I’m a pleaser — I truly enjoy making other people happy.1 If only for a moment! I selected “Felicity” as my pseudonym (my blogger name): 1. to match the F sounds of Phallophile; and 2. because it does mean happiness.2
So perhaps it shouldn’t surprise you that I’ve finally admitted to myself: I like giving pleasure to both women and men.3 Even though I am still, and always will be, Phallophile. The lover of dicks.
I won’t apologize if I’ve been timid before, too shy to open up and explore. I won’t apologize for having been scared, or really anxious, or hurt in the past. We all progress at our own pace in life. I’ve read stories before about different people not having come out as some form of non-cishet4 orientation until they were in their 60s or so, and that makes sense to me too. The revelation can be a metamorphosis of sorts, but not the creepy Kafka-esque kind; instead, a transformation into being comfortable in your own skin, in your own mind.
Writing about sexuality has been transformative for me, for sure. I think the big thing that should click for anyone reading sex toy reviews is that there’s no right or wrong answer about sexual preferences5 — only what works for each individual (and their partner[s]).
And you may not even understand what you enjoy until you try a thing!!! You want to hear something funny? I refused to review vibrators the first few months I was writing about sex toys.6 If you’ve ever seen a small child who falls in love with one food, and, like, will only eat macaroni & cheese all the time, my sex toy preferences were basically like that.
Similarly, I was walled in and closed off to the idea of having sex with women — until my ex nudged me into partner-swapping at a sex club, and my mind was blown by a lovely, round older lady who was phenomenal at pussy-eating. (She seriously put my previous male partners to shame.) So you truly never know, until you try it. And I mean, maybe your tastes won’t end up expanding, but … Do you like to try new adventures?
But the “I tried vibrators and liked them” analogy isn’t 100% accurate for discovering a sexual identity, of course. Because I truly hadn’t tried any vibrators before the We-Vibe Tango. Whereas, looking at women isn’t something you can not do if you live in the world. I’d considered other women’s shapes, of course I had.
But if you’re straight enough, you can bury those kind of feelings, the slight tingling you might “accidentally” get by looking at someone who’s your own gender.
It’s easy enough to hide, just look the other way and move on… Especially if you are a pleaser, where the bad part of wanting to please other people can be that you feel the need to not upset them. So you try not to “step out of bounds” or scandalize anyone, or say the wrong thing. Or have the wrong sexual identity.
For reference, I grew up in a very white, conservative suburb. These were pre-Trump Trumpers, most of the burb’s population. One example: When I was 12 years old, I picked out this beautiful rainbow tie-dye T-shirt. So very bright; so very rainbow. I was proud of it; I liked how I looked in it. I wore it only occasionally for a few years, to keep it in good shape. Finally, when I was 15, I wore the rainbow tie-dye to an elective computer class one day. This little asshole (must’ve been 6 inches shorter than me) sitting next to me in class chose to accuse me of being gay because of the rainbow T-shirt. I wasn’t equipped to respond, so I protested that I just liked rainbows. He made another comment about the shirt, and finally moved on.
I was such an insecure teenager, so wanting to fit in and be liked. I wanted to be attractive — so I lost weight, until I couldn’t stop. I wanted to be “normal” — so I blocked out the little crush I had on the confident Hispanic girl when I was 10 — as big as the crush I had on the blue-eyed boy who started a makeshift in-class business (selling cute clay miniatures to the girls!) when I was 11. (Actually, I didn’t do anything about either of those crushes, too too shy!!! Ooh, poor teenage me.)
But it’s OK. One day, you may wake up as an adult, ready to not be afraid anymore.
Because you’ve had difficult days, you’ve met bad people, you’ve been pushed to the side and ignored even by ones you loved. But you’re still going. You’ve met a few kind people too; warm people with souls. The kind of people who can accept you and maybe even care for you like you deserve.
And you may reflect and realize:
You’re not perfect, and you’re not “normal,” and you’re not everybody’s cup of tea either. But it’s OK. Because you’re strong, and you’re interesting, and you’ve got a fucking *personality*. And no one can change that, whatever you become.
This is a coming out to strangers on the internet, mainly; I only have a couple longer-term friends who know right now. (And a whole bunch of new lifestyle friends.) Honestly, hitting Publish here is a “looking over the edge of a cliff” kind of moment — but I’m ready, I’m gonna put this piece out into the world. I haven’t said much to my family about the fact that I’m non-standard sexually in general: Not so vanilla, not so straight…or that I wave dildos around on the internet. Like in many families, my parents and I have some communication issues. They’ve always been supportive of my pursuits, but everyone’s feelings and problems remain hidden (unless they get really, really bad). No one asks questions about my friends or my thoughts, they just let me be. But my parents almost universally accept what I tell them I’m going to do now as an adult, so that’s something to be thankful for. I told my parents 2.5 years ago that I was working in the “adult wellness industry,” and my mom got the picture quickly, that I was selling vibrators — but since then, my dad has kept asking how my book editing is going. (I used to copyedit manuscripts professionally.) He avoids the topic of my real work, or why I’m getting so many packages sent their house7, or exactly what kind of business conference it is I’m attending in Burbank, CA. They’re a different generation, too, born in the 1940s, a more conservative time. (Before the internet that lets all of us non-standard folks communicate with each other more easily.) That said, my parents have progressed along with moderate American ideology over the past decades, so that things like gay marriage and gay political candidates aren’t shocking to them. Those are normal enough, even if not within my parents’ own realm of experience.
If I was in a formal relationship, partnered with either gender, I would tell them; but I just need to have fun right now, because of how unhealthy my last relationship was, preceded by a mismatched marriage before that.
And I am most certainly having fun… Playing around with M-F couples. Because why not both?! I got really bound up by writing pt. 2 of my Coming Out series, on being polyamorous / swinging.Until I took a break because I started feeling like a fetish or a human sex toy after 4 months of being a “unicorn”: like, couples could just use me to “spice up their marriage” once or twice, and then not have to keep in touch me, or care about what I wanted, or develop any kind of stable or caring relationship. It can be emotionally exhausting, and it’s draining for someone like me who does value consistent sex partners and is selective about who they’re attracted to. I do love the swingers scene because of its openness, and it can be really fun if you have a supportive friend network (tough as an adult, especially if you’re an introvert!) and you don’t crave stability.
In the end: I’m not worried about being weird anymore. I choose to please certain people for fun, but I don’t exist to live up to other people’s expectations.
Thank you for reading! Do you have a story to share? Feel free to comment below.
- Humans I respect, at least!
- Even if the name sounds a tad antiquated. At least it’s not Bertha or Karen, right?
- I can’t say anything about being pansexual (= enjoying trans and nonbinary humans) at this point, as that’s territory I haven’t experienced.
- Cisgendered (= not transsexual) + heterosexual (=straight).
- Within the bounds of consensual adult sex, of course.
- Finally Peepshow Toys convinced me to take a cock ring with a vibrator, then more cock rings with vibrators. (Read this if you want to watch me call my ex-husband Dick.) Because they’re vibrators you put on a COCK, right? At the time, I had a We-Vibe Tango original, and that was it. And a bunch of dildos!!!
- I don’t 100% trust delivery at my apartment complex, my dad is a great sport about bringing my mail over