The Nights of Tel Aviv (Bring Wisdom)

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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.

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La Chienne Sans Collier (The Bitch Without a Leash)

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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.

The Slut Limbo

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# I Have No Will

I had been off sex for almost 3 months but last night, decadence called again with the outrageous Skirt Club Party. Girls only in a top floor private flat with terrace looking over the infinite possibilities of East London.

I am on an intense phase where I am paving my way to a healthy personal future with no violence or conflict. I am therefore rewiring my brain to sweeter stuff, at the emotional and physical level. (As I am writing this, a giant LOL sign is flashing in my head… not sure why). It doesn’t feel that’s too much to demand from life, right?

But last night all my good resolutions got screwed with me.

# Covered With Sugar

It all took off (the night + my bra) with the Tequila shots game, which I inaugurated. I had to lie down on a table. The bartender that I really like and do nothing to hide it covered me with ice and sugar which 2 girls had to lick off my body. When getting to my mouth, they drank a shot and were picking a strawberry from my lips. That gets a party started.

# Sweet Pea Girl

This too beautiful to be true Hollywood looking girl arrived late with her girlfriend. Literally everyone was glued to her. She actually was the Barbie doppelganger of my iconic friend H, which weirded me out a little when I got into stuff with her. But she was taking Marilyn Monroe style facial expressions and was calling everyone ‘Sweet Pea’ so I couldn’t possibly take the whole thing seriously. She was lovely though… at every level.

# Losing it

After several episodes, I lost track at some point. I found myself in bed with about 11 other girls and we all mingled. Then, all sense of time & space of who was doing what to which part of me disappeared. And reciprocally. Limbs, lips, tongues, hands, skin, hair were spinning around me at 360º.

I have to say that in occasional moments like this I get out of my head and get intensely blinded by a violent feeling of freedom. I can even say a violent feeling of happiness. Super furtive, but super strong, like a huge shot of adrenaline. Sex is empowering like nothing else.

# Lakota Girl

The bartender that I like and do nothing to hide it is fascinating. She’s a tattooed native Amerindian girl from the Lakota tribe. I made her the most peculiar first impression though. A while ago, at the inaugural party, I was all corseted and heartbroken and I ended up throwing up in my cleavage from her too strong cocktails. She had to sponge cause she was on duty, and then she gave me a speech on binge drinking as if I was 14. That was the most funny & embarrassing way ever to find out you like someone. She keeps reminding me about this episode – we laugh about it because I love making fun of myself and for others to do so – so we have this weird connection. Last night I told her how frustrated I was that I made this first impression, but she replied that I was still tiny and cute.

After her shift, she hanged out with the few girls left and told us hilarious anecdotes. She was featured in a porn movie years ago where she did no sex but had to say a silly line to a girl doing pull-ups. The line was something like: ” Oh, look at these muscles you have!” and after she said it she was hit by the stupidity of the situation and fainted. They had to do another take. She is fabulous. I am feeling all gross teenagy around her (binge drinking aside).

# Meeting the Parents

There is an after effect to any type of getting high. Most of the girls there have boyfriends. Some are even married. There were 2 steady couples of girls. Most people go back to someone who is morally responsible for them after wildness. I think I was the only single lez (as opposed to bisexual) with no affective stability. So, yes, the cooling down can be brutal. Sometimes it may be more difficult than some others. I was all happy yesterday. No affective badtrip, no hard return to reality. Only question marks in my head.

Last time I went to this particular party was in February. I threesomed all night with 2 girls who are now a happy couple. From the dynamic of the trio, I knew from the beginning that they would end up together. Sweet! They weren’t at the party yesterday because they are on an introducing-the-parents trip. Six months from threesome to meeting the parents. I am 31 and I have never been introduced to any parents. Why? Is that a subconscious choice of mine? Is that my nature? Am I condemned to wander in the Slut Limbo for the rest of my life and write about it?

# Sunday Morning

Don’t get me wrong. I love my life. I love my freedom. I am just questioning my ability for emotional 1-2-1 in bed. I was the last one to leave the party in the early hours of Sunday. I kissed Lakota Girl and the pretty organiser of the night at the door. She told me: “You were the star of the show for a moment!” Oh yeah? My peach bum was an ephemeral centre of attention. I replied in a smile that I couldn’t see anything going on, as it all took place behind me.

At the bus stop, a tipsy guy asked me what I had been up to. I told him the truth very simply. He thought that granted him the right to put his arm around my shoulders. Life is a jungle. I was feeling good, though.

I love the sexy fog of the following day.

I’m A Bad Ass

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On Sunday night, I landed in the bed of a semi-goddess born in 1993. I’m ten years older and it was my first time as a cougar. It weirded me out at the beginning, especially because she was highlighting it all the time with stuff like “You are beautiful for your age” or “What can you teach me about life?”

I eventually looked at the funny side of things and it really cracked me up.

In the middle of the night, we were chilling out in bed and her flat mate/ex-boyfriend got back home and walked in the room.

There I was, like a much cheaper version of Brigitte Bardot in ‘Le Mépris’, lying in the nude with my cheveux blonds épars in the flat of two strangers who were teenagers yesterday.

She told him: “That’s [my first name]. She applied for a job at the United Nations.”

He looked at me for a second and finally said: “Wow. That’s bad ass.”

That’s the most glamorous introduction that was ever made of me.