He is repulsive to me, and after all these months of him telling me that he was a good person, and that everything was going to be okay, and that this would work out – instead, here I am, and I can see all these lies stapled to him like skin that is thinly covering up the monster inside. I am reeling and retching as his hands reach out with claws on my skin, shuddering at the sensation of everything beautiful inside me crumbling in the palms of a creature whose only pleasure is destruction. Or, more specifically, the destruction of me as I tremble in terror on my knees like the final scene of a horror movie when the devil is revealed, grinning and ready to feast on the flesh of someone who was naive enough to trust the devil in all his cunning and tailored suits. This is what men to do women, but I am not the type of woman who lets the story end there. He moves in with his razor blade teeth, but I am finding inside myself the will to fight, even if this fist is feeble in the face of a man like this. I have weapons, too, and I am pulling the trigger of the gun in my mind that is aimed right at him with the force of the hatred that is growing inside me. I am a woman who is wearing her righteous anger like a purple heart of victory, soon to be standing over the corpse of a man who will never hurt another woman like me again. My hatred is fast and warm, but it will save the world.
“I’m just a normal person who wants normal things and a normal girlfriend who doesn’t ask me to choke her out while five guys watch us having sex.”
I’m sitting in some house in Berkeley with my friend who is discussing all the woes of being a normal person in the Bay Area, aka the land of freaks. He’s starting to make me feel bad, mostly because I thoroughly enjoy living in the heart of a city whose sexual culture is so avant garde as to be outre and perhaps entirely out of touch with human desire and emotion. I grew up here, so I’m well versed in the language of love and all it’s translations into the language of polyamory, BDSM, homosexuality, sex positivity, pro sex worker feminism and general, every day, run of the mill scum fuckery. It’s a culture that I’ve come to appreciate and one that I am clearly fully steeped in. This is the Wild Wild West of sexual expression, a no holds barred land of do whatever you want, fuck whoever you want, and be as nasty as you so fucking choose. I really like it here.
But I’ve started to hear the same complaint over and over again: it seems that more than a few citizens of our sexual utopia are getting fed up this wantonly permissive sexual culture that has somehow morphed from an expression of freedom into a hunting grounds for sexual predators. Ideally, our sex positive culture is supposed to embrace all expressions of sexuality, but instead we’re forcing our orgies and kink on otherwise contentedly vanilla people. In our war to win the right to fuck whoever we choose, however we choose, we have forgotten that there are still some people out there who are perfectly happy with their missionary sex, monogamous long term relationships. We have mistaken the presence and support of these so called vanilla fuckers for an interest in our promiscuous lifestyle. I guess that’s understandable, but part of being open minded is remembering that people have the right to say no, the right to not be fetishized, and the right to stand on the sidelines and clap without having to participate in our rampant debauchery. Yeah, we’re happy to have them here, but what’s the opposite of slut shaming? Square shaming? We’re not supposed to ostracize anyone because they aren’t engaging in polyamory or cosigning our kinky lifestyles. We can’t force people to choke us during sex if they don’t want to.
This is all part of the conversation that we are constantly having, and while it’s still thrilling to know that we have all these wonderful sexual freedoms as members of the Bay Area, we can’t lose sight of the humanity of the people participating in this culture of sexual freedom. It’s okay to want whatever you want, even if you want nothing at all. We can appreciate these freedoms without exercising every single one, so rather than pressuring people to participate in activities that do not bring them pleasure, we need to celebrate our options and our right to say yes or no as we see fit. And the fact that saying yes or no will be respected as an expression of our sexual autonomy and individual humanity. We’re all here because we’re seeking love, but that love doesn’t manifest the same way for everybody. Personally, I’m not a fan of monogamy, but I respect my friends who find satisfaction in monogamous love. We all want pleasure, but not everyone finds pleasure in getting choked out by a stranger during anal sex. I respect that. And I celebrate my friends who know what they want and know what will make them happy and have the courage to pursue their happiness even when it doesn’t look like anyone else’s happiness. So long as that respect and admiration is mutual, you do you girlfriend. No one can be mad at you for it.
It’s easy to feel pain, and it’s hard to wait for wounds to heal. Pain takes seconds to appear, but years to evanesce. I will be sitting in the waiting room of my own future for who knows how long, feeling antsy, growing impatient, tired of looking at the same fan magazines and finding no truth within them. I am waiting to be called in so I can be given the cure to my own unhappiness, and it is taking far too long. It would be much easier to throw up my hands and storm out of here, even after having invested this much time into waiting for the cure to all that ails me. It would be easier to slide into the bar downstairs, sidle onto a stool, and put my hand on the thigh of some disgusting and drunk man who will pay for all my drinks and look at me with a lust that I will wantonly mistake for love. It would take less time to get drunk, and it would feel like the solution to the problems like rocks in the bottom of my stomach. Feeling nothing is a good solution for feeling too much of the wrong thing, although ideally I would like to start feeling better. But if I can’t have that, I guess booze will do.
I am suffering from an affliction called the collision of my reality with what I thought was going to be. I am sick in bed all day with it, and I will not be showing up to work because the best me that I had projected into the future that I thought I was going to have has died at the hands of the me that is traversing this every day world in a way that everyone can see. It is making me nauseous, to see my hopes and dreams of the me that I thought I was going to be, that somehow majestic future me dancing in fields with smiles and covered in flowers. I thought that I was going to be wonderful for everyone, that I would be sparkling and my skin would be made of diamonds. It was only yesterday that I saw tomorrow, and the sun was shining and I was there beneath it. However, today I have realized that is not the case, and the beautiful me that seemed so attainable just moments ago has succumbed to the sickness of reality and the high price of living in a world like this among people like you. My skin is grey like rotting fruit, and I am covered in the wounds of bad decisions that have been rewarded with pain fecklessly inflicted upon me by casual bystanders. The sky has clouded up, and I have been cast into the gutter with the rest of the beggars, reeking like feces while everyone who walks by on the sidewalk so high above us all – they turn there noses up at creatures like me. They cannot hear me and my small cry as I try to explain, “No, I was not always like this – this is not who I am – I was beautiful like you once upon a time!” But that is wrong. That is a lie, because this is who I am, even if spend the rest of my life telling myself that this is wrong. Even if I can still taste the future like the memory of a sweet promise that was robbed from me in a moment of violence by careless criminals who didn’t have anything to gain from hurting me in the first place but did it nonetheless just because they could.
I can feel the darkness inside me, festering and bubbling up. It has been there, just below the surface for so long. It has been sitting inside me for years, but I have become a champion of keeping the darkness at bay. I have muscled it back inside me, watching it thrive and then sputter as the years go by. I have been strong against the darkness, and I have mastered the art of allowing it to live inside me without destroying everything beautiful outside of me. However, today is the first day that I have started to lose the war against the darkness inside me. And soon it will engulf me completely.
There are moments of weakness like knees buckling under the pressure, but the weight of darkness is not too much to handle. Instead like a beast nipping at my tail, I have grown tired after all these years of running away. And the beast of darkness has only grown stronger and faster, so it was only a matter of time before I paused to catch my breath and in that moment found myself entangled in the fangs of something stronger than myself. The beast of darkness was something that I could have beaten on any other day of the week, with my friends and family and lovers cheering me on, begging me to defeat everything awful inside me. But it was the minute that I looked up and realized that the person I loved was in fact not rooting for me, not cheering for my success, but screaming for the beast to take me over – that was the minute when I could not run anymore, and here I am, bloody and on my knees in the dirt for the first time in a long time, watching in horror as I feel no pain at those teeth in this flesh but terrified to see someone I thought loved me laughing while I consumed by monsters.
And what will become of me that I have been overcome by darkness. Who will I be, stalking around these streets with teeth bared and breathing heavy with the sweat of revenge dripping down my forehead. This is what betrayal does to a woman like me, tip toe-ing along the razor edge of insanity and violence, making slow calculations against the rest of the world. I am consumed by darkness these days, and the wildness of wanting to hurt other people is gripping me so glaringly. I am a sparkling villain, covered in diamonds and filled the sticky sweet thoughts of doing to others what has been done to me. There is a knife in my hand and a gun in my mind. Everywhere I look, everything is covered in blood, and I, too, am laughing as I chase down sweet innocents the way I was chased down, too.
Fuck. I am so fucking jealous. Of all of you, all so beautiful, waltzing around these bars in your upscale thrift store designer knock offs and that fur coat you stole from your ex’s roommate, but she was a cunt and she probably doesn’t even miss it so who cares. I am coming face to face with the new definition of modern femininity, and contrary to what I thought was going to happen when the prissy, made up, dainty and well to do femininity that I espouse became passe and out dated – my god, you are all so much more beautiful than I thought anyone could ever be. What can I say; let’s call a spade a spade. I can admit that I’m a member of the old guard of cis gendered womanhood, you know, the kind that applies lipstick with spite and feminist convictions. The kind that flails Gucci purses in everyone’s faces while dog piled into the dive bar bathroom railing lines of coke off the dirty sink. I’m the kind of woman who sleeps with other women’s boyfriends for sport and then calls it sisterhood when I’m bored with feeling prettier than everyone else. I’m that kind of girl, mostly because when I was growing up, that was what being a woman meant to me. Being a woman meant I could fuck anyone I wanted, make outlandish financial demands and never turn a stove on to do anything other than boil water. And I’ve been getting pretty good at being a woman, in my six inch heels and mini skirts. I don’t know why being a woman is such an inherently trashy pursuit, but, hey, it is what it is.
However, in 2016, I’m starting to realize that my brand of woman is an outmoded creature. She’s not really in fashion anymore, and instead of being princess of nothing in particular at the bars in Downtown Oakland, my reign as pretty has been overthrown by a new brand of woman who wants nothing to do with gender roles, or gender identity, or heterosexuality, or straight privilege, or even the vapid stabs at bisexuality and BDSM that us cis girls harken upon so frequently as a way to appear more interesting. I mean, yeah, it sucks to see that girls like me aren’t the prettiest things at the bar anymore, but it actually doesn’t suck that much because (and I say this with as much grace as possible) at least the girls who are winning at partying are prettier and smarter and faster than the women of my ilk. And I guess calling this new breed of beauty “woman” or “girl” isn’t even entirely accurate because it’s not even necessarily someone who identifies as a woman. You don’t have to have a pussy to be a woman anymore. All it takes to be a woman is being a woman, and that has nothing to do with what is or isn’t dangling between your legs. And it’s not even about being a woman at all in the first place; it’s about being a sparkling beauty in this place called night, ungendered and resplendent among all these fucking rubes. So I salute you. For redefining sex and redefining femininity. I would say that I’m passing the torch on, but let’s be real. We are constantly stealing the torch from each other, and it’s not really mine to give.