I used to care so much about how other people perceived me. I used to put so much thought into the way I carried myself, agonized over my clothes, the women I dated.
I’d worry about being labeled as a slut or as someone always looking to fuck. I couldn’t decide whether I wanted to dress more masculine or feminine, because that might determine whether I was a pillow princess or an aggressive bitch. As a short Asian woman, I am often immediately labeled submissive and pliable. Every choice built up into an overwhelming avalanche. It made sex feel more like a chore to keep up appearances, not something for my enjoyment.
But my appearance doesn’t define my sex life. And neither do other people’s impressions of me. My sexual desires are complex, constantly shifting and growing. I am dominant and submissive and razor-sharp rough and sweetly gentle. My fists caress and my kisses bruise.
Sex is a personal thing. I might share stories, laugh at my exploits, but no one gets a say in my sex life unless they’re an active part of it. I can’t stop other people from judging me or trying to categorize me. But I’ve realized that I can choose not to let their judgments limit what I do.
It’s hard for some people to believe that my sex life, like my personality, is multifaceted. In heated discussions with my friends about their preferred sex positions, they often assert that I pretend to be a top but am truly just a bottom. When I say that I’m verse (someone who enjoys being both a top and a bottom), they laugh and say that that’s exactly what a bottom would say. They think I’m covering up some insecurity I have about being a bottom. But in reality, I’m just great at everything I do, and that includes all positions.
I’ve been in relationships and sexting flings where women will pursue me but only want one part of me. They only want me to be dominating, or they only want me to submit without question or reciprocation. This isn’t to say that there’s something wrong with being stone (a lesbian not wanting to touch their partner’s genitals or not wanting their genitals to be touched) or with other women’s interests not matching up with mine. It’s just not something I’m interested in, if we fuck more than once.
Don’t even get me started on men who see my cleavage or my provocative nature and assume that I’m immediately going to suck their dick because I’m a sweet little Asian girl. What? Did you think I’d drop to my knees for any run-of-the-mill cis unwashed dick? Do I look like I’m going to submit to any man who assumes I’m his possession by virtue of his being a man?
I’m comfortable with living outside of others’ expectations. I’m the only one who gets to decide who I fuck, how I fuck and in what ways. My play partners and I can discuss what we want, and I don’t worry about what people outside my relationships think. If I’m in the mood to be rough, then I’ll be rough. If I’m in the mood to be gentle, loving, dominating, messy, joking, then that’s what I’ll do. I am undefinable; the sex I have transcends labels hastily pasted onto me.
I love being pinned against the wall by another woman’s body weight and forcibly kissed, teeth marking down my neck and collarbones. I love having a knee shoved between my legs, wrists pinned above one head, and told to grind until I come. I love tying a woman up and teasing her, telling her to beg for me until I decide that she’s begged prettily enough, and I’ll be nice and fuck her just right. Until then, I’ll smirk and laugh, tease her soft and not-quite-enough.
Being picked up with ease and thrown onto the bed gets my pussy more flooded than the Golden Bear café at lunchtime. Once, a woman deadlifted me — picked me up, did squats with me on her back, then shifted me into a princess carry and proceeded to do more squats. Needless to say, I was wet and ready for her to shove me down hard onto her strap, controlling the pace of my hips. Best night ever.
I’ve sat next to a woman somewhere crowded and public, controlled her remote-control vibrator and played with the levels of intensity randomly so that she didn’t know what to expect. I let her clutch at my arm in a desperate attempt to keep quiet and gradually turned it higher and higher until she was on the edge of orgasm. Then, I pulled her hair tight but subtle, turned the vibrator back on low and whispered, “Oh no, not yet, honey.” Best day ever.
I love sex. I love all its facets and faces, velvet touches and carnal ferocity and gushing wetness. And if I’m not fucking you or you’re not fucking me, then fuck your thoughts on who I am.
Astrid Liu writes the Tuesday column on sex. Contact her at [email protected].