Lesbianism – It Ain’t for Sissies

Before I get into the heart of this post, I must comment on what it’s like to type the word “ain’t.”  I use it occasionally in vernacular speech, if I want to sound blue-collar-cool, or make some kind of point.  But I wonder if I’ve ever actually written it before.  If I have, I must have been on my second martini, and even then I’m not sure…I asked myself, do I capitalize?  (Yeah, because it’s a verb – DUH!)  And then, where does the apostrophe go?  (OK, probably between the “n” and the “t,” taking the place of the “o” in not.)  But why?  Because then that leaves the “ai.”  What the hell is “ai”?  Other than part of a melancholy mariachi song, or the lament of my Jewish grandfather (the one who fed me ice cream, not the one who fed me wine.)

But I digress…maybe because it’s easier to talk about “ain’t” than it is to talk about lesbianism…

To recap, in a previous post  I told the story of how my mom discovered me engaging in girly kissy fun and asked, “Are you a lesbian?” I just plain didn’t know.  It took a few years, but I would find out.

I’d always been interested in the opposite sex. There was my experience at age four with doing my first burlesque (by request, of course) for a couple of neighborhood boys.  That same year in nursery school came my first “boyfriend,” a kindergartner who was undaunted by the chain link fence that separated us.  Then there was my smooth paramour in third grade.  So I definitely had a history of interest in the male sex.  But after my mom’s question, I wondered, and I needed to find out.  Only how?

Things got worse before they got better.  The next boyfriend in junior high took me on my first actual date – to a school concert.  Jimmy and I were both pretty shy, so the walk home was filled with anxiety about whether/when there would be a kiss. He didn’t wait for my doorstep.  Instead, a forsythia bush in the local park became his Waterloo.  Suddenly he turned to me, grabbed my shoulders and injected my epiglottis with his tongue.  EWWW!!!  I was in shock.  When my mom asked if he had kissed me goodnight, all I could do was lurch to the bathroom.  Several more walks in the park ended in the same result.   I was pretty sure that I might be a lesbian.

Then there was Mitch, the teenage “Boy from New York City” that I met during a memorable summer in the Pocono Mountains.  I was only 13, but somehow I ‘won’ him from another girl who was 15 and had actual boobs.  But before we had our first kiss, tragedy struck:  I was a passenger in a near-fatal car accident.  My face and teeth were injured.  The next time I saw Mitch, I had stitches, swelling, gold frames around my front teeth, and shattered self-esteem.  He reassured me and even gently tried to give me that first kiss, but it left me cold.   And then I was sure – OMG, I AM a lesbian.

I liked to kiss girls.  And I didn’t like to kiss boys.  I was hideously deformed.  And right around the corner was high school.

 (Licking the Spoon, my book in progress about food, sex and relationship, discusses how teenage terrors about sexual identity or body image issues can derail a person’s access to future pleasure and intimacy – and how she can recover, even years later.)


(To be continued, including the answer I was looking for…)

31 thoughts on “Lesbianism – It Ain’t for Sissies

    • Sorry, Luz B! The outcome will hopefully be posted today (I get a little busy, what with my job and all! :)) Thanks for the encouragement.


    • Mason, I’ve probably been teaching the Kinsey scale since before you were born! I’d say I’m between a 1 and a 2. Women tend to lean more toward bisexuality than men, in general. But they don’t necessarily act on it as much as men who are bisexual.


  1. These stories definitely got a giggle or two out of me. We can all relate to the awkwardness and terrible stories of young love because we’ve been through it, in one form of another. But the very fact that we can look back and laugh at seemingly traumatic moments in our lives, only prove our maturation and growth as individuals.


    • When I was young and agonizing, I never would have imagined that one day I could laugh about it. Of course, after I had my appendix out I vowed that no man would ever see me naked either. Let’s just say that I did not keep that vow!


  2. I think most people struggle with this at some point. I was talking to my now boyfriend (who is very much a hardcore mexican catholic) and i admitted that i had been curious and experimented with girls before. He was stunned, and although i determined i am straight, what can i say i love boobs and i believe the womans body is a work of art!


    • I enjoyed doing the 2- and 3- parts. Not everyone has the patience to read them, though. As it is my blog posts are kind of long.


  3. Hands down to you Professor. Mitch still kissed you despite of your appearance, and over the 15-year old girl who has actual boobs. That made me chuckle.


  4. It’s good to know that I am not the only one who wondered about where the apostrophe would go in the word ain’t! XD When your mother asked you if you were a lesbian, how did you reply? When I first entered college, I was so focused on school that I hardly ever showed any interest in boys, so my parents were worried and asked me the same question. I, on the other hand said “what if I am” just to see what their reactions would be…my parents almost fainted when they heard that.


  5. Way to end with a cliffhanger, but I myself am lesbian. I was so attacted to girls and so infatuated by them. I knew i was lesbian because some boys were just a little ugly to me. I will keep reading pt. 2 🙂


  6. This was so funny! I myself have found myself questioning my sexuality as well so I completely relate to this. But I can’t believe you left me hanging like this, I’m about to read part 2 to see how you found your answer.


  7. oh no you left me in suspense, I want to know what happened this is how I know your book must be good. I have to go out and buy it. wow what a weird way to think that you are a lesbian just because you kiss some boy that probably didn’t know how to kiss. hummm I wonder now because I have always thought about that as well..


  8. I am a lesbian myself and never really had any relationship with boys but I’m uncomfortable with the idea of dating them or having any sexual attraction to men. It’s sad you had to go through that but I can’t wait what happens next!!


  9. Reading this as a girl who is conflicted between identifying as bisexual or lesbian has left me considering what it means to know myself and my own sexual identity thru my romantic life. I denied liking girls my whole life tho i had an interest in boys and now that i have gotten older i have have found myself more drawn to women. I Have been wondering if me still identifying as bisexual is correct on one hand could see myself with a man but when it comes down to it i always get way more nervous than with girls. I do not know if this is based on my own fears, societal pressures, or just a nostalgia for younger boy crazy years. Maybe it is something i will never truly understand or one day it may hit me, who knows? Anyways wanted to say that i enjoyed reading this and seeing how i am not alone in feeling this way.


    • You’re not alone at all! And that’s why the identifier LGBTQ – Q for Questioning (some say Queer now, but Questioning was the original designation). Because it seems like a simple answer, but it really isn’t. We can be attracted to people for so many reasons, their sex or gender only being part. And we can be afraid of some people for complex reasons, too. If you’d like my advice, I’d say, don’t worry so much about what label applies to you. Just follow your heart and with time I think you will understand. And if someone tries to push you for an answer, then they have an agenda and do not have your interests in mind. (For the record, I would say I am bisexual, but I have a much stronger desire for men than for women.)


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