When I was younger, I imagine I was something of a subject of curiosity and envy of men. From an early age, I have surrounded myself and been surrounded by the company of beautiful women. It would have been clear to all, even then, that these women were not my paramours, for I, slight and meek, hardly projected the image of a lothario.
Instead, I have found the company of women enjoyable and communication with them effortless. The relationships which have most impacted my life, the ones which I have relied on for emotional support, the ones which have brought me joy and growth have exclusively been with women.
As a young child, I gravitated naturally towards the company of girls. I was more comfortable in their world of clothes and My Little Pony than the rough and tumble domain of boys. And it wasn’t for lack of trying. I wanted to be one of the boys. I wanted to be included in their games of wall-ball but my lack of coordination and physical prowess made me an outcast.
And so as a child I never learned how to interact to other boys, and now as an adult I still feel slightly shy and uncomfortable in the presence of other men. I am more aware of my voice, my words, my body. I feel inauthentic compared to their general easiness of being.
It is not that my interests are feminine – I don’t care to talk about clothes or pop culture or other superficial subjects – in fact I find the inane prattle of girls irritating. But I also lack the informal vernacular of men who pepper their phrases with “bro,” and “man” and the like. Coming out of my mouth, they feel forced and fake.
Around women I feel a kinship, a closeness that I am unable to experience with men. I am able to open myself up to women in a way that feels impossible with those of my gender. I am less guarded, less anxious. With women my affection is pure, devoid of lust. I love and appreciate them uniquely on the basis of their person.
Even among other gay men I have difficulty relating and connecting, perhaps even more so than straight men, whose general affability and frankness are easier to comprehend than the thinly veiled judgmental nature of gay men.
Over the years I’ve had a few gay men as friends, though it is always a rarity. I found it difficult because I either wanted to sleep with them, or they wanted to sleep with me, and it was difficult to maintain a platonic relationship. In the instances where there was no sexual attraction, the friendship still expired after a few years.
In relationships with men, I find myself unable to go much beyond sex. Sex is my only bridge, it is the only way I can break down a barrier between me and another. But even with sex I am unable to form a deeper emotional bond. At 26, I have never had a boyfriend, and I am beginning to doubt whether I am supposed to have one. Any time a man has tried to get close to me, I have pushed him away. I have preferred one night stands to regular commitment. There is some part of me that does not want or need the romantic companionship of a man.
All this leads to wonder whether my soul mates are women. A psychic once told me that a soul mate doesn’t have to be a lover – it’s anyone who comes into your life and changes its course.
I think I may one day end up in a marriage resembling that of Barry Diller and Diane Von Furstenberg. I imagine that Barry Diller, being gay and old, decided that it was better to be with a woman whose company he appreciated than to be alone. Diane, post-menopausal and successful in her own right, likely wasn’t looking for a lover to rock her world, but rather stability and companionship.
And that would be perfectly alright. I don’t have any notions of how things should be or what they are supposed to look like. I feel I have been given a unique gift to be able to love women without desiring them.