Sexual Healing (& Other Inquiries)

Sexuality is one of the biggest things to learn about yourself. It takes the longest, has the biggest impact, and also can be the most difficult to navigate. It’s something I still struggle with everyday.

 I don’t identify as bi-sexual, or asexual, or straight, or whatever else there is out there. I’ve dated a lot of boys, kissed a lot of girls, and had a lot of sex with a lot of different people and it still feels like I’m repeating the same mistakes – or more that there’s something I’m not learning.

 Here’s what I know so far:

  • I like kissing girls and boys

  • the thought of having sex with a girl doesn’t arouse me

  • I do not see kissing as an innately sexual act

  • I like kissing girls more than I like kissing boys

  • I fantasize more about boys

  • I do not fantasize about specific people

  • when having sex I disassociate from that person

  • I have the desire to have sex

  • I enjoy sex

  • I enjoy masturbating (often more than sex)

  • I find it hard to say “no”

  • I do not, and have never had, the desire to have sex with a specific person

  • I am happier when I am not engaging emotionally and physically with another person

  • I do not like seeing more than one person at a time

  • I do not like feeling bound to or owned by the person I am seeing

  • I cannot have sex with someone without it being an emotional experience, regardless of disassociation during

  • I value basic physical contact more than sexual physical contact

  • I value emotional closeness more than physical closeness

  • I more often do not want to be touched than I do

  • I have trouble emotionally opening up to people I have been physical with

  • I have trouble being physical with people I have been emotionally open with

So what does this all mean? How do I sexually “identify” or “label” myself with this knowledge? Is there a point in trying to tie it down to something describable to another person? Should any of us be defining our sexuality? Are emotionality and sexuality intertwined or are they distinctly different things? Is there a lesson to be learned or is there a part of ourselves that needs to be accepted? How can sex be an innately emotional experience for me without being able to connect emotionally with someone I am physical with? Are these “boundaries” a result of nature, or nurture? I can’t answer all of these yet, nor many others that cross my mind when thinking or discussing the topic.

Alas, in asking myself these questions, I must also acknowledge my history with sex and emotion. I am a survivor of sexual harassment in many different forms; of rape; of exploiting myself; of undervaluing myself (and as a result being undervalued); of emotional manipulation, abuse, neglect, and dependency. Some of these things I can say with confidence I have healed from, but a lot of them I am still burdened with because I don’t fully understand how they have changed me nor how to change because of them, or plainly because I am still hurting.

 I near desperation when I feel emotionally void and distant from others in my life, particularly romantically. I can go months without sexual contact with another person but then easily fall into old bad habits of having sex on the first date or feeling like I’ve fallen out of the practice of saying no when I don’t want or like something. I set boundaries for myself and then make exceptions for them and write it off as an experience. Or simply write it off because I know I am strong enough to overcome another situation – whether it is innately unhealthy for me or just ends up being that way.

 The hardest thing for me in my sexual journey has been trust. Whether I trust too much, or too little, or misjudge what/why I am trusting. Whether I trust myself to be making the right decisions for myself, whether I trust myself to ever learn them. If I trust that one day I will not get hurt, if I am the one hurting myself or if there is some onus on the others who have been a part of these situations with me.

 It is in my nature to assume the best of people, and trust comes into that. I may not tell you my secrets or deepest thoughts, but I assume that when you open up to me it is with the truth. I assume that opening up means some sort of connection, and I trust other peoples openness and willingness to share themselves in all forms with me as a green light for me to trust them too. And maybe this is where my rules and plans are faulty. Maybe my intuition gets clouded by butterflies.

 I feel like I may never know what my sexuality is, and of all the things I haven’t come to terms with in regards to that, I think that is the one I am most okay with. Not defining or limiting myself has been the most I’ve understood about myself since I first had an inkling of the thought “Maybe I’m not straight.” But it has also been the thought to steer me straight into the traffic of sexual “liberation” and “exploration” that have had the most detrimental consequences to my ability to connect with people.

 So I’m leaving with the thoughts of what I can do to explore my sexuality without getting lost in it; What does my sexuality mean to me (as opposed to what does it mean for me)? Am I defined by it or is it defined by me? Is it going to change me if I “figure it out” or does it need to be understood at all?

Edgar Allan Foe

mostly poet / witch / do-er of art and magic / caffeine fiend Leo Sun / Cancer Rising / Aquarius Moon

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