This is a story I performed on January 18 & 19 at the show I co-produce, BedPost Confessions, in Austin, Texas. The theme was "Transformation"
There is a particular question that I get asked occasionally that always makes me tilt my head. Would you like to know what that question is?
The question is:
Do you ever miss The Dick?
The question always seems to be accompanied by a hint of expectation, as if my answer would be that I don’t just miss The Dick but I positively yearn for The Dick, at which point I would immediately disrobe and hop on theirs, post haste.
It is worth noting that the only people who have ever asked me if I miss The Dick are straight, cisgender men.
They ask me this because for the last two years I have been in a relationship with a woman. But I haven’t always been A Lesbian. I was once … A straight.
I came of sexual age and identity at a time and place when straight was the default - in the 80’s in Dallas. No one in my high school of 3,000 people was out as LGBTQ except for one person, my best friend, but he was only out to me. Just because it was the 80’s, allow me to set the scene of what I wore back then as a straight-identified teenager: Tall, spiky bi-level hair shaved on the sides, like Howard Jones; a men’s vest with a large bolo tie around the neck of an oversized button down … like Howard Jones; a metric shit ton of blue eye makeup, dark red lipstick, earrings as big as my face, long black wool skirt and floor length black trench coat, like Boy George.
Despite my fashion choices, I was asked out quite a bit, but only by boys … with dicks. In my senior year I fell in love with a guy who resembled River Phoenix and whose soul was as sweet and sensitive and as I imagined River’s to be. I didn’t much care about his dick, and in fact we dated a year before I actually saw it or let it touch me. Once it did, however, all bets were off and experimentation was on. Because we were teenagers and bedrooms were off limits, we went at it in the backs of our cars, in the backs of our parents cars, under a blanket in front of the TV while his parents were home and awake and who would occasionally pass through while we were silently and surreptitiously screwing and ask if we needed anything ('Sure Mom, maybe a Snickers? Something to keep the blood sugar up?')
We fucked in hot tubs and on the roof of the high school. We screwed on picnic tables, in the sound booth of the auditorium and next to a gravestone in the cemetery. We once had sex in the closet. Yes, I had sex with a guy while in the closet.
One of my college boyfriends was a bartender at The Starck Club – a sexy, inclusive, celebrity studded, marble floored fun box with fancy unisex bathrooms that were just as popular as the dance floor. As tips he would get little white ecstasy pills that we put to very ecstatic use on his days off. After his shifts and in the wee hours of the morning, he would let himself into my apartment while I slept, strip naked, crawl into my bed behind me and wake me up with The Dick. This was a consensual practice that I always anticipated and it totally turned me on - my phallic alarm clock.
So sure, dick is lovely, but The Dick is not some supremely special endowment of capability and competence and whose penetrative power is unparalleled. Everyone is different of course, but the clitoris is my personal source of satisfaction, therefore I don’t need The Dick for that.
And the fact is that I count myself lucky that most of my experiences with men with dicks have been favorable – lots of them great, some good, some just okay, but there were a couple of experiences that were scary because they had convinced themselves that I very much wanted Their Dick but I very much did not want their dick. And there is an alarmingly high percentage of sexual violence against women -including transwomen- and girls by boys and men who use their Dicks as weapons of aggression and dominance. If I could change only one thing about this world we live in, it would be for such horrors to cease.
So, do you see how the question “Do you ever miss The Dick” is, shall we say, a loaded one?
It was in college that I first felt a penetrating pull toward another woman. She is the lead singer in a band and for the next several years I went to every gig they played in Dallas, swooning over her sexy swagger. Her confidence on stage and in her sexuality eventually gave me a sort of permission to surrender my sexuality to whatever it decided to be. If you live in Austin you may know her, her name is Patrice Pike. I will forever be in her debt, because after granting myself this certain self-acceptance I embarked upon a sexual relationship with someone new. And this someone did not possess The Dick.
There was something so natural about Alice and I together. We were in our late-20’s then but we were old friends from Junior High who were simultaneously discovering a piece of ourselves that we’d been forced to deny, and there was a freedom in that.
We’d dress up and go on these beautiful dinner dates where we’d get tipsy and make out in public, which totally turned us on, and then we’d go back to her place and fuck to Sara McLachlan. An aside here: I have a friend who says that clit to clit sex –what some refer to as scissoring– is not fucking, presumably because there is no “penetration”. But the clit is power -FULL and believe me when I say that penetration can and does occur, if only slightly. So I maintain that it is indeed fucking. And do you know what else it is besides fucking? It. Is. Magic.
So besides the fucking, she and I did all sorts of fun things together. We went to concerts –KD Lang and Melissa Etheridge, thank you very much– we went to lesbian bars and to the State Fair and even once took a trip to San Francisco, spending most of our time there in the Castro. I was pretty gay and she was super gay but I wasn’t quite ready to wholeheartedly settle into that part of me.
So we broke up and I got married. He was someone that I met when I was 15 while sitting on a curb in front of my friend’s house. He had been a lover, a partner and my best friend on and off for several years and we decided to rekindle our relationship and take the proverbial plunge. And he had The Dick. I loved his dick … because it was attached to him. He was and is an amazing man, we grew up together, and we are still the very best of friends – do you know how many Patrice Pike shows he took me to? Soooo many. We were married for 15 years, we have a child together, and the stories I could tell about us would fill an entire book. In fact some of it did, because the last five years of our marriage was an open marriage and I wrote a book about it and about all of The Dicks that I encountered in that time. (It’s called Open all the Way: Confessions From My Open Marriage and the kindle version is available for the low-low price of $9.99 on Amazon)
So, despite the fact that I have a lot of experience with The Dick, I am not really “A Straight.” I spent the last two years cultivating an intense, emotional and profoundly passionate relationship with my dynamic, strong, sexy, beautiful and unbelievably wonderful partner Nannette, who I call Nettie -like Neti Pot- because she makes me feel better. We own a business together, we co-parent my teenager together, we “scissor: on the regular.
And I think my journey speaks to the fluidity of sexuality, how it doesn’t have to remain so simple, static or straightforward and how it can continue to transform into what it decides to be. We are all complex human beings and are now, fortunately, living in a time where we understand more about the elasticity of sexual and gender expressions and identities.
And as I watch my teenager, who is transgender, grow up and into his identity, I’ve learned that just because you have a dick doesn’t mean you're a man and vice versa. And I am sensitive to any assumption that The Dick is something to be revered, and therefore missed if it doesn’t happen to be hangin’ round any longer.
And I mean absolutely no disrespect to anyone who possesses The Dick or who is looking forward to having their own Dick one day. Dicks are like people in that no two are alike. But it is the person who makes The Dick, not the other way around.
So … Do I miss The Dick?
Of course not, we have a whole box of ‘em at home.