I'm coming to the end of another week away. This one was very good socially: I saw friends on three consecutive days, was able to talk over several things, and had amazingly uplifting comments and feedback on my demeanour, attitudes and appearance. Some of this - if it could be generally useful or interesting - will form the basis for a few posts.
I'll kick off with the gist of a discussion about sex. This was with a trans girl who has been a friend for nearly two years, although I see her only now and then because she lives 70 miles away. She's very easy to talk with, and although she's thirty years younger - quite young enough to be my daughter - that is no problem. We are in the same boat. We have knowledge and experiences to trade.
Anyway, this friend, who is pre-op, is actively battling her way through the NHS obstacle course to surgery (and given her intelligence, common-sense, and doggedness, she will win out eventually). Meanwhile, as a pretty, attractive young thing with physical and emotional needs, she had the opportunity to have a fling with another trans girl - and was willing to discuss aspects of it with me. They had upper-body sex only. I don't have to go into the details. What most struck me was the emotional side of the experience.
First of all, she was treated completely as a woman. Not as a female with unusual origins; she was treated as a ordinary girl. She found that in itself almost overwhelming. There wasn't even a feeling of being 'accepted': acceptance didn't enter into it, it was irrelevant. It was total surrender and total sensation, with no nagging background spectres to intrude. No decisions to face, nor anything to overcome.
Throughout my life so far, I've never been able to experience that. The significance of what she was saying was huge for me.
Then, almost secondary, was her description of the physical delight she experienced. I'm not going into the mechanics, but it was something that I could achieve myself, given the right circumstances. I could do this. It opened another door in my mind.
A feeling is growing in me that I need to 'go back to school' where physical and emotional matters are concerned. I need to set aside what I think I know, forget past failures and hangups, and just humbly accept that I must start again. But this time on the right lines.
I've gained two things from that conversation.
One: I have the right bits, and they are there to be used. No power on earth can or should prevent me enjoying what I have to the full. I'm not 'too old'.
Two: I can go back to the beginning and retrain. I'm not stuck with an ingrained set of attitudes and responses. I don't need to sigh and plead that it's 'too late for me'. I can do it all differently and so much better.
My goodness, just think of what has already been accomplished. Why should it be impossible to learn to love?