My sexuality

I do not know my own desires, but I have been finding out some things.

Deeply repressed in my twenties, so ashamed of cross-dressing that I had aversion therapy, not knowing my own feelings, I wanted a girlfriend like a repressed gay man might- to make me normal, to make me appear normal. I believe a woman fell in love with me at University, saw the gentle soul below the layers of terror and arrogance, and took years to recover. I did not see it.

I thought of calling this “Towards a theory of my sexuality,” though I feel, as well as analysing. The working theory until this week was that my sexuality was like my father’s. He liked strong, controlling women, first my mother, then M. We had one honest conversation about this. I get the impression that some people think this is just kink, possibly kink in denial. (People I have talked to recently have referred to “kink” rather than “BDSM”.) I think it is different. My mother never even wore a high heeled boot. I like to be controlled, and being controlled has hurt me. And I want to open up like a flower.

U would have controlled me for her own purposes, just because she could. I did not see it, and F did: she told me of a man who had been gloriously dominant, and she had just accommodated to him. Now she had a man who appreciated her nature and helped her be herself.

I craved seeing D. I asked for a video call, and when I saw her, all my oxytocin went off. In that moment I felt my deep emotional need for connection. I had not realised its strength.

I talked about this with my friend who does twelve-steps. We agreed that humans kid ourselves all the time. The alcoholic will take just one drink, he thinks. She does not want me hurt, and said I should sever all contact. I picked another friend to talk to because they have poly relationships, not knowing they are into kink. I thought poly would teach them to be conscious about feelings, needs and illusions. They said, “You know I’m not going to judge you, right?” Of course, that’s why I picked you. I still could not speak clearly, just sat silent or said disconnected words, until they loved me back to coherence.

I still surprised them. “I think of mine as male sexuality,” I said. “Oh! OK,” they said. Well, like my father’s. I want to understand, so no concept is off limits- imagining that I am a man, a woman, or nonbinary helps me understand different things about myself. Though I don’t like it when others pigeon hole me. More than one has said, “Oh, I don’t think of you as man or woman, I think of you as Clare”. I resist “nonbinary”, because of my starkly binary transition.

I need an emotional connection, I said. “The word for that is ‘demisexual’,” they said, and I felt resistance. I feel it, it is real now, and I will not shut myself off from future experience by classifying My Precise Orientation too early.

Then Michelle Goldberg in the NYT hits me between the eyes. “Women are still embarrassed by their desires, particularly when they are emotional.” Women might put their partner’s needs above their own. One felt embarrassed wanting to stop her partner choking her during sex, even though she did not like it.

This brought me to tears. “I want to be a man,” I wept. It would make life so much easier! But I am not. I am a woman. I want to be hurt! Not in a masochistic sense, but because I want to open up to all experience, and it is only through being open to being hurt that I might find what I desire.


“My husband dominated me,” she said, simply. That would be exciting. He is a strong man, a bit of a pain sometimes. I think of her playing her cello to him, in the evenings. The dominant man, and the wannabe, can be a curse, negging, gaslighting, hitting women. I knew two woman broken by their sons hitting them. One recovered, one did not. One of the most exciting, spirited, forceful and intelligent women I know, her husband attacked her, and the iron entered her soul. Continue reading

Chatting on the Tube

My blog has a new Follower: Masondan, whom I found and commented on his post arguing that women should not be police officers because it is against their “God-given nature”, or something. Looking round his blog and its comments, I thought he could be a BDSM satirist spouting fantasies with a thin veneer of Evangelical jargon, to see how many Christians he could get to agree; but from my brief, yet too detailed knowledge of Complementarians, he may be well within the bell-curve of Evangelical views, not at the nutty extreme. Come on, Masondan! Comment! Tell me it ain’t so!

I don’t know I will get anything from my avowed purpose of going to London, but I really enjoyed the conversations. My hostess was out when I got to her house, so her son Felix, who is 14, gave me something to eat and a cup of tea, then we chatted. Living in D’Israeli Gardens, he knows of that Prime Minister, and something of the House of Commons and House of Lords; he knows perhaps more of US legislative government than Americans his age, including that Lincoln was a Republican, but on the Left of politics then. He observed that the German Democratic Republic was Communist, so we discussed the meaning of Democracy. I was impressed. Then his mother returned, and we talked until midnight over wine, of our concerns, and noted we have formed a deep connection.

On the tube, I got chatting because of an ice-cream spill on the floor.
-Don’t worry, it won’t mess your shoes too much.
She is Texan, quite happy to be old enough that people give up their seats for her. She is over to visit her husband’s family in Wales, after three days in London. You have to visit London. It has the buzz of New York, but much more charm. She and her husband live in an RV, with the van 52″ of space which is quite enough. They winter in Florida and spend the Summer in Colorado. For Thanksgiving and Christmas they are with her relatives in Texas. It is surprising how little space you need. Have I thought of what I want to do when I retire?

I even got chatting in the hospital, queuing for a blood test, to a student. He is studying forensic science- how bodies rot when left outside, that kind of thing, you need a certain type of mind. He hopes to specialise in forensic genetics. He has wide hips and an unbroken voice- that was my way of getting chatting- is transitioning aged 19, and this is his first visit to that hospital: I congratulate him.