December 12, 2011 § 40 Comments
Amongst many other unhelpful suggestions which people routinely come out with in the mistaken belief that they are being helpful (see many a past rant on this subject), is: “Why not become a lesbian?”
Their reasons are full of good cheer and common sense, amongst them my fondness for women (I am blessed with a great many girlfriends and adore them all), and enjoyment of female company and humour; a definite understanding between us; and all men are useless bastards etc.
Well, odd as it may sound, I don’t think all men are useless bastards by any stretch – some of my best friends are men – but quite apart from that, there is the little rub of my sexuality which, call me stick-in-the-mud, seems to be firmly established in the heterosexual camp. I wouldn’t mind if it wasn’t but it just so happens that it is. I have only ever been aware of one woman falling for me and that was in Heaven circa 1986 and I politely rebuffed her advances, same as I did various men who made passes at me but whom I didn’t fancy. So it is, I am not even sure I’d fare any better as a lesbian; it’s not as if they have been beating a path to my door either. My sapphic erotic capital seems to be on even less of a par than my straight one.
But, even so, it is a funny turn up for the books when the notion of telling someone gay that they might do well to try heterosexuality would be so un-PC and offensive that it wouldn’t cross any right-thinking person’s mind. My lesbian friends would be fucking furious if I said to them, what you need is a bit of how’s your father with a good hot-bloodied man. (Most of them have been there, done that, and decided firmly against). But if a plankton ain’t having any success with men, then, hey why not wade right on in there and tell her to have an affair with a woman; answer to all her problems? If men suggest it, it’s probably more about voyeurism than sympathetic solutions to planktonhood. The truth is, plankton are like fat people, somehow under the radar of sensitivity and political correctness. People feel they can say anything to us; as I’ve said before, we’re public property, a free-for-all. Want to know about our sex lives? Ask away (in a way that people would never never dream of asking a married man or woman). I don’t mind being told to have an affair with a woman – I have occasionally thought about it and thought hey why not but then rejected the idea (I know why not: I don’t happen to be gay). It just seems such an oddly misplaced “helpful” suggestion. Perhaps they are thinking I should explore all possibilities as the heterosexual one isn’t working right now and that’s fair enough, but I sort of feel that if I was into sexual relationships with women I would have cottoned on to that by now. I had an exceptionally liberal upbringing, so anything went, but I am the grand old age of 47 after all so do know that I am tediously and terminally straight.
Well, I may be opening a whole can of worms here, but I just wanted to say for the record that an affair with a woman for me personally is not the way forward. Just in case anyone else was fancying suggesting this happy sapphic alternative, along with pissy pottery classes, wanky walking holidays and bleeding bloody bus stops.