People’s Stories

Debbie says:

It’s a quiet afternoon in the tropical northern city of Cairns, Australia. After seven days of an extremely intense conflict facilitation conference and a few days of touristing, my partner and I have ensconced ourselves in a free wireless cafe to relax and catch up with our lives.

I wanted to tell you two quick stories about people I met. (I don’t have these women’s permission to write these stories; if you read this and think it’s about you and want it taken down, or changed, let me know, and I’ll respect your concerns.)

I met an American woman who has been a rock star’s girlfriend, a beauty queen who devoted a piece of her life to the nearly full-time pursuit of conventional beauty. What made her bittersweet story somewhat different from others that I’ve heard is that she also spent a portion of that time in secret silent love with a supersize man. When I asked her why she fell in love with him, she said, “He was so kind,” and went on to make it clear that this was not an ethereal secret love but also a very lusty and sexual one.

I met a woman who lives in a Lesbian collective in Japan, with her Japanese female lover, and her son. Her son’s father is her other partner, a Swiss-German man living in Germany. She and her female partner are not co-parenting the boy; instead, the other woman is what Laurie would have called a “designated adult” in the boy’s life–someone who is close to a parent and involved with the child, but not in a parental role. She struggles against the labels: not a Lesbian, not heterosexual, and not bisexual, not two women raising a boy, not this, not that. (An open polyamorous life can be troublesome anywhere; two partners 10,000 miles apart is painful any time. Let’s just say that being in Japan, and probably Germany as well, doesn’t make it any easier.)

I’m in love with people’s stories; I thought some of you might share some of my strong feelings from these two particular ones. And it’s always important to say that everyone is more complicated, richer, and deeper than any story about them; if you met these women, you’d see a lot more than I can show.
<br /> feminism<br /> fat<br /> <a href="" rel="tag nofollow" class="broken_link">Body Impolitic</a><br /> polyamory<br /> <a href="" rel="tag nofollow" class="broken_link">Body Impolitic</a><br />

5 thoughts on “People’s Stories

  1. I’m curious, if you can elaborate without breaking confidentiality, why, in the second story, you/she say “not bisexual”?

  2. If I were to take an guess in the dark about Nolly’s question I would say that the woman has two partners who share her, a male and a female but she is the connecting node. Or 2nd guess, the “designated adult’ to the boy is lesbian and this guy is a special case. After all you don’t have to be hormonally attracted to someone to be in a relationship, marital or sexual. Look at all the married closeted people who dearly love the best friend they are with.

  3. So far as your original story, Yikes, it does look like a path that would be hard for some people to wrap their head around with conventional names of relationships. Although group conformity is valued in Japan, and distinctiveness less so, historically it is less sexually prudent than the US with porn industry, animes. The 3 or 4 porn museums I’ve been to have had convertible Japanese paintings or statues with a public side and a “naughty” inspiring side.

  4. Nolly, I didn’t ask her why she doesn’t identify as bisexual, and I have certainly known many people with partners of more than one gender who don’t. Not all complex sexual desire is bisexual. One possibility is that she is too aware of the spectrum of genders to want to name herself as attracted to two.

    Pearl, I would say that Japanese is less sexually prurient than the U.S. in some ways, and more in others, and different in ways that don’t fit the “less” or “more” category in still others.


  5. Gender spectrum aspect is a good bet too. The lack of overlap and counterparts for sexuality vs morality in different countries makes sense as well to me.

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