Sunday, March 13, 2005

identity revisited

on the road back to the city with dacia (i have a car, i have never had a car before, this is a big step towards non-nyc living), we never reached a lull in our conversation.

we discussed the strength of our current support network and how much it will suffer when I leave the city. making new friends is always a challenge (as a girl who moves every three years on average, I can tell you it does not get easier with practice), but it can be especially challenging to us (people who have woven sexuality throughout our lives).

“Hi, I’m jane. I’m a dyke-identified bisexual woman who loves the term “fluid” to describe her sexuality. I have a degree in sexuality, will soon be pursuing my masters in the topic, and no, you can’t be my lab partner. I am a sexuality educator, certified as a sex coach, and a sex worker. I have had more sex in more combinations and circumstances in the last five years than most people will have in their lives. I have a long history of depression and anxiety, a close occasionally-closeted relationship with my family, and a craving to run away to the smokey mountains with a dog. I’m a knitter, potter, and creative mess. Oh, and I’m 22. This identity is subject to change and modification without warning.”

we have our friends who know our history. who knew us “before” — before dacia and jane, before sex work, before sex at all in some cases. do they know us better than more recent friends? do they know the “real” us? and does that imply that our current identities are not “real” or legitimate? dacia and jane represent us, however they are an image we control. in many ways they force us to be more honest with ourselves, but they also can serve as a wall between us and the outside world. and once they are established, how do we change?

lately, several comments and emails have highlighted some of the gaps between jane’s image and my life. i am a sex worker; however, i have not seen a client in months. i can count the number of times i have had sex with a partner (and the number of partners) in the last six months on one hand. i have been focused on my other work and on taking care of myself, mentally and physically.

sex work is exhausting. it is a care-taking profession. every session is centered on the client (which is why we are NOT overpaid). i leave some clients feeling leached by a succubus. when clients email me now, months after my last posting, i can barely harness the energy to respond to their enquiries.

so does this mean I am not a whore? (“I am still called an admiral although I left the sea long ago.”) i am not an active whore. and at this point i don’t know if i will ever go back to the type of services i previously provided. i think i would like to shift back to the more focused educational experiences. i want to teach clients more about their selves (not me, or women, or anatomy, or sexuality in general). i think this will involve a shift to betty dodson-styled sex coaching. it will also involve keeping my clothes on (gasp! imagine…)

i am stuck in a limbo of identities and life styles. i wonder where this will lead.


Blogger Garrison Steelle said...

"You are who you choose to be."

I'm not sure exactly to whom that should be attributed but I know it's not original.

Being "fluid", even in terms beyond sexuality, is not something I see as a negative. This is who I am now. Nine months ago -G didn't even exist. He could disappear at any moment if the situation warranted. Yet, at some level, my identity is irreversably attached to his, and his mine.

So, what is real? The answer is, reality changes. What is now is what is real and everything else is a hopefully pleasant memory.

Dacia wrote about the brief return of a Texas twang to your voice. How long has it been since you actually lived in Texas? How many people, if any, would ever think of you as a Texan? You've moved on. You've changed. You're a New Yorker. You have that identity. Yet, when returning to Texas, you every-so-briefly resumed THAT identity, probably without even thinking about it. You likely wouldn't have noticed had Dacia not been there. You never stopped being you, though.

Names are but a means for other people to identify us. They may effect the way we choose to act, like characters in a play, but they do not change who we truly are. We adapt to different environments when we move from city to city, but the core of our being remains the same.

You are who you want to be.


Congrats on the car! Glad ya'll made the trip safely!


3/13/2005 6:59 PM  
Blogger mainja said...

it's absolutly true that making new friends is difficult. but there are also people who are going to be drawn to your intellect, you ideas, what you have to say. and there are going to be those among them that may become idotic and judgemental when they find out about other areas of your life, but i have faith that there will be people who will enjoy learning about that aspect of your life too.

you sound like an amazing woman and i would be honoured to get to know you, i find it hard to believe that i am8)�� only one.

3/13/2005 7:31 PM  
Blogger Librarian Babe said...

Change is part of growth, and it's wonderful to be able to witness people's growth through their blogs. What works at one part of our lives doesn't necessarily work forever. I suspect that I won't always be a slut who attends sex parties, but right now it's who I am. I think sexuality will always be strong in my life, but in different ways.

I hope you choose to keep this blog going, so I can know how Jane is doing, even if she's not the complete you.

3/13/2005 8:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice Evita reference :)

- Amber

3/13/2005 8:32 PM  
Blogger 00goddess said...

Dacia said y'all went to the Midwest. Garrison says you went to Texas- which is it?! Inquiring blog readers want to know!

3/16/2005 3:55 AM  
Blogger Jane Vincent said...

my folks live in ohio now, but i'm from texas (and my parents are from the south) so hanging around with them brings out the drawl (even when it is displaced in the midwest). so dacia and I went to ohio for the road trip.

3/16/2005 8:51 AM  
Blogger Jane Vincent said...

my folks live in ohio now, but i'm from texas (and my parents are from the south) so hanging around with them brings out the drawl (even when it is displaced in the midwest). so dacia and I went to ohio for the road trip.

3/16/2005 8:51 AM  

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