“Wait, Is This a Date?” Podcast Episode 102: The Chart

This week on “Wait, Is This a Date?” we’re joined by Autostraddle CEO and L Word expert Riese Bernard to discuss: The Chart. That’s right! This episode is all about lesbian interconnectivity — hooking up with friends’ exes, friends hooking up with our exes, and the culture created by all that drama.

Come for the gossip, stay for the emotional processing. And before that enjoy a game that tests Christina’s boundaries: Would U-Haul? (Spoiler alert: she generally would not.)

Thank you for all the nice feedback after our premiere! If you haven’t yet consider giving us a rating or review!


+ Five years ago Riese put together an Old Hollywood chart that is the intersection of all my interests.

+ Here’s the essay I reference where I mention hooking up with my roommates.

+ My crush of the week Mj Rodriguez released a music video for her song “Something to Say”!

+ As someone who has only seen a handful of episodes of The Nanny this montage of Christina’s crush of the week C.C. Babcock was shocking to me when it turned out she and Niles are not both homosexual. (Christina tells me they basically still are.)

Drew: I would be very fine with it existing. I would never add someone else without their permission. But the idea of every time someone was like, “Confirm that you are connected to me,” I’d be like, “Yeah, it’s the life I’ve lived. I don’t mind.” Is that weird? Is that a problem?

Christina: No, because if I wasn’t, I would feel bad not being. I would be like, “Wait, I’m not lying?”

Theme song plays

Drew: Hi, I’m Drew.

Christina: Hi, I’m Christina.

Drew: And welcome to Wait, Is This A Date?

Christina: Wait, Is This A Date? is an Autostraddle podcast asking the big questions. First of all, is it a date? What are dates? Who are dates? Do we like dates? These are the kind of questions that we answer on this here incredibly professional and lovely podcast.

Drew: My name is Drew Gregory. I’m a writer at Autostraddle and a filmmaker and, famously, a trans lesbian.

Christina: My name is Christina Tucker. I’m also a writer at Autostraddle. I am a loud queer on the internet. I am getting better at describing myself as a writer and, famously, a lesbian. That’s us. That’s who we are.

Drew: Yeah. And so our main topic this week is The Chart.

Christina: I just thought it needed a sting. I don’t know. That felt really dramatic, but I think it needed it.

Drew: Yes. No, please, please, please. Thank you, thank you. No, no, no. The correct amount of drama.

Christina: Thank you.

Drew: Yeah. So we’re talking about lesbian interconnectivity.

Christina: I love that phrase because it sounds like you need to restart the lesbians. It sounds like the internet connection isn’t working.

Drew: Yes. It’s very advanced, very futuristic, but also has been around since there’s been lesbians, I think.

Christina: Yeah. I think scholars would say once they found the first lesbian fossils, they found a chart alongside of them carved into the sand. And I think that’s what that movie is about, right? It’s about the chart? That movie with Kate Winslet and the sand fossils?

Drew: Ammonite?

Christina: Yeah, that’s what it’s about.

Drew: I wish Ammonite was about cave women. I’d watch that lesbian movie.

Christina: Well, as I haven’t seen it, I’m going to bravely say that it was. Cool.

Drew: Yeah. Because it’s like we have so many lesbian period pieces, but we’ve never gone back that far. And I think it’s time we do.

Christina: Let’s just keep taking it further back in time.

Drew: Before we get to our main topic, you’re still getting to know us. And I thought that it would be fun to play a game where you guys could really get to know Christina. So our icebreaker for this week is a little game that I call “Would U-Haul.”

Christina: I am, again, so stressed about this. This might just be the way I come into the game. This might be my game mentality, a little high key, a little stressed. That’s okay. We’re all learning.

Drew: I think that’s great. I think that will make you more vulnerable, maybe.

Christina: One of my favorite feelings.

Drew: Just a terror, just an acute terror. So the way that “Would U-Haul” works is I’m going to describe a scenario. Let’s call it Christina fan fiction. And I’m going to pause after each little section to be like, “Okay, Christina, I know that you have never lived with a partner, do not want to live with a partner. But under these circumstances, would U-Haul?”

Christina: And I will either say yes or I’ll say, “I’m all set.”

Drew: If you don’t — well, we’ll see here. But I’m excited. I think I’ve maybe cracked the code.

Christina: You’ve cracked the code? I’m excited.

Drew: Let’s see how long this takes. And if you never do, I think you win? I don’t know how there are winners here.

Christina: I don’t know that there are winners in the game of U-Hauling.

Drew: Well, I don’t know if you’ll agree with that after this. So I’m going to get going.

Christina: Fair enough.

Drew: Okay. So, Christina.

Christina: Drew.

Drew: You’re at your friend’s wedding. Despite the multitude of romcoms you’ve absorbed, you did not go to this wedding thinking you’d meet anyone because, well, this isn’t a romcom. This is the real and normal life of Christina Grace Tucker. You take your assigned seat and are glancing at your phone when you realize a woman at your table is looking at you. She introduces herself as your friend’s former babysitter. She’s remained a friend of the family, but she doesn’t really know anyone there. She looks like mid-forties and has a striking angular face. You start chatting. She offers to get you a drink. And when she stands up, you realize she’s six feet tall, 6′ 3″ in heels. So you know what? I’m just going to stop there and be like, at this point, would U-Haul?

Christina: I’m intrigued. I’m intrigued because I might get laid at this wedding. But so far I’m not U-Hauling anywhere.

Drew: Cool. That’s totally fair. Totally fair. Okay. So you spend the whole wedding getting to know one another. There’s just an immediate spark and immediate chemistry. And yes, you do hook up and the sex is amazing.

Christina: Tight.

Drew: And so this wedding was in Northern California. And so you both extend your stays for three days to fuck and explore and eat at restaurants and fuck. And you offer to split the cost of the now joint room, but she laughs you off and is like, “Obviously not, honey.” So the next three days are magic. You feel your walls tumbling down. You’re falling faster than you ever have. Would U-Haul?

Christina: So just for clarity’s sake, I’m having a hard time imagining a world in which I took three surprise days off of work to hang out with a person I do not know. That seems bonkers. But if I did, good for me. But I’m simply not U-Hauling at this stage. It’s going to be a no.

Drew: Great. Okay. That’s fine. You just met. I get it. I get it. Okay.

Christina: Thank you so much.

Drew: So she returns to New York and you return to Philadelphia.

Christina: That’s where I live.

Drew: And you’re texting all the time. That is where you live and it is where this woman lives. And you’re texting all the time and you see each other multiple times a month. She’s very busy with her job, but she’s quick to buy you a train ticket so you can come see her and stay at her beautiful brownstone in Fort Greene. And then six months pass. And one night when you’re out to dinner, she asks you to move in with her. Would U-Haul?

Christina: And move to New York? I don’t really love New York. No, I’m not moving in at the six months mark. I’m not doing that, no.

Drew: Okay, okay. Totally, totally, totally. Wow. Okay. So you keep dating long distance. She understands that you need time and she is willing to wait for you. Some more months pass. It’s now been over a year. Your landlord tells you that they’re selling your place to a developer who’s putting in condos, so you can’t renew it. You need to find a new place. Your now girlfriend tells you that no pressure, but her offer still stands. Would U-Haul?

Christina: Okay. At this point, I would U-Haul for a couple of reasons.

Drew: Yay! Okay. Please tell us.

Christina: Primarily, in a world in which my landlord sold my house to develop it, my landlord is currently my best friend, so that seems like something has gone wrong in our friendship. And I might want to just leave Philadelphia anyway. And if I get to move in with my girlfriend over here, that seems fine. That’s fine. Totally fine. But yeah, I think I might need an external force like a mean landlord.

Drew: That’s so — okay. I did think that you would need to need housing to get there, so I’m glad I knew that.

Christina: Yeah. That’s exactly what has to happen to me first.

Drew: Well, I’m glad to know what it’s going to take. So theoretically, if you weren’t kicked out, how much more time?

Christina: Honestly, that could have gone on for a long time. Philly and New York are not even that far from each other. I got space over here. We’re bouncing back and forth. We’re having good times. I could have let that roll for a long time until I guess Shoshana turns into the worst person I know.

Drew: I didn’t know that Shoshana owned your house. Well, there you go.

Christina: There we go. Wow, that was thrilling.

Drew: Well, thanks for playing.

Christina: I’m stressed, to be clear.

Drew: And I’m glad that I know… Maybe if you’re ever, so if anyone’s ever dating you and wants you to move in, maybe your girlfriend told Shoshana to sell the house for the sake of your relationship.

Christina: Truthfully the fastest way — someone would just have to talk to Shoshana and be like, “Just kick her out.” And then she’d be like, “Yeah, sure. Of course.” That would be how it happened, even if she didn’t sell the house. Someone would just be like, “Can you just kick her out so she’ll just get over it and move in with me?” And she would say yes. A hundred percent she would do that. That’s what friendship is.

Drew: I love that.

Christina: Yeah, that’s really beautiful.

Drew: Well, I feel like we learned a lot about you.

Christina: Thanks. I feel like I learned a lot about myself, too. Threat of homelessness is really the thing that keeps me moving in any circumstance, I guess. Wow.

Drew: Well, that’s great.

Christina: That was really thrilling. I’m equally thrilled to move into our main segment because I think talking about lesbian connectivity with this guest, with this special guest, I think it’s going to be amazing, Drew. How are you feeling?

Drew: I’m so excited. This is an expert. And by that, I mean an L Word expert, but also a little bit of an expert in the topic at hand.

Christina: I think two things can be true, my friend. I think two things can be true indeed. Do we want to introduce our guest or do we want our guest to introduce themselves?

Drew: I would love our guest to introduce herself.

Christina: Guest.

Drew: I will say that our guest is the one and only Riese Bernard.

Christina: Guest, speak.

Riese: Hi, I’m Riese. And it is weird to be the guest!

Christina: Yeah, it is.

Riese: I had to not say anything. I didn’t even do it. I did say things. I had to sit here silently.

Christina: And you were really brave. And your faces were appreciated.

Riese: Thank you so much.

Christina: Though this is obviously an audio medium, I want all of our listeners to know that Riese was making some great reaction faces during “Would U-Haul.”

Riese: There’s many ways to be heard. You know what I mean? That’s what I always say. I am the CEO of Autostraddle.com. And I’m also on an undefeated kickball team. And that’s me. I have a dog named Carol. And I have dated people.

Christina: Congrats on the kickball!

Riese: Thank you. I’ve been involved with people.

Christina: Great. Loving that. That’s great to bring to this, this here dating podcast. That’s really good.

Riese: Yeah. I think that… Is there anything else?

Drew: No, I think that’s great, Riese.

Christina: Whatever you want to share.

Riese: I really like raspberries, the fruit raspberries, and swimming pools.

Christina: As opposed to…

Riese: You know when someone goes like…

Drew: It’s like when you blow. Yeah.

Christina: Oh. Those are disgusting, so I simply just evacuated them from my mind.

Riese: Yeah. And that’s all.

Christina: Great.

Drew: Well, I immediately thought of you for this topic.

Christina: That’s true.

Drew: Because first of all, obviously, queer women and non-binary people in lesbian community have been like, I don’t know, having sex with people who their friends have had sex with since long before The L Word was ever a series. But I do feel like The L Word solidified a certain cultural idea of the chart with Alice Pieszecki. And so I felt like you would have a lot of insight into this topic.

Riese: It’s true. Two of the writers, I want to say, of The L Word had this actual chart of them and their friends they were drawing on the wall or whatever. And Guinevere Turner, I think, was one of them. She talked to us about it, that they had built this. Because obviously, everyone in that writer’s room had fucked other people in the writer — you know, and the extended web of that generation of lesbians in Los Angeles. And so they saw that and they were like, “Let’s put it in the show.” And some of them are on the chart. Like, some of the people who … like, actual people are on the chart as a joke.

Christina: That’s incredible. That’s how you know you’ve made it.

Riese: Isn’t that cute?

Christina: That would be thrilling for me.

Riese: And so if you haven’t seenThe L Word, first of all, congrats. Second of all, it becomes the centerpiece of one of our lead character, Alice’s, apartment. She has it all over her wall. And it also is the name of a website that they started called ourchart.com that flopped. And the idea … And it’s in the pilot, I think. In the very first episode, Alice starts talking about how everybody’s connected, because everybody’s hooked up with this person. And I can connect you, like you’re probably no more than two degrees away from me. And that was true. Like, even with Dana, who had very limited experience because she was a closeted tennis player, they still were able to connect her. And that’s real life because it’s true.

Christina: That’s culture. Yeah. That’s what culture looks like.

Riese: That’s culture. That’s queer culture right there. And now everyone makes their own charts.

Christina: Yeah. So that was going to be my next question, was have either of you made a chart? Because I don’t think I have, and I am kind of now thinking like, what was this last year sitting at my house for if I didn’t make a chart? Like, what was the point of that, really?

Riese: I think I’ve done it in my journal, just as like … Because I like, I don’t know, organizing information, I guess, as a thought exercise.

Christina: Yeah, I think that’s also why I am surprised that I haven’t done it. I like the idea of categorizing things.

Riese: Right. Yeah. Because it is interesting. I don’t know why it’s so interesting, but it is. It’s interesting to be like, wow, all of these people, they’re connected. It’s wild.

Drew: On the show, once ourchart.com is invented, they have an actual chart that people can add stuff. And I feel like something that you joked about on To L and Back, and now people say all the time is like, if this existed in a real way, no one would put their names on it, no one would feel comfortable putting their names on it.

Riese: You would.

Drew: I would. I would be very fine with it existing. I would never add someone else without their permission. But the idea of like, every time someone was like, “Confirm that you are connected to me,” I’d be like, “Yeah, it’s the life I’ve lived. I don’t mind.” Is that weird? Is that a problem?

Christina: No, because if I wasn’t, I would feel bad not being … I would be like, “Wait, I’m not on it? Like, I’m sorry, what?” No, that would actually send me into a light moral panic about who I am as a person, what I’m doing. Am I interesting? Do people like me? That could go dark very fast. No, I got to be on the chart. I have to be on the chart.

Drew: Cause you wouldn’t. Right?

Riese: No.

Drew: Yeah.

Riese: But also, I am elderly. So…

Christina: I always say that about you.

Riese: Yeah. And so as you advance in age, you also advance in privacy and also in, I would say, being known as a person who owns this company, that all these people. It’s like … But when I was younger, like when it first came … I remember when it first came out, I did request a connection to somebody who I had actually hooked up with and who was my friend, obviously. And they just left me hanging.

Christina: Oh, left you on read.

Drew: Ooh.

Riese: Yeah. Because they were like, “Why would I put who I’d hooked up with on the internet?” And I was like, “Yeah, totally.” I was just adding you as a friend.

Christina: LOL, kidding.

Riese: But that’s also what everyone did. Eventually that’s what we did. We just added people who we were friends with. And everyone was also added to this one woman named Beth. She was like the MySpace Tom of Our Chart.

Christina: That’s incredible, actually.

Riese: But also you could connect … Like, they were always showing, like, you could connect to Kate Moennig or Leisha Hailey or whatever. But yeah, I mean, I would never … I think it’s private information. And I think it’s astounding that in The L Word,not only does Alice have an entire radio show where all she does is talk about who her friends are fucking, using names, and some of them are famous. As aforementioned, there was a very famous tennis player. But she also then started a whole website where people … where allegedly, Shane has confirmed, has clicked yes. Does Shane even have a computer?

Christina: No. Like, what does Shane … Like, every morning wakes up and has her coffee and is like, “Better go through my requests.”

Riese: Yeah.

Christina: That’s not happening. Come on now.

Riese: “Yeah. Yeah, I did. Yeah, I think so. All right, sure.” You know?

Christina: Yeah. I do think something about the formality of confirming the chart doesn’t ruin it because it is nice to know that, yes, these are all confirmed things, but part of the fun of the chart and having a handwritten sprawling chart on your wall is like, this is gossip that isn’t vetted and maybe never happened, and maybe someone would come over to your house and be like, “Why am I on the wall with that person? I never actually hooked up with them.” And then you know, “But I did actually hook up with them and I’m not connected to them.” Then you get this whole other part. I think that gossip bit of it is also very important, and the fact that untruths will necessarily make their way in there feels like a crucial part of the chart to me.

Riese: And they do.

Christina: Yes. They have to.

Riese: And that’s the other thing, is that the chart that was built by our friend who built the chart was just people who had kissed. So it was a very much a free for all.

Christina: That’s a big chart.

Riese: Yeah. But I do remember complaining to her about it once, because I was like, “This thing’s on there. That’s not true.” And it was true. It was just that my girlfriend had cheated on me.

Christina: And so in best we see some of the repercussions of a chart. So I think, yep, we’re taking both of the good and the bad here.

Riese: Yeah.

Drew: Speaking more broadly, I’d love to talk about the idea of our friends hooking up with our exes and us hooking up with our friends’ exes, because that’s really what has to happen, right? I mean like, or it can be that a bunch of people have random hookups and there’s no emotional attachment anywhere. But I do think what happens often in queer community, because we can just be pretty incestuous, is that people have like full-on relationships with people who have had relationships with their friends. How do we feel about that? On both ends?

Christina: I feel very fine about it, I think. Granted, I came from a city, the grand city of Boston, that had a pretty … What’s the word? Garbage queer community. So it wasn’t a place … Like moving to Philly, I really saw the difference between … I was like, “Oh, wow.” I had years of being in this place that had kind of a shitty community where no one was really connected. And you kind of knew everybody, but you’re like, “Ugh, her again. She’s going to do Eminem at karaoke again. Like, why?” To having an actual community where everybody knows and gets and respects and likes each other for the most part, not to say that we are without drama over here in Philadelphia. But it also just seems so unavoidable. I don’t know — how does it not happen? Like, in what world does it not happen?

Riese: Yeah.

Christina: I don’t know.

Riese: It seems like heterosexuals avoid this because they often have genders separated in their social groups or whatever. So it’s not like you’re … Like, if you break up with your boyfriend, it’s not like, do I still get to hang out with your friends? You know? Because, no, of course not. You never did. You were watching sports ball. Yeah.

Christina: Right.

Riese: And in queer communities, that happens. But yeah, I think it’s unavoidable. I mean, I think especially back in the day when The L Word was doing the chart, of course, when the community was even smaller, you could either date your friends’ exes or date nobody. But I think it is really hard, you know? Like, it’s difficult when your friend hooks up with your ex or dates your ex, but I would never want someone to give up their chance at love or happiness with somebody because I used to date them, even if it’s hurtful. It hurts and it’s hard and it might mean I need to take a little space from those people, but I wouldn’t want to deny them that opportunity to be together if that’s what made them both happy. Because I wouldn’t want them to hold back on my account, and then… That doesn’t sound any better, you know?

Drew: Yeah. Do you feel different if it’s not like … I think it’s very easy to be like, “Well, if they’re in love, I don’t want to stop beautiful, pure love.” Whereas I think sometimes that’s not the situation, where it’s like, “Oh, you fucked my ex-girlfriend,” is a very different, I think, scenario of sorts. Do you feel differently if it’s a drunken hookup as opposed to, “Oh, they actually had feelings and wanted to develop those?”

Christina: Insightful question.

Riese: I think in the beginning, that is often the assumption. When you’re like, “Oh, you hooked up with my ex,” and often that’s just the beginning of what will become a relationship. You know? I don’t know. I guess if your ex was really, really terrible.

Christina: Yeah. That’s what I’m feeling too.

Riese: And it’s like your best friend.

Christina: Yeah. So much counts on what the ex and the friend situation is.

Riese: Yeah.

Christina: Like, if we’re acquaintances, go off. I don’t really care. Do you, simply. Do you.

Riese: Yeah. As they say. You know?

Christina: As they say.

Riese: I guess it’s, again, it’s a thing that probably would be uncomfortable and unpleasant, but that doesn’t mean that it’s unethical, necessarily. I feel like there’s probably a waiting period, maybe, but it depends on your relationship. I mean, a lot of people are in open relationships, or they say they’re in open relationships, or…

Christina: Well, that is true. Yeah.

Riese: You know?

Drew: Important distinction.

Christina: As always, I love to say context is king. And I feel like especially in circumstances like that, I think for me it might be easier if my friend was like, “Oh, we’re just fucking,” I feel like that would be mentally easier for me to deal with than like—

Riese: Interesting.

Drew: Oh.

Christina: Oh, you brought feelings into it? That’s unfortunate for me. But I really — I’m having a hard time finding a scenario in my brain in which I would really be upset for longer than, I don’t know, 20 minutes until I forgot. I’m kind of like a goldfish in that way, honestly. A brain like Swiss cheese.

Riese: That’s great for you.

Christina: Sometimes.

Drew: Yeah. I don’t know. It’s interesting. I definitely feel the opposite in the sense that if someone had feelings—

Riese: “I definitely feel totally differently.”

Christina: Super cool. I hate it, but.

Drew: No, no, no. The core principle of it, I think I feel the same, but as far as which would bother me more, I think when there’s feelings involved, I’m not going to get in the way of true love. Even to the point where if I was in a relationship with someone and they left me for a friend and they wanted to be together in a really real way. Obviously I’d be hurt and sad and breakups, whatever. But I think I would be able to be fine with it.

Christina: You wouldn’t be like, I can hear the “This Will Be” montage playing at the end of this in the rom com.

Drew: I never want to be—

Christina: It has to happen to somebody.

Drew: Yeah, I know when I’m not the protagonist and if I’m not the protagonist of that story, I can accept it and move along. Whereas if it’s just sex, sometimes it’s like, couldn’t you—

Riese: Was that necessary?

Drew: Yeah. Right. Was it necessary? Couldn’t you have had that orgasm on someone else?

Riese: Or not had an orgasm on someone else.

Drew: Sure. Sure. But I still wouldn’t be that bothered by it, but I also know that that’s… Yes, there’s so much interconnectivity, but I know for a fact that a lot of it has led to drama and that some people do not feel as cool about it as maybe we do. It definitely is… I don’t know. Has there been examples where you’ve been the hurt party? Where your ex or someone who you’re currently dating leaves you for, or hooks up with a friend? And how did you go about that?

Christina: I haven’t had it happen to me. Had we not been in Paul Blart Mall Cop for the last year, I imagine it probably would have happened sometime in this year of me living in Philly. It probably will happen sometime in the future. But no, it really hasn’t occurred to me yet. So I guess I’m also just fantasy spinning. I love to fantasy spin.

Riese: I mean I’ve had someone I dated hook up with a friend.

Drew: Are you pointing at me?

Riese: I’m pointing at you!

Christina: Okay I thought that was what you were doing.

Drew: Okay it’s funny because the night after it happened the first time you actually started talking about this topic and I thought you were talking about me and I was mortified. You were actually saying basically what I said earlier like you know when it’s just a hook up why do you have to do that and I wanted to be like but I have feelings! I’m embarrassed that I have feelings but I do!

Riese: Yeah.

Drew: But you had no idea. And you were not actually verbally subtweeting me.

Riese: No.

Drew: You just had no idea. And it was like the universe making me punished. In my defense you’d been broken up for awhile!

Riese: That’s true.

Drew: I want to clarify that you were not with this person. You had been broken up for awhile. I also think something that’s interesting to me that is complicated, and I have since worked through in the year plus whatever, is that I think — blame The L Word, blame myself, but I had this feeling of “I am not in our friend group. I am not accepted as a lesbian in this world that is predominantly cis, until I hook up with someone in this friend group,” which — that wasn’t why, I did have feelings for the person I hooked up with, but it was definitely a part of it that I’ve had to grapple with that I was, I don’t know, that I was putting a certain sort of acceptance onto my sex life, and it was leading me to make poor choices because I was trying to make a point of something.

Riese: Be on the chart.

Drew: Yeah. I was literally trying to be on the chart. And I wouldn’t have admitted that at the time I don’t think, but looking back, it was very much in my brain of if we were to make another chart, I need to be on it.

Christina: I got to get on that chart.

Drew: Just wanting to be on the chart and part of that interconnectivity. Which is a little fucked up and weird! And led to bad choices. But it was very much on my mind. So I do think when I hooked up with your ex I was like well 1) I want to.

Christina: It’s what I would like to do so I’m doing it.

Drew: It’s what I would like to do. But then I think I didn’t register that you’re my friend and I would potentially be hurting you and that you have feelings too even though I had created a narrative around myself as a trans person and as a younger person or whatever where I was like well I am vulnerable to harm but this friend of mine isn’t. Which isn’t the case! You’re a human being and you have feelings. But I don’t know that’s definitely where my brain was at. But then the minute you started talking about it even though you didn’t know what was going on I did feel a level of like — I mean, I did still hook up with the person again that night and the next day so I didn’t feel that bad about it but I did feel a little bad about it.

Christina: Yeah. But I think that makes sense that being a part of a new community and feeling like a part of arriving to that community is, oh, I hooked up with a person in this community. I still feel that way about living here. I know whoever I sleep with at some point, God willing in the future, it’ll be a thing. It’ll be like a conversation starter because most of my friends get to make fun of me for never dating and never doing anything. And it’s going to be like, oh my God, who was the person Christina finally decided to have sex with after living here for so long and not doing shit about it? What’s going on? I think that is weirdly a part of, not our community, I don’t want to say it goes for everyone. But I do think that little instinct you had makes sense. I get that.

Drew: Yeah.

Riese: But also I think there is the idea, why couldn’t you just go hook up with someone else? But sometimes it doesn’t really feel like you could. You know what I mean?

Christina: Yeah. I think that totally makes sense. I think my reaction to people wanting to hook up with me would probably also be, “Oh, I simply must crawl into a cave now. Goodbye. I have to go. That sounds so scary. Yikes. G2G. Catch you later.” But I think all of that makes a lot of sense. And I think it’s, I don’t know, it’s this idea of how much social and cultural cache we put on this idea of hookups and hooking up with people that we know. And I don’t know, it’s a scarcity mindset I feel like we get into sometimes. It’s now or never. I gotta do it.

Riese: Yeah.

Drew: Yeah. I’m really working on in post-pandemic times, because I think what ends up happening is I end up hooking up with people who I don’t want to hook up with and not hooking up with people I do want to hook up with.

Riese: Yeah. For sure.

Drew: Who doesn’t make some mistakes when they’re 25? Or whatever.

Christina: I simply made none. So no mistakes, a perfect year. 10/10. 25, would do it again. Just kidding. Never in my life.

Drew: But I do think in moving forward, I feel much, and then we’ll see, this is all theoretical so far, but I do feel better about being able to say no, being able to trust that things will happen moving forward. And I mean, it’s interesting also thinking about what I said at the beginning of being like, if the chart existed, I would confirm the things and want it to be accurate. And it’s like, how much growth have I actually done because of where is that coming… Where is that performative? I do it in essays, right? I try to only do it when I have a reason to, but it’s not a coincidence that a bit ago, my essay about dating during the pandemic, whatever, that I dropped in that I had sex with my roommates.

Riese: When I was reading that I was like, aha.

Drew: Because I want people to know, because I guess I feel again that it establishes me in the community. And in that scenario, they’re my close friends, and so that wasn’t why I hooked up with them, but I definitely had the thought. I definitely had the thought afterwards of, “Well now I’m really on the chart.” Like, just get that out of my brain.

Riese: Now, you really are in the chart. That is true.

Christina: You really are.

Riese: You’re really in the chart. Really deep in there.

Drew: The three people I hooked up with were pretty good people to really establish myself in there.

Riese: Yeah. You were getting right in with the hub.

Christina: Ever the overachiever over here. Yeah. I think that was going to be my next thought was how are we thinking about reentering our community spaces that we have been out of for a year? And what does that look like? And what are we doing? Who are we seeing? How are we doing? What’s been happening? I don’t know, guys. It seems nuts.

Riese: I feel similarly that I have spent a lot of time thinking about how many sexual encounters I didn’t want to have, but said yes to. It’s a really high amount. And I feel like I have gotten better with that within myself, but I’m also the opposite where I have become so private about that stuff in more recent years. It’s weird. I was looking at the dating series and I was like, “Oh, I could write something.” But I was terrified to do it. You know what I mean? And I don’t know if that’s because I’ve been through now, what, four public long-term relationships that all failed in front of everybody? Or if it’s… I don’t know, but it feels very weird. Because I used to have a blog when I was younger, where I wrote about everything, but also I always wanted to respect people’s privacy. So a lot of things were just alluded to, but yeah. I don’t know.

Christina: Is the problem the internet then? Is that what we’re saying?

Riese: The internet is the problem.

Christina: Interesting. Yeah. Interesting.

Riese: To go back to what you’re talking about before, when you told me that you had hooked up with my ex my heart did go erh really fast but also it isn’t really — that’s sort of the epitome of it that yes I’m going to have an emotional reaction to that but also that’s not your problem or your responsibility and like that’s just life. You know what I mean? It’s possible with a lot of stuff like exes or I did finally think of somebody who hooked up with someone I liked. Anyway. It’s like I have feelings about it and I think it’s okay to have those feelings and to feel really shitty about it if you want to, but that doesn’t mean that I would forbid it or get mad at someone for doing it. And I think that goes for a hookup as well as a relationship, honestly.

Christina: Yeah. I guess what I end up thinking about is, I don’t know, how long do I expect people to be beholden to my feelings and to me? And yes, I am obviously the main character, but it’s of the story that I am telling about myself. And it doesn’t mean that other people have to be my supporting characters in that story. That’s not how life works. It’s fine if I have a feeling even if I don’t like it, or even if it’s uncomfortable. It doesn’t necessarily mean that anyone has done something wrong. It’s just, I am having a reaction to it. All feelings are not bad, which is huge for me to say out loud.

Drew: That was really huge.

Christina: Huge for me to put on the record.

Drew: I think it’s worthwhile to consider that though, right? And so like I don’t regret doing that even though I knew that it probably hurt you and I still don’t regret it because I knew how I felt at the time and whatever. But there are definitely scenarios where I think I would choose not to do it because I’m like, okay, it’s not that I can’t do this. It’s not that it’s objectively wrong, but I do know that I am going to hurt someone I care about, and I am making the choice that, in this moment, this just isn’t worth it for me.

Riese: Yeah, for sure.

Drew: And I think people can make that choice. They don’t have to, but I do think they can make that choice.

Riese: Yeah.

Christina: That’s really beautiful.

Riese: I have made that choice before too.

Christina: Yeah. I mean, a lot of the times I feel like the choice ends up being, “Hmm, do I want this to be complicated or not?”

Riese: Right.

Christina: Removing feelings and anger, it’s like, do I want this to be a discussion? Or do I just simply choose to not have that conversation? Maybe go to bed instead.

Riese: Yeah. Just opt out of that. But also I think that’s also part of saying no to things I don’t want to do, which I haven’t been very good at in the past.

Drew: Right.

Christina: Yeah. That’s one of my biggest skillsets.

Riese: It sounds like it, that’s amazing. You’re my hero.

Christina: It is good. A lot of the time it’s really good. And the problem is that people always say that. And then I’m like, it’s amazing that I can say no to things. So then I’m like, but do you ever say yes to a single thing ever in your life? And that’s where we have a problem, but we work on it.

Riese: Do you?

Christina: I told myself I was going to come out of the pandemic and say yes to more stuff. TBD on that one. TBD.

Drew: I feel optimistic. I said this last week, I’ll say it again this week, I feel optimistic about your future and I feel optimistic about Riese and I having new boundaries. And we can all go out into the post-pandemic world better versions of ourselves.

Christina: Yes. Live, laugh, love, girlies!

Drew: But we probably will still date our friends’ exes, because it’s just going to happen.

Riese: Yeah. Everyone is free to hook up with any of my exes, even the really bad one, or date them, that’s fine. I want everyone to be happy and to live their truth.

Drew: I want any of my friends to date my most recent ex because then maybe we’d be in a friend group together and that’d be really nice.

Riese: Right. Yeah, that sounds sweet.

Drew: That’s where I’m at, with that whole thing.

Christina: Everyone’s really on brand. I don’t really have a recent ex for anybody to date, so go off, I guess? Everybody, yes, do you. Really proud. Well, now it’s time to move into Crush Corner, the place where we talk about the pop culture we’re consuming, who we have crushes on in that pop culture we’re consuming. It’s a nice short moment of crushing. Drew, do you want to start us off?

Drew: Sure. So watching the third and final season of Pose has brought up old feelings that are now new feelings for Mj Rodriguez.

Christina: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yeah.

Drew: There’s like a running bit throughout the show where her fashion is made fun of and called clockable or whatever. But to me it’s just very dykey. I know that she’s not gay, but I think Blanca on Pose just has the best dykey fashion and MJ’s so hot and I just was… And she’s just been posting on Instagram extra hot pictures and it’s just been really great. So I would say Blanca Evangelista/MJ Rodriguez is my crush of the week.

Christina: Incredible. Riese, do you have a crush for us this week?

Riese: I’m still trying to think of one.

Christina: That happens. It happens. I can go. You don’t have to go. It’s fine.

Riese: You go.

Christina: As many folks know, The Nanny was added to HBO Max. It’s a banging show. I’d just like to throw that in just for the listeners. Jokes on jokes on jokes. It’s so horny. I genuinely did not clock how horny it was when I was a child, that’s probably for the best. And yeah, Fran Fine, absolute icon. Absolute legend. But no, I’m taking it a step further and I’m being me and I’m saying C.C. Babcock, the lunatic wasp who is downtrodden and mocked every single second of The Nanny is my crush of the week. She’s stacked. She’s got a lot of suits that I really like. I mean, they’re all too long because the nineties were a curse, but she’s really working it. I’m loving her energy. She’s got a slight desperation in her eyes that I just think is real chef’s kiss. So C.C. Babcock, this one’s for you, babe.

Riese: I haven’t thought of anyone yet.

Drew: That’s okay. You don’t have to have a crush this week.

Christina: You don’t have to.

Riese: Okay.

Christina: Sometimes we just don’t have crushes in a week. That’s happened.

Riese: Yeah, that’s fine.

Drew: I’ve never not had a crush, but I support you.

Riese: I’ve had a girlfriend for one and a half weeks, so I’m pretty focused on that.

Christina: That takes a lot of time.

Drew: Crush of the week is your week-and-a-half girlfriend.

Riese: Is my girlfriend of a week and a half. Yeah, that’s my crush.

Christina: That’s really on brand actually. Thanks so much for that. Thanks for just bringing that energy to the space.

Riese: It’s weird to talk about dating and relationships again, out loud, to anyone.

Drew: Yeah.

Christina: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Riese: Besides my therapist.

Christina: Yeah.

Drew: Yeah. I mean, I feel like I talk about it all the time, but I get that for you, that it’s weird to talk about it out loud again.

Christina: It’s weird for me to talk about dating that isn’t Drew’s dating life. I’ll say that. It’s weird to talk about myself.

Drew: Yeah. That’s what I love. I love having other voices in here. It’s so fun to not just be going on. I mean, to be fair, one of my roommates is pretty… I mean, my roommates are in a relationship with each other, but they’re poly and one of them, especially, is still very much like a serial dater and we really bond over that. So I’m not completely alone in these conversations, but it is always fun to get my friends who maybe talk about dating a little less to give their feedback.

Christina: Yeah. I imagine if you were having no outlet for your dating conversation, I would get a lot longer voice memos.

Drew: It is true.

Christina: Yeah.

Riese: I’m so glad that Drew and I got to process our relationship here on this podcast.

Christina: Yeah this was really thrilling. For me a really thrilling experience. I feel really alive in the spirit. I feel really in community and of community right now. I’ll say that.

Drew: I want to promise that every week isn’t going to have me processing something from my personal life just the first two episodes, maybe future episodes, definitely future episodes. But I don’t think every week.

Christina: I want listeners to know I’m making an incredibly skeptical face.

Drew: Thanks so much, Riese, for being here. We got to process, we got to laugh. Just a real good time.

Christina: Yeah, thanks for bringing your fun, open vulnerability into the space. Thanks for bringing in this great couch. I see Carol went into her home. Good job, Carol.

Riese: Carol loves girls.

Christina: She’s like, “Yeah, why are you bothering me?”

Drew: Do you want to share your socials and anything you want to share?

Riese: Yeah. You can follow me on Twitter, @autowin. I want to get a lot of followers, but I don’t really send tweets or… But I could. I tweet, occasionally. And then also on Instagram, I’m @autowin. And then also I have a podcast called To L and Back, that’s also on Instagram. This podcast is on autostraddle.com, a great website started by a group of friends that were all interconnected. And now here we are finding new ways to interconnect every day with love and kindness and friendship.

Christina: Honestly, we might just keep that bit forever. That’s great.

Drew: Thanks, Riese. Well, the last thing, we like to check in because we really are here for clear and honest communication and directness and also trying to change some patterns within lesbian communities. So we just like to double check, so I just wanted to ask, was this a date?

Christina: Were we just on a date?

Riese: No.

Drew: No. Riese is shaking her head no.

Christina: Okay. Riese is shaking her head. Okay, good to know.

Riese: No, it is simply 4:00.

Christina: Simply 4:00 in the afternoon. Okay.

Riese: Also, as I aforementioned, I’ve had a girlfriend for a week and a half, so…

Drew: I’m really, I’m so excited for you. I really, I support this.

Riese: I’m excited for me too.

Christina: Okay, good to know. All right. It’s not a date and for really good reasons, I say.

Drew: Yeah, sometimes your friend tells you that they’re dating someone and you’re like, cool. And sometimes your friend tells you that they’re dating someone and you jump up and down like you just saw something exciting on the internet and that is what I did when I got that text. So I support this. As the kids say, I ship it.

Riese: Thank you so much, Drew. You were the first person I told.

Drew: I’m honored.

Riese: And then my mom was the second. And then Christina was the third.

Christina: Wow. Huge day for you.

Drew: Thank you so much for listening to Wait, Is This a Date? You can find us on Twitter and Instagram @waitisthisadate. And you can also email us at [email protected]

Christina: Our theme was written by Lauren Klein. Our logo is by Maanya Dhar. And this podcast was edited, produced, and mixed by Lauren Klein. You can find me online @c_gracet on twitter.com, the website. And you can find me on Instagram at @christina_gracet.

Drew: And you can find me on Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok @draw_gregory. And you can find Autostraddle on all social medias @autostraddle.

Christina: And go visit autostraddle.com, because it’s the reason we’re all here today.

Drew: Thank you all so much. And, you know, see you next week.

Christina: Yeah. We’ll absolutely see you next week. And we can’t wait.

Drew: Yeah. And you know, maybe next week, maybe next week will be a date.

Christina: Hey, maybe it will be! Wilder things have happened.

Drew: Except you know what? I also think it’s important to clarify to the listener that if you ask someone if something’s a date or not, we probably should take that as sort of like a moving forward that I don’t think every time you see someone you should… That’s not really direct communication as much as it is like not really respecting someone’s boundaries. And you know, we do like boundaries here at Wait, Is This a Date?

Christina: The gayest thing about this podcast is that the outro is a boundary.

Drew, in a voice memo: Do you know what I realized? I’ve never had a friend hook up with an ex of mine or date an ex of mine. I’ve done it the other way, but that stereotype has never applied to me in the direction of my exes. And I think I’ve had some pretty good exes. I don’t know why my friends have never been interested in them. I think I actually would want it. Is that weird? Is that weird that if I broke up with someone, the idea of my friend dating them would be sort of great, depending on the situation, I guess. But usually, yeah.

Before you go! Autostraddle runs on the reader support of our AF+ Members. If this article meant something to you today — if it informed you or made you smile or feel seen, will you consider joining AF and supporting the people who make this queer media site possible?

Join AF+!

Drew Burnett Gregory

Drew is a Brooklyn-based writer, filmmaker, and theatremaker. She is a Senior Editor at Autostraddle with a focus in film and television, sex and dating, and politics. Her writing can also be found at Bright Wall/Dark Room, Cosmopolitan UK, Refinery29, Into, them, and Knock LA. She was a 2022 Outfest Screenwriting Lab Notable Writer and a 2023 Lambda Literary Screenwriting Fellow. She is currently working on a million film and TV projects mostly about queer trans women. Find her on Twitter and Instagram.

Drew Burnett has written 552 articles for us.


  1. Also, I have personally drawn out a chart one time and I have mentally considered them in other situations

Comments are closed.