Monday, February 15, 2016

2-14-2016 Entry: Valentine's Day, Polyamory, and Dating Snafus

Hello my darlings. I know I’ve been somewhat AWOL with writing entries but life seems to just be so busy these days. It is paradoxical how losing my job could actually leave me with seemingly less time to write than before, but what can one do? To be truthful it is the extreme growth of my social life that has filled the time that was otherwise dedicated to working for the man, and with that extreme growth has come many truly interesting and captivating experiences.

Some of these experiences have been awesome. Some of them have really sucked. Some of them have made me feel like my life is a million times better than it has been in years. Others make me feel like my life is the worst it has ever been. Some experiences have turned into what I’m hoping will be lasting friendships. Other experiences have shown me that not everyone will have your best interests in mind, even when they appear completely genuine in their motivations. What can I say, when everything is in freefall around you, it’s a bit of a roller coaster ride with lots of ups and downs.

I am at a point in my life where I have been given (or taken, depending on how you look at it) an opportunity to completely reinvent myself. My marriage ended. My first career path has likely taken its final breath. Nothing that used to be true about me before necessarily must be true about me now. I get to completely, well mostly, reexamine who I am, what I want, where I am going, and how I plan to get there.

Given that today is Valentine’s day, it seems appropriate to discuss how I have been forced to reexamine who I am in a relationship and how I approach love, dating, and sex. I know this isn’t much of a departure from many of my recent entries, but there have been some developments in this section of my new life as Emma that are noteworthy and have not really been the spotlight in some of the more recent entries about sexual trauma, etc.

First, the polyamory. Yep, that’s right, my exploration into the realm of polyamorous relationships is ongoing. In fact, I had a double date today with Rose (my poly g/f), her husband, and his girlfriend, which was lovely, despite some last minute modifications to our previously agreed upon schedule. I was worried when agreeing to this double date that things would be awkward or strange by having the four of us in such close proximity to one another, but my worries were misplaced. In fact, all of the previous anxiety I felt about being affectionate with Rose while her husband was around has pretty much disappeared. Why that is, I cannot truly say.

All I know is that I had a lovely date with those three and was very pleased to see Rose for the second time in the span of a week. Given the nature of our relationship and her busy schedule, I do not get to see her all that often. In some ways that’s truly tragic, because I enjoy her company and we almost always have a great time together. In other ways, it’s nice to have the freedom to go on other romantic explorations when I don’t get to see her, which I might not have were I to see her more often.

Within this exploration of polyamory I have also discovered that when a person throws out the rules of monogamy, one also has the ability (if one so chooses) to also throw out the rules on what a “relationship” has to look like. Let me explain. When you follow monogamy’s rules then your life probably looks something like this (warning, generalizations ahead):

You find someone you like and while maybe you are seeing more than one person in the beginning, you eventually decide to be exclusive with one another. You don’t kiss other people, you don’t cuddle with other people, and you certainly don’t fuck other people (unless you are a cheater… in which case you can’t REALLY claim to be monogamous, IMHO). You likely expect all of those things from this exclusive partner and so your relationship, if it’s going to be called a relationship instead of just a friendship, pretty much only has one path to go down: commitment. In the realm of commitment you may decide to get married, or you may reject the notion of marriage but remain committed to one another. You may decide to comingle money, and you may decide to move in with one another. You are committed and while the abstinence works people might claim otherwise, an adult relationship isn’t really a relationship if there isn’t a sexual component to it. I’m not saying you have to have sex every day, or even every week at that, but at some point in time, there probably has to be some sort of sexual exchange going on (assuming everyone has functional parts or that they aren’t asexual).

If you aren’t getting down and dirty in some fashion in the monogamous world, then your relationship likely isn’t much more than that of a middle school romance where the boy holds the girl’s hand to the sound of super cheesy music. But is the same thing true when you are polyamorous/non-monogamous? Do you have to have a sexual component to your relationship for it to be considered more than a friendship? Truly, it is in the eye of the beholder, so to speak, but I’m coming to find that it doesn’t necessarily have to be sexual to count as not being platonic.

Now, I’m not suggesting that, for example, my friendship with Parker (despite having seen her naked a few times) is anything but a friendship. We don’t kiss, we don’t hold hands, we don’t cuddle, and we certainly do not have sex. Our relationship is strictly platonic. Even if we see one another a lot, go out together often, and have plenty of lunch/dinner “dates” together we are just friends.

What I am suggesting, however, is that it is possible to redefine non-platonic relationships when you become non-monogamous. I do not have to have sex with Rose for our relationship to be more than a friendship. We have had sex, yes, so this may not be the best example to use, but as our relationship has continued to progress the two of us have found that sex doesn’t necessarily have to be part of the equation for us to find our relationship rewarding. We are able to maintain a romantic and intimate relationship with each other while not actually desiring to have sex.

Let me be clear, we do have a semi-sexual component to our relationship. One doesn’t usually sleep in the same bed together with no clothes on with one’s friends. One doesn’t usually kiss one’s friends; although even that rule seems to be up in the air in the realm of non-monogamy, I’m coming to find. We do kiss, we do hold hands, we do cuddle, we do share a bed sometimes, and while the vast majority of our physical affection isn’t sexually (as in intercourse) driven, we have both agreed that we really enjoy the time we spend together. Although I do not expect that sex is forever off the table, the two of us have simply come to an understanding that having sex won’t necessarily improve upon the relationship we have with one another, and that’s allowable because of our non-monogamous arrangement.

If I was expecting all or even most of my relationship needs to be fulfilled by Rose, I doubt this kind of relationship would last forever. My marriage fell apart, in no small part, because of the lack of a sex life; although we hardly had the physically affectionate/intimate relationship that Rose and I share either, so it’s difficult to know if that would have changed things or not. Because I am not expecting all or most of my needs to be fulfilled by Rose and she isn’t expecting me to meet all or most of her needs either, we are able to create a relationship dynamic that fulfills a specific set of needs.

Her husband, when hearing about the morning we shared a few days ago, thinks what Rose and I have is boring, but she and I couldn’t disagree more. What we share, as non-sexual as it may seem on the surface, fulfills a very specific set of needs. Very simply put, we get that pillow talk need met with each other. If my marriage taught me anything it’s that not everyone really enjoys the pillow talk dynamic. My wife almost never wanted to lay in bed together cuddling while we talked and kissed and laughed about random things. She despised it for some reason and as a result that need went unmet for nearly 7 years. Although I cannot be sure of it, I suspect that Rose’s husband is somewhat similar in that he doesn’t really find the same satisfaction in the pillow talk dynamic as Rose does.

In that sense, our relationship is completely amazing and reciprocal because we’ve agreed that it doesn’t necessarily have to be more than that. Because of that, both of us are free to seek out that sexual component in other places with other people. She has her husband and a long list of swinger/poly people she could have sex with on any given day. I may not be as fortunate (yet) to have so many willing partners but I do have the freedom to find someone I want to fulfill that need with on a regular basis should I choose to. Having that freedom allows me to create relationships that meet specific needs.

Hypothetically speaking I could have a handful of relationships at once with each one only really existing to meet a specific set of needs. For example I could be with Rose and have the pillow talk need met, have a primary partner that I lived with and had regular sex with, had another partner that I only had sex with or only had a specific kind of sex with (i.e. in BDSM I could have a Dom partner while also having a Sub partner were I a “switch”), had a partner I only ever made out with (because making out is awesome), and had a group of poly/swinging friends I did things with only at play parties. Each of these relationship could all look very different with me taking on very different roles in them, and all of them could meet all of my needs.

Obviously that is much easier to put down in writing than it is to execute in real life, but hopefully you get the point. Throwing out the rules of monogamy means you get to redefine your relationships as you see fit; assuming there is consent and communication/boundaries, of course. Now, this also means that you can totally create a massive web of interlocking sexual dramas among a group of friends that leaves a lot of people at risk of getting hurt, being angry or jealous, and wanting revenge.

The main difference between creating a lasting set of relationships that meets all of your needs and setting yourself up for a minefield of hurt feelings and broken friendships is openness, honesty, communication, and boundaries. I never said that polyamory meant that there weren’t any rules at all. All I said was that polyamory means the rules of monogamy no longer really apply. Polyamory without those components/rules is really just reckless non-monogamous chaos, in my opinion. I have gotten to see what that looks like as well.

As my friendship with Kate has grown and the amount of time we spend together has increased (seriously, we hung out 6 out of 7 straight days last week), I have also grown closer to many of her friends; friends that oftentimes play the loose and fast version of polyamory that looks a lot like a reckless minefield of interweaving sexual dramas. I have gotten to see how both truly structured and open polyamory looks and how loose and fast non-monogamy looks, and I have to say I prefer the structure. That doesn’t stop me from sitting back and watching the drama unfold with a bemused smile on my face and that old person mantra of, “Oh, you silly kids” in my head, though.

But as I have learned time and again, when you spend enough time paying attention to something, eventually you invite it into your experience. While I’ve enjoyed getting to know Kate’s friends better, and have even had some romantic brush-ups with an extremely sexy and fun person, I have also found myself tip-toeing through that minefield of fast and loose non-monogamy. Specifically, I have found myself in a semi-awkward position more than once with Kate’s (for lack of a better term as they haven’t really decided on one themselves) primary partner, who we will call Cory (since I’m using a pseudonym I will tell you he is a transman). Cory is awesome. Cory is fun and funny and handsome. I like Cory as a friend and find him rather attractive physically and mentally. I believe rather firmly that those feelings are reciprocated, which under any other circumstances would likely be something I’d be excited about.

As it is, however, I am not sure how to feel about it. I don’t want to go into too many details but as I’ve gotten to know Kate and Cory better, I have also noticed that the degree of physical affection Cory wants to give to me has increased quite a bit. Now when we say goodbye to one another it isn’t a simple and friendly hug like it used to be. Now it is a very affectionate embrace and a kiss on the cheek. He often puts his hand on my leg and caresses it the way a romantic partner might, or does other affectionate things one would with someone you are dating… except we aren’t dating. He is dating Kate and Kate is my very good friend. Can you see how this puts me in an awkward position?

Because Kate and Cory have not really set the polyamorous boundaries of their relationship and discussed what they are both okay and comfortable with, I’m left in a very compromising position. I know that they are not monogamous because I’ve seen it with my own eyes and have had discussions at length with Kate about it. I also know that Kate is as new to non-monogamy as I am and she, like me, is coming out of a very long-term relationship (marriage) which leaves her vulnerable to getting hurt. That has already happened a few times before because of this lack of meeting of the minds between her and Cory.

So what to do? Well, the first thing I did when the physical affection from Cory started getting to an alarming point was bring it up to both of them. I told both of them that while I truly did enjoy the affection and really wanted it to happen, I also wanted to be respectful of their relationship (which precedes our friendship). I tried to feel out where both of them were with it. I would happily engage in some degree of polyamorous dating with either one of them or both of them at the same time if clear boundaries were discussed and adhered to, but that’s not really happening at this point. They have not set out their boundaries so I am left in the middle of a dangerous and escalating situation of wanting the affection, having it be offered, and not wanting to hurt anyone or damage our friendships.

I wish it was as simple as consent on my part. If I didn’t find Cory attractive and didn’t enjoy his company or affection, it would be easy enough for me to just say I wasn’t comfortable with the touching/embracing/cheek-kissing, but I do find him attractive and do enjoy his company/affection. It’s like being on a terrible diet and having someone buy you a box of fresh donuts, taking one out, and letting you smell it while they ask if you want a bite. It’s sort of the forbidden fruit. I can’t engage in affection with Cory without risking hurting Kate and potentially destroying our amazing friendship, but it’s right there, being offered to me. I want to take a bite of the fruit. I know how good it would taste and I’ve been that person before who did eat the forbidden fruit of a taken person, but I don’t want to be that person again.  The consequences are too high, but how do I say no to something I really want to say yes to?

I know, on paper it is simple. Just say no. Just say that you aren’t comfortable. Just don’t put yourself in the position where you might be tempted, except I’m not the only person in this dynamic. There is also Cory, who is much more experienced with non-monogamy and is often quite affectionate/sexual within this group of friends, and who I believe legitimately likes me. The point is, non-monogamy can be as disastrous as it can be fulfilling depending on how you go about it. You can have great double dates with your primary partner and secondary partner, or you can put yourself at risk of hurting very dear people to you by not having clear boundaries/expectations.

I do not want this portrayal of this situation to reflect poorly on either Cory or Kate, because they are really just doing the best they can given their circumstances, which I have not (and will not for the sake of privacy) fully capture here. Both of them have their histories and those histories are playing out in the current situation as one might expect them to. I also have a history that is playing a part in this situation as well. This portrayal was simply intended to be educational to show that there are different ways of doing things, all of which have pros and cons. The fast and loose method of non-monogamy isn’t completely devoid of positives, even if I portray it in a less than appealing light. The fast and loose method can be a lot of fun and it can result in some great sex or affection. You can have a group of friends who are all very affectionate and can be very close to one another. You will learn a great deal about yourself and others in that method as well. The thing you must consider, however, is whether the pros outweigh the cons for you.

For me, fast and loose doesn’t have more pros than cons. Perhaps six or seven years ago when I was in my early twenties fast and loose would have been awesome for me. At thirty, however, I find myself not really wanting to invite the potential drama into my life that comes with fast and loose. I want to have stable, mature, open, and communicative relationships with multiple people at once because it meets my needs at this point in my life. You may be at a very different place and who am I, or anyone for that matter, to judge you for your chosen method of non-monogamy?

Okay, let’s take an intermission, because this entry isn’t over yet but we are already over 3,000 words, so a breather seems appropriate.

Cue the lights, everyone go get a beverage or use the bathroom. Check your texts/emails. Chat with friends. Stretch. Yawn, do w/e.

Okay, and we are back. Everyone in their seats? Everyone ready to continue the show? Okay, good. We are going to continue with this valentine’s day theme of romance and relationships, because something happened to me this past weekend that bears discussing together.

I found myself in that most dreaded of all dreaded places when it comes to dating as a trans* person. Yes, if you’ve been doing this for any length of time as I have, then you likely already know where I’m going with this. If you haven’t, then take a sip of your beverage and get ready because shit is about to get real.

Let me break this down for you. I met a girl like a week or two ago. She is gorgeous. Like just beyond cute. For some reason (probably my general state of fabulousness, but who knows) this girl decided to take somewhat of an interest in me. We were at the bar, a friend of mine introduced us to one another, we chatted for awhile and then we danced together. I don’t simply mean we danced in the same vicinity with one another, I mean she was out on the dance floor, I went out to dance in the vicinity and she made a point to take my hand and pull me over to her so we could dance together. It was great, it was fun, it seemed like it was innocent enough. I figured she was just happy to have a friend to dance with and tried not to read into things (which I am SOOOOO prone to doing, it’s just dreadful, let me tell you).

She made a point to hug me a couple times before I left, thanked me for dancing with her, and told me that I should add her on facebook. I was flattered but still trying to temper my excitement. I’ve had so many blossoming flirtatious relationships completely deflate the next day in the last few months that I’ve started reserving excitement for the second or third day of flirtation to avoid disappointment.

I added her on facebook, we didn’t really talk and I sort of figured she would disappear and I’d never see her again. I was wrong. The other night I went to the bar and there she was again, completely unexpected. She was selling roses for the valentine’s day weekend and wasn’t having much luck convincing people to actually buy them. I pointed out that she was off in an obscure corner and wasn’t all that visible, and suggested that she move to a different spot with a bit more visibility. Eventually she conceded and did just that. I sat with her as she tried to sell the roses and we chatted quite a bit. This sales tactic, while generating more interest didn’t really generate too many more sales, and I could tell she was feeling discouraged.

Being the total sweetheart that I am (and yes, dammit, I get to claim that title; you’ll see why in a moment) I decided to do something to help her out. There was a show going on and the announcer was talking a great deal with the crowd, which gave me an idea. If the announcer mentioned the roses for sale to the crowd, then maybe more people would be willing to buy them. So, I waited until she was coming off of the stage area and caught her attention. I told her that my friend (Let’s just call her Yuffie, because she reminds me of my all-time favorite video game character) was selling roses for people to give to one another to give to the performers and asked if she would be willing to announce that when she went back up. She proceeded to talk with Yuffie for a minute and then went on about her business.

You should have seen the look on Yuffie’s face after their conversation had ended. She was so happy and flattered that I’d gone out of my way to help her. At this point I was starting to feel a bit more confident that things were going well because she was wanting to interact with me more and more. Thankfully the announcer made good on her promise, told the crowd about the roses, and it wasn’t long before people started coming over to buy some. There weren’t a lot of sales but Yuffie was so happy that she was selling anything at this point that she looked like she wanted to kiss me. It was at this point that she gave me one of her roses as a thank you, which was probably the first time I have ever been given a rose before. It made me a happy girl.

I, deciding to keep stepping up my game, offered to buy her a drink when I went up to get one for myself. She jumped on that, told me what she wanted, and I was off. A moment later I had three shots in hand, one for me, one for Yuffie, and one for Cory (he and Kate were hanging out with me originally before I ran into Yuffie). The three of us downed the shot after Yuffie toasted me for helping her, and I was feeling pretty good about myself. I was, as I put it to Kate, scoring major points with Yuffie and Kate agreed with my analysis.

A while went by and the flower sales kept coming in until eventually Yuffie told me that I was her lucky charm, because every time she stepped away from the roses and left me in charge of them for a moment someone came up to buy some. Eventually she was so pleased with the sales that this time she offered to buy me a drink as a thank you. At this point I’m feeling pretty confident that things are going well. I have all of her attention, she keeps telling me I’m her lucky charm, and I’m catching hints that she might like me a bit.

Fast forward to the end of the show and Yuffie’s sales have dwindled. She tells me she is thinking about packing up and calling it a night with the roses but I convince her to wait until after the final act is done. She reluctantly agrees but despite my belief that people would want to buy flowers, no one comes up. She decides she’s ready to be done and starts to pack things up when I have what turned out to be a brilliant idea. I was like, “Wait, how about we carry the box of roses to the far end of the bar and then come back again to see if anyone else buys them.”

She isn’t too convinced and says that the box is pretty heavy (which it was), but I offer to carry it for her because again, I’m a damn sweetheart. She agrees somewhat reluctantly but goes along with it. That idea netted her nearly $50 in sales and after that happened, I was convinced that I’d done just about all I could do to make a good impression on her. Except, I was wrong because there was another opportunity that popped up right away. She needed help taking all of her stuff out to her car, so I offered to go with her which she gratefully accepted.

From there, we went back inside and decided to dance. Again we danced together a handful of times but the show had run late and there was only about thirty minutes of dance time. We closed the bar out and we (Kate, Cory, and I) prepared to leave. I made a point to say by to Yuffie and it was rather apparent that I had won her over with my good ideas and my willingness to not take any of the money she made from them, despite her offering more than once. She showed this by not only thanking me like six times, but by hugging me three different times and then asking me for my phone number (and giving me hers).

Fast forward a bit. I haven’t called or texted her because I’m trying to play it cool. I don’t want to come across as needy or anything so I figure I’ll just let her text me if she wants to. Well, eventually she does and we figure out that we want to go to the same event. I arrive at the event well before any of my friends and it becomes obvious after spending an hour or two there that there are just way too many people at this thing. I know Yuffie is planning to come to hang out with me but eventually I decide that I want to leave before she shows up. I call her and we make plans to go to another event across town instead.

I leave the event, go to the other one, meet her there, only to discover that this event is hardcore lame (probably because everyone was at the other even across town, lol). Yuffie isn’t real excited about what’s going on and is like, “Can we go back to the other one?”

So here I am, with this girl I’ve scored major points with, who is totally gorgeous and clearly at least somewhat interested in me, but she wants to go back to an event that I have no desire to even think about going back to. What to do? Well, you will be happy to know that I said fuck it and agreed to go there with her. We didn’t both want to park at the place so we agreed that I’d follow her to her house, she’d park there, and I’d drive us to the super packed event.

We do exactly that and as we are driving together we are talking with one another about things. We figure out that we’ve both been divorced and are just chatting pretty generally. We get to the event, go inside and thankfully some of the people have left, so it’s not overwhelmingly packed from wall to wall. I’m not super excited to be there again but some of my friends are there, so it’s not too bad. Yuffie and I start to dance a little but it becomes pretty apparent that while she does want to dance with me, she’s also wanting to dance with other people. The nature of this event was one where people wear certain colored wristbands to indicate whether or not they are single, taken, or something else. I’m wearing the something else color because I’m poly but I also had the single color too because I wanted it to be obvious that while it was complicated, I was interested in meeting people.

I decide to give her the single band (we’d discussed this before we got there) and she is off seeking out other single-band-wearing girls to dance with. Eventually I get bored with the dancing and just sort of hang out while she is having fun without me. The event comes to an end and they start kicking people out. Yuffie gets her coat, I say bye to some friends, I find Yuffie waiting for me (I kind of did this on purpose because she’d been hitting on other people and I didn’t want to present myself as too available; oh the dating game… /sigh). We leave the place, head back to my car and get in. She thanks me for being willing to take her back when I had already left once before, and I begin to take her home.

She asks me why I had both the single and the complicated bands and I go into an explanation about how I’m exploring polyamory. I tell her about Rose and that we have a date coming up soon. She seems extremely interested to find out that I’m poly and tells me that she has also had a history of polyamory. I tell her that I’m sort of looking for a more primary partner since I only see Rose about once a week, which Yuffie seems to respond well to.

We get back to her place way before I actually want to get there because I’m enjoying the conversation so much. I park in front of her house and we talk for a minute or two before she says, “You could come in for awhile if you wanted to.”

At this point my stomach starts doing backflips because I cannot believe that things are going as well as they are. I’m not positive she actually wants me to come in so I ask, “Do you want me to come in?” to which she replies by saying “You could come in if you wanted to” again. I figure she wouldn’t offer twice if she didn’t really want me to and her body language suggests that she does want me to. I agree to come in and turn the car off. We get out and start walking up towards the door. She says, “My roommates are here but we are just going to take over the living room.”

We go inside to find one of her roommates watching TV in the living room and despite her basically asking him to leave (which I’m reading as a positive sign) he is rather reluctant to give us the privacy she is wanting. Eventually he gets the hint after she asks him once or twice more to basically GTFO so we can be alone. He leaves to head to his room or something and Yuffie suggest that we move over to the other couch. She sits down and I sit down next to her. She boots up Netflix and asks me what I want to watch.

At this point my anxiety is starting to spike. I’ve heard of this so-called “Netflix and chill” thing that single people do, but I’ve been married for so long that this is the first time that may actually happen to me. She picks a movie and fires it up. She leans back and sort of scoots closer to me (keep in mind, my darling readers, that all of this exposition is leading towards that dreadful moment a dating trans* person hates to experience). I’m really very excited and nervous. She’s so pretty and I really like her thus far. I am so happy that things have gone this well despite me not really putting in the typical effort I might to make something like this happen.

She scoots in closer and is basically leaning against me and resting her head on my shoulder while we watch the movie. I’m really feeling nervous because I’m not sure what to do from here. I do not, for the fucking life of me, want to disappoint this girl or fuck this up. I really like this girl and really want things to keep going well. After a few minutes she says that she is going to turn off the lights so we can wach the movie in the dark. What was I just saying about not knowing what to do and not wanting to fuck things up? Now we are going to be alone, in the dark, and snuggled up together on her couch.

OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG…. Don’t panic Emma. Don’t panic. Do we want to be here right now? HELL YES we do! Okay, so just relax. You don’t have to do anything you aren’t ready for. Just play it cool and let her take the lead. She has thus far so just keep going with it.

She turns the light off and comes back over the couch. This time she very deliberately snuggles up next to me and puts out her hand, where I naturally take it in my own. Now we are snuggling up on her couch, holding hands, and I am in total bliss. This evening has gone far better than expected with someone I’m really enjoying spending time with, and that’s when it happens.

The movie was rather morose, although quite entertaining. It was about a medical student who drops out of school to become this like underground expert in body modifications (basically for the money). Well this lady asks her to basically remove most of her lady-bits so that she looks like a doll instead of a human. I told you, morose. Well during this surgery you see this med-student gone rogue removing bits and pieces of bloody labia, etc. and Yuffie shudders a bit and is like, “Could you imagine no longer having a clit?”

And that’s when I realized it. This girl, this gorgeous, charming, fun, awesome girl who is snuggled up next to me and holding my hand… doesn’t know I’m trans*. She thinks I’m cisgender female.

FML, is all I can think. How could something that could be so fucking awesome in one way be so terrible in another? She didn’t realize after meeting me a few times that I was transgender, which means that I am pretty solidly passing as female to people who don’t know otherwise. That’s awesome! That’s amazing! I’m so happy that she couldn’t tell that I wasn’t anything beside Emma the girl, because that’s what I want people to see when they look at me. I might be non-binary and transfeminine but when people think I’m a girl, it’s like I’ve succeeded in my transition from Robert to Emma… and yet… this is all so horrible.

This person I am so attracted to and so interested in and so happy to be on the verge of a Netflix and chill with, thinks I’m something that I’m not. She thinks I have a vagina when I don’t; not yet at least. She is holding my hand, snuggling with me on her couch in the dark, maybe thinking about taking things further, and she doesn’t know that I’m transgender. She doesn’t know that I’m not the girl she thinks I am.

And so I start to panic a little. What do I do? How do I tell her? Should I tell her? Should I wait to tell her later? How do I handle this new situation? My anxiety must have been apparent because few minutes later she asked me if I was comfortable, or if I was too cold or hot. I had to tell her. I didn’t want this to keep escalating to a point where it would be more of a disaster for her to not know.

“I’m perfectly comfortable and content here with you, but I’m also worried about something too.”

“What are you worried about?”

“Well, you asked me if I could imagine not having a clit anymore, which tells me that you don’t know that I’m trans*”


/heart sinks into my feet

“I’m sorry, I thought you knew. I though I had told you.” (I truly thought I’d mentioned me transitioning the first night we met, but maybe I was mistaken; regardless she didn’t recall if I did tell her)

“No… I don’t think you told me that.”

/heart sinks past my feet into the ground

“I’m sorry. I understand if that’s a problem… It’s okay if you aren’t okay with it.”

“Well… I’m definitely gay… but… it won’t stop me from snuggling up with you.”

OMG, I might just die right here and right now. How could I have not told her before now? How could she have not known? This is terrible. Maybe I should just leave.

She doesn’t say anything, so there is nothing but the awkward silence in the air. A moment later, she snuggles in closer to me, puts her head on my shoulder again, and starts to caress my hand with her thumb affectionately. And that was basically it. We chatted some more about the movie as we watched it until eventually she fell asleep snuggled up next to me, holding my hand. I decided I should probably let her go to bed. It was getting late and I wanted to go home. I woke her up to tell her that I was going to leave. I kissed the back of her hand before letting it go and got up from the couch. I told her that I’d talk to her later, which she said sounded really nice, and I bid her farewell. She pretty much passed out right there on the couch as I walked out to my car and got ready to drive home. (Little did I know that other things would prevent me from going home right away, but that’s not a story for now or here).

The next morning I awoke to her sending me a text message that read:

Thanks again for hanging out last night! I hope you have a wonderful day!!!”

And so now I do not know where things are between us. She’s gay. I’m not cisgender female and I don’t have female genitalia. We snuggled after she found out, she fell asleep holding my hand, and she texted me a rather nice message that she could have easily never sent me at all if she had a problem or didn’t want to talk to me again. Maybe she will come around and decide that she likes me enough to see if that label “gay” has any wiggle room. She thought I was a girl because I am a girl (mostly), so it’s not like she’d be dating a man, but then again, she might think of it that way. Maybe she will decide we can only be friends and that night of snuggling up together and holding hands will never be repeated. I sincerely hope that is not the case but it’s not up to me.

So, those are my Valentine’s day stories about relationships, romance, sex, and trans* problems. I hope your valentine’s weekend went well, whether you spent it with a spouse, a romantic partner(s), a potential love interest, some friends, some family, your kids, your dogs, or your cats (or other various creatures you may love and adore). Regardless of how you spent it, the most important love to have this time of year is self-love. I bought myself a mini box of chocolates and ate them with a smile on my face because regardless of Yuffie’s ultimate reaction (or anyone else’s for that matter), I know that I deserve to be loved on Valentine’s day. The same is true for each of you. Manufactured holiday or not, V-Day should stand as a reminder that love is always around the corner, even if it comes from yourself.


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