DEAR LADY A:I’ve recently gotten into debates with some very good friends of mine. They think that as a lesbian, I absolutely MUST earn my “red wings.” I know that “I’ve done it, so why hasn’t she?” is what is going through their minds.
I personally find period oral sex to be disgusting. Blood is not sanitary and, as a fanatic of vaginal nectar, it’s also the last thing I want to taste during sex. Am I being a bland, vanilla prude? Should I just suck it up (no pun intended)? Or am I right?
– Obstinate in Oklahoma
DEAR OK: I’m not sure I’m following the, “I’ve done it, so why hasn’t she?” logic of your friends’ argument, but I’ll get to that queer sabotage in a moment. Regarding your sanitary concerns: Menstrual blood is a body fluid and as such can spread STDs including HIV. Which means, if you haven’t both been tested and monogamous, regardless of your predilection for or against the taste of blood, you shouldn’t do it without a dental dam. Now, if you’ve tested and vetted, determined the risk to be nada and still just plain hate the idea, I want to assure you that your position on this subject is far from abnormal and most certainly does not make you a default “vanilla.” Many women (and men who sleep with women) have misgivings about period oral and that’s nothing for which you should ever apologize. That said, women are often at their horniest when it’s “that time of the month” and I think it’s important to honor your lady’s needs to the extent that you’re comfortable, whether that means scissoring, mutual masturbation or simply rubbing against each other until she comes. Also worth trying might be shower oral with a tampon inserted. But if it’s truly the taste of her period chemistry that turns you off, there’s probably nothing you can do but wait four to seven days. You’re a connoisseur of vaginal flavors, but not so much when said nectar goes from briny, peachy creaminess to a dark, beefy demi-glaze. Hey, some people fetishize menstruation sex, used tampons and such, and some people would rather stick a dildo in their eye (Warning: don’t stick a dildo in your eye.) No side of this debate is actually wrong, but friends who tell you to go against your basic sexual instincts are.
What bothers me, about the “absolutely MUST” part of your Red Wings debate, is that we queer ladies insist on subjecting ourselves to our own silly, self-imposed lesbian ratings system. You’re the most perfect specimen, a Gold Star Lesbian, when you’ve never been with a man; you’ve earned your Red Vag of Courage when you’re willing to go down on a bloody muff. If you’re Femme-Bi you earn the fewest dyke points because you’re “still trying to please men”; and if you’re Butch you’d better also be a Top because that’s what butches are supposed to do… The problem is, it’s oversimplified bullshit, stereotyping, and frankly, it’s insulting. With all these rankings, gold stars, wings, medals and rainbow-colored stripes, we’ve got women walking around in full-combat gear with lesbian proficiency badges on their pockets wondering, “What do I have to do next to prove how serious I am about my sexuality?”
Living queer should be less pressure than earning a scout badge or a tiara in a beauty pageant. I think we ladies should stop putting pressure on each other to hit random gay milestones, stop looking at sexual intimacy as some sort of scavenger hunt; and stop following arbitrary status rules as if they came down from the lesbian high council (Anyway, everyone knows the high council has been disbanded for years. Since Lilith Fair ended in ‘99, I believe).
Look kitten, stay obstinate, stay OK, and stay honest with yourself. Because badges and labels are fun and a time saver, but when your friends start telling you you’re not a good enough lesbian until you’ve had menstrual blood in your mouth, it’s time to get real. You know what makes you a good lesbian? The fact that you like women. Period. Or not.