Macrophilia 200 Series
- Giants in Popular Media
- Female Socialization, Male Gaze, and Paraphilia
- Asexuality, Paraphilia, and Identity
- On “Reverse Pedophilia”, GT vs SW, and Other Tangents
204: Asexuality, Paraphilia, and Identity
The intersection of asexuality and paraphilia is a tricky one, and they’re not things that most folks, aces and paraphiles alike, can even imagine come close to intersecting. It’s a difficult to explain, there’s been no organized effort to discuss the subject among other aces, let alone any academic inquiry (despite a strong tradition of studying us like animals within sexual psychology and the related fields).
This is going to be my official proposal for the introduction of paraphilic attraction to the attractions model as most commonly understood among GSRM circles.
WHY: This isn’t relevant to just me, or to just aces. Many fetishists (of the banal and inoffensive variety) are strongly attracted to traits, actions, scenarios, objects, and sensations that are otherwise inexplicable and cannot easily be reduced to a simple preference in aesthetics, just as gender cannot easily be reduced to the ownership of/desire to have certain body parts. It is informed by romantic, emotional, intellectual, aesthetic, sexual and sensual orientations, but is not them. It’s another piece to the puzzle that I feel the current model lacks and which proved to be a hurdle over the course of my own self-discovery. I imagine that introducing this term might help others who struggle with their conception of and relationship with intimacy, sexuality, and/or asexuality because of incongruities with their own lived experience with the accepted definitions.
HOW paraphilic attraction works: To speak in terms of fire-fighting, an attraction can be both an accelerant or a fuel, depending on how they mix with the others. Paraphilic attraction functions in the same way. A foot fetishist experiences paraphilic attraction to an object, which may or may not also mean sexual attraction. A physical masochist is primarily attracted to the sensation of pain, with less importance given to who is inflicting it, and may or may not be sexually stimulating to them on its own. But they are also usually capable of augmenting other kinds of relationships and orientations. Someone who enjoys seeing people wearing latex will probably be even more fulfilled if their partner (someone who they experience other kinds of attractions toward) is interested in wearing it. Someone who enjoys orgasms will enjoy them all the more if the orgasm is achieved with the inclusion of their fetish focus. Aaand so on.
A FETISH FOR SEX?
This is an idea that I saw get alluded to on a few occasions back when I still made use of the AVEN forums: having a fetish for the sex act itself. As in, the sensations aren’t pleasurable enough on their own to merit pursuing, you don’t experience sexual attraction, but you’re still having sex for more than just pleasing your partner. It’s still enjoyable in a both cerebral and primal sort of way despite the feeling of being disinterested in the actions being performed in and of themselves.
A lot of aces still watch, read, write, and draw porn. According to an AVEN poll, ~53% of aces still watch porn at least sometimes. And according to this poll, ~30% of aces who have and enjoy sex like it for reasons that don’t include pleasure or partner satisfaction. (The “other” option for question #8 might be inflated because the poll was unclear, however.)
I think I can say that I’ve got a sex fetish. I don’t have sex just because my husband wants to. I don’t have it because a libidinous itch needs to be scratched. (Not the world’s biggest fan of orgasms; I can take em or leave em for the most part.) Sex is fun, and I’m drawn to it for reasons that are mostly as inexplicable as my attraction to dudes of impossible proportions. It’s a completely cerebral relationship that I have with it, and like with everything else about the way I do intimacy, it probably comes down to abstracted and symbolic violence for me – mememto mori – and reinforcing feelings of ownership. It can be appealing along other axes of attraction as well; aesthetic, romantic, whatever.
It’s probably useful for me to define “sex” here also, since it’s so… meaningless in discussions like these. And especially since I don’t believe that sex is even remotely the only way for bodies to engage in physical intimacy of the ecstatic variety. So I guess in this context, “sex” is going to refer to oral, anal, or vaginal penetration and/or actions that result in erotic pleasure that are at least intended to build toward orgasm. That’s not exactly the definition that I use in my own personal relations, but it’s useful enough I think.
PARAPHILIA WITHOUT LIBIDO
Do you feel the urge to masturbate whenever you see someone pretty walk down the street? When you get a hug from a friend? When your crush tells you about their day? No? Well, if those kinds of attractions can exist independently from sex drive, then so can paraphilic attraction. Not all pleasure is erotic pleasure – things can be pleasurable to the touch, to the ears, to the tastebuds, and even to the brain. Wikipedia describes pleasure like so:
Pleasure describes the broad class of mental states that humans and other animals experience as positive, enjoyable, or worth seeking. It includes more specific mental states such as happiness, entertainment, enjoyment,ecstasy, and euphoria. The early psychological account of pleasure, the pleasure principle, describes it as a positive feedback mechanism, motivating the organism to recreate in the future the situation which it has just found pleasurable and to avoid situations that have caused pain in the past.
Duh, right? Of course, laid out like that it’s obvious – yet how often in our casual interactions do we equate all forms of pleasure with sex and eroticism? The Asexuals Involved in BDSM blog has recently wrapped up a week of guest posts about what being ace and/or non-libidinous is like, and I highly recommend it for folks having a hard time wrapping their head around the fact that paraphilia does not preclude libido or sexuality.
BUT WHAT DOES THIS ALL HAVE TO DO WITH MACROPHILIA
Well, it should come as no surprise to you, having read all of the essay up until now, that the fantasy of being in the presence of giants or tiny people need not be sexual in order to be thrilling in a deeply-felt way. Just as children can form obsessions that end up becoming foundational to their identity as developing human beings, sometimes these obsessions carry over into adulthood and continue to produce that same awe-inspired fascination. Being exposed to the focus of the paraphilia produces a knee-jerk reaction the same as being addressed by name.
Which brings me to…
PARAPHILIA AS IDENTITY
If concepts like “homemaker” or “bread-winner” or “husband” or “wife” are sources of very real identity for people who participate in the wider Western overculture, then concepts like “giant” and “tiny” accomplish the very same for those of us within the comparatively small, sub- sub- sub-culture of macrophilia.
To use myself as an example, imprinting happened around 5 or 6 years of age: I caught a vintage Disney short, The Brave Little Tailor, on TV, and unknown to me, a switch went off. Movies like Thumbelina and Fern Gully fast become favorites, but the identity forming in my psyche didn’t become apparent until I started having major growth spurts. Being able to reach things on high shelves seemed distantly unsettling; I felt a sense of loss when my parents and other family members couldn’t pick me up anymore; rooms and furniture I once remembered as being enormous eventually grew smaller and plainer; and as soon as I started to outgrow my twin bed, I knew I’d lost something very important to me and was never going to get it back, even though I didn’t really know what that something was.
For me, approaching puberty didn’t just mean slowly developing secondary sex characteristics and the onset of menstruation (none of which I was thrilled about either), but in a way, I was also undergoing a “slow growth” transformation not unlike what can be found in growth process fetish material. Do a google search for “slow growth GTS” and you’ll know what I mean. They key here, though, is the feeling of growing past what was reasonable and normal to me, resulting in a feeling of “overcompleteness” once I was done, which is how sufferers of Body Integrity Identity Disorder/xenomelia explain their feelings of not needing a full set of limbs. Needless to say, I feel that those of us who “identify” with a smaller size might fall under the BIID umbrella.
Having a fetish identity need not always translate into body issues, though. As identities of every sort are socially constructed (from orientation, to gender, to race, etc.), it’s important to remember that an identity simply functions to situate you in relation to others. To use myself as an example again, I feel that “small and cute” more adequately conveys my gender and orientations than almost any other label available to me, and I have never been able to put into words how this is. (I have tried, though.) In terms of the kink and leather community, the fetish identity often functions to fix one’s place along a constructed hierarchy; usually this translates to an hierarchy of two partners, but sometimes it can be successfully situated within larger groups, whether temporarily during events, or more permanently, like within a leather household.
Next up, the last piece of the essay: “Reverse Pedophilia”, GT vs. SW, Alice in Wonderland Syndrome, and a few other things.
(Wow, I’m actually going to finish this, it looks like. Neat.)
I’m trying to come up with an idea for a macrophilia tattoo that might be recognizable to another macrophile should they see me with it. I’m also trying to come up with a symbol that the rest of the community might find useful to use, seeing as how it’s exploded in size and activity over the past 4-5 years for reasons that are beyond me.
I want the symbol to be simple, versatile, and visually striking, and I want it to be able to play well with other symbols, like the LGBT rainbow or BDSM triskele do. And in reacquainting myself with the various pride flags so that I can do up some comps and make sure that it really will work just as well with the ace pride colors as it would with the trans pride ones (because there are a lot of aces in the “G/t fandom”, as folks are calling it), I do a little googling. And of course googling “pride flags” will invariably bring you to tumblr.
Specifically, tumblr blogs like this.
And it’s sort of vaguely interesting to me at first – I’m fascinating by worldbuilding in fictional storytelling, and I see a lot of parallels here. The thought that Tolkien put into designing his heraldic devices and war banners is eerily similar to the thesis-quality trains of thought that go into picking a specifically avocado green over an apple green.
But then the fascination turns to apathy, turns to morbid curiosity – I’ve moved from having one foot in that world to having none, now suddenly an outsider – and I wonder just what is it that people do with this glut of pride flags? Abstract representations for the way you lose interest in someone after getting to know them; for the inexplicable way you’ve been conditioned to want to kiss people who wear make-up and whose underwear never tent; for why you gravitate toward toward commodified, airbrushed, sex-on-demand instead of other people. I’ve even seen countless requests for pride flags signifying confusion and indecision. (How about this: use a goddamn question mark.)
What purpose do pride flags actually serve in a world coked up on advertisements, capitalism, identity-as-iPhone-color, identity-as-operating-system, identity-as-tumblr-aesthetic, identity-as-who-am-I-in-this-cartoon-that-exists-to-sell-me-shit?
If pride flags are born on tumblr, then etsy is where they go to die.
Etsy pride peddlers have knick-knacks (whose constituent parts are made by near-slave labor overseas – what colors is the sweatshopsexual pride flag?) of the likes you didn’t even know you needed. Here’s a greeting card that will do the coming out for you if you’re genderqueer. Here are some sexuality pride blobs made of environmentally irresponsible plastic nurdles if you happen to want them in the shape of a computer mouse. (Talk about capitalizing on a niche market.) Here’s some resin in a bottle done up to look like the aromantic flag. Here’s a beanie made from oil so that you can tell the world that you’ve pinned down your otherwise difficult-to-pin-down sexuality. Here’s a bar of soap that will make you smell like a straight ally. (C’mon people, allies are a totally untapped market here – straights have money too! Get on it!)
Me? I’ve actually given up with trying to figure out “what gender am I”. Somewhere along the line I became vaguely aware of what I was really trying to do: I was trying to brand myself, adopt an aesthetic, and turn myself into a commodity. I was setting myself up for something pretty spectacularly depressing: an identity and lifestyle propped up entirely by the clothes that I wore, the media I consumed, what fictional representations I saw when I looked in the mirror (“am I more BMO or Salem the Cat today?”), how I walked, talked, and even occupied a chair while sitting. I was looking into a pattern of behavior and trying to project forward from it, into the future. I called it ‘being descriptive’, but I was being prescriptive instead. And once I realized that my sexuality could be played like a fiddle depending on what medications I was taking, that my gender could change depending on how much I liked myself that day and how much money I had in the bank, when I started recognizing myself in a number of definitions of “different” “genders”, I didn’t want another label to slap on it like duct tape holding together something rapidly falling apart. I was sick and tired of trying to find a neat, tidy, abstract representation of my lived experience. I was done.
Crimethinc. has a booklet out what serves as a pretty decent introduction to anarchism, called To Change Everything. And it has a really nice section outlining why representation in all its myriad forms – whether governmental representation in the form of laws or elected officials, or media representation – does no service to autonomy and the project of liberation:
You can only have power by wielding it; you can only learn what your interests are by acting on them. When every effort to exert leverage on the world must be channeled through the mediation of representatives or translated into the protocol of institutions, we become alienated from each other and our own potential. Every aspect of our agency that we yield reappears as something unrecognizable and hostile to us. The politicians who always disappoint us only show how much power we have given up over our own lives; the violence of the police is the dark consequence of our desire to avoid personal responsibility for what happens in our neighborhoods.
In the digital age, when every person must continually serve as his own secretary to manage his public image, our very reputations have become external, like vampires feeding on us. If we weren’t isolated from each other, competing to sell ourselves on so many professional and social markets, would we invest so much time and energy in these profiles, golden calves made in our own image?
We are irreducible. Neither delegates nor abstractions can stand in for us. In reducing human beings to demographics and raw experience to data, we lose sight of everything that is precious and unique in the world. We need presence, immediacy, direct contact with each other, direct control over our lives—things no representative or representation can deliver.
Is it really any surprise that the ancients had no real words for homosexuality, for asexuality, for non-cis identities, but we do now? We have nothing else but capitalism and the Enlightenment to thank for that. And I don’t know about you, but that’s not a legacy I want to reinforce when I get dressed every morning.
I had my hysterectomy: it’s what I needed, though even now language fails to explain how and why that is, fails to convey the peace I feel now. But it’s really not my responsibility to explain, is it? Or language’s responsibility to be adequate enough, abstract enough, to neatly convey my innermost thoughts and emotions? I don’t want a word for how it makes me feel to not have a uterus or cervix. Words are cheap.
And pride flags are too.
So let’s not forget what they really are: branding. Commodification. They’re no different than wearing a Star Wars shirt or a pair of Nikes. The desire to wear these things is the desire to be acknowledged as a demographic and a market. Someone to be sold and sold to.
And that’s exactly what I’m doing with the macrophilia symbol. I would say that we’re unmarketable, like most of BDSM or polyamory or any number of other forms of expressing intimacy that our current system has no means to capitalize on, but I’d be flat-out lying if I said that. Macrophilia is almost entirely a product of capitalism: the early-childhood imprinting that most of us have experienced came from some piece of media or another – from television or a video game. Sometimes it comes from a book, and even rarer still does it come from an actual, physical experience. Either way, it all has the same effect: we crave the impossible, the fantastic. We crave something in the abstract, and that’s something only capitalism can really deliver.
So for now, I’ll make the pride symbols. Because why not? We’re all already far down the rabbit hole, and we might as well try and make the best of it.
But in the meantime I will continue to envision a world without pride symbols, without gracelessly strung-together Greek words to try and describe something that maybe doesn’t need describing. That maybe only contributes to the world in the same way as clean needles contribute to the well-being of a drug addict. In other words: I’m interested in people who recognize that the drugs, the glut of genders and orientations, are a reactionary symptom and not in any way a meaningful solution to the bigger problem of mass misery and alienation.
Seeing as how I’m probably one of the few NB folks who have had a hysterectomy and wish to continue to have PIV intercourse, it’s really no wonder I haven’t seen this addressed at all in the transosphere. (Granted, it’s not like I’ve really gone looking all that hard either.) But after you have a hysterectomy, and probably especially with a complete one (removal of uterus, tubes, and cervix), the vagina can narrow, shorten, and/or atrophy.
And, as I discovered a couple of weeks/months ago, that is exactly what mine has done.
Penetration, as brief and slow as it was, was so painful for me that I was sore to the point of cramping for the rest of the day. Now, I probably would have been warned about this had I not lost my insurance right after the surgery and actually gone to my follow-up appointment, so I had to find out the hard way. Please don’t find out the hard way. If, for some reason, you can’t make your follow-up and everything else about your recovery seemed to go just fine, a word to the wise: check to see if your vag has changed since the surgery. Do it with your fingers, because honestly, even just one might be too much anymore.
There are a few remedies for this, and it’s definitely not an unsolvable issue. If you do go to your doctor, they might do either or both of these things: put you on vaginal hormone therapy, or tell you to get a set of dilators. The hormone therapy is basically a cream and/or pill that you insert into the vagina that will help change the thickness and elasticity of the tissue, and as far as I can tell, it’s almost always used in conjunction with dilator therapy. Dilators, as I’m sure you guessed, are exactly what they say on the tin – a series of plastic tubes with rounded ends, that you insert into the vagina for a few minutes each day to help retrain your muscles. You start with the largest one that can be inserted without pain, and work your way up from there.
For some reason, dilator sets are ridiculously fucking expensive for what they are: 4-10, sometimes hollow, pieces of plastic. And that’s it. What’ll this run you if your insurance doesn’t cover it? Oh, anywhere from $50-100. Another bit of proof that the medical industry doesn’t give a shit about vaginas. Here’s a set that costs $90 for no good reason:
Like seriously, they’re little more than silicone tinker toys. I guess you’re paying for the box.
At any rate, because of this, and because I’m too broke to be able to afford even the cheaper sets and not get angry about it, I’ll be using fingers. (Though on second thought, there’s really no reason that you couldn’t use veggies or another similarly-shaped household object if you also have access to condoms. Just be sure that the thickness doesn’t vary, and that the end is ROUNDED. If it’s tapered, I imagine that it could be pretty painful if that tapered end hits the end of the vag where the cervix used to be.)
Oh! And one more thing: I read something about taking vitamin D supplements while doing the retraining/dilation therapy, as it has something to do with improving the strength and sensitivity of the vaginal walls.
At any rate, none of this is in any way ideal. But I can’t possibly be the only NB kid who has been left high and dry after a surgery, so here’s some thoughts and advice in that case from a very-not-medical professional. Oh, and good fucking luck.
This is a post that my husband wrote this week in response to a few different things that I’ve written recently. He specifically wanted something to respond to, so I sent him some things that are on my mind these days, and it’s been really great to be talking with him about these subjects and experiences this way. Hopefully I’ll get a few more of these from him in the future!
Long-distance relationships are easy. Long-distance sex lives; not as much? That said, I credit the situation my spouse and I share for keeping “things” more interesting than what seems to await the archetypical long-term relationship sex-wise.
Since even before we were an item, she literally made me aware of numerous kinks and fetishes I never even thought existed. Hell, if I recall, within the first week of us chatting online she linked me to a full documentary about a couple of dudes who get off on cars. Literally. Then they go on a road trip together. The one guy cheated on his own car with some random stranger’s car. Never before had I ever felt violated on behalf of an inanimate object.
It went on from there. I had been living a primarily sheltered internet life at that point, as I’d only recently returned to using the internet regularly after an amount of years that pre-dated things like Youtube and Encyclopedia Dramatica. Here was this person who was opening my eyes, and mind, to facets of sexulaity I’d never given much serious thought to. And this coming from a guy who was in a metal band for the majority of his 20s.
This all definitely fed the inevitable attraction that followed, and led to her eventual very reluctant (and seriously adorable) admission of her kinks. Now, I’ve always been entirely open-minded when it comes to fetishes and whatnot, and figured that pretty much everyone has one, but I was not at all prepared to the world I was about to go into.
I’m pretty sure the first one she shared was the macro deal, which didn’t strike me as terribly odd. Nor did the D/s, in spite of its considerable influences on overall lifestyle. Later the tough stuff came though, such as the gender realignment and declaration of asexuality. These are not particularly easy things to grapple with as a cishet dude in his 30s. Nor did I expect them to be dimensions I would see in my marriage.
But love is love and I find myself willing to explore a lot of things I never planned. The basic vanilla stuff that I always unconsciously assumed would be the bread and butter of any marriage I would be a part of is basically out the window. Funnily enough though, a lot of aspects of our individual sexualities find these amusing and cute ways of running into each other like tentacles flailing in the dark. (No, not that sort of tentacle action, but hey, if she digs it…)
Like a lot of cishet dudes in their 30s for example, I am a toy enthusiast. I have a disparate collection of figures and statues that run the gamut from Marilyn Manson action figures to vintage Muppet plushes. That mix has naturally included a fair bit of sexy-type figures of comic book and movie women, and before meeting my spouse I had never been specifically confronted by current mates about my interest in them. I once even dated a girl who had more figures of John Lennon alone than I had figures of females put together. But she clearly exhibited an insecurity towards sharing a home with plastic renderings of other women that either turned me on or entertained me somehow. And that’s totally understandable.
Now, having found out about this kink about being one of them feels both ironic and not at all surprising at the same time. And I gotta say, I love the idea of it so far. It comes across as something that can be a lot of fun for both of us, especially in conjunction with the pet play we’ve recently begun exploring. I’ve always been a sort of possessive type, and crossing these with D/s seems like it would put checks in a good amount of boxes, even in the absence of PIV. Also it makes me think of those “hot glue” vids and that’s funny as shit.
About the Dub-Con:
As my relationship with my spouse has led me to feminism, I admittedly recoiled in shock at the revelation shared about our first time. I was reassured after reading her post that it’s ok, and there were some specific kinks served directly by the circumstance. I only just recently learned about the term “dub-con”, but this sure seems like an example of it. None the less I’m extremely glad to receive the reassurance because this is certainly a completely different interpretation of how things went at the time than mine.
Knowing what she thinks of it now leaves me thinking a few different things. Like a new appreciation for the memory itself in light of how our relationship has evolved. And wishing I’d known more about how she was processing the experience at the time. Sexual communication is one of those things that seem simple and obvious that people will find their own special way to suck at.
But I think the most interesting thing here is that I have to admit that this information I’ve just received actually turns me on (only once the CON part was better emphasized). She got a kick out of feeling somewhat manipulated by me, and enjoyed not being a part of the decision-making process as it were.
Embracing more of a D/s lifestyle has been a long process for me, and I’ve always had a bit of a concern as to whether I had it in me, but this kind of stuff really makes me feel like there’s something truly rewarding to be had, and I’m completely certain I would be missing out on a lot of things if I were not married to the person that I am.
I don’t think I can quite understate how amazing I’ve felt since hubs and I came to the conclusion that we don’t want to cohab. Like… an immense pressure has been lifted from my shoulders and I feel revitalized. I think he does too.
I told some of my friends what our plans are, and none of them understood. My best friend, who I described as turning more and more into my dad as the years go by, was trying to rationalize our desires and couldn’t. Another told us to “try cohabiting for a while before you knock it”. Maybe I should have told them to try being poly before settling on monogamy? Or something similarly silly? Speaking of polyamory…
Was talking with him about it more last night–he got a kick at how confused they’d gotten when I told them the plan–and started to get the very distinct feeling that this may be another kind of -amory. Or at least, in how I feel that the two of us are expressing it. I want word for it, now.
Nisiamory: island love.
Apomonogamous: isolated marriage.
Misoamory: half love.
Filoamory: friend love.
I’m kind of partial to that first one, “nisiamory”. The image of two islands nicely illustrates our ideal living situation. And none of this “regretfully apart” or “ambivalently apart” like most of those surveyed seem to categorize themselves, as described below.
The cultural term for the arrangement itself (rather than the emotional and romantic propensity for it, as my proposed term encompasses) is called “Living Apart Together”. From Wikipedia:
Living Apart Together (abbreviation: LAT) is a term to describe couples who have an intimate relationship but live at separate addresses. LAT couples account for around 10% of adults in Britain, a figure which equates to over a quarter of all those not married or cohabiting. Similar figures are recorded for other countries in northern Europe, including Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden. Research suggests similar or even higher rates in southern Europe, although here LAT couples often remain in parental households.In Australia, Canada and the US representative surveys indicate that between 6% and 9% of the adult population has a partner who lives elsewhere.LAT is also increasingly understood and accepted publicly, is seen by most as good enough for partnering, and subject to the same expectations about commitment and fidelity as marriage or cohabitation.
Some researchers have seen living apart together as a historically new family form. From this perspective LAT couples can pursue both the intimacy of being in a couple and at the same time preserve autonomy.Some LAT couples may even de-prioritize couple relationships and place more importance on friendship. Alternatively, others see LAT as just a ‘stage’ on the way to possible cohabitation and marriage. In this view LATs are not radical pioneers moving beyond the family, rather they are cautious and conservative, and simply show a lack of commitment. In addition many may simply be modern versions of ‘steady’ or long term boy/girlfriends. Research using more comprehensive data suggests LAT couples are a heterogeneous social category with varying motivations for living apart. About a third see their relationship as too early for cohabitation, while others are prevented from living together, although they wish to do so, because of constraints like housing costs or (more rarely) job location. Many, however, prefer not to live together even though they have a long term relationship and could do so if they wanted. In practice motivations are often complex, for example one partner might wish to preserve the family home for existing children while the other might welcome autonomous time and space. Sometimes ‘preference’ can have a defensive motivation, for example the emotional desire to avoid the recurrence of a failed or unpleasant cohabiting relationship. Overall, LAT couples may be ‘gladly apart; ‘regretfully apart’ or, for many, undecided and ambivalent where they experience both advantages and disadvantages.
Apartment Therapy ran a blurb about it a few years ago and some of the comments are amusing:
I always remember reading about Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera’s residence in Mexico City that was made of two separate houses connected by a bridge. I always thought that was one of the most brilliant homes ever built.
Never been married, but I always thought the best of all possible worlds would be to have apts/condos across the hall from each other.
I understand this for committed dating and engaged couples (in fact, it’s not a new idea. Living together is a new idea). But not if you’re married. Isn’t the point to live together? If one of you is a very light sleeper or something I could understand twin beds, but if you are so selfish that you can’t share your home, you shouldn’t be married. If you need more space, build a “man cave” or the feminine equivalent.
Whatever happenend to committing to someone for life, through thick & thin? Is the institution of marriage just yesterdays news in this day and age? I’m visiting a friend but had to register just to reply to this thread. Ok, may be numerous marriages or numberous years of living alone might give one another view. But if you truly care about someone this much and still choose separate houses, ya might wanna look inward. This is not a healthy relationship no matter how you define it.
My current lover and I have both [separately] commented that the coolest thing on the entire planet would be living next door to/on the same block as each other… but not in the same house. Close enough to have breakfast together in the mornings, or drop by spur of the moment, or *choose* to spend the night together, but far enough apart to each be our own hermit-y introverted selves. Best ‘o both worlds, in my book!
I’m going to be spending a LOT more time researching this, especially for those of us who desire it as a permanent lifestyle and love language arrangement rather than something that we’re just “dealing with” until it’s time for us to move onto the next stage of our relationship. Maybe we were never LDR after all– just LAT.
How people think we feel:
How we really feel:
No seriously. As I’ve started telling people, the hardest thing about being in a long-distance relationship is that travel is expensive.
Anyways, I’ve talked a little bit about my marriage before, but this post is dedicated to it 100% because 1. I don’t think I’ve done it yet, and 2. a queer tumblr activist/personality recently put out a call for queer LDR stories and resources and I thought that I’d pitch in.
[ March 2016 note: I’m no longer in the same place as I was when I wrote this. I no longer identify with the term “epicene” either, as I’ve come to find that any word that attempts to approximate a gender, either as a goal, space, flavor of embodiment, or social role, is insufficient and irrelevant to me. Even words like “genderless” are too much like soundbites to me and encapsulate nothing about my lived experience, which I actually do get into a bit here otherwise. Also, now that I’ve had my hysterectomy, and am off medications, I no longer want any more surgeries, let alone colpocleisis. ]
I’ve always had a pretty decent understanding of what the “inert nothingness” feels like within the context of myself; it’s just finding words to describe that experience that’s always been sucky. It’s made engaging with trans* spaces sucky.
But a word caught my eye the other day (two, actually, from different places, and they are related in a way): epicene. You can google it to get the jist of how it’s generally used. But it has this quality to it that really interests me. For one, it doesn’t have the word “gender” or “sexual” in it. And that is a HUGE bonus, seeing as how I’ve recently referred to myself as being not quite transgender, not quite transsexual, and not quite cis; over the course of about a month those words suddenly ceased to have any meaning for me, like a house of cards come tumbling quietly down. It wasn’t an identity crisis at all; I’d just become allergic to that sort of language almost overnight without having gone through anaphylactic shock. It was time for me to move on.