We live and love in a marvelous age. I mean this in the sense that, in the 21st century, there is simply so much to marvel at. The world is expanding and cultures are overlapping, so much so that sometimes the world can seem too big to take in. I don’t know about everyone else in the world, but I often find myself stunned by the socio-political landscape of the modern age. Something I have struggled with, but have found an answer to through The Lifestyle, is the concept of sexual orientation.
I’ve never liked labels. I’m a little bit punk rock, a little bit hip-hop, a little bit hippie and a little white trash. I’m not in the least bit indecisive, but when you have a buffet in front of you, and every item seems delicious, I don’t see any reason why you should deny yourself a single flavor. I say take a little bit of everything that looks and smells good, and if there’s room left over in your gut, go back for seconds. And isn’t life just a buffet of experiences? Isn’t it impossible to know what you like until you’ve at least buried your nose in the various aromas?
I grew up in a very blue collar town. My male peers were decidedly homophobic and throughout my formative years I feared the potential homosexuality within me. Even though I had a liberal and progressive family, the rampant homophobia of the 90’s was instilled in me with shocking permanence. Add that fear to my disdain for labels, and the common perception of heterosexuality being “normal,” and you have a young man who never experiments, who never visits that side of the buffet because he’s worried he might like what he finds.
So I went about my life pursuing female sexual conquests with the voraciously toxic masculinity that had been instilled in me. I experienced incredible intimacy and received pleasures too intense to try and describe. I gave and received love more than I ever would have anticipated as an awkward teenager with no game to speak of. I was lucky for all of this, but still there was something bottled up inside of me. I thought that by living a hetero-normative lifestyle, I was avoiding labels that might otherwise stick with me forever. Later I would discover that my lifestyle had prevented me from exploring who I truly am, that I was trapped in a cage of my own design, and that no one could destroy the bindings but me.
I’ve written about a relationship I destroyed before. It was the first woman I ever lived with, and we had an incredibly dynamic sexual chemistry. She was a sub who introduced me to BDSM, and there was just something between us that fueled our respective fires. We could fuck endlessly… climaxing over and over and over again with the greatest of ease. We had experienced parallel types of trauma and tragedy in our lives, as well… so I think we were emotionally kindred spirits as well as we were sexually connected in clear and present way. Later on, this turned out to be not such a good thing.
I have to own my guilt. Early in that relationship, when I had flipped on a webcam to broadcast our explosive pleasures and satisfy my exhibitionist desires, she had made it clear that she wasn’t into that, and that she considered it cheating. This woman had some pretty traditional views about faithfulness, and she articulated them clearly. Perhaps it was my ego that kept me from taking her seriously. Perhaps the fact that she was ten years older than me prevented me from viewing our relationship as long-term. Either way, I ultimately cheated extensively by engaging in “cybersex” with anonymous men and women night in and night out.
Our once-strong chemistry bubbled and exploded like a nightmarish science fair project. She discovered my infidelity and it opened the doors for our mutual anger and volatility to burst out. We tried, and failed, to make it work… leading to years of suicidal anxiety and depression as I attempted to reconcile what I had done. I’ve documented it before, but I fell into a cycle of drug use and self-punishment that culminated in a head-on collision with a concrete wall. Needless to say, the wall won and I was left with some time to consider where my life was headed.
Those years of post-relationship recovery had some silver linings in them, however. Encounters I had with couples and singular individuals gave me opportunities to do the self-discovery I had long hungered for. I explored with men and women, witnessed open relationships first hand, and relocated to a city in which I have fulfilled some lifelong dreams as well as fallen deeply in love with a woman I intend to spend my life with. This woman is the embodiment of whom I had always dreamed of falling in love with. She has defined my ideal partner and embraced The Lifestyle with me and with more bravery than I have ever seen.
Throughout my adventures, I have continued to wonder about sexual orientation. While my primary sexual interest is undeniably with women, my mind has been opened to the potentiality of sex with men, trans individuals, gender fluid folks and pretty much any consenting adult you can imagine. I still don’t like labels, however, and I like binary spectrums even less. So at no point have I truly identified with being straight, gay, or bisexual.
I’m very lucky that Ms. Lyrical has an open mind and a tenacious sexual appetite. She hears my fantasies and gets excited right along with me. She has enjoyed the sight of me kissing another man (albeit and ultra-fem, crossdressing man) and she has taken pleasure in discussing the infinite potentials that exist within the swinging lifestyle. Having this type of a partner, someone with whom I identify so closely and can talk with so intimately, has led to me finally discovering a sexual orientation which I truly identify with.
I have decided that I am Consexual. Never heard of this term? Well, that makes sense, since to the best of my knowledge I invented it. Being Consexual means that your only requirement for acts of sexual intimacy is that all parties are capable of providing consent. While I wish we lived in a society that inherently understood what this means, I suppose I should articulate.
Children cannot provide consent for sex. Animals cannot consent. People who are intoxicated with drugs or other substances cannot provide consent. I know that last one is a little bit tricky… after all, what defines intoxication? That’s a bigger issue that I’d rather approach another day, but in the meantime, I’d like to think that anybody reading this knows when they should and shouldn’t be taking someone home with them from the bar or a party.
Why do I identify as Consexual, as opposed to bi? I mean, one would hope that the consent part goes with saying, right? Well, being in The Lifestyle means that there are often more than two sides to an equation that are worth considering. If my partner and I want to hook up with another couple, but one person is left out of the attraction loop, I’m not going to be turned on. Orientation is about what gets you hot, and nothing makes me flaccid quicker than the impression that someone I’m involved with sexually isn’t 100 percent into it. I also think it is incredibly important that we put consent at the forefront of our conversations about sex and sexuality. Unfortunately, here in the western world, the concept of consent has not been taught as thoroughly as it should have been.
So here I am, at 27 years old, finally coming out of the closet that I didn’t even know I was hiding in. I’m bringing my skeletons with me and hoping that the concept of Consexuality catches on.
Too many people out there have been perfunctorily going through the buffet, only selecting the items in their comfort zone. It’s time we let go of the binary.
Consexuality is a method of knowing who you are, without adhering to outdated traditions or uncomfortable labels. Consexuality allows a person to experience everything the buffet has to offer, without fear of being stigmatized or pigeon-holed. Being Consexual doesn’t mean anything except that you insist on sex which all participants can enjoy and be nourished by. And I don’t see anything wrong with that.