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You might look at me and not notice. Eyes slide off me. I think I glisten, but when I'm down I feel like a pariah, some pustuled pauper people don't have time to shun; they just don't see.
It is strange for me to contemplate, but once these people would have looked twice at me. Not because I was handsome, or unusual, or especially ugly. It was my manner; I used to be a Man.
Now? Well, I haven't had a sex change, but I have lost that arrogance, that self confidence, that honor. My father wouldn't have called what I have become a Man, and I agree.
It all started in 1979.
In the spring of '79 I had just become a Man. My girlfriend, an obliging high school girl whose name now escapes me, had sucked me off in a fit of giving after a Woody Allen film (Hannah and Her Sisters, I think). A few months later I entered college, brimming with confidence and a natural and manly desire to nail as many girls as I could get my grubby little hands on.
This was where I was stupid. Desperation and desire are powerful forces, and it isn't hard for a woman to use them to undo you. When I met a bisexual BDSM-obsessed girl by the name of Mary, I was intrigued. She had sophistication and intelligence, was a tiresome feminist, and adored Art. These qualities used to put off men, but the reputation for sexual adventure of such specimens had me gagging at the reins. Her qualities are by the by though - what's important is that it wasn't too hard to get her into bed, even though she strung me along a little.
When I finally did manage this, she was somewhat put out by my brute, selfish approach to the craft of love making. In fact, she was very vocal about being unsatisfied, which quite badly affected my sense of self-worth. She had a solution, though. Perhaps the more astute readers can guess what it was. She started urging that I `go down` on her, that I use various toys and `techniques` she wanted to experiment with.
Like a fucking fool, I agreed.
That night in 1980, when I went down on her, I finally became a passive prick. My mouth was just a cunt for her cunt, and I was fucked. Disgracefully, though, I enjoyed my new status as sexual spastic and human dildo for a woman. I even hungered for more - and Mary took advantage of this, as you might expect.
I was led knowingly into a new world. Sex for me wasn't about fun, anymore, it was about power - taking it and giving it, dominating and submitting, trading it calculatingly for gain and loss with the nous of the egomonger I was later to become. I was exhilarated, brought to a new `spiritual plane` (I was assured), being stretched on racks, la shed on tables, having various body parts put in vices and clamps, discovering a world of sex play undreamt of even in my most obscene adolescent fantasies some years before.
So, thanks to Mary I lost my balls, leaving only a dick that needed to feel threatened to flourish. I craved humiliation from sex, not humanization from making love.
What happened then? A life on the sidelines. Ambition needs self-respect, and I had none. I drifted into New York's club scene, attended parties, made money on the side toting insurance door-to-door to bored housewives.
I lost myself. I now try to rebuild; I am trying to find a woman to have a family with, one who will treat me like a human being, and furthermore like a Man, however much I don't feel like one. But women are spoiled by the attentions of men who won't let any sense of self-respect stop them prostrating themselves before their newly masculine idols.
Like today. I wander from one front door to another, here in the suburb of Pittsford, trying to sell crapped out insurance to bored housewives, playing on whatever small feelings of insecurity they have left. These women, they seem dead to possibility. My job is to make them see possibility for a second, but only negative possibilities that can be insured against.
I think this is the difference with Men. Men are open to possibilities, and women are not. The trade is that where women are in Heaven, men are merely in purgatory, though in purgatory you have a choice between heaven and hell, damnation and salvation. These housewives are like that; I can't blame them for their selfishness, their inability to see consequences.
These wives, they have husbands who are pathetic. They choose men dead to possibility, men who have chosen to reject purgatory and ascend to the security of heaven, a wife, children, no ideas and no fun, and worst of all, no possibilities. The terrible thing is, I want that too. Possibility is a terrible thing, nothing kills like an unknown option. How can I resist stepping into a world of safety?
But I will forever be rejected, because I am laid low by my knowing worship of women, and my self inflicted desire to be dominated by them, to be their slave. I am in torture because I am a slave to women and I know it. I know there are other ways of life, of social interaction, which involve self respect and a level footing. I hate because I know this is not for me. I may be despicable, but unlike all the other despicable men, I know I am despicable, and this knowledge amplifies my despair and my wretched damnation.
When you look at me on the train, or the bus, or the subway, you won't notice me because I am much like any other bum - just another pathetic remnant of a once great sex, sneered at by those who can recognize my failings and eschewed by those few men who still know how to play the game.
Why can't I have my own feminism, my own natural lust for power on behalf of my sex? Why can't I have self-control, and self-respect? I just want to have the chance to be treated normally, to find a girl who doesn't demand I behave like a male whore, an object. However, I want to be treated a whore too, I do want to be commanded to lick and suck, to bow my head into a bed of self hatred, and lie there wallowing. But it is so hard to resist, and in resisting I feel less human, perhaps more so than if I give in.
Is this what it means to be a Man?