MB describes how her sexuality has impacted her life and the relationships she has with others. She mentions what it feels like to have a sexuality that doesn’t fit the norm of society.
OBOS Today: Like in your own life, how has sexuality impacted your relationships to others?
MB: Wow. Um—I think I found it actually impacts more my relationship to myself. And, like, my ability to communicate about sexuality with others is limited because of the way that my sexuality doesn’t fit really what is kind of, I’ve noticed, fits, you know, in our kind of popular media of movies and television and books. And like what I see mostly around me, so it’s kind of hard to— I think we don’t, I’ll say that, like specifically about my sexuality, I find that I’m someone who’s not quite as sexual. I’m definitely on like the gray asexuality spectrum—at certain times in my life, and I think like that part of the challenge of sexuality is not really as talked about or prevalent in kind of discussions about like deviant sexualities and queer sexualities.
And I think like it can cause, when, kind of, your sexuality doesn’t fully fit the norm—whether you’re attracted to men, women, non-binary folks, people of all genders, like the kind of question about like having a sexuality versus feeling a little bit less sexual or finding joy in other things is not quite as— it’s not quite as present in the discourse, so that can cause some feelings of like confusion and shame that then, kind of, influence your own relationships in a way because people— It’s—those scripts about how to talk about these things is not really there. So, it’s kind of hard when talking to friends, because you end up having to do like a lot of explaining yourself, and that kind of feels—it feels like if our society didn’t have any expectations about what your sexuality is or isn’t, and everyone just kind of came with what they had, rather than came explaining next to the kind of the standard of, you know, having a straight sexual person—it would be a lot easier to talk about things rather than comparing to the norm versus just explaining yourself.
So, I find in my relationships, I’ve been, I found that it’s actually really amazing sometimes—a really awesome way to connect with people is like talking about your sexuality, without the— especially with like queer friends—without the kind of scripts or the comparison of like, “What is your sexuality compared to like what’s expected” versus “Let’s talk about the nuances of our sexualities” without, you know, having that just on its own. Without necessarily being like, yeah, I’m not, like, compared to the, you know, the expectation of being a very sexual person.
OBOS Today: Yeah, no, that’s definitely really interesting conversations to have with people and, like, ways to connect.
MB: I’ll say one more thing, which is that the other thing about sexuality changing like over time, like it’s, like my sexuality is really different right now than it was two years ago.
And I think that’s also hard when, you know, negotiating with friends and talking with partners and stuff. Like because people kind of—it’s hard, it really makes you learn good communication skills, because you kind of have to explain what your needs are, what your boundaries are, what you want, and that actually that can change. So, you kind of have to keep communicating that.