This is what I love most about letting go of the binary gender thinking that I grew up with.
Think about it: the first thing people do when a baby is born is checking the sex. And from that moment on, a lot is decided. From the colour of clothes to chances in life, how great the odds are to have a position of influence, and how others speak to (or about) you.
For a long time, I tried to fit the mould of a woman. Have the looks, the behaviours, the wardrobe, you name it. It also meant dealing with catcalling, sexual shaming, getting paid less and expectations when it came to childcare and the household.
Then I explored the world of tantra, where in the contemporary teachings the polarity of masculine and feminine wasn’t separate from manly and womanly. I was told I wasn’t feminine enough and needed to be ‘less masculine’, and adopt more ‘feminine practices’ like dancing and taking rose-scented baths.
When I started exploring kink, there was an expectation that I, as a woman, would be of the submissive flavour. But then, when folks noticed my ‘masculine traits’ and length, I was (and am) fetishized for being a Femdom: a dominant woman letting men surrender like they weren’t expected to do in their daily lives.
I’ve tried fitting all those boxes over many years from a place of wanting to belong and fit in. To not be rejected but accepted.
Until I realized how these boxes are social constructs that aren’t my responsibility to fit in. And I stopped.
I stopped trying to be a feminine, straight, monogamous, vanilla woman. Because that’s not me. I don’t like rose scented baths all that much and they definitely don’t make me feel ‘more of who I am’.
They are simply nourishing one part of me, just like fixing bikes, chopping wood, drinking whiskey, having promiscuous adventures, whip and get whipped, are nourishing parts of me.
Some days I love wearing flower dresses. Other days I prefer my vintage gents-pants and cowboy boots.
When I let go of the constructs I tried to make myself fit in, I can reinvent myself every day. Be who I feel like being that day. And that comprises a whole range of flavours and options.