Dark Mother

I am continually surprised that the words “male” and “female” are so broadly conflated with “masculinity” and “femininity”. The scientific reality of who we superficially label male, female, or intersex is a many faceted and complex chemical, biological, and chromosomal reality. A reality that incredibly few people (if any) know the entire story of, even about themselves. How many people have been tested for chromosomal variations, had their hormone levels scrutinized, or their brains scanned for sexed patterns? Not many.

The reality of how bodies are constructed and what each individual is capable of and incapable of across any number of skill ranges, emotional responses, desires, likes, dislikes, and preferences is far reaching in its variance. Many personal preferences emerge due to socializing and family upbringing rather than natural instinct. Looking across cultures there are more than a few “masculine” traits deemed “feminine” from one culture to the next, as well as flipped expectations historically as we travel through time. Ruth used to be a man’s name, pink was what boys wore not so long ago, and women weren’t allowed to don pants in public (much less prefer the clothing style) once upon a time. The desires we attach to femininity or masculinity are largely based in archetype. The Mother archetype drives “feminine” expectations, and the Father, “masculinity”. Certainly though, in this day and age (and indeed throughout history since the beginning of time), many citizens have not opted to become parents. Many AFAB bodies never become pregnant due to capability, desire, and/or circumstance. Many AMAB people never accomplish impregnation for a plethora of reasons as well. Does this mean that these “females” are not feminine, or that these “males” are less than masculine? Of course not. And what expectations do we lay upon the intersex child? What desires and skills are set aside for them as they grow old and discover the world?

In truth, we are all capable of a very wide range of instincts and desires, skills and preferences. We are all connected to the nurturing Mother archetype, and the engine for action which we deem masculine. In many philosophies it is believed that each individual holds both yin and yang within their bodies and spirits, and balance is the ultimate goal. Why then have we designated demonstrative extremities of masculinity or femininity to be markers of successful maleness and femaleness respectively? Each of us can desire both and neither from any entry in a collated column of social standards. Phenotypic sex, that moment of assumption from a medical professional who checks a box on a piece of paper, is a singular tragedy which plays into our future potential measured by society. This one cosmetic assumption (or surgical creation) is only a fraction of the story about how a body functions, yet it becomes the flawed measuring stick the whole of our lives is measured against. Women with high sex drives and no desire to raise children, men who are stay at home fathers and love to garden and sew, intersex people, transgender people, non-binary realities — these lives are not supremely rare nor deeply hidden when you look around, even if they are maligned, ignored, suppressed, or downplayed by the limited imaginations of scores of binary-mythology devotees.

It is time to look deep within. Who are you? What do you love? How do you want to be known? What is this life, this body, to you? To love your body is to know what you want for yourself in your life. Whether you are into body modification to make you feel more desireable, whole, or content (be it in the form of piercings, plastic surgery, tattoos, hormone replacement therapy, or any number of other expressive choices you make for yourself), or whether you are content not to change your physicality at all to center your empowerment (choosing only to drape your body to suit your tastes), you are allowed the life your heart feels is your own. Your body, your gender, your sex, your potential, all these things belong to no one other than your intelligent, changeable, ever evolving self.

***

Dark Mother

Out of dark waters from the Mother
We come marching

The battlefield of our lives
Finding sanctity of self

Quick, away the raining conquests
Who would see you in jails unimaginable

Welcome these three forms first
Wanting nothing from you
To your door instead

Feminine nurtures you whole
Masculine carrying momentum
Enchantrix Balance awakens the garden
Of Joy, fulfillment, and potential

Open your arms
Cook for these close strangers
Bed them in your home

They will teach you how to pull the strings
Connecting us all

***

Play On My Friends,
~ Creature

Please support my work on Patreon. For one time donations click here: Support the Artist 
~Thank you.

Courage

My dashboard garden is back and I’m so happy to watch these beautiful creatures grow!

I feel really great in my body these days. I wish I’d known sooner what hormones could do for me. The experience of enjoying my physical body in the mirror and under my own fingertips rather than feeling trapped in it and persistently worried about how I look IS AMAZING!!! Seriously, I had no idea daily life could be like this. I think T is lifting a lifelong fog of depression and anxiety off of me and I’m very thankful for it.

To everyone who ever point blank told me to my face that “they just see me as a girl”, or “I just seem more femme rather than butch to them”, or that “I just look better when I dress girly”, or that “I’m not a tomboy b/c tomboys don’t wear dresses”, or any other reinforcement of the female femme ideal — which is already constantly crammed down my throat by the rest of the world (and to which I don’t usually choose to interact with face to face): You are a huge reason I didn’t get here earlier. I need you to know that. I need you to know that not because I want to tell you you were wrong, but because I want you to consider the weight of pressuring others to be as you wish them to be. It hurts to be told you can’t be who you feel you are. It is a painful lifestyle to persist holding a line you’re told to hold which feels wrong, and some of us are good enough at holding on, that we really need friends and to have role models who see us for who we are and who give us permission to let that line go.

I sincerely apologize to anyone if my words or actions have ever made them feel small about their identities or wrong about sharing themselves with me. It’s never been an intention of mine. I haven’t always understood as much about how my words affect each person I’m speaking to, and I know I’ll make mistakes in the future too, but I want to know when I do. I want the opportunity to reconsider the meaning of my actions. I want to be better than my mistakes.

I roundly thank everyone who has seen me and believed me and accepted me as I’ve journeyed and evolved and learned to articulate myself over the years. Without you I would still be desperately wanting things I didn’t feel I deserve to get (which is on me, but you all really helped me out a lot).

As I write, acknowledging this feeling of happiness I’ve been feeling since starting T, I want this moment to be a reminder to consider the impact of our very human desire to label others — especially to their faces — with labels we’re comfortable with rather than the labels someone else tells you they want to be labeled as. Almost every single bit of information we take in in this world is gendered, racially loaded, ableist, and constructed to tear our individualities down for the benefit of a privileged class. We can (and must) change that by considering one another not as objects, but as individual creatures with vibrant internal worlds which we will never be privy to the full intricacies of without asking first, without believing the answers we receive, and without caring to wonder more deeply about who we’re interacting with in the first place. When someone tells you who they are (and who they are not), consider believing them immediately before questioning what they’re saying. Consider asking questions about how that works if you aren’t sure you understand. Consider trusting people who gather the courage to tell you something about themselves.

Love from my glowing, growing, vibrant garden inside, and as always —

Play On My Friends,
~ Creature (Crea)

Please support my work at Patreon. For one time donations click here: Support the Artist 
~Thank you.

Gender Construction Underway: Closed Until Marketing Complete

In an empty bathroom hallway, if a vulva-having person enters the single stalled MEN’s room for a pee, will their toilet flushing make a sound? Are girls and boys allowed in? How come the wheelchaired people never wear dresses? Why is everyone bald?

I went to New Orleans this past weekend to see friends and get my sex-geek exposure levels back to normal… When I go there I get to be around this group of excellent humans who ask questions about and wrestle with their sexualities, their presentations, their desires, and their daily lives; it is refreshing and inspiring. On my way out of town, after a debauched-and-thoughtful weekend, I was ruminating on the concept of gender. I was thinking about how constructs divide us. I was thinking about what it means to be “one of the lucky ones”, which I can only describe as a deep feeling of peace and endless joy that I get when I’m around a bunch of people perpetuating no myths and being completely themselves with me.

QUIZ on Sex and Gender

1. One of these things exists, the other is an illusion/myth/media-fueled scam:

  • Sex
  • Gender

Yes you probably answered right, gender does not exist. It is completely a construct.

Con·struct (noun): 1. an idea or theory containing various conceptual elements, typically one considered to be subjective and not based on empirical evidence.

As someone who has been exploring and defining gender for myself over and over throughout my lifetime, I find it funny that the very act of challenging gender by “gender-fuckers” and “gender-fluidity-espousers”, by means of expanding the definition of a generally accepted dichotomy (male/female) in order to create “other gender identities”, or redefining the “genders that already exist”, we are actually continuing to play the game which recognizes gender as an actual thing — sometimes even getting wrapped up in or attached to this illusion in the process… Yet gender is not “a thing”. Gender is a marketing ploy which has wrecked the lives of innumerable people historically, has helped build up cultural acceptance of Patriarchal values, and has assisted in controlling masses of individuals (who would be too hard to effectively wrangle if not under the hypnotic spell of “I get this, you get that” subservient and unexamined ignorance). This essay is about what gender is and what gender is not, and how to work with the concept without being stuck within it’s influence. Shall we begin?

If gender doesn’t exist, why is gender such a big topic of conversation and a pretty standard cultural reference point? To be incredibly short, I propose: it’s useful to communicate in shorthand.

Gender is archetypal. Archetypes are referenced in communication so that we can easily transfer a picture of what’s in my head, into your head. They are broad stroke brushes meant to give one an idea of where we’re going — a reference point to begin with. Archetypes are also wonderfully useful in critiquing or pointing out society’s values and shortcomings. Archetypal ideas, such as the concepts of gender, are not good tools to cultivate actual human connections though, and they cannot usually accurately describe a specific individual’s experiences (unless your life is literally a cartoon). They are quite seductive to use as shorthand during debates to paint your opponent into a corner, or take an idea to the extreme; they can also help make an unrelatable idea seem generally palatable to the uninitiated.

My gender is not existent and others’ ideas about my gender are irrelevant, my sex is phenotypically female (though that’s absolutely nobody’s business), my lived experience is a human one, and my specific journey 100% my own.

I share a likeness of experiences with a wide array of people. These people may or may not be “gendered” similarly to myself. Gender is not a measure of anything that is real, it is a series of made up stories with labels attached to them. Though gender doesn’t exist meaningfully, the traits and behaviors I share with certain individuals do — this distinction is important to articulate.

If gender, as an archetypal reference, is not useful for explaining authentic experiences meaningfully, why do we cling to the idea of it?

The gender discussion usually goes: “boys like blue, girls like pink”, and in your head you think,”said who?”, as you grab the pink onsie at the blue and pink baby store, for the shower of a friend who’s in-utero-labeled-female-fetus will eventually need to wear some clothes.

We all know that if one started asking around they could find biologically male persons who actually don’t like blue and who do like pink, or biologically female people who prefer orange without caring one snit about those two other colors, intersex people who only like blue and never pink, transsexual people who don’t like either, and what about color-blind people of any sex? Ok. So we’re reminded there are outliers to this cultural storytelling. So what? Well, in not changing our language, thoughts, and actions to accommodate them, we show ourselves to be indoctrinated against reason; indoctrinated to push against an alternate-yet-more-specific-and-inclusive reality; indoctrinated to disrespect the wishes and desires of those outliers; indoctrinated to stand for a lie rather than the truth. Of course we recognise that outliers exist, we probably even know deep inside ourselves that outliers aren’t that rare or even outlier-y in many situations. How many women do you see walking around in pepto-colored frilly dresses on the daily? This particular example of a gender definition also shows us an important reality: liking something (a color, or what have you) might have fuck-all to do with someone’s gender. We’ll get into the idea of sex in a minute — that word many people conflate or confuse with gender — but first I want to go further into understanding what we think of as gender by illustrating what individuated reality looks like in comparison. I offer you an allegorical analogy:

A person’s experience of self is like a buffet station at dinnertime.

At this buffet there are an array of feelings, behaviors, and traits served up to us humans, and when we get through the line, after making up our plates, they all look similar and different as we sit down to eat. No two are exactly the same. For instance, some people have more items on their plate, some less, some people have a lot of one thing and little tastes of a bunch of others, some people have a bite or two of a couple things but not much else filling them up, and others yet have a lot of everything piled high. We have all helped ourselves from the same human buffet bar, so inevitably a lot of people have selected some of the same items. Why the similarities and differences? Well, who can say exactly: a combination of genetic pre-dispositions, past experiences, intellectual knowledge, learned traditions, curiosities, momentary decisions, copycatting, and personal routine. Each dinner plate is a reflection of that person’s real life identity; a mirror of each diner’s at-this-moment preferences and potential.

Now take that dinner buffet on a different night, instead of everyone getting in line and taking the time to choose for themselves what goes on their plate, the buffet has an express line serving up dinners somebody else designed and already put together.

Plate #1 has various foods in particular quantities, which bundled together look different than Plate #2 or Plate #3. Each pre-plated dinner is labeled and marketed very specifically to make it easier for diners to find the one they think they want; each is dressed up to be read a certain way, and the hungry consumer is told these combinations of food are “good for you”, that the marketers “know better than you do about what you like and need”, that they’re “scientifically assembled for best results”! Each dinner plate is clearly labeled and ready for you to quickly grab and devour, so each person chooses (or is handed) a dinner plate labeled: machismo, femininity, boyishness, limp-wristed, butch, fluid, dominant, straight, cis, trans… the cost is “only a little extra” *, and the convenience is that you don’t have to think about it.

* “only a little extra” defined for our diners: 1. lack of access to food not designed for your plate group, 2. the expectation that you’ll gulp down foods you are allergic to or despise. (This is a clean plate club, after all, and everyone is watching).

Taken out of context and broken down we know that all of the feelings, behaviors, and traits bundled together and marketed as “Gender Plate-X” and the feelings, behaviors, and traits bundled together and marketed as “Gender Plate-Y” are individually available à la carte to everyone at the “make your own plate” buffet station. These pre-made plates are lies. They leave people hungry or overstuffed, they leave people wanting something they can’t put their finger on, or mushing stuff to the corner of the plate so they don’t have to eat it, people get upset stomachs and sick from these little plates of lying lies. It’s easy to see when you look around the room at those outlying people with their individually created satisfying dinners, designed to fulfill that person’s specific needs in their moment of hunger. But from the moment of our birth we’re taught to “Trust in Plate”, and we pretend or we succumb to the idea that the pre-made plates are constructed more thoughtfully than our potential à la carte dinners ever could be. With bellyaches and a sense of general upset at the state of things, bullying and oppression ensues. We feel bad and we are not nice to people who make different decisions than we do. “I drank the kool aid, so everyone should be eating these pre-made dinners!”, “Who the fuck are you to eat Feminine chicken with Dominant dessert and drink from the puppy-play fountain?!” People get defensive about their pre-made dining realities. They befriend people who are eating and drinking the same combination of meals, and judge those who eat differently. Eating these pre-packaged meals day in and day out makes people unhealthy, depressed, violent, judgemental, shaming, distrustful of one another, too tired for self-examination, distrustful of their own intuitive needs and desires, afraid of trying something new, and in general keeps them at the mercy of the system which is making money off of those plates — which in turn pays to keep the system in place.

What if everyone came to the à la carte station and took the time to really consider what their bodies were craving for dinner? I think people would have interesting conversations about what they were looking forward to eating while they were in line, and they’d expose one another to new ideas about why strange food is actually super yummy and nice. The line would be long and slow, but the people would be stronger, healthier, happier, and more satisfied… I’ll tell you what else I think: it’s harder to sell deodorant/makeup/diet products/the new fall line/computer upgrades/etc. to people who are satisfied. In the words of a computer named Joshua from the movie War Games:

A strange game. The only winning move is not to play.

What’s the tangible gain driving all this supposed marketing of gender, Karin? Good question, I’ll simplify the question a bit: Who’s profiting off of the concept of gender? I’ll get there in a sec, but first…

A Story: about 15 years ago I was doing errands with my roommate Jed, and I said “oh, I’ll be right back, I’ve got to stop at the Fleet to make a deposit”, to which my friend replied something like, “Why did you just say that? If you need to go to the bank, just say you need to go to the bank; you don’t need to market your corporate branch to me.”

  • Will you hand me the tissues or will you toss me the kleenex?
  • Is that a cola in your hand or are you drinking a Pepsi?

When we name brand an item rather than describe a thing as it actually is, the marketers pocket our words as profit.

The same absolutely goes for gender. And who has something to profit off gender being a thing? Well, razor companies for one, and toy stores, and clothing companies, and pretty much everyone who makes a boy version of a thing and a girl version of a thing which literally needs no tailored parts for differently sexed people to comfortably use. Also governments and religious organizations and anyone else who wishes to disempower a group of people in order to maintain or steal power for themselves. Divide and conquer is a thing.

Ok, but there ARE differences between Men and Women, right? Well, there’s that construct thing again, so no, not really on any meaningful level outside of potentially similar experiences concerning indoctrination — BUT there is a thing called “biological sex”. In fact there are a shit ton of biological sexes (waaaaaay more than 2). We don’t generally recognize (or are forthcoming in conversation about) all the sexes though; we act as though 2 ideas of sex are what exist. These two ideas of sex are most commonly based on an infant’s phenotype, specifically the appearance of a vulva-looking anatomy or a penis-and-scrotum-looking anatomy observable at birth. This right here, is where gender get’s confused with sex and begins to poison the infant’s future reality: the visual determination by a Doctor who marks “F” or “M” to indicate “sex” on a card.

Gender is the bag of broad assumptions that jumps aboard an infant’s life after a Doctor determines phenotypic sex. Doctors frequently perform surgeries on infant genitalia that don’t look “normal” (as if all genitalia didn’t already look like something that escaped from the aquarium in the first place). Doctors are empowered to decide the sex of the person they are performing surgery on simply because it’s easier to form a vulva with a knife than it is to build a penis, or because it might be easier to sew up a vaginal opening than castrate a penis and scrotum… These infants being surgically altered to have “conforming genitals” are considered Intersex (a word which is also a construct when we look at fetal genital development as a continuum rather than a two-sided destination). Here’s an interesting article about the mutilation of the 1 in every 1500-2000 humans born with genitals which aren’t easily categorized as male or female. Remember the beginning of this conversation when we realized that we’re lazy jerks when we don’t recognize and adapt our language and ideas for outliers, well, 1 in 2,000 (and other estimates for various sex variations) isn’t really that rare, and intersex people are not one or the other sex; they may have discernable traits of neither sex, traits of both male and female sexes, or even a unique combination of genital, hormonal, brain developmental, and chromosomal traits… Let’s go deeper.

Phenotypic sex is only one element of a more complex set of scientifically measured attributes which define biological sex. Other biologically defining factors in determining sex are:

  • chromosomal combinations (including many variations such as xxx, xyy, xxxxy…),
  • various combinations and levels of hormones (this is one of my favorite recent situations clarifying the role of hormones in our society’s intense gender kerfuffle),
  • we’ve mentioned phenotypical traits for male, female, or intersex genitalia,
  • and there is some evidence indicating to scientists that there may even be biologically measurable transsexual brain attributes differentiated from male or female brain typologies.

In summation, our world has people walking around who are not xx or xy (female or male chromosomally), or who may be xx chromosomally, but also maintain testosterone levels which combat female biological norms, or literally have what some scientists are calling a “Transexual brain”… So the sex of that person is not simply “female”. We don’t test everyone for all of these distinct and separate biological markers either; our idea of two sexes is completely over-simplified even biologically. Within the varied states of sex realities out there, how is some archetypal idea like gender supposed to define in any way, shape, or form who we actually are? Yet still, this poisonous set of ideas we call gender absolutely define, shape, and affect who we can become.

It doesn’t exist, but we still use it all the time and it holds people back: True. Ish. We use “gender” as shorthand for describing an archetype in conversation all the time, but we also use it to describe real people and we file away these made up gender markers/concepts over personal preferences constantly. When I say “it doesn’t exist” what I mean is that we should talk gender by first acknowledging it is quantifiably nothing.

Repeat: gender is quantifiably nothing!

What actually affects us in our lives are people’s behaviors, not their or our genders. If someone makes my life hell or I feel trapped by what’s possible based on my buy-in/inherited idea of gender, then I tend to act in ways that shut my own opportunity down, or I allow someone to treat me as lesser than, founded on lies… By being me though, I can examine what’s possible in my life. Some factors are actually limiting. Am I tall enough to do something or strong enough? Do I have the focus or a long enough fuse to not get frustrated as I go about certain business? Do I understand what needs to be done? Those are physical, emotional, and mental limitations not gendered ones. Gender doesn’t shut me down physical limitations do, emotional blocks, psychological assumptions of what I’m capable of, the intellectual fortitude to push on… Those traits, among others, describe me and my limitations for real. So too, in everyday social ways do other people’s behaviors, beliefs, and actions limit me. Someone who won’t hire me because they’d rather hire a “Man” rather than a “male” (which I assume is because the job I’m applying for requires me to have a bio-penis to clock in?) is a shitbag who is sexist. It doesn’t make gender more real, it makes his bad behavior something that blocks my forward momentum based on his comforts and assumptions about my capabilities.

It makes his thinking limited, not the media-fueled idea of gender more real.

This is a realtime consequence of buying into the concept of gender to begin with. Perpetuation is a bitch.

How are we supposed to look at our own identities then? First let’s look at horses, ’cause horses!!! Horses are (to my mind, and extremely reductively):

  • Beautiful
  • Strong
  • Sexy
  • Beasts

Looking at that list of traits, how are we to decide what the gender archetype of a horse is? “Beautiful” is traditionally attributed to femininity in the culture of the United States; “Strong” to masculinity; “Sexy” to both; “Beast” to neither. Little girls are reputed to be horse lovers, yet horses are also historically a workman’s tool… Can horses be both male and female sexes? Yes. Damnit, we’re getting nowhere here…

Ok, ok: Does one worry about the strength of mares or the beautifulness of stallions as threatening to the functionality of the horse they are trying to work with? No, I don’t think so. Are we concerned with the sex of a horse when we want it to pull our weight through space — or do we simply choose a size? Hmmm… Size and availability I think mostly. Don’t we chalk a lot of opinions about our horse up to the horse’s personality and allow those opinions to remain secondarily important to our assessment of the physical ability of our horse to get the job done which we have acquired it to do? Uh-huh, yeah I believe so.

Ok, not horses: Why are we so concerned with who gets to be nurturing, or who should take out the garbage, or who is allowed to feel sexual and talk about it? I mean, really civilization? That’s what all your advancements have brought us? What the fuck do Lesbians do — hire a man to take out the trash or else live in stinky squalor until some neighborly Eagle Scout locates their house of distress and fulfills the promise of his badge by helping them out? I’ll say it again — gender ain’t a thing — and we don’t actually function genderly in most everyday circumstances!

I am a traitor, and I’m gonna get spiritual for a minute: I consider my own labels frequently, and in doing so I recognize within myself that I am a traitor to my own cause. I gender my language all over the place (like that comment about Lesbians and Eagle Scouts), I consider how I feel and then I use words to describe that feeling which are gendered too. I identify, for one, as a “boy”. So how can I feel like a boy? What is a boy? I have to admit on some level that my idea of what a boy is — is how I feel — is a thing. I also must admit that I do not feel like a girl (even though I am female), which indicates that I am buying into an idea that boy and girl feel different, and that I like the definition of boy more. Feeling like I feel then is pointing me to a rejection of girlness, a desire to take on boyness, and a complicity in heralding these (fake) values… Which is exactly what I don’t believe in. What I’m trying to saying is: I am me. A boy is nothing different than I am. The boy that I am is also a woman, and that woman is also a creature, and that creature is also all the other identity words I use to explain me. These words make me feel a certain way, in part because I have been trained to feel particular ways about them. If I were not to be a traitor I might say instead, “I am rough and tumble, I am curvy and magical, I am often in a biting, kinesthetic, wrestling, fearsome mood”. Instead, more often than not, I lazily and baselessly utter, “I am a boy/woman/imp/creature”.

There are no meanings to archetypal words other than the meanings we attach to them to explain what humaning feels like to us — which in the doing both reinforces and dismantles the need for archetypical conversation. The inner conversation goes: “Gender is a lie, but I’m convinced I need that lie to start telling you how I feel.”

The further one goes down the rabbit hole which asks them to more accurately describe each feeling rather than use gendered codes, the more one begins to understand deeply within themselves that there is no human, there is no animal kingdom, there is no life and not life, that we all feed into the ecosystem, into the universe, and into the environment that we are contained within. When I die my body feeds the roots of plants which feed oxygen to the living animals all around. And when I allow myself to think that way (as if looking down on the big picture that is life), what I understand is that the cells I am made of are no different than the cells you are made of. My actions as a carbon-based thing are part of the ecosystem, and I am fed and am feeding the ecosystem in which we all exist.

What a fascinating picture to look at. By this measure, harm done to one’s environment is harm done to oneself. Within self-loathing I also spread judgment, depression, and unhappiness to all around me; I feed that sickness into the world. As I strive for health, I also help maintain a resilient portion of the ecosystem; spreading health to others nearby. In a war between nothing matters and everything matters the equation is still the same: we are all connected. How we treat ourselves is how we treat one another is how we affect the universe. If I do not believe in limiting others, I must work hard not to limit myself. If I believe I am shameful, I create shame in my environment. When I judge another, I limit my own destiny. When I speak in words I do not believe in, I justify ignorance of an alternative.

Here are some questions to think about in context of the larger picture of what’s possible:

  • What does it mean to be masculine?
  • What is “toxic masculinity”?
  • Can femininity also be toxic?
  • What does it even mean to be feminine?
  • What does it mean to be fem-Dom?
  • Can fem-Doms actually exist if femininity and dominance belong to different gender groups?
  • Do all fem-Doms look or act the same?
  • Is it possible to be strong and femme?
  • Is it possible to be weak and macho?
  • Is it possible to be Dominant and not toxic (healthy)?
  • Is it possible to be submissive and not weak or subservient?
  • A limp-wristed gay male Dominant scening with a stone butch lesbian submissive….what does this mean?
  • Are they possible?
  • What would those people do together?
  • Can an archetypal macho-man be wearing frilly girly underwear under his traditionally blue-collar costumed exterior?
  • Even if he regularly espouses a bigoted and sexist vocabulary?
  • Can super femmy vulva-having people really enjoy strap-on sex when they are wearing the strap-on phallus?
  • Can people who identify as extremely Dominant enjoy bottoming or submitting during various activities?
  • Can you feel like a boy?
  • What does it mean to feel like a boy?
  • Do boys exist?
  • Can you feel like a boy and not a man?
  • ask some questions of your own… write down questions you might be confused about yourself and try to visualize the possibilities…

In our pre-fab world I think sometimes we can’t think of a thing until we see one made-up already, but that thing we are responding to can be broken down into parts, after all it, itself, was made out of things.

Here’s an attempt to break it down a little bit more: I will often say that I identify as “a boy”. What do I mean by that though? Well, if I think about it, it’s very specific and also very diverse, and it’s not everything one might think a “boy” is. Let’s look at “boy”: label, meaningless without my particular definition, yet easy to conjure an image of  — correct image or not — more data needed…

I know “boy” doesn’t actually mean the same thing to everybody because when I say “I am a boy”, people treat me a whole bunch of different ways, and while I appreciate the generalized acceptance of what I’m saying: I’m not a baby boy, I’m not a sweet boy, I’m not looking for a mamma or to be coddled or rewarded, I’m not a houseboy unless I decide to be (and that’s just ungendered me loving you and doing nice things and maybe calling myself houseboy tongue in cheek). More specifically though: I’m a boy in a dress. Not a sissy boy, and I’m not embarrassed by it either. I’m a boy in couture on a runway wearing a skirt and heels and I’m fabulous and not very fay. I’m a rough and tumble boy who really likes beautiful well made things on my body and in my house. I’m a dandy, but on the buttoned up side rather than a foppish fancy… and I have a toad in my pocket, and grass stains on my silken britches, and bruises and I really like that girl who looks deep into my eyes and calls me boy like we’re equals, says “boy” like it’s my name or I’m Pan and she’s letting me have my fun but when the rules change I’ll follow her lead and go anywhere she wants to as long as we’re adventure buddies, I won’t be her macho. I want to make that creature deeply deeply happy. Also I love and follow my Sir who kicks me and has a hard bright impish look to his eyes and leather boots and whips and muscles and challenge between his teeth. I’ll let him find my edges and strengthen me with survival any day. That person over there with the candles and knives and soft-feeling nurturing edges around their intention for some kind of pain, I want to let them teach me things, trade off, exchange in our scene, curiously find what it means to top, cultivate my own dominant desires, find my sadistic tendencies, and also let go into the relaxation of sensation, and have fun letting it all melt away, muscles and head clear for a minute of any roles to play — just sensation response. I have a vagina and a clitoris and a vulva. I really like them being played with, and I do not get off easy or at all often. I’ve got breasts that half the time I wish would go away, and I think I look super hot with them bound down but I don’t like the sensation for a long time and there are weeks I wish those bumps on my chest would just disappear. The other half of the time I think my breasts are strong and I enjoy my Amazon chest, and they feel nice and look hot in lacy super-sexy bras. My chest doesn’t feel like mine without my nipple piercings in. I love my body hair, all of it. Even the hairs growing out of my ass and my toes. My bush is a fluffy magickal faerie playground that I’m proud of, and my armpit hair makes my arms more sexy, I think. When my head hair gets too long or isn’t sculpted to look boyish/masculine or punk/artful I actually sustain feelings of depression until the next cut. And wigs are really fun. I love that I menstruate. I also identify as a creature, a cat, a lion, an imp, a Woman, a masochist, an emotional mess, someone with restless leg syndrome, an ex thumb-sucker, quiet, magical, introverted, spiritual, opinionated, challenging, bossy, creative, submissive, strong… Don’t fucking call me a lady, I hate that shit. I knew a guy once who I thought was beautiful and I told him so. He got super agro about it and told me never to call him beautiful again… Yeah that, that’s how I feel about “Lady”.

What silly little word [insert: my gender], could possibly contain all of me? Or all of you? Or anyone?

At our fingertips are a wide range of traits, actions, emotions, ways of understanding, thoughts, and behaviors. A horse is a horse, each human is a human. The awesome part of what I’m saying is: we get to be ourselves. We get to define and redefine ourselves as our appetites change over time and with new discoveries and experiences. We get to be complex and changeable. We get to have (and we just will, regardless of trying) a whole bunch of emotions, behaviors, meaning makings, epiphanies, curiosities, experimentations, and desires throughout our lives. Some of them will be conflicting or confusing. Many of them will be misinterpreted by others. But we get to be who we are, and the people who love us and see us should figure out how to be respectful of what we tell them. With dominant culture training it is hard to break free of standardized ideas and adopt the language of the outlier without help. So I challenge you to examine yourself and talk about what you find. In detail. Refine it over time as you go. Create a culture of authenticity from which to flourish, help others, and fully be.

No one likes a bad mime, so why the hell are we so obsessed with gender roles?! After all I’ve just written, I’m just going to leave this one here for you to mull over.

What does all this gender stuff have to do with kink? Whether you are fucking with the status quo, or playing into some fantasy idea you’ve been given about “the norm”, gender is some pretty heavy bondage. Smash, play, articulate what you really desire, break it, rebuild it in your own image; enjoy the ride!

Play On My Friends,
~ Karin

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~Thank you.

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