Here are some sex and emotion facts I’ve realized lately.
My spouse and I were at a restaurant last night, and one of the bartenders looked like P. Similar face, whiteness, mannerisms, and thin, small body.
Just the resemblance alarmed me. Different hairstyle and tattoos, but I realized that I still love P. I was shocked and repulsed, that my mind 100% knows he’s bad news, but my body wants him still, as much as ever.
My body still loves him. My body would hold him, come on him, maybe even die for him! I thought our bodies are supposed to have wisdom. My body is apparently stupid.
I’ve been thinking about asexuality. The things we actually want vs what we think we’re supposed to want. I was remembering long ago when I was in love with A. We drove up north and visited her, and I was crying on her couch.
She told me, “I don’t have sex with other people.” I remember suggesting that she and I have a slow motion relationship. Like just hold hands for ten years and see how that felt. Progress to cuddle for ten years, then kiss maybe after 20. But she didn’t need or want that, with me or anyone.
It was hard for me to understand, and I’m sorry I cried on her couch. It was great to see her, and hug. That trip was amazing. I think if she had wanted anyone, it would have been me. There were so many things I took personally that had nothing to do with me.
She never said she’s asexual. She didn’t need the word, didn’t like it, didn’t think it really applied to her? For whatever reason, she seemed to be doing asexuality without identifying that way.
It makes me think how people can write poetry for years but not identify as a poet. Or I make art most days, but identifying as an artist would feel icky. Sounds formal and serious, like a diagnosis I would just be burdened by.
A lot of people think there’s romance-sex-super-important relationships which are partnerships. Then friendships which are a whole different thing, casual, maybe important, but less. But many people believe you can tell the romance-sex-love from the friendship-love very easily. It’s separate, for them.
I never felt like that at all. Those categories have felt totally inaccurate and confusing to me, all my life. I could be in love with anyone, with tons of people, in different ways, at different times. I fell in love with my teachers, my friends, near-strangers. My co-workers, classmates. I had a huge crush on the dad of my first husband. Glad I didn’t have sex with him.
Sometimes I’d get my heart broken, but that was life. I understand better now, what a freak I am. My heart is the wildest horse.
But I’m interacting all day with people whose emotions don’t work that way. People I fall in love with could be surprised and didn’t sign up for that. But the feelings arrive, so what do we do with them? The relationship is real, and the feelings are real. But I often feel an 8 when the other person is a solid 3 or 4.
I can try to reframe the feelings, ask the feelings to leave, be very clear explaining them, or push them down and try to deny them. But I realized lately, the results are usually disaster, whatever I do. I fall in love–usually someone does not fall in love with me back.
But luckily my spouse did, and my best friend long ago, and a few other people.