- Morning. Apartment is full of light through venetian blinds. @maymaym & I look like zebras and cats. Last night's booze cedes now to coffee. #
- Left apt for walk @ 1:30 pm. Returned @ 10:00 pm. Ate bagels, fried clams, smarties & walked. So much. Now, home, safe, happy, exhausted. #
- Awoke. Got off. Showered, logisticized. Now, burgers! For great justice!! #
- After spectacular smart night with @jamesbcarp,@sarahdopp, @maymaym, we awake to a pile of dishes and a trip to Ikea. Next stop, furniture! #
- Went to bed with hair slightly wet, awoke with perfectly styled faux-hawk. Unsure what the universe is telling me. I need ill-fitting jeans? #
- @dandelionjar Rock On! Will you be getting a tan, or just Science? in reply to dandelionjar #
- @bewareleopard I have not, but I will check it out. That does sound like a delicious picture! Also HI! #
- Off to meet with realtors and perhaps find out where I'll be living come next week. Wish me luck! #
- RT @maymaym British N.H.S. suggests !youth have "an #orgasm a day" to be healthy & gets slammed by !sex fear-mongers: http://tr.im/sd1Q #
- Much needed lazy day. Hoping to get a few things done on the internet, but mainly lounging in boxers from @maymaym (they have coffee mugs!) #
- Just signed a lease! Garret 1bdrm close to my old place, w/ pking, clawfoot tub, gas stove, little window over sink w/ view of downtown pvd. #
- @astralknowledge OH MY GOD maxgladstone.com! Why did I not KNOW about that? Will now lose endless hours in your lovely ramblings. in reply to astralknowledge #
- Am landed safe in SF. Radio silence of travel extends to relative silence of time with @maymaym. I look up; here he is! Why look elsewhere? #
- Today: laundered, watched @maymaym fight w/ finances & win, found groceries, wandered. SF=½ vacation, ½ domesticity. No surprise, really. #
This picture was posted recently over at Male Submission Art:
Forgive me for the overwhelming hubris of re-posting a link to a post of mine, but I wanted to take the complete text, as it is speaking to a subject dear to my heart. May‘s caption for the post reads:
“A young man kneels on the ground in a forested area, his wrists loosely tied with a single thick rope to the stump of a tree.I think this photograph, suggested by Dorinda, is beautiful (albeit with sorry-looking bondage) and I like the vintage feel it has. I particularly like the shape of the model’s back, ass, and legs; the curvature of his lower body looks feminine while the trapezoidal frame of his upper body looks masculine, and I appreciate this aesthetic mix immensely; it’s pretty and manly.Much of the time, people refer to the mixing of genders as androgyny, but that word has etymological roots pertaining to being devoid of gender, of being genderless. While valid and attractive to me in its own way at times, this is subtly different from what I find most attractive:the presence of mixed genders. Rather than being half a woman (50% feminine) and half a man (50% masculine), why can’t we be all of both at once? A person can still have 100% feminineand 100% masculine wholes within themselves.“
I also want to say right here and now that that rope is pathetic and useless and the picture would basically be better without it since it is really only draped around and that’s just stupid and why isn’t he moving his hands or something and why does he have that pained (very hot) look on his face since he is not actually attached to that tree in anyway. Ok. /End rant. Back to gender.
I should state that I do, in fact, find androgyny incredibly sexy. This type of beauty-without-gender is embodied, to me, in Tilda Swinton‘s portrayal of the Angel Gabriel in the really and truly terrible movie Constantine:
It’s a lovely look, but it’s not one I’m interested in emulating, partly because I can’t. If you’ve met me in person, you might have noticed a certain … largeness … about my hips, a certain … not-so-largeness … around my middle section. I look like a woman, and no amount of binding will turn me into a svelte, effete androgen. The best I can hope for is barrel-chested drag-king, and while I may try it one day, I still won’t ever look like Tilda, more’s the pity.
But that’s ok. Because when I play with gender, I don’t want to play it down. I want to play it up. In my estimation, masculinity and femininity should be decoupled, two separate sliding scales. If you turn up your masculinity, you should not automatically turn down your femininity, nor vice versa. You can turn them both down to zero, in which case you wind up a Swinton-esque, androgynous creature, in the best case, and Pat-from-Saturday-Night-Live, in the worst. You can turn up one or the other, or you can turn up both, and be something for which there is perhaps no word.
The closest approximation of what I’m looking for might be hermaphroditic. The word comes from the God/dess Hermaphroditus, born male, the son of Hermes and Aphrodite. In a stunning gender-norm-reversal of the common Grecian story of desire and rape, the water-nymph Salmacis saw Hermaphroditus and was driven mad with desire for him. Although he had refused her, she hid behind a tree to watch him bathe, and on seeing him unclothed, seized him and embraced and kissed him, crying to the Gods that they should never be parted. Never ones to skip out on an opportunity to be overly literal and play a cruel trick on mortals, the Gods listened and joined their two forms, creating a being with both sets of genitalia, both a man and a woman. “Hermaphrodite” is now a somewhat un-P.C. term for “Intersex,” but is typically used to mean a person who is, as May said, 50%/50% Male-Female, rather than 100% of each.
Which is not to say that nobody in literature has ever had that brilliant idea before. I give you Neil Gaiman’s Anthropomorphic Personification of Desire:
This is not a particularly fabulous rendition; in fact, I find that none of the renditions, in the graphic novels or available on the internet, are really perfect. It’s very hard to draw a creature entirely male and entirely female; an entity that embodies everything you want. Everything everybody wants. But it does make sense that such a creature would be not part male, part female, but all there was to be of both of those, and more. Even in this picture, we see the suggestion of breasts at the same time as the suggestion of an adams apple, a strong jawline and soft lips, a whole lot of sex and a whole lot of gender.
I like that. Liking gender, finding masculinity and femininity both sexy, but more so when together, I feel like I just want to get as much gender as I possibly can. I want it all, all the time. I recently cut my hair short. Short so that my dad says “You look like a 10-year-old-boy” and my best friend says “You are so butch! Like a hot little elf!” (I’ll take her response over his, any day). I suppose at this point should not be surprised, but now that I’m masculine from the neck up, I find myself craving sundresses and floral skirts. I cannot be just one. I must have all, I must have both, the more I scale up my masculinity, the more I want to scale up my femininity to match. To keep a balance; all gender or none. Everything or nothing, baby.
There are, of course, questions to be asked here, and one that has been rattling around in my head has to do with how all this lovely gender is expressed. When I talk about being feminine, masculine, both, I talk first and foremost about clothing, from a tailcoat and a bowler hat to a motorcycle jacket to a flirty, fitted dress to a red satin pencil skirt and pumps, gender is something I put on to go out and peel back off when I come home again. The multiplicity I talk about comes when I add red lipstick to the bowler and tails, put the motorcycle jacket and the sundress together, wear a collared shirt and tie with my red skirt and heels. Some of it comes with my hair… when a few months ago it was long and feminine, I could put it up or take it down to suit my mood. Now, it’s a fixed point around which my gender expression can turn.
So my question, for another post, and harkening back to how I felt when I made love to May in the post he’s linked to in his caption, is how one expresses gender without the props? How can I be a man when I’m naked, how can I be masculine-and-feminine at the same time when I haven’t got my lipstick, my fedora, my toolkit of gender signifiers? How can the lovely boy in the Male Submission Art picture that started this look so feminine around the curve of his back and ass, so masculine in his shoulders, his face? What is gender-in-the-nude? I’m not sure. If you’ve got thoughts, let me know – I will keep thinking, and tell you when the pieces fit together.
- Home in Ann Arbor this week, spending time with my post-operative mother, the outdoors and the internet. SFO in T-10 days and counting. Joy! #
- Rereading journals of drawing & poetry from when I was 12-13. It's a harrowing, necessary, experience. I loved hard, had mood swings, raved. #
- Made beef carpaccio, tabbouleh, berries (blue, rasp, red currants) w/ creme freche. Red wine & coffee. Now to shower & retire from Mom-care. #
- Today: errands, haircut, get health-insurance info, whip practice, finish iTunes organization, shower in sun, futz with iCal (check!). #
- With new haircut, I believe I am officially a Lesbian Impersonator. That's ok, though, my boy owns more skirts than I do, so it evens out. #
- Redsox defeated Oakland A's, this night.. I find that liking the Sox is genetic for me, in the same way hating Paul Eckman is. Thanks, Mom. #
- Today, Gyno appointment and STI screening. And showering in the sun. #
- Joined friend of family on walk; he likes brisk walking in 80+ heat, wearing a straw hat & smoking a pipe. Survived smoke-free. Sunshowered. #
- @maymaym This time, you, psychology, retirement, transexuals, me, life. He's a pretty amazing guy. Next time I'll ask him about pipesmoking. #
- @maymaym Oh, Wonderboy. At this point next week I'll have been off the plan for a half hour, but will probably just be keeping you one edge. in reply to maymaym #
- Back to Providence today, & then to BOSTON for NELA FFF. And then BACK to PVD to get an apartment? With internet & such? That would be good. #
- @damsorrow Short answer is Yes, we're heading out soon. I'm heading to one apartment, @zacmakes to another. We'll miss it, but it's time. in reply to damsorrow #
- Off to Boston for MtG, friends, catching up. Tomorrow, NELA FFF, perhaps a new whip? More friends. In the mean time, of course, SMS. #
- @maymaym What were you daydreaming about, Wonderboy? in reply to maymaym #
- Good at love, bad at sleep. Will beat the time-zone beasties in the end. #
- Possibly Lovecraftian board games instead of FFF? In the New Reality, @helio_girl does What She Wants, even if it's Not What She Planned. #
- Failed to defeat the monsters, grabbed coffee. Now friends @ a concert, I sit in their house, watch Dr. Who, wait to meet FFF folks and eat. #
- Crying as I drive seems to have become a habit. My insides are bruised and mushy. I must find time to mourn. There is no comfort left me. #
- Drove & sang & cried in the rain, napped in the sun w/ SciFri from 1912, cracked whips, ate ramen, thought. Everything is better w/ texting. #
- Had bread and coffee in the sun. Now to organize music, and conversate. #
- Salad w/ chicken & avocado followed by potato chips and dulce de leche icecream. It evens out, yeah? #