At some point yesterday – perhaps while I was watching the 5th episode of Peppa Pig, or when I was feeding a plastic croissant to Buzz Lightyear – I realised something absolutely terrifying:
I’m going to have to date again.
I am not interested in being in another relationship right now, or any time soon. D. and I will doubtless spend a long time wading through the muddy waters of emotional and physical separation, and I plan to expend all my energy on my son, on myself, and on my studies. But eventually there will come a time when I have no more excuses. There will come a time when I feel steady enough and ready enough to open my heart to someone new…and I will have to start looking.
I hate lesbian dating. There, I said it. I may be gay, but there is something so refreshing about men’s directness in the early stages of flirtation. They leave very little to the imagination, and you’re left confident and completely convinced of their attraction to you (whether or not you reciprocate). With women, there is subtlety; there are nuances, fleeting glances, a whispering touch that lingers just a fraction of a second too long. In many ways it’s sort of beautiful, and god knows it is ridiculously erotic. But it’s also risky: what if the woman with whom you are flirting is straight, and is simply being friendly? What if you risk leaning in for a kiss, and then she flips and belts you in the face? The whole process is like trying to break a code when you’ve only got half the cipher: exasperating and perpetually confusing.
I have also been informed, by my family and friends, that I am ‘about as subtle as a brick shithouse’. In other words, the opacity of lesbian flirting etiquette is utterly lost on me. In the presence of beautiful women, I turn into a pubescent twelve-year-old; I end up blushing indiscriminately and yammering like a loon. A few people find this endearing, but most presume that I fell on my head as a child. (I did, but that’s beside the point.)
I tried being honest about my sexuality from the get-go once, but that failed quite spectacularly. I met a woman who was both married and straight, and despite the fact that she knew I was bisexual, she began a merciless campaign to get me to notice her. It worked. She didn’t half string me along, the vacuous tramp. She texted me all the time, and the messages she sent me were like something out of lesbian erotica. When I asked if she was being serious, she told me yes – twice! – so I tentatively asked her out for lunch. She readily agreed. She bought me a drink and I sat across from her, trying my best not to stare longingly at her sultry mouth. My stomach was twisting itself into knots; I couldn’t eat a thing, and I kept having vivid visions of dragging her into the bathroom and having sex with her up against the door of a dimly lit toilet cubicle (ah, sweet romance!). In the end, she listened and smiled, talked and laughed, but somehow always managed to keep her distance. Soon after, she told me it had all been a joke.
A joke? A JOKE?! In what way was that remotely funny? If I had told those kinds of jokes around the dinner table, my dad would have had a fucking coronary.
Needless to say, that friendship did not work out.
So, from the newly initiated lesbian, a plea for help: anybody got any hints? Tips? Tricks? Attractive and conveniently available lesbian friends who can wait a while (and then look past my nervous verbal diarrhoea)?