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Susan Bi Anthony writes about all things gay, straight, in-between, and outside of the box. You can follow her @SusanBiAnthony for snarky witticisms and updates on her adventures in non-monogamy.
I’ve always been big. I stand about an inch and a half taller than the average American man, and about seven above the average woman. At my heaviest I clocked in somewhere around 280 lbs, fluctuating across the line of the “regular” and “women’s” plus-size clothes. My lifelong weight gain story is not unique or interesting. It’s the same combination of genetics, poor choices in dealing with my mild anxiety, and a general lack of discipline we hear over and over every time Jillian Michaels makes someone cry on The Biggest Loser.
My sexual partners have run the gamut: those who were attracted to or fetishized big women, those for whom size was a non-issue, and those who will sleep with anyone, attracted or not. There were those who worshiped my curves and called me beautiful, and some who wanted to humiliate me and call me disgusting. Of course there were also those who never became partners, usually because they just weren’t into a full-figured gal.
The worst are those who fall into the Venn diagram of men who will sleep with a plus-size woman, but don’t want a fat girlfriend. They are the ones who, at some point in the hookup/dating process, say that I should have known they would never want something more serious with me. Usually they dance around the topic until we land here: the fat, kinky, bisexual girl is fun to fuck, but they would never admit it to anyone else. In short, a great personality can’t always outweigh weight.
The website targets “farmers, ranchers, and country folk” and insists that “city folk just don’t get it”. As city folk we found it hilarious and immediately called over our friend who comes from one of those square states in the middle. Eventually our curiosity got the better of us, out came the smart phones, and before we knew it we were cobbling together a fake profile. What transpired was a quick trip through these five stages.
Earlier this month about half of my rugby team took off on a cross country adventure to watch the USA Rugby 7s tournament in Las Vegas. (If you don’t know about 7s yet, get to know it because come 2016 it is an Olympic sport. Get on the bandwagon early). Those of us left behind on the dreary east coast decided to embark on an adventure of our own, and shake off the February doldrums with a weekend of local fun we dubbed “Fake Vegas” (Fegas for short).
The itinerary involved a number of new party destinations, poker night, silly outfits, and a scavenger hunt of activities including but not limited to “get a tattoo, don’t get pregnant, get married, and steal a tiger or a baby or a baby tiger”. We may be near (or past) 30, but we still know how to have a good time. After shaking off a hangover a few of us ventured to a sex shop for a little browsing. The crew that afternoon included a mix of sexualities and relationship statuses, which made for interesting conversation once in the store. What started out as a silly check-off on a list of Vegas themed activities, turned out to be an eye opening moment about how women can, and should, talk about sex.
Recently, I met a new fella and I’ve been spending an awful lot of my incredibly sparse free time with him. I met him on the interwebs the same way I met most men in my dah, but for reasons completely beyond my comprehension I have broken my normal pattern. Instead of explicit texts, late night rendezvous, and the sizzling and soon to collapse white hot passion of yet another super nova HSP, I have found myself spending my weekends with an honest-to-goodness boyfriend prospect. (I know!)
I’m basically just confused an awkward all the time. I know how to do the no-strings thing. This other thing…it’s weird. We go to museums and have dinner in public and it’s not all some thinly veiled excuse to tear each other’s clothes off. When we do get to an evening of clothes tearing, I don’t immediately run for my shoes and the door, but we hang out and watch Dr. Who and he lends me DVDs he thinks I may enjoy. WTF? Early on I was complaining to a friend that I didn’t know how to date when it’s not just a emotionless pretense for sex. She said, “it’s easy, you just make conversation. You can do that, you talk all the time!” And she was right. So, I’ve relaxed a bit and I’m just going with it.
So, good news guys. I’m not totally dead inside! Bad news, I let my guard down enough to fall for someone and he managed to crush my heart like a baby bird just making its way out of the nest and forced some serious personal reflection.
What did your family fight over at Thanksgiving dinner? If the answer is “Transphobia in the gay community and questions of when, if ever, it’s ok to out someone” then you were probably at the same party I was. If not, allow me to share the finer points of this debate, and maybe next year you’ll find yourself discussing gender and sexual identity issues as your dinner digests and the wine really starts flowing.
This year was the first time in 29 years I didn’t spend Thanksgiving with my family, but like many millennials living in an adopted city who grew up watching Friends, I have discovered that a group of wacky peers can be just as good. So, I spent Thanksgiving singing karaoke at my coach’s house with her family and any teammate who couldn’t travel home (including one Brit who was thoroughly confused by our holiday, but enjoyed the pie all the same).
Somewhere around 1:30 am, as the last of the people with a designated driver left and those of us too inebriated or sleepy to drive were about to turn in, the conversation turned to a discussion of a night that I had missed over the summer. Then, before anyone had any idea how it happened, we were screaming at each other about pronoun usage, political correctness and tolerance. Funny, because my conservative Uncle Jerry* wasn’t even there.
So there I was, standing in the baking aisle of the grocery store, cell phone dinging to alert me to a new message, trying not to cry but failing miserably. As a few silent tears rolled out of the corners of my eyes, I stared intently, through increasingly blurred vision, at my food coloring options, trying to remember the recipe for red velvet cake for my roommate’s birthday and not raise the suspicions of the helpful clerk who kept asking if I needed help finding anything.
The tears were irrational, illogical, and incredibly poorly timed. Yet here I was, crying over the loss of something I never had, and never really wanted, making the little old ladies trying to complete their mid-day shopping very uncomfortable.
I have been told, more than once, that I have a bit of an exhibitionist streak in me. Charlie and I had sex on my balcony of my old apartment in full view of the offices of a major political party, I’ve fantasized with partners about going to a swingers club where voyeurs might watch us, and hell – I write about my sex life on the internet.
I don’t think I am in the minority in this respect. Public displays of affection are a very tame way of expressing your sexual attraction to your partner to other people. And we have all seen (or been) the couple having the intense make out on the dance floor, declaring to the world, “Look! Other people find me sexually attractive! I am validated by this tongue in my mouth!” I mean – Never Have I Ever is pretty much just a chance to brag about all the exciting sexual encounters we have had.
A few weeks ago I braved both Amtrak and the LIRR to make the perilous DC to Long Island journey to a wedding for an old friend from college. Armed with my thrift store bow tie, tuxedo shirt, and vest I was pretty sure I was safely in the zone of the utterly confusing theme outlined on the invitation. We were instructed to wear accessories and clothes that were reminiscent of the Victorian age, things passengers on the Titanic might have worn; steampunk or Tim Burton but not costume-y. And if we chose not to dress in theme, the code was afternoon formal.
Yeah…I had no idea what to wear. Somehow this wedding was a combination of a boho fun fest (the officiant runs a circus and had an awesome curly moustache) and a classic suburban girl wedding (there were 180 guests, some of whom definitely pray at the altar of GTL). I managed to pull together an outfit that made me look like a turn of the century archeologist and had an awesome time dancing to Gangam Style with some old college friends.
When we say we are going through a dry spell, it tends to conjure up some very specific imagery. I usually associate this term with a montage of a hapless yet charming leading man facing rejection, with increasing hilarity, as he tries to woo a string of women. Or maybe of a woman sitting on her couch, eating ice cream in her comfy pants but starring longingly at a cute dress that never gets its night on the town. (Apparently, I’ve seen too many movies).
You get the point – the dry spell generally refers to sexless night after sexless night, and the frustration (and desperation) that can accompany it.
When facing a blow off, all you want is to send a text/chat/e-mail that reads as coy and aloof. “Hey mister, remember me? I’m pretty and nice and you should want to talk to me. See how casually my hair falls in front of my eye?”
But there’s always the chance it will come off like this:
“PAY ATTENTION TO ME! I’M CRAAAAAAAZY!”
Sometimes I think it’s hard for people to believe that there is prejudice and hierarchy within the LGBT community. Even the term LGBT is meant to define us all by the unifying factor that we are not gender or sexually normative. We have been encouraged to ban together against the rising tide of hate, and help the rest of the world understand that we are just like them.
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