Archive for category polyamory
I saw the curve of her jaw, the way her lips rested together, the tension in her forehead that smoothed out as I continued to look. We were matched, eye to eye. I noticed the red rings, the puffy places under her bottom lashes. She’d been crying.
As the gaze lingered, under the spotlights of being seen, something shifted in her eyes. She was basking in being seen as much as I relished doing the seeing. It felt like forever since we’d done this. I had missed her, missed noticing her actively, instead of just passively hauling her around my life.
Eventually, I broke the spell when I stepped back from the mirror by the back door. I flipped off the light, picked up my towel, and went outside to the hot tub.
Last week I cleared out my checking and savings accounts, plus my sock drawer stash. Then I handed over that thick stack of twenties, fifties, and hundreds in exchange for money orders to pay my tax bill.
That’s right. I’m not reformed. I’m not recovering. I’m not a refugee. All those words imply a correction, a fleeing, a relief. And that just doesn’t fit. Besides, I am squeamish about labels and identity.
I am definitely on board with re-languaging around identity. Like Betty says in her video clip with Carlin about different and evolving sex styles, the question is How Do You Have Your Orgasms? How do you like to have your orgasms best? How do you have your orgasms now? Be prepared, it’s okay, that answer may well change. How fantastic is that? You can learn new, fun ways to have orgasms. That sounds pretty damn sweet to me.
My mama always told me that labels belong on cans, not on people. Then I went to college and studied gender and feminism and it was the 1990s and identity politics were all the rage. Self-identification, and all the layers of meaning, become our discourse. I was immediately wary. Did I really want to slap a label on myself? I don’t think so. In fact, no. No I didn’t and no I don’t.
But I was all about the feminism, and sought out the sex-positive ones like Susie Bright and Ellen Willis and Dorothy Allison and, of course, Betty Dodson. Later I went to law school and was one of two women with ten men taking the Feminist Legal Theory seminar. I signed up to lead discussions on Catherine MacKinnon and Andrea Dworkin’s anti-pornography crusades so that I could show the counterpoint, the porn-positive, sex-affirming sides of feminism. Narrow conceptions of what is feminism infuriate me like nothing else. Because to me, perpetuating narrow assumptions about feminism is on par with perpetuating narrow assumptions about what it means to be a woman, or a man, or peach, or brown, or queer, or poor, or creative, or any of the many “things” a person might be, at any given moment.
That’s what I called myself. A married-to-a-man polyamorous Queer grrl.
After I came out as queer, I met the guy I would propose to and marry. I was queer, yes, but I fell in love with a person with a penis. He was more “girl-like” than my current female partner, in that way that gender is fluid and nonspecific and the spectrum is wide.
So we married, and were polyamorous, mostly because I couldn’t commit to being monogamous with him and foregoing my female sexual attraction. We spent nearly a decade together, and I have no regrets. Eventually, I chose to leave our poly family, and after doing so found the woman with whom I intend to spend many years and decades. My former husband and I are very close friends, and falling in love with, and marrying, a man helps me with empathy and makes acute my sense of injustice that now, NOW, that I’ve met the partner who is right for me, most of these United States won’t allow me to marry. Ironic.