(Content warning – frank and casual mentions of rape)
I described myself as nominally bisexual the other day. It occurred to me that if I’ve ever done that before it would have been in my twenties when I was struggling to get a girlfriend, or any interest from women and I couldn’t turn around for interest from men.
These days though, I am just not that into men, I was trying to explain that and my conversation partner asked me what had happened. The thing is, I can’t really say there’s some huge moment of awful that culminated in my lack of interest in men. It’s just the relentless presence of them for over twenty years. I don’t exactly mean that, I suppose I could say that it’s a build up of multiple big, medium and small things and now I just don’t cope well with male interest.
I honestly think that this is one of the few things that would have teenage Mish disappointed in me. Usually I look at my life and I think how happy she’d be with a great deal of this. But honestly, I’m finding male interest more and more unwelcome. It often ends up feeling quite relentless and I’m not sure why that is, I guess there was a definite uptick in men messaging hopeful for some kind of horny outcome. I was not in anyway in that kind of mindset for much of the pandemic.
After the first time I was raped I was so determined I was not going to allow it to put me off men, I liked men and I knew I liked sex so I went out on something of a mission to get over the bad stuff with as much good stuff as I could get. I am not convinced, looking back, that it was quite the healthiest way I could have dealt with that, but I definitely felt pretty empowered at the time. I suppose that Mish would feel disappointed that it didn’t work in the long term.
It wasn’t just the amount of pandemic attention but the tenor of it as well, it felt demanding, so much so that I think I’m now beginning to parse ‘hello’ from a man as demanding attention which isn’t great. I just feel so exhausted by it. I do remember wanting male attention and I’ve certainly been accused of having pretty low standards but honestly I don’t think they’ve increased that much, or maybe they have. I only want nice attention now, I’m too tired to put up with demands for attention that I can’t deal with anything I don’t immediately enjoy.
I do feel as if I’m being too harsh and over-reacting. I’m not sure I particularly care though, it’s not really causing me a problem, only to turn down men who are presumably looking for enthusiasm. Well, I suppose the over-reaction to men saying ‘hi’ is a problem and I should look at that.