Is everyone gay now? Has it finally been made official? I only ask because every day it feels like a new woman trots out of the closet: “Oh yes, I’m definitely on the spectrum, babes.”
Which is wonderful of course, but what does being ‘on the spectrum’ mean for you? Boozy kisses on the dance floor? Can I bury my head in your luscious thighs? What about love, marriage and children? Are they up for grabs?
I’ve always been a little wary of women who can’t articulate their romantic intentions. I don’t care how a woman identifies, but when it’s my heart she’s grasping in her hot little mitt, I need to know we’re on the same page; that in theory, she’s down for more than just going down.
I’ve seen those women who wander along the spectrum, taking two steps forward and one step back, seeding hopes in women’s hearts. Sometimes it can lead to something truly wonderful – to a love that transcends labels or boundaries; to eyes and minds being blown wide open; to dazzling coming outs. Sometimes, if she’s not ready, it can lead to something else.
I know some women who welcome curious lovers, who are more than happy to be the litmus test for their partner’s sexuality. I wish I could be that brave and open, helping women in from the cold, loving them into the fold. I’m just too afraid. I see them and I swiftly stash my heart, body and mind out of reach. I don’t want anyone trying me on and then thrusting me back on the rack like an ugly suit. Fear – it’s an ugly thing.
Recently I met a new woman: attractive but with a long-term boyfriend – a safe new addition to the friend zone. We became tea friends, then Netflix friends, then wine friends, then weekend friends. Gradually, I started looking forward to seeing her. I’d get a text from her and my heart would start plunking. I was so ensconced in our budding friendship I didn’t see her slipping through all my safety mechanisms, emerging triumphantly behind enemy lines: a smash ‘n’ grab.
I sense that she feels something too but isn’t sure whether or how to act on it. She mentions her boyfriend sometimes and I quickly turn my ears away. I hate being that person who looks hopefully for cracks in someone else’s relationship, riffling through their dirty laundry for warning signs. It’s a dark and grubby part of me I didn’t know existed and which makes me feel ashamed.
I need to shake this woman from my feathers, quickly. If she wants to break up with her boyfriend and give us a try then that’s awesome but I can’t allow myself to fall for a woman who’s merely curious about life on the other side of the fence. If she wants in, she’ll have to pack her bags, scramble over the hedgerow, make mad love to me in a field of bluebells and start picking out the china.
I’m under threat. It’s time to double down on my defences, call in the reserves, build my walls stronger and higher and release the hounds. I won’t go down (on my friend) without a fight.
Wish me luck, comrades.