The touch of another woman.

October 1, 2009
The touch of another woman. I thought about it yesterday when my father presented the simple question to me at face value. It's a deep question although not meant to be.

"Dad, I'm gay."

I usually dismiss this question as if it's unexplainable, as if the facts represent themselves without need of reference. And then I thought about it. About how awkward it feels to hold a man in your arms, about the way a woman's hands feel when they caress your breasts. The kiss of a man is thick and unprepared. Thick and thin, I feel the term is fitting now.

"Have you ever kissed a woman?" I asked my father. The smallness of her tongue, the trained movements of her mouth. Woman's hands are soft and dry depending, it's not a bigger hand covering mine - it's my thin one covering hers. I can feel it now. Movements with my hands shaping alongside her face, thick hair laced in between my fingers. Her head on my chest, stroking each other from the side and around.

I brought up a song I sang once with my keyboard when my room was still downstairs years ago. "I've never sang a song about a man." It would be complex I think, to try and find lyrics and poetry to go along with the overbearing power a man brings in a relationship. Or at least my relationships. I thought about the poetry I read, the stories, the paintings. "I've never created something of meaning for a man." I protested to my father that you cannot buy flowers for a man, you cannot buy a man a dress and dance on black pavement through the summer. You can not easily pick up a man in your arms and place him on a swing set and push him until he's soaring through the sky. You cannot do that with a man. A mans touch is never as gentle as a woman's, it's never as cautious - it's never as planned. You can debate all of this, I added. But the fact remains the same, I have never been touched quite like I have by another woman.

My father asked me casually when I had decided that I was no longer attracted to men. I thought about this for a long while. I mean, I fell in love with a man once. I did. But it was not the same love that I've had for a woman. It was a controlled and simple love, it wasn't complex and flourishing. It was different, in the simplest terms. I remembered a specific encounter at this time with the first man I loved. He was sitting outside drawing my face sometime in the spring. I remember that exactly, his hands were thick and bulky. I went to go snuggle up to him when we got up and danced. He went to go spin. And failed.

"Men can't twirl, dad." There was no rhythm, and the awkwardness wasn't cute - it was awkward. If I had picked up a daisy and set it in his hair it wouldn't have been romantic. It would have been amusing, but not romantic. A man doesn't ramble for hours about nothing, and grasp to find a meaning that's not there. A man doesn't scream in excitement and gossip angrily for weeks for no apparent reason. A man doesn't laugh shyly with butterflies when wrapped up in my arms.

And I'm really sorry, dad. I really am. I just can't fall in love with a man.

Join the Discussion

This article has 12 comments. Post your own now!

Erebus_Wildfire said...
Mar. 26, 2012 at 10:05 am
This piece was very well written and the allure of devices you used were inspiring. This piece felt as though you were performing it on stage like I do with my writting and groups of people I know that Slam with their stories and poetry... Very good, in its depth, breath, and direction.
titus maximus replied...
Mar. 26, 2012 at 2:38 pm
wow i think i just threw up in my mouth.  you have small and insignificant genitilia
LindseyRaynne said...
Mar. 4, 2012 at 7:05 am
This inspired me for many reasons. Probably first because I can totally relate and second because it was so well written. I don't think you could have done a better job. So thank you!
subliminal96 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Oct. 24, 2011 at 7:59 pm
Beautiful! Every line explaining the allure of women was wonderful
HannahBK This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Oct. 2, 2011 at 7:19 am
This is amazing :) I completely agree with all the comparisons you made between men and women. You're a great writer and a brave person!
mariarosamarinelli said...
Sept. 12, 2011 at 6:39 pm

This is so so beautiful and I felt so many of my own emotions mirrored here. It was brilliant.

My favorite line: "Men can't twirl, dad."

You are a wonderful storyteller. Keep writing!

DLamas said...
Sept. 1, 2010 at 9:11 pm
Oh my gosh! You have an amazing talent for writing! Do you have anymore work? If you do you should tell me what they are called!! Thank you!!
~Wolf-Woman~ said...
Mar. 31, 2010 at 10:43 am
Sometimes I wonder if I will truly ever fall in love with a man...
TurtleWriter27 replied...
Jun. 5, 2010 at 1:33 pm
This is really good. I, too, am I gay and I feel the same way you do. This is a suberb piece of writing and I look forward to reading more from you.
Mary D. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Jul. 19, 2010 at 2:38 pm
I personally am not gay and don't think I ever will be. I have never heard anything about gayness from a gay person, and I found this article, while a bit surprising for someone like me, actually good. It won't influence me, and it didn't convince me and I liked that. It simply informs the world how you feel.
Demon_of_Truth replied...
Aug. 10, 2010 at 6:54 pm
Dang. That is really good, and good for you for telling us. This had to take guts, so I tip my hat to you, ma'am!
ChelzRulz replied...
May 1, 2011 at 10:59 am
That was great!  It's amazing to me how much courage you need to do what you did.  I know I could never  do something as brave as what you did..   I have so much respect for you.  Keep up the awesome work!
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