Sexuality and Identity
“Do you feel like your sexuality is part of your identity?” is a question that was posed by a friend. She is struggling with how her celibacy affects who she is as a whole. Is she denying part of herself? Is she wholly herself if she is not expressing her sexuality in a sexual relationship?
I pondered her question and the only reason I’m able to answer it with any coherent thought is because I’ve been on both ends of the spectrum. When I first left Bubba and really understood the rapes and impact of them, I was fully asexual. I didn’t want anything to do with men ever again and I sure as hell wasn’t ever going to have sex again. As I began healing, the sexual part of my being started waking up and I discovered Purity. That threw a wrench into my being because I’d always hated sex, avoided it, and therefore could very easily deny that sexuality was a part of who I was.
Now I find myself healed in so many ways sexually and involved in a very sexually active relationship with Treun. Do I feel like my sexuality is part of my identity? A very resounding, “YES!” Did I lead a full life before Treun came along? Yes. Could I have continued to lead a full life if Treun hadn’t come into the picture? Yes. Is my sexuality the be-all, end-all of who I am? No.
I could compare my life with my sexuality as a part of my identity to television. (Oh, I hope I can make this comparison make sense anywhere else other than in my head.) If you buy a nice, new HD t.v. and hook it up to watch normal channels, you’re going to get a nice, clear picture. It is going to look amazing compared to the old analog t.v. you just replaced. Can you be happy with that? Absolutely. Then the cable company runs a special on the HD channels and you decide to try it out for the three month introductory period just to see what all the hype is about. You turn on your first HD channel and it amazes you. The clarity, the colors, the sharp contrast that you didn’t have with the regular t.v. You can see every wrinkle on the actors’ faces. You can see every blade of grass. Everything stands out in sharp relief. You are taken aback by what you’d been missing without realizing you’d been missing it because you’d never experienced it before.
My sexuality as a part of my identity is the same way. Just like the ho-hum analog t.v., that was all I ever thought I could expect. I thought that was as good as it got. When I was living it, I didn’t realize how bad it truly was. I didn’t realize I was being raped, I thought I was just having really bad sex that hurt me more often than not. Then I got out and upgraded to a good t.v. (no sex) and that was simply beautiful for the sheer fact that I was no longer living in the hell I’d been in. It was a vast improvement over what I’d had before. I was perfectly content living celibate because that what allowed me to heal. I felt like me. I felt like I was living a full life and, in fact, was.
It was only after I got the HD channels (a sexual relationship with Treun) that I saw that to be fully me, I had to embrace all of me. Treun helped me see all the colors, all the blades of grass, the sharp contrast of life because he opened up that part of me that was locked away. I hadn’t even realized it was so completely locked away until Treun and I started having sex.
Now I can say that I feel like I’m fully me. My sexuality is definitely a part of my identity. Without my sexuality, I’m still me, but a part of who I fundamentally am is missing. I am a mother, a full-time employee, a friend, a baker, a girlfriend (I still don’t like that term but that was another post), and now I’m a lover. I am fully me because I’ve accepted and am expressing all parts of who I am.
My sexuality doesn’t define me, it enhances me.