Girl-centric photography courtesy of Helmut Newton
If you were to ask me my sexual preference, my immediate reaction is that I’m straight. I have always envisioned spending my life with a male companion, having children in the traditional—but non-suburban—fashion, and getting old with a partner who will most likely need to pop a few little blue pills to get his ya-ya’s out. But underneath my straight girl exterior is a steaming libido for the tender touch of a woman. I would never deem myself a full-time—or even part-time—dweller of the Island of Lesbos, but I have had my girl-on-girl moments that, to me, felt far more serious than some people’s bullshit Liberal Arts college experimentation or feigned fantasies about lip-locking and cherry lip gloss.
In my wild high school days, I was always stealing kisses from girls. But not in the misogynist-centric Girls Gone Wild sense. It was never for shock value, or to say I did it, or to carve another notch on my proverbial bedpost. I have always acted on instinct, and what feels good to me at the time—an urge that has given me many colorful experiences, but has also caused me to hurt people and made me question whether I was living my life selfishly. But, as they say, no regrets. It’s all just free love, right?
In college I met Aja.* We were fast friends at the lame fashion school we both attended in downtown San Francisco. She was a half-Jamaican, half-Filipino firecracker with a pervy older boyfriend, and an energy that just made me feel warm whenever I was around her. While everything seemed very innocent at first, soon she was showing me explicit photos of her and her boyfriend’s raunchy sexcapades—cum shots, amateur blow job photography, and penetration snaps that would make even the jaundiced editors of Penthouse magazine blush. While I was majorly turned off by the very female-unfriendly subject matter of the photos, and the up-close-and-personal angles of my newfound friends, Aja was always a great friend and clothing construction mentor, who would help me sew and draft patterns when my extreme dyslexia took over.
One night everything changed. It was the evening before Easter Sunday, and she wanted to come over to give me a brand new sewing machine and help me with my sewing homework. I think we had to make a vomit-worthy poet blouse and I was getting stuck on the gathered Shakespearian-like sleeves. She arrived at my house in a circle skirt and cropped sweater, all of which she had made and altered herself. She wasn’t wearing underwear. We quickly got to setting up the machine and sewing my blouse. Afterwards we rewarded ourselves with a joint out on the back porch. I began to sense something in the air, like the thick tension when two dogs are about to fight or when firecrackers ignite in the muggy summer night sky. There was a perceptible shift, and it felt imbued with heavy masculine energy.
Photo courtesy of Photo Forum
Once inside she pounced on me. I was surprised but part of me just intuitively knew she wanted me. Aja was not a gentle or experienced lover of women. So accustomed to pleasing her porn-obsessed boyfriend, her touch was rough and her jabbing motions were incongruent with my soft form. Since I knew I wouldn’t find pleasure at her hands, I took over. I figured that if I knew what I wanted I could translate that to her unique urges and then guide myself from there.
In my experiences with men, I find great satisfaction in taking on the roll of the pleaser. But with women I find it to be an otherworldly thrill that moves my body in ways that I had never even fathomed. Watching her get-off was something I had never experienced with men. Their selfish whimpering at climax, and hair-grabbing moves never do much for me, whereas the giving-and-getting of pleasure with women is a mutual treat that has a different ebb and flow that is more wave-like and less like a rocket launcher.
Aja and I spent a few more warm spring nights discovering each other’s bodies and staying up all night laughing. I cut her off when she mentioned that her slime ball boyfriend wanted to join in our innocent fun. I didn’t want his grubby paws anywhere near me or my newly discovered sexual identity and autonomy. I think that is also the reason why I come back to—or dream of—being with women: there is so much inherent power and magic in finding arousal without the presence or aid of a man. And while Aja fucked like a man, she was all woman.
* Names have been changed.