A Simple Love Story

Tuesday nights are good nights for dinner parties.

Monday is too soon, because the week just started. You’d be too tired to enjoy your company. Wednesday is the middle of the week – it’s not the kind of day you want to remember – hence a dinner party on Tuesday where everyone leaves drunk. Best to spend Wednesday hungover, right? Besides, while there are some people who think the week is “week half over,” there others are “week half started.” Am I right? Of course I’m right – otherwise I wouldn’t be explaining why Tuesday night is dinner party night.

Thursday would be a viable option, but it’s sort of the “last stretch.” The next day is Friday and that means the week is over. Nobody is ever miserable on Friday because they know that the weekend is starting. Some places even let their employees leave early – something that you really only ever see in big professional corporations.

Or, you know, with politicians.

We do these dinner parties once a week – politicians feel as though they need to have a break. I know, though, that these parties are more or less superficial rumor mill gatherings. I’d always hated going, but I never let anyone know it. After my sister’s flub with the pregnancy – which apparently wasn’t even actually her fault – I just smiled and flirted my way through the crowd until I stole enough liquor to stumble my way onto a distant balcony in a convincing enough way to deter all future questions.

“How is your sister?”

            “Has your dad said anything to you about the bill they’re reviewing in the House? What does he think about that nonsense?”

            “Do you think your mother will run any office now that her girls are all finished with high school – she’s quite the motivational speaker!”

            The thing about being a famous politician’s daughter – is that I’m not the teen mom daughter. I get plenty of questions and attention but none of it pertains to me. I can tell you exactly the last time someone asked about me – it was my waiter fifteen minutes prior, actually. He asked me if I had a preference to the chocolate mouse or the chocolate gelato. I didn’t answer him because I was stuffing my face with chocolate gelato. I think he was trying to be funny, but I was too posh to care.

That’s why I go to the balcony, to remind myself that I don’t want to be too caught up in this lifestyle. Soon I’ll be graduating college so that I can be in medical administration. It will be the perfect amount of schmoozing. Convincing people to care about the advancement of medical treatment – easy. Pretending not to be a cutthroat traitor to your co-workers – extremely boring and difficult. All politicians are paranoid, I’d learned.

Once I did make it to my balcony, though, I wasn’t as free as I’d hoped. There was never supposed to be someone there – I chose a very specific and remote balcony ahead of the party so that there’d be nobody around when I snuck to my escape. This time there was someone there already, and it was somebody who looked kind of familiar no less.

“You’re a long way from home.” The person said just be he popped a cigarette between his forefinger and thumb. It was not wrong. Not even just literally but metaphorically. For the first time that night, I genuinely smiled.

I approached the person, a bit of wonder in my mind at the time. The closer I got, the more I recognized the person – well, at least I recognized the outfit. This was one of the waiters. So I remarked to him in kind; “Aren’t you supposed to be working?” Dear god, I was so poshtoo posh! I was embarrassing beyond belief.

And yet – his laugh had been sincere! Puffs of smoke jumped from behind his teeth playfully as he pretended to chuckle. We stood there for a moment, laughing in rotation before finally someone had to say something. So the waiter, clearly a natural, opened, “Enjoy your gelato?”

He kept smoking, and for absolutely no reason that was super fascinating at the time. I just gawked at him until words formed on my lips. I mocked him for his attention to detail; asked him how many pretty girls were snacking on gelato that evening. And that man was smooth as hell; “Only one worth remembering. She didn’t quite fit in with the rest.”

It may sound repetitive, but dear god was he funny! I laughed so hard at him – at his well timed and generic pick up line. No less, I fell for it. Never you mind that I had a boyfriend back school that could have been devastated to see me impressed by this waiter.

Or rather, server – as he so aptly corrected me later when I questioned what a waiter was doing taking up half of his lunch by walking all the way across the building and up three floors. Servers could supposedly take extended lunches if they volunteered to stay behind for clean up hours, so he took his extra time to properly enjoy the quiet.

“Sorry I’m messing with your lunch. I can always leave, if you’d like.” But he stepped closer to me. This man assured me that I was hardly a bother at all. He’d been nothing shy of pleased to have such engaging company. We chatted about the party and how it sucked – how each week sucked.

And then he announced that each month sucked; that each year sucked. Soon he confirmed he’d been working there for nearly three years. Somehow we’d lost track of time during which he shared all about his life – how he would be returning to school to finish his degree to teach soon. I got his number that night and a link to his website, which also doubled as his portfolio. His YouTube account was dedicated to teaching art. I got caught up in it once he couldn’t avoid his responsibilities any longer.

Hours – it was hours that I’d spent watching those videos. Each was more enjoyable than the last, and I failed to even notice that my parents had gotten a ride home without me. I remained at the building to help clean up so that I could spend more time with the server. I learned his name was Gerard before I asked him to give me a ride home. We connected so much over the things we hated about the dinner parties that we set up a date for the following Tuesday – just so that we both had an excuse not to attend.

And that’s how we fell in love.

My boyfriend found out, from me directly, but unsurprised. I’d apparently been distant, which I didn’t bother doubting out loud. It easily could have been true. I hadn’t truly been happy until Gerard weaseled his cheeky little way into my heart. I’ve been with Gerard for about a year now.

I know the story itself is pointless. Nobody cares about our love story. We both come from families with a lot more going on than an honest romance… His family is filled with people who have great jobs at big businesses and firms. My family is filled with activists and politicians who are known around the world. Whatever happens to us is just a filler story at the reunions and dinner parties.

And that’s just fine by us.

We don’t need to be anything bigger than our love for each other.

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.

Look, Watch, Gaze

I catch you looking at me.

Or maybe you let me catch you.

Or maybe there’s no catching at all.

Maybe you’re doing it on purpose so I’ll see,

Or maybe I’m seeing only what pleases me.

Either way, you’re looking right at me and I can’t make something up to suggest that you’re not looking at me at purpose.

Initially, it seems blank.

A canvas with no paint; a paper with no ink;

And it’s kind of odd because you don’t even blink;

You’re just looking.

Or I guess it’s called ‘staring,’ but who am I to suggest that you’re intrigued in any way?

After a few minutes, a few glances away, and a few more days – I am pretty sure I’ve caught you watching now.

This time I know you’re watching because I’m moving in and out of view.

No matter where I go it seems as though I can see you;

And this suggests that you’ve moved in order to see me.

Perhaps this is because you are confused; at least you look confused.

Is there a question you need answered?

I guess I wouldn’t know because even after I ask if you need anything, you don’t answer the question in a way that I understand…

Since I can’t exactly gauge why it is you’re watching me I think I’ll just stay away.

That seems to be a good idea.

Until there’s something different in your eyes; something angrier, I’ve decided.

It bothers me on a personal level, even if it is totally stupid.

And I do mean stupid, because even in a lucid state of mind – I’m in no place to ask for a piece of your life.

So I keep to my plan and I keep at a distance.

I notice that you’re not watching anymore – you’re not looking at all.

There’s not even a single sign of resistance.

You’re just not sparing a single passing glance.

Before I get upset about not knowing – I remind myself that I gave up the chance to be concerned.

I don’t know how long passes before I catch you looking again.

It’s not a look, though; not anymore.

This is definitely a gaze.

But a gaze can be good or bad; so how do I know what to means?

I guess it doesn’t matter in what way you gaze upon me;

Or even that you’ve been looking and watching for weeks.

I am more worried that I’ve noticed.

I have to ask myself why I looked back.

Why did I look back?

Why did I watch you too?

And why am I gazing when I have better things I could do;

Like, perhaps, write about whether or not I understand you.

Or at least the way you see things, or the way I see you seeing.

Yeah, there are better stories I could tell.

And I probably couldn’t tell any of them very well.


Author’s Note: Inspiration came from a few different aspects of my life wright now. I am lucky enough to know and be friends with a lot of really intriguing people with beautiful stories to be shared. This is just one facet of the many aspects of life that I find truly beautiful – the allure of wanting to know how another person thinks, and wanting to be closer to someone that you can’t possibly begin to understand.

But in the end, you just want to know. So even if it’s a bad idea, it’s worth trying.

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.”

Ambitions

Disclaimer: I used basic online translators for the Spanish language parts of this piece. If you see any errors in the language – please leave the corrections in the comments below so that I can fix them promptly. Thank you for your readership, as it is very valuable to me!


It is not often that my girlfriend texts me and asks me to meet her at her place. I do know where she lives, but we only go there once or twice a month, and only ever briefly. She never moved out of her apartment after college, so it is small and the building is full of rambunctious teenagers and twenty-somethings.

I suspect that she stays because she wants to observe the people and silently diagnose them. On more than one occasion I’ve seen her buy cards and random gifts which fit neither her nor my interests. And the good Lord knows that she is not buying them for her brother – although, she would buy him the world if he would let her.

My phone is ringing as I get up the first flight of stairs; the screen reads “Celeste.” She must have it timed perfectly – the drive from my house to hers – and probably has instructions for me. I answer the phone with a smile on my face, as I always do where Celeste is concerned; “Qué le tu necesita mi amor?”

“I just need someone to sit on my couch with me and eat tres leches.” I should have supposed as much. Celeste told me that her brother had requested her audience at his office. Occasionally he will ask for her second opinion. I do not know why he does since she never disagrees with his professional suggestions. But my Celeste – oh she is a wise woman – she believes that he does it to reaffirm himself and to keep in contact with her. She sees it as an act of love and respect. Franklin could call from Antartica and tell her that he wants her to come die with him, but she would do it. Celeste will always go to him.

This is one of the many reasons that I love her.

“I can do that. Tres leches and a movie, si?” I know that she is probably nodding her head on the other end of our connection, but I will never know for sure. Typically she hangs up once a message has been conveyed. One of her many flaws, but flaws that are not necessarily bad. We never have the problem where we have spoken so much on the phone that we have nothing to say in person. We connect very much when we are face-to-face. Our relationship is better because of it.

Once inside I open her refrigerator and find that – per the usual – she has next to nothing in it. A carton of six eggs, half a galleon of milk, a saran wrapped tuna melt – probably from the sandwich place up the road… and it looks like some leftovers from a restaurant but its pushed all the way to the back. Presumably Celeste has forgotten about them, meaning it’s been at least a month – if not more. I’ll throw it out for her in the morning when I also take her trash to the dumpster.

Since there’s nothing much to drink I stroll to her bedroom where she keeps a small wine cooler in her closet. She is always stocked on Merlot and Moscato. I grab the Merlot closest to the top and return to the kitchen with ease. I suppose that Celeste will be coming through the front door soon so I may as well have a couple of glasses poured and waiting on the coffee table when she returns.

“I wonder what movie we should watch…” I trail off in thought, figuring that we should watch something uplifting or exciting. There’s a small case by the television that holds all of her DVDs, so I peruse it in hopes of finding fitting for the evening. Unfortunately, this woman only owns documentaries and psychological thrillers. Nothing about her selection is happy.

Since I can’t find anything, I figure that I can probably just pull up something up using her cable service. Isn’t it called Pay-per-view? Or On-demand? I can’t really remember what it’s called, but I do know how to use her system so after making myself comfortable on the couch I start scanning the options available.

There are a number of comedies. Some of them are romantic comedies – one is about a girl is struggling in her career and some narcissistic jerk helps her out while discovering himself that he’s not so bad? That seems pretty good but not at all realistic. Or at least Celeste would say that – she loathes romantic comedies. I like them, but I don’t plan on telling her.

I also find horror films, action films, and some sappy book-to-film adaptations. Unfortunately, none particularly stand out to me as being good. For this reason, I put on the Food Network channel. It is a show about cooking Mexican food, ironically enough. This episode focuses on…

“Tres leches! One of the best Mexican deserts you can enjoy! Estoy en lo cierto?” The crowd starts whooping over the speakers as the host repeats her last sentence in English, Am I right? Of course she’s right – tres leches isn’t just the best Mexican desert that you can consume but also the best all-time desert that there is to enjoy. If prepared properly, it can satisfy all of your senses. That is precisely why Celeste fills herself with tres leches after a difficult day.

During the first commercial, Celeste finally arrives home. Later than I’d initially anticipated, clearly. She walks to the counter and works through her usual routine, only after placing the tres leches container on the counter. Off comes the petticoat, then her blazer, the button up; she slides her belt out and drops it atop her car keys; she finishes by walking to the sink and slashing her face with warm water.

And, as I expected, she starts complaining very rapidly in Spanish: “Este mundo es un asco! No puedo vivir en este planeta! Por qué existen esas cosas horribles! Este trabajo es la tristeza! Esta vida es la tristeza!”

This world is a mess!

            I cannot live on this planet!

            Because there are such horrible things!

            This job is sadness!

            This life is sadness!

 

            It is all I can do to avoid getting upset myself, so I walk her to the couch and offer her a glass of Merlot. Celeste throws the glass back.

And then another…

And then another…

By the fifth glass I set my own down – untouched – and ask her to please tell me what has happened. At first she complains in Spanish again, “Le gente es mala! Muy malo!” It is not wrong, of course, because people are very bad every single day. That is why she has a job, though, and it surprises me to see her distressed over such a simple truth.

But I dare not to question her motives for this and instead ask if I can help her. Silence sits between us while she ensures that the bottle of Merlot will not have a single drop remaining by night’s end. Glass after glass, sigh after sigh, and before long – sobbing cannot be delayed any longer.

Celeste jostles about and nearly loses her current serving of the red wine. Tears smear her make-up, too, in the most unappealing way. The dark circles and streaks resemble something children wear on Día de Muertos and it is frightening. Even though I have these negative thoughts, I try not to compromise my supportive role and remain patient. Celeste will tell me when she is ready to tell me.

After nearly half an hour listening to Celeste cry, occasionally having to take her Merlot away so that it doesn’t spill, it seems that she calms down enough to just lay on my lap. Delicately I place a hand over her shoulder and figure I can try to start a casual conversation again.

“What would you like to watch?”

Celeste must have been waiting for me to speak because now she goes off on a tirade. Or well, not really a tirade because her concerns are legitimate. Today her brother asked her to see a child who was displaying severe signs of depression and that she was already very suicidal, in spite of her lack of self harm. The reason is because her parents are intersex individuals – intersex lesbians specifically.

As an educated woman, she finds that it is a nasty thing that the world would want to hurt a child who has great parents that love her very much. In her heart she can see no reason why there would be a problem with this child’s parents and their relationship with on another. And yet, there is a problem.

“I want to make a difference! I want to change the world so that this little girl will never be sad again. Yo quiero ser un héroe.”

I don’t think she has to worry, though. Celeste doesn’t know what “too much work” means, so I just tell her that she is already hero to her many patients and to her family. I choose remind her that she can still do something by bringing awareness in anyway that she can manage so that people can become more accepting of what is different. At that exact moment she takes the remote from me. Celeste puts on the History Channel, and it’s a documentary about Word War II.

“If este demonio can convince an entire country that a group of people sol malos, then I am certainly capable of convincing an entire country that a group of people no son malos. Nadie mi puede parar.” This much is true. Nobody has ever been able to convince Celeste to stop pursuing something in which she believed. Another thing that makes me love her so very much! After she takes a breath, I twist slightly so that I may kiss her but she tips away. Clearly tired and buzzed from all the drinking that she’s done, Celeste lays down on the couch, propping her feet on my lap.

Tonight, this is how we will sleep.

And tomorrow, we will both be late for work.

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.