A couple of weeks ago, I went away for a wonderful weekend to meet people in what I call my non-toybox life. These are friends with whom I have conversed or who I know personally but with whom I use my real name and who know me from other sources outside of the sex blogging community. We were able to sing, I cooked home-made hot chips for everyone and there was lots and lots of snuggle time. I even experienced what it was like to vape some canabis.
One of these wonderful people is a man of colour. He is the partner of a lovely, very heartful friend I have known for just over five years online but was able to meet on this trip as well. He hosted the other five of us at his apartment which is no mean feat considering he had never done this before.
Anyway, I digress. Due to never having seen, there are huge gaps in my knowledge of what people or things look like and I was able to fill a couple of these gaps while with this wonderfully tolerant group of people. One of these new experiences was afro hair.
Both of them were very excited to show me what this felt like and as they are also blind, it wasn’t awkward like it could have been. He took my hand, put it on his head and I was transported to a magical place where I had never been before. So springy! So soft! So stimtastic!! I stroked, bounced with my hand, ran my fingers through it, my goodness it was an amazing experience.
He wasn’t upset or mad or anything like that because he’s been there and understands that when you can’t see, there are going to be gaps in your knowledge.
The next one could have been trickier and I would never have asked, simply because I respect boundaries but his girlfriend told me that I had to touch his penis, just so that I would know what it felt like. I was a little hesitant at first because I didn’t want to upset either of them and I made sure I asked him if it was OK and he was alright with it so she took my hand and showed me and yes, it was a lot bigger than I had seen in quite a while. I was a little bit fascinated and found myself moving my hand by reflex before I stopped but I understood what everyone was talking about now that the gap in my knowledge had been filled.
There are truly times where I feel like these knowledge gaps are out to betray me because these are things that everyone can see but because I have never had contact in any way, I feel out of my depth when people talk about them. It’s like the world understands the big joke and I am left asking what happened. I am often scared when I know that this sort of knowledge gap is coming because my reaction will be an honest one when I finally know what it is. I try to ease this kind of awkwardness by asking people who are good at describing things to tell me about what they know but nothing will prepare me for a lot of what I will experience.
I also get very nervous that said gaps are going to come back and bite me, making me look more insensitive and ignorant than I want to be. This, alas, has happened to me more times than I can count. It’s awful for the person or people concerned, me having made some kind of social blunder, but believe me, it’s just as awful for me because hurting someone is the last thing I want in the world. I’ve even had shutdowns and burst into tears, feeling like the times when I was a helpless teenager, just scared that every next thing I say will cause someone else pain. It takes a lot of strength for me to come out of that mindset.
When I can think again after such moments, I will usually ask someone for help, someone who understands me and also the situation. I am so often more than hyper aware but at other times, totally clueless until these things are pointed out to me.
I think that discrepancy is the hardest of everything for me to manage, because it isn’t predictable what I will know and what I won’t and even now, in my late 30s, I still get caught out.