Tell Me

Why do you say things that you know are misleading?

Is it your way of secretly pleading?

Are you begging me to question your motivation?

 

Do you speak so freely and pretend to be joking so that you’re never left owning…

Owning the truth in what you say or do?

What can I do to just convince you to tell me the truth?

There’s nothing that I wouldn’t strike down –

Not if it meant having the truth out in the open.

I would like to understand all these words that you’ve spoken.

 

Because – sometimes – you can get almost too serious and too close…

And sometimes you’re just so flirty without remorse.

Of course, I can’t tell what remorse actually is –

At least not with you! Because you’re so fucking sarcastic!

 

But there are times, too; other times where I swear it’s just you,

And your messed up way of saying that these are the real feelings you’re having,

And that’s what is so goddamn frustrating – so infuriating.

 

So – when you have a free moment – give me a call and tell me what’s up.

Tell me without any hesitation or delay why it is that you feel this way.

Tell me the cause of your admiration that sometimes feels tailored,

Although equally insincere.

Because, honest to god, I would love to hear.

Real Trouble

The trouble with her is that she smiles in a way that is somehow sadder than a frown.

Inside of her eyes is certain sorrow that I’m sure can’t be turned around;

Except – except when she looks at me and then very quickly away –

I swear I see her falling in love with me slowly each and every day.

I never would have seen it coming if it weren’t for the fact that I was waiting.

Or, as my friends would sooner say… I was hoping.

It may not have been for her and it may not have been right now.

But when I see her big, bright eyes – well, wow – I know I can’t get out of this tangled mess.

I will soon love her with every fiber of my being that I have left.

Of course, there won’t be an ounce of regret.

 

The trouble with him is that he smiles like a man with nothing to lose.

He does everything with his entire self and his excitement is so fresh and new.

Except – except that sometimes when you catch him looking out the window – vacant in every imaginable way.

Sometimes catch him off guard and there’s nothing that he can ever say;

Nothing that he could ever do to hide the truth.

Somewhere deep inside he hurts as much as I do.

Maybe that is why I can’t get him out of my mind and why he haunts me in my sleep.

I thought I was stepping onto solid ground, but I’ve sunken far too deep.

I can’t pretend when I look at him my heart isn’t lighter.

Or that at some point he’ll ask me to speak honestly about what I think – what I feel.

And I swear he’ll make me a proper liar.

I’d sooner pretend that I didn’t know what love is than to admit…

Perhaps I’d know what love is if I were with him.

 

The trouble with them is that they always danced around each other.

He would try to dance away, but she would always dance closer.

And it would seem that if she ever stood down then he would step up.

It continued like this for far too long – but never once did they confess their love.

So with baited breaths and stolen glances –

Everyone around them watched as they passed up every chance –

Opportunities for them to reveal their not-so-secret secrets – and enjoy proper romance…

 

Maybe the real trouble is that the timing never seemed right.

He never knew how to approach her,

And she always insisted there’d be a better night.

In the end they loved each other quietly with bottled up remorse.

Wondering in the backs of their minds; “Could we have had more?”

Broken-Hearted

You say things that make me question myself.

It gets me asking if I belong in Hell; Things that I refuse to address.

You casually bring those long forgotten concerns back to the surface.

You suggest things that I wouldn’t normally want to hear; And you do things I simply don’t want to believe.

And, of course, you smile in a way while you do it all that I – I cannot breathe.

Why I have so much stock in you – could I ever really know?

Regardless of the reason why, I feel as though…

It will always be painful to watch you go.

 

When you take that step in the opposite direction I realize that I am alone with my thoughts;

Thoughts that you have sown unintentionally into my head.

Tomorrow I will likely wake weaker than today – but I won’t let a single soul know.

I will never let on to anyone that I have changed – not even you.

Easy and helpless as it was – I can’t say that I’m sad that it’s begun.

I feel more awake than I have in years; and while awake I am without my deepest fears.

 

These truths that once crippled me are things I now foster happily.

Of course, I have to do this all so carefully and quietly – without any speculating eye.

My silent wishes cannot ever be spoken because all that I know can be broken.

I would rather suffer a lifetime of fruitless daydreams,

And never once taste the true motivation behind the things you ask me.

This life is not as bad as never knowing the reason behind your hard questions.

I can’t begin to know or pretend to know – there is no way I can even so much as guess.

 

Do these same curiosities also sneak through your head?

 

There is so much that we both leave unsaid.

Maybe we are ruining something perfect before it begins,

Or maybe I am creating a fake possibility in the recesses of my mind.

Just dreaming as though I were asleep hoping for a life that could never be mine.

 

I’ll write these words and consider myself mental, consider myself pathetic;

I’ll consider myself heartless and worthless; knowing the eyes that matter will never read it.

 

Maybe if I write enough lines of this ridiculous poem I’ll forget why I started.

Maybe I’ll forget that you reminded me that this isn’t love…

 

…This is broken-hearted.

Cherry Cream Soda

Disclaimer:   Normally I wouldn’t post something “fanfiction” -eque on my blog, but I couldn’t resist this poem. I wrote it after watching Adventure Time’s newest episodes starring Cherry Cream Soda, Root Beer Guy, and Starchy. So without any further adieu, I bring to you – unnecessary rhyming and a story about Adventure Time.


Falling for you wasn’t a choice.

Literally, it wasn’t a choice.

I looked at you and was told what to do,

To get married! And to smile, and to love you…

Arranged neatly, calculated and precise.

Of course when our lips met for the first time;

It was really great, actually.

Better than I thought,

So I guess science isn’t wrong.

There were smiles and tears,

There were spills and cheers.

Together we built a home,

Together we built a life.

Of course, we did everything together.

You know, because I was kind of your wife.

Really, being married was nice.

It was warm, exciting; it felt right.

You bought me cute vases from cheap shops;

And I cooked extravagant meals, pulling out the stops,

Being as perfect as I could manage.

So when you cracked up and crapped out – I was legitimately damaged.

I had to bury you.

Time passed, flowers grew;

Eventually the grass died in the winter,

I was forced to forget you.

It was hard at first, in this empty house;

But once I got out and got around,

It seemed like finding a new love was super easy.

Like – too easy.

Seriously, it was too easy.

So in no time, it felt, I was married again.

To a fluffy odd man with an awkward grin,

And a giggle that I couldn’t trust,

But it was an odd sort of love, and at times it felt felt like guilt.

I guess it faded overtime because I let it disappear.

I actually convinced my heart to beat faster when my second husband was near.

We became neutral, I suppose, and instead of being upset I let it slide.

It went on like this for several years.

So many years passed, though.

Where did the time go; because I don’t know…

And then at the drop of a hat you came back.

You are a zombie?

Yes, you’re a zombie.

You are the shell of a man that used to be my husband.

I had convinced myself that you were dead,

Because the brain works in mysterious ways?

I guess I just ran away because I no idea what was going on with you.

People change, and sometimes we’re blind to it all.

I thought life was good but I watched you fall,

Without a clue what was even happening.

I guess that’s part of why it was so easy remarrying.

Of course, after I see your face and the way you were willing to fight…

Even though I think both of you men are mad,

The only thing that feels right is starting over with you.

So, yeah, I guess you’re a complete stranger.

And I get that you feel undead, and that you think you’re just a danger to me.

I just want to learn what it’s like to choose the love of my life.

And I think it would be really great,

You know, to be your wife again.

Not right now!

But eventually.

For now, I just want to slow it down.

Do you want to go out?

WE – A poem

Look at me, looking at you,

Looking at him, wondering what to do.

Ask him, ignore him, or pretend;

That he doesn’t exist or that it feels like the end;

An end before it began, and beginning with no catalyst.

Liking him is like an Indie film.

Slow moving, and longer than a blip of time lost from your life.

But if you asked me, I would weigh the options if I am better than him for you.

Maybe liking you is an Indie film for me too.

It won’t matter because he’s the one that you want, and I’m a man of my word.

So you’ll chase after him and I’ll stay with my girl.

Just know that it won’t change our electrifying stolen glances;

Or the way we light fires under each other’s asses;

Or the way we laugh at the same crude jokes;

Or even the way know better than most.

Life comes and life goes, as do opportunities for more.

But we are the type to cherish the nervous feeling and never know.

So look at me looking at you, looking at him and forgetting me.

It’s okay since there’s no way there’d ever be a “we.”

Sex & Romance Don’t Show Up in Perfectly Wrapped Boxes – SORRY!

Disclaimer:   This MOM article is extremely controversial and could trigger intense opinions and/or feelings. If you do not feel that you can express those opinions/feelings in a polite and respectful fashion, then I highly advise that you do not continue reading. For everyone else that can and will read, please remember that this is an opinion article, although heavily informative.


Sex. Gender. Sexuality.

Do those words tend to make you nervous? Perhaps those words make you uncomfortable? If it makes you feel better, those words all used to make me want vomit. Growing up, I hated identifying with a gender, talking about sex, and identifying my sexuality. All of it – I just wanted to crawl in a door and hibernate until the next generation, or until the apocalypse. Of course, if you asked my family, they’d tell you that my actions strongly contradict that statement, but that’s not really the focus of today’s article. Today I really just want inform and discuss sexuality and romance in great detail because someone out there needs this information.

To start, I want to first make sure that we – as educated humans – understand the difference between gender and sex. I’ve discussed it before in previous articles, but let’s pretend we don’t know for a second. A refresher never hurt anyone, right?

A person’s biology and/or genitals identify that individual’s sex (APA). Now, I know that we will probably need some context here. People will hear ‘sex’ and they think of the verb tense. Before we start getting into that frame of mind let’s just throw that a park, okay?

Sex is determined by genetics. A male has the genetic code “XY” while a female has the code “XX.” There are disorders, such as Turner’s Syndrome, in which the genetic code has been altered. Unfortunately, I am not covering such matters today. A person’s genetic code determines how that individual will react physiologically to medications, surgeries, and hormones. Biology is different for each gender and can help determine how to handle the symptoms of various disorders, illnesses, and treatments. Identifying a person’s sex is incredibly important for medical reasons and should never be “brushed aside” in any circumstance.

A person’s gender is determined by behaviors, attitudes, and feelings (APA). This is a shortened version that isn’t inclusive of the relation to culture, stereotypes, and biology. Gender is something often misconceived. Gender and sex are nonexclusive identifiers. Too often this forgotten and causes hysteria among individuals whom are not accepting or understanding of what separates sex and gender identities.

For example, there’s also the option to identify as transgender/intersex and gender fluid. Transgender, or intersex, occurs under one of two circumstances: 1) the person’s biological sex does not match that person’s gender identity, or 2) the person’s biological sex comprises of both male and female genitals (Dictionary). For example, a person with a penis choosing to identify as a female is transgender. Another example, a person that has breasts and a penis is transgender. Some transgender individuals experience gender dysphoria. Other transgender individuals can be at peace with their bodies and identities, but those who do not overcome the dysphoria can choose to transition.

Transition is just an easier way of saying sexual reassignment surgery, which is a procedure that allows a person to change his or her genitals to the gender desired (Surgery Encyclopedia). There are male-to-female and female-to-male surgeries available. The details of those procedures are best reserved for someone wishing to acquire that information and can be best described by a psychiatrist, psychologist, or physician that is knowledgeable on the topic.

Male, female, and transgender are not the only gender identifiers. There is also the option to be gender fluid. A person who gender fluid chooses to not identify as either male or female but prefers to remain neutral, or changes back and forth between both genders as desired (Dictionary). People who are gender fluid are typically referred to as “gender neutral,” “androgynous,” or “non-binary” depending on which term more accurately describes him, her, or xem.

This leads me perfectly into my next topic – pronouns. So, we have pronouns that we use in association with our gender identity. Males use: he, him, and his. Females use: she, her, and hers. People who are gender fluid prefer to use a different set of pronouns. While there are no linguistically accepted terms currently for fluid identification, there are dozens of options online. Although, the most commonly used conjugations can be found on this Tumblr blog.

For the purposes of this article, I will be using xe and it’s derivatives. I always try to be gender neutral when using pronouns in general, unless I feel that it will hinder the flow of text. Even then, I will often alter my text to avoid gender specific pronouns so that I am being considerate to all audiences.

So, now that we understand gender and sex as well as the various identifications in each category – time to move deeper into the cavern of knowledge! Now we can look at the next tier of sex, romance, and sexuality. Of course, where there is sex and romance there is also attraction. You may or may not realize this, but there are four (or five, depending on who you ask) types of attraction. Since I didn’t even know this until a few months ago – it is extremely vital that I make a short list of each type and what it entails. Let’s go!

Now, since these are relatively new concepts and are just now being explored, many of these sources will be blogs (on Tumblr specifically) that discuss sexuality in great depth for their followers. It’s hard to find professional and scholarly websites that are reliably unbiased on the topic. Even those striving to be informative use negative language. So, based on my research here’s what I’ve found on the different types of attraction:

  1. Sexual: The desire to engage someone sexually based on as many or as few factors as the individual enjoys.
  2. Sensual: The desire to engage someone physically in such a way is not sexual but is still physically satisfying according to the individual’s need. Note that sensual attraction is not sexually suggestive in any way and could possibly be felt towards non-human things, such as a cat, clothing items, blankets, and pillows – to name a few.
  3. Romantic: The desire to engage someone emotionally in such a way that suggests a profound and/or exclusive romantic relationship.
  4. Aesthetic: The attraction to a person devoid of any physical or emotional desire and is based primarily on an individual’s personal preferences. Aesthetic attraction is not unlike playing a game that you are fond of, or watching a television show that you find enjoyable. There is no desire for reciprocation of involvement in any way.
  5. Platonic: The attraction to a person on an emotional level that harbors no desire for any physical reciprocation of those feelings. This attraction is not romantic on any level either. As such, the individual only wishes to maintain a long lasting relationship with the person emotionally. (This form of attraction arguably could be a subsection of Romantic and/or Aesthetic, but some argue it is a separate category because it doesn’t fall exclusively in either category).

(AVEN Wiki & Whes Tumblr)

Many people experience each of these stages as they develop long-term relationships. Understand that not everyone experiences every single form of attraction. The following paragraph (in italics) serves only as an example to better explain the forms of attraction.

Please find no offense if the example does not apply to you ❤

A girl sees a boy at school and thinks he is cute. She finds that she is aesthetically attracted to him, but she doesn’t pursue him because she knows nothing about him. It doesn’t make him less cute, but it doesn’t justify her obsessing over him and wanting a relationship either. A few weeks later she goes to a party and runs into the cute boy from school. They start talking and realize that they have quite a lot in common. Now that she is familiar with him she is platonically attracted to him, being friends works out great because they can learn about each other more. After several months, though, the girl starts to feel differently about her cute guy friend. She wants to hold his hand in the hallways, give him hugs when he wins his sports games, and even kiss him when he’s laughing. The girl is now sensually attracted to him. At the same time, she’s still growing increasingly closer to him. Somewhere around the same time she realizes she desires emotional reciprocation from their friendship she starts to see him romantically. Before long the girl and boy are dating. They are together for several months when they start wanting more than just hugs and kisses. They start craving physical gratification now and soon engage sexually. By this time, the two have worked through each form of attraction, each of which coexists in a bit of a blend throughout the entirety of their relationship.

Hopefully that helps as an example of how each of these forms of attraction work. People can experience all of these, some people experience one of them, and others can experience a blend of some them. It is important to remember that attraction is not a mutually exclusive process. There are no restrictions or inclusions which dictate that you have to experience one and two, or two but not three. Too few people know this – and too few people bother to share the information.

Okay, so you’ve worked through 1600 words now, and I’m sure you’re ready for me to get the “meat and potatoes” (goodness, doesn’t that sound delicious right now?) of the article. Finally, we are going to get in the grit and grime of sex, romance, and sexuality. So let me ask you this – are you aware that there are more than three sexualities, and did you know that sexual and romantic orientations are separate from one another? Luckily, if you don’t, I’m getting ready to break into the simplest terms I can come up with for you.


I am not going to beat around the bush or pretend to transition to the next topic. I’m going to hit hard and go in fast. Be ready because I’m about to info-dump a lot of information that could help you be a better person to the people that you know.

So, first, sexual and romantic identification are separate from one another. Again, there’s so few academic works on this because anything other than heterosexual is just now starting to getting recognized as legitimate. Right now, the culture is growing – booming even – as these individuals’ feelings are becoming valid. I apologize that there aren’t more scholarly references, but the most renown leaders in psychology and sociology were once pioneers in their fields. If you search in Google “sexual and romantic orientation” you find a slew of links to asexual support forums and blogs – all dedicated to validating a person’s sexual or romantic identity.

Knowing that sexual and romantic identification are separate from one another, I believe that now is the perfect time to use a chart to best relay the “spectrum” of potential orientations. I will address this again later in this article, but in spite of how specific I am being in this article know that I am still being very quite general.

Please take no offense if your specific identification is not in this chart ❤

Sexual Orientation Explanation
Asexual Does not experience sexual attraction
Demisexual Experiences sexual attraction under certain circumstances
Graysexual Experiences sexual attraction only after a profound emotional bond has been established with the other individual
Heterosexual Experiences sexual attraction only to the opposite sex
Homosexual Experiences sexual attraction only to the same sex
Bisexual Experiences sexual attraction to only two genders (male & female, possibly male & transgender or female & transgender – although not as common)
Pansexual Experiences sexual attraction to all genders
Romantic Orientation Explanation
Aromantic Does not experience romantic attraction
Demiromantic Experiences romantic attraction under certain circumstances
Grayromantic Experiences romantic attraction only after a profound emotional bond has been established with another individual
Heteromantic Experiences romantic attraction only to the opposite sex
Homoromantic Experiences romantic attraction only to the same sex
Biromantic Experiences romantic attraction to only two genders (male & female, possible male & transgender or female & transgender – although not as common)
Panromantic Experiences romantic attraction to all genders

Technically speaking, this should be a horizontal chart. People refer to the above information as being on a “spectrum” – not too unlike when describing the degree of affliction of Autism. While sexuality and romanticism are not disorders by any stretch of the imagine, it is something which is so broad spanning and under-researched – it makes the most sense to include it on a spectrum for the time being. One of my previous hyperlinks does take you to a website which has the information horizontally, although I disagree with the order because it doesn’t fit the flow of a spectrum.

As with all spectrums, though, there are smaller degrees within that spectrum. (Gosh, I’ve said ‘spectrum’ so many times I’m already sick of typing it. Alas, I have an obligation to be thorough so I’ll keep on throwing it in wherever it is necessary.)… To start, I’m going to move from asexuality/ aromantic to pansexuality/ panromantic. Without further adieu, let’s delve deeper, shall we?

Asexuality is easily the most diverse portion of the spectrums, ironically enough. This is because technically speaking, asexuality is the umbrella term to refer varying levels of interests in sex and involvement in sex, including: asexual, graysexual, or demisexual. The same idea is applied to aromanticism, including: aromantic, grayromantic, or demiromantic). Each of those three are distinctly different from the other but still qualify in some way as asexuality.

In addition to ace/aro, gray, and demi orientations, there are two more classifications that are worth addressing as well. I want to start with Lithsexual and Lithromantic. After I will address autochorissexual (and why people don’t think autochorisromantic is possible).

            Lithsexual? Lithromantic? What could those possibly mean? Well, lithsexuality and lithromanticism means that the individual experiences sexual desire or romantic desire – but – the individual has no desire for those feelings to actually be reciprocated (Wikia). Consider this: a guy and a girl are best friends for years. The girl maintains a steady relationship with one of the guy’s best friends. The guy, however, constantly flirts and makes passes at her – suggesting that they should be in a relationship. It never goes anywhere, though, because the guy is open about the fact that he has no desire to actually engage his friend in that fashion.

            Lithsexuality/ lithromanticism is the notch between graysexuality/ grayromanticism and demisexuality/ demiromanticism. It makes the individual somewhere between the two, but not wholly one or the other. There’s still a lack of desire for participation in sex or romance, but there is some attraction either way. Similarly, there is a step between heterosexual/ heteromantic and demisexual/ demiromantic – and this autochorissexual – maybe-maybe-not autochorisromantic. Ready to talk about that? Too bad – I’m doing it anyway.

You will be hard pressed to find anything on autochorisromanticism because there’s debate as to whether it’s a real thing. I suppose that is up to the individual until sociology and psychology pioneers decide to officially put in a book. Here’s the meaning of autochorissexual, you can compare and determine for yourself… When someone is an autochorissexual they fantasize about sex and sexual acts and even masturbate; however, they don’t harbor a desire to actually engage in sex or sexual activity with others (Wikia). There is a distinct disconnect between feeling the attraction and engaging, which means that the individual identifying as autochorissexual is still a degree of asexual (Wikia).

Arguably, in my personal opinion, autochorissexuality could also be applied to romanticism. When we swap sexuality for romantic, the altered definition becomes: they fantasize about romance and romantic acts and make romantic gestures; however, they don’t harbor a desire to actually have romantic gestures returned or made to them. There are blogs on Tumblr that argue autochorisromance is not a possibility. Some say it’s because autochorisromantic is more akin to sex-repulsion, but rather as romantic-repulsion. Others believe that autochoris- as a prefix is exclusive to sexuality and cannot accurately translate to romanticism. Were autochorisromantic is very similar lithromantic.

If I followed the spectrum left to right we would be discussing heterosexuality and heteromance, but I’ve decided that’s essentially a waste of time. Society has weighed so much on heteronormativity that we are assumed heterosexual until we dictate otherwise, and even then we are not necessarily believed. As I’ve mentioned before in other articles, there’s therapy that exists to “correct” sexualities that are not heterosexuality. So, I don’t really believe that I need to really identify what heterosexuality is, or what heteromance is, because we’ve been fed heteronormativity before we ever took an independent breath. Harsh as that seems, this article isn’t about shedding light on something we already understand but rather to focus on things we do not understand – or worsethat we don’t respect. So, all of that hot-tempered rambling aside, we’re moving right on forward into bisexuality/ biromantic and pansexuality/ panromantic.

As with all things sexuality and romantics these days, there is some question about the difference between bisexuality and pansexuality and their romantic counterparts. I can’t make the decisions for you on what the words mean, but I can talk to you about linguistics. When something doesn’t make sense, we should try to make sense of the individual parts to understand the bigger picture.

So in my mind, there’s no legitimate question as to what the differences are between bi and pan. Prefixes all have a fairly exactly meaning. Now, meanings can and do occasionally change and get altered through time, but not all words will change. Some definitions are pretty concise.

‘Bi,’ as a prefix, means “two” or “twice” when combined to a root word. There is no room for interpretation of a number. Two will always mean two. Twice will always mean twice. And as such, using ‘bi’ as a prefix will always mean that something is halved, or doubled, or split in two ways. That means that bisexuality and biromanticism will always mean attraction sexually or romantically to two genders. In my chart above, I listed the possible combinations for bisexuality and biromanticism.

It may seem strange to look at those options: male and transgender, or female and transgender? But I’ve seen it. People saying that they prefer transgender individuals instead of men or women. Bisexuality including a preference to transgender and one other gender is within the scope. Transgender is a separate gender classification, whether ignorant people want it to be or not, and should be treated as such. There could even be an attraction to females and non-binaries, as an example including a gender fluid individual.

As I said, bisexual and biromantic encompasses only two genders. ‘Pan,’ as a prefix, means “all” when combined to a root word. This is what truly differentiates the two orientations. Pansexuality/ panromantic is an attraction to all gender identifications. A slogan of pan relations is “Love Hearts, Not Parts.” Someone who is pansexual or panromantic will have sex or love anyone regardless of his/her/xe’s genitals.

The argument at its core on bi versus pan is that if a bi prefers trans individuals that a trans is both genders, which could mean bi and pan are comparable terms. But – sorry Charlie – that is not the case, though. A trans person does not see him/her/xem selves as a blend of genders, or two genders existing together. No – transgender people see themselves as a group – entirely separate from male and female and non-binary. Trans is a category all it’s own and those people deserve the respect that males and females get; and non-binaries deserve that respect too, by the way.

And therein lies my opinion, with linguistics backing me up pretty heavily, that bi and pan are different. It’s a step between hetero or homo and pan orientations. There are people in the world that are bisexual/ biromantic choosing that orientation because pan doesn’t fit their interests but neither does hetero or homo. It is something worth something to those people and if they say that they’re bi, respect them. Do not invalidate them by lumping them into pan, or changing their orientation in your mind to fit the partners they have at any given time.

Perception is so weird, isn’t it? Perception is just the inner workings of our brain, our way of connecting dots to things we understand. Our perception gets all messed up because too many people in the world haven’t had the opportunity to see gender fluid role models, they haven’t had access to transgender support, and too often sexuality and romance is only portrayed one way. The easy way.

But that’s just it. Sex and romance is never easy. Love is messy and ridiculous. It’s up, down, backwards, sideways, and diagonal. The only cure for the simple is knowledge. Knowing more let’s us see more; let’s us understand things that we misplaced in our mind palaces. We re-categorize once we have what we need to identify what we see. So here’s knowledge so that you can appropriately identify relationships that you don’t understand. It’s okay to not know, but I don’t want you living in a world where you’ve never been told. So I’m telling you just a little bit more.

The best way to convey information is through stories, or at least that’s my personal belief. So I’m going to detail something in italicized font and then explain in bolded font how to best describe the relationship. And – we start – now!

Keller is sex identified as a male. His chosen gender identity matches his sex. Keller chooses to identify as demiromantic and homosexual. He will have sex with men as he feels the desire to do so, but his romantic inclinations only arise when a very deep emotional and spiritual connection been established. This is called “Mixed Orientation Identity.” Keller’s romantic orientation and sexual orientation do not match. Another term that can be used to identify Keller is varioriented – which is another way of saying that his sexual and romantic orientations do not match.

 

            Bennett is sex identified as a male. His chosen gender identity matches his sex. Chase is a sex identified female. Chase’s chosen identity does not match the assigned sex. Chase prefers neutral pronouns, such as xe, xem, xyr. Bennett is bisexual and biromantic. Chase is pansexual and panromantic. Bennett and Chase engage in a long sexual and romantic relationship that results in a healthy marriage. This is called “Mixed Orientation Relationship.” Bennett and Chase have different orientations but are in a relationship together. Another term that can describe Bennett and/or Chase is perioriented. Each person’s sexual and romantic orientations match (Bennett is bisexual and biromantic, Chase is pansexual and panromantic).

 

            Blake is sex identified as a female. Her chosen gender identity is female. Mel is sex identified as a male. His chosen gender identity is male. Blake and Mel are great friends and have strong feelings for one another but those feelings are neither sexual nor romantic. Blake and Mel have been living together as friends for several years and have committed to a life together with no romantic or sexual implications. Each of them identify as asexual and aromantic. Their relationship is platonic. Blake and Mel identify as platonic life partners. Not unlike people in traditional relationships or marriages, they have decided to help one another emotionally and financially, but they only see themselves as friends.

 

            Jo is a sex identified female. Her chosen gender identity is female. Alex is a sex identified female. Her chosen gender identity is female. Jo and Alex are perioriented asexual individuals. They have no sexual or romantic inclinations towards one another but are close friends. A part of their well-adjusted lives comes from living together and supporting each other emotionally and financially. This is similar to the platonic life partnership but is maintained between two individuals that are of the same sex. This is called queerplatonic. An alternative term is quasiplatonic, or even QP for short.

 

            Erin is sex identified as a female. Erin’s chosen identity is transgender. Erin uses male pronouns but is not pursuing sex reassignment. Quinn is sex identified as a male. Quinn’s chosen identity is transgender. Quinn uses female pronouns and is not pursuing sex reassignment. Erin and Quinn maintain a traditional relationship both romantically and sexually. Upon marriage, Erin and Quinn agree to a monogamous relationship with one another exclusively. This is a closed relationship, or a ‘traditional’ relationship as some may view it. A monogamous relationship is a closed relationship because sexually and romantically two people are exclusively with one another.

 

            Cecil is sex identified as a male. His chosen gender identity is male. Cecil is asexual but heteromantic. Sam is sex identified as female. Her chosen identity is female. Sam is homosexual but heteromantic. Since Cecil does not engage Sam sexually she has sexual relations with Lee. Lee is sex identified female whom is bisexual and biromantic. Cecil and Sam love each other romantically and maintain a stable relationship, but Sam and Lee also have a very healthy sexual relationship. This is an open relationship in which there are open sexual opportunities and romantic opportunities. Polyamory is the identification of one’s orientation if he/she/xe desires to only engage in open relationships.

 

Does that help? I think it helps. By creating realistic people and giving them clear identities and bonds with other realistic people the concepts become, well, real. Chances are that we know couples and partners and friends that fall into these categories in one way or another. Understanding the correct terminology and relationship classifications helps us to better respect our peers and loved ones. It also helps us keep an open mind when meeting strangers. By having an open mind we can extend a level of respect most people who have minority orientations don’t usually expect.

Why don’t people expect that respect, though? Unfortunately, most people do not take the time you are taking today to understand the various sexual and romantic orientations and the different kinds of relationships that exist. There are actual people in the world that do believe sex and romance are packaged neatly into one category: perioriented heterosexuality.

And as a reminder, even as I write this article trying to inform readers about the details – I know that I’m still generalizing. There’s always more.

Yes, you read that correctly. There’s even more to asexuality and aromanticism specifically. I listed Asexual/ aromantic, Demisexual/ demiromantic, and Graysexual/ grayromantic. What I didn’t list was: fraysexual, cupiosexual, placicsexual, abrosexual, and apothisexual. What I didn’t list was: gynoromantic, androgynoromantic, androromantic, neutroisromantic, transromantic, polyromantic, and monoromantic. There’s so much more to sexuality and romanticism than the world has been willing to explore. Psychological and sociological professionals believe that sexuality can be situational, adding deeper degrees to our sexuality.

Let’s go back to Keller from the first story. Keller identifies his sexual orientation as homosexual. But, let’s say because of his demiromantic orientation that he falls in love with a female. Emotionally and romantically the two of them connect very deeply. As the result of that connection Keller finds that he want to have sex with this woman. So even though he identifies as homosexual, he engages in heterosexual sex. Keller only does this because his romantic needs have been fulfilled and sexual desires arose from that relationship exclusively. It could be said that Keller is circumstantially heterosexual. Circumstantial sexualities and romantics could be considered a secondary attraction.

What’s that? What’s a secondary attraction? If there’s a secondary then there must be a primary, right?

And that brings us into the last little bit of information I wish to discuss in this particular article. One’s primary attraction is a reflection of one’s preferred desires. You could equate these to your “standards” for a partner. Going back to Keller again. With him being demiromantic and homosexual that means that his wants are strong emotional bond and male sexual partners. Those are his first factors when engaging someone sexually or romantically. However, when Keller found a woman who met his needs romantically he then found that he could engage in heterosexual sex because of his romantic satisfaction. This is a secondary attraction, which has developed over time as the result of his circumstances. Keller was not forced to change his sexual orientation for the relationship, but his needs and wants changed to reflect his circumstances. People too often forget one vital thing about life, or perhaps they conveniently forget. I guess I don’t care to know which… but…

People change. We make mistakes. We learn lessons. We grow, and we learn. All the time we are changing our clothes, our homes, our jobs, and any other innumerable amount of details about ourselves and in our lives. However, nobody tells us that it’s okay for our sexualities and our romanticisms to change too. It is perfectly acceptable to be heterosexual and heteromantic during one part of your life and to later realize that sex isn’t really your thing, and change your orientation to asexual but heteromantic. Or perhaps you are heterosexual but panromantic for several years, but you quickly find that heterosexuality is limiting your ability to find a stable relationship and broaden your interests before identifying as bisexual and panromantic. So many changes happen in this world, right down to our sex assignments. Before long we will be able to alter genetics manually.

And that’s why I wanted to write this article. Why is it we want to control the way people look and the way people feel with surgeries and medications but we don’t want to acknowledge the wide spectrum of sexuality and romance that exists in the world? I can’t wrap my mind around why it is such a controversial topic. We aren’t deciding life and death by allowing people to love and have sex the way that they want to… but we would deny these people their ability to choose how to make those decisions for themselves? It is all very wrong to me that we can’t let people maintain whatever relationships make them happy. As long as nobody is in emotional, mental, or physical distress – what should it matter to anyone outside of that relationship?

In conclusion – sex and romance are complicated. Love is wild. There’s not a single box in the world that could ever hold all of the different aspects of sex and romance. There is no ribbon long and wide enough to tie it up and put it into a pretty bow of containment. Sex, love, and romance – it’s always going to be as untamed as the ocean. Instead of leaving these people in the dark depths, unknown and unrecognized, why don’t we explore what their world is like? Why don’t we give show these people that we know that they exist…

And that we think it’s wonderful that they do ❤


*I am not using a References section for this article. I have hyperlinked everything within the article for easy access while reading. Normally I would create a hyperlink reference section at the end of the article too, but I nixed it. Express your concerns in the comments below if necessary, and thank you for your understanding.

Maybe It’s Time

The hard part isn’t being a single father. No, the hardest thing about my life is explaining to Lee why she doesn’t have a mother. She is four now and she just asks so many questions.

Do I not have a mommy because you don’t like mommies? Of course not, I have to tell her, I love mommies. Lee hears this and scrunches her face, in a temper tantrum sort of way. Sometimes I have nightmares about the Terrible-Twos when she gives me this look before bed.

Then do mommies not like me? This isn’t true either. When I tell her that she is certainly not the problem, and that she’s the single most adorable young lady in the world, she mumbles back; so I don’t understand why I don’t have a mommy. It used to be that I would dodge around the question until she got tired to asking, or got distracted by her toys.

Her birthday is today, though, and when she tells me her plans before her party guests arrive I conclude that it is time to stop evading her; “Daddy, I’m going to wish for a mommy for my birthday. I think that is why I don’t have one. I never asked!” Her dainty little fingers are scrawling a beautiful woman on the paper – or at least as beautiful as a stick figure can be, anyway. Chances are that this is yet another drawing of a mommy that she wants. On this particular day the mommy is wearing a blue triangular dress with a shiny gold scepter. I am willing to bet that this is “Birthday Mommy,” the best celebrator of birthdays ever known on Earth.

“Lee, you can’t just wish for a mommy. Having two parents isn’t as easy as it sounds, sweetheart. A mommy and daddy have to love each other.” Four years after Natalia left, and five years after leaving Taylor, it seems that I find the courage to admit that maybe I just didn’t love those women enough. Each of us deserved happier lives, so in the end it must have worked out for the better. As I pull back from the reminiscent fray, I watch my daughter’s eyes brighten. It is a little strange, as I have no idea why a child – or even adult – would find my words hopeful.

“That means my new wish will have to come true.” Her curly brown hair bounces with her as she shoots out of her chair. Our hands clasp together and instantly we’re prancing around the kitchen dancing without any music other than our laughter.

Having a child has brought so much happiness to my life. Moments exactly like this make me realize that regretting any of my past mistakes and experiences seem wasteful. Laughing, dancing, singing, playing, dressing up, tea partying, dance rehearsals and recitals; being a father makes me content with everything leading up to this role in my life because there is nothing better than knowing that she loves me and I love her. Our life together is good.

“What is your new wish, Little Leedy?” As a human being, I feel I should be ashamed by this cheesy, nonsensical nickname. For her second birthday my mouth was full of napkins and I still carried a diaper bag of pull-ups and alternative outfits. My mother was asking me about the birthday girl and I said something to the effect of, ‘oh thees lil leeday?’

Lee loved it instantly so it has stuck around. Little Leedy and Little Deedee.

“I’ll wish for a mommy to love my deedee!” There seems little point in chasing her as she flies into the backyard. I’ll never know how her timing is so perfect that she is always in the backyard to meet her grandmother at the gates, but she is out there once again just as Nana shuts her car door.

Keeping track of the hours that pass while I decorate the picnic tables and ensure proper set-up of the jump house ranks lowest on my priority list. Lee is sitting with my parents in the front yard welcoming guests and ushering them to the backyard where parents leave their kids on the swing set. Most of the folks aren’t sticking around for three hours while kids basically play and smear cake on their cheeks.

Also, I’ve found that many parents do not really socialize with one another. If the kids are friends the only conversations to be had are usually in relevance to the children. At least once or twice I tried to make lunch dates with other single parents but I usually get turned down. Sometimes the reasons are valid; other times the excuse is so made up that it literally would have made more sense to say that the family had business on Mars to attend to instead.

Lost in my thoughts so deeply I nearly miss the alarm on my phone screaming, a reminder to start shuffling the kids around for presents and cake. My mother is taking some of the little girls inside to use the restroom so I ask if one of the grandmothers that stayed behind if she would mind helping me out.

“It is always flattering to have a young man find some use out of an elderly woman like me.” Her granddaughter, Miley, is Lee’s best friend at daycare. The girls love doing art projects together and singing karaoke. Uncertainly, I try recalling her name. I am pretty sure that her name is Eleanor but I don’t want to actually say it and be wrong. Instead I say thank you ‘Mrs. Bayberry.’

Plates are soon filled with cake and kids are poking at the frosting with their forks to pass the time while Lee opens her gifts. She has no order, of course, and the only thing that really happens is ripping and screaming. Lee loves everything she ever receives from anyone. I don’t care why she is this way because it honestly is one of the best things about her as a child. Gracious children are to be admired because too often it gets lost in the angst and formalities of growing up.

After I get the trash gathered and kids are off playing again the only thing left to do is relax. As soon as the parents pick up their children I can start properly cleaning up the backyard. Much more loudly than I intended, I suck in a deep breath that I exhale with control.

“You are a good father, Deacon.” Mrs. Bayberry chirps while shuffling onto the narrow patio with me. We stand there for a second as the compliment fills every crevice of silence. This is a statement I hear often from my family and closest friends but the words mean more coming from a fresh face. It gives me confirmation further that having Lee was the best decision of his life.

“Thank you very much. I think Lee agrees on most days. Although, she was quite angry with me on Monday when I had to take her markers away. Does every kid go through a ‘coloring on the wall phase’ or is it just mine?” Small talk is something that Deacon has always been able to do – it is, after all, a big part of being a loan advisor. Being relatable is a vital trait to have in his career field and Deacon does it quite well.

Mrs. Bayberry nods along in a slow manner that is something I consider a trademark for all elderly people; it’s a sign of recollection. This is when I stop paying attention to all other things, usually, because the stories that come from our elders can be phenomenal. It is not unlike having a book read to you and I love it. How special is it that this person is sharing his or her memories with you? Literally no words accurately describe how much I enjoy conversing with the old and wise.

Even if my eyes are following every child in the yard, my ears do not fail to hear her; “I remember my sweet Priscilla used to draw tiger lilies in the corners of her closet when she was mad at me. She may have hated being in that tiny excuse of a room but she is quite the painter now. The murals that woman can do – dear me – I can hardly believe that only twenty years ago she was my moody teenager crying over a bad prom.” Together we sigh; her at the memories of her daughter and myself at the memories of being young.

I remember my own bad prom. Taylor had gone with my best friend’s brother. I had taken the head cheerleader who got my name wrong twelve times during the night. Taylor’s date dumped her at the door where I wish my date had left me. We started talking at the punch bowl about what terrible nights we were having and ultimately ended up hailing a taxi together to meet up with a crowd that had already ditched the dance.

If only Taylor and I had been clearer about our ambitions then, about what we each needed out of life in order to be happy. That never was the problem, though, and I know now. Knowing doesn’t stop me from lapsing on the information but I try hard every day not to blame the failed relationship on her because it really wasn’t just her, not as much as I want to pretend that it had been…

“You would like Priscilla. She works hard all day but no matter how hard she works she comes home to her two children with a smile. They are everything to her and I see that same love in your eyes.” Now, I know Priscilla well enough. Being that the girls are very good friends we do often have to communicate to schedule play dates and parties. Last year our families went trick-or-treating together.

Unfortunately, she had been seeing someone at the time and I had never considered her as anything but a friend. I am far from foolish and I can tell that Mrs. Bayberry means very specifically that I would like Priscilla as more than just a friend. Regardless of her saying this, I am hesitant to believe that there is a possibility that she is single; “I do like her, actually. Priscilla is a good mother to Miley and Evan.”

Evading what she really meant was not the correct response; “I mean to say that you two would make a darling couple. I could talk to her if you’re interested.”

“Do you always hustle your daughter out like this or is mine a special case?” Concern about the topic at hand fades but my smile does not. My own mother is the same way, always trying to proposition me to women she fancies for me. During their generation it was okay to be so leading. I’ve sworn most days that I will do no such thing with Lee because there is a lot more to a person than their romantic value.

“How do you know that Priscilla hasn’t asked me to break the ice for her?” Mrs. Bayberry emits the softest chuckle. It is easy to laugh right along with her until I see that she is walking away from me. Instantly I fear that I have in someway offended her. I am nearly off of the patio before I realize that Priscilla is actually standing only a few feet away.

For how long, I haven’t a clue. Judging by the grin pushing her cheeks back, though, I can only assume that it doesn’t matter. Ever joyous and free-spirited she saunters nearer, clarifying quickly; “I didn’t ask her to do that but I may have mentioned that I was hoping to snag a coffee date – without the kids.”

Well, that was easy.

“Say yes, daddy. Say yes because it’s my birthday and you have to!” Before I roll my eyes, I see that Priscilla is shrugging her shoulders playfully. Miley appears out of nowhere in exactly the same fashion that Lee has, and together they all three giggle. Both girls promptly skip away to talk about how their parents are going to go on a date with the remaining toddlers.

A voice in the back of my mind is assuring me that I’m not ready for this at all. My marriage failed and whatever I had with Natalia never could have qualified as a relationship. Am I even capable of doing this the right way?

I did figure out how to be a pretty good dad on my own, though. Who says that the opportunity to be a good boyfriend, or even husband, has passed? I am the only person that decides what I am capable of in my life. Daringly I make direct eye contact with her; “Sounds good, actually. It sounds really good.”

Priscilla walks away without saying much else, but I’m not sure that we need to either. Each of us already knows what happens when love fails. We are mature enough to know that it’s a date – not forever.

Unless, of course, Lee gets a say in what happens.

I Don’t Think I’d Mind

My inspiration came from this website today!

The inspiration was: A school is the location, anticipation is the theme. A diamond ring plays a part in the story.

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Today is the last day of high school. Grasping the pocket of his pants, Andrew knows that it is madness to do this but in his heart he knows he has to do something. For years his best friend has been dating other guys and being let down. Yesterday she was dumped by another guy who “wants to keep his options open” while he goes to school downstate. Thomas has heard this excuse a dozen times by a dozen different people. It is the number one excuse for high school sweethearts breaking up.

Andrew doesn’t want every love story from senior year to be about relationships running their courses. Andrew wants people to come to the ten year reunion with one thought on their minds: Are Andrew and Charlotte still together? Of course, the answer to that question will hopefully be ‘yes.’

Just as he’s hoping the answer to the question first question is also ‘yes,’ but that could be a long shot. Andrew asking Charlotte to marry him is definitely one of those things best suited for dreams. One of those things that nobody should ever act upon, right? Andrew knows that he is lanky, he has a light brown hair color and boring grayish blue eyes. He is tall and awkward with a sideways smile, and a voice that sounds so unsure all of the time. Even though proposing to Charlotte is sincere he is kind of banking on her not taking him seriously.

A part of her will probably think it is sweet, maybe even exciting. Inevitably there will also be a part of that will want to give him all of the reasons why it could never work. The first being that they are just too good of friends to ever be something more. Every best friend in the world has heard this before because for every trope there seems to be an anti-trope. Andrew is expecting her to shoot him down whether or not she thinks the proposal is serious.

Classes go as normal for the morning, reminiscing. People talking about their futures, people avoiding the truth about their futures, teaches looking bored knowing that they will have to work hard to get grades finished up tomorrow. Charlotte is sitting in the front of the class talking to her best friend Tina. Together they laugh. Together they leave the classroom and together they go to lunch.

Andrew was hoping that they would separate at some point because ideally he was going to propose at lunch. When her table fills up he leaves the line and forgoes lunch altogether. Maybe he wasn’t as committed as he thought he was at first which is scary because he wants to be with Charlotte so badly. It feels as if it is the only constant in his life – this love for her.

“You just want it so much that you are afraid to get it,” Andrew explains to himself in a whisper. A few people may have heard him, who knows, but nobody would really remember he’s sure. That is the wonderful thing about high school, isn’t it? So many people overhear things that they don’t know will be important someday. Importance is all a matter of perspective. Andrew decides that just because he is too scared to propose that it doesn’t negate that he wants to get it out of his system.

Carefully scrawling his question onto printer paper from the library brings about an intensity that Andrew had no idea existed. These are the words his lips will never speak but they take his breath way just the same. Charlotte’s locker is 238 just across from the science labs. Nobody is going to question him being that he has chemistry after lunch so after he finishes his thought he folds a simply diamond ring into the paper.

In the middle of class, Andrew decides that he absolutely has to put this note into her locker. After chickening out earlier he decided to slide into his desk in the lab instead. Admittedly, he understands why he’s never been a viable option for Charlotte. She’s this brunette beast of a women with so much confidence, power, and control. Charlotte doesn’t regret anything she does, and even though she feels every emotion she does it with enthusiasm. Ever the optimist, even in light of her break-up she smiles and gets on with life. True passion comes from oneself, she thinks.

As such Andrew dismisses himself from the classroom and walks straight to her locker. Nobody can see him, thankfully, because her locker is around a corner. No windows from classroom doors can see it. Imaginary crunching sounds cause Andrew to hunch over, his chest is collapsing in the back of his mind. Being an introvert is possibly his worst trait, making him feel a bit cowardly at some of the silliest of things.

“Just do it!” Andrew grumbles a little louder than he should have, but it works because he drops the folded paper into his locker before slipping into the bathroom to cover his face in cold water. Wash away the memory of wearing his heart on his sleeve and hiding behind a locker note. Before long he realizes that his “bathroom break” has been too long for comfort and that he needs to get back to class – even if attendance can’t hurt him anymore.

Andrew is usually one of the last people left in the school. It’s his habit of picking up trash off of the floor in the hallways. Being that his father is a janitor at one of the elementary schools it’s just a family habit to tidy up. Many people make fun of him for it, calling him obsessive compulsive. People who know him well know it is nothing like that at all. He is just a clean guy with respect for people who don’t get paid nearly enough to make sure the schools aren’t a waste zone.

By the time he reaches his car he finds that Charlotte is waiting there holding a very familiar piece of paper in her hand. Her short hair is whooshing around in the summer breeze and the sunshine is making her wrinkle her nose. It’s cute because she inadvertently smile as she squints. Pace slowly exponentially as the possible scenarios play through his head. What if he just got her excited about rekindling her relationship? What if she is really made about it? What if she thinks it is sexual or emotional harassment? Dear goodness, what if Andrew just did something that makes her really mad!

Slowing himself does nothing for the short distance that remains, and because of this he is standing next to her with hands shoved as deep into his pockets as he can manage. Somewhere in the middle of his forearms there are indents from the stitching pressing angrily against his skin. Pursing his lips seems appropriate and mysterious. Andrew is convinced that this is going to work but Charlotte touches his arm in this all mighty way that confirms that she knows it was him.

“How?” Honestly, he’s lucky that he could even make a sound let alone a real word.

“Because this is your grandma’s ring, stupid.” Laughing with her entire body, Charlotte leans into him at first. Her face is pressed against his shoulder. Soon her arms wrap around him in a proper hug. They remain this way for several long and glorious minutes. Quietly waiting to see where things go, Andrew starts preparing himself for the worst, reminding himself to smile no matter what she says, or how she reacts.

There are maybe two cars left in the school parking lot before a deep breath cuts through the surprisingly peaceful tension. Can peaceful tension even exist? Her hands yank his from his pockets, playfully, nearly knocking him off of his feet. Chin tilts up in a way that Andrew finds he can’t resist mocking. The two of them smile before lowering their heads, and as they look at the ground Charlotte finally responds; “I don’t think I’d mind that, actually. We should just go for it and figure it out along the way.”