I went to another speed dating event for queer women. I almost didn’t because of body image anxiety. I was also disappointed when I found out that a particular person of interest wouldn’t be there (the person I met there last time who I felt such a connection to), and that they aren’t making new connections right now. But I went, largely because my counselor gave me such strong encouragement to. Knowing that I would have two close friends there also propelled me to go.
I went with little to no expectations for the evening. I thought I’d leave after a couple of hours so I could get ready for my day at work and talk to J before he went to bed. I thought I would just hang out quietly and observe and leave.
Instead, while I did observe quietly, I talked a little bit more this time to new folks. It started off a little slow again, and there was a long meditation and grounding exercise which again left me feeling a little antsy (I just wanted to be in my own bubble and do my own thing and talk to those that I felt drawn to), although it did seem to set up the space in a loving and connected way. We were encouraged to pick out pieces of fabric to symbolize our situations: Colorful for curious about and open to connecting with women. Coral for ‘I have a boyfriend and am looking to play with women.’ Salmon for ‘I have a boyfriend and am looking for a girlfriend.’ Red for ‘I am looking for a woman lover/partner/beloved.’ Blue for ‘I am gender fluid.’ I took both the salmon and red and tied them around my wrist. There was a lot of salmon-colored fabric floating around the room although everything was represented.
I even did the eye-gazing activity: we were asked to sit quietly and just look into someone’s eyes for one minute and then again with a new person, for about six or seven people total. That kind of activity is incredibly difficult for me to do. I feel uncomfortable and deeply vulnerable and intimate, and that is a hard place for me to be in with people I have just met. The activity made my rawness feel even more raw, and when my good friend was talking to me afterwards I told her about my recent BDD epiphany and she hugged me and it put me over the edge. I started to cry. What is happening to me?? Why can’t I control this? But my friend just hugged me and we went into another room and she “snuggled the crap out of me” as she so lovingly put it until I felt better and ready to join the group again. I felt myself opening up from a very deep place, and I think I am starting to understand what so many of the women there have expressed- that being with and around women is a very healing experience.
Now the group was playing Jenga- we had spent the first chunk of time writing truths and dares on each side of a Jenga block. It was quite fun, and there was actually a really good variety of truths and dares (not like the last sexy Jenga I participated in, in which, unknowingly and inadvertently, a bunch of us suggested giving and receiving lap dances. It was like a lap dance party! Ha. Still super fun, but just not a lot of variety in things to do.).
What is your favorite fantasy? Where do you like to be touched? Pick someone to give you a massage. Close your eyes and let the group pick someone to give you an anonymous kiss. Hug someone for 30 seconds. Describe you first kiss. When did you know you were attracted to women? What kind of underwear are you wearing? Pick someone to spank you. Describe your best orgasm.
My first truth was something like: Describe your fullest and most empowering you.
“How do I answer that?” I wondered aloud. No one really knew. “Well, the first thing that popped into my head was the fact that I feel really strong and in the ‘flow’ when I dance. I’m a stripper in my off-time, and I just absolutely love it.” I felt totally comfortable disclosing it and felt grounded doing so. I don’t even really know what people’s reactions were to it, and I didn’t care at all.
I later gave another friend a shoulder rub while I described my first kiss.
A little later I ended up sitting next to a woman I had had my eye on. She has large beautiful eyes and a pretty smile and a loud laugh- lots of things I adore. She was also putting out a lot of “curious” energy, like she wanted to sample everyone and everything. We started to hold hands and cuddle, and later started making out.
A song by The Weeknd came on (I can’t remember which), and one of my friends immediately looks at me and says “Oh! You dance to this! That’s one of my favorite memories.” Someone turned it up and some people started dancing. It’s such a sexy song. My new friend and I made out more, and then stood up.
“Do you like peanuts? Are you allergic?”
I was confused. Is this a set-up for a joke?
“No,” I smiled. “I love peanut butter.”
Her face lit up. “What about coconut?”
“Oh! I absolutely love coconut. Everywhere, everything.”
She smiled more. “Okay, okay! Come with me.”
She led me to a couch after grabbing her purse and a spoon from the kitchen. She’s got coconut peanut butter. How adorable.
She pulled out a jar of exactly that. “This stuff is amazing. It’s from Hawaii.” She scooped a little out and fed it to me. It was the most delicious peanut butter I have ever tasted. It melted in my mouth. I fed her some and we kissed some more. She got a couple of strawberries for us and we continued kissing.
We started talking and sharing our open and queer stories and selves. She was lovely and sweet and we exchanged numbers. I don’t expect it to go anywhere, but it may. All I know is that if I had left when I planned on leaving, I would have not been able to explore the chemistry between us. I felt both exhausted and wired when I got home at 12:30am, three hours later than I thought I would be home. It took my a while to calm down and I know I will be processing the experience for a little while.
I thank my counselor and her firm encouragement, and my two friends who were so encouraging and supportive and loving and unconditionally there for me last night. I thank J for deeply knowing me and appreciating me and encouraging me to go and have fun. I thank myself, too, for putting myself out there and staying through the discomfort and anxiety.