Tag Archive | asexuality

Brothers & Sisters

I have been thinking a lot about incest over the past couple of days, particularly between siblings. This is probably due to the fanfiction I have finished recently that is based on the BBC series, Sherlock, and the relationship between the Holmes brothers.  For, in the last episode, His Last Vow, Mycroft Holmes says to his brother, “Your loss would break my heart”, and this sparked off an idea in my mind for a fanfiction where the reason behind Sherlock’s apparent asexuality and sociopathy is a suppressed traumatic childhood memory.  The discovery of this incident then leads Sherlock on to the realisation that he is the only person who can properly love his brother and vice versa. I realise that most people prefer – when they do contemplate homosexual pairings in this series – Johnlock and Mystrade, to use the appropriate portmanteaus (on a grammatical tangent, the plural of portmanteau, really should be portmanteaux!), or even the less common pairing of Sherlock and Moriarty, but in my fanfiction dabbles I have always preferred writing either the obvious couple or – if a plausible enough scenario occurs to me – a really obtuse and rarely imagined romantic pairing.

This is not my first odd pairing, which is why I have ended up reflecting on my opinions regarding incest.  Other story pairings I have used include Peter and Susan Pevensie from C.S. Lewis’ Narnia books and Cesare and Lucrezia Borgia (as portrayed by F. Arnaud and H. Grainger in The Borgias) and going on to pairings that I enjoy reading about, they include Vlad and Ingrid Dracula from the children’s show Young Dracula and Jaime and Cersei Lannister from the Song of Ice and Fire franchise.  Some are established in their own right but some are specifically fanmade so there is variety and that is just my background, but I just can’t pin down what makes incestuous relationships so intriguing and addictive to me.

I do just have to remind people at this point that I have no siblings or have never considered entering into such a relationship and never will, but just reading and watching them play out and how they seem to be – in most cases that I have seen on TV/in stories online – such sturdy and positive relationships, whereas I generally perceive non-incestuous relationships to be such hard work and so flawed that I find that now I don’t believe there is anything wrong with incestuous relationships on the most basic level as an agreement between two consenting adults of whatever gender. Of course, in reality problems do arise when a heterosexual, genetically close couple conceive and that, naturally, is an issue.  I do not pass over that lightly or ignore it in any way, which is why incest is a problem, but in a fictional and sometimes fantastical environment, this can easily be avoided and incest doesn’t seem to be a problem any more…with the exception of Joffrey Baratheon!

People talk about falling in love and being part of a star-crossed love affair that occurs so quickly and with such passion that acquaintances jump straight to lovers, bypassing the friend stage.  It is this aspect of some relationships that dooms them before they begin.  Lovers ought to be friends before they embark on their lovers’ journey; it makes for a happier and healthier voyage, if you ask me.  When siblings realise that maybe the person with whom they find themselves in love is their brother or sister, that strong foundation is already there.  Sure enough it is the foundation of family, but there is still something strong and intimate underlying their romantic relationship.

In my only relationship, I decided to throw my lot in with one of my friends but we were never that close before we hooked up and there was no real knowledge of each other there and it led to awkwardness and discomfort and lo and behold: the relationship lasted barely a couple of months and – retrospectively – I feel was doomed before it began.  It would have been much easier and much more comforting to me had we possessed some level of brother-sister love before we got involved with each other.  Now, I am scared of everyone and everything that implies commitment on a romantic level and there are really only five people I know in the world other than my father, whom I trust enough to commit myself to (not romantically!).

Two of the delusions of the past decade that I have enjoyed and have eased my life and distress the most have been the female party in one of the incestuous partnerships I have listed above.  One, which I have already confessed to, is that of Lucrezia Borgia which is still ongoing in the background of Cordelia Chase and the other, is the summer I spent being Susan Pevensie.  In both of these, the sister is the younger figure and the older brothers – Cesare and Peter – are both sources of strength, protection and love, which I think is what I hold dear.  Also, there is the fact that a lover can leave, a husband can divorce you and a boyfriend can cheat, but eternally, a brother and sister are bound together. I can put this affinity with older male siblings down to the fact that I was never protected by the men around me, only hurt and left in the dark to be hurt by others.

Furthermore, the only male family role that is still pure and untouched by reality is that of a brother as I have never had a blood brother, though I do consider two of my best friends brothers in every sense of the word except blood, which has led to confused feelings for both of them at different points in my life…I won’t deny that. I know I cannot possibly expect people to concur with me unanimously concerning the rightness or wrongness of incest, but I do hope this small glimpse into my mind and the way it processes the concept of brotherly and sisterly romantic love and how it can bring comfort to those who need it most but can get it from very few places will make you think more about flippantly denouncing forbidden (and immoral) relationships out of hand because that is what society and – in some cases, science – has encouraged us to do without considering all the available information.

This instinctive behaviour was first brought to my attention during my English Literature A levels during the study of Arundhati Roy’s The God of Small Things, a novel that is truly close to my heart, which I think everyone everywhere should read.  I don’t want to spoil things for anyone, but the ending was so vehemently disliked in my class by everyone except me that I truly believe that people say things and do things in a group environment without thinking but if even one person stops to reflect on personal and complicated issues such as incest for themselves because of this post, I will be the most happy, though hopefully, unlike the first bearer of that motto, my head will remain attached to my body for the foreseeable future.

Just for those of you who might be vaguely interested to read more, below, I have included the links to three of my stories concerning incest.  So I hope you do read them if you think you can do so with an open mind and do leave me a review and mention you followed the link here.

On Lucrezia and Cesare Borgia: https://www.fanfiction.net/s/9342924/1/La-Bella-Borgia (incomplete)

On Mycroft and Sherlock Holmes: https://www.fanfiction.net/s/10714930/1/Break-My-Heart (one-shot; complete)

On Susan and Peter Pevensie: https://www.fanfiction.net/s/8677241/1/Odi-et-Amo (on hiatus)

LaBellaBorgia Speaks,

P. Mistry-Norman

04-11-2014

Queer or Straight as Folk?

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“Queer as Folk” 1×22; Brian (Harold) and Justin (Harrison) at prom

The title of this blog is “an insight into a medium mind” and I feel that I haven’t really been true to that title so I am attempting here to reacquaint myself (and this blog!) with it.  This will come about through me divulging my thoughts and sentiments regarding the series Queer as Folk (the USA/Canada adaptation, not the Russell T Davies original show).

If you’ll permit me – if you won’t, please do skip this paragraph of vague summarising – I’ll just lay out the basic plot and premise of the show so you can better understand the significance and appeal of the TV series, if you haven’t seen it already.  It revolves around the lives of five homosexual men living in Pittsburgh, PA along with various other homo/heterosexual characters who affect their lives in weird and wondrous ways.  As you might have gathered by this point, I am a sucker when it comes to a good pairing or love story.  This show – in an eerily different manner to Angel or The Borgias – has exposed me to and made me appreciate a different but equally (if not more!) potent love: namely, that shared by the promiscuous and commitment-phobic Brian Kinney and ingenu, seventeen year old Justin Taylor played by Gale Harold and Randy Harrison respectively.  They go through an on again, off again relationship throughout the five seasons of the show but in the end, they go their separate ways in a refusal to settle for each other and to be men who they aren’t simply to keep one another selfishly.  However, in spite of the relationship’s conclusion, it is Justin’s determination and conviction that Brian is ‘the one’ despite the age gap between them combined with Brian’s desire not to be or to show vulnerability that renders their romance riveting.

I have to go into my personal feelings and experience regarding sexuality and in particular, homosexuality here.  It would be virtually impossible to write this post without exploring those topics in more depth.  Firstly, I’ll tackle sexuality – especially my own – here.  I am not sure I’ve yet come across a term that can aptly describe my sexuality as it rests somewhere in a remote, lonely alcove between bisexuality and asexuality.  I have long believed that I have no primal (or otherwise!) yearning to be in a relationship or engage in sexual activities ever again and I don’t ever see a person and feel any impulse of true sexual drive whatsoever.  That being said, I do differentiate between sexual driveand sexual attraction: one being the physical and active power and the other being more of a chemical and cerebral feeling.  Lack of sexual drive is an aspect of my feelings and nature that pushes me towards the asexual camp but I am sporadically taken aback by the occasional thought of, “bloody hell that guy really does it for me” or “Jesus H. Christ, I could imagine myself with that woman there,” which gives me a hell of a shove towards the bisexual bivouacs!  At first, I thought that this was merely a great ability to appreciate the human form in all its shapes, sizes and sexes and all its beauty, but since I stumbled onto Queer as Folk and found that I am utterly and hopelessly entrammelled by Brian and Justin’s relationship, I do wonder…

Furthermore, the programme has diverted me away from contemplating physical and sexual love (the ‘Aphrodite’ of love, if you’ll accept some Greek mythology) and caused me to reflect more on spiritual and emotional love (the ‘Hera’ love).  The latter is what I experience more keenly as I never desire or feel the need to indulge in physical love ever again but am constantly afflicted by an overabundance of sentimental feeling to compensate as a result.  Brian makes the point in season one that all he believes gay men can have during their lifetime is sex and no form of lasting partnership; he even makes the point of differentiating between gay men and lesbians, who apparently – according to him – are more conducive to that type of lifestyle.  That is not the case so much now but it does beg the question: why do so many people in this day and age have such issues with forms of love other than heterosexual and familial?  It is something that perplexes me to no end!

As I come from a staunchly Hindu family on one side, I would never be able to bring home a girl or introduce a female partner to my maternal family (should the desire ever take me) – it just isn’t done.  Therefore, I understand somewhat that some cultures are predisposed to be homophobic or unwilling to accept homosexuality, but an integral part of me wonders if love cannot be bad and unacceptable to the world if it is a virtuous and honest love.  NB. When I say ‘virtuous’, I do not mean it on any religious level, just on an ethical basis!  I have a few gay friends (all men as it happens) and it constantly grieves me that they have to endure and battle through so much in their lives so frequently just to be in love with another man and not be shunned as a result (by their families and countries, mostly).  Love is supposed to make people happy.  It’s meant to enrich people’s lives in all its forms, not cause lovesickness or strife or Russia to throw a post-Eurovision 2014 hissy fit!  Please forgive the rant…  Something that has made me happy in recent days through watching Queer as Folk which is really all about five gay men’s quest and journey to happiness and seeing one of my friends who is now in a homosexual and committed relationship, both of which have made me smile, feel aglow and less concerned that my own love life is dead and 9000 (arbitrary number!) feet under.  Just seeing my old friend and Brian and Justin gain the happiness that has been a long-time coming and so, so, so, so deserved is enough to reinvigorate my life and give me infinite happiness simply because they are happy in the real world and in the made-up world.

I would encourage everyone (once they reach sixteen years of age seeing as it is an explicit show!) to give this trailblazing, well-produced and moving, but hysterically funny show a go.  As I said to my father, The Pillars of the Earth irrevocably alters the way you view churches and cathedrals, Queer as Folk causes you to re-evaluate and – in my case but ought to be in everyone’s – reaffirm the fact that love is beautiful and shouldn’t be abased by anyone regardless of creed, gender, sexuality and race.

“A happy ending was imperative. I shouldn’t have bothered to write otherwise. I was determined that in fiction anyway two men should fall in love and remain in it for the ever and ever that fiction allows, and in this sense, Maurice and Alec still roam the greenwood.”   ~ E.M. Forster, Maurice

So, there you have it, I’ve spoken!  Whether you agree with me or not, my opinion is valid, as is my God-given right to be whatever sexuality I am and my perennial right to feel and give love in whichever form I so choose.

For more information and current events on gay rights and issues, I offer these links to you:

LaBellaBorgia Speaks,

P. Mistry-Norman

27-06-2014

Valentine’s Day Virgins

Firstly, I just want to wish everyone a happy Valentine’s Day, whether you have someone to share it with or not, have a happy day.  Though you might be spending the day and the night alone, as I am and always have and always will, just remember that it is only 24 hours out of a whole year.  Secondly, the point of this post is to share the T-rated version of my virginity story and tell you how it’s affected me in the long term and just to caution people who might read this blog on the day before – I suspect – a lot of girls nationwide and planetwide will wake up with their virginity remembered only as a thing of the past.

Some therapists – ineffective therapists… –  I have seen over the past couple of years of my life have put my social anxiety and my depression down to the night I lost my virginity, but they were barking up the wrong tree entirely.  It all started a long time before that.  That night was just the start of the delusions and panic attacks whenever I even contemplate being intimate with another human being again.  I have wondered occasionally after I have had a series of panic attacks if I have some remnant symptoms of PTSD, but that’s unlikely and my life is hard enough without listing PTSD as part of my cocktail of mental disorders.  There was a time, however, when I couldn’t even watch even the most basic and non-explicit of sex scenes without shaking…

It has to be said right now and with complete sincerity and with no blame held that my boyfriend at the time was not and is not to blame for anything that happened on that night.  If anything, he was the victim and I was the culprit.  It was – after all – my body that once again could not do what it naturally should have had the capacity to do.  He was just as – if not more so – scared and saddened by the unfortunate turn of events of that night as me.  It did spell the end of our relationship for two reasons: I could never contemplate being so vulnerable and hurt during intimacy again and what is a teenage relationship that is sexless?  Doomed, that’s what!

I was only in my one and only relationship for a matter of months but this relationship spanned the rites of passage such as leaving school, passing my A-levels, going on my first holiday abroad with my friends.  In short, it was supposed to be the time in which I truly became an adult, but just as my luck would have it, it was the time in which I reverted most and lost most of the independence I pride myself on.  Stupidly, I had convinced myself that it was my happiest time, but in retrospect, that was childish and the trappings of being in a relationship. Though I was under the misguided delusion that I was truly happy for the first time in my life, I was not.  I have something to confess here and now that no one knows about and perhaps will make people truly think I am a foul person, but nevertheless, it needs to be said.  I went into the relationship with only one goal, one stupid, selfish, sinful, despicable goal in mind: to lose my virginity before I went to university.  What did not occur to me at the time of planning was that not only was I divesting myself of my virginity in an abhorrent manner, but that – unbeknownst to me – I was taking my boyfriend’s virginity in awful circumstances and with terrible motivations and I did not foresee the consequences of my actions: in short, I deserve all that happened to me on that night but I regret so terribly what I inflicted on a man who was my friend and at one point my best friend and someone I respected.

When you lose what little you treasure and respect of yourself, of course, bad things will befall you and it is your lot to take them and accept them as your dues.  I have done that.  I know that I deserve all the bad things that happen to me in life.  Though I have never possessed much self-respect, I lost the minute amount that I ever had in the moment that I decided to act on my plan and I lost everything else including my innocence the moment I knew that plan was going to succeed on that night.

Discussion and reflection aside, I am now going to tell you what actually happened in České Budějovice.  At least, my story has a somewhat exotic location…  I was in the Czech Republic on holiday with my friends and my boyfriend after Year 13 was over and before we all had to receive our A-level results.  It was about midway through the vacation and we both decided to do it having done just about everything else.  Everyone knows that your first time is not as romantic and effortless as some films and TV shows make it out to be, but it’s also not supposed to be the polar opposite!  Carrie comes to mind…

It was a bloody mess.  That is the frank and succinct way to describe the night.  It was going quite well, but in the end, I had to bring everything to a halt because it all hurt too much.  Naturally, I knew I should expect some discomfort, even severe pain, but nothing and nobody prepared me for the agony that it was.  I do blame girls and women of my acquaintance and even society in general for that slightly because there are so few people with whom you can discuss the issue of virginity and what happens when you are going to lose it.  You cannot talk to your mother (and certainly not my mother!) about it, it’s hard to talk about it with other members of your family and if your only female best friend had an easy ‘transition’, you’ve got very little to go on…

Once the motions had stopped, I went away and locked myself in the bathroom and was sick for about 10 minutes straight.  There was also so much blood.  It took me more than half an hour to clean myself up and feel steady enough to leave, in which time he did knock on the door and ask if I was still alive.  When I went back out, red-eyed and already dying inside, it was clear that I was not the only one who had been weeping.  He thought he had killed me there was so much blood and after a confused and awkward couple of minutes, all we did was cuddle for the rest of the night, though I’m pretty sure neither of us got a restful night’s sleep that night.

That is all the detail I am going to go into – it’s enough, don’t you think?  But, the problem with the topic of virginity is that so few people speak about it openly and honestly and if people did that more, I might not hate the thought of relationships for myself and I wouldn’t be looking at a future of single motherhood and be constantly trying to repress my sexuality and become asexual.  It was in the weeks before that I could have benefited from a wider circle of female friends and better relationships with the female members of my family.  To give you a better picture of what I was like in the aftermath, I direct you to the BBC miniseries The Crimson Petal and the White based on the Michel Faber novel of the same name.  The character of Mrs Rackham, played by the talented Amanda Hale, is a mentally ill woman who keeps to her bed after it is implied that her introduction into the conjugal bed was less than gentle and the delivery of her only child was traumatic enough to render her childlike and fragile, was basically how I felt for so long and in some ways, the sexual and adult side of me still feels like Mrs Rackham.  I do encourage you to give the miniseries a chance and watch it if you haven’t already done so as a beautifully produced piece of costume drama that was my life for a month or so and really helped to get me back to the land of the sane and living as far as I ever would return to it.  I still can’t listen to The Four Seasons’ song “December 1963 (Oh, What a Night)” without cringing, which is a shame because it’s a really catchy song but its subject is approached from such a male perspective and with that ilk of male flippancy.

I still cannot watch love scenes without recollecting what happened to me and what I did. I know I’ve said too much but it’s something that I should have told a lot of people much sooner. The only people I have told are my closest circle of friends and a girl, who just wanted to lose her virginity in a nightclub in an against-the-wall arrangement with a stranger, and I wanted to stop her from making the same mistake I did of treating my virginity callously and underestimating its power over me and my life.  I would not wish my existence on my worst enemy and though I have acted selfishly in the past, I do everything in my power now to help people and stop them from making the same mistakes I have made.

Trust me, I know how self-aggrandising that sounds but I do care, probably too much, about others to watch and let them suffer as I have and do.  Since I enjoy myself and take pleasure from life vicariously primarily by watching others both in reality and onscreen and by letting characters live in my head and revel in life through the vessel that is my body and mind, I have to care so deeply about what other people do and think and feel.  I just wish others did the same enough to speak more openly so that other people might learn from their mistakes and avoid such unnecessary and excruciating pain and suffering.

I apologise if this post has offended you or made you wary of what you do tonight but I hope it helps just one person somewhere and if it does, it’s worth it.

LaBellaBorgia Speaks,

P. Mistry-Norman

14-02-2014