PQ 4.6 — What makes me feel afraid in relationships? Why?

a large collection of multi-colored fly fishing lures
Image by Jeff Stevens / CC BY

PQ 4.6 — What makes me feel afraid in relationships? Why?
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A Literal Movie Plot

“In my darkest moments, I worry that I’m training Skyspook for his second wife. The one he actually wants. But if that’s the case, at least it’s been fun.”

“That’s a literal movie plot,” Fluffy replies. “The First Wives Club, if I recall correctly.”

I Google it. IMDB confirms that shit. It is a literal movie plot.

Gender Failure, Gender Decoy

I know a lot of it is gender related. I grew up in the Maine woods. Deeply into women but just as deeply into denial about it. And it didn’t help that I had rudimentary sex ed. Most of the good stuff had been gleaned from friends who had cable. Or parents that left them alone with medical textbooks.

When I did finally realize what was going on, the women I dated may have been some degree of bisexual in practice (or, heteroflexible, these days). But they largely identified as straight. And kept leaving me for dudes.

The trouble is that in a lot of ways I’ve approached sex very much like a man. An initiator, hypersexual, focused. But in a woman’s body. A femme woman, even.

And while I haven’t felt a need to identify as trans (I have no desire to medically transition and don’t care what pronouns people use for me), I don’t feel female. I don’t feel male either. And I don’t feel nonbinary. Instead, I feel as though I’ve failed at gender. My body looks classically female, so I dress it up in a sort of performative femininity. The best way I’ve found to explain this is that I feel like a drag queen. A kind of pretend-woman.

And yet, at my core I haven’t succeeded at being a man. Straight women are often attracted to me as a kind of decoy. A flashy lure. But they ultimately go to feed on the real deal, the true masculine article.

*

“I’m a fake woman,” I tell Skyspook. “You’re straight. I don’t know why you’re with me.”

He smiles. “So you’re not a boy or a girl. You’re Page. That’s better than either,” Skyspook says.

*

This post is part of a series in which I answer each of the chapter-end questions in More than Two with an essay. For the entire list of questions & answers, please see this indexed list.

 

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