When the Past Crosses Paths with the Present
My girlfriend and I were at a reading the other night—a friend was reading her piece from Best Lesbian Erotica 2010 at KGB Bar in Manhattan. We arrived early, well actually right on time, but early for the New York lesbo crowd. We, me, my girlfriend and our mutual friend, were getting comfortable in our seats when I woman I barely recognized came over and gave me a kiss and a very familiarly caressed my face. She disappeared to another part of the bar just as quickly as she appeared.
Now, my girlfriend is the jealous type. She’s not a maniac about it—but jealous all the same. And she knows I have “a past.” In any case when I told her that the woman who just kissed me was someone who had been a fuck buddy many, many years ago (so long ago that I met the chick on Friendster, remember that?) she said her night had just been ruined. She was exaggerating of course, but I got the gist. For all her sex-positive attitude and admiration, for lack of a better descriptor, of my vast past sexual exploits, she’s just plain jealous. And, by the way, I only remember this particular woman because she also writes for Curve and I see her byline fairly often.
We talked about this on the taxi ride home. She said she didn’t appreciate being in the face of, every month or two, an ex of mine. I objected that every woman I’ve had sex with isn’t exactly an ex. Most were fuck buddies or short term dating situations. We’ve never actually run into an ex, a serious relationship ex, anyone I’ve had a relationship with for years and we likely never will.
We both agreed New York City is a small place when one runs in lesbian community circles here. Especially the art and literary lesbian scene. “You want to live in a small town,” my girlfriend said a friend told her before she moved here from Colorado 15 years ago, “come to New York City and get involved in the lesbian community.” We did laugh about that in the cab. And it was kinda funny when my girlfriend said that New York is littered with lovers from my past. Really? I wasn’t that prolific. I certainly dated a lot. A lot . I’ve been here for 20 years, longer than I’ve lived anywhere else. But, though I am pretty easy, I didn’t have sex with most of my dates. Didn’t want to and didn’t.
But the women I have had sex with are going outers, very social beings. Otherwise I never would have met them. I don’t hang out at bars, I don’t drink and don’t relish the bar environment. I’ve met women at various events, plays, readings, music venues, queer bookstores, S&M clubs, political meetings, at the LGBTQ Center here in New York. And on Friendster and other online venues.
We had ended up in a decent place in our conversation when the cab driver butted in and asked how long we’ve been together. We kinda stammered and said almost a year. It totally went downhill from there. The cabbie got all up in our business and was making semi-lude references to what we were going to do when we got home (go to sleep—we were both uber exhausted from a tough work week). “Who’s in charge,” he demanded. “No one,” we said in unison. “I mean, who controls the relationship?” He continued this line of questioning. It was getting really icky. So my girlfriend told the guy pull over immediately. We were one block away from her apartment. She paid him and we walked down the block in the freezing cold New York winter complaining about what a creep the cab driver was, went inside and fell into bed.
We want to work through this stuff because we are not going to stop going out to queer events or meeting other lesbian women. But, I don’t want my girlfriend to be hurt or jealous. And, I don’t want to feel unnecessarily or unfoundedly guilty or embarrassed.
Discussion To Be Continued...
Blogger Bio: Stephanie Schroeder is a dreamer, wanderer and writer based in Brooklyn, NY. She likes to exchange apartments with artists and other interesting folks from around the globe and travel in search of new friends and singular experiences. She makes purple a way of life and also fancies green, purple’s complementary color on the color wheel. (stephanieschroeder.com)