As a kid, I was always the loudmouthed tomboy who loved nothing more than to climb onto roofs and karate fights with boys. I had a lot of crushes when I went to co-ed schools, and only ever with boys. At the start of each school year, I would scan around the classroom and pick my new target of my amorous advances, then spent the rest of the year contently filling my workbook with dreamy doodles and imagining what my name would look like with his last name.
I don’t know how common this is, because it’s not a topic that I’ve been able to discuss freely with many people, but I think I was sexually wired from an early age. When I was 9 years old I was over at my classmate’s house where, during our sporadic games of dolls, dress ups and dancing to Ace of Bace, we would creep into her parents’ bedroom to look for dirty magazines. When our search proved to be futile (probably for the best as her father was a minister) we would jump around on the double bed and play “make out” between the sheets, vigorously rubbing our clothed bodies against each other in such a comical way that we would quickly break away in hysterics. We may even have taken our tops off for extra excitement and hilariousity. I am pretty sure that we air-slobbered each other’s faces. Her younger sister probably attempted to join us too at one point. We probably would have carried on playing this game if I had my way, but my friend advised it would be best to go back to playing in her room, either for fear of being caught by her mother, a budding sense of discomfort, or simple boredom.
Another time I feigned ill while playing at another girl’s house, and got into her bed saying I needed to rest. I was secretly hoping that this would lead her to joining me in bed and hopefully a game of “make out”, but instead her mother told her to give me some peace and quiet and go watch a video in the other room. I don’t know if it was more sexual frustration or sheepish disappointment that my plan was foiled, but I eventually joined them in the living room to watch “The Land Before Time”.
I eventually stopped trying to trick girlfriends into making out with me, and didn’t experience my first kiss until I was 17, on my first date with my internet boyfriend from Palmerston North.
Right now I’m based in East Asia, and I get told by a lot of people here that I have a striking resemblance to a particular local boy band member. Girls love it when I give them a few seconds of “the look”, which is what I’ve devised over the years based on this idol dude. Twist and lift my thick eyebrows, pierce them lovingly with my almond eyes while one corner of my lips lift up to flash my teeth in a knowing smile. They squeal and fluster and I get a good kick out of being a gender bending heart-throb for a couple of minutes.
I’ve never felt discomfort towards my feminine body or being perceived as a she/her/girl/woman/female, but my relationship with my gender is loose and casual. I don’t fight it when men want to do the courteous man thing for me with doors and calling me ma’am. I don’t, however, like it when I show up to work and get compliment on my looks even though what I look like has absolutely nothing to do with my job.
Traveling around the country with a 30kg backpack on me gives me a bit of a power trip. In a country that promotes and endorses (what I perceive as) hyper femininity, I can’t help but feel like it’s important to show people some alternative means of being a beautiful female.
I will take every opportunity to show that as a woman, my physical strengths shouldn’t easily be undermined. If I hear someone say; “We need a couple of guys to help with carrying some boxes”, I’m usually quick to volunteer. Call it an advocative urge to prove that sex organs have nothing to do with the ability to lift heavy objects, or just an egoistical desire to show myself to be capable. Society gives men and women different kinds of societal privileges and expectations, but I would simply want to freely select which roles and skills I want to own
Throughout my teenage years and into my early 20s I was a bi curious young thing skimming through lesbian porn but having no idea how to find someone to explore that interest with. I trawled through dating sites but was too scared to actually meet a girl in real life. Everytime I consider pursuing my girl crush to the next level, I just feel like a fraud. My romantic pursuits still focused mainly on men, and I didn’t consider myself truly classifiable as a part of the LGBTQ spectrum for several years after that.
I’m starting to understand that my sexual desires and my gender fluidity don’t necessarily have to equate something in regards to what my instincts choose for a partner for romantic connection.
Nowadays I identify as a genderfluid polyamorous pansexual, largely heteroromantic (doesn’t that sound like bit of a pretentious mouthful when I spell it all out?). I’m yet to develop desires for deep emotional connection towards a non-male person beyond a crush or temporal sexual urges. I welcome with an open heart whatever desires I may come across within my future self, and exploring how my identity and methods of expression may change.