Tag Archives: LOVE

MY BISEXUALITY

Certain youthful thoughts will forever be engraved in my mind. I remember the day I got glasses because I tripped stepping off the curb; I was wearing shorts and pink clogs. I remember my first boy crush; we couldn’t have been older than 5 years old. We used to sleep next to each other, on our individual cots, during nap time. I remember one day when we were stretch partners; we put our feet together, held hands, and rocked back and forth. I remember this distinctly because both he and I rocked way too close to each other’s genitals, and after that, we were never stretch partners again.

Another thing I remember was my first girl crush. We went to the same school, lived in the same building, and lived on the same floor. She would always come over my house so we could play after school and on the weekends. I remember us seeing a (heterosexual) couple kiss on TV, and we wanted to try it. One day, when she was over, we hid by the kitchen table, and we kissed. After our lips made contact, we opened our mouths to allow our tongues to dance. When the kiss was done, we never mentioned it again. At eight years old, I didn’t quite have the language, but I knew I really enjoyed the kiss.  

The kiss we shared felt just as passionate as the flirtation I shared with the boy, from when I was five. So, at a very early age, I knew I felt a like for boys and girls, I just didn’t call it bisexual. As I got older, my attraction to women never waned, I just suppressed it for my like of boys. When you grow up in Catholic school, have a Baptist grandmother, and a heterosexual family, you don’t question anything, you just go with the flow. So, for years, I said nothing. I occasionally watched lesbian porn, on late-night TV, but didn’t read into it having to do with my sexuality.  

At the age of fourteen, I joined a youth chorus. There must have been a fine-print that I missed because almost every member was either gay or bisexual. I instantly felt at home. I finally felt free to explore that side of my sexuality without being judged. I flirted with my female and male peers; I even had a girlfriend for about a week. But, when she asked me for money, I broke it off. When my sister-in-law got wind of my questioning sexuality, she assumed they were trying to ‘turn me out.’ There was an exchange of words between her and another girl. And, just like that, I was back in something resembling a closet.    

I flirted with women on and off, but nothing ever manifested. When I was diagnosed with herpes, I put the entire idea to rest. I wasn’t allowed to be a questioning bisexual; so, I had to pick a side and stick with it. For almost a decade, I lived my life as a heterosexual woman, and most of the time, I was content. But, from time to time, I wondered what it would be like to flirt and be intimate with a woman; but fear of rejection kept me quiet.   

Then one day, when I was on PositiveSingles.com, a couple came across my feed. We chatted, met up for drinks, and a few weeks later, I had my first threesome and sexual encounter with a woman. I loved every second of it. Sadly, my time with them was short-lived, as they broke up soon after. I wanted the experience again, but it proved way too difficult to find women with a mutual attraction that wanted to meet. It also became evident that lesbians did not like women that were bisexual. And too often, the women that claimed to be bisexual preferred a consistent male presence, instead of a female one. I wanted to explore being with women only at that time.  

I wasn’t sure where I stood, so I decided the only way to know if I really enjoyed being intimate with women, without investing too much time, was to go to a sex-club. At my first sex club, and most after, I engaged with women. I enjoyed the feeling, but I still questioned myself. When I appeared on the Whoreible Decisions podcast, I defined my sexuality as bi-flexible. Since I never saw myself in a romantic relationship with a woman, it seemed unfair or a lie if I said I was bisexual. Fast forward a year later and countless sexual trysts with women at sex parties, I’m turning a new leaf. As my desire to engage with women at sex parties is beginning to disappear, my passion for real intimacy with a woman is increasing.   

When I’m walking down the street, and a beautiful woman walks past me, I don’t think to myself, damn, I want to eat her pussy (like a man would). I think I want to get to know her, and I wonder if she wants to get to know me, then we’ll see what happens. Despite being totally satisfied in my primary relationship, I want to explore a female connection on an intimate level.   

Every so often, I wonder how it would feel to walk, holding hands with my female love interest. I wonder how we would meet and what our first date would be. I wonder if she would be ok knowing that I’m polyamorous and a swinger. Would we intermingle our lives, or would we keep things separate? And I wonder if our sexual chemistry could transform into love? These are just some of the things that float through my mind when I think about my bisexuality. 

WHAT IF…

A few years ago, I found my first herpes support group on Facebook, and on the façade, it seemed very supportive. Messages of “Keep your head up!” Be strong, you’ll find someone!” and “It wasn’t meant to be.” seemed to flood the daily feed. Even though I knew I wasn’t the only person living with herpes, it was great to finally see and hear other people’s stories. The overall morale of the chats was positive and uplifting, which for a newly diagnosed individual can be essential. However, every so often, I would come across a post asking for advice and support.   

I feel terrible, and I need your advice. Last week, I was drinking, partying, smoking (whatever) with my friend. Things got out of control, we had sex, and I forgot to tell them about my herpes status. I feel terrible, and I want to tell them, I just don’t know how to.  

It didn’t take long for me to realize that once the comments have been disabled, it was safe to assume that the poster was virtually attacked. Similar posts often bring out, what I like to call, The Bully-Brigade. The Bully-Brigade is the barrage of people that come together to virtually bully anyone whose actions and views don’t align with theirs. With comments like, “You’re a terrible person.” “How could you forget…” and “People like you should be locked up!” — The Bully-Brigade has struck again.  

The comments and attacks vary, but the one that sticks out the most is the one of blame. It’s the person that says, “You know, many of us wouldn’t be here if our partner had told us. If my partner had told me that they had herpes, I never have had sex with them. You should’ve given them a choice.”   

This one always bugs me, because they so conveniently forget that they, in fact, did have a choice. To have consensual sex, without knowing your partner’s sexual health status, was a choice. The power to control the sanctity of my body is my responsibility, and the same for your body. Do you not eat when you’re hungry, drink when you’re thirsty, or sleep when you’re tired? So, why when it comes to sex, is it only the other person’s responsibility to protect you? I don’t say this to point blame, I say this to take accountability.  

Think of your body as a new car you just bought. You wouldn’t give the keys for your new car to a person whose driving record you didn’t know and whose license you haven’t seen, would you? No! You wouldn’t! But if you did, and they crashed it, was it not your choice to hand your keys over to them, in the first place? We don’t take that risk with material things, but we assume that risk with our bodies every day. From the moment I laid eyes on my partner, once I know I want to have sex with him, the responsibility to ensure my sexual health is mine, and mine alone. It was my responsibility to make sure that he posed no threat to me, and the choice I made to not verify his status was, in fact, A CHOICE.   

Over the years, I learned to stop arguing with The Bully-Brigade; because they had already made up their mind that their positive diagnosis was someone else’s fault. What I try to do now is pose the question, what if…  

You say — “If they had told me they had herpes…” I pose the question — “What if you had asked…?”  

What if they told you they were clean, because the test they took didn’t include herpes? Therefore, they had no way of knowing they had the virus.   

What if they had the test that included herpes, but because they recently acquired the virus, the antibody test came back negative? (It took 9 months for my antibodies test to detect herpes).  

What if you had used condoms? (I used condoms when herpes was transmitted to me).  

What if they told you they had a history of cold sores? Marketing doesn’t make it clear that cold sores and herpes are the same virus. Many people don’t think that their cold sores are herpes or that they can impact their partner’s genital region. What if this information was made clear to the masses?  

What if doctors did a better job of educating patients before, during, and after their diagnosis? What if they pointed patients to support groups after their diagnosis, instead of giving them a prescription and sending them on their way?  

What if sex education was clear and transparent, and inclusive of all sexual behaviors, sexualities, and sexual health? What if consent and boundaries were mandated? What if the stigma was never able to exist because people were educated on the truth of all sexually transmissible and non-sexually transmissible viruses?  

What if testing were made easier for all to access? What if when I asked to be tested for everything, I was tested for EVERYTHING?  

What if we stopped shaming sex, sexuality, and people with STD/STIs?  

What if you’re herpes positive, you disclose to your partner, but you don’t ask to see their results in return? (Is that not, once again, handing someone the keys to your car without checking their license, all-over again?)  

What if asking about a person’s sexual health was as easy as saying hi? What if asking to see a person’s test results (and getting them), was as easy and pleasurable as having sex?  

What if they never assaulted me?  

What if the dad, the aunt, the uncle didn’t kiss the toddler, and pass them the herpes virus?  

What if the mother didn’t kiss her child and pass them the herpes virus?  

What if you had waited another 3-9 months to get re-tested before having sex?   

What if you had waited to go and get tested together?  

What if you had asked your partner their sexual health status?  

While the what-ifs are endless, none of them can guarantee that you still wouldn’t have ended up with herpes virus. With all the precautions that you could’ve taken in your adolescent or adult life, you still could’ve acquired the virus before ever taking your first steps. At the end of the day, we’re all here. So, instead of focusing on what if, focus on the future. A lot of why we feel what we feel is stigma. So, instead of trying to change others, maybe we can change our perception. And with that, we can change the stigma. 

LOVE LANGUAGE #5 – WORDS OF AFFIRMATION

MY 5TH LOVE LANGUAGE, WORDS OF AFFIRMATION

I’ve reached the final love language—Thank Heaven! 

I’m not surprised that Words of Affirmation is at the bottom of my list, now. But, when I was growing up, I used to crave Words of Affirmation. At a young age, they often mirrored the actions that were being delivered my way. Parents, family, and friends were all walking examples of actions and words that actually matched. But as I got older, things began to change. Naturally, discipline from a parent or an older family member, to a rebellious teenager, did not feel like love; so, when I was told I couldn’t do something, followed by an I love you, I called Bull Shit! And it only got worse as I got older.  

I was picked-on, as a kid. I was picked-on because of my hair, my glasses, and lack of designer clothing. At first, it used to bother me, but with time, the things that separated me from the crowd began to shine. I had a great voice, I was a good artist, and I was decent in sports. As time passed, I started being accepted for qualities and skills that were undeniable, and the teasing stopped. People stopped looking for reasons to not like me, and learned to accept me for who I was. 

When I started dating, the phrase “I love you” was tossed around, like a salad ingredient. The phrase was everywhere; but, like a salad, it lacked sustenance. It was a great side or starter, but it could never fill me up. So, when actions never corresponded with the words, through trial and error, I had to learn that words had no real weight if actions didn’t corroborate them. By the time I graduated high school, I had adapted the concept of ‘love me or hate me’ with the confidence to match. People, more often than not, liked and/or loved me; and once I started to feel the energy that I was sending reciprocated, I no longer needed and/or required words of affirmation. 

Don’t get me wrong– it’s always nice to receive a compliment. I couldn’t see myself being, truly happy, with a person that never said one nice thing to me or about me. And, I totally understand that my partner is doing so because they feel it, and they want to profess it. But, the fact remains, it does not impact me the same way; because I’d rather feel than hear. 

Another reason why Words of Affirmation doesn’t have such a high rank for me, is because, a part of me struggles with accepting compliments. For example: I’ve finished 5 marathons, 10 half-marathons, and countless other races; I know that it’s no easy feat. However, there are people that run faster, longer, and more frequently than I do; so, with that in the back of my mind, I choose to remain humble in the face of all compliments. 

Today, words of affirmation sound nice, but they hold no weight in the grand scheme of my life. Over the years, I’ve become head-strong, resilient, and confident.  When I set my mind to do something, nothing can stand in my way. So, as much as it feels good to hear someone say, “good job,” subconsciously, I already know that. I didn’t need to hear it; but, since saying the words made the say-er feel better, I happily accept their support and encouragement.  

Writing on the 5 Love Languages has been quite a journey. Writing this series has allowed me to dive deeper into my past to understand my present. I never set out to be a Pulitzer Prize winning writer. I just wanted to vent a little, talk about sex, break some stigmas, and maybe gain a fan or two that could relate to my problems. There were many times, during the love languages posts, that I wanted to just stop and change course; but, by sticking with it, I learned so much more about myself. I opened up memories I was certain didn’t exist, and I was able to process why I felt the way I did about things. I encourage you all to read or audio-book the 5 Love Languages, and to take the quiz. Once you have your results, take the time to process what they mean for you and why they rank as they do.  

LOVE LANGUAGE #3 – ACTS OF SERVICE

It’s makes sense that this love language lays, smack dab, in the middle; because the first thing I have to do is be open to receiving the act as something genuine. I can fully acknowledge that I battle with seeing a partner’s act of service as fully genuine. Don’t get me wrong, a good deed is a good deed, I simply wonder if there is an ulterior motive behind the act.  

I grew up hearing “men only want one thing” or “he did this because he wants that”. So, it only made sense that whenever I dated a guy, if he did something (without me asking for it, first) I would quietly question, why did he do it? I used to believe that if people did something nice for me it was because they genuinely wanted to do it, I was 8 years old; today, life and dating has since delivered me some very rude awakenings.  

The most important one being that; no one does anything without receiving something in return. Sir Isaac Newton’s third law states that; “every action has an equal and opposite reaction”. However, that reaction isn’t always visible. For example: A business man on the train gives a dollar to a homeless man. It may appear that the businessman is receiving nothing in return; but if you allow yourself to consider not every exchange has to be tangible; you’ll see that the reaction is emotional. It felt good for the businessman to give that dollar, and that’s why he did it (in addition to it being a good deed). 

With the above being understood; sadly, there is always an internal tug-of-war between my mind and my heart. On one side, my heart wants to receive the act with no questions asked; while my mind is scanning for an ulterior motive.  

In the average relationship, when people perform acts of service, it’s because they’re working to maintain their relationship and to get to that ‘Happily Ever After’. All the deeds one did to show love and care appear to be totally self-less, until the relationship is over. When the relationship ends, all those ‘self-less acts’ turn into sacrifices made. The once, “this is for you my love” turns into “I sacrificed this for you”. A self-less act rapidly transitions and becomes something that was actually a bargaining chip in disguise. I hate to admit it, but I did the above to an ex and I’ve had it done to me. 

In a past relationship, I financially supported my partner. I paid his phone bill, his metro card, and when we went out- I often paid. We met online, while he was in Trinidad. He was a runner, but was in recovery from an injury. He had an opportunity to come to the U.S. to train with a special coach, and to be with me; but he first had to buy himself out of his contract, which left him with very little money when he finally arrived. I felt that he had made a sacrifice for me; so, for a while I did what I could to support him. The only problem was, every time we got into an argument, he would threaten to leave and I would weaponize what I did for him. He would say “I should’ve gone to Jamaica to train instead…” and I would say “Really? with all that I’m doing for you!” I was by no means rich, so helping my partner out while I was only making $30K (before taxes) at the time was a real financial burden. But I had convinced myself that it would only be temporary; he would land an athletic contract, we would move out and live together, and everything would have been worth it. As time passed and that fantasy drifted farther and farther away, I grew to resent him and all that I had done for him. I blamed him for my financial struggles, and when I finally ended the relationship, I declared that I would never make the same mistake again. In my mind, I was supporting my man because I wanted what was best for him; but my subconscious knew that if and when the tide finally turned, I wanted to be there to ride the wave of success with him. I wanted him to see me and all that I had sacrificed for him and declare that I was worthy to go on the journey with him. I later learned that was not a truly genuine act of service. 

Those feelings and lessons learned in that relationship still fuel my perspective today. As much I love it when a partner does something nice for me; being who I am, and knowing my history, I worry that one day their acts of service will be thrown in my face, if things don’t go the way they intended. In previous posts I stress the importance of being selfish and, with my feet firmly rooted in the dirt, I stand by that. I like to think that I am fair in how I choose to date. I never ask a partner’s income, but I take note of what they say to get a general idea. A while back, I had a partner offer to help me out financially, although the situation wasn’t yet a reality, I declined the offer. I knew that their desire to help me would only further hurt them; the same way me financially helping my ex hurt my abilities to save and get financially stable for myself. I firmly feel that if helping someone today has the risk of turning into something sacrificed later, don’t do it! That’s like doing someone doing a favor and then holding it over their head in arguments; you either want to do it or you don’t. There will always be a looming question of an ulterior motive. Why are you here? Why are you doing it?  

 
As I’m learning and growing with love, I’m learning to work on aligning my brain and heart, and to trust the actions of those that I love; it’s not easy, but I’m working on it.  

VALENTINE’S DAY & LOVE LANGUAGES

So, Friday is Valentine’s Day, and for the first time, in years, I’m actually in a relationship. So, what does that mean for me? If you remember my post from last year, The Significance of Valentine’s Day; I wrote about this miraculous day of gift giving, and relationship confirming, as one that shouldn’t bear so much when compared to the entirety of your relationship. A part of me still agrees with that, while the other part of me, the part that still holds onto traditional values, cares for none of that evolved way of thinking.

It’s important to remember that, when I wrote my post last year; not only was I single, I was still dealing with the emotional ramifications from being scammed, and I was on my own self-discovery-celibacy journey. After some amazing realizations and changes, an entire year later, I have a primary love interest, and two quasi-romantic-sexual partners. 

I still don’t seek for my relationship to be validated on a single day; because I know what I have with my Love. But I do know that, if I don’t get flowers and chocolates while I’m at work; IT’S GONNA BE A PROBLEM! And with that I bring into the conversation, The 5 Love Languages. 

  1. Receiving Gifts 
  1. Acts of Service 
  1. Physical Touch 
  1. Quality Time 
  1. Words of Affirmation 

I, like many people, took the online quiz; and the above are my love languages in order of importance to me. As you can see, receiving gifts is of high importance to me, but not for the reasons one would think. 

When I was younger, colored roses had just started popping up, and the prettiest to me, were blue roses. Many shops spray painted white roses, which looked horrible. However, there were some that did it the proper way; either by stem-dyeing the roses, or dipping the roses in blue dye. One could imagine the process and money it required, for a business to keep blue roses on hand for purchase; so, it only made sense that they were difficult to come by. Everywhere you looked you could find red, pink, white or yellow roses, but to walk the extra few streets to find the place that sold those beautiful blue roses, it made all the difference in the world.  

My priority love language is not receiving gifts, just because I like gifts; that would be too simple. It’s my primary love language because my, often very complicated, mind breaks down the steps behind giving said gift. From remembering the conversation where I mentioned my love for blue roses, to the effort required to recall that tiny detail in the ocean of all that I tend to say during any given tangent, and lastly to actually get off your ass and get the seemingly unimportant roses, all just to put a smile on my face. The thought process and effort put behind the gift, is a thousand times more important than the gift alone. 

I used to believe that – it was the thought that counts. But as I got older, I believed that less and less. The best gift is not only one that comes from the heart; it is also one that is totally void of the gift-giver. When giving a gift, it should be tailored to the person you’re giving it to. It should be something that they want and/or need. Giving a gift that is more for your personal excitement or enjoyment, is not a genuine gift.  

On the other hand, avoiding giving a gift because ‘gift giving’ is not your personal love language, is just as bad; if not worse.  

My infamous Ex, (X-Files: 1-5) was the definition of worse. If I’m being honest, the average man doesn’t pay attention to romantic holidays. Which is why marketing and retail commercials are constantly reminding them that it’s approaching. You ever wonder why Christmas music starts to play immediately following Halloween; that’s why. And the same goes for women with Valentine’s Day. Marketing is well aware that all men really care about, between January and February, is watching other men toss around a football. The last thing on most men’s minds is, what to get the lady in their life for Valentine’s Day. This is why those Jared and Kiss commercials start playing on heavy repeat.  

They make it virtually impossible for the average thinking man to forget. Every store you enter is littered with hearts, pink and red junk, and flowers, so many flowers. So, it would only make sense that a man, working at one of these stores, would take full advantage of his employee discount and purchase at least one VDay gift for his lady. But that was not the nature of my ex. The simple effort to purchase something he saw every day, on sale- no less, deemed to be too much every single time. 

For years, I truly believed that he didn’t care, which may have very well been true. However, years later, I learned that my ex’s love languages were just different from mine. In fact, they were damn near upside down and opposite. Had either one of us read the book, before we met; we still may not have stood a chance; but in the very least, I would’ve been armed with the tools to better express why something that seemed so futile to him, meant so much to me.  

In dating, love, and life, it’s important to learn what and why your love languages are what they are. We are all unique individuals, so we process things differently. If we truly care for our partner, it’s important to at least try to love them the way they can best receive it.  

Next Week: Acts of Service