People say sex is about sex,  it’s about life wanting more life, but not these days. These days something else is playing out. These days people like to stage little rituals about power and their relationship to it.

How do women become the best women? The best woman brings out the dominator in men. You can shine so hard he cannot help himself, he needs to get on top and hold you down, and you will feel yourself in the pressing back. You can know by his force how hard you were shining.

What is it like for men? Is there always a dominator in there? Can they feel their full strength in those urges?

It was devastating when women wanted me to have a dominator in me. That’s what my button ups and wingtips meant to them, that if they shone I would want to hold them down, and if I didn’t want to hold them down that meant they weren’t shining.

I tried to explain, I’ve been held down so many times, I don’t want to be on either side of that, I want to be held up, not down, I want to be seen, and I can see you in return and I could hold you up.

That wasn’t what they wanted. They told not to talk that way. They told me maybe I hated women. They told me there was no reason not to be a slut. If we were drunk and high, if we were alone, if I needed a bed to stay in that night, they offered sex between two movie characters, one mean, one nice, if only I was willing to play mean. As if I’d find my heart in that role, as if that script would open up some inner door.

I tried to figure out how I thought this body would be touched. I tried to figure out what I thought would be different. I thought I wouldn’t be a porno character. I thought I wouldn’t be a character at all.

I had a nightmare this week about a woman who used to be a friend. When I was trans she wanted a porno power ritual from me, and she got it, when she came over for a heart to heart she said she was in need of, but with wine and weed, and once I was dizzy she offered that script to me. I felt like I should, if I was going to say I was a man. So I did. I watched myself from the ceiling play that role, and then she went home to her poly boyfriend and I knew I wasn’t any kind of person anymore. I was a scene to play out, an experience to collect, a scrapbook page. She had gotten the badge of continuing queerness she wanted, she had gotten proof of her shine, and I had gotten something heavy to carry.

In the nightmare there was a dark house with many rooms, and a party was happening. She was there, and I was trying to avoid her, and she was tailing me. I decided I would not be caught and so I dropped my phone and wallet and started running and screaming. I woke up to that scream trying to fight it’s way out of me- like the groan of animal with a dart lodged in it.

There are so many ways to be trapped.

I didn’t stop being her friend for a long time after that. There were many little and not so little discomforts to follow- until I looked back over the years and realized I had become anesthetized to the sense of tightening dread I felt around her. That I expected to be around people I hated when I was with her, that I expected to hang in there being uncomfortable and keeping my mouth shut, that I expected to be misunderstood, that I expected to check for the exits and make quick escapes.

The body likes safety. The body likes ease. The body doesn’t like a tight gut or a shaking hand. The body wants to be touched with reverence. The body wants to be soothed. The body knows it is a funny kind of object, one that holds a soul, and yet still it is animated flesh, and it can be caged and trapped and even eaten. The body looks for exits. The body makes escapes.

I’ve been her. I’ve wanted that ritual. I’ve wanted proof of my shine. Even now I watch men watch my skirt and I imagine I may have an irresistible draw, I imagine I might turn them into animals. They are animals, just like I am. But animals do not only fight and fuck. Animals travel in packs, they hunt and bring it back to the group, they groom, they play, they nurse, and they call out to each other in warning.

Who was I screaming out for? When does the pack come to get me?

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