Monday, April 26, 2004

(Note: In this essay, I am absolutely not talking about any of my very dear personal friends and acquaintances.)

News Flash: I'm Not A Guy

Now, don't get me wrong. I like women. (Why, I'm one myself.) But there's a certain breed of woman who really gets on my nerves, and it's because she treats me like a guy. By that I mean, she flirts with me like she would a guy, and she expects me to respond to her like a man would.

I remember one encounter I had with such a woman. She was a stranger to me, but it was obvious she was a sex bomb among the Y-chromosome crowd. We were having a casual chat at a party when she confided in me about her newfound interest in BDSM – specifically, BDSM with women. Hmmnn, I wonder why you're telling me this? Whoops, strike that. I know why you're telling me this.

It would have been difficult not to know. She was doing the whole routine: staring into my face and batting her eyes, trailing her finger around the (low) neckline of her blouse, running her hands up and down the sides of her body, and of course, the hair toss. When she talked, she spoke in husky tones and larded her remarks with double-entendres, and when I talked, she hung on my words and laughed immoderately at the faintest suggestion of wit in my remarks. She was damn good at it, I have to give her that. It was a picture-perfect example of a heterosexual mating call.

Only one problem: I'm not a heterosexual. More specifically, I'm not a heterosexual man. But clearly Ms. Sex Bomb expected me to respond like one, i.e., to jump at the chance to have intimate access to admittedly pretty body. I'm sure she was frustrated and confused when I excused myself and went to talk to someone else, but it seemed unkind to let her go with her come-hither poses and gestures when they left me cold.

(When I think about it, it doesn't seem very flattering for a man to be treated like a Pavlovian dog who'll drool at the first tinkle of a pretty woman's bell. It's certainly not a universal male response. But a lot of them do seem to fall right into it, as anyone who's ever been in a strip club can testify to. The power of testosterone, I suppose.)

I admit to a brief flash of temptation with Ms. Sex Bomb – but I doubt it would have been the kind of scene she was thinking about.

You see, I did a scene when I was quite young, and rather raw, that made a lasting impression on me. It was between me and two extremely hot lesbian women – one butch, and one femme. It was our first scene together - they would go on to become my Master and Mistress. (Oh yes, I've been there.)

I was quite attracted to them and I had been doing my damnedest to flatter and beguile them since we'd met. They were both very appealing – but the femme was an absolute knockout, with big green eyes, thick red hair and a finely boned face. On the night of our date, I remember looking at her and thinking, This is the first time I've ever been with a woman who, may, actually, be more beautiful than I am.

And she must have read my mind, because she leaned forward to where I was on my knees in front of her, grabbed a handful of my hair at the nape of the neck and held my face close to hers. "Now listen to me," she said. "Let's get one thing straight. I know that you're used to getting your way with butches and with boys just because you're a hot babe. But those games don't work with me, so don't go shaking your ass or pouting your lips or batting your big brown eyes at me. I know all the tricks – I do them myself. I know exactly what they mean, and they don't mean shit. So don't go there."

And I thought, "Holy shit, she's on to me. Oh, fuck, am I in trouble." Looking back, I'm sure I was exactly as unsubtle in my flirtations with them as Ms. Sex Bomb was with me. It wouldn't have taken a rocket scientist to see that I was very accustomed to manipulating people with my looks and charm. I learned a lesson that night: don't kid a kidder. And don't vamp a vamp.

I've given her speech a few times myself since then, to pretty, flirty women I was holding by the scruff of the neck. They all gave me back a wide-eyed stare of alarm – which is exactly what I wanted. And for the women I've chosen to be with, that warning was enough. They dropped the schtick.

But when I considered doing a scene with Ms. Sex Bomb, I thought: Even calling her on the act wouldn't be enough – she's a hard case. I'd have to go further. I could wash off her makeup, scrap back her hair, and make her wear a baggy, ugly smock – that might snap her out of that "sexy-babe" attitude. And who knows, maybe once I stripped away all those calculated poses and sexy lines, I might actually get to someone more real, someone who could truly interest me.

Or maybe not. I walked away.

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