Category Archives: Demisexual satisfaction
This is my contribution to August’s Carnival of Aces, about “deviant identities”, hosted by The Demi Deviant.
Queer In My Dress
I am queer in my purple dress
Pressed between postmodern sexuality
And the outdated marriage myth
I am, willfully not wanting sex,
Faultline in the fiction of virginity
I am queer in my blue dress
Am I lacking? people ask, perplexed
A woman divorced from intimacy,
Dating and the marriage myth?
Truth is, my desire is more complex
For company, beauty, sensuality
I am queer in my red dress
As the third wave wanes, I need to address
How asexuality clashes with
The outdated marriage myth
I want love with no regard for sex
A partner who sees I am not less
To be queer in my bridal dress
Let’s update the marriage myth
This started out exploring a deviant (queer) aspect of my asexuality and ended up trying to express how queer (weird, outlandish, new, upsetting, estranging) asexuality itself can be. Particularly an aspect I don’t often see explored: that asexuality upsets both traditional and modern ideas about sexuality, often at the same time.
In its simplest form, I think choosing to identify as (some shade of) asexual and daring to say “no, I do not feel sexual attraction like that” combines and subverts
a) the traditional ideal of lust or sex as a morally ‘good’ or ‘bad’ thing
b) the modern ideal of everyone having a natural sexuality that is inherently human
c) the queer ideal of affirming your orientation through sexual acts
a) absence of lust is a neutral state of being rather than a purity or innocence that can be preserved or lost; sexual activity is optional at all times, rather than forbidden or required at any time.
b) our motivations and experiences are more complicated than (mutual) sexual attraction leading to consensual sexual activity, orgasms, falling in love and sexual-romantic relationships.
c) queerness can be complex and comprise a multifaceted orientation and gender identity that has very little, if anything, to do with sexual acts.
Even as I write this I am aware I am already simplifying by focusing on the above as flowing from an asexual identity above any other.
Yet still, here is my demisexual-panromantic-monoamorous* deviant little fantasy, to wish to find and legalise a longlasting partnership and celebrate that with my community, without having to submit to the strictures society still imposes on that institution.
Oh, and go full femme on the day.
Today, at least.
I might dream of wearing a three-piece steampunk period costume tomorrow. Who knows.
*Since both polyamory and the newly-coined nonamory** are common in the ace community and I came across the word ambiamory*** (someone who can go for either monogamous or polyamorous relationships), I figure we’d clean up the vocab and go for monoamory as the correct word for the majority option on that list/spectrum. Also, also, I think we need a word for the grey area (greyamory? demiamory? semiamory?) between disinterest in relationships (nonamory) and interest in relationships, whether one or multiple (alloamory?).
**Relative, it’s been around a few years, I didn’t know it until this year. I like the new terms cropping up in the a-spec community, especially the ones that are useful. Can you tell I like words? I really like good words.
I, Queer Parent
“A small percentage of homosexuality is beneficial to the survival of a species, especially those that live in groups,” a tour guide at the Artis Zoo tells our group during Pride Week of 2015. “A same-sex pair will adopt abandoned young, or collaborate with the rest of the herd to raise young together.”
It takes me three years after that moment to accept I can be demisexual, queer, probably single and still want and have children.
The dream of finding a (male) partner and having children, is the heterosexual lie that I hold most dear. I mourn its loss when I realise I don’t want sex. I mourn it when my relationship strands. I mourn when I grow to accept I want a platonic partner, gender irrelevant. I mourn when I realise I don’t want my womb open for business.
I meet a single woman who will be a foster parent. I have a pair of friends who choose to adopt due to genetic conditions. I have family who decide to be resource parents for struggling single-parent families. Still the denial wanes only gradually.
Yes I’m queer, but I can want children, I finally accept.
Here’s the evolved plan I hold in my heart: I would like to adopt or have children within the next decade. I may coparent with a romantic or queer-platonic partner. I may coparent with friends. Now I have to look into how to do that.
The Rainbow Accords
Holland has held nuclear families up as the ideal since the 17th century. The last decade has seen some queering of the idea. A lot of parents choose to remain unmarried, living together has become the standard. Some women simply choose to have children on their own without a partner. Any civil partner or spouse of a birth mother may now register the child and their legal parenthood. Genetic parenthood and legal parenthood have thus started to diverge more and custody started to be more complicated.
While first steps have been made, the need for a comprehensive reform of parenthood has become more clear. This came to be known as multi-parenthood (meerouderschap) since one of the core demands is more than two people could be legal parents. Several years’ research into multi- parenthood (meerouderschap) was handed in to the government in 2016 and has yet to be made into a law (meerouderschapswet).
The Dutch LGBT centres have started organising Pink Debates before elections in the last few years, both national and local. After those, political parties sign what’s known as Pink Accords or Rainbow Accords, in which they promise to look out for queer rights. Among that is the promise to make the new parenthood law happen.
I find myself coming back to the initiative. I rather need parenthood to be redefined. Like everything my asexuality touches, being a parent seems to need thorough deconstruction in order to work for me.
Current scenarios for legal parenthood and custody, when having a biological child. I have chosen to reflect the cisnormative language used, but do not agree with it. Note a father may only recognise an unborn child and be acknowledged as father with permission of the mother.
Only a birth mother who’s the legal parent. There is a donor who has no custody and may be a legal parent or anonymous.
Two mothers, married or civil partners. The birth mother is a legal parent and has custody. The other mother may have custody, then the father is a known donor who is the legal parent. The other mother may be a legal parent and have custody, then the father is an anonymous donor.
Only a birth mother and a father, not necessarily spouses. The mother is legal parent and has custody. The father is a legal parent and may request joint custody when the child is born.
Two mothers, married or civil partners, and a father. The birth mother is a legal parent and has custody. The father may recognise a child before birth and become the legal parent and may or may not request joint custody after birth. The father may also recognise the child after birth and the two mothers will then have joint custody.
Two mothers, married or civil partners, and two fathers, married or civil partners. The birth mother is a legal parent and has custody. One father recognises the child before birth and may or may not request joint custody. One father recognises the child after birth and becomes the legal parent, but custody is awarded to both mothers.
Two fathers, married or civil partners, and a birth mother. The birth mother is a legal parent and has custody. One father recognises the child before birth and may or may not request joint custody.
Important to note here is that awarding custody to other parents is HARD if two legal parents exist.
I found the above very interesting because a) it heavily protects birth mothers and so with the current law it’d be far easier for me to actually have children naturally and b) it is heavily biased towards either heterosexual or married homosexual couples. This seems especially useless when it comes to asexual persons who wish to have children. The ability for two or more people of any gender and any relationship status to coparent would be crucial. These are heavily restrictive scenarios, especially for persons without wombs.
The state committee for redefining parenthood (Staatscommissie Herijking Ouderschap) advised the national government that having more (than two) legal parents (meerouderschap) and more (than two) people who have custody (meeroudergezag) benefits the child and ought to be made law on December 2016. They make recommendations based on the Convention of the Rights of the Child and seven principles they set out for good parenthood:
an unconditional personal commitment (een onvoorwaardelijk persoonlijk commitment)
continuity in the parental relationship (continuiteit in the opvoedingsrelatie)
arrangement of and investment in physical wellbeing (verzorging en zorg voor lichamelijk welzijn)
raising of a self-sufficient participant in community and society (opvoeding tot zelfstandigheid in sociale en maatschappelijke participatie)
organising and monitoring the upbringing in the family, the school and the public domain (the three spheres of influence) (het organisering en monitoren van de opvoeding in het gezin, de school en het publiek domein (de drie opvoedingsmilieus)
the formation of a heritage/ethnic identity (de vorming van de afstammingsidentiteit)
facilitating contact and socialisation with persons important to the child, including another parent (de zorg voor contact- en omgangsmogelijkheiden van voor het kind belangrijke personen, onder wie de andere ouder)
The recommendations the committee made for queer parenting, paraphrased:
Let the biological relationship between a parent and child weigh as heavily as the intention to raise the child in awarding responsibility.
Remove the demand for a father-is-unknown declaration when two mothers wish to be a child’s legal parents.
Replace “recognising” a child with “accepting (legal) parenthood” of a child.
In the case of more (than two) legal parents:
the candidate parents need to agree about legal parenthood, so the arrangement is not accessible to people who can’t agree on who plays what role in a child’s life.
The candidate parents need to make an agreement about having more than two legal parents before conception.
This arrangement will be accessible to at most four parents from at most two households.
This arrangement will be accessible to the birth mother, genetic parents and life partners of these persons.
The candidate parents make an agreement which will be seen by a judge, each child will require a separate agreement that must go before the judge.
The judge will appoint a curator who will speak for the future child and monitor its rights.
The legal framework for the multi-parenthood agreement (meaning all legal documents) need to be arranged before the child’s birth. Otherwise adoption is the only way.
Enable a wish to become a legal parent between unmarried parents to be made known before birth so that joint custody will be awarded to all legal parents at birth.
When a legal framework is in place, it also specifies custody among the legal parents, in the case of more than two parents. If not, custody may later be requested and a judge can see if the requirements for multiple parents have been satisfied.
Make partial custody possible for foster parents and step parents.
Make multiple parent agreements possible after the birth of a child, when more adults wish to be responsible for the care of a child, keeping the requirements for having multiple legal parents in mind.
Out of all the recommendations the committee makes that are relevant to queer parenting, I find the very last to be the most relevant. It alludes to an arrangement already possible in California, where one may adopt a child without giving the child up for adoption. This, I think, would be the avenue that would allow one or more asexual persons who wish to coparent to step into that role.
Having gone through the information and translating parts of it, I find it important to 1) know what parenthood entails and 2) be able to coparent. Knowing the current law I am very tempted to have biological children rather than adopt simply because it seems easier. However, I feel uneasy at the idea of pregnancy so I think I’d like to look into adoption further before moving that option from the top of my list.
I also recognise how very gendered the law is, the current one but even the recommendations for the revised one. Last year, a person was awarded a passport with X for sex/gender rather than M or V (for female), after a lawsuit. The law for this is still under revision, but… I’m thinking that’s something that should play a role in a parenthood law, if it’s truly meant to give queer parents equal rights… that non-binary persons be recognised, and not shoved into the role of either mother or father but be able to be just a parent. We did just sign a law that makes discrimination against transgender and intersex persons illegal. I do like that the revisions at least would make it possible for two gay fathers to have custody without adoption, which the current law does not allow.
Sources (All in Dutch)
Meerouderschap factsheet: https://pilpnjcm.nl/meerouderschap-een-juridische-factsheet/#_ftn2
Regenboog stembusakkoord: https://www.rainbowvote.nu/
This is my own entry for the Carnival of Aces.
After I discovered I was demisexual, I gradually stopped worrying that I somehow presented myself as sexual. Being “feminine” and being “sexy” diverged in my mind for the first time. Femininity became accessible for experimentation.
As cisgender woman I hadn’t expected to ever pay much attention to my gender, aside from chafing at gender roles and benefiting from equal rights. “Female” (een vrouw) was simply what I was, “girly” (meisjesachtig) I avoided like plague and “feminine” (vrouwelijk or feminine) was for Other Women who were, y’know, accomplished and sexy and in relationships.
Becoming demisexual opened up a whole new world. While my homebase was still “female geek” in jeans and T-shirts, earrings but no make-up… I could make day-trips to more feminine ways of presenting myself and explore the full length and breadth of my gender. My comfort zone widened. My wardrobe became more varied and more colourful.
That private pleasure was complicated by my internalised homophobia exploding in my face when I adopted the labels “queer” and “panromantic”. I only dressed feminine on days I was confident, until the two became intertwined. The very act of putting on a dress now boosted my confidence.
I also got a lot of compliments for dressing ‘like a woman’. I got into conversations about beauty routines for the first time as a participant, rather than the fashion heathen I was always presumed to be. The outside world took my feminine clothes as my adhering to tradition when for me it was deeply related to my asexuality. It became a symbol for another aspect of my queer experience, passing.
The final integration of queerness and femininity came when I looked up vintage hairstyles. I favoured a more old-fashioned look because it meant I didn’t have to desexualise an outfit with a short skirt or deep decolletage. I found Jessica Kellgren-Frozard, happily married lesbian youtuber who talked about being high-femme with fellow queer youtuber Rowan Ellis.
It gave me words that were explicitly coded queer for the way I wished to look on any given day. “Female geek” also became “mildly butch” and “feminine” was replaced by “femme”. Old-fashioned surfing brought up two more words that tickled the imagination. “Lipstick” for “femme” and “chapstick” for “butch” which… yeah. I don’t always put them on but I’ve got chapstick stowed in all accessible places and lipstick only in my small make-up pouch I bring out for weddings and Christmas dinner.
Comfort with attraction to multiple genders complicated the experience again. Whenever I imagined myself opposite someone masculine, I was more femme. Whenever I imagined myself opposite someone feminine, I was more butch. Moving in queer spaces more regularly has helped untangle that. Deliberately painting myself as femme in a fantasy with someone also feminine felt as the queerest, best fantasy I could have. Having thought such thoughts helped normalise the last crush I had, when I fell into it.
However, moving into queer spaces also made me aware of a level of privilege I hadn’t really registered. Being femme was an optional expression of a gender in which I felt secure. The closest analogy I had to even start assimilating this privilege was ableism. Whereas for me a cleanly developed website improves readability, for another person it might mean the difference in assistive software being able to access the website at all. Necessity and comfort are not at all the same thing. I realised there was a whole dimension to this I wouldn’t ever access.
…I don’t really know where to end this account of a journey still in progress. Perhaps in that I’ve ended the stage where it was more about myself, and that I’ve made a tentative beginning in actually gaining an awareness of a wider community to whom it is relevant.
This post is part two of my belated contribution to Carnival of Aces hosted by luvtheheaven. After diving into how I view love, I wanted to share how the 5 love languages may be relevant to queer people specifically. These come out of personal experience, from being demisexual, panromantic and queer as well as a protestant Christian. I wanted to balance communal love, ‘agapè’ (charity) and ‘storge’ (familial/belonging), with more individual love, ‘philia’ (friendship/love-of-choice) and ‘eros’ (sexual/romantic love).
The 5 Love Languages
I’ve known of the 5 love languages for over a decade. In short, I believe the 5 love languages literature cover expressions suitable for all forms of affection, but focus on storge (familial love) and eros (sexual/romantic love). I believe it’s a useful tool for a queer person looking for pointers on ways to express themselves towards your partner. Something that can be especially hard to an a-spec person. However, Chapman’s conception of love only overlaps in part with love as found in the queer and a-spec communities, it’s sometimes very amato-, cis- and heteronormative. Still, I believe that within each language there are some expressions of love unique or important to queer people and I wanted to explore ones I’ve seen.
Words of Affirmation
Communal: respecting pronouns and general expressions of acceptance of LGBTQ+ people can make a family or a church a safe haven. I’ve come to understand that most environments are unsafe or hostile if you’re queer… until they show they’re not. While that does not eliminate the work a person puts in to come out or to pass, a community can make the lead-up, the choice, the effort less of a risk. This also helps clear the way to open up within a community.
I’ve experienced the reverse… regular, general dismissal of queer people in my current church has made me feel unsafe and hesitant about any connection with other Christians. I believe similar experiences of casual queerphobia to be an common reason people leave church when they discover and accept they’re queer.
Individual: I read an interesting article, which I’ve failed to recover, that discussed the importance of choosing the right terms of affection and labels for one’s partner when one is queer. I think such affirmation is even more important in asexual and aromantic relationships than others because outsiders tend to discredited or erase them. The language used also serves as a defense, whether you choose camouflage or flaming colour as your relationship’s survival strategy.
Recognition and validation between people can be both balm and empowerment. Words of affection used with deliberation can have a lot of power, when you’re queer.
Communal: I am learning how very important respecting others’ bodies is, in the social queer space I’ve started attending. Some conversations made me aware how much effort non-binary people put in curating a ‘white list’ of people, in a social environment.
I can be helpful by making sure I ask for consent any time I approach or touch someone, even just on the shoulder . But also by taking initiative in approaching or touching, to not be another cisgender person who implicitly rejects people by avoiding them.
Individual: Adjusting my behaviour has made me aware of how much both affectionate touch and respecting people’s boundaries can be appreciated. Some friends complimented me for becoming a bit more sensitive. I’ve also personally benefited. Since touch is my “native” love language, it’s made it easier to express it, easier to know when I should and should not. Easier, also, to say no to others when they cross my boundaries and I am uncomfortable. It’s been a boon in my desire to show friends and family affection.
Communal: I have found quality time to be a powerful weapon when it comes to showing acceptance and rejection. Being asexual around my family has meant an increased acceptance over time, even when it was scary in the beginning. Also, I’ve come to see people suddenly not wishing to spend time as the surest sign something’s up.
In media and society, I’ve also found that seeing how much time and space there is for queer people is the best measure to gage acceptance. For example, some churches say queer people may attend but that they cannot be themselves while in church and won’t have a space in heaven. Disney claims to be an ally but only shows half a second of men dancing with each other in Beauty and the Beast. Marvel didn’t think Valkyrie’s bisexuality deserved screentime. On the flipside, Doctor Who makes Bill, a queer character, a companion for a whole season, has bit parts as well as recurring supporting roles for gay and lesbian people, single as well as married.
Individual: I’ve learned to make time to love my demisexual self. At the start of 2019, I resolved to have at least one ‘queer’ day every month, in which I read an LGBTQ+ book or go to a queer space or engage in an activity that speaks to my demisexual or panromantic identity. Each one feels like a spa day and leaves me refreshed for another month’s worth of heteronormativity. When I come up against queerphobia, my self-care is planning an extra date with myself.
Acts of Service and Tokens of Affection
Communal: if it’s hard to speak, acts of service and tokens can be very powerful as an ally. One of my favourite aspects of pride, when I went in 2015, was that parents brought their children to show them look, look it’s okay. Fantasising a little, I can imagine what that’d mean to a child that’s queer, that parents drove across the country to show them a day where many other people like them are gathered.
My favourite scene in Bohemian Rhapsody was Mary dressing Freddie Mercury, showing him by assisting in his makeover that she accepted him for who he was.
Individual: these love language to me are closely linked to my panromantic identity. I am finding that I wish to perform acts of service and give tokens to my partner whatever their gender. And so, in my head I perform acts linked to whatever role complements my current crush. This, in turn, has made me aware how gendered acts of service and tokens are, especially when they’re considered romantic, and that I don’t want to be limited to my gender role. So, as practice, as defiance, I’ve started to perform romantically-coded acts of service and give tokens whether they fit my gender or not, towards the people I love.
Further reading (i.e. google “5 love languages for queer people”)
- 5 Love Languages on HuffPost (gender-neutral!)
- 5 Love Languages for Gay Men
- 5 Love Languages Expanded on The Span of My Hips (very constructively critical, and good suggestions for additional ways to show affection)
- Queer Eye’s Fab Five Low-key Represent the Five Love Languages
- Holigay Gift Guide on Autostraddle (gift ideas for each ‘language’)
- Love, Languages and Logic on A Queer Calling (uses it as a jumping-off point to discuss deeper realities of a relationship)
Well slap me silly, I was not expecting representation.
(Blank space to avoid spoilers in people’s preview)
(Hopefully it’s enough)
I saw Captain Marvel. I was most pleasantly surprised by a boldly portrayed queer-platonic partnership. Between two women. From the Air Force. Coparenting. In the early nineties. Sexuality not disclosed (and frankly, irrelevant to the emotional depth of their relationship as seen on-screen).
I’ve seen some reviews now, some took the “best friend” at face value. A few (queer women) argued they were totally lesbians and that that had been relegated to the subtext because of the American military’s “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” rule back then in-story. And for the sake of the Chinese market on a meta level.
That they desexualised the relationship.
I believe it.
Here’s the thing: what they ended up with as text on-screen was still an intimate, years-long relationship with two adults who considered each other family, sharing their daily life, holidays and who were effectively raising a child together. I.e. even without sex or romance, still a partnership as deep as any marriage.
A queer-platonic partnership.
Complete with the erasure of being able to only grieve for “her best friend” after, for Maria.
I don’t think it was intentional. I don’t care. In fact, I consider it poetic justice that in probably trying to downplay a homosexual relationship, they ended up serving us another slice of the queer cake.
It took my breath away. I think I may go back for seconds.
While I’m trying to write my own contribution to the Carnival (as host I feel I really should), I realise perhaps the best thing to come out of last year’s internalising the panromantic label. I love the little moments of thinking “hey, I can do this with potentially anyone, that’s part of who I am,” when I see a cosy cafe or a concert of a band I like or a bouquet of flowers. People are beautiful minds and gorgeous voices and I will just love them as I am granted the chance to do so. As much turmoil as I’ve felt getting to this place of acceptance, I like being here. It is a happy thought, imagining I know myself enough that I will recognise love – friendship, crush, romantic, otherwise for what it is and be able to let it grow.
A (late) part 2 for my contribution to November’s Carnival of Aces.
Diving into my blog statistics provided some food for thought about how to continue it in the new year.
I had such big plans when I started. I wanted to write all about what this shiny new orientation meant to me. I discovered I wrote best by keeping it personal and reflective. It petered out when I fell in love and it felt too tender, too intimate to write at all. A shared secret, rather than mine.
I found myself posting again when being both on the asexual spectrum and Christian caused friction, compounded by me fleshing out my romantic orientation and feeling that yeah, the queer label applied to me. I also found inspiration in wishing to read and write more on these topics, finding my thoughts weren’t very fleshed out beyond my personal life.
The most popular posts I have seem to be the one that fill in the blanks on what being demisexual means, in all its varied permutations. Proactive and constructive posts, rather than reactive and fearful ones. This lines up with a personal conviction I’ve felt, that I do not wish to be defined by others and that the strongest ideals are those that stand on their own.
I recently read a plea that we need utopias, rather than dystopias, in our speculative fiction. We are confronted daily by all that can go wrong. We are losing sight of how things may go right. We’re forgetting what to cherish, what to strive for independent of the teeth-clench-fight of preserving what we most love.
It jived with what I long to do, when I started and now. I want to write about what it means to be demisexual and love it (dare to be proud). So that’s one of my good intentions for 2019.
Some good articles, since I don’t remember exactly which I read before:
- Utopia for a Dystopian Age (NY Times)Utopia for a Dystopian Age (NY Times)
- Why We Need Utopian Fiction Now More Than Ever (Gizmodo)
- The Importance of Utopian Thinking (The Book of Life)
- Ursula K. LeGuin Explains How to Build A New Kind of Utopia (Electric Literature)
- Why and How We Long for Utopia (Psychology Today)
A Carnival of Aces contribution for October, theme “Asexuality and Poetry”.
PLEASE volunteer to be a host for the Carnival, if you’ve got the time! They need people!
- a source of good things
- having a pleasing quality
- mercy, respite
An Ace Anthem
Hold fast to blessings, being ace
Thinking, without sex, what love is there?
Each one we claim grants our hearts grace
Loneliness? We’re not doomed to face
Going alone we don’t know yet where
Hold fast to blessings, being ace
Think of affections you can trace
The friends, all people for whom we care
Each one we claim grants our hearts grace
Each passion in our lives we chased
When we brightened our lives with some flare
Hold fast to blessings, being ace
Yes, we must custom design our place
In the lives of loves we wish to share
Each one we claim grants our hearts grace
Fills life to bursting, stand amazed
If courage fails you, you I dare
Hold fast to blessings, being ace
Each one we claim grants our hearts grace
For the Carnival of Aces in August concerning stages of coming out, to celebrate where I’m at, acceptance of panromanticism and synthesis of demisexuality. Labels and explicit body parts deliberately omitted in the post.
Marriage Without Sex or Ceremony
Let me imagine our future together, beloved. With so few of us, the chance we will click, I will love, you will love, we will last seems so small. In the meantime, let me dream.
Where shall we meet? Sterile pixels make for futile browsing so it happens someplace real.
My eyes fall on you, for you. The sight strikes the chord of some ideal in my mind. Little do I know the types I like to look at joyous confident hands that speak as much as a face. Sharp, short hair tops a lanky body with bright mind in the eyes or a wide smile garnishes a buffet of curves and kindness and curls.
You may arrest my aurally, my ears greedier than my eyes in seeking to enjoy the world so speak. Speak so I may hear your melody drop into my mind for a solo among a chorus becoming a backdrop harmonising with you and me.
My heart will gallop but no blood flow lower down to beat a more bestial drum. I want to sit and stare, sit and hear, my chest aflutter with lungs failing to fill my groin at peace. If in fantasy I approach and touch I am an admirer without desire, like the knights thought chaste of old.
With less courage than those figures I skulk around the edges of a meeting a strange face growing their comfort in polite conversation. Confronted, I will flee into the cerebral and seek your mind out first of all. Seeking safety, seeking substance in you and what you will share and myself in what I dare.
A risk, each new acquaintance, trading in time and costing heart to carry on, worth each little glimpse of a person, richer for each moment well-spent. With you it lasts, as it will with a friend, stretching into the incalculable when we are becoming and attach.
Yet with you, a little itching, discomfort and hunger, formless as yet. A little more and a little deeper, each time we meet vivid and stark, cherished in recollection, in speculation before I embark on delving into the next layer of whatever intimacy we wish to share. This time an in-joke, that time an ear lent, without judgment, a trust we build until the foundation sets.
These beginnings resolve, then, in our life together, some years after I first payed you court. Perhaps you indulged this romantic, perhaps you liked it. We could be ourselves with each other, that counted for more. Let me sketch a portrait here, beloved, of a moment, our paradise for here on earth.
I come home in early evening. The night is pregnant with fruit and mulch. The leaves are sunset, the sky is autumn. The street’s asleep and safe to walk, except our neighbour gardening with a head lamp, outside to greet me at the door.
The rasp of unlocking, creaky hinges you need to oil. Arms heavy because it was my turn to go to the store. I am serenaded by the song of the day, what you did and heard and thought I should know and do later there’s coffee and don’t eat the leftovers they need to go. I hum in tune and stay in range until the final note is sung. Then I approach, my skin too thin and cold clinging that I brought in until you brush it off and settle the soft cover back over my flesh with your palms soothing and smooth.
We share the evening as we tend to do, tending each other until the one burning low is cheerier lighter again. If we are apart in an indepentent motion it is to come back together for the next turn around the room we have built to suit the whole of us, wholly ourselves here and between us only a third, the relationship blooming.
Rowing, screaming, we explode when my temper matches that of yours. We parry volleys of biting phrases, hitting soft spots with hard edges that exhaust, until I take a walk to draft a new treaty unless we negotiate there where we drop and rest together not knowing how we got next to the rails. Except we’re human, we will do this, our only hope forgiveness and an equal to balance us out.
I bring you a drink and you mine over the course of the evening as we finish up and wind down.
At night we diverge by sleeping together, not too much or little at all. Just right we lie in parallel, a duet of slow breathing, sometimes touching, sometimes not. You hog the blankets and I snore.
When I fit my hand to your jawline, the other scratching fingers into messy hair, perhaps we kiss, perhaps we don’t. Loving you this long, when the measure is years, I might feel a thrill, blush and turn aside. We undress, even helping, but the shape of your body does not make me want to move to do more.
Bold or scared, I raised that question, will you want sex when I won’t? But this is my dream. You were just as scared and when I spoke up, we giggled our heads off and hugged it out. You told me you wanted more of my time and my life, hoarding my affection as I did yours.
I dream we live and love together, vague shapes that will shift to fit the future. I have thoughts of having children, thoughts of whether you come to church. But I wish to leave it here, at the thought.
Two people with two hearts choosing each other with a love that fits them.
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