Hello all 34 people who are interested in more Shenny content, welcome to April 1st. Last week for the very first time in my life on this planet, I read fan fiction. Specifically, in preparation for this monumental day, I read Shenny fan fiction. And because I am a confident and ambitious person, I immediately thought to myself, “now that I’ve read ~4 pieces of Shenny fan fiction, I’m prepared to write my own piece of Shenny fan fiction and publish it on the internet for Shenny Day.”
What I have for you now is a hastily constructed but very long piece of Shenny fan fiction that needs approximately 10 rounds of edits but will not receive them because today is Shenny Day and also it’s Shenny fan fic, so whatever. I wrote a graphic sex scene and then felt like that was super extra and toned it down and now it doesn’t even make sense anymore but I just wanted to give you a heads-up that sexual content exists in here so you can be prepared. That’s what fan fic usually involves right? I’m asking for a friend, I don’t need to know personally b/c I’m an expert.
Also I wish I’d had the idea to write this sooner so it could’ve had illustrations. Shenny illustrations! If that isn’t heaven then feed me to the manatees.
Just to be clear, I am a genuine Shenny shipper. Today was a dream come true!!!!
This story takes place in December 2017.
“Jen,” Shane is dead serious. “This breaks like — every rule of responsible threesomes.”
“HA!” Carmen grins wildly, takes another quick swig of her beer. “It is so adorable, Shane, to hear you talk about ‘responsible threesomes’!”
We’re back at the house on Rising Glen in the Hollywood Hills, where from the couch we’ve piled onto we can see the luminous blue glow of the pool, the glass gate encircling it and the whole throbbing night and condo-dotted mountains and vulgar city beyond. It’s way past our bedtime but Carmen and I had a little too much tequila and we’re punchy and giddy, thirst rising like humidity in our throats.
“Oh, Shane is very responsible now,” I tease. I have my whole hand on the back of her head, fingers all up in her ridiculous hair, and I give her scalp an animal scratch while she makes a pouty face and Carmen laughs more. I’d missed that laugh, the one she only gives to people she wanted to fuck who she knows want to fuck her, too. I add, “She’s very good at being a responsible poly partner.”
“I can see that,” Carmen smiles.
“She loves ‘checking in’ about her emotions and hearing about all my little feelings—” I continue, flicking Shane’s lower lip, still pouting. “Better be careful, a bird’s gonna land on that.”
“Ha ha,” Shane says, and then, to Carmen: “Don’t tell me you think this is a good idea.”
“Actually…” Carmen swills the last dregs. “It was my idea.”
“Carmen had it!” I put my hands up. “Carmen had the idea.”
“I meannnn, if you don’t want to,” Carmen leans towards us, biting her lower lip, pressing her hand onto Shane’s extended shin. Her scissor-slaughtered Gal Pal t-shirt dips as she does, leaving at least one nipple on the dangerous precipice of immediate exposure. Quickly, she moves her hand from Shane’s leg to my thigh, just barely underneath my skirt, the kind of touch just tentative enough to make me wetter than any deliberate, expected touch ever could. The kind that gets you wanting but not knowing if you’ll get what you want and also certain that if you do not get what you want, you will probably just melt right there on the spot. I lean in, so to speak. Shane stiffens. So to speak.
“I didn’t say,” Shane speaks like she’s afraid she’ll be overheard. “I didn’t say — wouldn’t ever say — that I didn’t want to.”
“So?” Carmen slides her hand farther up my thigh and her nails are so close to the dip between them that I very nearly yelp.
“I just!” Shane’s fingers against her own mouth, a pause. “I am just trying to respect everybody’s feelings. And Jenny, I know you’ve been having a hard—”
“Okay okay okay okay,” I put my hand on top of Carmen’s, holding it in place. “I think, and Carmen agrees, that this is emotionally safe for us because!” Carmen takes her hand away, slouching back into her end of the couch, arms crossed, eyes steady on us both, thoroughly entertained. I slide off Shane’s lap so she’s behind me and I’m between her legs, both of us facing Carmen now, and Shane’s teeth graze my neck and she whispers, “I love you so much.” I get goosebumps.
I can’t believe we’re here. Where I was a few days ago feels so far away.
The day unfortunate enough to occur between the day The Los Angeles Times broke the Mark Wayland story and the day Carmen de la Pica Morales was due to fly in from Berlin for a weekend before a gig in San Francisco and then back to Europe, it rained in Los Angeles with a droning consistency that reminded me of Skokie. But I’d been in a Skokie state of mind for a while, I guess.
Shane, lying on her side, her hand on my ass beneath the silky fabric of her old Free City t-shirt, the one I love to sleep in: “Jen, I can see if she can stay at Bette and Tina’s tomorrow night, I’m sure it’d be fine—”
“No no no no no, don’t do that,” I insisted, my face stupid-hot with tears. “This’ll pass! I will pass through this big icky negative labyrinth nonsense thing.”
Shane lowered her eyes. “It’s not nonsense.”
“I will yank myself out of this emotional mortuary with grace and aplomb and everything will be totally fine.”
“It doesn’t have to be fine.”
I touched her face, then, her smooth cheeks, the crush of her jaw, my finger grazing the choppy bangs she’d consistently maintained only the most remote dominion over regardless of hairstyle.
“Ugh I just!” I wanted to grab my phone like a tiger. “Can you tell me what they’re saying about me? Pretty please.”
“Jen, it’s all stupid, you know that,” she said. “It doesn’t matter. They don’t matter. What matters is that you did the right thing.”
“Right,” I pretend to agree.
An actress I’d worked with on Shockproof Sydney Skate — a five-season single-camera FX series that earned Alice and I the Emmy for Outstanding Comedy writing I keep in our bedroom ‘cause it honestly turns me on to know it’s there — had come to me a few weeks ago. She’d heard I had “a history” with Mark. “I just feel like it’s time, you know?” She said, and yes, sure, of course, what animal wouldn’t agree with that. She wanted to come forward about what he’d done to her. Not just her — a few women who’d worked on crews with him and his former personal assistant, the one we’d dubbed “Shane Junior” ‘cause she was a lesbian and looked even more like Shane than every other masc dyke in West Hollywood. You know my story with Mark is really bizarre, right? The actress said it didn’t sound bizarre at all, that from what she’d heard it wasn’t the last time he tried to exploit lesbians specifically or film people in vulnerable positions without their consent. She said she’d feel safer talking about her sexual assault with me there, the capital-F Feminist and Noted Survivor. So we met with lawyers, talked to reporters, and scheduled media appearances for this week and next.
But I’d only managed two on-camera interviews yesterday afternoon before having a panic attack while in makeup for the third. My assistant drove me home and because Shane was with me and since she had been filmed by Mark too, she went on in my place. She explained I’d had a family emergency. It was a huge favor. She hated being on camera. I don’t think she ever really wanted to talk to Meghan McCain about the UPS girl.
“Do you want me to cancel my date tonight?” Shane asked. “I can, it’s no big deal.”
“No! No No no. Don’t do that,” I forced a small smile. “I’ll be fine. You should go, you should have fun. Doctor Olson is coming over later.” My psychiatrist. She comes to me because I hate driving and when you’re rich, all the professionals will come to you.
So, later that night, I was crying in my underwear on a lawn-chair by the pool when Shane texted You’re my number one to my temp flip-phone, like she’d agreed to do in the poly rules we’d set up for ourselves nine years ago and had never failed to maintain.
The canvas umbrella I was crying under was okay at shading the sun but terrible at blocking the rain. It offered enough shelter for me to smoke a cigarette while I cried, and for Sounder Junior Junior to curl up whimpering on my lap. If I closed my eyes it felt just like Skokie, back when my body barely ever felt like my own.
I knew that an alt-right website had written THANKS BUT NO THANKS, DYKE DIRECTOR JENNY SHECTER over an image of young sad me with IS THIS WHAT YOU WANT written on my naked torso. Someone had sold it to them for more than they thought I was worth, apparently. I’d almost smiled when Shane told me that Jezebel had headlined the same picture: “Jenny Schecter Is a Lesbian Feminist Performance Artist, It Turns Out” but even that turned into more crying. Why did I give a fuck if a bunch of misogynist trolls with no hobbies and bad jeans who masturbated to unrealistic lesbian porn had become suddenly obsessed with making my life miserable? The house had intense security already, Max had installed some kind of “internet blocking machine” or whatever. I was safe. Right?
I breathed, I inhaled, I can do this, I can calm down, I can do the interviews next week, I can be a good feminist. What better way to chill out than a weekend with a mutual ex who left me for my current wife the same week I found Mark’s cameras? Carmen and I had stayed close, but this’d be the first time she spent much time with Shane since all those years ago.
But — what if I hadn’t grown at all? After everything: all the years of therapy, the Den Meditation retreats I forced Shane to tag along on (seriously, once I caught her skipping Past Life Regression to eat Honey Nut Cheerios in her car), the Healthy Stable Poly Relationship I’m in, making it to LA’s Top Power Lesbian Couples List, the girls I’d fucked and the girls we’d fucked together, the medication and acupuncture and spirit walks and Soul Cycle, making peace with and then building a thriving working relationship with Alice, directing a stupid blockbuster movie that’ll seemingly never stop keeping us in wealth, making an under-appreciated short film (based on my short story about a woman who’s mute from birth but then she realizes she’s able to speak the language of the manatees), cutting my Dad out of my life, mending things with my Mom, having one relatively civil late lunch with Tim Haspel in mid-2011, marrying the love of my life who herself attended one hundred more hours of therapy than she ever would’ve if I hadn’t been there to make her — what if after all of that, all the affirmation and reinvention, I was still that wildly depressed, unspeakably fragile and artistically insufferable girl from 2005?
“I was so excited to see Carmen!” I told Sounder Junior Junior, my poor dog who didn’t give a shit and still hated the rain. But now I felt raw again — incapable and insecure, two emotions that Dr. Olson reminded me always led straight to “controlling.” I took another deep breath. The wind blew out my cigarette.
I remember when Shane told me that she’d already started falling in love with me, back then, when we lived with Mark, which wasn’t too far before I started realizing I felt the same way.
But Carmen was right, it turns out, when she said I wouldn’t know the real deal if it bit me in the ass. I didn’t want real things then. I just wanted to get bit in the ass.
No. I wanted to do the biting.
“Okay so,” I take a deep breath. “Reason number one this will be okay and not weird at all: because Carmen is leaving tomorrow.”
“So there’s no way anything complicated can happen,” Carmen adds. “I will be OCEANS away.” She waves her hands in the air to suggest a vague and immense expanse of ocean before hopping off the couch and heading for the gold mirrored bar cart. She gestures — “May I?”
“You may,” I nod, and she starts pouring and mixing things. Manhattans, it looks like. She’d become a prolific bartender after a three-year relationship with a very fancy alcoholic.
“Two,” I continue, looking directly at my wife. “Because, Shane, we’ve been together for almost a decade and we’re happy and comfortable and have a life together that I don’t think either of us want to give up. Right?”
“Yes,” Shane squeezes me around the waist, smushing her nose against my back. G-d, she’s fucking cute. “Correct.”
“Three. Because we’ve both already failed at dating Carmen.”
“Exactly!” Carmen adds, pouring from the shaker into iced glasses. “But!” She turns around, that devilish smile again. “You have both already succeeded at fucking Carmen.”
Shane finally smiles back, even laughs a little: “That’s true.”
“That’s very true,” Shane adds.
Carmen doesn’t grab the glasses yet, instead she pauses and waits for Shane to finally let herself look Carmen right in the eye. Something quick and feverish and honest passes between them. I feel a knee-jerk jealousy try to slip out of my gut like a scrunched-up shirt I’d forgotten I still owned but I reject my anxiety: I know how to do this, now. I know how to yank it out, recognize it, fold it up, put it away.
Oh, but I remember now! Fully! How it felt to be young and scared of everything — that I wasn’t sexy or pretty or skinny or gay enough, that my outfits were stupid and that I wasn’t sure if the way I wanted to fuck was fucked up. How it felt to be with Carmen, knowing she wanted Shane and that Shane wanted her back but staying with her despite that, and how that made everything I was dealing with that year so much harder. Like everybody was just daring me to crack open, and like my skin was so thin that it just might, at any moment, unless I beat them to it. Which I guess I did.
I lean back into Shane, feel the buds of her breasts through her Wildfang tee, her spindly arms holding me still, still, still, reminding me how she can want somebody else without letting go of me. I’m not that same girl.
Carmen breaks the tension by swooping around to grab the glasses, and deliver them, and then starts fiddling with her phone to pull up a playlist as she continues — “Four, even if I wasn’t about to go back on tour in Europe and then spend half a year in Mexico with Elena who, let’s be honest, will definitely want to marry me and move here once she has the chance to spend more than a week in my presence, and even if you weren’t this gross happy domestic married power lesbian couple and even if we hadn’t already all broken each other’s hearts — EVEN IF all that wasn’t true, I don’t date white girls anymore anyhow!”
“You were her last one, Shane,” I smile, poking her in the stomach.
Carmen presses play and the speakers start pulsing something that sounds like Sylvan Esso.
“Jenny,” she commands, easing into an armchair. Is that my jaw dropping now, or my inhibitions.
“Carmen,” I scoot forward on Shane’s lap, clasp my palms together, my chin resting on my fingertips.
I don’t have to turn around to know what Shane is doing — how she’s sinking into the couch, stretching her arms out like a powerful man anticipating an expensive lap dance.
She’ll bite her lip, lower her eyes, sip her drink. She likes to watch me. I like to watch her too, it turns out. Only a few weeks into our relationship I’d told her I knew she was poly and I wasn’t gonna smash whatever lit her up, let’s just build something healthy first, just us two, and then make it bigger. At first she insisted she could do it, that she wanted to be faithful to me, and I told her fidelity didn’t look the same for everybody and it didn’t have to also mean monogamy and after a lot more crying and fucking she said thank you, thank you, thank you.
I’d made her go to therapy and do all the shit she needed to do and I’d been doing consistently since we wrapped Lez Girls and things started feeling untenable again. I’ll go if you go, was a thing I said then and that we keep saying to each other, over and over, in all the years between then and now.
Heady with tequila and an urgency to fuck my fears away, I sit on top of Carmen and her hands are everywhere except exactly where I want them, she’s wet and insistent on my mouth, her kiss is bottomless and I’m lost. Her nails on my skin picking up where she’d left off, lifting my dress right off. I feel her palm against my scars but it feels safe there. My hair’s falling all over my face and she’s yanking it aside, biting my lip, my breast in her hand, her thumb and forefinger pinching as I claw back.
“Fuck it,” Shane says from another planet, which’s everywhere Carmen isn’t. We turn, practically panting. “Get into the bedroom so I can fuck you both.”
On Friday morning, Shane was called in to style for some re-shoots, which meant the weekend became just me and Carmen, which turned out to be just what I needed. I needed somebody who had no idea how much I was hurting and just wanted to have fun. She took me to meet her friends and we went dancing at Chico, doing shots with sweaty gay men with scratchy faces and quick feet who’d never try and touch me. We fastpassed through Disneyland with Alice, Tina and Angelica and stayed for the fireworks, wearing dumb hats, our tongues frosty from frozen lemonade.
“I don’t believe in love at first sight anymore,” Carmen told me while we drove back from Anaheim. “Like Shane? We had a connection, sure, but it was mostly a sex thing. Emotionally, I could never really get there with her. But you do. It’s really annoyingly cute, actually.”
On her last night, we’d met up with Helena and her obnoxiously hot 23-year-old girlfriend Neesha at Gracias Madre while Shane worked a Rodarte show. Neesha had sold a dramedy pilot to Hulu based on her experiences growing up trans with adoptive parents in a wealthy white suburb of San Diego. Feeling high, I asked if she wanted my company to produce it and of course she said she’d love that and so there was another round of margaritas for that.
“What about you, Jenny?” Neesha said, glass loosely in hand. “We should be celebrating you, too, and everything happening with —”
“She doesn’t know!” Carmen interrupted her.
“I’m on a media blackout,” I confirmed. “Doctor’s orders!”
“You should’ve seen Alice,” Carmen remembered. “I thought she was gonna implode all day at Disneyland.”
“Anyhow,” I raised my glass. “This is YOUR night, Neesha!”
“I am so proud of you,” Helena gushed to Neesha, practically swallowing head with her mouth.
When Helena and Neesha left to go home and fuck, Carmen and I stayed for another round of margaritas and then two or three more. I guess that’s how the threesome came up, in the end, like how so many things do: tequila.
In the bedroom everything gets very ardent very slowly, or, well, slowly and then quickly, like an avalanche. On our way in, Shane grabs me Are you sure this is okay? I say I promise. Shane follows my lead like she does when I’ve got two fingers inside her like a hook from my wrist to the weakness of her knees. She needs to see I’m okay to be okay too — and I am.
Everything’s slow at first, Carmen’s boyshorts rubbing against the briefs of Shane’s I’d started wearing so much that I’d eventually have to acknowledge that they were no longer Shane’s. The briefs, like fear and inhibitions, are in play only briefly.
With Carmen I always felt like two tomboys wrestling in our parent’s rec room, grass-stained rascals brave from all that Mountain Dew, our scabbed knees rough on the trackless carpet. With Shane I can be a femme fatale or demure or bratty or all of those things at once, like sometimes she lets me tie her up and sometimes I wear very expensive lingerie sets and she puts me in my place and sometimes we are very tender.
With both of them together I can be anything, and I’m swollen with potential when Carmen’s fingers shift from being flush against me to pushing me further onto the bed and then inside me, and now I’m in that space where I can follow my body and forget my mind. I raise my hips to meet her hand. one finger, two fingers, three, and then Shane gets behind her with that Mustang, her bony knees skimming my calves while Carmen screams YES like she just won something and in a way we all did.
We tumble, we fumble, there’s some wait, where do you want me, but a lot of familiarity too, like riding a bike but the bike is what we were and who we’ve become since then.
At some point I yell: “Fuck you Carmen, your ass is so hot!”
“It really is,” Shane agrees in full bedroom voice, smacking it, and Carmen gasps Oh I’m gonna get you now and this is when things start turning deliriously violent in bursts — my nails scraping the smooth plane of Carmen’s back, Shane yanking Carmen’s head with her hair in fists, leaving bite marks on my breasts, cracking the skin around my nipple. Carmen’s so beautiful, so every muscle every curve every tooth and nail and toe beautiful, but she opens up like the throat of a sword swallower, pretends she doesn’t know how pretty she is, like any of us deserve to touch her like this. There are moments, here and there, where I can catch Shane’s eyes with my eyes open and hers too, we’ll kiss like it’s our own way of breathing.
Eventually, that urge I feel for Shane to tie me to the bed with torn-up tights becomes an urge to watch Carmen fuck Shane and she does and I do. I watch them together for a good long while. I feel on fire and at peace all at once, like everything I fear and love is right there in front of me and it’s just for us, nobody else.
No, I am that same girl. But better.
That’s how I come — watching them, my hand between my own legs, and I don’t even have to close my eyes because everybody’s fantasy is right there in front of me, I mean, who are we kidding, and Shane, panting, scampers over to bite my thigh just in time. Her head lazy on my leg, I ruffle her hair. Carmen winks at me.
Later, we drink more and swim naked in the pool, and I watch Carmen wrap her legs around Shane and I watch them kiss and the moonlight is be perfect and I don’t feel anything at all besides bliss.
Then, back in the bed, winding down for sleep: “I love you guys,” I say overcome in every meaning of the word.
“I love you guys!” Carmen exclaims.
Shane just laughs at us, before rolling her eyes and admitting, “I love you guys too.”
“Okay so, Jenny,” Carmen begins. “Do you remember what you told me that morning you tried to ditch out on our ALL EXPENSES PAID CRUISE?”
“Um, go fuck Shane because I know you want to?”
“Okay, well, kinda, BUT!” Carmen smiles. “That’s not all! You said you didn’t want to go on the cruise because you were working on your project—”
“Oh G-d my terrible project!” I bury my head in my hands. “My paper dolls!”
“I’m donating those to the ONE archives, by the way—” Shane interrupted.
“You are not!” I pounded her naked chest with my fist, but Carmen is still talking —
“Listen! I remember this, I’ll never forget this. You told me that the best thing that came out of being fired by Burr Connor was understanding that you gotta tell the truth,” she says. “I’ll never forget it. You said that’s all I wanna do is just tell the fucking truth.”
“Did I say that?”
Shane cranes over the bed-side to pick up my iPad, and turns it on, propped up on her elbows. Carmen looks like a kid finally about to give their parents the birthday present they’d really struggled to stay quiet about.
“Now you’re doing it Jenny, and everybody else is doing it too!’
Shane pulls up instagram, first, and the #isthiswhatyouwant hashtag, specifically, and okay, fine, I won’t complain about how dumb hashtags are today.
There, she scrolls through image after image of women — queer women, it turns out, some wearing hats they’d somehow crudely affixed the words DYKE DIRECTOR to, like on a piece of paper with a safety pin. Topless, all of ‘em, fat and skinny and butch and femme and beautiful all around, masking or electric or washi tape over their nipples, words scrawled proudly over their chests: IS THIS WHAT YOU WANT. Hashtag “yes please.” Sometimes I’ll stop to read a story — all these girls, talking about all these men who’d fetishized or harassed or abused or pathologized or otherwise fucked with them sexually in a way that felt was or a certain way because they were queer. My lesbian life is not your artistic journey, one very angry girl had written in the middle of a very intense saga that would make a good miniseries. All of it feels both a little silly and desperately important, monumental even. I keep looking down at the pictures and then up at my wife and over at my friend, my dear friend whose come is all over my hand.
“Max’s boyfriend tracked down the source of the photos,” Shane relays insistently. “And Helena has ensured nothing else from those videos will see the light of day. And Mark’s been fired from the movie he was directing and I promise you, Mark and Gomey are never getting another job in this town, Jenny.”
“Also,” Carmen says. “We just had a threesome!”
“Wow!” I bury my head the comforter. “Ugh! It feels good, doesn’t it?” I set the tablet down and, to Shane: “It feels good that… it feels good that neither of us will ever run into him on another set, at another party —”
“It does,” Shane nods. “It really does.”
“It feels good that we did this, too” I smack their bare backs at the same time. “The oft-proposed —”
“By you,” Carmen adds, “I must remind you that it was you trying to initiate a threesome on the ship.”
“Well,” Shane says, “and Mark. Mark was very very into the idea that we could be a uh, you know—”
“A triad,” I finished. “For some crazy reason who knows what it was,” I laugh at myself, at all of us, at every woman foolish enough to believe a man with a handycam, “Mark was very curious about why we didn’t shut the whole love triangle down and just have a threesome.”
“Well, I’m glad we waited to follow his astute advice,” Carmen smiles. “Fuck that guy.”
I swear Carmen’s eyes truly twinkle sometimes. “Fuck Mark.”
Not enough hours later:
Hey, Jen, no pressure — but do you wanna do the interview today?
I close my eyes, think on it. Feel Shane breathing beside me.
Finally: I’ll go if you go?