In the realm of gender studies there is a glaring omission, that of the frontiers. I am a cis, straight, male and I am a heteroromantic asexual tomgirl. I fall into a macro category that would suggest that I’m something that I’m not. That I am a man in the masculine sense of that term. I am not a man and I do not feel like a man. With the recent popularity in horror and true crime and discussions of toxic masculinity, my being a socially awkward Asperger’s person, increasingly hates being a man and I no longer wish to identify as a man in most contexts. I am an effeminate asexual with a romantic orientation but no sexual one and every desire to not be grouped with the main group of men. I wish there was a term for cis males that precluded the aggression, dominance, and sexuality that the word “man” carries with it. Socially, I prefer the platonic company of women and have almost no desire to date and insofar as I would like to, it would be abstinent cuddle/make-out sessions, poetry, and shiny romance. Ultimately in the context of platonic bene-friendships.
Being a heteroromantic asexual is being a man-child in a man’s world. The world lusts for Christian Grey and feels nostalgia for Mister Rodgers while I’m here at Ferris Bueller, Christopher McCandless, and Abbie Hoffman as my personality analogs. I am innocently trying to improv for fun and explore the world with Thoreau-like wanderlust while everyone around me is in an orgy, doing cocaine and vodka, and role-playing Game of Thrones. In the world of sex, violence, and intoxicants everything is dark, on the edge of dangerous, somber, and suffocatingly serious. Having spent my life a sober, virgin, having never been on a romantic date or touched a drug, a drink, or any tobacco I have found adulthood to be a paranoid soap opera devoid of the sunlight, the silliness, and the satire I require to live. Having been through much abuse and faced many abusers, my usual response is not to feel sorry for myself but to smirk and have fun playing with them. If I am ever murdered by a serial killer, my last words will be something witty and I’ll make a joke out of it, largely, because I’d rather die on my feet than live on my knees. The approach of Guido Orefice from Life Is Beautiful.
Not living in the world of adults has gotten me in a lot of trouble in various ways, especially with the Zoomer generation. Gregariousness and strong friendliness scares them and they are too timid for sharp humor. I’d tell deep, wild, stories campfire style over strong coffee and they feel uncomfortable and scurry away to a frat party with cocaine and vodka because it feels like a safe-space in comparison. In high school or college, I didn’t fit in anywhere because there was no wanderlust or guerrilla comedy or anything fun. None of the cliques practiced that. Not even the theater kids. No accents, no costumes, no bitting critiques via mockery of society, no making fantasy, nothing light or creative. There was neither, in the words of Nietzsche, the Apollonian or Dionysian but sub-Dionysian because the Dionysian would suggest something more vivacious and creative than the drunk, monotonal, zombiesm they partied with. High volume, low-quality, hip-hop with with copious amounts of alcohol and drugs and no creativity or wonder or anything vivacious. They’re also afraid of anything and anyone who is eccentric. The safe-space they want is not safe from danger, then they wouldn’t run to the frat party, but safety from the discomfort of art and eccentricity.
Which all circles back to my asexuality and gender nonconformity. It keeps me silly, innocent, and playful and an alien boy in a world of grown men. Between the sub-Dionysian night lives and hyperbolic paranoia of their own psychosomatic slasher movie, I am the golden ponyboy. It’s even a problem with my people on the left. I’m a proud virgin but I feel I have possibly lost my virginity through vicariously being raped I’ve been in so many discussions about the subject. I joined the left for a good time, “La Vie Boheme” from Rent but without the S&M. Can we do a poetry slam, dressed up like penguins, in Scottish accents? I am here to be silly. Honestly, I will die for my right to be silly because life isn’t worth living if it can’t be lived ridiculously. In a world addicted to murder, porn, and cheap beer there just isn’t enough innocence for me to thrive. That is my experience of the frontier of the cis and straight.