Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Robert Hannibal has changed my attitudes – written March 6, 2011 (email to my younger sister)

It’s getting close for me to leave on my class trip to Israel and I am hoping to see Robert Hannibal at least one time before I leave!  I realize he has really changed my attitude about sex, about love, about men. 

I try to explain to my younger sister how my viewpoint has changed, and I try to give her advice on her own struggles.   Just like me, she doesn’t live a conventional Mormon life, but also like me, she believes the LDS Church is true.  So we both struggle, just in different ways.  

This is from the email I sent to my sister tonight (I removed the parts that are personal for her and only included the section that refers to Robert Hannibal, but of course, it’s a long section!):

with robert hannibal, i have realized something similar.  i used to only be able to picture marriage if it was an open marriage, meaning i could date girls on the side and we could have orgies and threesomes.  my relationship with “dan” in the philippines was only that, and i was willing to marry him if i had to because i'd be able to have a marriage in the only way i could possibly picture it.  plus, i thought his kids were gorgeous and so smart and so adorable.  but i could only picture a marriage with me having girls and orgies and threesomes.

but meeting robert hannibal has changed that.  i feel so much more fulfilled when we are alone together. i love sex with him alone more than i like having another girl or other people alone.  i realize that if i had a choice, i would choose to only have sex with robert hannibal for the rest of my life. i would give up women. 

he makes me forget about everyone except for him.  now i know this is possible and now i don't believe in an open marriage anymore. i don't even believe in swinging anymore, though i used to think it was essential for marriages, so that partners could have variety but not be “cheating."  but now i truly believe monogamy is the most fulfilling marriage.  because of robert hannibal.  he is so amazing.

i've never had an orgasm with him, but i enjoy sex so much with him.  if we were married to each other, there would be plenty of time for us to work on that together, but as it is, i really don't feel i need it.  i just love being with him so much.  this is such new thought for me.  never would i have thought this before. 

i really really love him so much. even if we don't go to all the swinging parties, which is what i originally wanted with him, i even more just want to be alone with him.  i get jealous of other girls.  that has never happened to me with a guy before! this is so strange for me to be in love with a man, really and truly!

but of course he's married with two kids and i want him to have a monogamous relationship with his wife - once i'm done. 

i realize that when couples are into swinging and it makes them free, it might make them more free than a couple that is married and doesn't swing but it doesn't make them more free than a couple that is covenant in the temple - i realize that temple sealing and covenant between the couple make the crucial difference.  with that covenant, the marriage is at a higher level.  i realize that is what i want.  if i can just find someone that i can love as much as i love robert hannibal.

so [sister], i am so old and it has taken me this long to come to the realization, and i'm not even ready to fully make the commitment yet to prepare to go to the temple because i still want to be with robert hannibal more and i still want to go to more swinging parties, and i still want to make more money having sex. 

even though i know the swinging parties and the prostitution are not fulfilling, and that even sex with robert hannibal, as wonderful as it is, is not the ultimate fulfillment because it is not sealed in marriage and sealed in the temple, i want to do more of it just to really get it out of my system.  i want a few more months.

so with you, make the goal of where you want to be.  and try for it.  i hope it doesn't take you as long as it took me to realize where you want to be. 

I talk about LDS Temple Marriage because I really believe that will provide the most fulfilling marriage and the sex life I think will be even more spiritual and rewarding than what I currently have with Robert Hannibal.  

Trying to Like Men in the Past – written March 5, 2011 (with Feb. 20, 2011 email to my younger sister)

In thinking about how much I love Robert Hannibal, and how surprised I am to have fallen in love with a man, it feels strange to remember that I used to have to "try to like" a guy.   

In a recent email to my younger sister, who knows I'm a lesbian, I told her that Robert Hannibal is the first man I've ever been attracted to.  My sister responded by asking about a Hispanic guy from church with dark skin who I had told her was good-looking, so I had to explain that he was another guy I was "trying to like," before I knew what it was like to actually legitimately like a guy!  

This is my email to her that I sent on Feb. 20, 2011: 

no, i have never actually *liked* a guy before. when i was in junior high and high school, i would tell my friends i would like guys, so that i could seem normal and bond with my friends because girls always bond when they talk about guys they have crushes on. but i always chose guys who were older and who had girlfriends so that my friends couldn't try to set me up with them.

as i got older and back into the church, i deliberately did try to like guys, and i was determined to have dark kids so i looked at dark guys. the hispanic guy was cute, but i wasn't attracted to him. i talked it up as more than it was because i really wanted to find him attractive. you know how you can think someone is good-looking but you're not attracted? that's how it was with him. 

but i was so determined to like a good mormon guy because that was right after i decided to go back to church and be celibate and get married to a mormon guy and i was reaching for someone i could be attracted to. i wanted to be excited about someone who was a guy. 

plus, i was a little upset because when i had prayed to the Lord and promised to be celibate until i got married my old hairy bearded mean professor came into my head and i just couldn't believe the Lord would want me to marry someone like that so i was very determined to find someone who looked how i wanted my future husband to look, with dark skin and no facial hair! and i think the mean prof came into my head to test me to see if i would really marry who the Lord told me to marry. 

and then there was my friend [mormon friend], from [city], who is half black and half-white, and a very good mormon, and very smart, a former [political officer] to [country], etc. and i convinced myself that he was who i was supposed to marry and i told all my friends here that i was trying to like him (everyone thinks it's so weird when i say that but that's what i was trying to do!) and i went to go see him in [different city] when he was giving a talk. 

but on my trip to [different city] i realized i was forcing something that wasn't there - that he wasn't interested in me as more than a friend. on my end, i wasn't attracted to him, but i didn't expect to be attracted to my husband. i figured it could develop into at least somewhat of an attraction after we got married and we had sex and bonded more, but i never could wrap my head around actually being attracted to my husband.

but knowing robert hannibal has changed my previous attitude. i was attracted to robert hannibal right away, though we also had sex right away, so it's hard to separate the two, but i am so attracted to him. i am even in love with him. so now i know it is possible for me to be attracted to a man and to be in love with a man, and now that is what i want in my husband.

In my email, I was referring to the prayer and promise I made to be celibate in Nov. 2008. This was right after I had been seeing "Dan," the Filipino guy I was willing to marry so I could have an open marriage and have orgies and girlfriends.  I realized while seeing him that such a marriage is not the best environment in which to raise children.  And I want to be a mother more than anything. 

So that November 2008 I prayed and promised the Lord that I would be celibate until I got married (a promise I obviously did not keep), and that I would marry whoever the Lord wanted me to marry.  

One of my former professors, who is bearded, white, hairy, and brilliant but extremely condescending, came into my head, so that is the reference I am making in that email.  I think the Lord just put my condescending professor in my mind to test me, because there is no way I would marry someone like that.  I've always wanted dark kids with brown skin, and I need to marry someone dark in order for that to happen. 

Besides, now that i know what it's like to be attracted to a man, to love a man, I can't just marry anyone.  I want to love who I marry. 

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Mormon Lesbian Version of The Weed: Club Unicorn: June 2012

The Weed: Club Unicorn: In which I come out of the closet on our ten year anniversary

When I read the “Club Unicorn” blog post by the Weed, where he announces that he’s gay but in a happy marriage to his wife, I couldn’t help smiling.  I could completely relate to the post, and, to some extent, I feel like I’m the female version (though there are many differences!) of Josh Weed.  After meeting and falling in love with Robert Hannibal, I knew it was possible to have same-sex attraction (and really, no opposite-sex attraction) but still love, and love being intimate with, a person of the opposite sex. 

This was my response in the comments section of Weed’s blog post:

“I am so glad to have found another person who understands what I've gone through, only a different gender.  All my life I have only been sexually attracted to women and have had zero attraction to men.  But then I fell in love with a man. And I love having sex with him.  However, as much as I enjoy sex with him, I have never orgasmed with him (sorry if that's too graphic) and I still am very, very attracted to women.  I completely agree with your explanation of intimacy and how that makes all the difference.  So thank you for sharing.”

Since then, I’ve read posts by other bloggers 1) questioning Josh Weed’s happy marriage to and love for his wife; 2) warning of the failures of mixed-orientation marriages; 3) asking how Weed can find sexual fulfillment; and 4) wondering how Weed could be true to himself in such a marriage.

I find all these concerns misplaced.  Let me address each one.

1) Is it real love? - Many people who identify as homosexual say that their attraction to those of the same gender is not just about sex – it is about love.  They love someone of the same gender, they have emotional connections with the same gender – their attraction is beyond sex.   A person of the same gender is who they want to spend time with, who they want to be around, who they love.

So if this type of love is true and accepted when someone who identifies as homosexual shares it with another of the same sex, why is this same love not considered true when it is shared by someone who identifies as homosexual for someone of the opposite sex?  Josh Weed shares an emotional and intimate connection, a deep love, with his wife.  How is that not considered real, or true?

2) Mixed orientation marriages - Several factors contribute to a successful or unsuccessful marriage: educational background, culture, race, religion, class status, nationality, temperament, personality, etc.  Some marriages succeed despite the couple being different in nearly every way, some marriages fail despite strong similarities, and vice versa. 

What matters is the couple’s commitment to each other, to the marriage.  The Weed marriage has been going strong for ten years, and Josh and Lolly have each professed and demonstrated their commitment to their marriage.  That commitment is more important than anything else.

3) Regarding sexual fulfillment, I can only use my own experience to understand Josh Weed’s intimacy with his wife. 

I have always thought the female body to be so beautiful, and the male body, even the most idealized male body, to be so ugly.  Simply put, seeing a naked man turns me off, seeing a naked woman turns me on.  And the idea of women being together turns me on so fast. 

In terms of my experience, sexual pleasure for me occurs when I am with women.  Having sex with a man (other than Robert Hannibal) does absolutely nothing for me, but even just being next to a naked women turns me on.  And I can only orgasm by myself when I think of two (or more) women together. 

That being said, sex with Robert Hannibal is the most wonderful sex I’ve ever had, more wonderful even than my sex with women.  This may sound strange, because I can orgasm with women, and of course I love when women bring me to orgasm, but I’ve never orgasmed with Robert Hannibal.  And yet I prefer sex with Robert Hannibal over sex with any women, even my ex-girlfriend, whom I also loved.  If I had to make a choice where I could either only have sex with Robert Hannibal for the rest of my life or only have sex with women, Robert Hannibal would easily win.  It is not even a contest. 

Why is that?  As Josh said in his post, intimacy and connecting with someone you love – that is “sex at its deepest level.”  The chemicals released when I have sex with Robert Hannibal give me far greater pleasure than those released when I orgasm with a woman, no matter how intense the orgasm.  Being intimate with someone I love is the greatest feeling in the world, and that is true sexual fulfillment. 

4) For those who say Josh Weed is not being true to himself - How can someone other than Josh Weed tell Josh Weed he’s not being true to himself?  Isn’t Josh Weed himself the best person to know if he’s being true to himself? 

If Josh Weed is happy, and feels that he is leading a fulfilling life, and loves his wife and wants to be with her, and loves his children, and if Josh Weed feels he is being true to himself, who is anyone else to say otherwise?  How do all these people know what’s best for Josh Weed?  How do they know better than Josh Weed does? 

What about a man whose wife is getting older, and he still loves her, but he also still finds himself attracted to younger women, just as when he was a young man?  Is he being true to himself by staying faithful to his aging wife?  And she him? 

Or consider a man who really loves group sex but falls in love with a woman who only wants a monogamous relationship.  If he gives up group sex to commit himself to her, is he being true to himself? 

To take it to a ridiculous level, what about someone who loves the taste of white sugar, but develops an allergy or an illness and thus can’t have white sugar anymore.  Suppose this person begins eating healthier foods and grows to love the taste of natural sugars found in fruits.  Is this person being true to himself? 

Again, the test to determine if someone is being true to himself is if the person feels happy and fulfilled.  And the best (and really, only) person to make that determination is the person himself.  

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Travolta Gay Rumors, Scotty Bowers Book Re: Secret Sex Lives of the Stars and Book Describing Marilyn's Lesbian Affairs

Regarding accusations that John Travolta sexually harassed male masseurs - that is one thing. No one should take advantage of his/her power or influence and harass anyone else, sexually or otherwise.

But all the talk about these accusations proving that Travolta is gay reminds me of the recent book by Scotty Bowers, “Full Service: My Adventures in Hollywood and the Secret Sex Lives of the Stars” (see NY Times review here and laweekly.com review here). Some of the stars named in the book were predominately “straight” but had same-sex affairs. Bowers himself, who had flings with many of the male stars, married a woman.

Now, is it really so unusual for someone who identifies as “straight” to be attracted to the same sex? Years ago I briefly dated “Lisa,” who worked in the film industry. She told me that literally all the girls on set, basically straight girls, flirted with her and tried to get with her.

I asked Lisa why in the film industry there seems to be so much same-sex action, even among primarily straight people. I mentioned that I never heard of any same-sex flirtation at my job, or in other industries where my other friends worked. Lisa said that, for many people, the entertainment industry represents a fantasy where people can do what they want. They’re not limited to being gay or straight – they can be with whomever they want to be with.

Now, “Full Service” is certainly not the first book or article to say that many stars of yesteryear had same-sex affairs, nor will it be the last. For instance, my major celebrity crush as a teenager, Marilyn Monroe, had at least two lesbian encounters, one with her drama coach and one with Joan Crawford, according to the recently released transcript of tapes she gave her psychologist shortly before her death.

Though to be sure, many books are written expressly to cause controversy and thus gain sales. For instance, celebrity journalist Darwin Porter’s new book, “Marilyn at Rainbow’s End,” claims that Monroe had lesbian flings with Marlene Dietrich, Barbara Stanwyck, the aforementioned Joan Crawford, and the simply luscious Elizabeth Taylor. “The Globe” tabloid writes regarding the rumors in this book: “But in her diary, Liz wrote about a sexual encounter with Marilyn after a June 1961 Frank Sinatra party. ‘Her touch was electric,’ Taylor said. ‘I wanted to see how far the b**** would go. But she had to do all the work.’”

Granted, a “celebrity journalist” and a tabloid are sparking these rumors. Who knows if the stories are really true? I have not read Porter’s book, and cannot verify any of the author’s claims. (But I hope the Elizabeth Taylor rumor is true, as she will always be the celebrity I am most in love with, the most beautiful woman who has ever lived!)

And regarding the Marilyn transcripts, who knows how accurate the transcription is? Though I have to say I don’t see any reason for the tapes to have been transcribed incorrectly. Regardless, I don’t find it outlandish at all that Monroe, who starred in my first sexual dream, could have had many lesbian encounters, and in fact I find it quite believable.

I have not read Bowers’ book either, but from the reviews and interviews with Bowers that I have read, I don’t think the book is a fraud or just a sales ploy. Bowers seems very candid, decent, and genuine in interviews. Besides, I think it perfectly reasonable that celebrities in the past had same-sex affairs. And if stars in the past had same-sex affairs, why not today’s stars?

Further, why would celebrities be any different from everyday, ordinary people? Aren’t we all human? Aren’t we all sexual beings? Don’t straight girls talk about girl crushes and straight men talk about man crushes? What if a straight girl acted on her girl crush? Would that automatically make her a lesbian?

No. Somehow we need to get past the binary world of gay/straight. On Kinsey’s scale, most people, although they may be closer to one end or the other, do not fall completely on one side. I am convinced that most people are some level of bisexual. Freud introduced the concept of innate bisexuality in all humans, and I agree with that. The potential is there for everyone, but individual experiences and behaviors can strengthen certain feelings and lessen other feelings. And not everyone is born with the same degree of bisexuality, let alone acts on such feelings.

To that end, sexuality is even more precisely described as a spectrum, as I first discovered in a post by Shashauna P. Thomas, to which I eagerly responded. Sexuality on a spectrum allows for greater fluidity. And as such, I don’t think John Travolta is completely gay or completely straight. He probably enjoys sex with men but I think he really loves his wife as well. His sexuality, like everyone’s, falls on a spectrum. In fact, I think very few people are completely homosexual. (Though I used to think I was. Until I met Robert Hannibal.)

For me, the larger issues with Travolta concern sexual harassment and adultery. If he did sexually harass others, that is wrong. If the Travolta-Preston marriage is a monogamous one, and these accusations of affairs are true, then he did cheat, and that is wrong.

But if he and his wife are in an open marriage and have a polyamorous relationship and understanding, then he did not cheat. Yet, notwithstanding the openness of the marriage, any harassment is wrong.

Regardless, I am tired of people assuming that because someone has had same-sex affairs it must mean the person is gay. No, it just means the person is a human, a sexual being. Aren’t we all?