Monday, August 11, 2008

Why I don't like talking about sex

You may not be able to tell from this blog, but in real life I am extremely private when it comes to my sex life. Late last year, I would semi-regularly play with two friends, R (a guy), and S (a girl) in addition to master. What I did with R and S I never really shared with Master in detail, though he was aware of my time with them; similarly, I didn't tell R and S much about what I did with Master. At the time, I thought I was just being polite; it isn't very nice to compare your sex partners, after all, and I didn't want to make anyone jealous. But mostly I think I was just shy.

For someone who is such a staunch advocate for healthy and exuberant expression of sexuality (I suppose you could call me "sex-positive," though like a lot of people who may fit the label I have some quibbles with the term), it's really weird that I'm so reluctant to share my own sexuality with others. I'm sure a good portion of the cause is our dysfunctionally prurient society, which teaches everyone that whatever you do behind closed doors, make sure it stays behind closed doors. (Unless, of course, it's something freaky, at which point it's dragged out for the general public to gawk at.)

But blaming society is too much of a cop-out. There's gotta be more to it than that.

In high school, I was decidedly part of the "relationships? Pff - who needs 'em!" crowd. Even though I had a girlfriend for two-thirds of my high school experience, we were low-key about it, partially out of necessity (being the only lesbian couple in a school that had no gay community to speak of) and partially because we were both pretty laid back. Not only that, but my friends and I were band geeks, science nerds, orchestra dorks - the kind of students who tended to not have boyfriends or girlfriends. At lunch, the gussied-up preppie girls two tables over would gab on and on and on and on about their boyfriends, and my friends and I would mercilessly mock them behind their backs. The message was clear: don't talk about your boyfriend/girlfriend because no one likes a braggart.

And even though I had a great girlfriend, we both identified more with my sullenly single compatriots. We were the outcasts, the unloved, the cynical realists. We scoffed at the bubbly depictions of high school romance in the movies and our peers' airheaded attempts to replicate it, which ultimately ended in drama-filled breakups. We were simultaneously above the rest of the student body, since we saw through all the pettiness, and jealous of their dates and their parties and their steamy encounters.

So then I entered college. I still considered myself one of those ragtag (virgin) misfits that no one really pays attention to except fellow misfits. That was fine; I liked it that way - misfits are more interesting. It's fun to laugh at the mundies and all that.

Then I met Master. He was simultaneously everything I loved about my friends and everything I hated about the "popular kids": a gamer with a goofy sense of humor, smart, incredibly handsome, and popular! My lord, it seemed everyone on campus loved him! Well, according to the paradigm I'd brought along from high school, his popularity automatically precluded me from any chance of dating him. I was a geeky, naive freshman, and he was a suave, well-liked upperclassman; there was no chance in hell he'd notice little ol' me.

But he did. And, to my shock, he actually took an interest in me! It was so much more than anything a little dweeb like me could hope for! Now I had another reason to be quiet: I felt like I was committing a horrible transgression - I was reaching beyond my rightful "place," as it were, and I didn't want anyone to lash out at me in retribution.

When I finally got over my inferiority complex, a new reason for me to stay my tongue emerged: we were both going to be on the Residential Life staff next year, and it would be... less than professional for two staff members to be openly seeing each other. Not only that, but throughout this time Master was still in a long-distance relationship with a girl in Chicago. Though they had agreed it would be okay to sleep with other people, it would still look sketchy to people who didn't know of their agreement. So I kept my head down.

I did allow myself to tell two people, though - two high school friends who didn't have any connection with my college, so there was no way the information could leak back to campus. The first person I told called me a whore and a sex addict when he found out I was having sex (gasp!) three times a week. I can only imagine what he'd think of me now. Needless to say, I didn't remain friends with him much longer. The second person I told, F, I had a significantly more complicated history with. F was my best friend in high school, the very first woman that I developed a full-on crush for, and the catalyst for my self-discovery as a bisexual (she says, and all the bisexual women and lesbians nod with sympathetic understanding). As you can guess, it did not end terribly well. She was attracted to me, but maybe not, but... We made out a few times, I made my first fumbling, awkward attempt at lesbian sex, and then we went our separate ways, never to speak of it again.

I assumed that F wanted to put her ill-fated brush with bisexuality behind her. So I was shocked when, after telling her I had lost my virginity, she was incredibly hurt and jealous. The reason why dawning on me, I asked, "Are you jealous of me or of him [Master]?" A pit of dread settled nicely in my stomach as she affirmed that it was him he was jealous of because he was intimate with me.

Great. I had done a fine job of alienating the one person I was actually comfortable talking about my sex life with (besides the person I was actually having sex with, of course). Lesson learned - best not say anything to anyone.

It's possible that these are just convenient excuses that I latched on to in order to cover my shyness, but I think there's some legitimacy behind them.

So what do I do to overcome my aversion? Well, I post here, of course. I can start posting at my non-anonymous journal too - little bits, at least at first. Master wants me to talk to F about it, but so far my efforts have been for naught, mostly because I have no idea how to go about it and end up being incredibly bumbling and awkward. I'll have to try again soon.

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