*Warning: There is a NSFW image included in this post*
If you are a lesbian or bisexual woman, you are guaranteed to have been in one or more of these super awkward situations. As if we don’t have enough other stuff to negotiate! Jeez.
Fancying a good friend
This is a classic, and I think, a pretty common way for gay woman to realize that they’re gay. It sort of gradually goes from “I love hanging out with Jenny!” to “Doesn’t Jenny’s hair smell nice?” to “I seem to be thinking about Jenny naked a lot these days but that’s probably just a phase everyone goes through, there’s probably not a human on the planet who hasn’t thought about Jenny naked!” to “OH SHIT, I think I might be gay.”
I mean, I’m not judging anyone who wants to think about Jenny naked, just to see if they’re into it or whatever. But the problem is once you’ve fully realised that you are 100% into thinking about Jenny naked, and in fact it’s something you’d like to witness in real life, and you’d like to be naked at the same time, and possibly you’d like it if there were some touching. Well, that tends to make you feel very awkward. Because you’ve already built up a friendship with Jenny, and now you feel a bit like you’re lying to her. Because your fluffy friendship Feels have migrated south for the winter into your loins, and poor, sweet Jenny doesn’t have a clue*.
Lezplaining female-on-female sex to a friend
Or worse: a family member with little to no imagination.
It will go like this, you’re having a few glasses of wine and shooting the breeze, and she’s telling you about the guy she fancies in the office or her relationship troubles. Suddenly she looks awkward and leans in. “What?” You ask. “Oh, it’s nothing…” She says as her eyes continue to burn into you. “Just say it,” you say, expecting her to tell you that she’s having an affair with her boss, or she doesn’t know whom to vote for. “How do you… do it?” she asks. You assume she means how on earth do you do it all; hold down a badly paying job, whilst maintaining your undercut, and reading up to five novels per year. Then the penny drops and you realise she means lesbian sex. I mean, you can explain if you like, but other correct responses include “Can’t you extrapolate?” “It’s none of your goddam business” or “Have you tried using the internet?”
Being called “Sir”
Specifically in a situation where it hasn’t been previously agreed upon or isn’t for your own personal arousal.
I’ve been called sir several times, and I’m relatively femme. The best time was on a plane. I was reading, had a hood pulled over my head, and short hair. The male flight attendant asked, “Would you like a drink, sir?” to which I replied, “Yes, I’ll have a gin and tonic, madam.” He looked very embarrassed for the rest of the journey.
I think people are just lazy and look for very easy social clues. If they see short hair, loose clothing, or a baseball cap they make a quick assumption and opt for masculine nouns and pronouns. Lots of people are androgynous now, too, but still that doesn’t necessarily mean they would be cool with being called sir. I would be all for some gender-neutral terms used in place of “Sir” and “Madam.” How about “Mir” or “Sadam”? No, I don’t think that works. Get back to me with your suggestions. In the meantime, I’ll spend a significant amount of time plucking out my facial hair before I go to the airport.
Another lesbian shouting at you for hanging out with her ex
Maybe she thinks you’ve had sex with her girlfriend? Maybe she just knows that you and her ex who’s just dumped her are friends? She can’t get at her ex anymore, so she’s going to shout at you. She yells incomprehensible things at you. Then she yells “How long has it been going on?!?” You still don’t know what she’s talking about and as far as you know, nothing has been going on. “Tell me!!!!” she yells. It’s either 9am or 9pm and all you can think about is getting a coffee/wine. You just wish she’d stop shouting. You don’t know how to make it stop and you can’t give her what she wants. The whole situation strikes you as incredibly pointless. It starts to send you into a depression cycle. You wish you’d had sex with her girlfriend so at least there’d be a reason to all this shouting.
Sleeping with your ex’s ex
This happens in the lesbian community simply because it can. Also, because it’s basically the second law of thermodynamics (bear with me); an isolated system’s entropy never decreases. The lesbian community tends to be an isolated system–i.e. it’s often a small community where almost everybody knows each other. Entropy is basically the number of ways particles can be arranged–or the number of ways lesbians can be arranged. This is why at some point you’ll probably sleep with your ex’s ex.
Unlike the second law of thermodynamics, this does not create a lesbodynamic equilibrium. Instead, it causes the system to collapse. The 5th, previously unheard of, law of thermodynamics is ‘if too many lesbians sleep with their ex’s ex the system becomes untenable and collapses in on itself like a star turning into a black hole’. Inside a black hole “space-time can become so warped that it twists in on itself, burrowing a hole through the very fabric of reality” according to this article about black holes. See? Sounds familiar doesn’t it?
Also, beware: nothing escapes a black hole. So, you’ll be lost in the black hole forever having arguments in a warped reality that doesn’t make sense. I’d tell you not to do it, but it’s almost inevitable. Hey, why’s Jenny in this black hole? Her hair still smells so good.
*Sorry to any women I know called Jenny.