BiMate: Trish

This originally appeared in BCN issue 80.

Trish has been around the UK bi scene for longer than almost anyone – her first BiCon was in 1991 in London, soon after joining London Bi Group. Bi, poly and involved in sexual freedom campaigns like Countdown on Spanner, a lot of her activism has been crossing the boundaries between those identities – perhaps definitively when running a poly workshop at the London SM Bi Group. In her time she has been Chair of SM Bis, been one-third of the editorial team behind the Unlimited Desires bi erotica anthology launched at BiCon 2000, and won the 1996 Erotic Oscar for Erotic Writer of the Year.

Take a seat and introduce yourself.
Helloa! I’m Trish, piglet, trishpiglet and, just lately, Dame T. I came to London in 1987 and, a few years after that, went along to the London Bi Group as someone else’s moral support person. After that first meeting I ended up on the committee for Bicon and helping on a magazine. Have done a few things Bi/SM and polyamory related since then (in an active meeting-attending capacity) alternated with periods of hibernation. I live with my primary partner in South London (who I adore), looooove the kinky, and have chronic illnesses, which are fucking annoying. I have had a desire, since childhood, to be telekinetic, but despite trying like mad over the years to make it work, no luck yet. My default setting is stupidly happy but with a frequent background trace of fretting. Oh, and I write porn. Is that enough introducing?

Which Olympic sport (current or wished for) could you represent your country in?
Non-stop talking about random nonsense. Blather, blather, blather – me; no idea where it all comes from.

What’s the best collective noun for bisexuals?
A brag of bisexuals as in “I just shagged X!” No offence intended; I think the lack of shame is encouraging, so long as we know how to be tactful when necessary.

What’s your favourite film?
My favourite film was a porn film I had copied onto a blank video – don’t know what it was called; all women, very femmy, and the action looked real. I learned various techniques and fun things from it and liked getting other people to watch it with me. Then someone borrowed it, didn’t give it back, and disappeared from my life. Some bad words were said at the time.

When did you know you were bisexual?
I’ve always recognised my attraction to both genders and have never called myself heterosexual. I did have a spell in the late eighties of calling myself a lesbian because I wasn’t attracted to, or doing anything with, any men. I started fancying a guy at college and seduced another bloke for practice – ended up in a 4 year relationship with practice bloke (he turned up at my flat the next morning asking what was for breakfast and I thought he looked undernourished so I fed him and carried on doing so – kind of describes the relationship, I think I fed him till he got sick of it). During me going out with him, my sister showed me an article on bisexuality and said it might be of interest to me – so I said ‘why?’ and she was, like, ‘D’uh!’

What’s your favourite sexual memory?
I have loads. Many happy 3-somes with my primary and our amorous-person-in-common are all up there.

What’s your favourite thing about being bi?

It’s helped me stop being assuming and judging about so many things. Not just being bi has done that, but the people I’ve met along the way, because of our shared sexuality, and the gay people and sm people who aren’t bi.

What’s your favourite sex accessory?
Gas mask. I have 4 mannequin heads on my bedroom shelves, I named them the other night when I couldn’t sleep but I forgot the names now, 3 of them wear my wigs and the 4th looks after the gas mask.

Who do you respect most in the world?
My mum.

What or who has inspired you the most?
Various friends/partners have inspired me at various times. People who struggle on and do stuff despite crap things having happened to them are a particular inspiration.

What makes you smile?
Jokes and cartoons, comedy, people, sunshine, rain (we need rain at the moment), enjoyment of life, someone pointing a camera at me (although that’ll end up being a a goofy one), things working out.

What is your most unlikely-to-be-fulfilled sexual fantasy?
Knowing what it’s like to have sex from a male body perspective. I was having this conversation, with a bloke last night, about what we’d do if we swapped bodies. I said the first thing I’d do is have a wank and he said the same. I asked him would he know what to do and he said no, but that he’d have fun finding out.

What should people try?
Do something you’re afraid of doing but which you think could make your life better/more fun. I need to remember that one myself, actually.

What are you most proud or ashamed of?
Proud: That I’ve conquered various phobias and made an effort to look after my health and have a good life in the face of being ill and/or in pain quite a lot of the time.

Ashamed: That I ever started smoking. Smoking has had a really bad effect on my health (I have been quit now for a few years). At the time I started it felt like a choice of start taking this drug or crack up. Might’ve been less damaging to go a bit mad.

What about your life would most surprise your 16 year old self?

My 16 year old self is ever present in my head as an active and judgemental force. She’s disappointed that I’m not more glamorous, successful or more of a beeeyatch who nobody wants to mess with. She thinks the world should be revolving around my every whim by now. I do listen to her on occasions but mostly I’m just glad to be the age I am and able to ignore her.