After reading all the responses to your "why is being a dyke so easily shrugged off" query, I have to say, who cares? There's no way this question can ever be answered to everyone's satisfaction, so why bother? I don't read your column for abstract conversations about sexual identity. No, I read your column for the fuck-and-suck freak show. The dykes you mentioned for whatever reason decided that they wanted big hard cocks to rest their heads on at night. Who cares, Dan? If they want cock, let 'em have cock.
--Gotta Wild Bush
Never let it be said that I attempted to come between a dyke and a big hard cock. In fact, I can't think of a place I'd be less likely to come. Oh, wait, yes I can I'm pretty sure I'd be less likely to come between the Bush girls, Jenna and Barbara. Anyway, I'm with you, GWB: If a rainbow-flag-waving lesbian wants to run off with a big cock-waving man, hey, that's her absolute right. But don't I have an absolute right to find that curious? And don't I have a right to ask a few questions?
Look, not one of the lesbians I know who's run off with a man woke up and discovered "a God-shaped hole in her heart," as one Jesus-freakin' ex-lesbian claimed in The New York Times. Swearing off women to win a spot in heaven may be an idiotic thing to do but it's not hard to comprehend. I mean, every goddamn day people do crazy, stupid, fucked-up things to get on Jesus' good side. No, the ex-lesbians I know all seemed to wake up one day and discover man-shaped holes in their pants, which isn't idiotic but is paradoxically much harder to wrap my head around.
So, I'm sorry GWB, if a woman says she's a lesbian and then runs off with a man, she's got some explaining to do. And now, I'm going to butt out and let three man-lovin' lesbians do just that:
Why did I jump the fence and marry a guy?
(1) As a feminine queer woman, lesbians ignored me, or thought I was straight. It was also very perplexing when men followed me for blocks, asked me if I would model for photographs, etc. Why were men so hot for me when most lesbians couldn't care less?
(2) Once my butch girlfriends found out that I'd treat their strap-ons like dicks, that was all they wanted to do. Then came the inevitable, "I want to have a dick." Several of the butch girlfriends went on to become FTMs. When I found myself still attracted to them, I had to reevaluate my sexual orientation.
(3) One day I met a cool androgynous guy. Being open-minded, I thought, "Why not try it?" We were together four years. I have to say that he seemed very stable and secure compared to the butch dykes I'd been with (it's amazing what societal acceptance will do for you). He was smitten by my combination of extensive sexual experience and the fact that I'd previously slept with only three bio-boys; I was a virgin and whore rolled up in one. Sadly, I left him three months ago for various depressing reasons.
Oddly, now that I am a divorcée, dykes are swarming around me. Go figure.
--Knew What I Was Doing
I'm a 21-year-old college student who swore I was a lesbian for about five years. Then when I was 20 I fell in love with a guy. Gasp! I didn't "shrug off" my dykeness, Dan, I got clobbered by Cupid. So I moved to a different part of the sexuality spectrum. I think most people are bi. Some just act on it.
--Another Bi Chick
I was amused to see myself referenced in your column, Dan. I'm one of your female friends who's strayed from the path of True Lesbianism. Yes, I was a pussy-eating dyke for 12 years. I did the politically active thing, came out to my family, rode topless in Dykes on Bikes, got discriminated against, and was queer-bashed here and there. In short, I had a pretty typical young femme-dyke experience. But if you'd asked me 10 years ago if I would ever have an ongoing relationship with a male lover again, I don't know what I would have said. I knew I wasn't attracted to straight men, but it took me some time to realize that what I was turned off by was straight culture. But I had, in fact, been sexual with a number of fags over the years--sorry to burst that bubble, Dan--and it wasn't love, but it was good kinky fun. It was queer sex. Those strap-on skills of mine? I honed them on a number of happy fag assholes.
For most people, the other person's gender is the first and strongest criterion when selecting a lover. I've come to realize that isn't the case with me. My orientation is this: I'm kinky. I choose lovers from the hardcore, all-perverts-all-the-time, BDSM community. Before the BDSM dyke author Pat Califia gender-transitioned to being Patrick Califia, s/he said that s/he'd rather be stranded on a desert island with a kinky man than a vanilla lesbian. I feel that way too: If your kink fits mine, then I will work with whatever plumbing you've got.
So, if I'm not a lesbian anymore, what am I? I've had far more female lovers, but I have a male one right now. I also have a past lover who is a female-to-male transsexual. I am very much in love with my male partner. But since we are polyamorous, I am still having sex/relationships with other women. I suppose that functionally this makes me bisexual. But you can't really call me straight, since I am fucking women. And I am not a lesbian, since I am fucking a man. But unlike Lost a Sister's sister--who renounced her lesbianism, got engaged, and became homophobic--I am in no way trying to sweep aside my dyke past. I tell people I meet these days about my dyke history pretty early on because I'm unwilling to edit conversations about my past. Politically, I identify as a queer, both because of my history and because my life and my sexuality--poly/bi/kinky and out--puts me outside the norm as surely as being a true-blue lesbian ever did. To the Christian Right, I am just as hell-bound as I ever was.
Well, there you have it, folks, straight from the mouths of three ex-lesbians. Self-identified lesbians run off with men because (1) butch lesbians want to be men so why not sleep with men? (2) almost all people are bisexual (an observation that I rarely hear men make), and (3) lesbians who sleep with men are queer--so long as the men they're sleeping with are kinky. I guess GWB is right: This isn't a question that can be answered to anyone's satisfaction, so I guess I'll give it a rest. Next week, we'll get back to Savage Love's regularly scheduled freak show.