What the Labels I Use Mean to Me

(Content Note: If you’re uncomfortable with me talking about my kinks and/or feelings then this one isn’t for you!)

As ever, when I talk about labels I feel like need to write an extensive disclaimer, so many queer women find labels to be problematic. I guess I kind of don’t when it comes to labels I use. But then I guess I’m getting more and more ok with moving between labels and I don’t think I’ve ever perceived them (when I write the word ‘ever’ on this blog I am always convinced that someone is going to look through an entry from fifteen years ago and tell me I’ve changed my mind!) as anything that is an imposed box. They always seem to be different somehow to putting me in a box. But then I and the rest of the world do seem to be at odds when it comes to what labels are. Other people, especially queer people who’ve been assigned female at birth, seem to think that it’s an imposed identity even when they’re words that you’ve chosen yourself.
I, by and large, just see them as useful describing words but then the notion of identity is always this weird dance between what you declare yourself to be and what other people allow themselves to see you as and it’s incredibly weird what some people refuse to see even when it’s right in front of them. I guess I just find it easier to ignore when people are being deliberately bigoted and thus I suppose I end up being ok when i’m using labelling words to try and express to the world who I am.

In anycase, I also have this whole issue with ‘polyamorous’ being used as a personal identity because… well, it often seems to be used by people who are in a monogamous relationship as if they’re coming out. By that I mean in the sense of ‘if I come out as polyamorous then this cheating that I’m about to do won’t count because I’m discovering my self-identity’ and that really really annoys me.
Sure, I feel a certain amount of sympathy for gay men and women who were stuck in marriages in previous times or in other countries where to be gay will get you killed or get you the sort of social pariah-ship that may as well be a death sentence. However, if they are shagging someone else when married then they’re cheating unless their spouse has ok’d it in some sort of Lavender Marriage deal (or similar). If you’ve ‘discovered’ that you are poly and you are in a monogamous relationship then that is the time to have a conversation with your partner about your life’s direction and preferred lifestyle choices. Spoilers, if you reckon that you’re poly then that means you may have to break up with your partner.

So am I polyamourous? I certainly still can’t spell it. Me and The Jellicle, me and M-i-L, we’re in poly relationships, I feel so much more comfortable describing the relationship in those terms. Like, you can’t do poly on your own, you need other people to do it with, it’s definitely a verb in that sense. Something you do rather than something you are. Never the less, I describe myself as bisexual, but I guess that’s a descriptor of my sexuality and sexuality is about who you find attractive as well as who you are actively having sex with (and if you’re not into multiple partners then I’m not sure you could have ‘bisex’), I don’t use the label ‘pansexual’ for myself because gender does play into how and why I find someone attractive. That’s one reason why I often stop flirting, or at any rate flirting with any sort of intent, when I discover someone identifies as non-binary because I’m usually finding them attractive as a gender they don’t identify as and it feels like I’m being mean to them.

I’ve started embracing the term demi-romantic as well, or grey-romantic, I do feel romantic feelings, sometimes, usually after I’ve been in a solid relationship for a while but I find myself most able to enjoy traditionally romantic activities either when I am incredibly comfortable with the romantic love between us (M-i-L and The Jellicle) or when we don’t have that sort of relationship (yeah cause that doesn’t lead anyone to misinterpret things Mish, congratulations on that one). My relationship with emotions, deep and passionate ones and weirdly squishy ones, is very, very odd and I become more and more aware of how odd it is the more I talk to other people about their feelings. It’s the whole, my emotions are more ‘feelable’ when there are multiple people involved. I suspect it’s why my style of Polyamory is unashamedly ‘Kitchen Table‘. Love is fine, love is grand, and there’s a curiousity about Romance, but I find myself liking the trappings more than the actuality of Big Deal Romance.

So I’m a bisexual, grey-romantic cis-woman who practices polyamory and prefers her sex a little bit kinky (some people would argue with me on that one, I maintain compared to really kinky people my liking to be tied up sometimes is not very kinky). I think that’s me for now, I’m pretty fond of me and the words that describe me.

Leave a Reply