What’s your type?
By Clancy Fraser
She’s got little hands and slim wrists and I can pick her up when she wraps her legs around my waist. I’m wondering –if my type of man is burly, what’s my type of woman? A silly question, I don’t have a type of woman: I am a woman and that’s all there is to it. I’m not interested. I’m so not interested I don’t look her in the eye all night -just to prove that I’m not interested.
Somehow we still end up in conversation and I’m asking questions like ‘But who would be the man in the relationship?’ And later, after our second date I tell my friends (strangely proud) that it’s me, I’m the man in the relationship –well if there was one it’d be me. She shakes her head and says,
‘You still don’t get it, do you?’
I said something stupid like that in front of her friends once and they said
‘But what makes you more manly?’ And then another one said,
‘What counts as manly?’ and another,
‘What makes a man?’ It does my head in.
But I’m not gay. I’m not, I tell people, and they nod rather seriously. I’m just in love with a woman. Just one. She’s the exception to the rule. After a while I’m not sure why I feel the need to stress this point.
She pauses to sip her drink and I realize that I’ve been talking to her for two hours because she’s the only one I want to talk to in this whole party. And then it clicks that she’s been talking to me and I’m flattered and I’m thrilled and a part of me is just looking for an excuse to say ‘fuck it’ and get on with the whole thing and then she brushes her hand against mine… and she’s got me. I don’t have a choice in the matter at all. And she leans in close and says,
‘Well, what are you waiting for?’ No guy could ever get away with a line like that. And I kiss her like a dope and wonder if I’ll get lipstick smeared across my lips and then everyone will know…
After our fourth date I do up my bra and wonder ‘Does that count?’ And when I ask her she laughs like it’s the funniest thing in the world.
But seriously, does that count? I don’t feel like I’m too sure about anything any more.
She leads me into the backyard and presses me up against the fence and kisses me again and doesn’t even care who sees. If anyone asks me how I came out, I say ‘Up against a fence in the rain.’ I have to admit that I like the sound of that.
Six months in and I’m still looking down at my feet like they’re going to sprout sensible shoes, and looking at my legs to see if I’ve stopped shaving yet and haven’t realised. I’ve had no drastic haircuts and my favourite mini skirt is still my favourite mini skirt. People tell me I ‘don’t look gay’ and I’m starting to get it’s about the same as saying ‘you don’t look like your favourite colour is blue’. Do gay men hear the same thing? I suppose it must be different because all gay men really are like that, you know… and my friends start to take bets on when my latent ability to use power tools will come into effect.
I’m waiting for her to ask me for my number when suddenly it clicks that there’s no reason she should go first. All my social constructs are falling away and I feel weirdly free and empowered and sexy. I misspell her name twice in my phone while I’m typing it in. It develops into a running joke between us that I become illiterate whenever I’m turned on.
On our anniversary she asks me with a sly smile if it’s sunk in yet. I say,
‘It’s starting to’. I think she probably knows I told my friends (loudly and often) that I was just experimenting, that this was my classic, cliché lesbian phase. Did that make her feel like I was only with her for the novelty factor?
When she laughs her hand goes straight to the back of my neck, and the effect is instant: I feel like she could kiss me at any moment. I’m straight, I’m straight, I’m straight –so why am I blushing? Why am I making out with a lesbian? When I stutter my words I cough to try and hide it and end up choking on my drink. She looks concerned,
‘I’m st- I’m fine.’ I say hastily and she raises her eyebrows at me knowingly. ‘Really I am’ I say, pretending that it’s true.