Whether you're homosexual, full-on hetero or just cruising through the transit lounge of bisexuality, it's safe to assume that most of us have our sexual preferences figured out by the time we hit our early twenties. Some of us are lucky enough to know immediately (we are, after all, born that way baby) while the rest of us find out through good old-fashioned pre-adolescent sexperimentation. Sometimes the calling only comes much later on in life, when that one time at band camp suddenly brings out a series of suppressed emotions that raises a huge question mark over one's sexual identity. Whether it catches you off-guard or whether it was only a matter of time, crossing over into homosexual territory can be exceptionally puzzling, especially when it challenges everything you thought you were once so certain of.
The road to discovering one’s sexual orientation can be
long, confusing and sometimes, horribly delayed. The term "sexual fluidity" is probably the best way to describe these late-bloomers who seem to be hopping off the D-train in search of alternative relationships in the form of same sex unions. Put aside the physical aspects or the stereotype that a lesbian needs to resemble some form of mannish quality in order for a straight woman to find her appealing and what do you have? An intimate, intellectually stimulating, emotionally gratifying connection between two like-minded souls. That's not to say that men are incapable of possessing these qualities, just that a lesbian relationship certainly provides another option to women who claim to be done with men for good.
Interesting, yes, but not as idealistic or easy as it sounds, especially for a true-blooded lesbian who is having to take a risk on dating someone who is still so sexually insecure. She has to wonder whether this is this just an angry, anti-men phase that will pass or an actual shot at a long-term relationship and future. And then of course there's the common complications faced by the virgin lesbian. Entering the fold, coming out when you're not 100% sure, telling family and friends (including the local minister) about your lifestyle change, adversity, judgement. With so many factors to consider, do these relationships actually stand a chance at having a happy ending?
My lesbian oracle had come to my much-needed rescue on the subject. Claire was an attractive, intelligent lesbian with a high profile career that afforded her a house in Constantia and a sleek convertible that could turn even the straightest of women on. We met at a running marathon a couple of years back and instantly connected. Naturally she breezed through the marathon whereas I opted for a light stroll. This sister had it going on and if at any point I were to become a lesbian, Claire would be my kind of woman. She refuses to wear anything checked, finds Angelina Jolie as overrated as I do and hasn't a clue what to do with a power-tool.
I invited her round for a bottle of Pinot and asked whether she had ever been in a relationship with a virgin lesbian before. She proceeded to tell me about her most recent relationship with a "straight" woman called Lexie (36), an equally attractive fitness instructor who was non-lesbionic in the stereotypical sense. They met at a triathlon about a year after she had gotten divorced, and lived in the Southern Suburbs with her four-year old daughter, Tasha.
After spending a significant amount of time getting to know one another, Lexie had started developing romantic feelings for Claire. At first she thought it was just a moment of temporary insanity and tried to keep her distance to see whether her emotions would eventually subside but there was no doubt about it. Lexie was in love. For the first time in her life, she had found a soul mate, someone she felt was her equal in every sense, someone she was not afraid to share her innermost intricacies with. After about a month, she finally gave in to her heart and agreed to go out on their first official date.
The experience of dating a woman awakened something that Lexie had rejected a long time ago, and even though their relationship is on hiatus, Lexie would never look at relationships the same way ever again. Had she been a lesbian all this time or had being in such a mature relationship with another woman opened her mind to new and unconventional possibilities? Had the thought of being judged by society and straying from heterosexual lines prevented this from happening sooner or do all women have the potential of enjoying a same-sex relationship without the pressures of being boxed or labeled?
"You're probably wondering about the sex, aren't you? Well, it was amazing. It was the first time she had ever orgasmed because the intimacy had been so intense. I miss the sex, God do I miss the sex. We're sort of taking a break now because of the kid. Her family is super-religious and they're not too crazy about the two mommy business. I admire the fact that she is putting the child's needs first and sorting out her baggage. She needs this time to think about how serious she wants this relationship to be or whether she's just another lipstick lesbian. Either way. Great gal. Cheers to the queers love."
P!nk, Michelle Rodriguez, Eva Mendes. Les-be-honest: we all have one secret girl crush and while most of us would never dream of acting upon it, we cannot disregard or judge those who suddenly do. Maybe it is just a phase or maybe they'll go back to penis after a while but when a woman finds that special person she loves and adores, that person she connects with and hopes to share the rest of her life with, why should it matter whether they're Arthur or Martha?
When it comes to the L word, I couldn't help but wonder...does love need to have a particular a-gender?