Once upon a time when I was a lesbian…

NaBloWriMo[SubmissiveGuyComics is also doing a post for our NaBloWriMo project, though he’s hiding some of them on Twitter so if you aren’t following him, you should… ]

 

I sometimes jokingly say ‘once upon a time when I was a lesbian…’. It sounds frivolous, and it is a lighthearted reference, but it refers to a really important part of my life, and one I struggled with, though perhaps not for the obvious reasons.

My first love was a girl. I’ve mentioned her before a couple of times. Holy god she was something.

And when I say love, I mean ‘true love’ of the whole-hearted kind that you never really have again after your heart is broken. That first love that is all encompassing, revelatory, overwhelming, passionate, and soul wrenching. She was the beginning of everything for me.

I had dated boys before then, but I’d never felt about them the way that they felt about me. And the sexual interactions were awkward and strange and clinical. I felt like an alien in my own body with them. I was the gatekeeper in sexual activity that was enacted ON me, and it was never about my pleasure anyway.

She was a little older than me and I assumed that she had experience with girls. She didn’t. We were each other’s firsts. We found each other and explored together. Obsessive passion, lots of sneaking out and in windows to spend nights together, hours of exploring each others bodies, so much kissing, and underneath, a kinship that has survived even until today. I loved her with the kind of intensity that seems to be the realm of the young, those virgin hearts have a freedom that gets reined in a little after each time they get broken.

I didn’t struggle at all with the idea of being a lesbian: I loved her, that was it.

We developed a close group of lesbian friends with whom we would go out as a couple and get drunk over endless dinners, after which we’d go out to gay clubs and dance until our feet couldn’t take any more. She and I would stumble home together, dissecting the evening, kissing and having sex until we passed out happy and exhausted.

And then we broke up.

And I wish it was as easy as that sentence makes it sound. It wasn’t, of course it wasn’t. It was horrible and messy and unbearably painful.

In the aftermath, we still had the same group of friends. The lesbian community was small, everyone had slept with everyone, knew everyone’s business, like any subculture in any city in the world. You either remained friendly or you became isolated. We were not angry with each other, we were just both hurt and raw, me more than her. She moved on more quickly, I had to deal with it. I did. Often not well and not easily, but I did.

So we would still do what we always did. Hang out, have long dinners, get drunk, go out dancing. I dated some other women, and there was nothing there. Nothing. So I figured it wasn’t a match. So I tried again. And again. And again. With wonderful, smart, hot women, and I felt… nothing: emotionally, sexually, I was empty. I was just going through the motions.

And finally, I had to face a terrifying truth: I wasn’t a lesbian.

Terrifying because these were my friends, these were my people, this was my life, this was ‘who I was’. Only I wasn’t.

And I struggled because I WANTED to be a lesbian. I know that sounds strange, who would want to be marginalised and face everything that entailed? But for many years, I had been at home with this identity, I’d felt love, I had friends, I was part of the community, and I didn’t want to NOT be ‘one of us’ any more.

It was like ‘coming out’ in reverse.

I started dating men, and they weren’t welcome into my group of friends. They wanted a space for lesbian women, so while they would still welcome me, if I had a male partner, he wasn’t welcome. They tolerated him if we were going to a neutral venue. He could come to a concert, and they were never hostile to him, he was just… irrelevant. But he wasn’t welcome to our dinners out, to private parties, to any of the gatherings that were my social life.

I didn’t rail against it, I didn’t argue, I understood. It was fair enough. But I slowly became ‘other’. I no longer really fitted, even when it was just me. I knew it, they knew it. And when I drifted away, I think they were relieved to see me go.

I was no longer ‘one of us’, I was ‘one of them’.

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22 Comments

  1. Oh that is so sad Ferns I can understand your friends feelings in a way but they weren’t really your friends if they did that to you
    *waves fist angrily, yet sadly and maybe a bit sexily *
    You’ll always be a lesbian to me! ( well except for the whole not wanting to sleep with women thing but but pffft details)
    Coug

    1. It was sad and really difficult for me, and I struggled not to be angry at them.

      I wouldn’t say they weren’t really my friends: I would say that I started living a life that became incompatible with theirs and we drifted apart.

      I *could* have made efforts to go and see them on my own, but I found it stressful to have friends who didn’t want to acknowledge my partner or my relationship. Being invited to things and continually having to say to my boyfriend ‘But you’re not welcome there’ made me feel uncomfortable.

      My ex girlfriend is still a friend, so we did okay in the end.

      “You’ll always be a lesbian to me! ( well except for the whole not wanting to sleep with women thing but but pffft details)”

      *laugh* I should have gotten my toaster oven back then when I had the chance!

      Ferns

      1. Yes indeed!

        Fascinating, frustrating, impossible to deal with, lovely, wonderful, etc. All rolled into one big puzzle to sort through, smile.

        In fact, come to think of it, I think that, in part, a D/s relationship tends to make us delve more deeply into a person than a typical vanilla relationship would. To really push a persons’ buttons, you need to understand them well.

        That is not to say that a vanilla couple could not do so as well. I am sure many do. But it is also easy for them to relate on a relatively superficial (maybe that is not quite the right word, perhaps comfortable?) level, without delving so deeply.

        Hmmm, need to think about this some more…

    1. It did suck. Really bad. But it was a gradual drift, so it wasn’t as harsh as it might sound.

      I’m not a ‘group of friends’ person really, and I’m not sure if that made it harder (because I had one then, and I’d not really felt that before) or easier (as a natural introvert, I was always okay without that).

      Odd to think of these things so far past *smile*.

      Ferns

  2. This is so moving. Beautiful description of that first relationship, So sad that the whole sex thing is so politicized, and I appreciate your willingness to admit that the pieces don’t fit, but everybody is just being human the best way they can. I’m hoping it’s a stage in our social evolution.

    1. Thanks theo, and wouldn’t it be grand if we lived in a world where marginalised groups didn’t feel as if they *needed* their own spaces?

      I think a different society will come, but not in my lifetime.

      Ferns

  3. Well, can I say that as a card-and-other-things-carrying male, I have alway felt this incredible attraction to lesbians. I mean, we have soooo much in common. We both like girls for starters! Sadly this attraction has never been reciprocated, for some reason :-(. Aargh, I want to be a lesbian too! If I give your mother this wool, will she make me one?

      1. What can I say it’s a niche market, but it’s MY niche!
        *waves the rusty scissors around*
        Daka come lie down on the slab and we’ll soon have you ready for lesbianism… Now I won’t lie this won’t hurt a bit .oO(Fucktons possibly but not a bit)
        Coug

  4. First, I am so sorry that I have been caught up in my own horrible, messy, painful thing that I didn’t see you had written this post. I am so glad that I always come back to your blog.

    “And the sexual interactions were awkward and strange and clinical. I felt like an alien in my own body with them. I was the gatekeeper in sexual activity that was enacted ON me, and it was never about my pleasure anyway.”

    People ask me all the time about how I know I am a lesbian since I have dated men. You couldn’t have explained it better in the above paragraph. I tried dating men and it was EXACTLY like that for me.

    “They wanted a space for lesbian women, so while they would still welcome me, if I had a male partner, he wasn’t welcome.”

    I hate that. I know it wasn’t with bad intentions but I don’t do the “he’s not welcome” thing with my straight friends. They are part of the package.

    Sadly though I think there is still a huge divide between the “one of them” and “one of us”. I hear all the time “it doesn’t matter you’re a lesbian” to only find out it really does in the end.

    Respectfully,
    Mysticlez

    P.S if you know how to stop the horrible messy I could use those pointers

    1. I’m so sorry for your horrible messy and I wish I had some useful pointers. I don’t. Time and patience and being kind to yourself.

      “People ask me all the time about how I know I am a lesbian since I have dated men.”

      Interesting factoid by contrast: no-one has ever asked how I know I’m heterosexual since I have dated women.

      “I hate that. I know it wasn’t with bad intentions but I don’t do the “he’s not welcome” thing with my straight friends. They are part of the package.”

      Yeah, I hated it also.

      In truth, I’m not 100% sure where the line is between the theoretical ‘yeah don’t care’ and the actual ‘lack of common experiences’ that defines friendship.

      In those days, that group was tight-knit in the way only really young groups of friends are, and they (‘we’ before it became ‘they’) pretty much went exclusively to women-orientated events because they were all exploring a marginalised sexuality and dealing with the social and political implications of all of that, so I think those spaces were super important.

      No easy answers there. Are there ever?

      Ferns

  5. Oh! I never knew this about you. :-) Is it strange to say that I feel a smidge closer to you now knowing about your lady love? As a bi lady with definite strong memories of those overwhelming teenaged passions for amazing women… ;-)

    Sexuality’s a funny thing. I have another friend who was all vanilla and married to a guy when I first met her, and is now a domme with a wife…the only thing you can say for sure is that nothing is static. Even for folks who are always into just one gender, things change over a lifetime. Anyway…your first love sounds like an awesome person, and I’m glad you had that. But sorry that you lost friends. (As much as I do get the not wanting boys around.) *hugs*

    1. *smile* That’s not strange at all: if common experiences don’t make people feel closer to each other, I’m not sure what does. I get so much out of people going ‘me too!’ over things I write.

      Sexuality is so interesting isn’t it? I wonder how many people feel static simply because they are closed to other options. I can’t imagine falling for a woman again, but it’s less ‘I would NEVER’ and more ‘Well, it hasn’t happened in so long…’

      She *is* an awesome person. When we catch up, we’re always easy/comfortable in that way that old friends are.

      Thanks for the hugs *smile*.

      Ferns

      1. Good friendships with exes is pretty great. :) I get along with most of my male exes, but my wife got the happy-lesbian-ex situation. We all go watch Doctor Who together once every few months. It’s pretty great.

        I’ve been catching up on Thumper’s blog, and his posts about being bi and into guys in a sex/friends way but not a lifelong romance way. Which isn’t unlike how I feel, though I suppose I’m not incapable of falling for a guy romantically. I probably could. But I seem to love the ladies, ogle the dudes, these days. Such variety among humans!

        <3

        1. Ha! Yes it IS pretty great.

          I do get ogling (there was a stunning super-fit androgynous looking woman at crossfit who I couldn’t stop looking at… phew).

          I’m loving Thumper and Drew’s story also.

          Ferns

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