Sex and the Smithie: In Defense of the LUG

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If anyone else had written this, I would excoriate her. I used to hate straight girls, and hated straight girls who dated women worse. I was the girl in high school who, after all, was reading hardcore feminist anti-porn theory while my beloved straight friends dropped away with boyfriends who resembled the stunted, be-flannelled male leads on HBO’s Girls. I applied to Smith and spirited away to what I thought would be the promised land of lesbian acceptance.

Yet there was trouble in Paradise Pond – cue groans. I wasn’t cool enough to be part of a lesbian clique, or nerdy enough, or entrenched enough in an incestuous house culture. I sat in seething silence as formerly “straight” girls gushed about their multiple orgasms. Their wonderful girlfriends. Their comfort and joy in flannel, “wife-ing up” and listening to Tegan and Sara together. I wondered why I was so unhappy and lonely and un-aroused with women, except the ones who ignored me and broke my heart. Those I couldn’t get enough of, even in places other than Smith.

So, it is with a hung head and to the great confusion of my friends that I now admit to dating men, too.

Don’t worry, I have a girlfriend, too. Finally. She’s serious and wonderful and smart, and goes to one of the Five Colleges. I never thought I’d be non-monogamous any more than I thought I’d ever date cis-men or ever let them buy me dinner. I never thought I would ever let them pick me up and throw me around – something women could never physically do, at least not in my present history. I never thought I would ever let them, those men, give me multiple orgasms through regular old penis-in-vagina intercourse, or ever have orgasms at all, which doesn’t happen in lesbian sex. More radical queers than I have had arguments about why that’s okay. It is okay. It’s a process. Andrea Dworkin was right when she said all intercourse is rape, but Freud was right when he predicted that [I] could only have vaginal orgasms with penises. I accept that both of those statements are true, and I accept that my politics are at odds with my sexuality. I am the last political lesbian, and I love dating men.

Here’s to being a LUG, or lesbian until graduation, lapsed early. In fact, I might even proudly claim that label. I couldn’t even wait until graduation to start dating guys, so frustrated and unhappy I was as a capital L lesbian at Smith. Fortunately, in the real world, no one gives a flying f*ck about what I want to call myself, or who I’m dating. Haters: you all should try writing a column sometime.

It’s also entirely possible that after this little heterosexual experiment, I’ll get tired of the novelty of “boys” and revert back to the time-honored lesbian courtship of awkward coffee dates, fumbling and eventually picking pubic hair out of my teeth. People will ask me if I always knew my orientation and I might say “yes … but, you know, I did experiment a few times in college …”

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