Gaysexual

Gaysexual

Gaysexual

An Essay by Madeleine Tompkins

In fourth grade, Maya Chastain would braid my hair during our math lessons. While Ms. Diamond copied long division problems onto the white board, Maya’s fingers delicately grazed my scalp. 

To this day, that sensation is by far the best thing I have ever experienced. Ten out of ten times, I would rather someone run their hands through my hair than try and bring me to orgasm. 

This morning, I came across a news article about one of those hetero couples who can’t get pregnant and are so desperate to conceive something—anything—biologically that they undergo crazy fertility treatments and suddenly pop out freaking quintuplets.  

When I scrolled down and saw ‘candid’ pictures of them bottle feeding all five of their tiny, screaming humans, a mild sense of empathically derived panic / pity flooded through my body. 

On Friday afternoon, someone asked me how I identify and I said ‘gaysexual.’ 

In my mind, that was a brilliant fusion of the labels ‘gay’ and ‘asexual,’ but as soon as I said it aloud I realized it likely had the complete opposite effect of what I was trying to convey. 

‘Gaysexual’ sounds like someone who is gay, yes, but also very, very interestedin having sex. 

I decided I was going to need to reconsider that one. 

In sixth grade, I thought I just wanted to be Paula Fortune’s best friend very, very badly. Turns out I was actually deeply in love with her and extremely internally closeted. 

I would sit in our English class and stare at Paula’s ivory-colored earlobes from my desk in the back row while Miss Start discussed the allegorical significance of The Giver. I wanted to reach out and touch Paula’s earlobes very, very badly. I was sure that they would be so soft and amazing. 

Instead, I got my ears pierced three times, exactly like hers (one hole on the left side, two on the right), and touched my own lobes to get by. 

I have not re-pierced them since and still have quite a thing for redheads. 

In the library, a friend of a friend of mine asked me ‘how I feel about myself.’ I asked them what, specifically, they meant by that. “Like, physically,” they responded. 

“Okay… Well, first of all, I have a really nice body,” I said. “Sometimes I just get naked, walk up to the full length mirror in my room, and wink at myself.” 

They laughed because they thought I was joking which, quite frankly, offended and confused me a little bit. 

I definitely look good enough to be winked at, and that’s a fact.

Frequently, people inform me that

‘we want what we cannot have.’

Perhaps this is true once we all grow up a little bit,

but for a long time I think we mostly just want

whatever we are told we need.

In middle school, all the other girls had crushes on Zion Wilson so I had a crush on him too. Zion was scrawny and a bit awkward but he was always extremely nice to me. 

I couldn’t have been less attracted to him.

When I was a much younger girl, I thought that getting pregnant might be nice because I could finally learn what it was like to have breasts. That was probably the only way I would ever be able to experience this phenomenon. 

Having learned a lot more about breasts since then, I am actually quite happy with my prepubescently-boyish chest these days. 

I see other people with very lovely breasts and admire them from a distance. There are plenty of things that are far nicer when they’re on someone else’s body than they would ever be if I had them on my own. 

I smile impishly when I go running at night and wear only a t-shirt.  

(I definitely do not want to get pregnant anymore either).

Being a queer woman can be really weird because sometimes you listen to older straight guys talking about how much they appreciate women or how beautiful they find the feminine form and you think ‘same, dude,’ even though you probably don’t have anything else in common with them at all. 

It’s a very bizarre form of brotherhood.

An old straight guy wrote the following poem:

‘I grow older.

I still like women, but mostly

I like Mexican food.’

Did I write this?I think to myself, as a take a picture of the poem and send it to a friend.

On Sunday morning, I was walking along Ledgewood Road, when I ran into Daniel, an ex from my ‘straight’ days, and a young woman I had never seen before. 

He informed me that she was his girlfriend and I told him that I was truly very happy to hear that. 

He said I was very mature and ‘thank you for saying that.’ 

I said I was very homosexual and wished them both well. 

“You don’t look gay.” 

“I get that a lot.” 

Meghan was the first woman I ever had sex with and I suppose the whole thing was quite nice, really. She was verygood to me, and I ate mashed potatoes afterwards. 

But I think the happiest I have ever been was when she gently touched my neck one evening while we were lying in bed, and told me that I had warm, soft skin. 

Meghan and I still speak sometimes, over the phone. 

About a year ago now, she was the first person who ever mentioned the word ‘asexual’ to me. I’m not certain that this is what I am, but I am very glad she said it aloud so I could make room for the idea in my mind. 

On a train ride from one place to another, I am thinking about what kind of touch I am hungriest to have between myself and someone I love… Would you please just lean your head on my shoulder for a while? Would you please just hold my hand while we walk somewhere together? Would you please just give me a very long hug when we say goodbye?Would you please just touch my shoulder to let me know you have seen me?

Simple gestures. 

I am ravenously hungry for simple gestures that are all excruciatingly intimate.  

I am desperate to have them. With someone I love.

Just last night, I stared—in awe—at my naked body in the mirror and winked.

I am so happy right now, I suddenly realized I was thinking to myself.  

 


An Organist Entertains

An Organist Entertains

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