August is, as Emily has discussed, Anal Sex Month. Which, you know, I’m in favor of. But July -- and I just could not bring myself to talk about this in July because every time I did, I cackled in disbelief -- was Heterosexual Awareness Month.
(I'm not linking. I decline to give them the traffic.)
Were you not aware of heterosexuals? Because I was aware.
I know a lot of heterosexuals -- and I watch movies and stuff. Pop culture seems really skewed toward heterosexuals. They’re everywhere.
I have no adequate response for things like this, where members of a dominant social group feel like they are being oppressed because, oh noes!, another social group is being acknowledged as being valid and having rights.
The friend who clued me in to the existence of Heterosexual Awareness Month joked with me a bit about it. And, yeah, it was kind of funny for a moment to acknowledge that I could go home and be AWARE with Ed. But when we were done joking, the YOU HETEROSEXUALS directed at me kind of bothered me.
Not, as some of you may be thinking, because I have any particular problem with the phrasing or the grouping in general.
The actual problem is that, while I’ve never felt particularly compelled to label my orientation, it isn’t like I’m particularly straight.
Visual pun. I can't not make this joke.
I mean, I’m sure there are straight girls who eat pussy. But I also am superstitious as hell and kind of, real deep down, believe that if I don’t hold my breath when walking past a graveyard, I’ll inhale a spirit. I believe in all sorts of things.
My five-year wedding anniversary (the traditional gift is wood and don’t think I haven’t made all those jokes already) is rapidly approaching. It kind of freaks me out, actually, because I LIKE being married, but five years is a long time. Ed and I lived together for a year and dated for a year before that -- and we’re monogamous (sorry, folks with the lovely offers), so he’s basically the only person I’ve had sex with for the last 6ish years.
(Shut up, yes, that math is correct. Dating doesn’t mean I was ONLY dating him.)
My question is this: Does six years of hetero-only banging negate the women I fucked?
Do I need to go watch some lesbian porn in order to renew my queer license? Or is it more a matter of filling out a form and having a new one mailed to me, like I did with my drivers license?
Do I even need a license? I mean, in a hypothetical world where I was once again making a play to get busy with people other than my husband, would I need to show my papers before proving that while I have no ability to tell if someone is gay, I can find a clitoris pretty much immediately? That seems like the more important skill to me anyway, since knowing someone is gay doesn’t do you much good if you don’t know what to do next.
I often hesitate to call myself queer. This is, I suspect, not the reason people assume I’m a totally hetero married lady. The actual reason: Our culture defaults to heterosexuality, and people who are hetero don’t generally have to define their identities by their sexual orientation. Because I’m married to a guy, my prior Adventures In Lady Sex are invisible, are somehow rendered null and void.
Listen, I liked the women I had sex with. I don’t want to pretend that those relationships didn’t happen. I may be seriously involved with a boy and his penis now, but when I pull out my mental List Of People I’ve Licked In The Bathing Suit Area, the gender distribution is pretty even. And if you take casual sexual contact without full-blown sex into account, the ladies are enjoying a slight edge in the polls. Genitals are fun. Whatever they happen to be.
What I’m saying is, it isn’t like it was a one-time experiment. There’s a pattern here, y’all.
It feels self-indulgent in some ways, to complain about having my sexuality erased. I AM married to a guy. I do have hetero sex. There’s a lot of privilege there. But I also resent being defined in opposition to my actual lived experiences. And, you know, complaining about this doesn’t mean I can’t complain about other things, too -- there is no shortage of outrage (or reasons to be outraged) in our world.
There’s a lot of ruckus on a fairly regular basis about who gets to count as queer. The label is super important to some people (and rightly so), and I’ve never felt like I needed the label -- I have always gotten laid without wearing any particular label. This is, I think, because I am kind of a shameless flirt when I’m interested in someone. Flirting is a good time, after all.
But the debate about who gets to call themselves queer makes me feel like I’m not allowed to identify that way, because I’m regularly confronted by a naked guy in my bedroom (well, technically it’s OUR bedroom but you know what I mean). Sure, I don’t have to be defined by who I fuck or by what genitals the person (or people) I am fucking has in their personal area. I just don’t want to be defined by a default cultural expectation either. Especially when I don’t think I qualify as a member of the Straight Club.
I don’t generally talk about the specifics of my sex life. It is not, by and large, anyone’s business. But xoJane does bring out the confessional blogger in me from time to time. I like orgasms and helping my partner have them. I’m not particularly fussed about the equipment we use to make orgasms happen.
What do you think, xoJane? Do I “count” as queer? Is there some descriptor (other than slut, which is also a-okay by me) I’m missing for those of us who could go any way but wound up in a hetero-passing situation?