Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Tori C: Wanting it

After my little adventure with Leo, I was self-conscious for a few days. I had, like, a hiccup of maleness: "Oh man, I wasn't supposed to like THAT," la la la. I didn't want anyone to look at me and think "Hey that girl just got some action" so I played it down... to the point where it looked a little like I'd been through a car wreck. Like just... in my own head. A lot like when I first got back from Maine.

I came home one night not long after and ran into mom. She looked at me and said "Are you okay? You look like you've been through something."

I stared off into space and thought about it. The grin that crossed my face must've been hard to suppress and I started to blush. Mom called me on it immediately. "What's his name?"

I sighed. No way I was getting out of this one. I figured no harm in admitting it to mom. She's always been real understanding and might even be glad to hear her daughter getting some of her interests back. "Leo," I told her.

She sat me down at the table and poured herself some tea (and some for me, at my request.) "Well, go on!"

"Not much to tell..." I shrugged, "I mean, it's not serious. We just... had a little fun."

The look on her face didn't say "disappointment" exactly... but it was probably a bit of a let-down because she seemed really excited to meet her daughter's new boy. I don't think she was judging me for "having fun," but I'm trying not think about that. She just asked, "Do you like him? Does he like you?"

I tensed up. "Yeah... I don't know. He's all right. We're not really in it for... anything serious. I mean, it's a bit complicated. He used to date Cyndi." She nodded in understanding. I had told her a bit about my falling-out with Cyndi, but was still guarded as to how deeply it affected me. I went on, "So we're kinda trying to keep it from our friends, you know, unless it does get serious." And while that's not out of the question I just don't see it as being likely.

At this point, I hadn't talked to him about it yet. I also hadn't gotten anything back from Buddy about when he'd be back. My mind was swimming.

I didn't think -- and I don't think -- I have feeling for Leo. He's a nice guy, and him being bitter about Cyndi is a good trait (it shows good judgment after all) but I don't see myself with him. Buddy and I get along great (apart from his slight inability to get a hint) have a ton in common... I even like Buddy's look better than Leo (who, if you need an image, has a shaved head, some innocent tattoos, and a bunch of Cosby sweaters.) But Buddy's at what you might call a "Geographical disadvantage." If I want something now, I need to go with what's here. Gah, these things were so much easier when I was a guy and nobody wanted me! (I know, world's smallest violin right?)

So in the meantime, while Buddy was ignoring me, I tried to put it out of my head. At one point, surprisingly enough, I got a call from my soon-to-be sister-in-law Jana. She's having a whole feud with her maid of honor about wedding arrangements and wanted me to mediate. Well, I don't honestly have an opinion on centerpieces or dress designs or anything. I mean, that stuff doesn't automatically get inserted into you when you get a girl's body! That's a lifetime of tastes developing, and if you saw the way I dress and style myself, you'd know that I have very basic tastes. I figure, if I don't try anything special, there's less of a chance of looking bad.

Anyway, during that call, once I convinced her that everything she wanted was right and she should hold her ground, she asked me whether I was bringing anyone to the wedding. It's on the 16th of October, and I'm not seeing anyone seriously right now, so it was a fairly obvious no. Then she made some remarks -- which intended to be funny but didn't really come off that way -- about the tendency of guys to try to pick up single girls at wedding, and how I might consider bringing a gay friend as a shield, if I have one. I told her that would be a great idea, if I wanted to spend the whole night getting a lecture on how unfair marriage laws are in this country. I mean, Danny is a great guy and everything, but he's easy to get fired up about political matters. Sometimes I'm just not in the mood. (And as a former straight guy living as a straight girl, I feel like I should relate to all that more than I do.)

Anyway, I spent some time after my little liaison with Leo wondering what I wanted. On the main level, I really wanted somebody to do that with on a regular basis. Some intimacy to go along with friendship. A relationship. Whether I wanted it to be Leo, I don't know, but he's the most convenient option right now. And I could see myself having fun with him until it wasn't fun anymore. So when he called me again the next weekend, I jumped a little.

Nothing special. Nothing fancy. Our first meetup hadn't been planned and he neither of us wanted to do anything elaborate. I'm still a little awkward on the whole dating thing, but then again I'm also awkward on the bedroom thing, so who the hell knows? But that feels like too much of a commitment for either of us.

So last Saturday night, we went out for a walk and got some coffee. My idea: Nothing too romantic or serious, but I wanted to see if he still had his appeal with me sober. I had made an effort, though. I did my hair up as nice as I could manage, and put together a rather sweet outfit with tights, a long top and an under-boob belt. Modest, but playful.

We made some chit-chat, and I think both of us just wanted to skip-ahead. In that night, I saw the entirety of this "relationship" play out in macro. Less talk, more skin.

We got back to his place. I couldn't get my clothes off fast enough, not out of passion, but out of duty, since by that point we had grudgingly admitted that this really wasn't anything but sex.

So then it really became sex. Hot, sweaty, panting, moaning sex.

I let him go all the way this time. It felt like such a big deal every other time I've come close, but this was the first time I could feel myself letting go, and it felt so good. I was naked in front of him, and the way he looked at me... and how wanted that made me feel.

What I remember best is the feeling of excitement as we came close to the last barrier between me and this complete experience. I had been naked in front of him before, and seen him. The feeling of relief, of it not being weird and being so sure of myself made me want to keep going. And then we started.

I knew pretty much what to expect. I mean, I've been over a lot of this stuff with myself for a while now, but I don't think I ever went far enough to truly simulate the feeling of intercourse. I know how good it can feel, but maybe not necessarily how to access all that feeling, or what happens when there's another person involved

I got a shock. It was so different than being by myself, because I wasn't in control. I was so at his mercy and he knew exactly what he wanted to do with me. He kept at a consistent pace... which isn't something that works for me as much as a girl as it would've when I was just a dude. I didn't want to critique him though, since it was only my first time (although I guess it didn't feel like your typical first time.)

I liked it a lot. I mean, it seems so obvious, but maybe there was a chance I'd do it and realize that it wasn't as brilliant an experience as everyone says it is. On some level, that's the case: I mean, now that I've done it, I don't feel like I need to go out and get more right away, but it definitely felt... fulfilling. Like I was ready for it, and it was worth it.

There's still problems. I'm still not sure I'm getting what I'm supposed to out of it at the end. Sometimes it got way too rough. But what more can I say? I like this.

I went home the next morning, cleaned myself up and went to work. It's so weird bouncing past Cyndi, probably with this "I got laid last night" smirk on my face, trying to hide my pride-shame over the fact that it's her ex that I was with. I may not be head-over-heels in love with the guy, but he was too good for her. I think I deserve this.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Todd: The High Road

I almost named this entry after a song by Matthew Good, "Us Remains Impossible." It doesn't literally describe the situation between me and Alia, but it's... it's not far off.

We've been sheepishly nudging our way back to coupledom for weeks, but between her trying to get her life back on track, me working, and the beginning of the school year, there's very little time for fun in Toddworld.

I'm back at University, trying to work off those last few credits to earn my bachelor's degree. There's no desperate need for this. I don't think it'll help me go further in my career, whatever it ends up being. If anything, it's just a way to stall for time while I figure out what I'm supposed to do with the rest of my life. I wish I had a more positive view on the situation, but some old negative feelings have been bubbling to the surface since I've re-enrolled. A lot of doubt.

Not to mention, Bry and I are still trying to work on musical pursuits. We've actually been working on a few new songs, and Bry in particular has had a burst of creativity apparently since getting back from the Inn, dating Crystal, and everything. Most tellingly is the refrain to his latest composition, "Temporary:"

You knew the deal
it wasn't real
it was onlyyyyyyyyyyyy

I'd give you more, but I wouldn't want to spill too much, since it's a work in progress. He howls those lines with a kind of bitterness that suggest he's trying to convince himself. I haven't discussed it yet with him, but I suspect those are his feelings about Crystal. He's even more commitment-shy than I was, and it seems to be him raking himself over the coals for pushing Crystal back to the Inn. The riff he came up with is pretty intense.

Anyway, we've been working on stuff, rehearsing covers and the like, but I guess we're not ready to start begging for gigs yet. Bry doesn't want to do any shows unless we have a drummer, but most of our usual drummer-friends are otherwise engaged or not interested in the drama that seems to follow us around. Can't say I blame them, and they don't even know the half of it.

I should probably quit the music store job. It would free up a lot of time for school, music and of course Alia. But as painful as it is to keep doing a job you hate... it's money (which of course equals freedom and potential) and when I'm at that noisy, busy, chaotic-ass store, I feel more centered than I do anywhere else.

So basically I've taken this time to tell you "In case your wondering, life's tough." Suck it up, Todd. At least you're not anybody's mom anymore.

Haha, yeah. In my weaker moments, I fantasize about running away to the inn again, getting dropped in someone's life who already has their shit figured out. Old, young, male, female, I feel like at this point I could handle anything. Fake my way through a career. Become one of those "traveler" people Alia was describing back in July. Part of me could do it. Part of me would want to.

But that's the easy way, and for once I don't feel like doing that. I'm here, I'm committed, let's do that.

Oh, and Tori-- congratulations. This song's for you, girl. Whatever you end up doing with yourself (or others) in your time as Tori, that's your call, and don't let yourself forget that. you're in control, and I'm glad to see you acting like it.


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Tori C: Third.

Every time I try to tell this story, I stop myself. Maybe out of embarrassment, or confusion or over-analytical-ness. There's so much going on in my head even now that I can't put into words, so for now I'm just going to give you the facts.

I ran into a familiar face at the bar Friday night. I was not at my usual bar, I was somewhere else, with Daniel. I was worrying about how I'd be getting home when I noticed this guy: Leo, Cyndi's boyfriend.

The amount of irritation I felt at this point was unbearable. If he was there, I reasoned she must be nearby. I wanted to find her and scream at her, call her out for being a two-faced bitch. We've just been giving each other the cold shoulder at work, but having a few drinks in me made me somewhat belligerent. So I went over to his table and asked where she was. Demanded to know.

He said, laconically, that he didn't know, and took a sip. I asked why not, and he said "Probably because she's not my girlfriend, she's my ex."

That took the wind out of me.

I didn't know Leo very well, but on the occasions that I'd talked to him, I thought he was a good dude. Quite polite, kinda funny, a bit of a sci-fi fan. Someone I probably would've liked, as Cliff. But it takes a minute for rage to dissipate, so I just stood there in my skirt feeling awkward for a minute before he asked if I'd like to have a drink. It was last call and I was out of money.

When you're a girl, being out of money doesn't necessarily mean you don't drink any more.

He went over the general details of his break-up with Cyndi, which pretty much conformed to my opinion that she's just a bitch who isn't good with people. He wondered why he had put up with her so long, and I told him it's okay, guys often make fools of themselves for a hot girl who isn't worth it. I said that a number of guys had done that for me, thinking of Buddy in particular.

He said he disagreed that I "wasn't worth it." This was the first of a number of not-so-subtle flirtations between him and me.

He offered to split a cab back home. As we live in opposite directions, I made an alternative proposal, and asked whether he'd be interested in having a drink at my place. He declined, saying he had to be up early to go golfing the next day.

So he suggested his place.

In the cab on the way over, I had a lot of time to try to gather my wits and figure out what my endgame was. What did I hope to achieve? I still hadn't figured it out when we got to the door, even though he had his arm around me.

The moment we got inside, without hesitation, I kissed him. Why dance around it? Why stall? That was what I'd come for. That was what I wanted. I don't know why I wanted it or what it means that I wanted it, but there we were, his lips on mine, my neck bent up at his 6' face. His arms wrapped low around my hips, fingers just at the edge of my bum. A little voice in my head going "Go, girl!"

It wasn't terribly romantic. Maybe even a bit rushed. We were on his couch soon, making out like a couple of over-eager tenth graders (not that I'd know, I was more into computer club back then.) The whole time, part of my mind keeps going "What now, what next??" while the other part is screaming "More!!"

He indicated his bedroom. I said okay, let's go. When we got in, I began to undress, very hurriedly. I was down to my bra and panties when he said "Hold on. You know this isn't serious right?"

"Not serious?"

"I mean, just a fling. Casual. Rebound stuff."

"Oh. Yeah. Sure." It felt odd to me -- I don't know what I was expecting, or why I was disappointed that he didn't want it to be "serious." But I pushed that thought aside and went over to him. He was in his boxers. The sight definitely has a different effect on me than it used to.

I made a grab for it. His thing. Felt so silly, holding it from this angle, trying to treat it delicately. It was intimidating, and weird and... not wrong but just so unreal-looking from this angle. It was a perspective I've tried to imagine many times, but was still unprepared for.

I took a look at it. As hot as I was, the rational, over-analytical part of my brain had to break the moment. "Nnn... not that. not yet. Third. Third base. Okay?"

He looked at me, at first a little put-off, but ultimately accepting. "Okay." He pulled my panties off and put his head between my legs and... oh lord... I've never felt like such a girl, squealing and moaning, not necessarily because he was doing such a good job, but because he was there, not me by myself.

After a while, I began to feel guilty for the whole thing being one-sided. When I felt like he'd reached a good stopping point, I told him "okay!" and he pulled his head up. Then I had to figure out how to hold up my end of the bargain. I'd already ruled out one way. The other ways scared me just as much. Maybe I'm just naive, since other girls seem perfectly fine with this, and considering what he'd just done for me, reciprocation seemed polite.

With it looking me right in the eye, I made a split decision, and I... I licked it. Like an ice cream cone. I don't know if that's how it's supposed to be done, since I never even got one, but I stalled with that as long as I could, while I thought "Am I really just supposed to shove it in my mouth? Is that... do people like that?" Mostly, I just used my hand. And then after a minute, I began to think "Shit, he knows I'm doing it wrong, he totally knows!" and just as I was getting ready to bite the bullet (so to speak: I know you're not actually supposed to bite) he came. Just like that. A little bit got on me and I tried not to be too grossed out.

I just stared at it, as it went limp in my hand. How odd. It all felt so familiar, yet so far away. As he groaned quietly to himself my mind re-asserted itself and told me I had just made some kind of big step. There wasn't a whole lot of doubt that I'd enjoyed it, but it didn't stop me from wondering what it was all supposed to mean.

I ended up sleeping there, next to him, in my panties and undershirt. For half the night he kept his arm around me and I couldn't sleep. Then he slipped it out and rolled over to his other side and I was finally able to drift off. When I woke up, he had rolled back over and was poking me.

As he and I dressed, we discussed the terms of our, uh, actions. We decided it would be best if we didn't go talking about this, because neither of us wanted the drama that would follow, especially if it got back to Cyndi. Personally, even though Sara and Raine already think of me as a rather sexual being, I still felt like I'd be embarrassed if they knew what I'd done. It was one thing for them to have knowledge of the old Tori's deeds, but this new one is... well, I just didn't want to deal with it.

But it's done. Whether he and I will be doing it again, I don't know. He hasn't called. I'm kind of dreading it, if he does. It all happened so fast, I'm not sure what he thinks of me now, and if I regret anything, it's that this is the first time I've really fit the stereotype of what people think when they see me.

But I did enjoy the feeling of having someone physically... tending to me. I've resisted it so long because I'm so suspicious of what kinds of guys I've been attracting, but the game might be changed.

On Sunday, I sent an e-mail to Buddy. I had been thinking about him all weekend, about how close we came to being a thing, but because I was still almost-a-guy-again, I resisted. Now that that's not the case, I just... well, I wanted to check in on him.

He hasn't gotten back to me yet.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Tori C: The girl on the internet

A couple days ago, a commenter on my last post suggested I "Get up off that thing and do something till you feel better." This, in a way, is what happened. I retreated into the arms of my old friend, the internet.

I'll put it to you this way. When I became a girl, I made an attempt to keep my online persona active. Even though I had turned several of my old accounts over to Willy, I kept active on a few forums during the early months of my transformation.

Then, in early October, when I started feeling more comfortable as Tori, I began to leave the net behind. This was the inevitable byproduct of stuff that had happened way before I was Tori: comics lost their appeal to me when universe-spanning crossovers became the norm (Civil War/52/Crisis/etc). All the big franchise movies like LOTR and Dark Knight and Harry Potter were slowing to a trickle, and Battlestar ended, Heroes became pretty unwatchable, and suddenly my entire mindset of geekdom was a bit outdated. I stayed on those forums in a "what's new?" casual talk capacity, but as you can guess, my writing about myself was rapidly splitting off from what my reality was. Soon this blog became my only real internet activity. In December, when I saw Avatar, I was pretty disappointed with it, and wondered whether girlhood had actually erased the geeky part of my brain.

For a while after that, my internet usage became limited to this blog, MSN/Facebook, and the occasional Google search when I needed to learn something. Even then, I don't exactly blog here all the time, and I was so negligent to my Facebook account that when I saw one of Tori's tween-age male cousins at Mae's birthday, he complimented me on my Facebook profile pic... that is, a pic of Raine and Sara pretending to kiss my boobs!

(The point of this story: I didn't realize I had said cousin on Facebook, and my boobs have become such a prominent feature that no, of course I don't mind showing them off to the internet, albeit completely covered, you pervs.)

Then a few months ago, Danny (my gay friend) managed to get me to see Inception with him, despite my beliefs that I was no longer in that film's target audience. And my mind was so completely and utterly blown that I had to share it with someone. But my girlfriends weren't interested in hearing my theories about the dream-worlds in the film, and Danny and I kept getting into arguments. So I had to drag it out to the internet... only to find that the site I had last used as Cliff had moved and my account was deleted.

So, with "JHCliff" gone, it fell to me to invent a new username for myself. As you can probably tell, I'm not all that imaginative when it comes to inventing my own name. (Or other peoples: see "Buddy" and "Guy.") I couldn't decide what to call myself, so I decided just to use my old naming method, and become ToriC. The C stands for both Cecily, Tori's middle name, and of course, Clifford.

It started with a few innocent posts, one in the Inception review thread, one in the "Introductions" board, and a few others scattered around.

Aside from a minor war or words in the Inception thread, nothing controversial happened. I lived my day-to-day life, still a bit sore from Cyndi's verbal stabbing, and came home. With Sara and Raine busy with various things over the course of August, I found myself getting more and more time by myself, and feeling more and more comfortable on the computer. At first I was wary, because I didn't want to overplay my status as a (let's face it, above-average-looking) female on a board more than likely populated by guys not unlike J.H. Clifford.

(And I admit it, my username was slightly deliberate, designed to imply girlhood. But it's not like I outright named myself "HotChick87.")

Then I stumbled into a relationship thread and, with some voyeuristic curiosity, I started reading. Then the OP posted a request for a "female perspective" and a few other users came out of hiding (including ones I had seen and assumed were male!) I pitched in my own meager two cents, but was largely overlooked. Rightfully so, I just wanted to confirm to the world "Hey look at me, I have ovaries!" I'm not even sure why it was so important I get that acknowledged.

So yes, there are other females on the internet (I knew this but I still needed to learn.) Hell, one was even a mom.

So I'm starting to get over some of the stereotypes that go with femininity and the internet. Then I started to spend maybe way too much time on the net (this got worse when I discovered TV Tropes... which I have now cursed you with.) Then I started a thread asking for recommendation for a girl who is looking to get back into comics.

Not that "being a girl" is my whole defining characteristic, but I think it's a useful elaboration of "Not really into the whole superhero thing anymore" even if the two are unrelated. I got a few recommendations, which were hit and miss, before someone suggested I check out Image's "Invincible." I was about to reiterate my "not digging the superheroes" thing when it was pointed out that this being an Image title, it was at least less likely to succumb to crossover-itis, which is of course my actual reason for the aversion.

So I went down to the comic store to pick up the first trade paperback, just to give it a test drive. I almost regretted it as soon as I stepped in. I hate to reinforce stereotypes, especially after I just talked about getting over my fear of internet-girlhood, but my God the difference between that and real life was... jeez.

The way they stared. I mean, you wonder why I'm so accustomed to pubbing and all that? Because as far otu of my nature as it would've been, at least people in those places don't act like I'm the first girl they've seen.

I don't blame them, but they certainly didn't make me feel comfortable. I didn't have the desire to browse, I just zipped over to the trade shelf, got Invincible volume 1, and zipped out. The whole time I could feel their eyes following me. The sad thing was, some of them weren't even bad-looking. They were just like my old self, a bit out of their element. Thank goodness it wasn't a Wednesday so there was only a few. And some were subtle enough that they might not even have been looking. But a few actively were.

For what it's worth, the comic itself was really great, so I'll probably be braving the gawkers to get the next one. I haven't been this excited about a new find since... well... haha. That may be overstating it, but it is a very good book, and I look forward to catching up on it.

So that's pretty much why you haven't seen me in 2 weeks.