July 31st, 2019


Private Place - associated notes on non-binary gender in fiction

An essay meant to accompany my Good Omens story Private Place.

Hello there boys, girls, and sekhets of all ages. (I have no idea how/if you’re supposed to pluralize that. I do not actually speak ancient Egyptian.)

I wanted to talk about this story, and Aziraphale, and bodies, and how fanfiction can change lives.

As a transmasculine person it’s been incredibly difficult for me to feel desired. When the world at large presents images of “sexy” they never look even a tiny bit like me. The women are definitely not me, while the men are all broad shouldered and bulging with muscle, with trim waists and sixpacks and all that. And when people start going on about how actually women often find a softer type attractive, yeah, if you look at the photos and artwork they present, they mean skinny guys with softer jawlines but who are still shaped nothing at all like me. Nothing. Whatsoever. Like me. Also they have cocks. And I don’t. So there’s that.

Up until just a few weeks ago I had almost never read a story with sexual elements and felt that one of the people in it was physically me. I’ve come close when it comes to transmasculine people telling their own stories, now and then, but even those were still mostly skinny twink boys and guys on T with beards and shoulders, people who look nothing like my beardless, somewhat squishy, all-weight-in-thighs/butt build. The loving descriptions of sexually charged admiration lingered on words like “hard” and “fit” and “trim”, or on “cute” or “slender” not on “soft” or “chubby” or anything like that. I could dip into fiction specifically about fat, but “fat fetish” never felt like me either. Its descriptions seem to lean too far the other way, for one thing. I can still see my toes, you know? More importantly, fetishizing isn’t the same as attraction.

Then I encountered stories about Aziraphale. Stories that described his body in glowing terms. Stories, repeatedly, from many different authors, who waxed poetic about his big thighs, his soft belly, his pudgy figure. And even, even, even, stories where he has a vagina, and it’s just there, and he uses it, and he’s soft and heavy, and has this girl-thing but he’s still himself and just…

You ever started crying in the middle of somebody’s smutfic?

Yeah, uh.

That was me there. A body like mine. A person like me. (I mean, I’m not an angel, but we have other things in common too, including my tendency to slip into fussy posh diction even though I’m a flipping American, and my love of books, and the love of food that’s rather shaped both of us into squishiness.)

Repeatedly, from other people who were not me, from all these different authors, I was hearing a body like mine described as the focus of intense desire, as being sexy, as being wanted, as being appreciated because, not in spite of what it was like.

And then there’s the idea of being this “other” sort of being, inhabiting a body that’s not quite you, that doesn’t fit all of you and OH MY FUCKING GOD YES THAT’S ME. Here are stories about me, about somebody who fits into the world in so many ways that feel so like me. That part’s canon, even.

It was fucking amazing.

The last time I had sex I had my mind entirely full of all these images of Aziraphale having a pussy, being somebody like me, and I didn’t have to fight off any feelings of being unmasculine or sense of dysphoria for using the bits I’ve got. That is so rare I think the only other time it’s happened in years and years has been when my husband has specifically talked me through not worrying about it before we started. (Which, I’m not going to demand he give me a pep talk and spend half an hour on my insecurities every time we have sex, that’s no way to have a good sex life.)

Stories are important. The stories we tell about ourselves are the most important stories.

For a while now I’ve had a story about myself, that I’m a man who’s stuck with this damned vag, and I don’t want it, but there it is, so I have to live with it. But the one thing about Aziraphale is that he’s not stuck with anything. He can do his little miracles and have whatever he likes. If he chose to be that way, and he’s so like me, and he’s content with it, and desired with it, desirable with it… Maybe that could be my story too. Maybe I could say “given a choice, I might chose this.” (I mean, depending on the terms of the choosing, it’s true. I might.) I’ve had another story, too a story that goes “People like me aren’t really sexy, but it’s good that some people in my life are attracted anyway.” And maybe I can edit that story, and go “people like me are sexy” and leave it there.

So I wanted to write this story, this story about Aziraphale choosing the same body that I have, this story where somebody is this way on purpose, and it’s sexy without any need for caveats or “this isn’t to most people’s taste” or anything else that like. (I mean, he’s a little antsy about it, but only a little, it’s still what he wants, and what Crowley wants.) This story is a story I hope I can claim as my story, in a roundabout sort of way.

Maybe it’ll connect with a few other people as well.

Good Omens fandom, like all fandoms, isn’t without its problems. I could write a much less positive essay about some of them. Nevertheless, this fandom will always have a special place in my heart because it’s given me the chance to see a body like mine in a different light. So thanks to all the authors who’ve written sexy Aziraphale and his sexy thighs and his sexy pussy and all that. It really has meant the world to me.

This entry was originally posted at https://bladespark.dreamwidth.org/1547189.html.

Proper promotional posting

Private Place (7921 words) by bladespark
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Good Omens (TV)
Rating: Explicit
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Aziraphale/Crowley (Good Omens)
Characters: Aziraphale (Good Omens), Crowley (Good Omens)
Additional Tags: Porn With Plot, Genderqueer, Transgender, Gender Identity, Aziraphale Has A Vulva (Good Omens), Oral Sex, Cunnilingus, Insecurity, Body Worship, cuddles after

Aziraphale is not human, and this means he isn't a man. Nor is he a woman. But he wants to find a way to feel comfortable, a way to feel like himself while here on this Earth he so loves, living among humans. So when he discovers the idea of people who are third gender, and the idea that bodies don't have to be only male, only female, something about that feels like coming home.

And it just so happens that Crowley really likes wearing a cock when he makes an effort, so Aziraphale choosing a pussy makes the pair of them fit together as if they were made for each other.

This entry was originally posted at https://bladespark.dreamwidth.org/1547420.html.