That thing occurred during my travels in Iceland. I didn’t try for it. I am not sure how the events lined up from dawn to dusk but they paved my way into the bed of an unknown Viking. I embraced … Continue reading
Cover of the graphic novel ‘Mauvais Genre‘ by Chloé Cruchaudet
I read that sentence on the page of a yoga workshop the other day. “Addiction is the memory of pleasure”. Something clicked in my head. Click and release. I instantly understood my most recent human addiction. Maybe it wasn’t about love after all, or about the ecstatic feelings that I had. Maybe the purity of the heart has nothing to do with it. It may solely be due to the strong memories of pleasure engraved in my body.
My most recent addiction was a girl who used to be a boy. I haven’t written about her. I vaguely evoked a brutal ending somewhere at the beginning of the year. I couldn’t write about that as long as I was riding the waves of metamorphosis that are still spreading across my system. I know I’ll keep unfolding the layers of that brief and madly intense story for a very long time.
Saying that it’s the greatest human connection or the best sex I’ve ever had would trivialise it. It’s much deeper than that. She shook my core, she tainted my essence. She awoke a wide range of subtle sensations and emotions in my guts which had been numbed out for decades, or didn’t even exist before. I read in an article that people with sexual trauma often happen to have “emotional anaesthesia”. Like most girls, the integrity of my body has been violated at different levels more than once.
We spent only three months together, and it’s going to be four months that we ended it. But I am still absorbing the after effects of her, digesting the rushes of adrenaline in my blood and the rushes of cerebral pleasure. That’s where the addiction lies. My conscience doesn’t miss her, but my brain and body do. It’s taking forever to evacuate her from my system, like she was always meant to be a part of it and she’ll remain in my cells.
I won’t go into practical, anatomical or social considerations of what it’s like to date a transgender woman. It’s totally not the point. What I care about is how odd and complex, yet super logical and beautiful the combination of our souls and bodies was.
Go figure that frontal collision. What was the chance? An extremely feminine girl trapped in a male body and an assertive yet questioning & traumatised lesbian femme taking off each other’s clothes with all the passion and tenderness there is in the world. It was perfection made fuck. It was superbly absurd. Life-changingly sensual. There was so much love when we started. I don’t know where all that love went. Is it in storage somewhere between Paris and South America, or did it dissolve like our communication? I wish there was a place to claim lost love like lost property.
Making love with her resolved my sexual traumas without her even knowing about them. Therapeutic sex. I realised that I have no hatred or disgust of the male body. I only have hatred and disgust of male authority and desire, of men’s certitude that they are superior to me and can own me.
I verbalised my main sexual abuse to some of the people who were the closest to me, and they didn’t even acknowledge that I said something. I’ve been trying to resist judging or being mad at them. It is their right entirely. I’ve been trying even harder to resist feeling guilty that I spoke up. But all in all, if I could go back in time, I would keep my fucking mouth shut, because speaking up utterly screwed a number of my friendships despite my will.
I think I reached out for help and people didn’t answer – or maybe it didn’t sound like I was reaching for help. She helped me. She fixed me without knowing. It had been a mind fuck for so long, but the other day, I was in the elevator, and I suddenly understood that for the first time of my life, my approach of human sex was absolutely, entirely and magnificently FLUID and joyful.
I identified as lesbian most of my adult life. I now identify as pansexual. The potential objects of my affection are: everything that’s human, adult, consenting, and bizarrely beautiful.
All the knots and obstacles that were ever put on my intimate path gently dissolved in her arms. She’s been my biggest human adventure of all times.
I’ve been cynical about love for as long as I can remember. Cynical may not be the right word. Doubtful, resistant, defiant, unyielding? Refractory. I never liked the idea of being under the control of such a violent feeling.
As a teenager, whilst my friends started fantasizing about their boyfriends-to-be, I was fascinated by sex workers, by the idea of empowering myself making fast cash with my body, and above all by the idea of separating sex and emotion. It was probably the seeds of my inner self struggling to blossom in a socially unacceptable direction: I was already a mini-dyke and a sexually empowered girl, although there were no such words or concepts where I grew up. I was identifying to whores for lack of more accurate representations. I instinctively fell under the Madonna/Whore archetype: my intuition was telling me that I would never have a straight domestic life but I couldn’t quite put my finger on any other alternative. I didn’t become a sex worker but I’ve continued to be fascinated by it, by all its different forms, by the honesty and openness that it takes. I truly respect it.
I have loved immensely, of course. Humans are attractive, complex and mysterious. I love the way they move when they move well. I was on a serious relationship between 26 1/2 and 30. Before and after, I don’t know how to qualify my different positions on the map of the intimate, and I am not trying to analyze it. I don’t care. I don’t want to regret anything I did or haven’t done yet.
The only regret I may have is never having experienced the feeling of innocence. I am trying to define what I mean by that as I am writing. What is innocence? Is it the simple joy and bubbly faith inherent to the state of liking somebody? Feeling even briefly that the future is a promising road where you walk with sunshine in your face? I’ve always perceived the vulnerability of liking someone as a disaster, a defeat and a threat. It’s always been violent one way or the other. How can I take so much pride in claiming my braveness, and yet be that terrified by love?
My dysfunctional heart is changing, though.
I’ve been forced into softer feelings for the first time in my history and it happens to be for a man who has no clue about it. He’s been hanging out in my world for a while and without knowing, just by being his respectful and caring self, he has been putting me in touch with my innocence lost. Or rather with the innocence I never found. I am feeling like a clumsy first timer who has a million virginities to lose. It inundates me with joy. I am like a continent whose geological plates are shifting underneath the surface, until a volcanic eruption will provide tangible evidence of all the profound changes that have been occuring.
The girl I’ve always known as myself is leaving my body and that terrifies me. But it is a healthy terror. That’s insanely beautiful to entirely shed skin at my age. Not only my certitudes on my sexual identity are collapsing, which is a punch in itself, but above all, softening up to the vulnerability I’ve always banned from my existence feels revolutionary. I don’t want to have sex to change the world, I want to have sex because I feel like it.
Now. This happened. I was on the tube the other day after a gruelling day. I was thinking of how challenging my London life is and I was trying to remember what keeps me here, what really is of value in my life. I couldn’t find an ultimate reason to stay. I concluded that I was done with it, and that my strongest human bound right now is pointless, as it is with this man who doesn’t know how I feel since I am a terrified gay girl. I got off the train at the most random tube station ever with these dull voices singing in my head. I started walking on the tube platform looking at my feet and when I raised my head, there he was standing in my face like a solid tree. He smiled at me, amused by this unexpected encouter. My heart stopped, time was suspended. My conscience did a 360° spin to differentiate reality from my delirious imagination. But he really was in front of me, in a place where we both shouldn’t have really been.
Since that extraordinary disruptive element, I’ve been surrendering. I surrender to everything I’ve been resisting so far in my warrior’s life. I surrender to my love feelings and the vulnerability and discomfort that it brings. I surrender to the idea of my bisexuality. I surrender to my true nature, my creativity, my gypsiness, my witchcraft, being an artist.
I am on my way to accepting everything I’ve been denying or afraid of.
Picture by Eliza Goroya
There’s been this charming queer weekend recently where I wandered around the city and ended up in random situations with loveable creatures. My lifestyle in a nutshell.
I left my house on Friday night with my toothbrush and fresh knickers in my handbag, because I knew it would be one of those anything-can-happen weekends. As I was getting ready, I felt that delicious rush of passion in my veins. Drowning in the urban unknown with its infinite possibilities of encounters and situations. I live for this.
I normally get lost in the metropolis when I travel. Away from home, adrenaline and novelty make me go through days and nights without sleeping. It is always more difficult to do so in the city where we live, because we get caught in repetitiveness and fatigue. Too often, I forget to look up and around in London. It is such an incredible human landscape, though.
On Friday night, I met up with friends and we talked and giggled till late. I had sex till the dawn of Saturday was breaking. I was simultaneously super intense about the present moment and outside my body, miles away from what I was doing. It was an unusual sensation. I am not sure why?
The day after, I was invited to a leaving party in a flat attached to the Barbican (a famous London multi-arts centre). I didn’t go back home to wash away my smell of sex. I went straight to the art centre and hanged out there, aimless, to kill time. I stayed in the bathrooms for a while. They make me happy because each door has a different colour. I just wanted to pee a million times to try out every shade of paint.
In the main hall people were resting, working or having coffee on the big fat sofas. I lay down to watch them and nap intermittently. It reminded me of my youth, of my first life in London back in 2004, when I moved here and found it so tough that I gave up after six months. I was struggling with money so bad that on my days off, I was going to the Tate Modern gallery which has free entrance and I was napping on the sofas to feel surrounded with the murmur of the crowd. It was soothing me. It had been a long time since I hadn’t napped in a public place (except for airports). My bohemian side is getting pale. A man sharing my sofa suddenly starting puking his guts out. He wouldn’t stop. I went to get him a glass of water and left to my party.
I was the first guest to arrive. The flat was stunning, seventh floor with an amazing view of London from the bay window. I told the host that I wouldn’t stay long because I was behind in sleep. I didn’t know anyone apart from her.
And then, the hours passed by and I got dragged into joyful extravaganza with the queers/butches/fems/creatures/etc. We put some wigs on, I got the long blue one. I took off my top to cover my breasts with the long fake hair, like a queer Venus being born. A very pretty creature whom I was referring to as ‘he’ but I was told to use ‘they’ borrowed my Chanel lipstick and my leopard print fur coat. They looked better in them than I did, but I was excited rather than jealous.
We had the key to the garden of the Barbican Centre so we went in the middle of the night with wine and blankets. We must have been a beautiful procession of extravagant people in crazy outfits, about twelve of us. We sat down under the stars, near the water. I was familiar with that place by day, as it is a public spot where I come once in a while, but it felt extraordinary to have it privatised at night with a handful of attractive total strangers. I suddenly felt very much in the moment. Someone launched the idea of passing the bottle of wine around in a circle whilst telling stories about our respective life. Most people didn’t know each other, so it was an interesting exercise. One of us had just been randomly picked up from the street and dragged to the party just like that. I hate speaking in groups, but I made an effort. We went around the circle several times, and we went deeper at each round.
We all exposed our relationship to London, and it broadened my perspective on why I landed here and why I am staying after all, despite my love-hate relationship with it. Like often here, almost none of us were British. We were Greek, Canadian, German, French, South African, American. London in all its splendor. It is unique in the world to have that level of peaceful diversified cohabitation. We all moved here because we were suffocating in our countries or we wanted to live harder, faster, deeper. To embrace our different selves more. Everyone had incredible and different life paths to London. It seemed like all the awesome people’s roads lead to London. One person said that their visa was expiring soon and that they didn’t know yet whether it was going to be renewed or not. I was suddenly grateful for being part of that crew of human beings. The queer-landing-in-London-in-search-for-more crew.
We went back inside when our ass was about to turn into a block of ice. I finished the night in a big bed with three other lovely people. We took off our clothes just to hug and cuddle, to feel our super soft skin. Why not? Two of my bed partners woke up early on Sunday morning to go sing at a church choir. I wish I had had the guts to sing too, but I don’t like my own voice, whether it sings, screams or speaks.
I went back to the Barbican instead, to try new colours at those funky bathrooms. I went to see an exhibition by a Pakistani artist. The gallery was completely in the dark and there were fake blood stains on the floor. It really impressed me. I thought of the November Paris attacks. I think I had a different perception on art after two sleepless nights.
I finally came home on Sunday morning, tired, but bubblying and happy, reconciled with the city where I live. On the way back, I was singing the Nouvelle Vague cover of The Specials, ‘I go out on Friday night and I come home on Saturday morning‘, but I replaced Saturday with Sunday.
I took a shower.
I failed again to have a quiet weekend after the turpitude of November.
I went out for dinner at a Peruvian restaurant with two friends on Friday night. It was meant to be casual. I had fever and I was dressed like shit under my new leopard print faux fur coat that makes me roar instead of saying “Yes” or “No”. We are all three cheeky and sexually exploring girls. We meet up regularly to give each other update on our relationships and dates, a typical Sex & the City rendez-vous. We refer to 🍌 for boys and 🍎🍏 for girls and we laugh. It had been a very eventful week at each end of our triangle.
The Peruvian food was greasy. We went for one last drink at the flat of one of us. We had hot whisky and honey lying down on the bed. We naturally started mingling and cuddling, stroking each other like baby cats. We still naturally ended up making out in bed till dawn was breaking. It was super sweet, full of love and care and tenderness, like an energetic recharge. Beautiful.
We now refer to our Peruvian night as a secret code.
I went straight from the Peruvian night to the therapist surrounded by the erotic mist of the morning after. As I was walking, I started preparing in my head the summary of the last couple of weeks. My therapists are very fond of my stories, but they struggle to follow all the characters.
I love my messy life as it is. Yet, I can’t help feeling the injunction to justify it or “fix” it. Where are my impromptu nights leading to? What will I do when I am older? Should I get a ring around my finger while I am still fuckable? How long more will that be?
On my birthday this year, I told someone I was meeting for the first time that I had an awesome yet meaningless life. I said it was all rich and hilarious and populated by colourful people, but I have zero sense of utility or belonging beyond the temporary attractiveness of my anecdotes.
The guy replied: “You should have a kid.”
It took me by surprise.
I’m at the age where, if I was straight and I was on a “meaningless life” crisis, I suppose I could fix it with a man and a baby. What’s the antidote to a meaningless life feeling when you have unusual love paths?
(Don’t get me wrong. I totally believe in gay parenthood. But the road to get there is so unbeaten that you can’t take it to sort yourself out. It is the other way around. You need to be sorted out to get on it.)
How do you project yourself in a peaceful and meaningful future when you’re gay/polyamourous/trans/single and getting older/anyone who doesn’t fit the narrowness of the norm?
There is still no positive role model out there for the love weirdos of my generation. Period. We are in charge of inventing everything from scratch with no instructions whilst still being judged by society. (Yes. Society still judges really hard. Especially girls who mess up with their womb.)
I have no representation in mind of a successful lesbian parenting story where they lived happily ever after. In lesbian movies, one of them always dies in the end or ends up with a man. I have no representation in mind of a woman who aged alone but would arouse admiration from others because she was creative, accomplished and fulfilled. (Maybe Alexandra David-Néel?) When you age alone, people feel sorry for you: you’re a failure at some extents. It is the supreme threat for most human beings. But for me, the supreme threat is boredom.
There is still no positive representations out there for a life style outside the straight nuclear family. Everyone knows that other stuff exists, but it is not as valued and is always perceived like a second best wobbly model. Mentalities are evolving quickly and family schemas are less rigid than they used to be. But I still don’t know how to foresee my future whilst cherishing the craziness of my life which I don’t want to trade.
I work in the world of the American corporate (or shall I say Massachusetts corporate – even more conservative), where the important people always incidentally refer to their spouse and kids when introducing themselves in front of an audience. It seems like they need to plug anecdotes about their hubby and children as a subliminal guarantee that they are respectable, trustworthy and reliable people and won’t screw the business. Why can I not introduce myself in a business context making incidental jokes about my Peruvian nights? That could be a guarantee that I am cheeky, brave, that I live to the fullest and that I am in agreement with my own desires. These can be great business qualities as well.
Why isn’t queer and sexually exploring a recognised social value?
Why is my life style not valued?
I can’t recall a period of my life when my human relationships were messier nor richer than they are now. There’s been a fabulously confusing mist of boys & girls dancing hectically around me in the last month.
Let me describe the course of the events exactly as they have been unfolding.
On a Wednesday at the end of October, I went on a set up date with a barber born the same year as me. That was promising as ALL the girls from 1983 are awesome. We had a great time. I remember genuinely laughing and being relieved to find someone easy going. She then disappeared in the middle of a text conversation and hasn’t really reappeared since. To be continued?
The following weekend I had extreme sex with a dominatrix from Greece at a party called Girl Pile which concept is “Cookies & Girls only sex”. You can choose to bake or fuck or both at your convenience. The queer dom was my first Greek since the one who broke my heart. I decided this would seal my reconciliation with the Hellenic culture. I kept marks on my body for a few days but it was instructive and funny. I found out that, by a tour de force of fate, the next party of the kind is going to take place in the building where I used to live with the above mentioned Greek who broke my heart. I’m definitely going. Synchronic closure.
The day after, I received a message from a doctor that I was chatting with in March. We didn’t meet back then. She reappeared eight months later, simply saying “Hello”. I replied, amused by the interesting timing.
A few hours before Paris terrorist attacks, I made a step into the direction of the man whom I’ve been wondering for eighteen months if I like him or if it’s something else. My curiosity suddenly became unbearable: I got an irrational urge to investigate the nature of that unusual attraction. I drafted a message and pressed Send at 3.18pm after much tergiversation. I slept my way through the rest of the day out of emotional drain. It may sound exaggerated, but exposing some unspoken feelings to a man that I don’t really know was the most difficult thing I’ve ever done.
The man replied. It was hard to interpret his answer. I replied to his reply. He replied to my reply again. I left it there cause he’s not seizing the balloon I am throwing at him. It’s not going anywhere. He’s obviously not interested in me at the extent that I thought he would. I am burying my first ever desire for a straight man with the satisfaction that I’ve tried something and that I’m a brave love soldier.
The day I made a definitive cross over him, I decided without any apparent correlation to forgive the Greek who broke my heart (see above). Was there a correlation? As in getting rid of the two strongest yet hopeless heart swings I’ve had in my life. Like a curettage after a twin miscarriage. A few instants only after I verbalised to the universe that I was forgiving her, she coincidentally and indirectly manifested in my inbox. Dear her. Our timings have always been energetically so tuned, like our bodies used to be when we were making love. I hadn’t heard the sound of her voice since August 2014. That epic time, we had the last and memorable fight out of a long traumatising series: I yelled at her on a train platform and stored the memories of her in a faraway galaxy.
As she manifested, I felt the moment had come to dissolve our ghosts. I called her in the middle of the night. “Hello. Have we met?” I said when she picked up. We laughed. It feels like it was the first time we were on the same wave length and we were understanding each other. We spoke two hours about what had been occurring in our respective life since that ugly ending. In substance, we told each other: “I’ve been working my ass off at recovering from you and trying to find myself and my place in the world. I’m not quite there yet, but I’m ok now and I will always care for you.”
A couple of days later, I was supposed to finally meet the above mentioned doctor for the first time, but I was washed off by my disorganized emotions and I was dreaming of a solitary cinema screening. She called me in the evening whilst she was packing to spend the weekend in Berlin. I was hearing her voice for the first time. “Why don’t you come to Berlin with me?” she asked. “OK”, I said. I booked tickets, threw clothes in my flowery suitcase and made my way to a stranger’s house in order to travel with her.
This is how I landed under the heavily snowing skies of Berlin yesterday morning, wearing a thin shiny raincoat, to hang out all weekend with a lez GP, an adorable Ecuadorean girl who makes jewels shaped as shits and a giant Australian guy who’s a dyke hag. Me and the girls were all about 5ft tall and the dude was 6ft 6. I asked him if he felt like Snow White with us. He did. We went from one party to the other till 6am. At our first stop in a regular house converted into a bar just by hanging a disco ball from the ceiling, a choir of lyrical singers was performing. At the next venue, a very intoxicated guy made jokes about my height and wouldn’t let go off my hand. He was super excited to tell me that in Australia, he knew a gastro-enterologist called Doctor Butt.
Berlin night life.
We slept four people in a flat booked for one person. Tall Australian guy put his hand around my waist in my sleep. It took me by surprise that I liked it. Will my next love affair be a boy? I have a vague intuition that it will.
My “date” was the weirdest I’ve ever had. I am not sure if she 1/was intimidated 2/was testing me 3/found me obnoxious from the moment she opened the door 4/had a humour that I couldn’t get at all. I was thrown off the whole time. At some point she told me that it took her days and days of shopping to find the perfect sofa that she would want to look at everyday, and it was the same with the perfect partner. So I felt evaluated like an Ikea item. When we really managed to talk about real stuff face to face, it was nice, but overall it feels like she consciously or not did everything in her power to discourage me. I chose to laugh at the situation and embrace the glorious randomness of my life. I am glad I went on that human adventure.
Between each recent episode of my life, my gay husband Í consoles me, advises me, listens to me and cuddles me. He sleeps in my bed every Monday and we analyze my love disasters of the previous week. We touch each other very slowly and spend hours discussing our repulsion/attraction of the opposite sex holding each other in the dark. Another kind of ghost dissolving.
I’m on the plane back from Berlin as I’m compiling the highlights of the last five weeks. I’m somewhat nerve-wrecked and even more emotionally exhausted than usual. But I love it because I don’t know anything else.
There’s always been a shit ton of people in my perimeter, yet I sleep alone most of the time. People only seem to be into the first layer of me. Do they freak out at the thought of opening Pandora’s box?
Right before getting on my Berlin trip, I told my best friend that I was aiming at spending a normal weekend for a change and that I failed again. She said: “Have you ever had a normal weekend in your life? You’re LIVING.”
When did my gender confusion begin?
Probably 18 months ago in New York. I threw myself into dancing the 5 Rhythms, and I had multiple dance floor male attractions. I thought “Wow! Male energy is cool!” which had never really occured to me in real life. Some of these exalted attractions turned into proper desire, which has ongoingly thrown me off.
Till that point, my world had mostly been vertically split, a binary boy/girl division between whom I could like or not. But I’m finally finding out that there is no split, no opposition. Male and female energies are entangled in a circle.
I’ve started rethinking the concept of sexual orientation for my own self. My belief is that attraction is the result of a mysterious equation between people, which takes into account a yin/yang balance and their respective wounds. Gender is a minor factor. But I’ve been left with a conceptual void to identify how I feel.
If you screw the concept of sexual orientation, what do you replace it with? Bi-sexuality? Too binary. Pan-sexuality? Too voracious. The trendy concept of sexual fluidity? I don’t like fashions.
I learned the term ‘two-spirit‘ in San Francisco. It is a native Amerindian concept for people who have both male and female spirit in them. Amerindians were way more advanced than Westerners. They had four admitted genders instead of two. That’s the term that I like best amongst all the options.
It feels like there are new designations for human sexuality every month. Of course, you can always get away with it by saying “I refuse labels”, and I understand that. But look, I am an intellectual (LOL) and I am obsessed with articulating my thoughts and defining my feelings with accuracy. I therefore need a meaningful vocabulary for everything, including the map of desire. Isn’t violence supposed to be caused by a lack of words? Also, I’d rather pick a descriptive for myself before someone else does it wrongly for me.
I am agitated with all those questions because the beyond sexy Í came back in my world and in my bed.
He visited me last week, to bring me back the luggage that I left in Brighton after the Gay Pride (with my house keys in it, cause I love trouble). We went dancing the 5 Rhythms and he slept over at mine. He had no pyjamas, so I lent him my cropped T-shirt of the Kinsey Sicks – a drag-queen band – and my see-through black lace knickers, the largest I’ve got. He looked terrific in that outfit. I was wearing the male Ralph Lauren boxers that my New York gay husband gave me. I had an astral projection of what we were looking like while cuddling in bed and I laughed my head off. “We are gender fuckers”, I said.
We talked in the dark for a long time. We discussed our sexual attraction, which is the most natural yet the most odd thing in the world since, dare I say it, we are both gay as fuck. We don’t act on it, because this would make us momentarily straight and we are not ready to assume that. “I could make you feel very feminine”, he told me. I am sure I blushed in the dark. I am not saying I wouldn’t like that. He added: “We are genderly equal. You can be stronger at times and I’ll let go my feminine side, and the other way around.” I have been craving for gender equity. It is a total illusion to believe that there is gender equity between two girls. Fuck no. The most feminine-looking tends to be dominated at every level – I ironically wonder why?
My relationship with Í is awesome. I love him. He sees through me, beyond the shiny surface. He nails me. I am not used to people grasping me accurately. They usually see me either too good or too dumb, or they are thrown off by my contrasts and handle that for drama-queenness.
He diagnosed me “bisexual”. “For sure”, he insisted.
OK. Maybe. What now?
My first night out in Tel Aviv was on a Monday.
I googled what kind of fun was happening in the city reputed as the “Gay capital of the Middle East”. There was a girls night in a bar called AlphaBet, just a couple of blocks away from the Café Sheleg (‘snow’ in Hebrew) where I was hanging out.
I decided to give it a try, although I know too well my propension to freak out in girls-only environments. I don’t like the lesbian world. Women are hard on each other, because they don’t feel good with themselves most of the time. There is often anger, frustration and things to prove in the air. Once, a friend of mine told me “You are the only happy lesbian that I know” – and yet, most of my life shit has had to do with my orientation.
I thought I’d stay at AlphaBet for a drink or two and then move on to the male bars which are – in my case – guaranteed awesome party. But when I entered the AlphaBet, I got hit by an unusual good vibe. The atmosphere was cool and relaxed. I gave a look around. 9 girls out of 10 were beautiful and friendly-looking. It felt too good to be true, but there I was, I had found the spot of earth where all the pretty and nice lesbians were hiding. They’re all at the AlphaBet in Tel Aviv.
The bartender started chatting me up very soon. It was her second shift so she was under pressure. She translated the cocktail menu for me. She had a super warm and positive energy. I was already liking her. She kept laughing and I wanted to laugh with her. She asked me if I had randomly or purposely landed in Lesbian Paradise. I am used to that. I confirmed that I didn’t get lost in the L-World to encourage her to hit on me.
I had an unexpectedly AWESOME night. I would have never bet one second on having such a good time in a lez party on a Monday with a cocktail menu written in Hebrew so I had no clue of what I was drinking (that must have added to the fun). The best part of the night is that I didn’t talk, flirt or danced with anyone. I just sat at the bar or danced alone on the dance floor and I watched the happy girls. I love happy people. It really moved me and impacted me to see queer girls who were feeling good in their own skin. It shouldn’t be extraordinary, but it is, at least it’s been so far in my world. I just hanged out there like a lonely idiot to record all those beautiful faces in my memory.
There was a very young couple making out close to me, they were 17 at the most. I haven’t seen that young girls in lez nights in other countries, where the crowd is usually mid-20s to mid-40s. These two couldn’t let go of each other, they were so cuuuuuute, I wanted to step forward at them as their Queer Godmother to keep them forever protected so they wouldn’t get hurt by the idiot bullies on the outside world. I may need them more than they need me, though. They looked perfectly fine and they will continue to be. They belong to a new generation where hopefully who you fuck with starts being less of a collective deal. I watched them for a while, and when alcohol kicked in, I got overwhelmed by the unjust feeling that I am owed 15 years of my love life. I wish I could have gone to gay bars when I was 17 and find normal to make out with my girlfriend in a public place. I don’t know. This whole love/sex thing has been more arm-wrestling than fulfilling since my teenage. When I had my first girl attraction, I lived it like a malediction instead of jumping for joy. Some of it is due to the same-sex factor, some of it is due to the girl-off-the-beaten-path factor, and some of it is my personal ghost. I start gently taming it, though.
I stayed till the end. Cool Bartender had finished her shift and had long been gone after wrapping her arm around me. I left the place but I immediately got back in to do something that I don’t easily do when I have a crush on someone that I could potentially really like. I gave it a chance. I asked another bartender – who also thought that I had landed by accident in the lez jungle – to give my card to the girl. It was my corporate business card, not the writer one. That night, I took the conscious decision to reverse the course of my destiny and to give a chance to awesomeness in relationships. There are great people out there in the broadness of our planet.
I was super proud of myself for a change.
The day after, on Tuesday, it was Drag Queen night at Evita, one of the most famous gay bars of Tel Aviv. When I enter a male gay bar anywhere in the world – and I’ve seen MANY – I get this exact same feeling of home, safety and family. I know I am going to be instantly accepted. It never fails. Gay boys love me, and it is passionately mutual. It is an entire part of my sexual identity, because I have been assertive about it for longer. I have a magnificent “collection” of gay husbands whom I love in an irrational manner. This type of love is blurry. There is some kind of sexual attraction to it. It is hard to describe, because it is fascinatingly proteiform, as anything relating to human desire. (The trend calls that “sexual fluidity”, but I prefer not qualifying it. Makes me feel stronger about it.)
So, I entered the Evita as a conquerred land. It took less than a minute to have a guy all over me. He was the waiter of the place, Calvin Klein model looking. Ridiculously well-built. The drag show was the cheapest I have ever seen. There were two worn out drags with VERY big feet. The most worn out of the two asked if there were any foreigners in the audience. I was the first to raise my hand, I thought I’d have my minute of glory from my eternal fans. But cheap drag with big feet (and ugly shoes) told me: “Argh, you’re a girl, not interesting.” These two scarecrows lost my attention for the rest of the night. I only laughed when the timing of their jokes about Eurovision was really off.
Thank God, another show was going on behind the counter. The jaw-dropping waiter was shamelessly hitting on me all night. He claimed to be straight. Every time he was passing by me, he was whispering dirty stuff in my ear, but as I was difficult to convince, he started licking the bar, the beer pump and every piece of furniture he was approaching to “turn me on”. But I was just dying laughing. He tried everything to take me home. Well. I started considering it, because he made me a very interesting proposal. I have a fantasy to f**k a boy like a boy – to be a gay boy just for a moment – and he was into that. So I could have quenched my curiosity that night. I never even thought I’d be given that opportunity so easily. That would be a very interesting research on human desire and a very funny story to write.
But there I was again, as a good story maker. I pondered for a moment. Something was holding me back. The guy was pushy and over the top, and I was trying to sense where my own desire was. Just writing a good story? I don’t want to be the girl with good stories any more. I am known for that in my circle, this is even why I launched a blog. I want to have a funny and adventurous life, but I want the good stories to be off my heart and knickers. I am claiming the right to be “normal”, plain, serene, even sometimes boring, at the emotional level. I deserve it. Yeah!
The Bar Licker gave me half an hour to make up my mind as the bar was closing. Fuck your perfect abs, dude. I’d rather sleep again with a guy with more belly but more heart. Not interested. I walked back home when everyone left, and I went to bed alone and happy. I had acted on reversing the course of my destiny again.
I was super proud of myself for a change.
The day after, Wednesday, was another girls night at a bar called Shpagat. It means ‘split’ in Hebrew. I drunk Arak and grapefruit alone at the bar. There was no magic this time. I wasn’t impressed. I was feeling average and tired after the emotions of the last two nights. I shook up my habits and went to bed by 11pm.
I was super proud of myself for a change.
I’ve been dragging around a growing feeling of misfitness in the last weeks.
I feel like a misfit at work, where my “originality” and assertion are getting suspicious and play against me. I am a misfit around people my age who settle in relationships whilst I am pushing the barriers of self-exploration always further. My aim in this life is to reach a level of zero self-censorship or self-judgement. Whatever I feel like doing, I’ll manage some day to not even question my desire and sink into it.
When the debate about gay marriage broke out in France, there was one speech that summarised it all and that I wish I had written.
It was the tribune written by the lesbian writer Virginie Despentes in the gay magazine Têtu in November 2012. In that text, she compares gay women to bitches (as in female dogs) with no leash. It’s brilliant. That’s the most accurate definition of lesbianism I’ve ever heard. This comparison applies not only to lesbians but to all the girls who are a bit too free, too loud or too assertive.
The original version reads: “Je sais, je comprends, ça gêne l’oppresseur quand deux chiennes oublient le collier, ça gêne pour les maintenir sous le joug de l’hétérosexualité, c’est ennuyeux, on les tient moins bien.” (“I understand that it may bother the oppressor when two bitches forget to put on a collar, it makes it more difficult to maintain them within heterosexuality. That’s annoying, you can’t restrain them that well.”) Apologies for the poor translation but you get the idea.
Since I read this, every time I’ve been in a social context where I am being criticised or where my nature makes me feel implicitly awkward or different – not necessarily related to my gayness, but more to my combination of femininity and power – I think of that image and it gives me courage.
Hum. Let me scan my memory. When did my bitch trouble start? I believe this feeling has been a long-life companion. I would almost be wobbly without it. As a teenager, I remember the women of my family trying to control my appearance and relationships and the men of my family trying to control my studies and future career. It wasn’t easy, but I won both battles. This was my fuck you school.
In what situations does my bitch-without-a-leash-ness feeling concretely manifest?
1/ When straight guys attempt to make me feel like I have no judgment upon what I like in bed and behave with me as if I didn’t mean what I say (see screenshots above – and that’s just a sample. I gave myself the mission to educate every single ignorant guy in the universe.)
2/ When some girls I got intimate with first enjoyed that I am a “power bottom” with barely no sexual limits, and all of a sudden only one of us was a slut. (Girls are so prompt to call another girl a slut. Lesbians are so prompt to become dreadful machos if you happen to be more fem than them. One has to explain me something: why is this power relation between dom and sub still going? Why is there an eternal despise for the one who enjoys receiving whether it is a boy/girl, boy/boy or girl/girl configuration? This kills me. Enjoying receiving sex is a sublime thing and should never be associated with slutness.)
3/ Because I don’t compromise on the way I present myself. I don’t want to trade my clothes to look more respectable, because if people stop for a minute and listen to what I say, they’ll see that I am and that my style has nothing to do with it.
4/ Because I am a lightning rod in the corporate world as I verbalise what everyone thinks but doesn’t really say. I know that I am perceived as unpredictable, because I don’t have a standard life and attitude. I got drunk with my senior manager the other night and in the flow of the conversation she said in a friendly way: “I don’t find you very obedient.” There we go. I took it as a compliment, but I should have checked out of curiosity whether it really was one.
5/ Family reunions. Not even worth developing as it is too obvious. My family knows about 20% of what is really happening in my life, and yet I have to tone it down.
6/ Simply walking alone in some cities is a constant reminder that you are a bitch without a leash (aka a man).
Last time I saw my therapist we got in a heated debate and I lost my nerves. I think I started shouting a little. I was asking the questions for a change: “In what moments of her life do you think a girl like me can feel like she is fully herself? How often do you think I can experience full freedom at the intensity that I need? There are three spaces of expression that I know of: the dance floor, writing my life on my blog, and potentially sex with a very intelligent and accepting partner.”
I am still waiting on the third one.
That’s one year ago that I flew to New York to escape a love story that screwed me up.
One year later, I’m writing this on the pebbly beach of Brighton, facing the silver sea. I’m on the run again from a sentimental mind fuck. How? Why? The damage is minimal though so I’m only taking a couple of days out of my regular life frame to recover.
It’s this girl, the Death Expert (see previous post). She got into my life 13 days ago, threw a couple of bombs and got out of it as brutally as she burst in. Oh dear extremes. I cherish you, you know that, but I wouldn’t be against a bit of balance too.
I saw her Monday through Sunday and everytime we had sex it was going spiritually deeper. She was opening me new mental spaces, I was surrendering the whole of my body and soul underneath her. I was giving into her to break all the remnants of my boundaries. It was an insane cerebral and physical journey, and I know it was mutual. It felt like there were no limits on earth within the time-space we created in my minuscule bedroom. I really was falling in love with her through the mental freedom that our sexual connection was inundating me with. I never experienced that before. Falling in love with someone through sexual chemistry. Our connection was paving the way to so much more. We could talk about so personal stuff, intimate stuff, real stuff, in ways that I wouldn’t have in another context or with another person.
Those 7 days were so fucking special.
Last time we had sex, between Saturday and Sunday, it was hyper emotional, and I never say that. I tend to keep away from emotion, because I don’t like being disturbed or needy or dependent. But we were kissing in ways that rocked my world, I felt there was so much more to it. I was entirely present to myself, my head was turned off. Oh my God. I’ll remember that.
After that night, I didn’t see her for 3 days. Late on Wednesday, she finally invited me over for tea. I thought she was inviting me for “tea”, cause I know how our cuppas were always ending. 50 Shades of Earl Grey.
I knocked her door right before midnight. It was the first time I was seeing where she lives. She looked different when she opened. She had been snorting coke for I don’t know how long. It wasn’t the girl I had met the week before and started seriously falling for. All night, I was the helpless spectator of her coke addiction. She snorted line after line in front of me for 3 hours. Every time she had a line, I had another lemon and ginger tea. It didn’t even seem to be that fun up there in the artificial paradise.
I left at 2.30am when the gram was gone. She gave me a strange look in the door frame. I knew she knew that she had lost the plot with me. And I felt for the first time that evening that she really really liked me as much as I liked her.
The following day, she texted me incoherent and aggressive blame around mid-day. In a nutshell: “My flatmates and I thought you were a bad-mannered straight slut last night.” Yeah, it took me a while to understand that she was accusing me to have hit all evening on her male flat mate wearing a robe. Needless to say I didn’t get into the debate. “OK. Thank you for the fun. Bye now!”
The most raging was to see my sexual orientation being challenged by the lesbian stoner who fucked me all week. If someone on earth knows what I like in bed, that’s her. Beyond the injustice of the situation, it hurt me that she used my femininity and sensuality to make me doubt about myself, like the average macho dumb guy would do at the local pub. You’re pretty? You’re a minx. You’re feminine? You can’t really be gay.
That was so fucking violent.
Ironically, I had this conversation with her on the day we met, in her car. I explained her with humility that my main struggle in life was resisting what people project on me, cause I get perceived the wrong way all the time. I seem to mirror their shit to a lot of people who don’t particularly like it and choose to attack me as their best defence. I know that song so well that these lost wankers just scratch the surface of my skin now. I know it’s kinda empowering to put me down, because I’m wild and healthy and my life is fabulous without any substance up my nose or down my veins. I’m not patronising about drugs, I don’t give a shit if people enjoy mistreating their body. Just don’t blame me about it.
In situations of crisis, I have my personal life saviors in the person of my gay husbands. λ, my Paris hubby, sponged the first wave of shock. I always cry in his bosom first. He was following the action live, like he’s been doing with my life drama since 2007. We always end up laughing about it, especially when it is not funny. Then, I organised my escape to Brighton to see Í, my Brit hubby. I knew his beautiful soul would recharge me and cleanse me from that unnecessary noise and dirt. God bless the awesome gay men who console my heart and play with my hair.
Í‘s flat is full of odd antique toys. We decided to bake a beetroot and chocolate cake cause he never baked a cake his whole life, but bought a cake tin 6 months ago. We went to do groceries like a funny little couple. We did pastry, watched the movie Magnolia in each other’s arms (which gave me the title to this blog post). We took a burning bath. He’s the only man that I love to see naked. He took the measuring glass and inundated me with hot water, saying: “Love and intimacy”. He knew I was aching. He’s searching his happiness too. We scrubbed each other’s body very gently, with all the care we have for each other.
Then, we took our slutiness out. We dressed sexy with Britney Spears tracks in the background to get ready for dancing all night at the Bulldog. He has incredible pieces of vintage designer clothes that he wears or doesn’t. He gave me the most fabulous circus jacket ever. I’m hawt in it. Man. I don’t know, I’m a cool girl. I don’t think I was ever bad to anyone. Why would people treat me like this?
With every new slap in my face, I feel a massive mutation to my real self coming closer.