Alright ladies, gentlemen, and gender-fucks, lets be honest: I’m young. Not in the,”wow, he’s so underage its illegal” sort of way, but rather in the sense that I moved toChicago for school less than a year ago. Now, I shirk at the inevitable label as”baby-gay”, since for the majority of my post-pubescent life, I’ve been out of the closets repressive grasp. In many senses, I’ve openly identified as gay since the raging hormones pulsing through my adolescent body told me I was far more interested in my sexy literature teacher than his sprightly and young female TA. But all this aside, few ask for my life story before placing the inevitable labels which so haunt sexual communities.
Bottom, twink, vanilla, jail-bait; all these titles (and more) have been so luxuriously assigned to me throughout my stay in the city. But what’s a poor boy to do? I sincerely lack the ability to change the hearts and minds of those caught in identity politics. Furthermore, as a young man, I firmly refuse to be tied down by anything in life, for I am meant to explore in my waning youth, not limit myself.
After months of violation, I have recently learned to accept the leers and inappropriate comments, and subsequently they have slowed to a trickle (presumably from a renewed sense of identity which I have learned to outwardly present). However, that is not to say that this does not all follow me occasionally. Take, for example, earlier this evening, when I tumbled on the bed of a young man whom I had recently been acquainted with. As we fumbled about, I became bored. I was not what he assumed me to be, and nor was he what I had desired. Needless to say, it ended poorly. But it got me thinking, if outward appearance is a presentation which portrays a narrative of who we are as sexual beings, must I adjust my wardrobe or sacrifice my sexual preferences for the easier (and less expensive) option?
The mental exercise must first be placed in context. My sense of style has been described as hipster, twink-y, boyish, and “tight”, (whatever THAT means) apparently presenting a certain portrait of my sexual desires and experience. As such, I am treated accordingly. I do not, however, dress in form to what my sexual preferences that day will be, and as such, am left in a conundrum. I do, however, dress in a way which makes me comfortable, and furthermore, carry myself in a way that is true to my personality. Sex, of course, is the pursuit of orgasm, and thus I dress and act differently than how I do in bed. So must I conform to the rigid guidelines socially determined and placed upon us?
The conclusion, of course, is a resounding no. I will be myself in all arenas of my life, and as long as I am content I shall refuse to change. Radical, no? I am not, however, a revolutionary. Ever day I spend at Tulip, I see individuals who appear to be the most virginal and cloistered of people, and yet they purchase our harshest whip and ball gag. Likewise, the most hardened and sexual customer may have never achieved orgasm, and is shopping for their first vibe. Instead, we present in a way which comforts us emotionally, physically, or intellectually. Some may choose to make it an expression of their sexual desires, yet others may flaunt such restraints and instead dress in an expression of their true selves. None of us are liberated from the confines of social convention, yet some choose to engage in it in greater or lesser forms. This is not a judgment on those who chose either path, but rather a statement of fact. In whatever way one feels comfortable, one should act. And thus, I will not change how I dress, or who I am, because of what others think, instead I will bite the bullet and embrace whatever unfortunate circumstances (or satisfying ones for that matter) ensue henceforth. I am happy with who I am, and I encourage all to express themselves however they please. If that means linking outward appearance and expression of personality in accordance with sexual desires, than so be it, but if it means the opposite, than express yourself accordingly. We must be who and what makes us comfortable and feel an inner sense of peace and safety, and as such, be who you are, not who you think you should be.
Tulip, of course, holds many ways to explore identity and expression. Some ideas are below:
-Packies: Play with gender however you might identify! Our premium packing penises are affordable, accessible, and exciting.
-Lingerie: Both our Maison Close and Lucy B. brands are goldmines of sexy undergarments
to express your sexual self. Includes multipurpose clothing, as well, for in or out of the bedroom.
-DITC: Our ever-popular Dikes in the City line of street-clothing is a fabulous way to support a local Queer-women owned company, and be the talk of the town with your sexy yet practical new garb.
-And so much more! As long as you’re being yourself, Tulip has the option for you.