It took me getting to therapist number three to get this important bit of information. I was shocked to say the least. "Damn, you're kidding," I thought. I'm over 40. Yikes! 14 in lesbian years sounded awful. This meant I was still way behind the curve, terribly immature and with all kinds of pent up feelings and desires. How was I ever going to conquer lesbian dating? Ugh! How can this be? Well it is this way, isn't it?
This is a hard lesson for late-comers to the "gay girl party". You can't fake the experiences you haven't had. Sure you can try, but often we stink at it or let me say, I stunk at it. Holy cow, I sure did.
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You know the story about learning to ride a bike. You never forget. You might need to work on balance if you hop on a bike after not riding for many years, but the mechanics of it come back immediately. Your muscles and your brain neurons remember and fire off the commands you need to get the bike moving.
Well, if your dating experience includes only guys, guess what? You have no muscles or neurons that know how to date gay girls! You're going to have to grow those neurons and develop those muscles and it's gonna get messy now and again. Guys are pretty simple creatures when you compare them to women.
The amount of drama I created for myself was astounding because I didn't understand this whole repeating adolescence piece. I HATED my early teen years. I hated the sense of awkwardness and not knowing how to relate to the boys I wanted to date or the girls I wanted to kiss! I hated the competition to be liked and be part of the "cool clic." I hated not knowing what to wear or how to fix my hair. My early school years were spent at Catholic schools wearing uniforms. Then, in middle school, I had to wear "regular" clothes every day. Ouch! And what the hell does a lesbian wear?
I know I swung through all those old adolescent fears in my first few years of being out. Some of my feeling crazy in those first years out was my own doing. My excitement at being out, finally dating women, having an intimate relationship and being visible in the lesbian community meant that I made some pretty poor choices. I also made some really great choices and had some amazing experiences. Everything was new and I was letting myself feel things I'd been denying myself for years.
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I loved going to the local gay girl bar. It was a seedy little place with a pool table, an outdoor smoking area with a large dead tree in the middle of it and the tiniest bathroom stalls you've ever tried to squat in. I'm 5'2" and my knees hit the door. Pity the tall girls! But it was the only place in the city that was strictly for gay girls. Nirvana! At least for a little while.