Let’s examine the two most complicated subjects in the stratosphere: love and lesbians. Love is nuanced, painful, stupendous, dizzying, sexy, and traumatic. Lesbians are wicked smart, fearless, dramatic, and imaginative. Combine lesbians and love and you’re in for one giant shit-show mind-f*ck.
The complexity of the first relationship I ever had with a woman blew my straight friends away.
“She’s lying to me,” I would murmur after receiving a text that my girlfriend was “still at work.”
“How can you tell?” My best friend Ruba would ask, her baby-deer eyes wide and shimmery like the ocean.
“I can just feel it,” I would reply, still and meditative like a stone.
“Lesbians are intense,” Ruba would sigh.
“You have no idea.”
Maybe it’s because we’re women, and women tend to be wildly intuitive and hyper in touch with our giant mass of feelings, and all the feelings and psychic instincts render us completely insane. Maybe it’s all the estrogen that riles us up and makes us “Girl, Interrupted” style crazy. Maybe it’s the oxytocin that oozes out of our brains after we have orgasms, and all that combined oxy makes us feel drunk off lust. Maybe we just get bored easily, so we feel the need to play manic mind games with the people we date in order to keep things interesting.
I don’t know. I’m not a shrink.
But I do know that I’ve never met a lesbian who has had a simple dating life. We’re always “kind of sort of together” or are in the thick of a “toxic relationship” or are having “mind-blowing sex but horrible fights” or have a hunch we’re being cheated on or lied to. We have “emotional affairs,” which is total bullshit because what’s the point of dealing with the drama of an affair if we’re not even going to get laid, you know? We date our ex’s ex. We fall for people we should not fall for, like our best friend’s ex-wife or our boss who is married to a man and has six kids.
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The more fucked up the scenario, the more drawn to it we are.
I’m no exception. If you tell me you can’t be with me but LOVE me and live far away somewhere like Mars and have twenty-two different mental illnesses and thirty-six addictions and are forty-one years older than me and are married to a closeted Russian princess who will murder me if she finds out—I’m in, babe. I become intoxicated by your fucked-upness and want to drink up your crazy like it’s a fine wine. The sex is just so much better when dysfunction and doom are thrown into the mix, you know? Sex needs high stakes for it to be really good.
We play so many mind games with each other, don’t we? We’re sadists, us lezzies.
Here are three of the mind games I love to hate and hate that I love.
The “I really like you—actually I LOVE you—but I can’t be with you” game.
There is nothing that makes me want to snatch the soul out of my skull MORE than being told that I’m someone’s dream girl—but, they can’t be with me. It’s a very classic lesbian move because lesbians love to complicate everything, especially love, which is extremely masochistic because love is goddamn complicated enough on its own.
This is a true, true game, played by players. DO NOT fall for this game; it’s for the weak. Truth: if she really loved you like she says she loves you, she would figure out a way to be with you. Bottom line. She would leave her girlfriend. She would go to trauma therapy and work through her “trust” issues (is there anything more annoying than “trust” issues? Gag!). She would do long-distance. Whatever menial thing that’s getting in her way from being able to be with you would be dropped in a heartbeat if it were true love. Because true love is the most powerful force in the universe! Nothing gets in the way of true love. Well, except for maybe drug addiction, but that’s a whole other essay.
When a woman tells you she loves you but can’t date you, she’s really just trying to have her cake and eat it too. She wants you to stay obsessed with her and not move on, but she doesn’t want to commit to you because she wants to keep playing the field. She wants to keep getting laid from the plethora of girls she has on rotation—you being one of them. Trust me. I’ve been on both ends of this game, babe. Purr!
The “my ex-girlfriend is still a MASSIVE issue for me, and her presence triggers meltdowns” game.
Let me set the scene: you’re at a bar with the girl your dating, let’s say you’re at The Stonewall Inn on Christopher Street. It’s a beautiful evening, the stars are shining bright in the city sky, and you’ve got butterflies flapping around your adorable stomach. You and this girl have palpable chemistry, and it feels magnetic. Suddenly her face turns…gray. She looks like she’s had a bad oyster or something.
“Are you OK?” You ask, wondering if she’s about to hurl up the vodka soda you just bought her.
“NO! MY EX IS HERE!” She wails.
She proceeds to fly off the fucking handles. “This is my territory! Why is she here? Why is she tormenting ME like this!” She saunters over to her ex, the primal scent of rage wafting behind her. They begin to scream at each other! You stand with your jaw dropped in shock and terror. The ex storms out of the bar! You pray this girl will go back to normal now that her ex is gone, but she doesn’t. She’s, like, weird the whole night. Cold. Distant. Removed.
PSA: when someone has a violent reaction to their ex and starts treating you differently in her presence, she’s still hung up on her. When you’re over someone, you don’t really give a shit about what they do or where they are. Don’t get into a relationship with a lesbian who is still in love with her ex. Us lesbians have a hard time letting anything—women in particular—go. 90% of the women you date will still be screwed in the head over their ex. Find the 10% that have moved on with their lives and won’t act deranged when their ex shows up at the bar. Because exes always show up to the bar. Always.
The “let’s cuddle and spill secrets but NOT hookup” game.
This is one I don’t understand. At all. But, sadly, it’s happened to me quite a few times. The whole let’s lay in bed and hold each other and bare our souls and passionately cuddle but NOT hookup. What’s the point of cuddling without sexual intimacy (unless you’re old and married)? Why is it OK to spoon and be affectionate, but it’s not OK to get down and dirty? Isn’t cuddling more intimate and more vulnerable than mere sex? With sex, you can hide behind lust, but cuddling is lovey-dovey. It’s a physical expression of unabashed, pure tenderness!
I don’t know what the intention behind this game is, honey. This is a game I don’t play. Maybe she’s trying to get you to really want it? Maybe she’s not really gay? Who knows. Just run. Run out the door and into the bed of a girl who will at least give you an orgasm. Because, what’s the point of going through this acute lesbian dating torture if you’re not going to have an earth-shattering orgasm? I’ll put myself through hell if it means I get to have fabulous sex.