Are Women More Available For Love Than Men? What Happened When I Switched Teams and Found Out.
Have you ever thought that your romantic life might be vastly improved by switching teams? Ever fantasized about joining the lesbians driving U-hauls to their first dates? After mastering the art of dating unavailable men, and finding myself mid-life, partnerless and still searching for love, the idea had certainly crossed my mind. Perhaps another women would be better suited as a partner for the committed relationship that now seemed the holy grail of my existence. While most of the straight people I knew were experimenting with some form of non-monogamy, or had completely given up on finding "the one," my gay friends were getting married in droves. Was my heterosexuality getting in the way of finding big L, story book, forever kinda Love? Perhaps it was time to try something else.
In my heyday I'd had the obligatory experimental phase. But during the past decade, my sapphic curiosities had remained tossed in the back of my closet, along with a pair of platform boots I simply couldn't part with. I knew they both belonged to another era of my life, but I couldn't help feeling like one day I might want to try them out again. And what better time than at a costume party right? So there I was, wearing those ridiculous boots. Admittedly a bit lonely after my most recent breakup. And perhaps I'd been watching too many episodes of Orange Is The New Black; #prison #cunnilingus #lesbian-interest #bare-breasts -- featuring sexy prison paramour (Laura Prepon) who just happens to resemble my aforementioned girl experiment of years past. But I digress. I was wearing a rut around the food table when I took notice of a mysterious and handsome guy across the room. Who turned out not to be a stranger -- or a guy -- at all.
It had been ten years since we'd first met, but I remembered two things about the cross dressed woman that stood before me; she was beautiful, and a lesbian.. And strangely enough, amazingly hot -- as a dude. Clearly I was becoming confused. But as I stared at her fedora wearing, mustachioed mug, I was sure that she was just the kind of man I could really fall for. I tend to like "pretty boys," and she was all that and a pod of Zac Efrons. If all it took was a hat and five O'clock shadow drawn on with pencil to make me weak in the knees, perhaps I could get past superficialities like gender…. and, well, genitals. It was my "vagina smagina" moment. I didn't know what the lesbians were calling it these days, but there was something in those eyes that spoke to me; and I wanted to know more.
As we caught up, I was immediately drawn in. She was soul searching, candid, self aware, and unpretentious. Being that we were about the same age, and (aside from some superficial packaging) both women, we seemed to have a natural rapport. Like I didn't need to be nervous and I could really just be myself. So when she asked for my number, I was delighted. I happily took another swig of whiskey, and before taking my leave announced with drunken confidence; "You know, I came here to meet you tonight, and you do not disappoint."
What the hell?! The words had slid smoothly from my drunken lips before I knew what I'd said, intended, or done. And fifteen minutes after that, she was IMing me on FB. "What did you mean by that?" she asked. "I don't know, but I just had this amazing feeling like we were supposed to meet tonight. Like you were just what I was looking for." And just like that, I finally tasted of the Holy Grail's sweet ambrosia. She said, "I think that's just about the hottest thing anybody has ever said to me" and before I could say rent a U-haul, we had a dinner date set for the following week.
She made it clear right away that she was single and available. After dating Bay Area men for two decades, the novelty of this alone was nearly enough to give me an orgasm. I mean; she called. She texted. She told me her status up front. She showed enthusiasm about me and our forthcoming date. It was amazing. Where were the games? The wait for that cryptic text? The hours of sleuthing through social media posts trying to suss out how many other people were being juggled besides me? As sad as it sounds, this is what my dating life had taught me to expect. Apparently romancing women was an entirely different game, and switching teams was everything I'd hoped for, and then some.
On day one I found myself fluttery, telling co-workers of my sexy rendezvous, and settling into the unfamiliar territory of availability. Daily texts, multiple times a day. Deep conversations. Requests for pictures. Wow! We'd yet to meet up, and by day two had already covered family, politics, and God. On day three, we shared creative interests. Talked performance. Practice and theory. When she told me she wanted to roll around in my burlesque costumes, I was at a loss. Gee, that's nice? I'd said I wanted someone open, who would share; and share we did. I owned some anger-management issues. She discussed anxiety disorders. It was day four, and I was no longer sure if we were dating, or in group therapy. On day five, I begun to suspect that the lack of mystery was becoming a turn off. On day six, when she started planning for successive dates before we'd even managed one, I was absolutely certain that was the case. By now, the volume of texting and IMing, coupled with the sheer intensity of this thing, had me in a panic. Clearly, I was in the deep end and treading water.
Now she wasn't the only one who was suffering from anxiety. As she described the PTSD that had plagued her since 9/11, causing unexpected, prolonged bouts of crying, I began to worry I was gonna have a breakdown myself. Considering our first date landed squarely on this unfortunate anniversary, it was good to get this talk out of the way, but it wasn't helping to ease my mood. I joked, "Hey, I'll try not to get pissed, you try not to cry, and we'll just have a good time; how bout that?" I suggested for our date that she accompany me to my favorite dance exercise class. Effectively moving me closer to my own comfort zone, while establishing a way to interact that didn't involve so much talking. I figured this way, regardless of the outcome, we'd sweat, laugh, and have an enjoyable, positive time together. Initially she agreed. But the night before our big date she wanted to process about our plans. Noooooooo!!!!!
"Not to be an asshole or anything, but would you have suggested dance exercise on a first date if I were a guy?"
OK. Now I was completely and utterly unnerved. In all honesty, the answer was yes. I had, and would ask anybody, of any sex, to accompany me to my dancercise class. Much to the chagrin of various good spirited boyfriends, gender wasn't the prerequisite when sharing my love of booty twerking work outs. Although truth be told, I'd mistakenly imagined I'd be able to share this with her without experiencing that awkward feeling I'd transgressed upon someone's masculinity. I'd fantasized half the fun of having a girlfriend included being "girly" together. But boy, I was dead wrong, or had definitely picked the wrong girl. Exasperated and confused, I tried to explain, "But you're not a man, and don't act anything like a man, so why would I treat you like one?" What man would tell me he wanted to roll around in my burlesque costumes. I mean.... c'mon.....
And that spoke to the heart of the matter, and called into question a lot of things about me and what I really wanted. Just one week of trying to engage the maelstrom of amorous female intensity left me feeling capsized. Perhaps my profoundly sappy chick heart wished for eternal fairy tale love, but my head had another story to tell. Maybe it's like that old Marx brother joke, the one Woody Allen opens with in Annie Hall; "I wouldn't want to belong to any club that would have me as a member. " I thought I urned for open communication, unabashed romantic enthusiasm, and availability, but when I got what I asked for, I didn't like it one bit. Was my heterosexuality getting in the way of me finding big L love with this big L lesbian? Perhaps. All I knew for certain was this thing wasn't gonna work out after all, and I cancelled our date.
Apparently I was right. Another women was better suited as a partner for the committed relationship I was longing for. Especially when compaired to those wanderlust, keeping it simple, it's complicated, I'm just not looking to commit to anything or anybody men I'd been dating. But maybe the men weren't the issue. When we got down to the nuts and bolts of it, this lady was loving, open, and accessible; I was the one who couldn't show up. Was it possible that the constant pursuit of unreachable men had kept me from seeing the truth? Perhaps all this time I'd been chasing what seemed unattainable, but the one who wasn't ready to have it was really me. For now, I'd keep my eye on the horizon for a stray sailor headed my way, but in the meantime, this lady emotion beach only had room for one Sea Hag.