Where I fit in.

June 8, 2011 at 9:32 pm (Polyamory, Sex) (, , , )

There are a lot of reasons why I’ve never sought out a local sexual community, either poly, kinky or otherwise. One of the biggest issues I have with the whole concept of community is the necessity to “join” and “become a part of” the community – thus being categorized as “one of them”. I’m not a joiner; it’s been a very long time since I felt that need to be part of something larger than myself. All my life I’ve never “fit in”, and I gave up trying. I know that many people find comfort, if not happiness and peace, in being part of a community of like-minded individuals, and if it works for them, that’s great. For me, the thought of “community” is stifling – it’s other people invading my space, dictating my beliefs, and restricting who I am.

I still have a strong sense of not fitting in anywhere, and of how my choices in life separate me from others. In the realm of basic life choices:

  • I made the conscious decision not to have children, for a number of reasons, personal, environmental and social. As a woman, this immediately makes me a little odd, and from some perspectives, it calls my very femininity into question.
  • I have worked my way up the corporate ladder by being extremely organized, productive and proactive, without the benefit or cushion of a college degree. In my particular corporate world, at least, this is a rarity.
  • I bought a small, old, urban house in a city where only the less fortunate live in small, old, urban homes. The suburbs reign supreme around here, along with all that is shiny and new. I like things that are grimy and old.

Then there’s the sexual front. At the most fundamental level, expressing my sexuality when I don’t meet Western society’s definition of what is sexy in a female is difficult enough. I have to specifically seek out sexualized images of women who look like me; they’re not part of mainstream sexual media. In fact, it took me a few years of looking for these types of images before I came to appreciate them – after seeing only slender women with large, round (enhanced) breasts in sexual media, I found images of sagging breasts and fat bellies and thighs distasteful. Over time, and through conscious effort, I’ve learned to see that they’re sexy, too, and through this to become more confident that my body is sexy just the way it is, as well.

In the polyamorous world I also feel set apart. I’m not pagan; I’m not into role-playing, costumes, fantasy, sci-fi or other facets of geekdom that seem to go hand-in-hand with the belief in our innate ability to love many others.  Invite me to a drum circle and I’ll laugh all the way home. I don’t understand why (judgmental language approaching) flakiness and belief in goofy, made-up religions are so strongly associated with the poly concept.

The kink world certainly has broad degrees, and I definitely fall at the milder, tamer end of the spectrum. But there seem to be very rigid compartments along that spectrum – a female who expresses the desire to be dominant should probably have her thigh-high boots and leather corset ready; and if she’s submissive, she’d better be quick to drop to her knees for any man who wants to be called Sir.

I know these are exaggerations to a degree, but they’re also what I’ve truly observed. I’ve not found people in the poly community who work 50-60 hour workweeks in the corporate world and enjoy gardening and lawn maintenance in their free time. In the kink community, I don’t see a place for plus-sized women who seek a balance between dominant and submissive play and who are attracted to intelligent, self-aware men, not those who simply want to be humiliated by a female bully. I don’t feel like I belong in any of these communities unless I buy into what they’re selling, and I don’t want it.

Nevertheless… the older I get, the more I long to just simply relate to other human beings. I have to try harder to find the common ground instead of focusing on the differences. I’m tired of feeling separated. I don’t want to be in the center of the spotlight, but I want to feel some of the warmth from it. I want to find my place — over there, on that chair, with a nice beer — from where I can observe the world, and watch a few creatures drift close to me in their orbit and share a smile with them, because I know the part of the path they’re on, and welcome them.

 

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