First Person Singular
Photo: Maggie Parker
Dear Lipstick and Dipstick: I’m headed back to school soon (I’m an adult student) and I’m worried my relationship isn’t going to make it through the transition. I’ve been in this relationship for about a year and a half, but I’m really starting to feel indifferent toward my girlfriend. We have little fights about nothing all the time. When I ask her what her deal is, or if we can talk, she says “I’m over it.” I am starting to be over her. I’m not as happy as I was in the beginning and with my new school program, we’re also moving to a new city. She’s expecting a job transfer and more money, but doesn’t seem to be moving fast enough to make these things happen. Meanwhile, I’m trying to rent out our house, find housing in the next city and prepare to be a student again. I feel alone in my relationship and have expressed this. She feels that I’m too anxious and that I worry unnecessarily. I feel I may be better off single. I do love her, but I don’t love her more than I love myself. I think I want out. — Studying Up on Singlehood
Lipstick: Then get out! You’re bound to meet a cutie in your chemistry lab. Like the classes you’re about to take, you must also see life as a learning experience. It doesn’t sound like she’s “the one,” and it doesn’t sound like she’s excited to relocate. What does that mean? It’s time for you to move on alone. Taking your couch with you, along with lessons learned. These are growing pains, so try to see this as an opportunity to sprout new leaves. After all, we’re on this planet to not only learn in the classroom, but also discover untapped potential within ourselves and, of course, become fashion icons.
Dipstick: Lipstick is mostly right. This is the perfect time to get out. If you can’t stomach a full-on breakup, then separate and reevaluate after the first semester. Besides, bringing a girlfriend to college is like bringing a sandwich to a smorgasbord—or another butch to the sorority house. You’re just going to mess up your opportunity to meet new and interesting people. Be bold and go your own way. If you discover, that you’re really meant to be with your current GF, then rekindle on Christmas break.
Dear Lipstick and Dipstick: Why do lesbians feel the need to be friends with their exes?— Cautious Current
Lipstick: Honey, is that you? How many times have I told you that the ex and I aren’t sleeping together?
Dipstick: Really good question. Partially, I think it’s because lesbians don’t know how to break up. Once we stop having sex, we still live together for years, like sisters or roommates. Then, when you finally do meet another woman you’re hot for, your ex is just as excited for you as your best friend would be. She helps you buy a new outfit for your first date and sends you off with safe sex supplies. When she finds someone new, the four of you go off on an RV vacation together. Makes perfect sense. What I want to know is, why don’t straight people do this?
Lipstick: Because heteros have rigid boundaries and cannot ride that very thin line between friend and lover the way the lezzies do. We could all learn a thing or two from each other. Breeders: It’s OK to still be in touch and care about an ex-boyfriend or an ex-husband, as long as it’s aboveboard and there is no funny business. Dykes: Boundaries, girls. And no funny business!
Dear Lipstick and Dipstick: I work in the medical field as an ultrasonographer. I scan a lot of pregnant bellies. But I also do a lot of vaginal ultra-sounds. After doing this for almost six years, I have gotten quite grossed out by all the smelly and disgusting vaginas I have come across. It has seriously played a huge part in my sex life with my partner of four years. I’m just not interested in going down on her, or her going down on me. I used to love the way she smelled. And now, I just don’t even want to touch her unless she showers first. I told her how I felt about the whole situation and now she says I’ve given her a complex. I don’t know how to get back to loving her taste and smell the way I used to. I feel like I’ve been ruined by my occupation. I love being a lesbian! But how do I separate my job from my sex life? — Offended Olfactory
Dipstick: In social work, we used to call this vicarious trauma. After working with sex abuse victims all day, it was hard to go home and make love to your partner. There were little tricks we did to help ourselves cope. For example, I would imagine myself zipping on a full body suit when I set off for work and zipping out of it each evening when I came home, leaving behind the bad juju. Riding my bike to and from work also helped clear my head and leave behind the stress of the day. You might consider stopping at a gym on your way home from work or going for a quick jog. But do find someone to talk to about this. If your job has an employee
assistance program, make an appointment right away. It’s just not acceptable for work to ruin your sex life. If all else fails, see if you can get a transfer to the prostate department.
Lipstick: One of my best friends is an OB/GYN—I’ll call her Captain Clit—and I asked her about this. At work, Captain Clit said (her headlamp on), you must only allow yourself to think clinically and see your patients as such. That means no fantasizing while on the clock (no matter how hot she is). Not about a co-worker or your best friend or the woman you brushed shoulders with on the train. Oh yeah, and wear a mask. In the bedroom (or on the kitchen counter), Lipstick encourages you to try to appreciate how beautiful and appetizing your partner’s winklebeener* is, and that it’s not one of those “smelly ones.” This may be hard at first because your sniffer is tainted (literally), so make your partner’s winkle into dessert. How does a slice of “Hot Apple Pie” sound? Pick up Cal Exotics flavored pussy enhancer and don’t forget to bring the whipped cream! [* Lipstick’s word for your cha-cha.]