I’m human, and as sex-positive as I am, I still feel the occasional bout of guilt or tinge of shame from allowing myself to be open and vulnerable, written or verbally spoken, about all the various places my explorations in my sexuality have taken me. Recently, as I have been sharing these details of times waned, and those waxing in my erotic life, I’ve noticed a recoil within myself; a judgement, or a fear of judgement, about the kind of person I am, by the people I know, and those I hope to know in the future.
All of what you will read here in this blog are true life experiences. I am not telling you stories, or simply recanting fantasies that have crossed my mind. This is me. This has been my life so far, and the posts you read from here on out will share what appears on the horizon of the future. Speaking as someone who considers herself to be an open person, I can still share with you that this openness, this vulnerability, does not come without some reservation deep down inside. I worry, “If they know the real me, the more forbidden places I have been, will they still like me? Will they still love me? Will I still love me?” (writing this sentence has literally welled my eyes up with tears, and this keyboard is getting difficult to make out through the blurred vision). There must be something there for me in that thought right there, some nugget to bring into the light, that maybe, just maybe, I need to love myself more thoroughly.
If you know me in real life, you would say I was a fairly average person as people go. I live my life in suburban normalcy; raising a teenage daughter as a single parent, working, and participating in various social circles and events that are completely unrelated to these facets of myself, and I like it this way. I want my day-to-day life, and those in it, to be stable and rewarding. That doesn’t mean that I want a boring and uneventful life, or one so riddled with routine that there is no joy found in the living of it. I guess you could say that I want to be, and am, an “unconventional conventionalist” (Thank you, Rocky Horror Picture Show for that term).
My father once described me perfectly. He said that as liberal as one might believe me to be, that I really am quite conservative. He’s right. I want a fairly traditional life. I want to be married, in a monogamous relationship, but I “don’t want to be married to some dolt”. I wasn’t always certain that this was what I wanted, but after exploring various relationship configurations, I am certain of it now. I want to be married to someone who wants that stability and consistency of the everyday, but who is not a totally rigid and conventional being. I want someone who is open and expansive in their mind, heart, and way of being. I want life to have some adventure, vibrancy, and exploration with it. At some point my father also said to me, “Whatever you do, don’t be mediocre”.
Photo Courtesy of: Today’s Catholic News
I was raised Catholic, but from a very early age challenged that belief system. I just knew that somehow, it didn’t fit me. I assume though, that as much as I didn’t resonate with that religion, I couldn’t help but not only absorb it’s core values, which are inherently pretty good (love thy neighbor as thyself, do unto others as you would have done to you, etc), but also, it’s core flaws (guilt, shame, and basic emotional flagellation for anything remotely associated with sexual expression, especially so as a girl/woman). Plus, I had a really hard time imagining that God was only a man, seeing as most everything around had a masculine and feminine duality.
When you’re raised in any religion, no matter how much you might not fully believe or resonate with it, it’s still very difficult to fully revoke the power of the framework that was laid. It’s hard to unlearn that programming. I’m not saying “programming” like as in brainwashing, but rather in learned behavior or belief as programming. And honestly, not all of it is bad, so it’s like I have to pick and choose what fits and what doesn’t, and go from there, but then you have to reconcile within yourself why certain parts work, if certain parts don’t.
So when you learn from a young age that certain ways of thinking, feeling, or being, are considered bad or wrong, it can’t help but stay with you, and affect how you move through not only the world around you, but your own inner world as well. I know even as much as I don’t consciously believe it affects me, that it still does. Yes, what you have heard about Catholic guilt, is true! It’s all true!
Photo Courtesy of: The Magic Farmhouse
Coloring outside the prescribed lines is not always easy, or effortless. When the majority of people run in one direction, and you choose the other, there is bound to be some conflict. Society, as a whole, doesn’t really jive well with differentiations from the “norm” as well as it likes to think it does. This can be easily seen in any group that thinks it’s all fringey and unconventional, like say “goths” or “emo” kids, when their way of being different often looks the exact same on all of them. Don’t worry, I have been guilty of this too, so it’s not a judgement. Yep, celebrate non-conformity with conformity! LOL
I get a kick out of the kids that give me judgmental sneers when I shop in Hot Topic for band shirts, and I’m wearing a plain tank top and a pair of shorts, and basically look like a Gap ad. I once had multi-color hair and mismatched vintage clothes, and I’m still as unconventional now as I was back then, except now I can count on being gainfully employable. I actually think it makes me less of a poser than they think I am, because all of my unconventional tendencies are cleverly disguised in this nice, unassuming package. Or, like my ex-husband who wants everyone to think he’s so avant-garde with the way he dresses or expresses his views, but is really a well-package conservative Republican.
So, although I am a person who is extremely comfortable in her own skin, I still do have the occasional fears that not all of the myriad of layers I have will be palatable to the people I want them to be. I don’t want to be written into one category because someone assumes something of me, just because I express myself a certain way, or believe as I do. I guess what I want most out of this blogging experience is for people to realize that I am, and on the grander scale, we as women and men are, simply not one thing or the other. Life is not black and white. There are a million shades of grey (not just 50, sorry E. L.) There is no, “if this, than that”. Being one way does not mean that we ascribe to all the attributes that one would assume we would, based solely on one way of being. I am not to be pigeon-holed.
I am not bad, wrong, slutty, easy, loose, whorish, or less than because I embrace my sexuality, and all the intricate workings of figuring out just what that means to me and looks like, personally.
I am a good, loving, intelligent, thoughtful, compassionate, kind, quirky, unconventionally conventional woman, and I hope you will take the time to know the real, all-encompassing, me before judging me.