Am I On A Date Or Are We Just Two Pretty Girls Hanging Out?

What is the gayest fucking thing you could ever imagine? Two rainbow-striped unicorns banging their glittery dicks together while shooting stars from their assholes? a ymca/it’s raining men mash-up playing on a continuous loop in the skinny jeans section of Forever 21? Eating a salad for dinner?! WRONG. This is the gayest of all the possible things: going to a Meshell Ndegeocello concert, with a goddamned lesbian, that is being held in a motherfucking FOLK MUSIC SCHOOL. Game set match, friends. And I’ve been in a bath house before. I know from gay.

I’m into love from wherever I can get it. And I have been known to wear a pair of work boots in the winter, and I also find women in neckties incredibly attractive. I also also like luxuriating in some comfortable-ass surroundings. I like to look around a hot lady’s nicely appointed digs, seething like a jealous child, admiring all of the hung tapestries and framed photographs and put-away clothes while mentally scolding myself for being such a lazy teenage boy. Why don’t I have any motherfucking art? How come everything in my freezer is useless and expired? Do I have a first aid kit? Are my threadcounts high enough? And, truth be told, I don’t know how to do any of that shit. Or where to buy it. Which is why I keep sexting your older sister so hard. Here is a list of the domesticated home things I am marginally good at:

cookies1 .) Cooking. Bitches gotta eat, son. And this bitch right here can braise lamb shanks. and make a perfect quiche. I can roll my own dough. I will slow roast you a brisket. I own a goddamned Cuisinart. My souffles rise, my chickens cook beautifully, my cookies are crisp around the edges and soft in the middle. I worked in a bakery for three years, and I can make you a cheesecake in a water bath! I can make you petit fours dipped in fondant! Paper thin steak carpaccio! Salmon ceviche with oranges! Whatever you like, I got you.

2.) Disinfecting the bathroom. This is my most favorite of all of the chores, because you don’t have to be careful when splashing every hard surface liberally with bleach and standing back to watch all of the cholera and measels and whatever else you dragged in on the soles of your feet rinse clean down the drain. I can’t do any of that tedious cleaning, all that delicate dusting of knick knacks and shit? Never. That’s why my apartment is decorated like prison. NO FUCKING DUSTING.

3.) Killing those disgusting centipede things. Holy Jesus, those fucking things are gross. But I will kill them and not even squeal while their tiny smashed legs are still moving for a two seconds on my palm.

4.) Remembering which of the 8,719 DirecTV channels is which. 501 is HBO. 282 is Animal Planet. 242 is USA. 356 is MSNBC. 264 is BBC America. 331 is MTV. 202 is CNN. 237 is Bravo. 525 is Starz. 206 is ESPN. 231 is Food Network. 419 is CNN in Espanol. 253 is Lifetime Movie Network. 248 is FX. 559 is Independent Film Channel. 245 is TNT. 265 is A&E. I do not know which one is the Science Channel. Or the Oprah one. History, either. I also refuse to watch any channel under 100, because I don’t pay $120/month to watch free fucking TV.

But I am also somehow incapable of doing any of the other shit. I can’t change a flat tire. I don’t know how to fix grout. I‘m not sanding a vintage fucking dresser from the Salvation Army. I can’t hammer things! I don’t have a fucking screwdriver! I still have to ask my gay boyfriends to come over and put my IKEA furniture together while they also offer unsolicited advice about resuscitating that one dying ass plant I can’t bring myself to throw away and criticize my mismatched dishtowels. That kind of shit is ridiculous to me, purchasing power tools and masking tape with money that could be otherwise spent on a new lipstick I am always going to be too lazy to put on myself. Right now there is a lightbulb that needs changing but I am too chickenshit to stand on a chair and do it, so I’m just waiting for the day someone comes over and I can trick him into doing it. That’s right, HOW MANY DUMB ASSHOLES DOES IT TAKE TO CHANGE A LIGHTBULB.

So this whole sapphic thing started innocently enough. Emails + texting + hangouts = BFFs. There was some flirting, but everyone I know is a goddamned flirt. Also, when you write about your vagina on the internet, all the time people just drop the fucking pretense with you. Example: I was in the bathroom before the concert and this woman shouted, “Bitches Gotta Eat! I love the way you say pussyhole!” in a full intermission-packed ladies’ room. Also, we ran into our mutual lesbian friend Denise, who is amazing and great, outside the bathroom and there was so much fucking estrogen and so many ladies who fist other ladies in that building my ovaries tried to reproduce asexually. Hot damn. Anyway, people just say gross shit to me all the goddamned time. I try not to read too much into it. WAIT A MINUTE HOLD UP.

The most terrifying thing about being on a maybe-date with a woman: Okay. Sometimes when I’m on a date with a dude and he is boring or stupid I will excuse myself to the bathroom and call Caitlin and be like, “Grrrrrrrrrl, could you please describe to me what is happening on the episode of The Good Wife that I am missing right now?” and we’ll talk shit for a minute and laugh at that dumb asshole and I’ll pull my spanx back up to my nipples, then i go back to the table refreshed and suffer through another twenty-minute dissertation on the new Bond movie and it’s all good. When we got to the show I had the kind of diarrhea that makes you stop believing in God and I was like, “I’m just going to go to the bathroom (before I have to sit in a hard seat clenching my sphincter for an hour, omg) before we get our seats” and she said, “I have to pee, too” and I was like “peace out, sister” before i fucking remembered that SHE HAS THE SAME PRIVATE PARTS AND WE ARE GOING INTO THE SAME BATHROOM AHAHAHAHA I HAVE TO SHITSPLASH TOO AND SHE WILL HEAR THAT IT’S NOT JUST A REALLY LONG PEE THAT IS SO SEXY. I was like, “Um, okay” and we walked into the bathroom together and I tried to choose a far stall but every black lesbian in Chicago was at that concert and IN THAT BATHROOM and can an evening really get more mortifying than fiery liquid stools in public?

Here is what I was wearing because I know you want to know: black jeggings, black low cut shirt, black draped cardigan (shut up, I borrowed it from your mom), and knee-high black boots. That’s right, jerks: I wore a pair of sex shoes. And yes, I put an insole in them because my back was hurting, so what? And yes yes, the last time I went out with a man I did wear medicated Crocs flip-flops. But I was really trying this time! Romantic or not, bitches be noticing every goddamned thing you ever fucking do. As a matter of fact, I’d had dinner with her on Wednesday with green nails, and the first thing she noticed was that on Friday those same nails were motherfucking purple.

The second most terrifying thing about possibly courting a lady: they notice everything. I mean, EVERYTHING. If a man notices your fresh manicure it means he is moist. If a woman notices that shit it means she has eyes. The minute she pointed it out I was like a deer in fucking headlights. Does she see that this zipper is messed up? And that my coat is a little snug because I spent the entirety of the last four months eating ham? Fuck my life, I am wearing that weird-fitting bra! Bitches will appraise your whole motherfucking life in the time it takes you to glance at the drink menu. We met for drinks before the show, and since I got there first I took a second to hyperventilate in a corner while shoving napkins in my armpits, and while I was adjusting the tummy-smoothing waistband of my pants it dawned on me that she totally knows that there is a thick layer of elasticized spandex under my clothes holding all my meat and cheese in. SHIT FUCK DAMN HELL.

When dating, I rely way too much on the inherent disinterest and thoughtlessness of the average male to provide an air of mystery and intrigue to my otherwise fat and sweaty life. Dudes don’t really know that you don’t get your period twenty days a month, do they? Because this one time I was dating this dimwit basketball player and didn’t feel like shaving or wearing anything other than meat pants for three weeks straight so I told him I had my period and he settled for, like, fourteen handjobs or something instead. Do they know that sweater dresses are basically sausage casings unless you wear support hose stretched from your toes to your chin? Do they understand what serious work my bra is doing? Do they realize these maternity pants are pulled up to my boobs? PROBABLY NOT. She knows about stretch marks! And there I was at Scofflaw, my favorite place on earth, with my right tit being stabbed by an exposed underwire waiting for a person who would likely notice that fact within thirty seconds of removing her coat.

Oh, right. do I help her take her coat off? If it rains later, should I put mine over a puddle? Who opens the door? Do I pull her chair out? Should I walk on the outside of the sidewalk? I’m supposed to order for her, yes? Is it bad that I didn’t ask her father’s permission after she invited me out? WHY AM I SO BAD AT LOVING PEOPLE THE RIGHT WAY?! Welp.

Sometimes it’s hard to know when you’re on a date with a dude, too. I mean, the progression of this ladydate blossomed so naturally that I almost didn’t have time to have a nervous breakdown about it. I was cool as a cucumber, girl. Um, except for the whole is-this-or-isn’t-this-why-have-we-only-discussed-the-parameters-of-this-in-a-joking-way-because-that-is-confusing part. Men are so shameless most of the time that’s it’s pretty easy to figure it out. If a dude says, “Sam bro, wanna get some beers and eat an entire bison while watching the NCAA championships?” I know it’s not a fucking date. And even when it’s “Hey Sam, let’s go to [enter name of moderately upscale restaurant] on [date night] while [pushing your tits up and wearing the one thing you own from Bloomingdale’s] and sit in the [dimly lit romantic atmosphere] and feed each other [expensive finger food that can be eaten sexily] while we also [coo at each other]” I can usually tell when he starts showing me his text messages from random women that even though he is paying this is not a motherfucking date, either.

But there are those rare occasions when homeboy scrubbed his balls and sprayed good cologne on his chest and he sits counting the stars in my eyes in the nicest restaurant a CTA bus driver can afford and in my head I’m all, “Wait a minute…should I not have worn rubber mom shoes to this?!” and if he hasn’t referenced his penis or made declarations on its behalf by the end of the meal, I know he’s just trying to meet one of my hot friends. But women are subtle. And most of us aren’t just going to serve up our vaginas with the soup course. (VAGINA SOUP, YUM.) So here’s what i was working with:

+ hot girl thinks I’m funny (DATE)
+ Meshell Ndegeocello (date)
+ her friend came to the pregame drinks part (not a date)
+ like an asshole I asked if it was a date and got a response that was like “meh” (not a date)
+ we spent an hour on the phone last week (date)
+ I texted her from the bathroom at the bar while I was shitting and it didn’t weird her out (not date-like, but that’s my fucking fault because I’m gross)
+ I didn’t get drunk (date, because if it ain’t I don’t care about not looking like an alcoholic)
+ she cried during the last song (date? also, if I am going to fuck women I have to buy way more kleenex)

I don’t know, man. Imma just roll with it. Make her a big macaroni Hostess cupcake pizza loaf and rinse her soccer cleats in the sink and see what happens. I’m so motherfucking tired. And I’m basically happy to be around anyone cool, whether I have to learn how to use a dental dam or not. Just so we’re clear, tho: this means we’re in a relationship now, right? Good, because I just broke my goddamned lease.


SyyC8n8Sometimes Samantha Irby wants to have sex with dudes. Other times, Samantha Irby wants to have sex with ladies. She’s currently trying to catch up on the lady side of things. You can read more about her on Bitches Gotta Eat!

“How Do You Know If You’re On A Date…” was originally published on bitchesgottaeat.blogspot.com. Republished WITH PERMISSION MOTHERF*CKERS.


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239 Comments

  1. I wish I could’ve read this one before going out today.

    How Do You Know If You’re On A Date Or If You’re Just Two Pretty Girls Hanging Out? << This was literally on my mind today on my date-or-not-a-date date with a girl.

    We spent 2 hours at a small coffee shop talking. Then she invited to me join her future jogging plans while on an extended and totally not necessary walk to the metro station.

    And I still don't know the answer.

    • I had a date with a girl two days ago where we met on OK CUPID and I couldn’t tell which one it was. One of the confusing things about dating your own gender? (Or is it though, because I’ve had plenty of situations that felt like dates with particularly chivalrous dude-friends, paying for meals and everything, only for them to mention a girlfriend or even a boyfriend after they pick up the tab? I think it’s just that these things are not as clear-cut with ANYONE as Girl’s Life made them seem to be when I read that shit cover-to-cover back in middle school.)

  2. My girlfriend and I met online and we planed to meet up for coffee to meet eachother in real life. She stood me up, but we met up the next day and I took her on a tour of the city (she was new). We kept meeting up to hang out (she taught me how to roller skate) for weeks and during this one we were both seriously stressing whether these were considered dates or not. We both drove our friends crazy by continually asking if these meet ups were considered dates or not. Finally when I was walkin her back to the bus stop she finally took the courage and asked if these were considered dates and we both agreed that they had been and agreed to be girlfriends right then and there. Those ”dates” were the most stressful time of my life and I never felt more like a girl analyzing every little thing and stressing if we were dating or not. She is also my first girlfriend so that made it even more stressful. To conclude someone just has to give in and take the leap to finally ask.

        • i wasn’t going to respond to any of this, but i get so sick of seeing these narratives perpetuated over and over again on the internet that i have to say something, i’m sorry.

          first, please don’t use the term “rapey” as it is both triggering and directly connects you to a critical legacy of transphobic individuals saying that trans*women “only want access to women’s bathrooms and spaces to rape women.” and i sincerely hope you weren’t trying to connect yourself to such a legacy, because that is some disgusting transphobic stuff that i really don’t want to see perpetuated on this site.

          in addition, no one is forcing you to actively desire a person with a penis. disregarding the identity of a lesbian or queer girl because she has certain genitalia is discrimination and yeah, it is transphobic. shaming her because of her trans* status, aka shaming her for her genitalia and saying that its “rapey” to acknowledge her is really fucked up, point blank.

          • Describing a way of thinking that asks people to ignore their own desires and put other people’s gender before their own sexuality (which for some people is related to, you know, SEX and genitalia and stuff) as rapey isn’t triggering. What’s triggering to some rape survivors (including me) is seeing descriptions of male genitalia where we’re not expecting them. I’m a lesbian and I don’t live in your magical world of queerness and “ambiguous genitalia” (whatever that means). I can’t just choose to not be disturbed when I’m asked to reconsider my sexuality (which, again, includes sex and genitalia) for somebody else’s benefit.

          • Okay, no one is asking you to like penises. Please explain how you’re getting that idea from people telling you not to start griping at the mere mention of penises. I am seriously not understanding how you keep going from there to some kind of conspiracy to force you to have sex with people with penises.

          • Because nobody’s ever been raped by an individual with a vagina. Brb, going to go let my friends who’ve survived sexually abusive relationships with cis lesbians know that, this news just in, they don’t actually exist. Thanks for letting me know.

          • Sorry, nope. Literally nobody anywhere in this thread is supporting a way of thinking that asks people to ignore their own desires and put other people’s gender before their own sexuality. Literally nobody is saying anybody else should like male genitalia.

            You do live in a world of queerness and ambiguous genitalia, along with the rest of us. (By the way, some people are born with ambiguous genitalia. I was about to put a link here so you could learn more about this aspect of the incredibly diverse world in which you live, but your “whatever that means” is so utterly dismissive that all I had time to write was this catty sentence that ends in me referring you to Google.) Literally nobody in this thread is asking you to reconsider your sexuality.

        • Asking you not to complain about balls and penises is not asking you to like them. Asking gay guys not to say juvenile shit about vaginas isn’t asking them to like them either. There’s nothing “rapey” about being hurt by someone bitching about your genitals. There is something inconsiderate and fucked up about painting yourself a victim and aligning our taking offense with rape.

        • I’ll give you a break Emma. I can see where you’re comin’ from and you’re gonna be fine. I recently got into it with someone, also female, who I felt should have been supporting me and it really crushed me. I know how much that can hurt. Let’s all just remember that we are on the same side regardless of our sexual preferences.

          • Yes, I understand that, but this article wasn’t talking about those situations, was she? Maybe I missed the point of the article. It read like she was comparing dates with cis men to dates with girls. And if I wanted to read about cis men’s genitalia I would read Cosmo or I don’t know, any other online magazine marketed towards women.

          • Also: some queer girls/queer people who are members of this community like balls and penises as well as boobs and vaginas. I am one of them.

            I don’t mean any disrespect to you, or to your lack of interest in reading an article that has stuff about balls and penises and dates with cis men. I totally get that that is not your cup of tea. You do you!

            I personally don’t see your initial comment as out-and-out “biphobic.” But I also personally did not think it seemed at all well-intentioned. If you genuinely feel like the article doesn’t belong on Autostraddle, that’s one thing, you know? But if the only reason you’re commenting is to say you didn’t like the parts that you don’t like, or that squick you… why alienate the people who did like those parts, you know?

          • bisexual woman are still queer women. queer people who date male-identified people, or people with penises, are still queer, and this site is a space for those people, not just people who possess vaginas and are having sex with other people who have vaginas.

            also making a blanket statement re: disgust over the presence genitalia on a “girl on girl” site is still implying that people with penises cannot be girls or be a part of girl on girl culture, and that’s not okay.

          • NGL, your entire commentary makes me want to vom.

            When people are explaining that trans women are part of the community or pointing out that bi/pansexual/queer people do exist, NO ONE is saying “You must go fuck someone with a penis to prove that you aren’t some kind of terrible ickydoodle oppressionmonster!” which is what I swear to god you must be hearing to react like that.

            The message is more like “Oh hi, I see you’re disrespecting/ridiculing other legit members of the community and using your leverage as a cis lesbian to do it. Knock that off.”

            Like, I don’t care if you like that dicks and similar genitalia are a part of my (and many other people’s) sex lives. I seriously don’t give a fuck whose bits you play with, but you can’t be reducing folks down to their genitals and you certainly can’t be edging us out of our space.

          • I am a Trans* female, lesbian, and happen to be in possession of those irascible penis and ball bits that are the points of such contention here. I would hate to think that any description of my sex life with my female partner (ergo the girl on girl qualifier) would be suddenly painful to endure due to those parts. Excluding that ‘girl on girl’ descriptor for my experience and sex is basically denying my self identification.

            I believe Cathy Brennan wandered off in that direction… you might still be able to catch up.
            Just follow the scent of panicked biological essentialism or stay and move into a larger definition of female and shared experience.

          • Same here. The “girl on girl” descriptor is an important part of my life and relationships.

            Personally, I want to get rid of those bits, so it not only sucks to be made constantly aware that other people think I’m disgusting and not a real woman for having them, but being told that the mere mention of those parts causes other people pain with the implication that it’s my fault for having them is horrifying. I can only imagine how much pain this causes trans women who want to keep the bits.

          • to be honest, you all jumped on the defend trans* brigade without addressing the actual statement. OP was stating her distaste for balls and penises, which in the context of the article, was about those of cismen and the hetereosexual men she dated, not trans or queer women that had them. So in that context, it is something that many or some that come here will not want to hear about.

          • @Cheese: Her original statement said “too much talk about balls and penises.” I didn’t read “of cis men” anywhere in there.

            I might agree with you if she had qualified her broad-brush statement or clarified it in response to a lot of the criticism she was getting for it. She didn’t. If anything her response that “to not want to read about balls and penises on a website for ‘girl on girl culture’… just makes [her] a lesbian” after being called out for the transphobia in the original statement suggests the opposite of what you’re saying.

          • Also, some lesbians/queer girls/queer people who are members of this community enjoy vaginas AND balls and penises

            I don’t, but I can respect that some of us do. Have some respect dude.

        • The two points you’re missing are that (A) some women here are not lesbians, and so might be more inclined to discuss sexual relationships with men (hence being biphobic) and (B) some girls/women do in fact have balls and penises, so rejecting their inclusion in “girl on girl culture” is transphobic. As a lesbian I don’t find balls or penises off-putting on women. Even if you prefer not to date people who have such organs, it seems odd to be troubled by someone mentioning her experiences with them in a personal essay — as though proper “girls” never talk or read about such things.

        • I don’t really see how you can be a regular reader of this site, which has always tried to be inclusive of both bisexual and trans* women, and think that those of us who fall into those categories are going to pretend to be exclusively homosexual and/or cisgender for you – especially in personal articles like this one. It’s called “girl-on-girl culture” rather than “cis lesbian culture” because it’s trying to be inclusive of ALL girls who like girls, regardless of whether they are also girls who like guys, or what kind of genitalia they have – not just cisgender Kinsey 6 lesbians. There are a million and one lesbian sites out there that ARE that exclusive, if you really can’t stand even the smallest mention of penis (like in this article, which doesn’t mention is that often) why the fuck don’t you go over there?

          (Disclaimer: This comment is just my personal opinion and not necessarily reflective of staff opinion, despite me being a writer. I was a commenter/reader first and I’ve just seen so many comments like this over the years and can’t help but think, like, do you even go here? and I feel like at some point, SOMEONE had to say it)

        • it makes you an awful trans exclusionary lesbian. if that’s what you’re going for then awesome, you get to feel all wounded for being a transphobic jerk! yeah! no one’s asking you to feel happy about girls with penises – just asking you to not be disrespectful and policing people’s genders. this site is for all lesbians and bi girls – not just the ones with the parts you’re the most comfortable with.

      • Wading into this shitstorm carefully. I don’t think her comment was so much “transphobic and biphobic” as it was confusion over the overall article. The heading was a bit misleading in that I myself thought this was going to be some sort of advice or “signs to look for” etc. Having sat through the “How to pick up girls” seminar at camp, a number of campers asked the same question, “How do you know if you’re on a date?” So there’s that. Also, the writing style was a bit different than we usually see here on AS (which is great, so keep the new content coming!) I think she was just more baffled than phobic or anything like that. In any event, all this discourse is good in that it reinforces the positive, welcoming community on this site.

        • ^^Yes, this^^
          Also, I do think that it is possible to point out the phallic centric situation without being transphobic or biphobic or what not. The world is obnoxiously phallic centric. Sometimes there needs to be a space free of that.
          And to invalidate someone’s experiences with penises by saying “but cis women rape, too!”…I mean, I’ve been raped by girls (it involved a dildo, shaped like a penis.), and in my opinion, its a little different, seeing as how penises have been used as weapons since the beginning of humankind, specifically to put people with vaginas in their place. So yea, what I’m getting at is, there needs to be spaces free of phallic centricity. Just my humble opinion.

          • Thank you! This was all I was trying to say. I don’t know how transphobia got pulled into this, there is no mention of trans anything in the article. She describes over and over her boring dates with cis men, down to the nitty gritty details. THAT’S what I was referring to.

          • Okay, but this article is far from phallocentric. She mentions penises twice. “Making a place free from phallocentricity” should not have to mean that bisexual women have to pretend that we’re gay.

          • Autostraddle is a community of awesomeness. It’s all our many differences that make it so amazing. It’s our differences that should be bringing us together, not driving us apart. I think we’ve all seen far too much bi-bashing and trans-phobia, both here as well as other sites. Lesbian Jesus knows I’ve tangled with a few of the culprits myself. But I just don’t think that’s what’s been going on here. As often happens, the comments have become bigger than the story itself, and that’s too bad. Some people found it funny. Some did not. Some just didn’t get it at all. But I really don’t feel anyone is suggesting that bisexual women should pretend they’re gay. Honestly, if I was getting that vibe I’d be doling out a smack-down. I love this site. I love all the many different personalities and experiences you all bring to it. I would love to meet each and every one of you. I would totally date you all if my girlfriend would let me. She won’t. I asked. I just think that poorly chosen words have incited further inflammatory comments resulting in a whole lot of bad feelings and defensiveness. I just think it’s time to try to bring it all back together.

          • I’m sure she isn’t actually trying to suggest it. But when two off-hand mentions of penis in an article about a bisexual woman’s sex life get confused with “phallogocentrisim,” damned if it doesn’t feel that way?

            And as I said in another comment, part of this is part of a history of biphobic comments on this site in articles about bisexual experiences. There were some where they literally said if you’re a bi woman in a relationship with a man, you don’t have a place in the queer community. At the time I read that I was dating a man (who turned out to be gay himself so I am no longer dating him) and even as someone on staff for the site, seeing people writing that and plus-1ing that made me feel alienated. If I want to write a personal article, am I going to be accused of being “male-centric” if I simply mention, say, that being boy-crazy was part of how I suppressed my attraction to other women in high school?

          • And I hope I didn’t imply in my response that as a regular you’re not familiar with the history of biphobic commenting on this site. I’m just talking about my personal experience here as a bi woman who has always been open and proud about it while here and feeling alienated when people suggest that including us, ALL of us, amounts to “lesbophobia.”

          • “If I want to write a personal article, am I going to be accused of being “male-centric” if I simply mention, say, that being boy-crazy was part of how I suppressed my attraction to other women in high school?”
            The simple answer: maybe. But so what. When I first started writing, I agonized over every critique. These were my babies, born from someplace deep inside of me. I took every negative response as a personal attack. My writing was a part of me, so it must be me they don’t like. To quote Coco Ginger “It’s all mine. It’s all sacred.” It took me a long time to accept that while everything I write would not appeal to everyone who read it, it didn’t mean it wouldn’t appeal to anyone. I finally decided that I write for me. I wrote because I have to. I need to. I write because I have a voice. I deserve to be heard. I write because…I do.
            I’m sorry for how those comments made you feel. But there will always be those who say those things, and those who plus-1 them. Because as it pains me to say this, the world is full of ignorant assholes. Even lesbian ones. Even bisexual ones. Even trans ones. I know you know this. You’ve experienced it first hand. And when they spew their ugly from the safety of their anonymity, we should and must take them to task. And then we must move on. Because we are better than that. We have to be better than that.
            Write for you, Rose. Write what you think. Write what you feel. Write all the things, and then write some more. Write knowing that some won’t like it…But so many will!

          • That’s easier said than done, and I don’t feel like I should have to just be “so what” about that, because it affects people other than just me. The entitlement of certain cisgender lesbians who think every queer-lady-related site should be exclusively related to their concerns, and that anything that is open to other ways of being a queer lady is “lesbophobic,” is concerning.

          • But I do want to say I really appreciate your comment, Digger. It know people here DO appreciate my writing and it warms my heart that you are one of them 🙂

          • I second Rose on her opinion. Acting like “so what” is not really an option because comments like the one Emma made are not okay. Not because I think that she said something horribly transphocic/biphobic but because insensitive statements like that do not exist in a bubble.

            You must understand that if you are trans* or non-monosexual things like that happen over and over and over and over and over again. On a day to day basis. So over the time people get sensitive to shit like that because those things accumulate and leave them scared. And it hurts the most when it happens within spaces that supposed to be inclusive and safe because these are the ones where people make themselves vulnerable.

            Look I don’t want to bash Emma and I do find that some responses to her comment are harsh, but her statement is hurtful and damaging because it is – in fact – exclusive towards everybody who is not a cis lesbian. And by being exclusive you basically not only deny access to the lesbian part of the queer community but also don’t give the space where people who are genderqueer and/or trans* and/or multisexual can bond with each other.

            Therefore it is necessary to point out hurtful statements and to explain why they are not okay. That is the only way to understand and to learn from each other. That is the only way progress can be made.

          • @Kj: No. Just fucking no. Refusing to let you invalidate my friends’ experiences of rape just because they didn’t always involve penises (or phalluses of any kind, actually)–the same thing that the cisheteropatrarchal culture does regarding their experiences of rape, by the way, so congrats on siding with THAT team–is NOT the fucking same as invalidating your experience of rape. It’s awful that that happened to you. It’s disgusting and horrible and reprehensible. It does not, however, make the experiences of rape survivors whose trauma did not involve what cis society would term a penis any less awful and horrible and reprehensible. Your pain is valid. So is theirs. And erasing their experience is absolutely not okay, especially when it’s done in the service of transmisogyny. Which, make no mistake, the facile equation of penis/phallus=male=rapist is.
            There is no excuse in the world for demonizing certain women as rapists or tools of the rape culture, on the sole basis of their genitalia, and there is no excuse for excluding them from safe spaces. Especially when trans* women are the ones who especially need safe spaces. Seeing as they’re much more likely to be the victims of sexual violence than cis women. Their comfort in this community is not any less important than cis women’s, and to say otherwise is totally inexcusable.

    • Hold up, you’re choosing to be grossed out over the one or two brief penis mentions as opposed to a full paragraph about sphincter-clenching and shit-splashing? The fuck. (I also co-sign Kate and everyone else’s comments, I just wanted to point out how absurd you’re being.)

      • The weird shit-obsession was really the grossest thing about this article. I have to say I never enjoy reading about diarrhea and shitting (it always reminds me of horrible movies like Party Animals – Americans seem to be weirdly prone to “feces-humor”), so if anything, that was the offensive part – not that she mentions a few penises because she is bisexual or whatever she defines herself as. There’s enough vagina talk in the story as well.

        That being said, the men in the story are weird caricatures of dumb, self-obsessed guys…not really my experience with men either. What a weird article all in all. But hey, maybe I just didn’t get it.

        • I did not have a problem with the shit, but then again, when I was in elementary school my sister’s and my favorite way to amuse ourselves was to go on our American Girls playwriting game and make ones where the entirety was Jiggy Nye twirling around saying “I pooped in my pants”

          • OH MY GOD I HAD THAT GAME IT WAS THE BEST

            And, yes, mostly because you could make them say the dumbest things in their robot voices while doing ridiculous dances.

            But until this comment appeared I had never heard this game mentioned by anyone else, anywhere, since I was about 12. Good Times.

          • If you go on YouTube there are tons of videos of people doing ridiculous things with that game (and I’m happy to meet someone else who loved it and used it in a similar way!) but never has anything I’ve seen there gotten close to the works of art I created with Jiggy Nye (it was always him, for some reason, maybe because he was a horse-abusing dickhead in the books so it was Schadenfreude?) doing various inappropriate things with his poop.

            And did you play the second version of it, when they added Josefina? That one was arguably even better because you could record your own voice. I remember one where I made a bunch of fart noises while the character was stomping around the stage to overdramatic music.

            Good times.

        • I don’t think Americans are particularly prone to scatological humor. Have you not read The Canterbury Tales, Gulliver’s Travels, or The Book of Margery Kempe? It’s also incredibly prevalent in German folklore, and of course there’s an entire Wikipedia article dedicated to Mozart and scatology.

          • Oh, of course every nation loves to talk and laugh about poo. But please don’t tell me you are actually comparing Mozart to the average Hollywood comedy which usually includes someone shitting their pants sooner or later.

          • I haven’t come across this phenomenon in the American movies that I’ve seen, but I’m willing to concede that I’m not as much of an expert on “the average Hollywood comedy” as you are.

          • Haha. Wow, I am sorry if I offended your intelligence or something. Really, I see no need to fight about which culture enjoys shitting and talking about it more and neither will I enter an intellectual battle with you.

            I should not have generalized in my first statement. But really, whatever. I will not have this snobby discussion on an article that has already received a surprising amount of unnecessary comments (mine being, arguably, among the more unnecessary ones).

        • This is a reprint from the author’s blog, and she blogs there a lot about having Crohn’s disease (or colitis?). So the shitstorm is probably a theme that is more apparent for long-term readers when not reprinted on a bigger blog like this.

    • I understand what you are trying to say because I used to want to say it here too, but then I realized that AS is a “Queer” website and nowhere does it mention allegiance to or respect for lesbians exclsively. Some of the articles are for us, some of them are for the other members of the community. I don’t think voicing general shock at the mention of male genitalia belonging to a biological male on a website that claims to be about girl-on-girl culture is transphobic because the shock isn’t over lady penises it is over the presence of men which is a little biphobic, but I doubt that was your intent. In reality men read this website and while none of the current writing staff appears to be male this place is so “inclusive” that I don’t doubt that is on the horizon. Lesbians are females who have romantic attraction for other females, a penis does not a female make, but some women can have penises because the word woman no longer means adult female nor does girl mean young female. Thus girl-on-girl culture means exactly what Queer means which is almost nothing at all. Stop being shocked, you want a place for lesbians you should probably build it.

      • I would hope that this place doesn’t go on to include men in the horizon because it would no longer remain true to the reason why I and many others chose to join this site- For “girl on girl” news, which though embodies all queer and female identifying people, does not embody your typical heterosexual male-indentifying man. That’s an important distinction in terms of this being our safe space and our hub for news and not a website for general news that there are so many of. I for one, hope that does not happen or the purpose will be defeated.

      • ok this convo has gotten out of hand! do y’all realize that most bisexual and pansexual women feel like this site is too lesbian-centric for them? that we get accused of cissexism and biphobia at least once a week? on both sides we have people who are completely 100% convinced that we’re somehow intentionally denying them their identity or their right to a safe space or a place for them. people pick and choose articles to prove their point, not noting that we publish 70 articles a week, most of which are honestly quite limited to the lesbian POV. somebody uses the word “penis” in an article and suddenly we’re on the road to hiring men. we had a transguy who wrote here but he doesn’t anymore, and of course we’d never have a cis man write for autostraddle and I personally resent that implication and interpretation of everything we’re doing here and everything we’ve worked for and believe in. for example, i hold strongly the belief that men have plenty of their own fucking websites.

        i’d like to be able to publish pieces from different POVs without worrying that one line — nay, one word — will be taken out of context, misinterpreted, and then held up as an example of why Autostraddle is [really extreme thing].

        she is making fun of cis men mentioning their own penises on a date. are we really at a place where people want so desperately to accuse us of being anti-lesbian that nobody can make fun of a cis man’s relationship to his junk, which, by the way, i’m sure i’ve done in a real l word or glee recap at some point.

        • I just want to say bless you Riese (and all other staff) for sticking up for awesome, unusual bisexual content. I love AS and think you guys are doing a great job, and the other thing I love is that when you do something you don’t think is great, you fix/discuss it.

          in conclusion, this queer girl is very happy with the girl-on-girl culture of the site, and I’m sorry about the haters <3

        • I actually like this article and applaud the website for trying to stay fair and balanced. It was hilarious and I think we can all relate to the base principle of not knowing if time spent sharing oxygen with another girl is in fact date material. I did not mean to offend the writers or the staff because I think people give you a lot of shit when they don’t agree and I know that depending on the topic somebody’s identity will always have the potential to be offended. I do not have a problem with the word penis,making fun of cis male penis pride is an old hobby, but I do have a problem with lesbians being labeled trans*phobic because they hold opinions or have experiences that are different from the Queer Status Quo. The original comment and the context of the article are simply referring to cis males. Somebody finds them uncomfortable even when we’re mocking them, how about we respect that?

          • well good, i’m glad you found it hilarious!

            i don’t really have an opinion worth stating on the ‘was that comment biphobic/transphobic’ conversation, i’m not addressing that at all. i’m just addressing the comments that suggest autostraddle is [this/that] because of a word that appeared in this article. i hope that makes sense.

            my belief in the importance of getting female voices out there is so near/dear to me that it’s almost like a religion. so to me, suggesting that the next step for autostraddle after this article is to hire a male writer is sort of like suggesting that because a rabbi mentioned jesus once, s/he’ll be co-hosting all future services with the pope. and then the sky exploded and so did my heart.

          • Is anyone in the same room as Riese right now? if so, can you please give her a huge fucking hug and tell her she’s awesome and her website is legendary and she’s a jeffing pioneer with fire in her belly.

            Standard.

        • I liked the article a lot. And the author seemed pretty equal in her gentle ridicule of both genders, so…

          I posted a comment I think a few weeks ago about the site becoming “too cohesive,” and in that sense I think this article couldn’t have come too soon. I want to hear how ALL the queers live. I want to hear all the experiences. Thank you for letting some air in the window. I recall a young woman writing an article about her sexual experiences in public restrooms and she was roundly attacked. I don’t want an article to always toe the line of the expected. And it’s a bit odd that on a queer website some people would expect themselves and their opinions to always be reflected.

        • Thank YOU so much, Riese. As I mentioned down thread, I have friends that don’t like the site or understand my passion for this community because they peek in and see a bunch of man hating lesbians. Even though I no longer identify as bisexual, this website played a huge part in my process dealing with my sexuality while I was dating one of those cis guys with his own set of penises and balls. It meant the world to know that I wasn’t alone, and that I wasn’t doing anything wrong. So yes, we need more articles like this – crude humour aside, these stories need to be shared here for everyone else who isn’t just dating women.

      • Seriously, not deleting comments from men is a stepping-stone to having them write for the site? Are you ####ing kidding me?

        Also iirc most of the men who have been regulars here, including the straight ones, are very appreciative of the fact that this is a site for ladies and prefer it that way. It is possible to enjoy something that is not aimed at your demographic and not believe it should be changed.

    • I was not sure where to write this… so many replies and replies of replies!…. but shitstorm, or not, I have to say, so many of these comments made me feel all the more at home on AS. Sometimes I feel to be accepted with open arms as “really queer” I have to hide, quiet, tamp down, not even ever ever mention my experiences with or attractions to cis men. If I do, it makes me suspect, or people just assume I’m (really) straight. And then in my family and some other spaces, I’m generally a little quiet and under-the-radar about my experiences and attractions with women (less so now, but still…) There’s just a whole lot of quieting or leaving things out going on. Where can bi women talk about her full experience, all of it? Without it being offered as some icky for-male-fantasy-enjoyment thing?

      The “hey wait a minute, this is a space for bi and trans* and queer and whatever-else-not-straight experiences too! Not just only the experiences one specific identity relates to” uproar just… it made me feel safer, and more included. So thank you.

  3. “a big macaroni Hostess cupcake pizza loaf”

    um i’m sorry to possible derail the conversation but can you tell me more about this little angel you dropped in here as if from heaven itself

    how is this made

    can you come to my house and make it

      • you are probably right. That is what I tell people who freak out about spiders. I like spiders, and I like insects. Except for the house centipede (which I’ve always called thousand-leggers, I think it’s the same thing. And there’s other kinds of centipedes too, right, with shorter legs?). It’s the way they move. It’s just not right.

        • YOU ARE FUNNY!!! This article was hilarious. At one point in my life when I didn’t know I was lactose-intolerant, I battled shit storms whilst dating my first girlfriend and it was awkward as hell. More people should talk about poop because IT’S FUNNY.

          Those comments up there are funny too. How did bisexuals disappear from reality? Hello lesbians… I’m one, no I don’t like the P either but I figured out the writer might be bisexual and GOT ON WITH READING…

        • “It’s the way they move. It’s just not right.”

          THIS!!!!!!!!
          (and now I have “The Way You Move” by OutKast stuck in my head, but with centipedes I definitely DO NOT like the way you move.)

          Also I know this probably doesn’t need to be said, but if you are seriously arachnophobic or chilopodophobic (I believe that is the technical term for a centipede phobia but I might have just made it up) it’s not a rational thing. You may know they are “good bugs” and you shouldn’t kill them but logic doesn’t factor into it, you just hate them and want them gone.

      • Actually, house centipedes bite, and also they are so freaking huge and gross-looking that I don’t care if they eat other bugs. Some of those other bugs, I’d rather have than them. (Some. Not all. Looking at you, roaches and stinkbugs.)

        Also, I generally don’t kill spiders unless they are really big and/or all up in my grill in a private place like my bed or shower. So it’s not like I’m killing all the “good bugs”

  4. YOU ARTICULATED SO MANY OF MY BISEXUAL FEELINGS SO BEAUTIFULLY.

    And now I feel like I have a greater understanding of why I’m 11 times more nervous going on a date with a lady than I am with a dude.

    THANK YOU.

  5. this is hilarious and refreshingly honest and the story of my life circa 2004-2007, esp the bathroom thing and “When dating, I rely way too much on the inherent disinterest and thoughtlessness of the average male to provide an air of mystery and intrigue”

    • seriously, though, who hasn’t exploited dudeignorance (or maybe just dude-not-wanting-to-deal-with-it-ness) regarding periods at least once?

      When I was in middle school orchestra camp there was this guy who taught cello technique class that I didn’t like for reasons I can’t explain now – he was actually quite nice – and it was also back-to-back against orchestra rehearsal so I’d get out of it a few times by claiming I had my period. I don’t know if he believed me entirely but I think he just didn’t want to deal with it so I’d go back to my cabin and chill until rehearsal.

  6. I just started recently for the first time in my 23 1/2 year long life (gender and sexuality closet FTW) and I keep running into the “is this a date?” problem. I think I’ve made a dozen friends, which is cool, but I keep thinking “am I not direct/interesting/attractive enough for this person to be excited?”

    I am perhaps a little odd.

  7. Listen; If you’re interested in a girl just TELL HER.
    I have a friend that started as maybe dates but never amounted to each other becuase we weren’t sure if the other was into it.
    Fast forward 1.5 years later after 6 months of not seeing each other, a 7 hour drive and many beers and we’re attacking each others lips and confessing feelings.
    Just say how you feel upfront.

  8. Oh my effing God. How did I not discover you before?! This article was high-la-rious. I totally identify with the is-this-a-date-or-are-we-hanging-out? ish and the differences with dating men vs. women. Men are just so easy to figure out. Women, on the other hand, are so damn complicated.

    Also, “That’s why my apartment is decorated like prison.” LMFAO!

    ~~~~~~~~~
    http://SoNotStraight.com

  9. Girl, you are hilarious! I’m gonna print the article out and read it to myself each time before I go on a [possibly-maybe-probably] date just to remind myself that I might be not the only one who freaks out on the inside and over-analyzes every fucking little thing.

    Also what I take from you and all the responses: NOBODY knows when it’s a date date and when it’s just casual hanging out. Okay. That’s calming because now we know that everyone is insecure and a weirdo 😀

  10. I rarely comment, but this was hilarious and amazing! Thank you!!

    Also, I never know whether I’m on a date regardless of the other person’s gender…yeah, I’m a bit dense/awkward.

  11. This was exactly the post I needed to read today.

    The lesbian rapids of life make it hard to see the bottom of the river (or some other sentence that also seems deep).

    But really, it’s undeniably confusing figuring out what kind of relationship you share with another woman.

    I am a female bathroom attendant and thus I meet way too many women every work week. I always end up leaving more confused than I was going into work.

  12. “I took a second to hyperventilate in a corner while shoving napkins in my armpits.” I laughed so hard I did a laugh/cough/choke thing. This article is hysterical. Also, Meshell Ndegeocello helped me realize I’m a homo.

  13. Holy shit, this is absolutely hysterical. Also I HATE going into the same bathroom as a girl I’m dating, I don’t care how weird it makes me look but I will refuse to go in at the same time as her. This still applies to my girlfriend of 1.5 years.

  14. I read this in class and shamelessly lol’d through the entire duration of my reading period.

    “My souffles rise.”
    “When we got to the show I had the kind of diarrhea that makes you stop believing in God”
    hahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!!!!! Me. Yesterday. And I don’t care who knows it.

    There needs to be more articles like this in my life.

  15. Bwaha, can definitely relate to the “is-this-a-date-omg”-feeling. I frienddated my girlfriend for several months before we actually realized we wanted to take things further. The whole “well you know it IS possible for friends to cuddle, hold hands and watch movies – a lot, it doesn’t have to mean ANYTHING”. We’re both incredibly dense sometimes.. But that’s why we understand each other 🙂

    • That’s the trouble with being a girl dating girls. I know my queer male friends never have this problem because there’s no way two dudes can be that physically affectionate with each other without people thinking “gay.” And I can be certain degrees of physically affectionate sometimes with close platonic male friends, but you know, after a certain point others start to get suspicious. With girls, though, there is so much affection that is allowed in female friendships without it “meaning anything” that it’s just like, argh, how the fuck do I know?

  16. “How do you know if you’re on a date or if you’re just two pretty girls hanging out?”

    You go to a bar and she doesn’t kiss another woman while you’re away.

    She is touching you. You’re touching her and she doesn’t get annoyed by that.

    You reach to kiss her and she doesn’t slap you in the face.

  17. “Romantic or not, bitches be noticing every goddamned thing you ever fucking do. As a matter of fact, I’d had dinner with her on Wednesday with green nails, and the first thing she noticed was that on Friday those same nails were motherfucking purple.”

    Dies. Laughing.

  18. I got to agree with some of the other posters on this: It was definitely not something I enjoyed. I was expecting something completely different considering the title of the article, and although I am completely aware and understand why some people might relate or find it funny, this article was far from interesting, refreshing or relatable for me. I am not really into crude humor, so maybe that has something to do with it? Either way, I hope this doesn’t become a trend in future articles.

    You don’t need to rely on expletives and shock factor to entertain us. I would rather be educated and informed by someone’s genuine experiences explained modestly and descriptively than read an article with the words fuck and shit in every other sentence. Autostraddle usually has really fun, fascinating interviews and articles but this was like a tumblr post some 17 year old blogger wrote in rage the 15 min. after getting back from a bad date. No thanks.

    • While I really enjoyed the piece, I see what you’re saying – I guess the take home is that different people like/respond to different styles of writing. Perhaps the “this is a personal piece” disclaimer should be included at the beginning, that way people expecting a more benign, informative-type piece would know this isn’t it.

      Again, loved the author’s style.

    • I agree, Mik, re: your expletives and shock value comment. While a tiny, well-timed bit of shock-and-awe can be effective, a lot (or any, in the wrong context) can just be bullying to the reader. In this case, I just felt bullied. And, tangentially, I felt confused by the narrative structure. I dig on prose poems but, lawdy, you still have to have structure. Abuse of typical syntax structure in longer prose typically necessitates proper use as a justified framework.

    • I’d say that 99.9% of what gets published here is educational, informative and mostly shock-free, so I doubt Autostraddle is suddenly going to start pumping out all-shit-jokes-and-expletives-all-the-time articles. You’re entitled to your own opinion of this piece, of course, but personally I found this one small change in the usual offerings refreshing.

  19. sweet baby jesus this was the funniest thing I have read in such a long time!

    but jeeeeez… if it’s not ok to mention, you know…..ahem……the “P” word…(penis)… within “girl on girl” culture (cos obvs bi women aren’t real) then i’m gonna have a hard time explaining the little 3 year old person that follows me around everywhere.

    THIS ARTICE = FUNNY AS FUCK.

    Standard.

  20. I seem to be in the minority in not finding this to be super hilarious, but I really do appreciate the open honesty Sam has in dating both genders. We definitely need more pieces from polysexual perspectives. I have some friends that can’t tap into the site because they feel their bi or pan identities are erased under the big Lesbian umbrella.

  21. This was
    1. hilarious, like goddamn
    2. a pretty accurate description of my bisexual feels as well & thus affirming
    3. I want to eat that thing
    4. really nice to see Autostraddlers standing up to biphobia/transphobia in the comments
    5. really nice to see an honest essay about bisexuality in the present tense

  22. You are the best. THE BEST. I could not stop laughing. Spanx up to the nipples! Horrifying mutual bathroom breaks!

    The lady laser eye is terrifying, and I’ve never heard anyone else mention it before. I had a woman point out a varicose vein on my thigh once, and I immediately froze and started wondering what other flaws of mine she’d noticed and filed away in her mind. Awful.

  23. I found most of this article to be pretty hilarious, but I too don’t like reading about male bits (in general, and specifically on sites where I go for girl stuff). It’s kinda like paying to watch a comedy show that’s gonna feature really funny gay women, and then all their opener does is make dick jokes. Did I just pay to hear dick jokes? Just not my tea, man.
    I get it that there are a lot of different type of people on here, and this site serves its purpose in different ways for everybody. So, people jumping all over chick that said she doesn’t wanna read about wieners, calling her trans and biphobic? Give me a fucking break. She can express her opinion just as well as the all-bit loving people on here. No one should be jumping on anyone for shit like that. Christ.

    • Again, the issue here is that in specific, the bits in question are not a limited to “girls/women”. There are women here who read these articles, who are lesbians, who are bisexual/pansexual, who are whatever-sexual who have “bits” that are not vaginas. If a bisexual woman wants to talk about sex (baby), she may in fact have the audacity to speak of the alleged non-vag on vag action – since girl on girl here seems too vague.
      The point is having a penis does not exclude a person from being female. The above assumed that and argued for it. Saying no one on Autostraddle should say the P-word means a lot of trans folks have to (once again) hide who they are and pretend they are cis. Which I personally suck at. Willfully.
      Not wanting to hear about penis’s is fine, or great actually. Me and mine hate each other (the divorce is pending) and I understand not wishing to hear about the details of that, but understanding this site is open to all queer women, and that some may like the P-word and yet others actually HAVE the p-word is part of the deal.
      Is it Transphobic? If you say a person is a male or female based on fleshy bits? Yes. It is. Done. Roll credits.
      If you don’t want to deal with those fleshy bits? Right there with you, but don’t say its because they are on a queer / trans / lesbian/ girl site and they shouldn’t be.

      • “The point is having a penis does not exclude a person from being female.”

        Absolutely agree. I don’t think that was the point the original poster was making. I’m defending her right to not get pounced on just by commenting that she doesn’t want to hear about the p-word in her safe place, or where she chooses to go to get specific type of information. Some women are negatively triggered by images like that, especially when it’s unexpected. While everyone’s like “omg, you don’t want to read about penisessss, you must hate women that have penisessss.”

        We’re agreeing more than you think, but I do have a problem with the “lesbophobia” that’s been quick to trend around here.

        • I am not seeing lesbophobia, however that in and of itself doesn’t mean its not there. If by lesbophobia, you mean a distaste and hatred of anything girl on girl, I think the majority of people here are kinda into that. But to define lesbophobia as a state of disputing cisgendered essentialism is an insult to lesbians. Being a lesbian does not require a hatred of penis, or an outright love of the vag. It means (to me here) a love of women identified people. And that has little to do with the plumbing.
          The essentialist argument that was deployed was ‘anything with a penis shouldn’t be on my girl or girl’ site. Ergo, penis and girl cannot exist in an inclusive place. That is my issue, and the reasoning behind the massive response.

          This space, safe or not, has not defined itself as 100% penis free, and in fact has been shown to deal with various genders and genitalia commonly. This particular space is not one excluding any reference to non-vagina bearers, as has been shown and the article was written, quite bluntly by a Bisexual person. Autostraddle is queer aligned, but that doesn’t mean it forbids or hides any and all references to anything sexual between cis folks.

          There are so many places and spaces that I am 100% for being penis or (insert particular issue or problem here) free. I think the issue is the sudden expectation that this site is one of those, and then the (yes) transphobic defense of that complaint. Note the original issue and the complaint are two entirely different things and can be spoken of fairly and separately.

        • Perhaps her first comment was unfairly jumped on, but when she clarified that her reason for not expecting to read about penises here was because it’s “about girl-on-girl culture” that is transphobic. If she had just said “I just think penises are gross” or “I am triggered by them” or whatever no one would have taken issue with that, I like to believe. Or if she had thought that the title was misleading, which a lot of people said later and weren’t jumped on for that. But if you’re saying a site for “girl-on-girl culture” shouldn’t talk about penises then that is, in fact, biphobic and transphobic – dismissive of those of us who are also into guys or even just trans* women, and dismissive of lesbian/bi women who ARE trans* women themselves.

          It’s also worth seeing this in the context of the fact that just about every article about bisexuality on this site has at least one (usually not regular) commenter pitching a fit about it being on a “lesbian site.” Yeah, it ends up feeling that if you’re bisexual you can’t really be yourself here and tell your story or you’ll get shat on, ESPECIALLY if you have the audacity to actually date people of both genders! And this is despite the fact that the staff themselves try their best to make this a welcoming place. I actually was in a monogamous relationship with a guy for a few months while I was writing here and even I felt ostracized because of that, because we had commenters on bi-related articles suggesting that bi women in relationships with men should be kicked out of the queer community. This may not have been as big of a deal as that, but it adds up.

          And I’m getting sick of the overuse of the term “lesbophobic” especially when it ends up dismissing a huge chunk of lesbians out there (in this case, lesbians who are open to dating trans* women who have not had bottom surgery).

    • There are ways to express that one, personally, doesn’t like reading about something but also recognizes that the something has a legitimate right to be where it is. If I’m not mistaken, there are at least a couple comments on here already that do just that.

      It’s the difference between me walking into the fruit section of the grocery store and saying, “gee, I’m not a fan of dates,” versus “what the hell are all these dates doing in my fruit section??!” The second makes it sound like the dates shouldn’t be there, which, if the topic is something more sensitive than fruit sections of grocery stores, is rude and exclusive.

      This also raises the point that all the people around me in the fruit section may be like, “…cool story, bro?” when they hear me add nothing constructive to the conversation other than my opinion of dates. Which may have parallels here too.

    • Good job sticking up for a fellow Autostraddler; I can see how Emma might feel jumped on/pounced on. I can totally see how and why people took her first comment badly, but the first reply was a bit inflammatory. I don’t find it helpful to cry biphobia, transphobia, or any other -phobia without taking the time to explain “look, here’s why what you said is problematic, hurtful, etc.” If you’re trying to change someone’s mind, you’ve got to actually try to communicate meaningfully with them.

      I gotta point out that Autostraddle put this content out here for all of us for free. None of us paid anything for this article. That’s why I don’t understand the motivation for commenting just to say “I really didn’t care for X.” IMO, people should at least say why: “I really didn’t care for X because Y, and that’s a problem for me/my partner/my friend/everyone.” Then we have a Cogent Criticism which can lead to an Intellectually Stimulating Discussion. Other people have done this successfully (Mik’s comment above, for example). Also, you! Well done.

      • yes. i like all of this. thank you.

        it does though get a little frustrating around here when everyone jumps on the biphobic bandwagon for lesbians stating their own personal opinion/preference. we all have our own preferences, and that’s fantastic. just because time is moving along rapidly and our collective ideas are changing for the good, doesn’t mean we’re all gonna morph into gender-blind creatures over night. let’s respect that and have more patience with each other.

    • I think part the frustration was that as a bisexual women (me, at least) I was SO HAPPY to see bisexual content on this site that acknowledges that yes, we bisexual ladies sometimes Do The Sex with people with penises. And this is mostly a site that is about girl-on-girl in the vag-on-vag way, which is okay!

      But when we finally get some content that simply affirms that we exist and are part of this community, it’s so so un-affirming to see a comment that reads as, “get this kind of content off this site because since it doesn’t apply to me (and to who I think this site is for ie people like me) I don’t want to see it.”

      Like I don’t think bisexual/pan/non-monosexual ladies should have to silence ourselves and pretend we don’t have sex with cis men/people with penises just to have an Autostraddle Membership Card, yanno?

      Of course there are trans issues involved here, but as a non-trans person it’s not so much my place.

      But in conclusion, it doesn’t so much matter if she *meant* to be biphobic or not – the fact is that what she said offended and invalidated non-monosexual people (myself included). Intent doesn’t magically erase that.

      • Yup, that sums up pretty much all of my feelings about the fact that this article got published on AS.

        Asking for not publishing anything that is related to dating (cis) men is pretty much asking the non-monosexaul queers to shut up about important parts of their lifes, so that they will fit into neat little boxes that can be put away in a pretty little closet. Yes, I said it, it is in fact like asking non-monosexuals to hide in a closet just to make (some) monosexual queers feel more comfortable.

        But we are part of the community and we need safe spaces where we are able to discuss our experiences. All of them – not just the parts that monosexual queers can relate to.

        Seriously we can not turn to straight people because they don’t know how it is to be discriminated against, because never felt the need to question and define their own sexuality, because most of them don’t even know any pronouns besides “he” and “she” because they don’t know that there people who identify besides the gender binary. Straight folks don’t know shit, they just suggest to use some chocolate sauce to “spice it up” in the bedroom.

        • Yeah, expecting bisexuals to talk about our straight experiences in straight spaces where they don’t want to hear about the gay stuff, and then vice versa in the queer community, is a lot like expecting us to go back into the closet and just change which closet it is based on the space. There are interesting stories to be told in terms of what it’s like to date people of BOTH genders that are not told in that situation. Like this story, in fact.

      • Yup, that pretty much sums it up. There’s nothing wrong with being a cis lesbian who only dates other cis lesbians and doesn’t want to read stuff about other genders/genitals/sexualities, but Autostraddle just isn’t the website for these people, period.
        Plenty of other websites do cater to this crowd exclusively, so they should just either move there, or respect that AS isn’t one of them and shut up.

        Complaining about the presence of queer people in queer safe spaces is nothing but trying to bully them out to hoard ALL OF THE SPACES for yourself, and that’s a dick move. (oooooooh)

        Also people failed to recognize the one truly gross thing in this article, which is the mention of centipede legs still twitching in the writer’s palm. DO YOU SQUASH THEM WITH YOUR BARE HANDS EW EW EW.

  24. Autostraddle, if you were a person I would like to marry you. Or we could just cohabitate or occasionally have awkward encounters at coffee shops or make too much eye contact on subways that’s cool too
    because this article is hilariously raw and the comments oh my god please I need an embodiment of this website to live under my bed
    I’ll even live under the bed. You can have the bed, Autostraddle.

  25. “I still have to ask my gay boyfriends to come over and put my IKEA furniture together while they also offer unsolicited advice about resuscitating that one dying ass plant I can’t bring myself to throw away and criticize my mismatched dishtowels.”

    #mylife

  26. I was thinking it was going to be one of the more informative articles, too, but I mean…it’s just an article, you know? Guys have penises, some girls do too, and calling Autostraddle lesbophobic is like calling a gay bar dry.

  27. We should be friends. We could hang out in our prison-like living spaces and you could cook for me and I could fix/assemble shit. And we can all wonder whether any of our “dates” are even actual dates because I never know until people are making out and sometimes NOT EVEN THEN.

  28. totally surprising and different than the usual language/tone of AS articles, but i found it hilarious and i like the increased variety in writer styles (even though im more than satisfied with AS writers prior to this)!

    also i cannot make the hanging out/date distinction. mystery+enigma

  29. I grew up with an older brother who was very much a “man’s man” and we were always very close and we still are. I was always around him and his friends growing up and their behavior really shaped who i am. So even though I’m feminine, I talk and act like a stereotypical teenage boy sometimes (ok, a lot of the time) and i love that you talk like that and act like that. You’re a little bit gross, a little bit teenage boy but also kind of feminine which i know to a lot of people doesn’t sound like a compliment but you remind me a lot of myself so it definitely is.

    Also, you make me laugh and you’re from Chicago (aka the best city on earth).

    • Oh, and also, don’t feel bad about the diarrhea thing. It happens to everyone. And I just had my gallbladder out 3 weeks ago so I’m going to have to develop a way to not make a potential girlfriend think I’m disgusting when it will happen (all the time). I’ll let you know when I do.

  30. i loved this. i don’t relate to a fair amount of the personal pieces on the site, which is chill because i recognize that we all have to work our shit out in different ways. but fuck yea am i psyched to see black girl real talk. i hope that there is more of this, it would make my cynical, withered heart swell with puppies and joy.

  31. I was laughing so hard. my girlfriend kept going “what are you laughing about…what?” and I just couldn’t point out any one thing it just sort of built point on point….and she will just have to read it all herself if she wants to know the funny.

  32. Okay I just feel really bad about your bad poops. I hope this isn’t a frequent thing for you but if it is maybe you should consider some allergy testing?

    I only suggest this because I spent a semester eating poptarts (which are gluten bombs) before O Chem lab and like, halfway through every lab I was like I HAVE TO GO TO THE BATHROOM and had to leave for…a while. Anxiety meds helped my tummy a little but it’s a million times better now that I’m off gluten and mostly off dairy. Except for those times when you’re like ‘it’s my birthday, I can digest this small piece of Gouda on my food, my stomach will cooperate’ but then it doesn’t at ALL.

    Anyway, you don’t have to put up with fiery poops! I also try to tell my dairy allergic roommate this because it would probably mean we have to scrub the toilet bowl less often but I find it awkward to phrase that in such a manner.

    This may be the most disgusting comment I’ve ever posted?

    • Yeah, those kinds of shits used to happen to my ex and then she found out she couldn’t eat most meats, dairy, gluten or eggs or soy. Which was fine for me cause I’m a vegan and I don’t eat half that shit anyway but still. Also, my comment was pretty gross too and I hope my ex doesn’t read this but then again who gives a shit cause she hates me…

      • That’ll do it, for sure…those are both linked to food sensitivity too! My cousin has Crohn’s and I was trying to get her to go gf (gluten free, not girlfriend) since gluten intolerance runs in the family, but I think she thinks it’ll be too difficult.

        It sucks to be on a restricted diet but it’s way better than pooping everywhere all the time, or prednisone (jesus christ, prednisone) or all those other horrific treatments, or weird food reactions like canker sores or hair falling out or rashes or headaches.

        I have a lot of feelings about allergies/digestion, in case you all can’t tell. And about the traditional medical system.

        SAMANTHA I HOPE YOUR DIGESTION IMPROVES.

  33. Is this what you mean by centipede? I’ve known centipede to refer to different insects, and this particular *shudder* thing I call a thousand-legger. But if this is the kind of insect you are proficient and fearless at killing, um….. marry me?

    I HATE THOSE THINGS. I am NOT squeamish about ANYTHING, except these things which creep me out and bother me sooo much.

    *shuddering more*

    ps- I hope I put an image up right. I just, I hate those things with a passion. The worst is when they are in your shower and scuttle across the floor from seemingly nowhere.

    • fail at posting the image. That’s ok, I don’t want to see it anyway. I call them thousand-leggers, they have so many legs, and their legs are long, and hinged, and if they made a noise it’d be like that noise in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast when the spider-carriage moves (you know?) and if they were humanoid, they’d be those zombies in 28 days later. I hate those things.

      Also, I loved the piece. I have more thoughts on that. And, someone mentioned that it’s a different style from the norm on AS, and I loved that too.

  34. Gosh, as much as I felt positively neutral about this article, I loved the comments! Haha, this could just be my inner AS fangirl speaking but I love reading everyone’s opinions and having a discussion (ok, argument) about our SO MANY FEELINGS concerning our private parts and sexualities. Gah, love it!

    Otherwise, the article was different. More of a shock than anything, considering it wasn’t what I expected when I clicked the link, but what I ended up getting was something new and refreshing and I honestly thought it was pretty cool and at times hilarious. I hope to see more!

  35. This seems like a good time to say thank you to Riese, Kade, and others who write for AS as well as the community of AS commenters, and not just to the writers and commenters whose articles, thoughts, snark and musings I read and enjoy, but also to those who write about things I’m not particularly interested in, or that I disagree with, find challenging, etc. I love the diversity of views and topics on AS! If I’m not interested in or don’t like an article or comment, there are always others to read. I’m just thankful to have AS and that Riese and team so obviously and genuinely care about making AS an inclusive and safe place. And, I appreciate how often AS makes me think, laugh, or forget what I’m doing because of the pretty or sexy or sexy pretty… Also, the whiskey kitten and info graphics are cool! So… thanks!

  36. Probs gonna stir up another shitstorm here, but…speaking of transphobia! The whole “she has the same private parts as me” in the article itself. Not a personal affront to me, as I am trans in the other direction, but still.

  37. But in all honesty, the title of this article is very misleading.
    Being the proud closet-case, power lesbian that I am I came here expecting to be titillated about that delicious love that dare not speak it’s name (where I reside anyway) but instead I started off slightly amused and ended up completely shocked!

    I posted a while back about how I dislike being blind-sided by clever, manipulative bloggers who reel unsuspecting readers in and then bait & switch at the last minute. I was being serious.There are other queer blogs out there.I wasn’t expecting toilets,diarrhea and sweaty armpits.

    Stop picking on Emily. She just expressed a knee-jerk reaction that some of us probably felt before realizing it’s not exactly PC.Who here can claim to have never said something that wasn’t politically correct only to realize it afterwards? Let her be. She’s one of us.

    • hm, valid point. we actually took the title straight from her original blog post — i’m the one who originally read/found this post on her blog, and i too was surprised by the content after reading the headline, but then i was laughing so hard that i didn’t care. I wasn’t consulted on the headline when it was re-published here, but yeah probably it could use a better title. it wasn’t intended to be manipulative though,the editors just kept the same title she’d used originally (on her own blog where her own readers were already aware of her sexual orientation and therefore wouldn’t be confused) instead of coming up with a new one. def important to keep in mind.

      • Now that you’ve explained how that title came about I can see it wasn’t meant to be manipulative. Perhaps someone could write the article to actually go with that title.
        It’s obviously a popular subject otherwise it wouldn’t have drawn so much attention. I’ve been on a few ”non-dates” myself and would like to share other readers’ experiences and thoughts.

        • That’s an article/subject that should written and revisited. At both camps it was a frequent question in the Gabby/Katrina “Macking” seminar. I was also approached by more than one camper afterwards asking this in some form or other. It was both sweet and heart wrenching. And it wasn’t just the baby gays asking.

  38. I originally read this yesterday and thoroughly enjoyed it. I found it eerily too familiar which made me both laugh and be sad at the same time.

    But! Then I saw all the comments and I don’t even know what’s better, the original article or the shit-ton of ridiculous/awesome comments. It’s like watching an accident unfold. CAN’T TURN AWAY.

  39. This was hilarious.

    And it reminded me of last weekend when, after I hung out with this friend I haven’t seen in about 4 years, we made plans (for next week) and she kept calling it a date. She’s got a boyfriend and I’m not out to her. (Not yet anyway.) But I guess you never can tell. (It’s also kind of funny because I could be into her…I think it’s the hair.)

    Too bad lately people only use ‘date’ to mean something not-romantically. At least for me.

  40. The article was funny, then I went down to the insane comment section. I now realize why so many people on this site are single, holy hell, everyone needs to lighten up and drink more alcohol. Yes, I’m soberphobic.

  41. At first I was like wtf am I reading, but after the 3rd paragraph, I got it. Different writing style, but I liked it.

    “As a matter of fact, I’d had dinner with her on Wednesday with green nails, and the first thing she noticed was that on Friday those same nails were motherfucking purple.”

    Of course….we WILL notice your nails. 😉

  42. What’s wrong with being biologically female, not wanting out of what the “patriarchy” calls feminine and desiring the same in a partner? Apparently everything. For years, we’ve had to put up with community types who accuse us of not being lesbian enough, either for not wanting out the femininity “imposed” on us or for not, at least, wanting a woman who doesn’t comply with it. Now besides all this crap that has been part of lesbian life forever, we also have to be open to people who identify as women but happen to have a penis, as it shouldn’t make a single difference? OK. That’s it. I should accept we are all vehicles and face the fact I have to go through pages and pages of SUVs, trucks and station wagons when the only thing I care for are cute roadsters, because that’s the politically correct thing to do, and God forbid, we allow ourselves to be a bit shallow and open to what we really want as individuals. That’d be so un-lesbian.

    • there’s nothing wrong with being biologically female. i don’t get where you read that. the only thing people seem to be repeatedly saying is to not discriminate and be rude as fuck and flaunting your whiny ignorance about trans people. so maybe you should find other people who agree with your slanted views and sympathize with you for feeling hurt.

  43. This was a hilarious read! I don’t think I’m any more clear on what’s a date with a girl and what isn’t, but I enjoyed reading nevertheless. Keep up the funnies – you’re awesome.

  44. I got quite the chuckle out of this. I can totally relate with the poster – I can bed a woman but fail horribly at reading when things are a date or just understanding lesbian courtship in general since it tends to be all over the place for myself.

    My cheeks hurt :o)

  45. i enjoyed the writing style even though some of the genital mentioning things honestly made me cringe. i don’t think it was meant in a bad way and hopefully some stuff will change.

    but holy shit, when did so many TERFs join autostraddle? did someone get offended and ask their friends to dogpile?

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