Sapphic Suggestions

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.


§ 40 Responses to Sapphic Suggestions

  • For reasons that I never really understood, I used to have a lot of guys (or what seemed to me to be a lot) attempt to pick me up back in the 1990’s- It’s been quite a while since any one has tried now…

    They used to love telling me that I really actually am gay, and that I just don’t know it yet….

    “Homey don’t play that” was my usual response….

  • Joules says:

    I think that people suggest this one because they are racking their brains thinking of whom amongst their acquaintences they can set you up with. They can think of several single women who are funny, smart and lead interesting lives (many of the women commenting here come to mind). But not so many men. So in a way it is one example of how to deal with the numbers game. Never really appealed to me though either. I have had the opportunity in the past and never took it up, don’t think I will at this stage in my life.

    However also don’t think I will take up internet dating either. Sure that will set the cat among the pigeons.

    (Though if you do MS P and are successful I might reconsider.)

    • The Plankton says:

      Thanks, Joules. Though much encouraged re internet dating here, am not quite there yet… Px

    • Jo says:

      Hi Joules. Re: internet dating. Why would you only ‘consider it’ if P does it and ‘are successful’?!!
      Yes, it’s no guarantee of anything, but having over the years known several plankton who have been successful – yes I know it’s fewer than those who are unsuccessful – its still more than worth a go (with a realistic head). And not to be dismissed wholesale nor base an attempt on whether P does it and is successful. Give it a go off your own bat. You have nothing to wait for. Nor to lose.

      • Joules says:

        Dear Jo – I just can’t face it. And while I am sure it is fine for some people please accept that it is not for everyone. One of my friends (male) was trying to encourage me to go on there – when he had a look at what was on there (think it was Match) he agreed that perhaps it was unlikely to be successful for me.

        I think it unlikely that I will meet someone and so am accepting that I will probably not. And that is not a bad thing – I have many friends, both male and female, not quite as social a life as our Plankton but enough to keep me busy, a house and garden that takes up lots of whatever free time I have or allow myself and a career that I love (although it is not as lucrative as Lydia’s).

        And I don’t have to be nice to someone that is making me feel miserable.

  • anniebub says:

    Funnily enough I wasn’t going to suggest it but to tell you about a scenario I have hear of where a woman of a certain age, recently divorced and with several children, has just announced she is gay and moved her new partner in with her. This has scandalized the local community, especially the lecherous men, married and available who had all been eyeing up hersexy little bottom. They have been completely thrown to find themselves unwanted and replaced in the line of desirable items,and their wives are all secretly relieved. However, i suspect an ulterior motive. In fact the men are even more rivetted, knowing that she has definitely been heterosexual, and is obviously sexually adventurous. And the women are off guard. Is it not possible she is playing a little game with everyone in order to secure the most attention and interest? So, you could PRETEND to be a lesbian, and see what happens. Just for fun. For the party season. It would be interesting to see what reaction you got.

  • …And thank you for pointing out that we’re not all useless bastards….

  • Geoffrey says:

    Your email came up in my inbox underneath one entitled “Carol Service”. Made me think that was a euphemism!

  • I really can’t believe anyone would suggest that P . OK for Greeks in times of War, but for you in wherever you are ….very thoughtless and offensive .

    Go buy more batteries!

  • Dawn says:

    Well, there’s one I’ve not heard yet. Just as well, as I too am on the straight side of straight. Nothing against our sapphic sisters, some of my favourite people, etc., but it’s not for me, either.

  • lujat71 says:

    Great post, ty. In my opinion sexuality is often fluid and changes as we move through life; which I think is why a woman can be in a relationship with a man for many years but when it ends find their next relationship is with a woman. Ultimately it shows that our attraction to others is based on so many factors, many we are unaware of. I’m not advocating that you, me or anyone else, should embark on a same sex relationship because we can’t find a man, as you are right, when it comes down to it you need to have a sexual attraction otherwise it will be crap. I do keep an open mind, however, and refuse to define my sexual orientation just in case I change my mind at a later date! For now however, like you, I swim among the plankton searching for the right man for me!

  • MissBates says:

    ” . . . under the radar of sensitivity and political correctness.” So true. I have also heard the lesbian suggestion more than once — sometimes because the person making the suggestion meanns that they don’t know any nice, intelligent, successful MEN to whom they could introduce me, whereas they know countless WOMEN of that description, but other times it’s because the person making the suggestion that I go the sapphic route is so puzzled by my near-constant lack of male companionship over the past decade that they are “fishing” to see if my sexual preference is for women. I usually respond along the lines of, “no, not gay, just a heterosexual spinster with bad luck.”

  • june says:

    You dear plankton and everyone else has not mentioned the other reason people suggest giving being lesbian a go. Because they think you reject certain men, ah you possibly could be gay. I have had men say this to me, well no i feel like saying i know you think you are gods gift to woman, but i dont fancy you. This i have to say happened more in my younger days, now like so many of us i dont get that many men in the first place.

  • MissM says:

    It makes on pretty basic false assumption, that we can consciously choose our sexual orientation. Whether we sit firmly in one camp or the other, find ourselves attracted to different genders over our lifetime, or whatever, I am not sure that one can just say to oneself “I shall just switch sides” and thus conjure up the appropriate feelings.

    I do agree it results when no one else can come up with any suitable males for us female plankton, and as Joules said, it’s a way for people to deal with the resulting disparity in the numbers. So it is not just plankton that cannot find suitable men for themselves, even their friends do not know of any to introduce them to. So the question remains, – where are all the nice, intelligent men hiding?

  • helen brocklebank says:

    i rather suspect lesbianism, like the priesthood, is a bit easier if one has a genuine calling.

  • EmGee says:

    I dearly love my girlfriends and some of them are gay or bi-, but I am simply not physically attracted, not matter how much I love being around them. No spark!

    I have also never been able to fathom men’s voyeuristic attraction to watching women with women.

  • Elle says:

    Plankton, your latest blog brings back memories of a “wanky walking holiday” I did a few years ago. There were about 4 married couples, 7 plankton, a lesbian woman and one single man. I suspect 2 of the 7 plankton were also lesbian leaving the remaining 5 to fight over the man. One of the 5 was in her 60s and a senior plankton. At dinner one night she declared the man very eligible and said that if she were younger she would go for him.

    One of the plankton did everything she could to get him but he wasn’t interested. The lesbian woman was into her and they got together on the last night. The single man made a play for me but he was a bit like Plankton’s repressed military types. He desperately wanted to sleep with me but when I turned him down he said “I knew you weren’t that type of girl, I wouldn’t have respected you if you’d slept with me.” Charming! I imagine the lesbian woman and her convert to sapphism weren’t getting caught up in such double standards. I can see the appeal of it but I have always been heterosexual and don’t think I will change.

    • This Chap wore tweeds and a monacle ?

      I’ve been living on another planet for the past 66 Years obviously . I have , in my various guises, noted “Prison Queers” akin to the Greek Soldiers , so I know first hand the sexual drive can overcome social and moral conditioning …and I have a Lovely Bi Female Friend..and three Lesbian Friends..but a self righteous person who passes judgments in that manner is bottom of my list.
      Helps me understand why Planktons exist …. you only need a little respect to ease social coupling .

  • rich2305 says:

    “pissy pottery classes, wanky walking holidays and bleeding bloody bus stops.” Forget the rest of your blog P, that has to be the best line I have read in ages. Fantastic. Nobody as funny as that should even be allowed to be single!!
    Just from my own perspective have been pretty much single for three years. Relieved to say I don’t lack for female attention but the single ladies get fed up after a while when they realise I really do have my kids every weekend. Means I tend to end up with the marrieds who aren’t happy. Not a good state of affairs for anybody.
    Anyway P keep up the great writing x

    • The Plankton says:

      Thank you for this. Lovely compliments are much appreciated. Thank you very much. Px

    • ToneDeafSinger says:

      ahhh kids… my beloved daughter means I only get to go out infrequently… it does not exactly help…

    • Lydia says:

      Every weekend… perhaps a little more attractive though than my having mine in such profusion 365 nights a year….

      Shouldn’t put good people off. Those of us who fulfil our responsibilities to those whom we love make better partners.

      On the main post you’re either gay or you’re not. I’ve never had a boyfriend who hadn’t hoped I might also be into girls. They seem to think that’s sexy but I’m 100% heterosexual, don’t even have any close female friends. Mind you I don’t feel there is any shortage of suitable nice men but that’s a different issue. Quite a nice one today – I was away on business but I would imagine he’s married and I don’t mix work and pleasure so we’ll not go there.

      Well yes, classic male ego thing – if you don’t fancy me you must be gay, laughing as I type but it’s a sexually neutral point. We can also suspect they must be gay if they aren’t looking down our cleavage etc.

  • debbie ann says:

    how about giving up? could be pleasant, relaxing even.

    • MissM says:

      I’m getting closer to giving up each day, and I am sure my flicker of hope will one day go out altogether. But how dire the prospect of having to live another possible thirty or forty years without having another person to share all the joys and sorrows of life. As I have said before, while a problem shared is a problem halved, a pleasure that is shared is a pleasure that is doubled. Being alone means a whole life of full strength troubles and half strength joys. Friends are great but friendship has a different dynamic to a relationship with a romantic partner. Your significant other is one who is there when even friends let you down.

      Having said that it does appear that whether you give up or not, the results are the same.

    • NO!!! Ms. Plankton will eventually succeed in her continuing quest for a male partner here- It may take a while at this rate, but her eventual success is now inevitable…. : )

    • Elle says:

      I agree. I’ve pretty much given up myself. It’s the “zen” way of being a plankton!

  • submodal says:

    I know the feeling: after discussing it with her friends, my mother came to the conclusion that I was gay because I didn’t have a man in my bed. Therefore I must be a lesbian, obvious!

    very annoying

    • Brigitte says:

      About 15 years ago, my mother right out and asked if I was a lesbian because I was a few years between boyfriends at the time (I was always a few years between boyfriends because I think I needed a break between most of them). Though she said she was joking, I don’t think she was totally. I gave her a definite “no” and left it at that. I’m sure she’s still wondering if I am deep down or if I’m at least ‘bi’.

  • Margaux says:

    Debbie Ann – if Plankton gives up there is no more blog. Throw in the towel at 47? you’re having a laugh, aren’t you? 🙂

  • T Lover says:

    Very interesting topic.

    For years I wrestled with my inner self, was I gay? A lesbian trapped in a man’s body.

    And recently as “women” have become such a disappointment, could I live with a man? Yes, as long as no sex was involved.

    A bloke who can cook would be perfect. Interests in common. No mood swings. No long face if you forget a birthday. Wonderful.

    • Elle says:

      T Lover, if you don’t want mood swings or long faces you’ll have to make sure the bloke is straight. If he’s gay prepare for all the girly stuff only in a male body. Many women would happily live with a gay man because for women they can be fantastic company.

      • T Lover says:


        Thank you for the tip.

        I am completely ignorant about these gay/straight things.

        There is no need to worry, my alternative “bride” assures me he is heterosexual BUT has turned me down citing unsavoury personal habits.

        A complete mystery. I assure you I am a man and, consequently, perfect.

        So if amongst these women of a certain age who can’t find the perfect bloke you can do what I can’t – identify a saintly woman – wrap her up and leave her under my tree.

  • Brigitte says:

    I had lesbianism suggested to me jokingly by a co-worker and we had a good laugh. I had already considered that after a couple of glasses of wine one night when I was home alone, frustrated. I started laughing so hard I spilled some precious wine. Mind you, the thought doesn’t turn me totally off, but she would have to be attractive, slim, intelligent, affectionate, etc. etc. so I would probably still be single for a very long time (doesn’t THAT feel familiar). Anyway, I definitely want a man in bed even if I do have loads of fun when I’m out with my girlfriends.

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