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Sex & Love On sex, and cities, and race

Feb. 13, 2020
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Am I Carrie? Or Miranda? Or Samantha? Or Charlotte? 

I ask myself the vapid yet intriguing question in between serotonin-induced hazes of mind-numbing marathoned television. I wonder why I struggle to land on a satisfying answer—is it because Samantha’s endless sex drive resonates with me? Or is it Carrie’s inability to satiate her emotional needs that really hits the spot? Sadly, it's neither. It’s not because I’m a mix of bookish and preppy and vapid and desirable, or any of the other complicated features of which the characters are supposed archetypes—it’s because I’m not a white lady with white lady problems, especially in regards to sex. These fictional women do have real problems, and I’m not suggesting that these problems lack depth or reality. When they talk about making more money than their male counterparts while getting French pedicures, they’re discussing a salient issue that’s palpable in the dating lives of sexually active, metropolitan, working women—but for women of color, they’re barely scratching the surface. Imagine the intricacies that further intangle this narrative when you’re a woman of color and you have a white partner. Add the power dynamics of newly-earned wealth versus generational wealth. Boom. Now you’re getting into screaming matches with your partner over who takes out the trash, and maybe if a certain someone wasn’t born with a silver spoon up their ass, they’d carry their weight in the relationship. And that’s just the beginning. Being a woman of color means adding a million complications to a relationship, brininging in a hot stew of race, sex, wealth, and privilege to boil over your already-frought relationship. Being a sexually active woman of color is some hard ass shit. 

Sometimes I think about how situations would play out if I didn’t have to think about the intermixing of of racism and sexism, and the relation it all has to my sex and sexuality. I wonder if fucking me is really all that different from fucking a white woman. I wonder if I could pretend, for even just a moment, that fucking me could be like fucking a white woman. I wonder if I could close my eyes and touch myself, and pretend that I had an uncontroversial pink pussy, shrouded by uncontroversial white skin. I wonder if for a moment I could forget the years of trauma, the grossness of racialization, and the icky memory of being a fetish. I wonder if I could touch myself and just feel warmth and a hot gooeyness, could slide my fingers in and out of myself without thinking about my insides. Past the fat clit and the warm and wet vagina. Beyond the meaty cervix and the push of the pelvic bone. My real insides. The insides—like my stomach in knots from years of abuse from poor, broken immigrant men. I wonder what the insides of me would look like without generations of colonialism, and I wonder what my outsides would like without my mestiza eyes and nose and cheeks and face. 

Maybe that’s why I have my sick little fascination with sex—reading about it, watching content about, having it. Consuming it through my mouth and my eyes and my pussy. But consuming content about sex that just misses the point, the racialized tip of it all, is like being fucked from behind by a frat boy who thinks he’s jerking off inside of you—no stimulation, no satisfaction, no aha moment, no cumming. I wish someone would just write about me, about us. What it’s like to be 20-something, sexually active, and dealing with this racist fucking world. I want someone to tell me how to balance a sex life while applying to grad school as a first-generation student. Someone to let me know what it’s like to explore a serious sexual relationship with someone when your family is pressuring you to get married and have kids like everyone else in their province. 

Being able to explore my sexuality without miscategorizations and with the freedom of being a proud, unafraid brown woman would be liberating—and sexy. It would be like riding someone and feeling the hot contractions of your body, your back rhythmically oscillating between tension and relaxation. It would feel like synapses bursting down your spine, the walls of your body grabbing hold of them; it would be the wet satisfaction of a hot, juicy orgasm. It would just feel so good.