For months,I haven't had sex without thinking about Donald Trump.
It's hard not to,truthfully,when you're queer.Starting with the night I spent huddled over my laptop anxiously awaiting the election results,I've been thinking a lot about not just my sex life in the context of a country that would give ultimate power to someone like Trump,but also my relationships,and laws that might affect them.Not because I want to—like other sex-loving queer people,I want to spend my time reading reviews of emoji-shaped vibrators and watching lesbian YouTubers explain their best and worst sexual experiences much more than I want to read about how a given cabinet pick might ruin my life.But I can't afford to ignore the news.Not now.
Americans are constantly debating about how Donald Trump,the person,actually feels about LGBTQ people.We may not have access to his brain,butwe do have access to his cabinet appointments,and if they're anything to go by,our president has little concern for our lives and rights.His vice president,Mike Pence,has been an ardent supporter of conversion therapy,something thatdestroys the sense of self and humanityof a queer person,often a young one,so much that many who have undergone itresort to suicide.
The denial of our rights alone will likely lead to an increase in homelessness,domestic violence,and poverty—issues our community already facesin large numbers,especially when queer identity intersects with others like race,class,and disability.There's a reason whycalls to LGBTQ hotlines (especially trans crisis lines) skyrocketedfollowing the finalization of the election results.
It's not an easy thing to think about.It's overwhelming to remember that marriage equality passed in the Supreme Court only two years ago.Though it was only one step in the right direction,it gave me hope that I could have a government that believed I was worth the work it took to make positive change happen.Now it feels like I'm just waiting for my rights to roll back.As a queer woman of color,I'm more stressed than ever,and in need of some serious self-care.
That's where sex comes in.
Sex is a way to address my needs directly.It's a means of seeking pleasure when everything feels hopeless,of feeling something intense and vibrant when the world around me feels colorless and depression becomes a thick coating on others aspects of my life.Plus,it quite literally increases thepresence of endorphins like dopamine and oxytocinin your body,according to a study in theJournal of Sexual Medicine,which means it makes you feel damn good regardless of what's on fire around you.
Donald Trump's election took my issues with anxiety and depression to a level I'd never experienced,so I found myself wanting to overwhelm my senses and sidestep that bad feeling through sex.And that's exactly what I did.
我做爱,and a lot of it.I bought new sex toys.I tried new things in bed.It's hard to be afraid of asking your partner what they think of a new vibrator when fear is such a real,tangible thing.What's scary about a kink in a world where your president might steal your rights?
And I'm not alone in turning to sex for self-care."The night before the election,I said,‘Let's have sex one more time,in case Hillary doesn't win and we can never have sex again!'" said Alaina Leary,23."I was kidding,but as a queer,trans,disabled person,Trump's win was exhausting.Within a few weeks,I picked myself up and jumped back into activism—and along with it,queer sex.Queer sex with my girlfriend (especially because I'm trans and disabled,and she's half Mexican and Spanish) felt like a rebellion."