In case I replied to anyone at 4 am, please ignore my typos because I was slightly drunk on brandy and cough syrup.
I'd prefer a 'she' please; not so comfortable in pronouncing my own name though.
There are days my mother would ask me to stop wearing bloomer panties and exchange them for the more 'feminine' ones, at least on instances when she realises that I've grown older than she last remembered; just in case a man happens to ask me out for a movie that he had been waiting for months, only to make out in the back seat of his car. Opportunities like such are always missed, and I'm always the more fortunate one.
There are bras I wear with no embroidery or colour whatsoever, with straps dangling off my shoulders and a bow that my boyfriend thinks is cute probably without the realisation that most bras have a bow stitched onto them. This is a daily routine that I took to just recently, not because I feel uncomfortable when men feel uncomfortable watching my unnoticeable breasts through a double layered outfit, but because it's been a painful task for me, much more on the physical gradient. Wearing shorts seems too much of a task when I know I will have to shave my legs every two days and having sleeveless dresses in my wardrobe will not be a compliment to my dark underarms. Skirts never were meant to be lifted by old men in the metro but I find it hard to man-spread in those and shirts are not a symbol of masculinity but they somehow have a greater space for my chest to fit in better.
Lipsticks on my lips tend to smell more like coconuts and Johnsons, red on the usual and maroon when I have to make people believe that I'm actually much older than their prejudgement. Somehow I still fail to leave perfect prints over coffee mugs while drinking tea, while kisses look better when received by myself through the mirror. Mostly it's my smile that's more attractive when I refuse to but then a slight smirk never did hurt. Sadly there are reflections that treat me better than a man probably would.
It doesn't seem bothering to tick boxes that ask me what pronouns describe me the best. You can refer me as a "she" before a second doubt comes to your mind. But perhaps, this time, it wasn't about what she'd like to be called, it was so much more than that.
It's so much more than that.
Shaving my labia and down till I'm close to my vagina is somehow a tricky choice between a yes and a no. The hair probably smells when I'm on my periods and if shaven, my 'socially unappealing' clitoris would hurt when I ride bicycles or perform splits. Within a day or two the tiny bumps begin to bleed but no man seems ready to give me the pleasure I probably deserved for shaving between my thighs, so I let the fur grow till it's comfortable enough for myself. Probably a simpler observation for the next time - I shave when I want to and not because I was looking forward to sex or skinny dipping on a beach in the Indian national capital.
Men with their oiled bodies and an impressive beard growth seem handsome and good on their looks but it never really made my pants wet. A good sense of humour and opening the door for me when I walk out of my own room isn't that kind of a nice guy trope that I'm looking for. I claim to find a man's intellect attractive yet contradict myself by disagreeing with everything that he has to say. There are men with strong arms that appeal me, that attitude of a gentleman that weakens me, but none that I would dream of when I'm in bed at night. I will stick up my middle finger at you but probably will never lick yours if you ask me to.
I've never used a condom before, never lost my virginity. Actually it's something that's really not needed when everyone around you waits for you to get to the ripe age of being sexually assaulted by a family member. But surprisingly I carry on my own virginity and the cycle is broken when I hand it over to someone by saying a yes that wasn't interrupted by stammering, wetting the bed or tears in my eyes. Letting my boyfriend know how much my periods actually hurt was more interesting than a surprise, considering how they never really taught about sex, trauma associated to periods, postpartum depression or even the structure of our vagina for the poor lads to at least be aware of where they should lick. Unfortunately the syllabus cuts down to reading about the female reproductive 'system' and an overwhelmingly detailed structure of the male reproductive 'organ'.
Giving myself pleasure in bed isn't something that I'm fond of, but I don't necessarily disprove it. My own fingers hurt me if I go too deep, and the usual toys aren't really accessible to me. Naked strangers imitating rape don't excite me, but then, they shouldn't. Clicking my own pictures without my clothes and watching someone else's package isn't as appealing as I thought it would be. My underwears are bleached and remain wet almost everyday but that isn't because I am turned on, it's because my body is hyper active when it comes to releasing toxins.
There are girls I find beautiful and hard to ignore. I get as uncomfortable by a woman hugging me or sitting on my lap as I do when a man's breath falls on my neck. There are men I find beautiful and hard to ignore. Falling in love at first sight was never the sort of thing I admired.
There were bullies in school who knew how to flirt. Luckily they managed to look attractive. Unashamed to say that I romanticized my bully to the point of no return. Spitting on my face and kissing me without my permission was indirectly permitted. Girls used to wonder if I was a lesbian and felt uncomfortable watching me wash my hands in the washroom. Some were brave enough to ask me themselves, others were scared to imagine their short term boyfriends sharing a book with me.
Falling in love was always about how he saw me. Falling in love was never about the way he looked.
My sexuality was never about falling in love. I could've easily fallen for a woman instead. I could've fallen for you.
It was when I fell in love that I began trusting him to touch me, to kiss me, to feel me. I'll prepare myself to be sexually active with whoever I fall for. It could've been anyone.
My sexuality isn't described by who I am interested in. It's not about the person I am in love with. It's defined by who I'm comfortable in.
I'm comfortable in myself. And that's what my sexuality is about. It doesn't have anything to do with me having sex with a man or a woman. It's about who I want to be looked at as. It doesn't have to come with a label, it comes with a body you're confident to keep.
I am a woman. I'd prefer a 'she' please. I am a woman who isn't sexually excited by many things, a woman who doesn't have gender preferences yet wouldn't want any labels to define herself. I'm a woman who probably doesn't love herself but that is who I am and that is who I will be. I'm a woman who's open to change as long as the change doesn't bring me shame, as long as it doesn't make me uncomfortable in my own body.
As long as I am myself.
Not so comfortable in pronouncing my own name though.
absynth@bluebird the word 'sexuality' seems like a misnomer where individualities are incomplete till they fulfill certain conditions of sexual engagement. Sex is optional, the self is not. The juxtapositions here are hard to ignore.