Time for me is often best spent for me in learning about myself, my desires, needs, wants, and values, often by reading, writing, talking with friends and loved ones. I'm curious about the world around us and how I fit in it. It's a terrific and terrifying time to be alive, isn't it?
I used to say that I'm slow to open up but that seems to be less and less the case. Quoting a friend, "I'm an open book, just not everything is published." As I get older, I find I'm more likely to open up readily with new people that I meet. It's that sort of personal interaction and bonding outside of Facebook Like's, trimming content down to 140 characters, reblogs, and +1's that I find myself appreciating more and more. That said, when I feel the need for alone time, it's probably for a good reason. I often say that I'm an introvert that's good at faking it. Myers-Briggs says I'm an ESTJ. Meh. Decision making processes often make me channel my inner Vulcan.
I've spent approximately the past five years immersing myself in the Baltimore/DC BDSM/Fetish/kink community. It has felt like home for about that long but recently dissatisfaction with the subculture as a whole has helped me look outside our small, insular world. Previously, I've been extremely involved to the point that I barely knew any vanilla folks. Maybe it's just that the grass is greener, but I'd like a more eclectic and diverse mix of people in my life now. I'd hesitate at this point to call it a "lifestyle" but it's definitely a very key part of my sexuality and nothing I'd consider giving up right now.
My usual preference is cis women and individuals who are generally gender non-normative; In general, I prefer people who are a feminine and/or androgynous, especially if it's a conscious presentation and not just subscribed to as what society expect based on one's assumed chromosomes. If you have sexy hair, delicious smelling armpits, and can actually hold a conversation, you could be high up on my list. Stealing a term from a lover of mine, I've found that I'm fairly conversation-sexual. I can certainly find people attractive from a distance but there won't be attraction until we talk. I can't put my finger on any tangible reasons for it, but I often find myself attracted to women that are Jewish. Certainly nothing I fetishize or even actively look for. There's just a strong chance that if I'm into you, you might just be one of the chosen people.
What I look for in a partner is first and foremost kindness. I'm a better listener than talker, so finding the balance of conversation cadence is important. Finding an organic path for a relationship to emerge as opposed to having a predetermined route for how a dynamic between individuals will play out has suited me well over the years. Overall, I've noticed that I have a pattern of attracting and being attracted to intelligent, gorgeous, sub-oriented switches with unique or interesting gender expressions, but that lean towards a femme presentation.
Deal breakers? Hard to say, as I bet I could find exceptions to almost all these but I'll start with smoking, heavy drinking/drug use, monogamy, strong associations with most churches, Republican/Libertarian political viewpoints, nonconsensual misogyny, goal-oriented mindsets towards relationships, Men's Rights Movement association, and possessiveness.
Gender identity used to be a little complicated. "Man" is most accurate at this point but labels are especially unappealing for me personally, which I readily concede is a sizable privilege to have. "Demiguy" and "Guydyke" used to catch my fancy but never stuck. I had a flirtatious encounter with ID'ing as Genderqueer for a bit before arriving back at a more binary identificaiton. I used to self-ID as a feminist, then a masculist. Now I just say that I care about gender equality. It doesn't need to be in any movements name. It just needs to happen.
Like many here, OKC's limited selection of orientation options make "bisexual" the most accurate choice here. The only identification I'm comfortable keeping at the moment is "Queer". Basically the idea of dating a straight, vanilla, monogamous woman is pretty laughable at this point. Pronouns of choice are he/him/his or they/them/theirs. Dating a man? The chances are pretty slim, as I've never met anyone that identifies as a man that I've felt any romantic pull towards. Anything is possible, but please don't count on being my exception.
Wow, that all sounded way more narcissistic than I intended.
I am Friendly, Interesting, and Creative