Lily_Cali_lily_flowersSTRAIGHT TO BED




In any given lesbian bar during the course a week someone will inevitably bring up the subject of straight girls.  A friend will say, “I’m seeing this straight girl,”  and someone will chime in sarcastically, “Yeah, she’s Straight, Straight to bed.”  Everyone will laugh, then cringe slightly at the remembrance of the last straight woman who broke her heart.


Your first straight girl will do one of two things.  She will fall in love with you, start to panic that she may be a lesbian, and throw herself back to men with complete abandon in the hopes of being saved from homosexuality.  Or she will fall in love with you, panic, run back to men, and then a year later you’ll see her in a club with her new girlfriend.  She may even thank you for having played an integral part in helping her finally come out.


Venus was the straight girl I dated for five years. She is tall, blond, blue-eyed and gorgeous like half the population of Norway. She was born in Minnesota, so I’m sure her ancestors were no strangers to fjords and viking ships.  Venus wasn’t her real name, it was Ingerlisa Ingseth.  Most people don’t even get one Ing in their name, she was blessed with two.  She didn’t bother to shorten her name to something manageable.  She just changed it.  I always thought people change their surname to get away from their families, and their first name to escape from themselves.  I don’t think Venus kept anything she was born with, and maybe that was wise.


When asked about her sexual orientation, Venus told most people she was straight.  When she and I first spoke at length, at a dance club, she said she was bisexual, and that was sexual enough for me.



I courted her for three months without receiving a single kiss.  We went out to dinner, movies, plays, dance, opera, poetry readings, clubs, and the zoo.  Once night, I even took Venus to a triple X-rated lesbian strip club.  She didn’t know whether to be impressed or insulted.  I wasn’t sure what response I was trying to elicit.  There are two ways to impress a woman when you are feeling incapable of being yourself, (which should the first clue you are dating the wrong person).  You can either take her to the hottest restaurant, most happening club, the sexiest film, and the most luxurious hotel.  Or go The Graduate route; hole in the wall restaurant, dive bar, and seedy motel.  It all depends on whether the girl is earthy or high maintenance.  It’s best to spoil the earthy ones and shock the high maintenance, for the simple reason that earth girls can’t be shocked and high maintenance girls are used to being spoiled.  I didn’t know what to do with Venus, she was a rare combination.  Part Berkie wearin’, hippy green-planet-girl, part baby blue silk dress and platform shoes, glam-godess.   But it didn’t seem to matter where we went or what we were doing, whenever I gently leaned towards her for a kiss she would shy away from me like she didn’t have lips.


Finally I let go of any hope that Venus and I would be lovers.  I started to treat her just like the rest of my friends.  I took her to my favorite dive bar in Hollywood called the Tiki Room.  “Tiki” because the ceiling was covered with so many Polynesian accouterments I was sure the drinks were twenty-five percent dust.  “Room” because the place was smaller than most hallways.  It contained one booth, a small bar, and a kiddy sized pool table which was tucked so closely to two walls you had to use a sawed-off stick to play pool.


Venus ordered an Old Fashioned, neat, whatever that meant.  I had some Absolute with enough cranberry juice to remind me I wasn’t drinking water.  We sat in the only booth.  Venus started to tell me about her travels to Amsterdam, but I could only see her lips toying with the cherry she had plucked from her drink.  I knew she wouldn’t eat the cherry.  She was a strict Vegan.  I told her to give eggs a break, but she wouldn’t.  It surprised me when actually began to eat the cherry.  I had to try to stop her.


“When I was a kid, after my parents divorced,”  I began telling her, before she quickly interrupted me.

“Didn’t I hear this story?”

“No, this is my maraschino cherry story, relax.”

“Okay, but it better be good.”  She leaned back and sipped her cocktail as I continued.

“My mother, a vegetarian, artist, make-love-not-war-type mom, took me to lunch one day.  I ordered a Shirley Temple which arrived with a cherry bobbing in the glass.  I grabbed the stem and was about to eat the cherry when my mom piped up.”

“`Don’t eat that,” she said, “It’s plastic.”

“Yeah right,” I said like a typical bratty teenager.

“It really is plastic” she insisted, this time grabbing my hand.

“Mom,” I said, “I know what you mean.  It’s unhealthy, and has a ton of sugar in it.

“No,” she said, “It’s plastic.  It’s been soaked in red dyes and formaldehyde and now it is plastic.”


“All right, whatever,” I said, and ate it anyway.

Then a week later, I was having lunch with my dad.  He is the exact opposite of my mother.  He was a scientific, left-brained-carnivore.  As he was about to take a bite from his beef dip sandwich, I was taking the cherry off my soda.  “Hey Dad,” I said, hoping we could establish a connection by railing on my mom, “Mom says these are plastic.”  I lifted the cherry.

He looked at the cherry and without missing a beat said, “They are.”

“They had never before agreed on anything.  I stopped eating maraschino cherries.”


Venus swung the cherry above her lips and smiled mischievously while lowering it to her mouth.  She dangled the cherry just short of her tongue taunting me, daring me to come close to her.  Why are women turned on by corrupting me?  That was our first kiss, and absolutely my last maraschino cherry.  Her tongue swirled inside my mouth like it was practicing for a better venue.  I would have taken her to one, but I knew if I’d waited three months for a kiss, anything more complicated might take years.


I kept a journal to document my progress with Venus.  This was a journal entry from just one of the nights I suffered over her:


I might have done something stupid today.  If I didn’t do something stupid, then I’m doing it right now by worrying that I did do something stupid.  I went to the Venice board walk and bought a beautiful Fossil watch for Venus.  I also got her a pair of one hundred percent organic cotton underwear.  So I’ve been sitting here, lying here, what’s the difference, wondering, stressing out over whether she thought the undies and the watch were a message.  I dropped them both off on her door step wrapped up in recycled paper with a tiny note card which said, “for once, I’m speechless.”  So I just realized she might think the message of the watch and panties means . . . How long?  How many minutes must I wait until we fuck?  Maybe I’m over analyzing this.


And on we went.  Courting had never seemed so civilized, it was completely identical to abstinence and yet Venus had my full attention.  After six months, I wasn’t even sure if I wanted to have sex with her.  Of course, that was when she made her move.  Women always spin one-eighty’s when you are sure you’re on a straight-away.  That’s how they tie you in knots.  She invited me over to her house for a sleep-over.  I didn’t want to think about whether we would have sex.  I don’t like to plan such things.  I just brought a long t-shirt, my tooth-brush and some baking soda tooth paste, as if she wouldn’t have her own.


We sat out on the balcony of her house overlooking the Hollywood Hills listening to Gregorian Chants.  Venus was a purest and had discovered the Gregorian Monks’ music long before Enigma had capitalized on them.  Venus leaned back in her chair and sipped her fluted glass of Pinot Noir like a true elitist.  I was her court jester and I knew it.  I was the token lesbian she had long-planned to capture and keep in a case with her scented oils.  I walked behind her and stood silently contemplating what to do next.  I opted for a bite of her neck.  Before she could scream or break out with a round of goose bumps I was locked to her nape somewhere between Napa and the Sonoma Valley.  She let her head fall back loosely, either she was in ecstasy or drained of blood.  I lifted her limp body in my arms.  No small task considering she was only a quart shy of an Amazon.  She seemed to melt against me as I carried her down the thin stair case to her bedroom.  The things we do for love.


I set her on the bed at exactly the same time the music ended.  She jumped up to throw more mood music at her stereo and mistakenly bumped into her brand new massage table.  Suddenly her attention shifted and she desperately wanted to give me a message on her table.  We had not even been remotely intimate yet she wanted me to hop up onto her nice sterile table so she could rolf me.  I said, “No.”


So she suddenly strips herself down to her angelic nakedness and I was sure she was gonna try to seduce me.  Instead, she grabbed two bath towels and laid on her massage table.  My mind was doing the backstroke through the sexual possibilities the table held within its eight legs, cushy top and head rest.  Venus’s mind was floating in another pool altogether.  She wanted to quell my fears about being massaged by explaining her technique to me.



“First,” she said in complete seriousness, “the client comes out and lies down with two towels.  They lie down like this and I move the towels thusly.”  She moved the towels slowly across her body.  “I do their legs and feet and then I adjust the towel.”  She adjusted the towels again.


“And then you kiss ‘em?”  I asked her as I leaned down and kissed her on the lips.


She seemed annoyed by my interruption, but continued.  “No, then I do their abdomen, chest and neck and I adjust the towels,”  she then pulled the towels back across her body.


“And then you kiss ‘em?” I kissed her playfully on her mouth.


“No,” she shot back, ignoring my behavior.  “Then I work their head and face and adjust the towels like this as they turn over.”  She began to turn over while maneuvering the towels like a flight attendant demonstrating procedure.


“When do you kiss ‘em?”  I demanded.


“Never,” she said flatly, “I never kiss them.”


I wondered about her sense of romance.  She got up from the table and stood so close to me I could feel the warmth radiating from her naked body.  She patted the table in an it’s-your-turn manner.  I shook my head back and forth.  She rubbed the table in a circular motion thinking this action would entice me.  I backed away.  She came toward me reaching for my hand and began pulling me to the table.


“Look,” I said, “I may let you message me, but not on a table.  It would have to happen organically through the course of a developing intimacy.  I just can’t hop up and let you work me.  I’d sooner let you give me a pap smear.”


“You,” she said chewing bullets, “just want to control spontaneity.”  She paused as if that statement would have me throwing myself on the table like a suicidal fish.  Controlling spontaneity did have a ring to it, but I didn’t think that was my master plan.


“Let’s just get to know each other before you do any deep tissue voodoo on me.” I said, as I sat down on her bed.


She was angry with me, I could tell by the way she was ringing the towels.  It was then that I learned a valuable lesson about lovemaking.  Never make love to an angry woman.  You may think it’s hot and scary, but while you’re thinking loving thoughts, she might accidentally, (on purpose) hurt you.

Finally, we did make love.  It wasn’t the smoothest journey, but she did have the biggest laughing orgasm I ever witnessed.  Oddly, she was still mad at me in the morning.  Not noticeably, but a woman can hide so much with a smile.