So, scratch the surface of a Mish and my sister will appear, any minute now I’m going to get out boyfriend contracts a la Da Bitches (actually I think I have a copy of one somewhere) and start quoting ‘Da Bitches rule, Da Bitches rock, Da Bitches they don’t suck cock…’ etc.
This lunchtime I was going on about gender idealisation, entirely constructed notions of men (and women although that wasn’t the fun bit for everyone else apparently so it got ignored). I have come to the conclusion that when it comes down to sex I like to play with notions of gender, not only that but I, as a bisexual woman who came out rather early as these things go, am come late to the definition of my ideal ‘man’. You know, the Snow White style ‘one day my prince will come’ kind of thing.
So at lunch I was going on about how ‘men’ don’t exist but rather ‘boys’ do and being miffed at the fact that I never meet any ‘men’. Yes ok this was a take on from yesterdays ‘Jabba’ comment (must remember to tell Pretty that my Gentleman Friend cheered him for calling me that at lunch). I think I do actually have a point here outside of obsessive gender construction, that is that it is far easier for our generation to stay younger than it was for our parents and grandparents generations (and it prolly gets harder the further you go back). We’re richer, healthier and more educated generally speaking and it means we have more leisure time than they ever did (with the noted exception of Rat who should rest more) with which to play. As a woman it’s easier for me to see men behaving more childishly than it is for me to see women doing so (though frankly look at the number of beauty salons, hairdressers etc.etc.) since it’s easier to note things that are different I think.
Back to gender construction and my notions of sex play.
My teens (in terms of sexuality) were largely spent in working out that I was a lesbian, no I still fancied men, that I was some sort of sexual weirdo, that I was actually straight, that I was asexual, that I was just a freak, that I was bisexual…oh phew I was bisexual. I spent a large part of them thinking I was gay and ignoring the leanings I had towards men and just counting them as friends. During those years I came to realise what I looked for in a woman, firstly this was done by idealising women that I knew and then doing the ‘one day a woman like this and I will meet and strings will sound in the distance and we will live happily ever after’. (Ideal woman – slightly mad, soulful eyes, innate sense of style and a liking for receiving poetry and flowers), then I had some relationships with women and came to realise that what I actually like were women I could talk to, kiss/go to bed with and who enjoyed romancing me as much as I did romancing them. Then I realised I was bisexual, so I think I rather skipped the idealisation of men phase that I’m reasonably sure I should have gone through.
Men had always been friends of mine so when I realised I liked them too (I went out with and fell in love with my then Best Friend – this was a bad move) I just slid all my understandings of what I liked in women to what I liked in men. This is presumably the conclusion I would have reached had I gone through that phase anyway (ie. I like men I can talk to, kiss/go to bed with and who enjoy romancing me as much as I do romancing them). It was around then that I went through my liking for androgynous men and women… perhaps this is not surprising.
However, I like to roleplay, I’m now talking in bedroom here as well as out. I think that part of the way most people play with sex is that they do play, like Terry Prattchett says, the way Verence sees Magrat is pretty much an idealised version of how she sees herself. We play with notions of ourselves and the other parties involved when we go to bed with someone. We play with gender roles and constructions particularly in a heterosexual coupling etc. I like men who fulfill the role of ‘man’ at points in bed but who can run the gamut of ‘man’ (because there is more than one idea there), ‘boy’ (not in a dodgy pre-16 way) ‘hermaphrodite’, ‘sexless’,’girl’, ‘woman’, ‘shaman’ etc. etc. I don’t mean necesarily in a role-playing scenario type of way, but in a slipping into the roles, playing with the positions, playing with how you relate to the other person type of way. Sometimes I want a man, some days I need a woman…
Interestingly enough it seems that my idealisation of the role of ‘man’, despite being described at lunch today as being like a gay DIY fanatic, is very much an idealised version of my Dad’s perception of my Grandfather. This interests me because I do think of my Grandma as being very much a role-model. I have been told that I had an odd relationship with her, I definately had a very close one in some respects, maybe not in all I admit because I was a kid when she was talking to me. I miss her, I’ve blogged it before, but in the situation I’m in it occured to me today to wonder what she would make of it. She’d ask me what felt good I’m sure. She’d remind me of something I thought once when I was eight and may or may not have told her about, that, it really doesn’t matter two hoots if you tell the truth or lie to other people as long as you’re honest with yourself and you know what you’re getting yourself into. Other people have some funny opinons about me I’ve noticed of late, and you know what? I couldn’t care less. I know who I am, I’m interested in where I’m going, but I know who I have been and who I am and I think that’s pretty much enough.
Oh, and real men do quote poetry;
‘THERE was movement at the station, for the word had passed around
That the colt from old Regret had got away,
And had joined the wild bush horses