Addiction Is The Memory of Pleasure

Cover of the graphic novel ‘Mauvais Genre‘ by Chloé Cruchaudet 

I read that sentence on the page of a yoga workshop the other day. “Addiction is the memory of pleasure”. Something clicked in my head. Click and release. I instantly understood my most recent human addiction. Maybe it wasn’t about love after all, or about the ecstatic feelings that I had. Maybe the purity of the heart has nothing to do with it. It may solely be due to the strong memories of pleasure engraved in my body.

My most recent addiction was a girl who used to be a boy. I haven’t written about her. I vaguely evoked a brutal ending somewhere at the beginning of the year. I couldn’t write about that as long as I was riding the waves of metamorphosis that are still spreading across my system. I know I’ll keep unfolding the layers of that brief and madly intense story for a very long time.

Saying that it’s the greatest human connection or the best sex I’ve ever had would trivialise it. It’s much deeper than that. She shook my core, she tainted my essence. She awoke a wide range of subtle sensations and emotions in my guts which had been numbed out for decades, or didn’t even exist before. I read in an article that people with sexual trauma often happen to have “emotional anaesthesia”. Like most girls, the integrity of my body has been violated at different levels more than once.

We spent only three months together, and it’s going to be four months that we ended it. But I am still absorbing the after effects of her, digesting the rushes of adrenaline in my blood and the rushes of cerebral pleasure. That’s where the addiction lies. My conscience doesn’t miss her, but my brain and body do. It’s taking forever to evacuate her from my system, like she was always meant to be a part of it and she’ll remain in my cells.

I won’t go into practical, anatomical or social considerations of what it’s like to date a transgender woman. It’s totally not the point. What I care about is how odd and complex, yet super logical and beautiful the combination of our souls and bodies was.

Go figure that frontal collision. What was the chance? An extremely feminine girl trapped in a male body and an assertive yet questioning & traumatised lesbian femme taking off each other’s clothes with all the passion and tenderness there is in the world. It was perfection made fuck. It was superbly absurd. Life-changingly sensual. There was so much love when we started. I don’t know where all that love went. Is it in storage somewhere between Paris and South America, or did it dissolve like our communication? I wish there was a place to claim lost love like lost property.

Making love with her resolved my sexual traumas without her even knowing about them. Therapeutic sex. I realised that I have no hatred or disgust of the male body. I only have hatred and disgust of male authority and desire, of men’s certitude that they are superior to me and can own me.

I verbalised my main sexual abuse to some of the people who were the closest to me, and they didn’t even acknowledge that I said something. I’ve been trying to resist judging or being mad at them. It is their right entirely. I’ve been trying even harder to resist feeling guilty that I spoke up. But all in all, if I could go back in time, I would keep my fucking mouth shut, because speaking up utterly screwed a number of my friendships despite my will.

I think I reached out for help and people didn’t answer – or maybe it didn’t sound like I was reaching for help. She helped me. She fixed me without knowing. It had been a mind fuck for so long, but the other day, I was in the elevator, and I suddenly understood that for the first time of my life, my approach of human sex was absolutely, entirely and magnificently FLUID and joyful.

I identified as lesbian most of my adult life. I now identify as pansexual. The potential objects of my affection are: everything that’s human, adult, consenting, and bizarrely beautiful.

All the knots and obstacles that were ever put on my intimate path gently dissolved in her arms. She’s been my biggest human adventure of all times.



When did my gender confusion begin?

Probably 18 months ago in New York. I threw myself into dancing the 5 Rhythms, and I had multiple dance floor male attractions. I thought “Wow! Male energy is cool!” which had never really occured to me in real life. Some of these exalted attractions turned into proper desire, which has ongoingly thrown me off.

Till that point, my world had mostly been vertically split, a binary boy/girl division between whom I could like or not. But I’m finally finding out that there is no split, no opposition. Male and female energies are entangled in a circle.

I’ve started rethinking the concept of sexual orientation for my own self. My belief is that attraction is the result of a mysterious equation between people, which takes into account a yin/yang balance and their respective wounds. Gender is a minor factor. But I’ve been left with a conceptual void to identify how I feel.

If you screw the concept of sexual orientation, what do you replace it with? Bi-sexuality? Too binary. Pan-sexuality? Too voracious. The trendy concept of sexual fluidity? I don’t like fashions.

I learned the term ‘two-spirit‘ in San Francisco. It is a native Amerindian concept for people who have both male and female spirit in them. Amerindians were way more advanced than Westerners. They had four admitted genders instead of two. That’s the term that I like best amongst all the options.

It feels like there are new designations for human sexuality every month. Of course, you can always get away with it by saying “I refuse labels”, and I understand that. But look, I am an intellectual (LOL) and I am obsessed with articulating my thoughts and defining my feelings with accuracy. I therefore need a meaningful vocabulary for everything, including the map of desire. Isn’t violence supposed to be caused by a lack of words? Also, I’d rather pick a descriptive for myself before someone else does it wrongly for me.

I am agitated with all those questions because the beyond sexy Í came back in my world and in my bed.

He visited me last week, to bring me back the luggage that I left in Brighton after the Gay Pride (with my house keys in it, cause I love trouble). We went dancing the 5 Rhythms and he slept over at mine. He had no pyjamas, so I lent him my cropped T-shirt of the Kinsey Sicks – a drag-queen band – and my see-through black lace knickers, the largest I’ve got. He looked terrific in that outfit. I was wearing the male Ralph Lauren boxers that my New York gay husband gave me. I had an astral projection of what we were looking like while cuddling in bed and I laughed my head off. “We are gender fuckers”, I said.

We talked in the dark for a long time. We discussed our sexual attraction, which is the most natural yet the most odd thing in the world since, dare I say it, we are both gay as fuck. We don’t act on it, because this would make us momentarily straight and we are not ready to assume that. “I could make you feel very feminine”, he told me. I am sure I blushed in the dark. I am not saying I wouldn’t like that. He added: “We are genderly equal. You can be stronger at times and I’ll let go my feminine side, and the other way around.” I have been craving for gender equity. It is a total illusion to believe that there is gender equity between two girls. Fuck no. The most feminine-looking tends to be dominated at every level – I ironically wonder why?

My relationship with Í is awesome. I love him. He sees through me, beyond the shiny surface. He nails me. I am not used to people grasping me accurately. They usually see me either too good or too dumb, or they are thrown off by my contrasts and handle that for drama-queenness.

He diagnosed me “bisexual”. “For sure”, he insisted.

OK. Maybe. What now?