I really love this feeling at this time
In this space
Not tomorrow or 5 years from now
Thursday will be a new day
Linger-ments of Wednesday
but not necessarily
THIS Thursday is created new
Nothing is constant
Nor do I want it to be
Nothing is a sure thing
and I am elated for that
Friday we may be different
And not want the same things
I so hope so
Terror and utter bliss
Above is a free-write I did some time ago. I found it while rustling through the many napkins, backs of receipts, edges of brown paper bags torn to lay pen to capture a lighting thought before sound hit and it was gone for good. I read somewhere that if you’re having difficulty moving forward with a project; in this case writing, one should work on something unrelated. So, there I was, on the floor thumbing through folders of word memories. I came across a dated sheet of paper the size of an index card adorned with scribbles, chicken-scratch and yet a new idea that navigated me back to my writing. Although this piece was about something altogether different, multiple ideas resinated for me. This resurrected idea comes full circle with former contemplations about negotiation, sex and love.
My thoughts captured ideas about how I’ve come to desire “relationships.” Relationships in this regard, referring to any intimate or sexual interactions regardless of the length of time together. The above piece in some senses, summarizes what I love and what most of us fear in those interactions–uncertainty. Living in a moment constructed by slabs of boundaries and negotiations. Enough slabs to create a strong foundation for a place, a room, a house–that for years to come, will have its furniture moved around, may stay the same, degrade, be destroyed or be remodeled. We just don’t know. All we can be sure of is that we used the best materials, followed safety guidelines and every so often, tested what we built. There is no certainty of the future, yet we make ourselves believe that we can control it.
“I’ll never leave you.” “I’ll love you forever.” “I’ll always be there for you.” “Never,” “forever” and “always” are absolute certain words uttered from emotions, used to express the wishfulness of such great feats of certainty. As unattainable as these things are, I do understand the poetry of it all. It’s a beautiful sentiment to express, but what happens when that sentiment is taken at face value and we cannot deliver? Deemed liars and heartbreakers, the promise-crushers are said to have skills that “waste” years off unsuspecting-love-interests lives. For many, its forever or nothing, and the time spend before the break-up become distant distractions from righteous truth tellers of forever. I don’t think it’s a bad thing to want the possibility of a-fairy-tale-forever–but also knowing what reality might bring today. Unfortunately, some of us don’t value the “now”. We bank on the goal of forever and in the process forget about it. What does always and forever represent? Security, love, financial stability, companionship, family? The things we most want can be attained and not at the cost of losing sight of the experiences, memories, and lessons learned in the process.
I’ve grown so much from my relationships throughout the years and will continue to. Some of those intimacies where horrible and some great but all contributed to my journey. I’ve been monogamous and for the past 13 years, practicing polyamory. Sometimes I’ve gotten it right and other times I’ve messed up royally. My experiences took me from trying to jump to a future of proposed satisfaction under the guise of forever, to intentional steps of wonderful moments. I try to feel it all and not skip to the end. It’s amazing to dream of the future but I work hard to not have my head in the clouds so much so that I miss out on the day to day beauty of intimacy.
This is less about polyamory vs monogamy but more about an understanding that we really don’t know what will transpire. Honesty, communication, vulnerability and good intensions are just a few mechanisms we could all use to attain what we want right now. The rest is gravy. Regardless of how your relationships are configured, how many people you love at once, if you’re monogamous, or if you believe in marriage, we all want meaningful relationships. Forever should be the time we take to learn what that actually is.
You might find this hard to believe but I’ve considered writing a book entitled: “Go Fuck Yourself: Self lov’n when you can’t get any.” I know, you’re probably thinking, “WTF!” Yes, in October I went on my “Farewell to My Uterus Tour,” wherein I proclaimed I’d have all kinds of sex before my uterus was taken out. Oh and yes, after my 6 weeks of recovery, decided to go on my unofficial “Welcome to My Orgasms Tour” where I vowed to have as many orgasms as I desired so I could reconnect with them in my some-what new body. Don’t get me wrong, I went, I concurred and I came…and came… and came…
…Now here’s the big BUT…
I’ve realized that lately, the sex I have, although quite wonderful, I have because of certain factors–myself, my chosen family, play parties or kinky events. These are the things and people that make me getting laid possible. I practice a lot of self-love. Thank goodness for that. My chosen family is always there to lend a helping hand in that department and play party/ kinky events are created for such happenings. What has been deficient, is the flirt, the “dating” for lack of a better term, and the excitement of a new interaction that’s not a one-night stand. These things have been absent for the most part. I mean it’s happened sporadically but if I had to put a percentage on it, it’d be very, very low.
I either get people talking to me, responding to me, and touching me in non-consensual ways because they think they know me. I’m a sex educator, a sex worker, and I talk about sex. Therefore, I should be down for it any time any place with anyone. WRONG! Then on the other end, I have people (who I’m attracted to and vise versa) that never flirt with me or try to initiate contact. I’m either bombarded by unwanted advances or essentially “neglected” by people who shy away from me.
“Well, how can this be?” you ask. Let me break it down for you.
I totally understand this reasoning for not coming up to me, flirting and picking me up. What most people don’t know is that, I’m afraid too. Who isn’t? The difference is I stopped letting fear dictate sex/love actually happening in my life. I go for it and see what happens. In approaching someone, I check the energy between us, am respectful, communicate openly, and am clear about my intentions. I’d like the same for me. I’m not sure if the fear is based on assumption about the kind of person I am, that I’m a public person or that I might say no. Either way, you’ll never find out. I like a good flirt even if nothing ever comes of it.
Put on a pedestal
Quite opposite of being seen as a piece of meat due to my work, I’m put way way up on a pedestal. I’m not a fan of either. I’m flattered and happy that people admire the work I’ve done, whether in porn, at a workshop, a lecture or something I wrote. I’m so delighted that people get it, get me and find truth in my work. When that truth is turned into me being an untouchable super star, it defeats the purpose. I often speak of the importance of communication, negotiation and understanding power in sex. When I’m placed high up, I’m essentially being placed in a position of power that deters others from having the confidence to even have a conversation with me. That power also gives me the upper hand when I approach people. I’d rather have an equal footing with people, especially if we are to negotiate some hot play. I also want people to have the power to turn me down. Putting me high up can grey those lines and I wouldn’t want that. Another down side to this high pedestal is that it doesn’t allow me to “fuck up.” I’m seen as an expert in all things sex and therefore have no room to be human. I’d have to be perfect in bed and live up to that dream. Totally not fair people.
Independent Polyamorous status
I’m not only polyamorous, I’m an independent poly person. For me this means that my primary relationship is to myself and to my daughter. At this time in my life, I do not want to live with anyone romantically. I do not desire a primary relationship. I do not subscribe to forever. I live each moment with people. I just like to be. We like each other, we can have a fling, form an emotional bond that incorporates sex, does not incorporate sex. We can have intimate connections once a month or every couple of months. It flows as we flow. This is how I do relationships. Thus some people wouldn’t touch me with a ten-foot pole. Some people have referred to me as a “Playa.” This, I am not. I don’t use people to get sex. I expect people to be an equal participant in the negotiating and the getting/having sex with me. For other folks, my Indy-poly identity equals “no real relationship.” I guess we have different definitions of relationships. I think people feel comfortable knowing what the “next steps” are when dating. There are no steps in my process, just waves. People often think that I have no longevity in my relationships and that I do not have the capacity to love. That is so very far from the truth. Although using time to validate my relationships is something I don’t’ really do but only when proving to others my love capabilities, I have had long loving connections with people. I do love. I do care. I do need love. I am worth loving. I just don’t want it wrapped in a traditional monogamous package. It’s not for me. My way of doing relationships is seen as limited, too complicated or invalid.
I prefer the pronoun “they, them and theirs.” I accept “he” if I have to and I’m referred to as she by some of my family members. I’m trans identified. I’m also gender queer, gender fluid and two-spirit identified. My gender flows. It has manifested itself in different ways throughout the years. Currently, I’m being seen more as male. I’ve been on testosterone for the past several months. I’m getting used to this new image in the mirror and how my body works. In deciding to take testosterone, it’s solidified my decision NOT to have top surgery. I don’t think I’ve ever really considered it. I think there have been moments of wonder. Mostly due to people invalidating my transness because I have them. This can change but right now, this is what I feel. My gender queerness is true to me. I don’t see myself or identify as a man. I don’t see myself or identify currently as a woman. I am both and neither. I am femininity and masculinity rolled up into one. I am a trans entity. I am a trans entity that is starting to grow a mustache, is husky, loves glitter, paints my toe nails, has a deepening voice, I switch when I walk and I have breasts. “Say What?!!!” Yes I do! I want to work up the courage to choose not to bind at times. Currently, this is what gender queerness looks like for me. My gender presentation makes me elated but worries some people and confuses others. Going back to the “fear.” My gender queerness can be frightening, worrisome, even to people who are interested in me. I think some people are just genuinely afraid to make assumptions, ask the wrong questions or mis-gender me in any way. The confused want me to choose. It perplexes them sexually. Some gay men, trans women and lesbians want me to be a “real” trans man. Some trans guys don’t do other trans guys or if they do, try to put me in a “feminine” position. As if femmes have one position. Ha!! People make assumptions about what I want/do in bed or who turns me on.
They’re just not that into me
Everyone doesn’t have to like me and that is reason enough. There’s no spark, I’m not their type, or they’re just not interested. Understandable. I get it. Valid excuse. Lets move on shall we?
…So, these are some of the reasons I’ve come up with that I think deter people from participating in some good ole flirting and “courtship” practices with me. Then of course there is my own self-doubt. It can be a vicious cycle. People don’t approach me (for insert reason here) and I at times hold back. I think, “they’re not into me,” “they want more than I can offer,” or “they won’t get my gender.” Thereby creating these moments in my life where I have no sexual energy exchange, flirting, sex, kinky play or pick-ups outside of myself, chosen family, play parties or kink events
I teach people about sex, relationship, desire and how to make it all happen. Publicly I’ve advocated for trans and gender queer rights and diversity. I have fought for validation of diverse relationship structures outside of marriage. I strive for sexual liberation. I have been called radical. I have been told over and over again that my work is important. I have been praised for all these things and yet (I assume) that these are the very things that keep others from getting close to me. Isn’t it ironic, don’t you think?
It’s been over 13 weeks since the “Farewell to My Uterus Tour” and 9 weeks since my hysterectomy. What an amazing journey this has been! In October, I decided to go on a tour to celebrate my uterus and say goodbye to her. I took many years to come to the decision to have the surgery. A major reason I held back was the fear of losing my internal orgasms. But alas, medical reasons and painful fibroids helped me come to the inevitable decision to put her to rest. I was scared and when I’m scared, I gotta talk. I need to share. When I don’t, I find that my mental health issues with anxiety and depression swoop in. I isolate, and matters get worse. So, I decided she shouldn’t go quietly. I made the decision to share and encourage others to share. I’m so glad I did.
I took the month of October to celebrate my birthday and rejoice in my uterus. The goal was to have as many orgasms as possible, talk to others (trans folks and cis women) who have had or considered a hysterectomy, and get it all on film. SUCCESS! I played, fucked, came, shot some porn, was on a radio show, connected with my body, began the mourning process, and had fun doing it. I’m so thankful for all my chosen family who met me along the way to join in my journey, and to new friends who supported me. I’ll never forget the pure joy of it all. By the end of my tour, I had achieved all that I wanted. My body was deliciously sore from all the sex and hot play. The last event/party of my tour summed it all up. I was covered in sweat, cum, bruises and tears. What a wonderful release. Everyone sent me off to my surgery feeling satisfied. I feared that I would never again feel that type of powerful internal, ejaculatory pleasure, so I had to go all out, just in case.
On November 1st, I said goodbye to my uterus. My beautiful daughter stayed with me for 3 weeks while I healed. Thank goodness for that-for her. The doctors said it would take at least 6 weeks to heal. I decided they were wrong and thought I’d be fine in 2 weeks. It turns out I was wrong. It was painful. I couldn’t lift anything heavier than a gallon of milk. Coughing and bowel movements hurt like hell. There was also lots of spotting. I was extremely tired and found I needed to rest a lot. I’d say it took me 7 or so weeks to feel completely well.
Even though my surgery had nothing to do with my gender identity re-alignment, it has aided in me feeling closer to how I see myself. 2013 was a year of great transition in lots of ways. Some were extremely challenging and others a necessary joy. Support from my community and blood- and chosen-family truly guided me in all of this.
Thank you!! I am excited for continued growth in this year.
Which brings me to this…
my new ORGASMS!!!
I am ecstatic to report that on December 22nd, I had a powerfully mind blowing internal orgasm. I can’t even express how blissful I am to have the pleasure of experiencing this. So of course, I’m back to my old tricks. I’m doing a little traveling post surgery, still healing and embarking on, “Welcome to my Orgasms!” I’m on a mission to find more of those internal orgasms, talk to some more people and get reacquainted with my sex. Oh, and I’m still filming. Currently, I’m in New York. I’m planning on going to Los Angeles, DC, Connecticut and beyond. Documenting this crossing has and will be momentous! I look forward to it all.
On November 1, 2013 my uterus will be extracted from my body. I really think I’ll miss her but this separation must happen. The decision to have the surgery has taken several years to finalize, initially because I had no health insurance but inevitably due to fear. I love my uterus. It’s given me endless pleasure especially while being fisted. There’s nothing like a good hard punch-fuck session to get your ejaculation flowing. What an intense release! I fear the loss. I’ve gone back and forth about it, talked to countless people who have had the procedure and always returned to “NO! I won’t do it!” The risk seemed just too high for me. The risk of loosing my mojo was too intense to bear. I’ve had the wonderful experiences of having all types of orgasms courteously of me being such a dedicated sexual scientist for the sexual revolution. My work as a sex educator and dedication to sexual liberation propels me to use myself as a test subject and get the true answers to share with you. My countless masturbation and good fucking has lead me to experience clitoral orgasms, g-spot, anal, combination, multiple, fantasy and of course the wonderfully glorious uterine orgasm. I put a lot of time into obtaining this data but it’s been well worth it to share this vital information. Once you have this gem of a “data” you simply can’t go back.
A hysterectomy almost seems like the thing to do right? I’m trans. So, getting one should follow suite. Not! I know plenty of trans guys, gender queers and gender non-conforming folks who keep their uteri because they simply love her or to carry a child, they don’t have health insurance and or they don’t need or want to. In October, I’ll be 42. I don’t plan on having any more children. I’m pretty much over bleeding every month and I’m just tired. I thank my uterus for giving me wonderful gifts. She helped nestled my baby who’s now a grown woman. I was able to experience a right of passage into a young woman. That will always be a good memory. It was an experience I could hardly wait for. It was a part of my personal gender journey. Now my journey continues and my uterus must be laid to rest. The excruciatingly painful periods, the extreme heavy flows and the problematic fibroids are reason enough for me to go forth. I’ve tried a variety of alternatives to surgery but none have fully given me relief. Thus, our farewell.
This farewell to her won’t be done quietly. It will be grand. It will be special. It will be nasty. It will be pleasurable and it will be sad. She has been a part of my body and we have in some senses negotiated the complexities of our co-existence. Nonetheless, she is a part of me and soon no more. I’ve done my research and have come to the conclusion that the stuff written about women, female-bodied, female assigned at birth folks is just fucked up. Its negative, hardly offers hope and give us bad information. Thank goodness for radical sex educators and sex positive people fighting to come to real conclusions about our bodies. My uterus will be gone soon but my orgasms can and will live. My uteral orgasm WILL relocate and I’ll work hard to re-connect with my body after surgery. I’ll make sure to keep you all updated on my rich data collection regarding orgasms post hysterectomy.
In preparation for our farewells, I plan on giving her (and myself), the best going away a uterus ever had. In October (after my birthday on October 1st) I plan on going on the “Farewell to my Uterus Tour.” I’ve commissioned my close friends and chosen family to help her exit my body in style. I’ll be traveling to various places to play, fuck, laugh, orgasm, shoot porn and talk about “the uterus.” Every weekend in October I’ll do one or all of the above things in honor of and departure of my uterus. I’ll keep you posted on social media. This will be amazing!
Weekends in October
2nd New York
3rd Connecticut (see you at Queer Invasion)
4th California (Happily shooting again with Crash Pad Series and Indi Porn Revolution)
Ignacio Rivera M.A., is a queer, Trans, Two-Spirit, Black, Boricua, Taíno who prefers the gender-neutral pronoun “they.” Ignacio is an activist, writer, educator, filmmaker, performance artist and mother.