November 28, 2001
Early this morning I ended up watching a 1/2-hour of a documentry about transsexuals, women (in this case) who'd decided for different reasons to become men. They didn't get into the fascinating problem (to me) of physical construction -- these women needed a few things built for them that didn't come pre-installed, and, well, that's interesting -- but one man who'd been altered a decade-or-so ago had an interesting observation. As a woman, he said, he'd had a sex drive but really wanted someone to be physical with in a cuddling sense, not in a fucking sense. What surprised him about being full of male hormones was the incredible sex drive; he discovered this physical urge for sex that totally surprised him. The actual quote went something like: "As a woman I enjoyed having someone around to cuddle and if sex happened, it happened. Now, though, I've, like, gotta have sex -- the rest of the relationship can be taken care of afterwards."
Now, this isn't really news to me (that men and women differ in the timbre of their sex drives), but I thought it cool that someone could actually talk having felt both sides of the coin, not just talked them over with friends and lovers. I've decided that I would be quite surprised about how little I would think of sex as a woman and I know that that would color the way I looked at interpersonal relationships which would color the way I look at all sorts of things. On the flip side, the male "urge" is often considered a joke or a means by which women control them or fuck their shit up, but it can be a real, legitimate problem if not satistfied appropriately. Some women understand the differences and I've been in relationships where both sides have been taken care of. I don't think it's in the public mind, though, or at least the mind I see the public having (I know it's dangerous territory to start talking about the "public mind" -- the "public mind" being a half-empty concept -- but let's see where I end up with this), this sense of the difference. I don't think I ever thought about it until girls started to let me actually touch them, and it colored some of the thoughts that would build into the dreams and fantasies that I would carry with me into adulthood. It colored them incomplete.
I remember trying to write a short scene for Poetic Licence (Plan II / Brocolli Project student-written short-piece teatrical production) about a relationship that started off, "We used to have sex first thing, before going out for the evening -- to keep us honest, to make sure we were having the evening together for the evening together, not for the sex that might or might not come afterwards." It's not a perfect sentiment, but I don't know, I'm just coming up with this crap off the top of my head.
(Not that I'm having to really worry about such issues right now...)