Who Needs Intuition? I’ve Got Hallucination!

There are a fair number of you loyal readers (thank you, thank you!) who might not know about how I first realized I was gay. The full story is published in a book called Secret Sisters: Stories of Being Lesbian and Bisexual in a College Sorority, edited by Shane L. Windmeyer and Pamela W. Freeman. Perhaps I’ll post it here some time.

For the purposes of this post, however, I’ll simply set the scene by saying it was the end of my sophomore year of college, the night before my last final, and I hadn’t slept more than a few hours in three or four days because of cramming for finals. I had made the choice to prioritize getting a good night’s sleep over reading the book I would be tested on the next day (a gamble that I lost, by the way.) As life would have it, I was too tired to sleep. Or was I just tired enough to have THE REALIZATION? Either way…not many of my gay brethren can probably say they realized they were gay because they saw written on the ceiling in green neon:

YOU ARE GAY

True story. That’s really how it happened.

I like to imagine a whole host of unseen entities trying to figure out how to get me to finally realize what I’d known all my life. (‘Cause you know our lives are just reality television for entities, right?) They try all these different things until one of them puts all the pieces together: “She’s a compulsive reader and has an active imagination! Let’s just etch-a-sketch it on the ceiling and not let her sleep until she sees it!”

Needless to say, it worked.

So now fast forward almost 20 years to, well, a couple weeks ago. I was sitting on my couch, like I do, and Sofie, my little dog, was sitting on my lap. Something inspired me to lift her lip and look at her teeth (likely the result of a friend observing a few days prior that her breath was funky). What I saw was looney tunes: One of her teeth was so loose I could see it moving as she opened and closed her mouth (in an effort to bite my hand)!

I called the vet the first thing the next morning and got her an appointment. I looked at her teeth again that evening just to be sure. “Yep, that bad boy is LOOSE!” So want to guess what happened when I went to the vet? Yes. I made a total ass of myself. I was telling the tech, AS HE WAS LOOKING AT HER TEETH, that the loose one indicated to me that she really needed a dental. “Do you see the one I mean? It’s super obvious.” The cute 20-year-old kid was super sweet and nodded his head and said, “Yeah, maybe…” That tipped me off. If he’d seen what I’d seen, there would be no maybe about it! So I pulled up her lip where I’d seen the loose tooth and lo and behold, IT WAS GONE!! In its place was a tiny tooth, totally intact.

Right about now is when the veterinarian walked in. This is a new vet to me because I had to take my precious baby to the low-cost clinic (which was not a great experience and I’ll never do it again—it was like the time I tried to sell my plasma and was treated like a drug addict). He walked in with an obvious lack of bedside manner and he was very abrupt and rushed. I was in the middle of my “OMG, I’m losing my effing mind” moment, and he just looked at me like I was the biggest idiot he’d ever met. I explained my confusion while busily picking my jaw up off the floor and his response was to assure me that there’s no way she’d just lost a tooth because it would take a couple weeks to heal and he’d see the indications. So I walked outta’ there with my dog in my arms, my tail tucked, and my universe spinning around me. “So this is what it feels like to lose my mind…”

Today all the pieces aligned enough to reveal the method behind the madness. The Sofie debacle had prompted me to look at my cat’s teeth, which I could see were in dire need of help. So today I took both Sofie and Chester for dentals (Chester got to go to the upscale vet). Sofie ended up having three teeth extracted. Chester had to have one molar extracted and another root dug out where the tooth had broken off and left it exposed (which must have felt awesome for him). Clearly, this had been an urgent situation* that required my attention (as had my sexuality at the age of 20 been an urgent situation!).

So…next time I hallucinate and think I’m going crazy, please be my memory and remind me of this post. Please remind me that my hallucinations are a latent superpower.

What are your superpowers?

*Incidentally, so as not to seem a neglectful animal momma, they both checked out fine in their exams last year…

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What Do You Mean, “You Think You Had a Date Last Night?”—The Confusion Continues

Okay, so it wasn’t last night, it was last week. (If you aren’t familiar with my previous post from September, 2013, about not knowing if I was on a date, please click HERE.) I’d met her a few weeks earlier at a fundraiser. She friended me on Facebook after the event and I soon realized from reading her posts that we had a lot in common: a love of reading, writing, nerdiness, and creativity.

When I first met her I got the idea she was likely bi. She was a smart woman at a political fundraiser for an out LGBT local politician; it doesn’t take a huge leap to assume she’s either a strong ally (in which case she wouldn’t take offense at a confused lesbian asking her out) or she’s bi at the least. I gave this not much further thought until I started receiving clear intuitive promptings that I should ask her out. So…one night I messaged her on Facebook to ask if she wanted to hang out, you know, so I could pick her brain about writing. Safe, true, keeping it neutral. Going in slowly, checking out the terrain…

She responded in the affirmative and what started out as coffee plans soon became sushi plans. From the time arrangements were made, the air felt a little tingly and I had that “Ooh, I have a date!” feeling. But then I thought, “Erin, you better check yourself. What if she’s not even into women? Don’t get too excited.” So I hopped on over to Facebook to check her “About” information—sometimes this is a great place to learn how someone identifies sexually—and my heart sunk when I saw the words “Interested in men.” Doh! So I immediately texted the couple of friends who knew about the “date” to let them know I’d misreported about having a date. Not a date. Definitely not a date.

So, night of the not-date, I pulled up outside her apartment building and texted her that I’d arrived. She shot back, “Okay, be down in just a few!” 30 MINUTES (and one “Where are you?” text) later she finally came down. While sitting in my freezing cold car waiting for her (learning my lines for The Vagina Monologues because what else is a girl to do?) I’d realized, “Maybe this is a date! If she’s being total girly right now and getting all dolled up and changing her outfit five times…maybe this isn’t just two strangers getting together to talk about writing.” And sure enough, when she got into my car I could see that she looked beautiful and I was mesmerized by the amazing scent that washed over me.

To top it off, somehow within two minutes of being in my car she slipped into the conversation that she’s interested in dating women. I wish I had a memory and could recall just how that happened. She then explained that her Facebook setting is “interested in men” because that’s all her family needs to know at this point. Aha! Mystery solved. Date on!

Dinner went swimmingly as we jabbered and jabbered and laughed and ate and outlasted a large party that arrived well after us. On the way back to her apartment she said in the cutest way imaginable, “So, ummm, my gaydar totally sucks, I just don’t really have it. How do you, umm, identify?” I thought, “Holy shit! Date foul! How did I not convey my position?! How did I not say one thing during dinner that would have put her at ease about the issue of MY sexuality?!” Sometimes my life too closely resembles episodes of Seinfeld!

The evening ended nicely at her place—can’t go wrong with red wine and talking and laughing. I reinstituted the Seinfeld shenanigans the next morning, however, when upon awakening I texted my friend Michelle to let her know that, in fact, it HAD been a date. I typed, “So…last night was definitely a date.” It was only as I pushed Send that I realized I’d just sent it TO MY DATE and not to Michelle. Always nice to be awakened by a flood of sheer panic! What can I do but find myself infinitely amusing?

If this continues to go well, in whatever capacity, we’ll undoubtedly soon be laughing about the time she didn’t know if I was and I didn’t know if she was. And, as compared to the 2013 instance in which I still didn’t know by the end of the date whether it was a date, I’m gonna’ call this progress.

The Night I Unexpectedly Fell in Love with a Porn Star

So perhaps yesterday’s post made people a bit squirmy. It certainly didn’t offer much sunlight. So tonight, fresh off the table of the Chinese reflexology/massage place I love so much, I desire to write about something that was really fun and totally unexpected: the night I met (and fell head over heals for) a porn star.

Disclaimer: This post is not meant to ignite a debate about porn.
If porn offends you, well…okay. That has nothing to do with this.
I’m sharing a great experience I had. End of story.

This might have been a couple years ago. I was at Eden (a lesbian restaurant/bar in Denver) with my girlfriend at the time (let’s call her Cruela) and her friend. To set the scene: I’m 12 to 15 years younger than both of the women I’m with and they’re both a little…ummm…uptight and judgmental. We had just started playing pool when a young pierced and tatted lesbian came over to ask if we’d met Ryan Keely yet. She could tell by the blank looks on our faces that we needed a little more information. “She’s a lesbian porn star! She’s only EVER done girl-on-girl porn!” Cruela and her friend turned away completely unimpressed and uninterested. Me, being the eager puppy dog I am most of the time, thought, “Cool! I’ve never met a porn star! Why not?!”

And as I walked over I realized I was THE ONLY person in line—I had her FULL attention. While she signed my photo I did what I always do when I meet someone new: I put on my interviewer hat. I can’t remember how the conversation started but in no time we were embroiled in this fascinating (to me) discussion about her life as a porn star. Here’s some of what I learned:

  • Sites like pornhub.com (which Wikipedia describes as a “free, ad-supported video sharing website and the largest porn site on the internet”) are destroying the porn industry. Here’s how (also from Wikipedia):

Copyright infringement claims: In 2010, Mansef Inc. and Interhub, the owners of Pornhub, were sued by the copyright holding company of the pornographic film production company Pink Visual, Ventura Content, for the copyright infringement of 95 videos on websites, including Pornhub, Keezmovies, Extremetube, and Tube8. According to Ventura Content the 45 videos were streamed “tens of millions of times” and they claimed the piracy threatened the “entire adult entertainment industry.” Porn 2.0 sites such as these are seen as posing notable competition for paid pornographic websites and traditional magazine and DVD-based pornography.

  • Porn stars only get paid a flat fee for each performance. This shocked me! I guess I assumed that actors were paid a flat fee plus royalties based on sales. Nope. One time payment per performance.
  • Ryan lives on a very tight budget (which I have mad respect for).
  • She had hopes of acting, then directing, then producing, then owning her own studio. That dream was heaving its final gasps as we spoke because of how the internet had already changed the game of porn. At a very young age (she was maybe 28?) she was already being faced with reinventing herself and rethinking her career goals. I just googled her and her tag line says, “Host, Presenter, Sex Expert, Writer, Model.”
  • She is articulate and intelligent.
  • She’s from Seattle.
  • She has never done straight porn. She will never do straight porn. She is a lesbian and she loves fucking women. Not many women stand their ground this way within the industry.
  • When I asked her if she had favorite women to perform with, she lit up and started listing the names of women she’d recently done smoldering-hot scenes with. None of the names meant anything to me but that was irrelevant—anyone that lit up about what they’re talking about…that’s sexy.
  • My favorite quote: “I fuck women…on camera…for a living. It’s intense!
    "To Erin XOXO Ryan Keely" (Had to fold it in order to keep it with me the rest of the night--tragedy.)

    “To Erin XOXO Ryan Keely” (Proof it wasn’t just a dream.)

After about five minutes of animated discussion (she was clearly not used to having intelligent conversation at events like this), I started to feel energetic darts being thrown at my back and I noticed Ryan distractedly looking over my left shoulder at something. I wasn’t at all surprised to follow her gaze to a gorgeous woman leaning against the wall projecting bulldog “she’s mine, bitch” energy. Ha ha! As if! As if this nerd bird girl with her little interviewer hat on and homeless-girl clothes could pose a threat! Regardless, clearly I had exceeded my fan-girl time limit and it was time to close the interview.

I walked back to the pool table and my girlfriend made a comment about how amazing it is that I can talk to anyone (thus sorta’ complimenting me and totally insulting Ryan). I expected that from her and didn’t even care; I was on cloud 9. A woman that sexy and that fun to talk to?! Yes, please!!

About 20 minutes later I was dancing with Cruela (her friend had gone home) when I looked up the stairs just in time to lock eyes with Ryan. She was scoping out the scene and preparing for something. I noticed her observing me with my date (I might have mentioned to her that I was dating a much older and somewhat uptight woman) and I was beyond thrilled at the recognition!

And then…the music changed and there came Ryan descending the stairs in her incredibly sexy clothes (that’s the best my memory can do at this point–leather pants for sure, tall heels). She then picked a volunteer audience member (the woman known around Denver as Big Red) to sit in a chair on stage and receive a lap dance. Although I could barely peel my eyes off Ryan, I was curious to see Cruela’s reaction. She was mesmerized, jaw practically on the floor… and I was vindicated.

Ryan (left) with her BFF. Just as sexy in a t-shirt and no makeup. Pure gorgeous.