Not so long ago, I was staying with a new friend who has an AirBnB business. She is a collector of souls and interesting people. I found her by chance, simply because her home was near a week-long event I was attending, and I wanted to be local, be able to walk, and didn’t want to stay in a Holiday Inn—the only viable hotel option in the out-of-the way neighbourhood it was.
As it happened, she has proven to be an utterly fascinating, kind person. Deeply and fundamentally trans friendly, kink friendly, and a wonderful person to have a cup of tea with no matter the time of day. My fellow Brits will know the joys of a perfect tea companion. There are few ills that cannot be solved with a freshly brewed pot of tea and friendship.
One of the beautiful people who was staying with her, an aspiring young make-up artist told her that I looked like a “star”…flattery will get you everywhere. They were super sweet. One evening, when I came home after time with Mistress, we were all sitting together in the living room having a chat.
“What have you been up to this evening?” the makeup artist asked.
“Out with a friend,” I said.
“You look like you had sex,” they said, “you have that glow.”
I sighed, “It was a lovely evening.” Of course the hostess knew where I had been.
“Yes, you are radiant.”
I refer to her as ‘Mistress’ on this blog, but not in real life. That is convenient shorthand for the reader. But the reality is infinitely more complex and bless her for letting it be so. What I felt, that special energy, that post-coital glow, had nothing at all to do with sex. And it has gotten me thinking about people that we have in our lives, and what they represent to us, what they do to us, for us, and vice versa.
In this person’s case, it is as simple as this: she makes me glow. ‘How’? you might ask. When someone displays innocent curiosity to you, about you, and listens to and experiences you without judgement, even joy. It is a delicious feeling. When your rapport with that person is such that they know about the scary bits and the shameful bits too, and that they see them with soft eyes, are encouraging, showing empathy and understanding, well, then, what more can you ask for.
Star Child is teaching me about Buddhism, and one of the passages in the book she has given me to read talks about the ‘innocent wonder of a child’ as being the ideal state of a Buddhist mind. I guess you might say that this line of thinking has landed on very fertile ground with me. Innocence has been the essence of me since I was born. I am relearning how to cultivate true and unfettered innocence. To be with people without guile, without self-interest, or motivation.
And I guess that what that post-coital joy really means, is that people who make you glow are doing two things: they are teaching you how to receive and feel love on its deepest level—to feel worth it. And they inspire through their way of being to help us genuinely approach others, the whole world, with the same honesty and openness.
This is the essence of a healthy and happy life. And I realise that since those first tentative steps into BDSM, an art form and therapeutic practice which helped me to pry myself open, and my first steps into becoming the trans woman I was born to be, in particular, hormones, all of my relationships are realigning around these principles.
“You were never an asshole,” a friend said to me when I marvelled at how every single person in my life has rallied to my side in support of my coming out. Every single one (except my wife—though I must admit I still love her and remain hopeful that she will come around. Though I don’t know how I will refrain from teasing her about how she has brought us to the edge of financial ruin with her lawsuit). I had been wondering why I was so lucky, and my friend was saying it wasn’t luck. I guess what you reap is really what you have sewn, not just yesterday, but for all of your yesterdays.
The people who make us glow
Sometimes you see people, very often women, probably still married, and it looks as if their lights have gone out. There is a cloud of sadness hanging around them. The grey fog of a lifetime of dashed hopes. The hang-dog look of a whipped cur. It can happen to anyone.
We think we need someone. We hang around for whatever reason. Duty, inertia, co-dependence, fear of financial ruin, because they’re family. But this is a dangerous trap. We don’t need anyone. I don’t mean that in the general sense. Of course, we need people, a someone, several someones. But these people can change, can shift. And they should, because what any of us puts out, changes over time, and being with people who fill your cup rather than deplete it, are the ones you should be hanging with.
I am not saying to be a fair-weather friend. Not at all. Being supportive to someone when they need you, even when they are needy, can be uplifting for the giver and supporter too. No. What I am saying is that people who put you down, hold you back, suck the life from you, take the wind from your back, these people need to go. And it helps to be ruthless about it. At best, it might help them. It certainly helps you.
This is quite possibly the most important boundary you could ever set for yourself. To surround yourself with people who are well and truly on your side. Life is not some game of ‘keep your friends close and your enemies closer’ as Al Pacino’s character says in the Godfather. After all, that was just a movie. It is simpler than that. Know your true friends for how they make you feel. The rest are just chaff.
What if you apply this to how you are?
Some self-examination is in order. Do you build people up too? If someone makes you feel good, do you do the same for others? How do they do it to you? Are you capable at doing the same? If not, are you prepared to do the work?
Do you listen? Are you there without judgement and with empathy? Are you emotionally available? Are you the kind of person who can simply be there for someone, consistently showing up for them? Are you emotionally reliable?
I am not talking about this from a single relationship standpoint. As Ex-Mistress might have said, that is quid pro quothinking. But if it is who you are? How you are? If this is your way of cultivating your relationships with the world around you?
In my case, this has taken work. Is taking work. It is a phenomenal effort. We can change. But the only person we are worth changing for is the self. Be the energy that you wish to represent, to give, have a relentless focus on your ‘how’.
The Joy of Being Out
Coming out as trans, having no shame about it, discussing it openly, including many topics which may be lurking in someone’s mind, but which might be too sensitive to ask:
- What happens with your dxxk?
- Are you attracted to men now?
- Why do you want to do that to yourself?
- Aren’t you afraid of being assaulted?
- What does it feel like?
Of course, there are a million such questions. I have been happy to answer any of them to those who have asked. And the lesson here is not about being trans, or coming out as trans, but about being honest and open with people. Being able to speak from the heart about these topics, and about kink, and to do so without any shame or without any desire to titillate or draw someone in—in other words, with innocence, without malice, without a desire to manipulate or to elicit some response, or with any thought of goals or objectives. To explain, to bring understanding.
Well, gosh, couldn’t this apply to any aspect of our lives? In other words, what I have learned about being out is that these lessons apply to all aspects of my life. In business, at home, at work, at play. People respond to open and honest energy. And when you engage with people in this way, you can travel together much further and much faster.
A snippet from my professional life…
A colleague has assiduously courted a business owner for the past half year, in an attempt to buy his company. The meetings and discussions have been cordial, but they have not moved forward. Separately, I was asked if I might not connect with said business owner. I did. I had a colleague who knows him ask to introduce me, and a few days later we spent twenty minutes together on the phone, result of which we are now in negotiations. I didn’t do anything. I spoke honestly. And he responded with the same. And through that process of openness, we were able to find common ground.
Okay, business is different, but really it isn’t. Everything is just a microcosm of gentle human interaction. At least it can be.
The liberating feeling of letting go of the chaff
I read recently about how, and it is most often the woman, in divorce, one partner is emotionally much better off after a divorce than the other. The reason it is often the woman should be obvious, but it is sadly often the case that the woman is the one whose soul is crushed by their partner. Not always, but more often, occasioned in part, by economic dependency.
It’s funny. I deliberately chose my wife because I felt that she was strong and independent, and I was very attached to the idea of being married to a woman who was truly independent. The idea that we should all always have our “fxxk you” money is particularly true in an emotional relationship. It brings out the best in both parties. We both know that we have to earn each other’s love and respect every darn day. That is healthy. Ironically, this is what my wife stepped away from, by her choice, against mine, and is also why she is so bitter and angry now. I feel sorry for her, and I am sure she will experience the emotional rebound that the study I read shows.
I am, however, already living it. And the epiphanies that come with it, are reshaping my life in wondrous ways.
Some of my closest friends have really stepped into being this trans woman’s friend. One friend said, “we already loved you. Now we get to love even more of you.” Well, gosh, who wouldn’t love that?
They aren’t doing this out of a sense of duty. They are simply evolving with me because that’s what friends do. And I guess that the most valuable lesson for me in all of this, is to be exactly who we are. To live without fear.
We are all such wonderfully complex souls. If you became a diaper lover because of the unique circumstances of your upbringing, a mixture of attachment and attunement challenges in your primary love bond, that with your mother. That your dynamic with your mother became inappropriate sexual because of her guilt towards you for this reason, and that babying you was her way of assuaging her own guilt, and accepting it was your way of trying to claw back towards something you never had, or at least didn’t have enough of. Well, what of it? What can you do that is positive with that same energy?
And yes, it has helped to discuss this sort of thing with therapists. It has helped even more to discuss it with Sex Workers. It has been fun to do it, too, but the true therapy happened when someone proves that they don’t judge you when you are there, in the moment, together, discussing it, understanding it, experiencing it. And after the kink is stripped away, what is left is something really beautiful and pure, a kind of sweet and innocent love which is the kind of love that a baby has to its mother. And when you can control this, understand it, direct it, and offer it to people in your life, friends, family, loved ones, it is a very powerful and untainted source of light.
I am discovering this. It is a superpower. Fetishism is a rut, a way to scratch an itch, where its fulfilment does not take us forward per se. But sexual energy is the most powerful energy we have. Leashing it to a fetish is a way of subduing the self, of not showing the self the same kind of charity that this post is about.
My goal in life is increasingly become one of removing judgement and ulterior motive from all of my interactions. This has utterly begun to transform my relationship with friends and the people around me.
When we are totally open, and without guile, those we love reward us by doing the same. I am tickled by those of my friends who have stepped onto this same energetic float with me, and also deeply grateful for those new ones I meet. And this is true of my “vanilla” friends, my kinky friends, the small number of SWs I meet, but also my colleagues, business partners, etc. Everyone in my life.
What about you? Do you think that you could let go of shame? It needn’t be about kink, or sexuality. ‘Coming out’ is just about being honest. How we are as people is the most powerful force any of us has to work with.
My question is this
What would life feel like if all the people in our lives made us glow? What kind of person would I need to be for that to happen? What kind of mental and emotional blockages might I have that could prevent that? What do I need to learn to be able to live this way? And similarly, if I set my standard for myself in relation to others, what kind of way of being must I wear in order to make others glow?
This is exactly the trans therapy that I need. Love this post! Very euphoric. The more you open up to others the more we glow together like shiny crystals 🙂
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Thank you. So glad you enjoyed it. A million points of light. That’s what we are!
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