Boss Up with Bevin Your dream life is at the end of your comfort zone

2015-05-01

The Power of Authenticity: Bruce Jenner, Kanye West and My Lesbian Sorority Ice Cream Wrestling Party

I watched the Bruce Jenner interview on 20/20 last week and had a lot of feelings. It’s complex to have your transition made public before you are living 100% of the time as your true gender. Most folks begin to “go public” with it with a letter to friends and family requesting a pronoun change and a new name. But not Bruce Jenner! A Friday night Prime Time TV interview!

As my friend Avory put it, “Bruce Jenner is a rich, white American who could not escape his truth.” As Americans we need to learn how to hear hard truths from people different than us, and for folks who are not trans accepting (like many of Bruce’s fellow Conservative Republicans) this interview and the rampant publicity around it, is another seminal moment for trans liberation. This moment is only made possible through the incredible work of queer and trans activists, allies and movements. Many leaders in these movements are incredible people of color who did not have the monetary or other privileges Bruce Jenner enjoys.

Here’s hoping this interview can help Americans learn how to hear hard truths from people who are different in other ways.

My favorite takeaway was the authenticity quote by Kanye West. He had told Kim Kardashian West, his wife and Bruce Jenner’s step-daughter, this anecdote.

Look, I can be married to the most beautiful woman in the world, and I am. I can have the most beautiful little daughter in the world, and I have that. But I’m nothing if I can’t be me. If I can’t be true to myself, they don’t mean anything.

Kanye is exactly right. When you aren’t authentic to yourself, it is nearly impossible to enjoy your life. I spent a long time being depressed, suicidal, self-hating and body hating. It robbed me of the pleasures of the everyday. Making choices and taking risks to be my authentic self has saved my life.

I remembered an ice cream wrestling party with my sorority sisters when I was in college. It was June of the year 2000. I’m pretty sure our president, Sam, came up with the idea of getting a blow up pool, putting it in the backyard of our sorority house and inviting a bunch of women over to wrestle.

17128193937_7361eb21e7_zSomehow this is the only group photo I have from our sorority, taken at our winter retreat in Lake Tahoe, which includes friends of ours not in the sorority. I’m far right in what I believed was a “Winter coat” when I still lived in CA.

I think it’s important to mention at this part of the story that I was a member of a lesbian sorority, Lambda Delta Lambda, and our sorority house was a 3-4 bedroom ranch house just off the UC Davis campus that was shared by a few members of our sisterhood. Other formal Greek organizations on campus (the panhellenic sororities, as they were known) had pretty big houses with towering Greek letters attached to the second story. Ours was just a regular rental house but it was super cute and special because our membership was pretty small.

I was only a member for one school year. I came out during my Junior year in college and by the time Senior year rolled around I realized that my friends consisted primarily of straight women and gay men. I knew I needed a way to meet lesbians and so I decided to rush the lesbian sorority. I was so into the Greek system at Davis, having a lot of friends who were in sororities and going to events all the time.

16715377943_1a1311be88_zMy friend Dianna at a sorority produced charity event pageant for fraternity brothers to win a Mr. Some Sorority Name title. One of the contestants handed out cookies. I used that technique in my 2009 bid for Miss LEZ.

My roommate Jill was rush chair of Alpha Chi Omega and invited me to the rush event I’d been hearing her plan for weeks just to support her and get a free meal. When my friend Dianna came with me to the event just to check it out they sent their best sisters over to rush us even though I was just there to support Jill. Some of them thought I was there to do an expose for the college newspaper. (True story, I did write a women and gender studies term paper about the Greek system on campus, but it was never published.)

17309657576_b13e543019_zMe and Jill in our apartment! I was still learning how to have the bravery to wear sleeveless shirts

Despite the Alpha Chi Omega sisters’ best rush attempts I was never going to join a panhellenic organization. I definitely felt too fat to join a sorority where matching outfits bought at the Gap (which didn’t produce ANY plus size clothes in those days) were de rigueur and the dues were the equivalent to another quarter’s tuition per year. This was true of all of the panhellenics. I could barely afford college–I paid for my public university experience through student loans I’m still paying back, working three jobs, and my teacher mom’s couple hundred a month to help out. By the end of each quarter when the loans ran out I bought my burritos on credit cards.

But Lambda Delta Lambda’s dues were totally equivalent to an active club and they seemed really nice. And I needed to make lesbian friends if I was ever going to get laid with my newly minted out bisexual lifestyle. (In those days, I identified as bi because I didn’t know queer was a thing and my complex attraction to masculinity remained unexplored.)

My friend Dianna, great straight ally that she is/was, came with me to my first Lambda Delta Lambda rush event. I think it’s really awesome when you do ally work to be willing to blend into a marginalized group. Adopting an attitude of “who cares if people think you’re gay at gay events” is definitely an ally pro-tip.

The lesbian sorority rush event was very different, just a casual hang out at a local pizza place with the sisters and some of their friends and partners. I don’t remember being nervous about whether I would “get in” like the deep selection process of traditional sororities. Being part of a sorority was a great experience even though it was only for one year of college. I’m really glad I made the choice to risk doing it. There were no matching outfits, and I went to the local Greek letter schwag shop and bought myself a sorority letter sweatshirt in an XXL. I wore it for years, until it was threadbare.

17147837458_353da1e27a_zJill and I threw a fake fraternity themed house party that year. Fraternities on our campus LOVED decorating with spray paint and trash bags. Our parties were an amazing amalgamation of my LGBT friends, women and gender studies friends, Jill’s Greek friends and our mutual dorm friends. Here are a bunch of my sorority sisters and my friend from Girl Scout Camp, Cole, visiting from Sacramento.

Okay, so back to authenticity. At this point in my development towards becoming the fully actualized authentic human I am today, I was not a person who knew how to show up and be present. I hated my body, I never thought I was good enough, and was gearing up to attend law school after graduation because “everyone” told me I should go to law school. I had no idea how to know what I really wanted or to give myself permission to throw myself into things with the wild abandon I do today. I definitely did not feel okay risking looking foolish.

I was 21 years old and just about to graduate when Sam suggested an end of the year ice cream wrestling party. I went along with it because it’s what everyone else wanted, I wasn’t sure how I felt about watching girls wrestle in ice cream.

17335641065_e36aefa5e1_zOne of my sisters outside our retreat cabin by the snow woman doing some topless snow angel making. I deeply wanted to go join her but no way was I okay with being topless around anyone when I was that age.

I was informed that as the graduating senior among us I was going to have to wrestle (ugh) and I would get to select who I would wrestle against from my sorority sisters. I remember knowing immediately who it was going to be, I figured if I picked the strongest member it would be over quickly and I could move on.

Even though I was not yet aware of the true magic of the gender spectrum amongst queers (in the culture of UC Davis in the late 90s/early aughts Butch and Femme were frowned upon, most folks were on the andro/hippie spectrum of gender presentation) if you lined up our sorority based on gender appearance, I was certainly the farthest in the feminine spectrum and the girl I wrestled was on the other end. I think it’s a testament to how deeply I wanted to be Femme because I would wear clothing from the men’s section of Old Navy, as there was no plus size women’s section yet, and enough make-up to have it be girly.

17335640255_ce20b5a1c4_zThis is a great/terrible example of the kind of men’s clothing I loved to swim in because I thought it camouflaged my fat. This is my BFF Mary (we had so much fun together) and Dianna on our way home from our women’s honor society trip to Tahoe.

I don’t remember what I wore to wrestle but I’m absolutely sure it wasn’t anything special. I brought extra clothes to change into. I noticed with dread and extra humiliation that the girl I had a mild crush on was there (she worked in the same building as my academic advising job). I was first to wrestle and my sisters sweetly and deviously surprised me, the graduate, by making me “ice cream sundae” wrestle, pouring chocolate syrup, nuts, whipped cream, marshmallow fluff and lord knows what else on me as well as ice cream before I was quickly defeated by my masculine-presenting opponent. I remember standing there becoming a human ice cream sundae and feeling so embarrassed and nervous about what other people thought of me. After wrestling, I immediately ran into the shower for the wrestlers, got cleaned up and tried to enjoy the rest of the night. But I kind of couldn’t. I didn’t die of awkward that night, but I thought I might.

17147845358_e79c1a955e_zThis is me winning an award for being an “outstanding senior” at UC Davis. I hated being on stage at that point in my life. So deeply insecure. Also, back then I dealt with insecurity by being an overachiever!

I think about that time a lot as a lost moment. I could have worn a bathing suit to wrestle, but I think at that time in my life I was still wearing a tee shirt over my bathing suits in pools when I went swimming. I could have really enjoyed the ability to wrestle with the person of my choice and I totally should have chosen the sister with whom I had a ton of sexual tension. Being not authentic and not particularly brave, I didn’t know how to make that choice or even acknowledge our sexual tension. I also could have hammed it up being in the spotlight, since it was a really beautiful moment of appreciation and love by my sorority sisters. AND, with the incredibly resilient digestion of my 21 year old self, I totally could have snacked on some ice cream sundae but sadly I was too afraid of being seen eating ice cream in the equivalent of on stage.

What would it have been like if I had been my authentic self at that moment? I would have been present, I would have enjoyed the moment and I would have had a lot more fun. My insecurities and my self-hatred kept me from the best of that moment.

I have no regrets in my life, I believe we all have a path, we’re all meant to learn what we can from what happens in our lives. But I know how not being fully authentic to who I was robbed me of enjoying what could have been a really incredible night for me.

16570741810_8633364659_zIf I could have that moment again, I know exactly what I would wear. This bikini, which was pretty cheap and could probably stand up to potential staining from maraschino cherries. I would also totally ham it up because I have learned how much I LOVE to be on stage and perform and people love performative wrestling.

So Kanye West is right. You can have the best of everything and never be able to enjoy it if you’re not fully yourself. Authenticity isn’t just about gender presentation, sexuality, or body liberation–it’s about taking the time to get to know yourself and taking the risks to let other people get to know the true you.

Not all of us are Bruce Jenner and do that with a 20/20 interview. But when you see that tender smile of Bruce’s in that interview, you can see the smile of someone who is SO excited to breathe freely, without being on guard. It’s worth it to step out and experience the tentativeness, the risks, the scary feelings of learning how to chip off your shell and expose your tender, true self to the world. Start with your closest, most trusted friends and body positive allies. Then move on to safer public spaces, then go bigger and bigger. It is worth it to be your whole, true self.

2013-10-14

How to Make the Best Use of Your Wing Man / Person / Ma’am

A few months ago my dear friend Fannon was visiting town and we were out at a dance party. Searching for a better DJ, we decided to bounce to a different party in Bushwick. I agreed to go if I was assured a ride home because Bushwick is far. Because a car was involved we managed to get a couple of passengers, one of which was talking at length about wanting to hook up with a babe. “No problem, I’ve got you covered,” said Fannon and was totally ready to get on the dance floor and help out this person she’d never met before.

Me and Fannon and Nicky
Me and Fannon (left) and Nicky (right).

The person found someone they were interested in and Fannon was ready to do the work of a good Wing Man and then the person chickened out. I was so disheartened for them–to find interest in someone but to be too afraid to use the resources that fate (or maybe the Goddess if you want to get spiritual) had put in front of them seemed like such a missed opportunity. Just because of fear! This was a great opportunity for the Nobody Ever Died of Awkward pep talk but to no avail, this person was stuck in their fear place.

Fannon and I had a great time anyway and a long conversation on the ride home about how to make the most effective use of a Wing Man. Fannon holds herself out to be a powerhouse Wing Man and I thought those tips might be a great resource for my readers who might be a little too shy to snare someone on their own. Or for readers who want to become better Wing People!

In this piece I’m using the term “Wing Man” as it is in the popular parlance, but I come to it from the perspective that all genders are magical and this term could easily be Wing Woman, Wing Wym, Wing Person, Wing GenderNonConformingIndividual, etc…

Joe
I thought since I was talking about being a Wing Femme in this post I would play the part and offer the services of my blog to my friends. I asked for folks who were available on a Facebook post and a few of my pals took me up on it. This is my friend Joe who rules and gives good date. He lives in Queens.

It’s also important to say up front this isn’t about tricking people or not being genuine. It’s about using your friends to help you get through social anxiety (that many more people have than you think) and your friends helping you be your best, most vibrant self in the face of the inevitable nerves when you’re around someone you find attractive!

Splitting the Herd

Often people go out with their friends, even when they are cruising for people to meet. This is great but it is also an impediment to meeting people because it can be hard to talk to your person of interest if their friends are surrounding them! Wing Men are great for splitting the herd! Your friend goes in and starts talking to one of the people hanging out with the person you’re interested in, sort of isolating the person you want to talk to and bam! They create the opening you need to talk to the person you want to flirt with.

Fannon says, “Girls are rarely at bars alone, right? So sometimes the wingman just needs to distract the friends of the girl your friend is focused on so she can introduce herself without her friends acting as obstacles. This usually only works when your friend who you are wingmanning for is confident in her ability to introduce herself without getting all tounge-tied.”

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This muscley heartthrob is Jesse who lives in Philly and is available. According to Jesse: “ISO bossy femmes, sweet boys, curvy queers. As for the streets!? The streets are mine! My heart is extraordinarily particular. But I crush A LOT.” Photo by Kelsey Dickey.

I’ve also used this where your friend goes over and brings people back to you if you’re hanging out at different tables at the bar. It’s definitely a lot less intimidating to go up to a group where you’re not really attracted to anyone. The rejection stings less on a Wing Person with nothing on the line!

Wing People could use the line, “I was hoping I could introduce you to my friend,” and that’s a great way to pique interest and merge the herds so that your friend can get to know their desired person.

Playing the Middle School Game

It’s soooo cheesy but sometimes it really works to have a Wing Man tell someone you think they’re hot. It really takes the sting out of rejection when someone rejects you to your friend. At least your embarrassment isn’t visible to the object of desire.

Tamara
This is Tamara, she’s available and lives in New Mexico.

Sometimes your friends do this nonconsensually before you even have the chance to ask and in that case maybe it’s more of a casual yenta than a Wing Person but it helps! You can also get all the dirt you need. For me it’s whether the person is available, into femmes and into fat girls. I know if I have those three covered it’s basically whether the chemistry is compatible.

A good friend of mine (who is a complete and total hottie) was complaining this summer that three people in a week’s time came up to her and said their friend thought she was hot. She responded to each that she was flattered and that their friend should approach her. Yet NONE of them did! It is super important to totally follow-up on the diligent work of your Wing Person! My friend is both a babe and approachable, and getting past that next-level shyness might have actually gotten one of those friends a make-out.

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Miasia, from Washington DC, performing at Rebel Cupcake. She’s available for dates, is smart and delightful and has one of the most infectious laughs I’ve ever heard. Photo by Kelsey Dickey.

Fannon mentioned making sure that you point out your friend accurately, lest you point to someone and they think you’re talking about someone else! This actually happened to me once a few years ago where my friend approached this hot fat butch I was into and said her friend was into them and they looked (seemingly at me) and said, “Oh, I’m not feeling it.” And then the hot fat butch asked me on a date a year later. When I asked what was up about that they said they thought she was pointing to someone else!

I’m also intentionally using the term “available” rather than “single” because people can be available (hello, polyamory/nonmonogamy) and people can be single and not available (for example, a period of chosen celibacy).

Abby
This is Abby who lives in Baltimore.

Pep Talks on the Go

I use Wing Men all the time. I don’t seem like on the outside it but inside I am wildly awkward around people I find attractive. Especially if I’ve got a full-blown crush, I feel like a mess. The single best thing my Wing Besties do for me is to provide pep talks and remind me that I’m a babe. You can totally use Wing People that aren’t even at a venue with you if you’ve got your phone and they are on text alert. I’ve even called friends right before a date just to get reminded that everything is okay.

I’m also a big fan of the social security blanket I get when I’m around people I am comfortable with. I feel much better stepping into my fierceness. I know this may seem weird because I get up on stage in front of thousands of people and am completely at home. But stage presence is a lot different than cold calling strangers one on one! I’m doing a thing now where I get Wing Men to go with me to professional networking events because it helps me feel more vibrant.

So just letting your Wing Folks know that you might need a pep talk is a great idea before you go out cruising, or asking for that help when you need it before you approach someone.

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This is Alix who lives in San Francisco, is available, super kinky and very much a Leo.

Go Digital!

There’s a new app coming out in November called Wing Ma’am. It’s basically the queer grindr. Using GPS technology, people turn it on and it shows who is out cruising nearby. One of my BFFs met his boyfriend on Grindr so I have some high hopes for how this will work in the queer community. Imagine going to a bar and whipping out your phone and knowing in a few clickies which hotties at the bar are available and what they’re looking for? It’s like having your Wing Man do the work of finding out whether the hottie is single at the click of a button. But in order for it to work friends have to get their friends on it and get it to spread. You can sign up for more information on their website. The developers are also really open to conversations about aspects of it, here’s a link to their contact form. I’ve definitely been talking to them about making it more broadly gendered and using inclusive language.

The app is also going to have event listings and whatnot, so it will be completely relevant as a community building tool even for non-available folks!

Laura
This is Laura, she’s available and lives in Brooklyn.

Tag and Release!

I am a huge fan of using Wing Men to tag and release. If I am talking to someone hot and I have to run off (as a party promoter this is pretty common because I need to do rounds, pay out my performers/staff or handle some kind of issue) I really love introducing the object of my desire to one of my Wing Femmes and having them keep them entertained. Number one, this is a great way to get dirt on them that you’ll hear later, number two it also, selfishly, keeps them occupied so other people won’t get to them! Yeah, yeah, the more the merrier but sometimes you want to put your name on a cupcake you’ve only gotten to have one bite of before someone swoops in to eat the rest!

Make the Wing Man Relationship Clear

I’m a lucky Femme that is surrounded by attractive people of all genders and presentations. This often means in heteronormy ways that people assume my masculine of center friends are my dates which is totally not true. (I’m 100% available right now, BTW.) If you’re Wing Manning it up for someone make sure to drop the “My friend” dripping with emphasis on buddy or whatever you need to do to ensure that the object of lust is aware y’all are just platonic.

ORRRR if you’re polymeowmeow, it is super important if you’re flirting with someone (or flirting on behalf) that the person understands your availability. I often assume if someone tells me three times about their polyamory that they are flirting with me and this is about 75% accurate.

Leah
This is Leah who is available and lives in Vancouver!

Get Their Attention

Fannon suggests this gem for the Wing Man. “Pretend it’s your friend’s birthday which gives the all points permission to ask someone out or tell them they are cute. If they hit it off and start dating, your friend just turns it into a ‘I didn’t know how to approach you and thought that would make it easier,’ which hopefully gets an “Awwwww, that’s so cute you needed a wing man” response.” While I’m not the biggest fan of lying to get people’s attention, this is cute and vaguely harmless.

Fannon also mentioned a great pick-up line (which only works if the person is available, you don’t want to anger someone’s girlfriend accidentally). “Encourage your friend to use the virtually fail-proof ‘Hey, I’ve never done this before but I think you are really cute, wanna make out?’”

Eavesdropping

Sometimes a Wing Man is good for eavesdropping to find out more information. I think the approach of actually meeting the person is a little more effective, but if you’re not ready to even make that move sometimes having your buddy just stand nearby to get a sense for what the group is doing at the event is helpful. Maybe there are common interests you could spring a conversation from?

Designated Friend

Fannon also said a good Wing Man will “Stay slightly sober so you can manage logistics and provide liquid courage for your friend.” It’s kind of like being a designated driver for hitting on people. It’s also nice to have a friend tell you, “No you’re not too drunk to talk to a new person,” or, “Yes, you are too drunk to talk to a new person. Stay right here and have some water.”

I hope this lighthearted list of ways to use your Wing People helps out folks who might be a little too shy to talk to strangers at events! Also, before you go out there refresh yourself with some ways to broach the subject of crossing the friend line I wrote about in Just Text Them.

If you’re interested in any of the available folks featured on this post, email me and I’ll put you in touch! queerfatfemme at gmail

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2013-09-04

How Private are your Facebook Posts?

Filed under: Queer Oprah — Tags: , , , — Bevin @ 11:30 am

I have noticed in the last few months that some of my friends have been posting to Facebook and unknowingly making those posts public. I have wondered if those friends realized it, when I see the little globe icon next to their status. I don’t want to assume people don’t know what they’re doing in terms of privacy settings, so often I don’t reach out to ask. But sometimes it’s pretty obvious they intend a post to be “friends-only” and it’s really posting so the whole wide world can see. It’s happened about a half a dozen times that the person didn’t know it was public and either had a social catastrophe or just a long period of stepping back in time manually changing the settings on a bunch of statuses themselves.

This post is a friendly heads-up to folks to check their default settings on Facebook and be wary of what they are putting on the internet intentionally public. Sure, this is going to be “duh” to some people, but if it saves a few of you from social catastrophe, I think that’s all the better.

If a post is friends-only, the little icon next to the time stamp on the status has a couple of stick figure heads on it.
facebookfriendsonly.jpg
If anyone knows of a campground I should look at within a couple hours of NYC, preferably also outside of Philly, let me know.

My personal Facebook account is intentionally friends-only. I sometimes crowd-source support, like when my cat Bear was dying, and I don’t need all of that stuff public.

If a post is public, the little icon next to the time stamp is a globe.
facebookpublic.jpg

My Rebel Gateau profile is intentionally public, since I use it to promote parties. If you want to get invites to my events, friend me there!

You can also make posts custom-privacy and exclude certain people. For example, if you’re crowd-sourcing support for a recent break-up and want to exclude your ex and their besties.

If you want to check your default settings, there is an icon next to your name on the top right hand side of the page that has a lock image–that’s a shortcut to show you what your future post settings are defaulting to. If you don’t want it to be public, double check that it’s defaulting the way you want it to.

And if you find you’ve been accidentally posting publicly… nobody ever died of awkward.

2013-02-04

Just Text Them: Four Text Message Ideas to Ask Your Friend to Go to the Next Level

I received the following comment to my popular blog post, Nobody Ever Died of Awkward: The Queer Fat Femme Guide to Battling Insecurity and Asking People Out:

So….you think texting is an ok way to ask a friend out or tell her you’re kinda into her? I’m a baby les and I’m terrrrrified of rejection or making a move. I’ve never done it before. I’m getting positive and negative signs from the girl I like. (she is gay and single). I just don’t want to look like a chicken s*it, but my friends are saying if she likes me it won’t matter so….. I don’t know

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A little glitter spanking between friends. Me and Fancy Feast at Rebel Cupcake. All photos by Kelsey Dickey.

Dear Queer:

The answer to your question is absolutely yes. In this day and age, just about everyone texts. Texting (and other text-based communications like email, gchat and Facebook message) is a very common way to communicate and can be a great way to do something you’re nervous about without having to look someone in the eye or feel foolish right in front of them if the answer isn’t yes. I’m actually wracking my brain to think of the last few people I’ve asked out or been asked out by and I think 90% of those were proposed via text or Facebook message. One person just told me, “I’m taking you out to dinner,” which was a bold move but luckily I wanted to go to dinner with her so I thought it was hot.

Often when asking someone out I get freaked out. A good strategy to try is to text her when you’re with a friend who can provide support, either in person or on a google video chat or whatever. As soon as you send the text get involved in a game or a TV show or something to keep your mind off whether she has texted you back yet.

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It is also helpful to remember that not everyone is ready to text you back right away. Maybe they are in class or are busy or something. And not everyone is an immediate texter. That can be really hard if you (like me) are basically plugged into your social media and texts all the time. Everyone has different relationships to these things. And, you also want to give her some space to have feelings or think about what you just asked her. Sometimes people need to adjust to a new, possibly different way of looking at an existing relationship.

Many times when asking someone out I have relied on a friend to basically write the script for me. Here is some sample language you can use to ask this lucky girl if she wants to go out with you:

SAMPLE ONE:

“Hey [Person’s Name]: I was wondering if you wanted to go on a date with me this weekend or next weekend?”

Very straightforward and unambiguous. Your intentions are clear. Incites a yes or no answer and allows details to be worked out later. If she isn’t free one weekend the option is available for the following weekend. If she doesn’t want to go out with you you’ll get a yes, no, or yes but not right now answer.

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SAMPLE TWO:

“I think you’re a great friend and all but I also think it would be fun if we kissed. Do you want to go on a date to check out our chemistry?”

More playful and open-ended. Less straightforward but still gets the point across. I love asking people out in creative ways. I think asking someone on a date makes them feel special. Like, “Hey I know we just ‘hang out’ all the time but I want to show you you’re special by sharing specific time together in a date way and wear my nice underwear.” Being asked on dates makes me feel special and will probably make her feel special, too.

SAMPLE THREE:

“I really appreciate our friendship but sometimes I wonder what would happen if we kissed. Do you want to find out?”

This one takes the “date” pressure out of it and just sort of puts your feelings out there without an actual end result. Sometimes asking someone out on a date is too much too soon and they just want to get used to the new style of spending time together.

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SAMPLE FOUR:

“If you asked me on a date I would say yes.”

I’ve used this clever line before* in a couple of contexts. It’s helpful because if the person you’re asking out is the type who likes to do the asking, you can let them know you’re ready when they’re ready. It’s also playful and gets the point across. Someone with whom I had already shared mutual non-platonic interest told me she wanted to see me so I tossed this gem at her in response. Because I wanted to go on dates with her and not just make out at dance parties.

Also, be prepared to have No be an okay answer. Nobody ever died of awkward and your friendship will totally bounce back from this. I have never once asked someone out who was an existing friend (or been asked out by an existing friend) and had our friendship suffer from a no answer. After a few days or a couple of weeks of letting my feelings of foolishness or embarrassment simmer down, I had so much free time available to develop crushes on new and different people. I appreciate the efficiency of just diffusing a pointless crush by asking someone out. I also appreciate my friends asking me out when they feel it come up because then I can give them an honest answer. Once I told my friend, “I’m not feeling this now because of the long distance aspect but let’s leave it open ended. We’re going to be gay for a real long time.”

Good luck with your text ask, I hope she says yet and you get properly banged if that is your desire!

*All credit for that line goes to Rachael who also was the originator of the term “Nobody Ever Died of Awkward.”

2012-05-29

Solicited Advice: Should I Email Her?

Hi Bevin,

So I am not sure if you put your email up on your website so that people could ask you for love advice, but I am going to try anyways! So here is the situation — I am a girl who is in my early twenties, my best friend goes to college up in Colorado and she developed a good friendship with a lesbian who I actually knew as well through years of playing club volleyball. I have gone to CO each year to visit my friend and the past two years I have gone there I have always flirted/made eyes at this girl (especially after a few drinks), and I developed a crush on her last year. I just recently went up to visit and had a very flirty exchange after going out and drinking (nothing happened but there was definitely something going on and she kind of hinted that she liked me) but nothing happened. It’s hard to explain this, but I really feel like she liked me, but I am just not sure, especially because I have little experience with same sex relationships and am not an open lesbian. Anyways, I left CO feeling a bit sad (they are seniors this year so I probably won’t be seeing her again) but her summer job is really close to where I live (just saying that it would not be out of the question to see her again). Anyways, I couldn’t stop thinking about her, so I even facebook friend requested her, I was hoping she would message me but I haven’t heard anything from her. I am considering messaging her and just saying hello, how are you doing or something like that, but I am also worried that my gut instinct is completely wrong and that I just developed all of this in my head and am crazy or something or even that she knows that i like her and would not appreciate me sending her a message. In a way I assumed that if she had felt as strongly for me she would have met me halfway and messaged me after I added her on FB, but then again she is an out lesbian and I probably come off as straight (other than my flirting–but that was also after a few drinks) anyways, could you give me any advice? Should I message her or just get over it? Thanks. [Name Redacted]*

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Blog posts are better with a photo and I have no photos of drunk eye flirts or volleyball.

[Name Redacted]!!!

I love giving solicited advice!

So, my advice is GO FOR IT. Re-read my entry about how nobody ever died of awkward.

The other day I was thinking about all of the friends I have who I at one time had crushes on or just wanted to make out with or something and I no longer feel that way and we’re just pals. It’s astounding how many people are in this category and how it’s so not awkward anymore that I totally forget that I once agonized over instances of drunk flirting.

And then there are the times that I went for it (especially via Facebook/MySpace in the olden days) because I’m so much better at being bold textually. And having gone for it I totally had big lusty/lovey relationships with folks who otherwise were too shy to roll up on me. Folks who lived far away from me who I had crushes on for years. One of those folks was the person I dated who passed away nearly two years ago and I am so so so grateful we had the time together we did and if I hadn’t been so bold before my visit to her town to proposition her for a make-out we likely never would have gotten together. Like, ever. Carpe diem. For real.

I think I said this in my nobody died of awkward post, but it’s still true–having someone not have reciprocal feelings for me is a really fast way for me to lose my boner for them. I mean, what’s the point if they don’t like me back?

So, anyway, much sex has been had because I was willing to make a move via email/facebook/in person or whatever. And most lesbians are pretty shy. This is why gay boys have way more sex than lesbians do. It is a mystery of the ages but I think women are socialized to be rolled up on and don’t make moves the way gay boys do. (Total generalization, but it is so true that you will have more sex with girls if you are willing to make the first move/s.)

As much as you think you’re “saying” by flirting, having drunk eye sex or facebook adding, you just have to count on folks to be mostly clueless and not pick up on signals.

So send her a flirty email that says how much you’ve enjoyed having eyes with her over the years and you want to see if she’s interested in making out next time you’re proximal. Whatever town that might be.

Good luck and thanks for reading my blog!

xoxox,

Bevin

(I actually wrote this advice back to her the same night. I had some time and the rambly earnestness was touching. I also didn’t address her not being out of the closet yet because she didn’t ask for advice about that! Also I got an email from her that she sent the message and received a favorable reply so let this be a lesson to you, dear reader, if you’re sitting on a potential email to a potential makeout. Send the message!!)

*Some details have been changed.

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