them as well.  There is much healing and self-liberation going on between us. We have a truly loving, hot and adventurous sex life that would completely offend a large number of lesbian feminists.  I believe I speak for both of us when I say that we are thrilled that our behavior might offend some of our peers. 

We engage in all sorts of raucous and irreverent and loving behavior.  And, recently, we bought a cock for me.  Then, last week, we got another one.  It should not have taken me so long to do it.  It wasn’t that I was opposed to it.  I had long ago digested and recovered from the feminist Kool-Aid and moved on to bigger things politically, socially, and spiritually.  It, really, simply had not come up before. [No pun intended.]  I can honestly say that the first time I strapped and approached her with my newly acquired dick, I was a bit nervous and concerned about the mechanics of it all.  That lasted about a minute.  

Then, there was only the feel of her legs at my sides, her heels pressing my buttocks, the sight of this life-like cock moving inside her.  There was only this embrace.  The feel of the silicone balls against my clitoris.  The sound of her responsiveness: her breath at my neck; her breast beneath my tongue.  The explosion of freedom between us.  The wonder of her wrapped in both my arms, tightly.  It was as if I began to grow some kind of synthetic nerve endings and became attached to the thing—this appendage both me and not me, part of me and not part of me.  This thing we share is not male emulation; it is not some misogynistic thrusting away at her womanhood in order to subjugate her and keep her in her place.  It is simply one of many ways to penetrate her, to join with her, to be in communion together.  It is the loving—and exuberant—expression of a deep desire to please her, to enjoy her, to be as close to her as possible.  And, it is one of many ways to express my very real need to be both inside her and outside of her, to be free to touch her everywhere in every way I can.  It is my butch, baby boi cock.  And, I like it. I like what it does for me and for her. It is mine.  Part of myself.  Part of my identity with her, with us.  It is mine and I own it…and so does she.  It is part of who I am and always have been—finally finding freedom.  It is a deep embrace, indeed.  Not only of her, but of myself as well.  And, it is good. 

NOTE:  This work is published here as proprietary and may not be reproduced, distributed, sold, or otherwise utilized outside the posting on this site without the express permission of the author; these works are the sole property of the author writing as Androgynonamous or DreadPirateRobert.

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Walking Between Worlds

March 8, 2010 at 11:38 pm (Walking Between Worlds) (, , , )

Making Choices:

Recently, I had a sort of heavy conversation with a dear, long-time friend.  He was talking with me about things that he can discuss only with me–namely the loneliness and frustrations he experiences due to the choices he made. Many years ago, because he wanted a child and wanted to settle down some of his wilder tendencies, he chose to marry.  He has lived as if he were heterosexual for many years.  As many of us know, it is very difficult to live in a way that denies who you really are, inside, in the middle of the essence of yourself.  There may, often, be rewards in a life partly lived, but there are always areas left wanting.  This was the point of our discussion:  how hard it is at times, despite the relative comfort and familiarity of it all, to deny a whole facet of himself daily, to live without the kind of intimacy, emotional and sexual fulfillment, and kinship that can be had by being true to who he is. 

I understand and respect his choices.  I am happy to be here for him when he needs to talk.  I hurt for him when he feels the strength of his longing to be himself.  I also admire him.  He is a principled man; he is, like many of us, old school in regard to things like integrity, honor, commitment, and keeping his promises.  He is a man of faith.  He loves his wife.  So, do I.  Still, I wish things could be different for him–for both of them.  We are in the South.  Things are different here; communities are small.  He does not have some of the options he might have elsewhere.  I know people who, similarly, have chosen to be celibate rather than face the issues related to their orientation.  Some are even living with their partners in celibate relationships.  These are their choices. 

There are many ways to be in the world.  There are many ways to process the factors of enculturation, religion, and the vast range of psychosocial influences that help shape us.

I grew up with many of the same influences, enculturations, and internalized issues as did the people I know.  But, I was–thankfully–stubborn.  Before I elaborate, let me first say, I have wonderful parents.  They were, however, products of their generations as well.  When they discovered that I was not dating the guys I hung out with and that I was, in fact, having sex with girls, they tried to intervene.  At one point, they even sent me to a Christian counselor in an effort to get me [literally] straightened out.  It did not work.  I would sit there in total silence.  The man would nearly beg me to talk and state his case:  that he could not help me if I did not let him.  I would advise him that, while I had issues, they were not what he thought they were, that I was fine with my orientation and did not need his help.  This was followed with:  “even if it risks your soul?”  My response:  “Yes.”

Somehow, I knew even then, in the core of me, that there were many ways to be a person and to be a child of God as well.  The theology of the common perspective never made sense to me and I refused to buy into it–even if it meant I might be wrong and would go to hell.  I began the long journey of working out the issues of identity, faith, theology, personhood and the ways that all of these relate to our becoming, to actualizing ourselves.  Within a few years of the various interventions, my parents had the sense to see that what they were doing was not working and ended up talking to professionals who helped them find answers.  They learned about human sexuality, about predisposing factors and human development.  They came to not only accept me, but to understand me and support me.  Many people I know and have known were not so lucky.  

It was, however, a long road for all of us.  I think the thing that, most clearly, saved me from worse roads than the ones I did take was that I was stubbornly sure of who I was and I refused to be moved on the issue.  I believed, in some instinctive way that was later more fully formed, that I was as I was meant to be:  that I was simply who I was disposed to be with flaws and worthwhile attributes like everyone else.  No more, no less.  I was not going to try to be someone else to make everyone else happy.  In addition, I had enough other serious things to deal with and work out that I made a choice to cling to the life raft of my sense of self–even if it was going under. 

I am very grateful that I had held my own in the face of forces and factors that tried to change me and alter my identity.  I would never have been happy had I succumbed to those forces.  My daily choice to be who I am, as well as to own and take responsibility for what is true for me, have produced some hard outcomes.  But, thankfully, most of them have been mine to suffer.  The ripples have been small.  I continue to strive to do no harm to others, at least.  And, the difficult results of my choices have brought meaningful lessons.  Some, honestly, I would rather not have learned at the time, but appreciate them now.  But choices bear outcomes.  It is part of making them.

The other side of the choice coin on this issue is one we know:  that silence makes it harder on those of us who do come out and who own who we are.  However, choices are personal and belong to the maker of them–even if the outcome affects others.  It is never the place of one person to choose for another.  Many of us remember the lives ruined during the awful era of self-righteous people outing others.  Where silence makes it hard on those of us who are out, choosing to live as other than who we are makes a bigger statement to the ignorant and simple-minded:  that sexual orientation is a choice, not an orientation.  Further, it suggests that it can successfully be changed. 

What is fascinating to me about this belief in the minds of the common person is that it misses the primary point altogether while attempting to use it.  The issue is not whether or not an orientation is a choice, it is that the choice is about whether to act upon who we are or not.  Often, the people who recognize this little fact still don’t seem to get it.  They act as if the choice is a simple thing like whether to have a burger or a hotdog for lunch.  The point of choice is whether to choose to be happy, to seek fulfillment and wholeness, or to deny entire aspects of who you are.  From this perspective, we can then acknowledge that heterosexuals choose to be heterosexual every day.  To say “I could never be with someone of my own gender,” is to choose a sexual identity.  This is perfectly acceptable.  It is as it should be.  All humans have the right to self-determination and the seeking of happiness.  But, for many people still, when we choose to own and act upon our natural orientation, we are held accountable in a very different way.  We are expected to correct ourselves.  For many unaccepting people, it is as if the right to seek real happiness is a right God-given only to heterosexuals.  Things have gotten better, but we still have a long way to go.  Those of us who choose to be openly who we are can hope that it does make it easier on those who come after us.

Being who we are–in any way–takes a willingness to be open to observation, examination, and possible disapproval.  The more different our personhood may be, the greater the risks.  I understand why people choose not to walk a path that will put themselves out there for the world to see and interpret.  I support the choices of those I love to walk in the world as they see fit.  We all make the best choices we can at any given time, about any given issue.  It is nice when people accept the choices I make to be true to myself.  It is, sometimes, difficult when they don’t.  Those are difficulties I am willing to suffer.  I cannot imagine anything worse–for me–than the kind of aloneness and emptiness that denying who I am would bring.  I hurt for my friend when he hurts.  But, I am also grateful that I feel able to choose to be who I am, love who I love and move in the world the best way I can having made that choice.

NOTE:  This work is published here as proprietary and may not be reproduced, distributed, sold, or otherwise utilized outside the posting on this site without the express permission of the author; these works are the sole property of the author writing as Androgynonamous or DreadPirateRobert.

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Walking Between Worlds:

March 1, 2010 at 1:11 am (Walking Between Worlds) (, , )

The First Lesson:

When I was first starting to school, my best friend was the girl next door.  She was a year older than me and was blessed with olive skin and dark brown eyes and hair.  I thought she was beautiful.  At the time of this story, I was in First Grade and she was in Second Grade.  It took me years to realize she had been my first love and the first girl to break my little boi heart.  What broke my heart was not that she did not love me as I lusted for-loved her, but rather the hard lesson she handed me and the decade or so it took for me to process it.  It happened this way:

After school, Mary [or so we’ll call her] and I would play.  Often, as kids do, we played house.  One day, we were playing house and I walked into the door of my room announcing “Hi, honey; I’m home.”  I walked into her open arms–she was waiting to hug me–and kissed her firmly on the cheek.  This was clearly a mistake.  She nearly shrieked an inarticulate sound similar to “yuck” and jumped away from me.  Immediately, I dropped my hands to my side, puffed up a bit and barked back:  What???

“You really kissed me!” she huffed.  I was stunned and my confusion was over-taking me.  It seemed so clear to me; there was nothing to do but point out the obvious.

“Of course, I did;” I said.  “I’m the Daddy.”  Her face was set firm, her hands were on her hips and she proceeded to explain to me what I had done wrong as if I were too stupid to get it–which, clearly, I was.  “You are a girl,” she advised me.  I confirmed that I knew that.  And, as if it would correct the misunderstanding and make all well with the world again, I asserted again:  but I’m the Daddy.  She, then, droned on to school me on the fact that girls could not be the “Daddy” and should never, ever, ever kiss each other; it was wrong.  I asked the obvious question little bois ask their older women:  but, why?  Then I asked “who says?”  I even stated the obvious again:  If we say I’m the Daddy, then I am.  None of this derailed her.  She was right and I was wrong.  It was never spoken of again.

I accepted what she told me.  She was, after all, older and wiser.   But, there was this voice in my head that kept saying she was wrong, that the world really was the way it seemed to me at the time.  I wanted to tell her she was wrong, but could not find the words to make sense of it all.  In my mind, it was simple and clear:  yes; I was a girl, but I could still be the daddy if I wanted and I could kiss girls if I wanted.  It was that simple.  I said nothing, however.  I remained quiet.  For a long, long time. 

I am not sure exactly what I thought then about gender and sexual identity.  What I do know is that being a boy or a girl did not seem quite solid to me.  I knew the difference between boys and girls.  I had a baby brother who I helped change and bathe.  I had been peed on more than once in the process.  All that was pretty clear.  In some way, however, it was as if she had robbed me of something essential.  I had believed, on some level, that if I wanted to be boy-like [and possibly actually be a boy], I could.  That it was somehow up to me and had to do with what made me comfortable, what felt normal.  I was sure that if I wanted to kiss girls rather than boys, that was fine and a viable option.  She thought she was correcting some error in my thinking.  What she was doing, in fact, was teaching me about the world in which I lived.  My response was to go inward, to crawl into a world inside myself where no one knew what I really thought or felt about anything.  In that interior world, in that period of hours or days, I began to believe that there was something wrong with me because nothing she said felt like it applied to me or made sense.  In a child’s mind, it is not the world that is wrong when things don’t fit; it is the child.

I never forgot that day.  I never forgot the lesson.  It did rob me [for a time] of something essential–my image of myself, my ability to imagine myself and manifest that image.  It was one of those defining moments that are like literary foreshadowing.  As I aged, the androgyny became more pronounced, as did my knowledge that I was not interested in boys.  There were countless small and large events connected to my appearance, my interest in traditionally male hobbies and behavior, and my lack of interest in boys, that reinforced that first lesson.  It was a hard road that brought me here.  But, given the choice, I would not change it.  I like the self that emerged.

I can kiss girls if I want to and I enjoy it.  I can be the Daddy if I want and I like it.  So, to Mary I say:  I frequently kiss a woman who likes it when I am the Daddy. I love her with all my heart.  It is no longer broken.  She calls me her sweet Baby Boi.  And, every time she does, I am healed.

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