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  1. For Adults Only

    Tuesday, February 26, 2013

    For Adults Only
    (& only the kind who can handle a frank talk on sexuality with a dash of humor)

    I have been feeling rather flattered lately.  Received many compliments on my photos. A few were from certain individual men who can at times make me tingle.  They now live far enough away that I can tingle safely.  Little chance of actual contact.  We are all so scared of having our hearts stomped on in one way or another... especially if earlier stompings are still interfering with free breathing.

    In spite of much, I have to continue to acknowledge my attraction to men.  It may or may not be the whole story, but it is real.  I sometimes question my heterosexuality.  I have wondered at times if I were raised in a free society where neither orientation is considered the right one or the wrong one, would I be bisexual.  Life isn't over, so who knows what lies ahead.

    In my senior year of high school, I joined a filmmaking group and turned out to be the only straight girl in the group.  I went to an all-girl high school where most of the gay girls were out, at least at school.  But, like in the larger world, the majority of students identified as heterosexual.  So it felt shocking to me to discover myself as the heterosexual minority of one in the filmmaking group.  I remember feeling weird the way I would if everyone had been Chinese or anything identifiably different, and for a moment, I wanted to leave.  In my head, it went something like, "If you leave now, it would be only because everyone is gay.  Is that okay with you?  No.  That's not a good reason to walk out when minutes ago you wanted to make a film about the school just like everyone else in this room.  If you leave for no other reason than they are gay, well that is what prejudice is.  And they get to make a film, and you don't."  So I stayed.

    We became friends.  They tolerated so many straight girl questions of mine and did their best to answer.  One of those girls is a woman I am still friends with now.  We don't see each other as often as we could I suppose.  But we are in touch, and it is heartfelt.  She and her love came to see me in a production of Vagina Monologues.  A whole bunch of us went out one night to see lesbian theatre in the South Bronx.  We have mutual admiration for each other.  When I told her how patient they were back in high school with my questions, I learned that they didn't see it that way at all.  They felt so good that a straight girl wanted to know them and didn't look down on them. They found me so open-minded.  When introducing me to other people at times back then, they'd say, "She's straight, but she's cool."  I have since of course had many gay friends, but that group was my first real experience.  So my world wasn't as closed as it might have been.  It has typically had people of many kinds in it.  Plus I live in the Bronx, New York which makes it conducive to having many different kinds of people in one's life, helping shape it.  Just ethnically speaking, over 20 languages are spoken in this borough.  It's a real opportunity to meet the world.  Anyway, this was the long scenic road to saying that back in high school, I was introduced to the songs of Lavender Jane (Alix Dobkin). This always remained in my mind somewhere.



    One of the men I was referring to earlier calls me from time to time to express something good-natured.  When he lived in the same city as I do, he seemed to want to run toward and away from me at the same time.  I may have felt the same. It was too close in emotional time to all the trauma of my own hell to feel normal. Not even sure what my normal is anymore.  On one of these calls, he knew I was going through something hard and he left me a message reminding me that I have a good soul and that I should have mercy on my soul.  His sentiment sounded so sincere, not clichéd, and actually made me feel better.  It just reminded me that I have the power to let myself feel better much of the time.  And I did have an open heart to receive his words.  At times, I have rerun that message in my head just to help my shoulders go down and my breathing flow.  I wondered again why we didn't get together when we could have.  I am trusting God/the bigger picture/the universe that things went as they needed to for both of us.  He's with the woman he is supposed to be with probably.  They had years together and then were on a break (yes, like Ross and Rachel though Rachel didn't see it that way -- I was always with Ross on that one).  Starting with someone new can feel like work.  But I waver, going back and forth where I feel platonically toward him and where I don't.  In terms of dating, it didn't ever get off the ground.  I don't count a pizza after a poetry reading that we did not plan to meet at but happened to both go to as a date.  But in terms of beginning to get to know each other beyond the poetry readings, that did start.  And now though he's in another state, he seems to want to continue.  I seem to have trouble.  I think because my heart is open and tears so easily flow, and I can't stand the sad sack I can be.  Yet he seems to be the kind of man with whom I can feel safe.  He has experienced my anger and disappointment, my affection, my concern, accepted an apology from me that I needed to give, heard my prose, my poetry, and my comedy, and still says I’m awesome.  I get teary just re-reading what I wrote.

    In some ways, I have returned to some degree to where I was in my emotional growth before I got swallowed into a relationship that expired long before it actually ended.  I remember in my twenties wondering about me and the possible bisexual inside.  Back then, homosexuality was just getting off the mental illness list.  I was born into a very problematic (yet special) set of circumstances, and anything else that wasn't considered "normal" was going to tip the scale of what I could bear.  When I was 17½, my family (excluding my mother) disowned me for dating a black man and not lying or feeling ashamed about that.  It was awful and yet maybe necessary for me to have had a shot at life.  A former therapist and I once called it a disguised blessing.  Anyway, I cannot imagine that dating a woman would have gone over well.  But none of that was conscious at the time.  I was a product of the mindset that straight was normal and gay was abnormal.  So even when a girlfriend in eighth grade wanted me to teach her how to tongue-kiss, the best I was able to do was explain and draw diagrams.  

    My grandmother had gotten upset that I wasn't upset over attending an all-girl high school.  It was one of the better schools of my choices, and she knew that.  She wasn't sorry I was going there, but she was uncomfortable with my comfort.  I assured her I liked guys but not 9th through 12th-grade boys.  I had little tolerance for the immaturity.  I dated older males.  That wasn't thrilling to her either, understandably. Everything was layered with complication.

    Anyway, getting into what turned out to be a very long involvement (that turned into a marriage of sorts) and staying together beyond the point of it being healthy, stunted my inner growth.  So many things I used to wonder about have now returned to my consciousness.  Many things I used to want to do are in process.  Months after the separation, I got cast as the title role in "I Am Tricky Nicky" -- a very off Broadway play by Adam Samtur.  We were reviewed twice, and my performance was highlighted in both reviews.  So while I was enduring a terrible time in some ways, my teenage child getting used to go against me in a divorce and all sorts of emotional horror, blessings were present in other ways.  A long ago person found me, Blake, and that is another tender-hearted story, but the part that is relevant here is that he told me that the universe would not abandon me.  I held onto that tightly.  The mix of things taking place definitely felt like loved ones who had passed over were pitching in to help me along with people right here on Earth.

    Recently, a man who only knows me on line told me I was "ridiculously appealing."  I assumed that, based on other things he said with his male friends, that was his cleaned up choice of words.  It did feel good, I admit.  He's in another state too. First, I wished he was closer.  Then I was glad he was farther.  Oy.  In many ways he is ALL WRONG for me.  Red flags are flying.  I told God, "I get it.  I'm being given an opportunity to see what I've really learned about myself from past decisions and if I can apply it.  I get it, God."

    So how am I doing on my midterms you might wonder.  The miles help.  Yes, I need the help.  There is something very appealing about a high testosterone man.  It lasts for a short time.  If it goes on longer than it should, I feel zapped.  But when it's good, it's sexy.  He sent me this which probably expresses what I'm trying to better than I can.


    That, to me, is one of the hottest, sexiest, most intense and beautiful 5 minutes on video.  But does she look happy!?  Yet that emotional turmoil and intensity is home to me.  It’s real and somewhat tortured and beautiful and passionate; nothing fake.  Exhausting though.

    Back to off-video real life.  He said he might be able to visit family in Brooklyn for a week this spring.  I said, "Hey! Get back!"  We laughed.  Days later, he spoke of that falling through and how he’d have no place to stay.  Hmmm.  I said nothing.

    I do like a man with balls, as I've said to friends in the past, but getting the size right on those balls -- that's the challenge.

    Some things may just have to remain fantasy for now or for forever or until the right level of alcohol changes that.                                                                                                                                                                              

                                     (Not me in the photo – just in my head do I look that fit.)

  2. 8 comments:

    1. RHC said...

      Ah yes the challenge of getting the right size on those balls!

    2. LOLOL!!! Rhonda, in many ways, you really get me.

    3. JerryBFF said...

      The video: The woman doesn't look particularly unhappy to me... maybe just torn. On a roller coaster.

    4. Spleen said...

      Yes. Yes, yes, yes. Beautifully said. And the video made me weep. It is all so amazing and beautiful and painful and frightening, this dance, this desire and need for trust, for someone to lift you up and hold you, not to drop you or let you go when you need that strength. Oh yes. Thank you for this.

    5. Helene, I feel the same about so much of your written sharing. Thank you. It means so much to me that I did it for you too.

    6. She So Funny said...

      great post...loved the video ~s

    7. thank you, Samantha, not only for reading and commenting but for running this site and welcoming me into your 'home.' it has been good for me to have this weekly commitment. and i really appreciate that we don't have to be funny here. funny tends to occur while living, and you let me live here in ways.

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