By Shanna Katz
This interview is with Euphoria, a young woman who identifies as having fluctuation in her identities. I think it is important to include identities that may not be as definite, fleshed out, or as solid as others. Many of us have fluid or fluctuating identities, or may continue to discover more of our identities as we explore and challenge ourselves. Thanks Euphoria, for explaining a bit about the fluctuation that occurs in your identities.
This interview is about your fluctuating identity…What are some other identities of yours:
I am a young mother, already divorced and ready to marry again. I’m a roller derby girl, a student, a model on the weekends, a reader, a writer, an avid movie critic, and so much more!
Define your fluctuating identity – what does it mean to you, how long have you had this identity, how was the process of getting there?
I am coming to terms/figuring out the most recent epiphany, which would change my already queer identity into a ”poly queer-romantic asexual”. This isn’t the first change, and I’m sure it’s not the last. All I know is that with each epiphany I have, I become more specific and feel more justified and solid as a person.
I think that fluxuation for me has been a constant state since childhood. I was always some kind of different. I liked things that I thought that everyone liked, but apparently not. I discovered the kink world when I was in my early teens, and ran wildly (albeit for legal reasons, limitedly) with it until I was old enough to attend parties and dinners on my own. Through the kink world I discovered that my ways of thinking and acting were ok. There’s a whole culture similar to it! People understand me! Though the parties came when I was over 20, I had my first change in sexual identity in my senior year of high school. I had my first girl crush, which became a major love of mine. I had dreamed about girls a lot in jr. high school despite being raised a strict Christian, and was taught that homosexuality was wrong. I knew I felt differently about girls and boys, and that I could appreciate a good looking girl, but not feel attracted in any other way. This girl was a slap to the face. She woke me up. But it was still really conflicting, not being gay, but liking a girl. I sure wasn’t bi-sexual either; she was the only girl I had ever been attracted to. Maybe a fluke incident?
Later, after getting into the kink scene and moving across the country, I met another girl. With her, I discovered polyamory, and heteroflexibility. These were both MAJOR changes in my life. I loved and still love this girl very much for going through those changes with me. It was both of our first times being in a relationship outside of our respective male mates. I found out that attraction doesn’t have to be equal to matter in one’s identity. I like men. I like girls, sometimes. I’m NOT a bi-sexual. I really relaxed, like a weight lifting off my shoulders when I found out that heteroflexibility is a REAL THING, just like I did when I found out that there was a kink community. I’m not just weird! Queer came along a little later, once I felt I settled into heteroflexibility, but felt that it was leaving out possibilities for attraction. I wanted a more general and stronger word. This also was because, honestly, try googling heteroflexibility. If I’m not talking to a person who is sexually educated, and they try to search for the answer to it on their own, they are going to think that I take my sexual identity like a joke. After so much evolving and changing and thinking and applying, why would I want that?
For the most recent change/fluctuation, I am still thinking and looking for the answer. I had an epiphany a couple weeks ago about myself. It came from thoughts that I have on a daily basis, and discussions I have with my partner(s) daily. I don’t care about sex. I don’t want it, I don’t look for it, I don’t have an attraction to it, I feel like it’s a chore. It is not to say that I don’t like it or that I don’t enjoy it on occasion. I have a (rare) sex drive, but the underlying feeling about sex–the pure indifference…I was lying in bed and thought to myself ”what is asexuality? am I asexual?” Asexuality, despite what people think, does not mean no sex drive. Asexuality means the lack of sexual attraction. I feel attracted aesthetically or romantically to people, but not sexually. I want relationships, I want to be close to people, I just don’t care/am not interested about sex.
I don’t know if this is the last fluctuation on my way to feeling whole, but I do feel close, and that’s more than I’ve ever had.
Talk about some of the language surrounding this identity – what terms do you like/dislike?
To focus on the latest fluctuation, I like the term romantic-asexual. It describes a person that wants or feels drawn to having a meaningful emotional relationship. Like I said earlier, the phrase that feels most complete to me is ”polyamorous queer-romantic asexual” which means a person that can hold multiple meaningful relationships of a nonsexual type with whatever sex or identity they feel attracted to, without requiring sex. ME. Very specifically me.
Terms I do not like: libidoist/non-libidoist. All communities, even minorities seem to come up with ways to exclude each other. Elitism exists no matter where you go or how persecuted/separate you are from the rest of the world. A libidoist is an Asexual that has a sex drive. A non-libidoist is one that does not. WAR ensues. Further descriptors of language can be found here.
What are some common questions you get about this identity? How do you answer them and how do they make you feel?
Common questions… What am I? Am I gay? Am I bi? Do I like sex? Am I going to call off my wedding? Do I love my fiancé?
I answer these calmly. I’m not sure what I am, but I’m getting there. I’m not gay, and I’m not bi.
I like sex sometimes, I just don’t want it. I love my fiancé and want to spend my life with him, which is why I made the choice to marry him, I am NOT going to give that up because I don’t like sex. And more importantly to me, neither is he.
What are some of the positives of having this identity?
I sure do get to experiment as much as myself and my partner are comfortable with. I was very sheltered, and made to feel ashamed of sexual feelings or sexual identity. I don’t now. It’s wonderful and freeing, and the best thing is that I get to figure myself out and get to feel comfortable with it.
What are some of the struggles that have come along with this identity?
The figuring myself out and feeling comfortable with it! I’ve never had to question, nor have I ever thought to. Plus, I’ve never been comfortable with myself, so this is a huge step for me and a huge challenge.
How does this identity fit or not fit with your other identities?
It doesn’t really play too much of a part. I’m social only in the kink circles. I don’t have many close friends outside of them, so i don’t have to hide or flaunt what I’m going through. As a mother, I will have to make decisions on raising my (our) children, but doesn’t every parent? As a partner, I have twice (or three or four times) as much communication and discovery to get through. That is challenging.
How do you feel this identity is received in the sexuality and/or sex positive communities?
In the sex-positive communities, I have never been turned away. I’ve been very fortunate to be welcomed with open arms and open minds. I hope that this will continue as I change and learn more.
What else do you want people to know about this identity?AVEN faqs
For Polyamory, loving multiple people does NOT take away from the love you feel for any other person. You have an infinite capability to love. It’s like saying that one second in this lifetime takes away from one second in the next, or two down. or three.
Also, words don’t mean everything. You can be an asexual and have a sex drive. You can be polyamorous but only be in one relationship. You can be queer and be hopelessly in love with a straight member of the opposite sex. You are what and how you feel you are, even if it’s only as long as it takes to get to the next epiphany!