I try not to take any offense to things people ask me, especially if they have had limited exposure to someone like me. I realize that I am not only unusually weird but I also push a lot of boundaries for people. So when someone asks me a question like “So who’s the man in your relationship” – I try to remain calm. Often I get this question when someone has only seen me in scrubs at work. I answer something like “I guess that would be me, I am more masculine, if that’s what your asking.”
Today though, I was having one of those “lack of speech filter” and I found myself saying, “That’s kind of an offensive question because there is no man, and that’s the point.” She looked at me and said, “Yah but one of you has got to be the more manly one.” I was mildly annoyed but my Buddhist practice told me to take a deep breath. After a breath I began to gently explain that we took turns doing what might be termed as masculine. My partner often uses the tools and fixes things – I often do the moving of heavy things, because those are our strengths. My partner often chooses clothes for both of us and helps us dress in a way that looks and feels good, ya she dresses me! I tend to do a lot of the cooking simply because I am better at it! We honestly and completely base our roles in the relationship simply on our strengths.
Apparently this is a fascinating idea but still brought us to the same question. She says, “Ok but what about in bed.” We both laughed and I said, “Guess what, we take turns with that TOO! The strap on can fit either one of us!” She laughed, her face turned red, and she realized she had assumed only one of us like to receive penetration. Even if neither of us did, would it change things? I pointed about that she likely enjoyed oral sex, right? She said, “Your dam right!” and I laughed and I said, “So does that make you a lesbian?”
Finally, I think I had gotten through. Did we make progress? Who knows but at least I didn’t just walk away offended, I explained myself. It took some energy and time but in the end I believe we at least opened a few doors inside her minds eye about feminism and sexuality.