HOLAAfrica!

A PanAfricanist Queer Womanist Collective

The Sex Problem

By Tatenda

There was something about waking up that never quite agreed with her but she did it anyway, it was part of the contract of being human. This morning, like many others, she woke up smelling like somebody else and trying desperately to silence the accusatory voices in her head. Her only challenge was taming her gag reflex; which was merely reacting to her state of being. Her body was always reacting to some perceived state of being nothing.

It wasn’t so much the anonymity of the sex or the fact that neither party really got anything out of it. It was the fact that she was just a body. “At least I am free” she lied, knowing very well that she was just as bound now, as she had been when her “body-count” determined her value.

This morning, like all the others, she swore that she would stop trawling bars pretending to be gay and drinking with women she had no intention of actually “being with”. That night she was with a woman and struggled most with how comfortable she felt, how this “non-sex” was sexy and made her body sing. The next day she swore that it would be the last time and that she would commit to the business of being straight.

Knowing her meant knowing that she was doing something that she wasn’t supposed to be doing. She slept with men as she would  sleep with women and women as she would with men. Sometimes she would even touch herself improperly. It didn’t matter how much bluster she put behind the stories of her exploits; a keen ear could always hear the pleas for acceptance in her uncertain pauses and glimpse through her humiliated sideways cast glances.

Her biggest problem was in understanding her relationship with her body and what it meant to her. She had no feelings you see, just wants and desires. So while you cried, laughed, cringed or simply sat there she would shop, sleep, drink and fuck. That was her story – well a part of it.

The other part of her story was that she never got to know what sex was. She was simply told and then shown. Nobody who had ever asked her had wanted toknow what she had really thought of it. So she lied and set off trying to prove to herself that she wasn’t fragmented and longing. She wasn’t sex; she owned it and it belonged to her like it seemed to belong to everybody else.

With all this in mind you can, surely, understand how difficult it was to finally understand sex in the absence of a penis. Night after night she wondered how she could be with a man and have “non-sex” yet with a woman she became sexual. Or how it changed sometimes. It seemed absurd that women could have sex at all, until she realized that there wasn’t a single type of sex. This didn’t solve her problem though.

She still trolled bars, played in bathrooms and auditioned for affection in bedrooms. No one ever called back or cared to know why she seemed to be searching for herself in their loins. She didn’t care either. Their bodies, like hers, were simply tools for solving her bigger conundrum.

A moment came when she saw herself very clearly; I think it was when she had her nipple pinched on a cliff sometime. It wasn’t that there was anything wrong with her or her lifestyle. It was the reasoning behind this whole sex thing and how it was interpreted.

It was then that she swore to better herself and enjoy all the available types of sex for what they were, without feeling the need to let any of them define her in any certain terms. It was then that I actually saw her. If I remember clearly she defined sex as “something that we have all been doing for as long as we could explore our bodies”. Oh yes, she also told me to tell you that there was no such thing as “virginity” and if there was horse riding had to be a very perverted sport.

To visit Tatenda’s blog click here

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