f***e as f***k
Funny thing, queer identities, the way they surge and recede, popularly and in the individual. There have been times in my life when being femme was probably the single greatest focus I had in regards to my appearance, engagement with the world, sexuality, self-identity, seeking out of community and so on. Kinky, too- have gone years where the first word that pops up in my head when I think of myself is 'kinky' (or submissive or pony or bloodslut or whatever happens to have taken my fancy at the time). But it's been a while, in either case. Not that I am no longer femme or kinky- I am both- but neither is the primary lense through which I view, receive and respond to the world the way they once were. Relaxing a lot about both (no longer feeling the need to be at every play party, no longer 'putting myself out there' actively for play, no longer marking myself against a mental check-list of femme fabulousness before I leave the house) has meant losing out on some opportunities but also, wonderfully, not having to deal with a lot of the bullshit that comes along with exclusive group-identification. It's been liberating.
Thinking back on my past involvements and deep investments in the leather and butch/femme communities I wonder if they shouldn't come with a label reading: "WARNING: MAY CAUSE YOUR LIFE TO INEXPLICABLY RESEMBLE HIGH-SCHOOL, YEARS AFTER THE FACT". Of course, as usual, the trick with taking what's good that's on offer in those communities (and there is lots) is not being too invested. Like that troublesome lover who you can only deal with by downgrading how much their approval or attention means to you, three steps backwards feels like the healthiest, sanest way to engage.
For me, right now, that is. Your mileage may vary.