There I was. Rewatching season one of GIRLS, watching Jessa grab Marnie’s hand as she told her eventual husband she was going “to go eat her cunt on the sidewalk,” and I thought, Yep. I’m tired of waiting for it to “just happen.” It wasn’t just happening. If I wanted to let a girl eat my cunt on the sidewalk (but preferably in a bed), I’d have to go searching for it. I was 27 years old and had only had one lesbian experience present itself to me, which I’d foolishly turned down, and now I wasn’t sure if it would ever happen organically again.
I’d like to say I put a lot of thought into my decision or that I spent years agonizing over my curiosity, or struggling with my sexuality, but in truth, I barely thought about it at all. It had never been much more than a casual conversation with girlfriends about whether or not I’d hook up with a girl if the opportunity presented itself, and my answer, like that of all highly sexed straight girls was of course “I think I’d do it. But I couldn’t, ya know, do it back.” (Wrong. So wrong.)
So, practically on a whim, I switched my settings on Tinder from “Interested in Men” to “Interested in Men and Women” and began swiping, “just to see.” I was mostly served “adventurous” women who were looking for a threesome for their boyfriends or husbands. One step at a time, I thought. The actual lesbians I saw were either too feminine or too butch for my liking. If I was going to do this, I was going to find my perfect Ruby Rose — someone with enough of a masculine energy that I was still genuinely attracted to her, while still being ~pretty~ enough to make her physically different from some dude.
AND THEN THERE SHE WAS.
I mean, relax. It’s not all that magical. It was Tinder. Of course she was there. But still. I swiped right and thought this doesn’t have to mean anything. We might not match (we did), she might not message me (she did), and I don’t even have to respond (I did).
From the very beginning, the conversation was shockingly effortless, which I’d initially concluded (or attempted to convince myself) was simply a result of women being better communicators than men. But in truth, I think even before we met, I knew I was more into this person than my usual Tinderonis. We talked for three straight days, from the time we woke up to the time we went to bed, about nothing and everything, as is the usual case for crushes you have on people you’ve only met digitally.
I’d decided not to tell her I was just trying something “for funsies” until right before the “for funsies” portion of our interactions came or didn’t come (no pun intended). I hated nothing more than when some dude told me he “wasn’t looking for something serious” before we’d even met. Fuck you, guy. No one’s trying to be your girlfriend. Saying “hey, I’m straight, but I just want to see what all the fuss is about puss” felt like the me-equivalent of that guy, so I didn’t want to bring it up. But somehow… it came up, as these things always do, in a conversation about the first time we’d had sex.
“I was 18. But I was ready for it years earlier,” I told her. “Practically running around my high school with my dress over my head offering up my virginity on a platter, but no one seemed to want to take it.”
“Haha, I wasn’t ready at all, but I think that’s because it was just something I felt like I had to do with my boyfriend at the time. When I finally slept with a girl a year later, I was like ‘oh, so this is what everyone’s been raving about.’”
Welp. This was it. She just talked about losing her boy virginity and her girl virginity, so if I didn’t tell her in this moment I’d never been with a woman, I’d feel like I was lying to her. And to my surprise, I cared! So I took a deep breath, drafted a long message, and hit send on something that might end my first girl-on-girl experience before it even started. Oh well. So long, Ruby Rose. This was almost one of the coolest things I’ve ever done.
“Oh, that doesn’t bother me at all.”
“And to be honest, I’m not surprised based on everything else you’ve told me about yourself.”
Stereotypes, man. Basics got it so hard out here.
“Have you ever even kissed a girl?”
“I mean, yeah, I’ve kissed girls when people were watching. You know, like, for male attention. So I’m not sure it counts.”
“You’re right. It doesn’t count. But you know….this really would be a better conversation to have over drinks. Maybe on Friday?”
“I can’t on Friday. I’m actually booked up the rest of the week, and then I’m flying home for a few days.”
“Well, then, how about tonight?”
TONIGHT?! I hadn’t even decided if I wanted to go through with this yet, and now it was happening, without me having a chance to wrap my mind around it. And then I realized I had two options. I could drag this out for ten more days until I came back from my trip, during which time I might talk myself out of it. Or I could say “fuck it,” and do something that scared me.
So, in one of the most nerve-wracking moments of my dating career, I agreed to go on a date with a woman.
I decided I needed to tone my usual “look” down, so I wore a green army jacket to offset my choker, heels, LBD, vampy lip and giant diamond hoops. In retrospect, I wasn’t offsetting much at all. I was still the most extra person in the room. I still wasn’t “fitting in” with any lesbian stereotype I’d ever heard. I was just myself in a jacket, but I needed something to calm my nerves, and this delusion was it.
I’d told no one where I was going that night. I mean, I told three people, but as someone who generally broadcasts her dates to thousands of strangers, that was basically no one. On the drive over to the bar up until the moment I saw her, a million things were going through my head:
What the fuck am I doing right now? How did this even happen so seemingly spontaneously? I mean, half spontaneously. I guess it was somewhat intentional. People are going to see me. Oh my God, people are going to think I’m gay. Fuck. Why do I even care if people think I’m gay? I’ve been out with gay people a MILLION times and don’t ever feel eyes on me. Why do I suddenly feel like I’m broadcasting this to the world. Why do I care? Shit, am I maybe gay? No, I love dick. I’m basically known for it. But vagina, omg, I don’t want to touch a vagina. Am I going to have to touch a vagina? Honestly, what happens if I touch a vagina and it’s not that bad? Does THAT make me ga–
I looked up from my phone and saw the girl I’d come to meet.
“I saw you walking around over there and thought it was you but couldn’t tell for sure. What are you drinking?”
Fuck. Who even pays? Do we switch off? Do we split it? I mean, she certainly LOOKS like the one who’d pay. And she asked me here. But how do you even know in these situations? Are gender roles obsolete when you’re the same gender? I mean, I’m definitely still the girl. Does deciding that one of us needs to be “the girl” make me too straight? I mean, I’m on a date with a WOMAN right now. That’s kind of gay. I mean, that’s like. Pretty fucking gay. Am I gay? Say something, dumbass.
“Vodka soda, extra lime.”
After a few minutes, or a few sips — I’m not really sure which one did it — I calmed down, and totally forgot “what” I was with and was just enjoying who I was with. It felt like a normal date. Because, well, it was a normal date. Her fallopian tubes did not escape her body to trap me on the Island of Lesbos. No one walked over to me to cut my hair. I felt no sudden urge to pick up a softball, or check the score of any games. And at no point did I deign to order a beer. I hardly remembered I was with a woman. Not that I felt like I was with a man. I just had no reason to think about her gender, save, the twenty minutes two men came to hit on us. But other than that, it was just a really good fucking date — man, woman, or child. Except not child, because that is illegal in all 50 states.
Four hours and six drinks went by before the conversation turned meta. We talked about her first date with a girl, and coming out to her family before she asked me how I felt being out with her, and if it was as scary as I thought it would be. Truthfully, it wasn’t. I was shockingly comfortable with her, and I told her so.
“So what if I kissed you right now?”
And suddenly, that comfort disappeared. I felt everything I’d felt over the past few days wash over my entire body all at once in that moment, tenfold. I was nervous, and excited, and still so unsure. Is this going to really be no big deal? Can it really just be something I do one time for street cred? Or does this somehow change how people view me. How I view myself. It’s going to take me from a girl who’s NEVER done this to one who, well, has. What kind of implications does this even have on me as a person? As a woman? As a sexual being? Do I really want to do this? …Do I really want to miss out on it? I was so aware of my heartbeat, I was certain she could hear it. I couldn’t move. I couldn’t even blink. And I don’t know what I said, if anything at all. But suddenly her hands were in my hair, and her mouth was on my mouth, and I wasn’t thinking any more.
It was the kind of hard, powerful kiss that felt like no matter what you did, you couldn’t get close enough, so you have to breathe each other in. Her hands continued to cup my face, pulling me toward her. And I felt my body melting. Or floating. Or in all reality, just fucking chilling there — she was a lesbian, not some kind of supernatural scientist with the ability to alter the composition of my body. My point is, it was almost too much passion (or too much alcohol) for two virtual strangers and it was absolutely too long-lasting to have been doing in public. After a full thirty seconds, she finally pulled away, looked me right in the eye, and gave a little head nod.
“You ready to kiss a girl when no one’s watching?”
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