Saturday, May 28, 2011

Ugly Girl vs. Pretty Girl

Working at O'Hare, two kinds of straight (usually white) men really stand out. The airport construction worker and the elitist businessman, and they stand out because they're similar in how they hit on me. Because they assume that I have a vagina*, apparently that means I'm there for their advances. I tend to ignore them, especially since they hit on all "women" equally and a flight attendant will probably kick them out - you go, girls!

But then these guys will call me pretty. I don't want to be pretty, I want to be smart. Firstly, I don't see how Michael Cera can be pretty to these skeezy guys. Secondly, my appearance is not an invitation. I know that some of these guys, usually the construction workers, probably think that calling me a "pretty girl" is the utmost compliment and they probably mean well. How are they supposed to know that I would be irritated while their wives/daughters/etc. appreciate it?

Throughout school, especially when I broke my nose at 9, I was The Ugly Girl. Of course, now I know that it was because I was malnourished, abused and generally disconnected from my own body. At the time, it was incredibly painful. Up until 8th grade, I saved up all my money for plastic surgery, I mildly dieted and stuffed my bra. Then I embraced my Ugly self and actively decided to walk my own path as an Ugly person. I honestly thought "if Ringo Starr could be a BEATLE with his giant nose, I can be a normal person with mine."

In high school, though, my acceptance of my Ugliness didn't make rejection any easier. Now I know that a couple people did have crushes on me, but I was still holding out on my Prince Charming who would perceive some personal beauty beyond my malnourished, abused body (as though such personal beauty couldn't exist without that validation). And I wasn't willing to act dumb or to give flattery where it wasn't due, so my refusal to compromise with stupidity made me even more alone romantically. And then some guys bet each other to ask me out.

At college**, though, things finally opened up. Firstly, I WAS IN A HEALTHY, NOT ABUSIVE PLACE!!! Secondly, a mind-centric group was available. I was finally able to form myself and to pick my scene. Things turned around!

It's not that I don't want to be perceived as pretty, just not 24/7. Or even 8/5. How about 2/3, two hours a day three days a week? When I CHOOSE to be perceived as pretty. Although I would absolutely never choose to relive those Ugly years the same way, being The Ugly Kid taught me to value smarts over beauty. I'd far rather be called "smart person" than "pretty girl."

* one of the many reasons why I love it so much when people call me "sir" or get confused in public bathrooms

** at an all-women college, a lot of students really enjoyed not being "pretty" (makeup, done-up hair, jewelry, heels, bras, etc.) all the time. However, a lot of women there thought that they MUST do/wear these things when a man, even a gay man, was around. I could never get a reason out of them as to why.

Monday, May 23, 2011

A New Trend


And then my real post:

Either I've struck gold or there's a new trend - I'm choosing to believe it's a new trend - since masculine/androgynous chicks are a hot commodity.

When I was in middle school, high school and college (an all-women college!!), there were many many girls who felt like they had to choose between male attention and their own "masculine" interests. "I love math, but I want to get a boyfriend," or "I always wanted to learn woodworking, but I got married." AAAAHHH SO STUPID!!! And now, particularly when I'm at work, those kinds of women can't have simple conversations with their boyfriends/fiances/husbands.

Clearly, I didn't give up my interests in order to snag a man, even before I came out of the closet. And that makes me really attractive to a lot of straight men now, which I NEVER expected. Knowing sci-fi, carrying a pocketknife, and having welding experience are not only things I enjoy but they also are apparently pretty sexy. This means that, at least at work, I converse with straight guys while their women get very jealous of me. But because they abandoned their interests in order to get a man, all they can contribute is "look, honey, Bristol Palin is on the cover of People magazine!"

At first I thought that I'm just really lucky, but then I talked with a flaming friend who said that most straight guys, regardless of social group, are into "bi girls" now. Whether it's Jersey Shore types into girls making out with each other or nerds into masculine/androgynous women, we're where it's at now!

My point is...
fuck it

Thursday, May 19, 2011

SlutWalk Chicago, My Sex Positivity is calling for submissions regarding one's sex positivity. Here is my submission:

1. First and Last Name, Age, Neighborhood (or suburb) of Chicago in which you live
K. Kriesel, 25, Edgewater

2. How do you promote sex positivity in Chicago?
My first priority, regarding sex positivity, is to heal from my own sexual assault. This involves decreasing the intensity and frequency of my triggers, separating completely from the person who raped me, maintaining control over my 50% of any relationship, and, maybe most importantly, integrating this experience into my identity. Through the Chicago chapter of the Adult Survivors of Childhood Abuse (, of which I am a co-secretary, I am reaching those goals.
I am also promoting sex positivity by having enthusiastically consensual sex! When one of my lovers described sex as communication, I took that concept and ran with it. Flowing from discussion, to sex, to artistic expression, to reflection, and again, I keep a sexual dialogue (trialogue?) going. Sometimes a simple, frank conversation can open doors. Also, as a genderqueer person perceived as a bicurious lesbian with biomale lovers, I break boundaries and answer questions - usually with more questions.
Also, I have a blog:
I have an online gallery of my artwork:
And I write articles for

3. What sort of changes would you like to see in Chicago in regards to sex positivity?
The person who sexually assaulted me did so because she was not sexually aware. She thought that, because we're both females, whatever she did to me could not be sexual. She was also extremely sexually repressed and acted out her lack of self-connection through controlling me.
By taking control of my own sexuality as well as by facilitating discussion and educating others, I am promoting sex positivity as a prevention technique. Sexual taboos and rape culture are two sides of the same coin. Through sex positivity, personal issues of sex-as-control can be resolved through discussion, expression and consensual activities.
Also, gender and sex policing occurs here too often. The concepts of "you are your biology" and "pick a side" (regarding both gender and sexuality) are still rampant and don't help anyone. The lesbian and gay movement has been fighting for so long to be valued as individuals rather than through the sexes involved in relationships - but the social bind between anatomy and destiny is still there. In some circles, there is no room for fluidity. I want to see this policing end, to see individuality and fluidity welcomed and celebrated.
Simply, to break the social taboos over talking about sex, power play, sexual assault, gender and sexuality.

4. Why do you support SlutWalk Chicago?
Firstly, for its initial cause. Rape is rape because it is nonconsensual. A person's garb is not consent. There is no connection between clothing and consent. This ties in to other issues regarding sexual assault: all sexual assault is violent, certain bodies are there for others' taking, etc.
Secondly, to demonstrate my control over my own sexuality. My body is mine, I define it and I choose what to do with it. Should I choose to march in "slutty" clothing, I would be allowing others to see my body, not giving. I would control my 50% of the situation.
Thirdly, in what other way could I walk down the street in lingerie and feel safe?

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Love vs. Loyalty

The concepts of love and being in love have been heavy discussion topics with my lovers over the past few weeks. What's the difference between loving someone and being in love with someone? Does being in love imply priority or commitment? How do you keep your sanity when you're reeling in love? How do you handle being in love when there's a third party and potentially more?

Honestly, I don't see what the big deal is. Then again, I tend to fall in love fast and, without trying, pull my prey in with me. I dunno why, maybe it's because I'm a Libra or maybe it's because, like Brandie and I used to say, "I don't DO ANYTHING!" And I admit that I'm also in love with being in love; by no means do I seek out people just to get into that state, I just enjoy it that much more whenever it happens. Both of my current situations are surprises, they were not expected at all when I started my Slut Odyssey.

Being in love is an emotional/spiritual state. It heightens your experiences, it makes you floaty and art and music and good food and sensuality are all saturated. It's separate from logic and one can still function on logic while enjoying the lovey-dovey trip. And yes, it can be scary and painful - particularly when the end happens. In High Fidelity, Nick Hornby wrote that emotionally involved people can pull some cherished emotions out of bittersweet ends. Which doesn't mean that falling out of love is a goal, just that some people ride out the feelings similarly to falling in. Yeah, I've done that.

A big deal to me is to become loyal to someone. Where love is emotional/spiritual, loyalty is more logical and can also be a heightened state. Loyalty is a respect of someone's judgement and a value of someone's character. For example, X is in a situation where I'm not and I only find out what happened through a third party. Without loyalty to X, I'd say "I have no idea what happened, I'm not going to get involved." When I'm loyal to X, I'd say "I trust that X said or did the right thing, even though I wasn't there."
It takes a lot more for me to become loyal to someone, and my loyalty can outlast the period of being in love with that person. It's also much more painful for someone to betray that trust, mostly because it means the person has almost betrayed who they used to be but also because it decreases the value of my judgement. It's hurt more when exes have acted stupidly out of character than when we've fallen out of love. Just like love, loyalty doesn't necessitate commitment or obligation.