Lest you have any doubts about why I’m up on this stage tonight, I’ll make my intentions abundantly clear: I am here to cruise every single last one of you. Perhaps stumblingly, perhaps juggling my heart around in my nervous hands. But, I’m cruising you hard, darlings. I have this thing, see, where I get crushed out easy. And I always feel like I’m flirting with the audience, even if I’m not reading about sex, and… What can I say? You’re a hot bunch. I really want you think I’m talented. I really want you to think I’m hot, and smart. And what you’re probably thinking as I admit this to you is “Damn, this girl is neurotic, she kin’a... overshares. That Gina, she -- she’s awkward, and shy.” But I’m telling you all this because I know that at least one of you will understand. At least one of you knows what it’s like to be shy and to push yourself. It’s why I get onstage even though I have horrible stage fright. It’s why I flirt. That push out of what feels comfortable into something scary, but sweet, and delicious. Isn’t that what sex is, sometimes?
Sidenote #1: If any of you consider yourselves quiet, or bookish, or dorky, or shy, or not pretty enough... Just remember that flirting awkwardly is much better than not flirting at all.
You intimidate me.
You’re so cool, so collected and calm, just sitting there, waiting to be entertained. You’re like that one really hot, sought-after, popular butch top, perched on her bar stool like it’s a throne. Like that badly-lit, funky little club with the ripped-up pool table and the toilet that’s perpetually clogged is, in actuality, a palace. Her palace. She’s the one that everyone cruises, femmes and butches and spunky androgynous genderqueers. I’ve even seen gay men flirt with her. Her masculinity is that inviting and intriguing, a cloud of sex and muscle hovering around her. She’s the one with the James Dean stance and the pomade in her pocket; or maybe she’s more punkrock than greaser, with spiked hair and an eyebrow ring; or maybe she’s got glasses and grey at her temples, and she’s rocking the sexy English professor look.
Sidenote #2: This look, by the way, is very difficult to pull off, but extremely affective if you do it right. Never underestimate the sex appeal of a bespectacled woman who has read more than you.
Whichever kind of Sir this one is tonight – punk, greaser, professor, poet – she’s most definitely tucked a pocket knife into her leather vest. A pocket knife that springs open, gleaming. A blade that slices through t-shirts, slips, fishnets, denim, a blade that knows how to demolish cotton and lace and satin underwear. A blade that has grazed more necks and thighs than I could ever imagine touching. (And I will admit to you, dears, that I’ve touched a fair number of thighs.)
This top, this top is the one that has a line of willing bottoms wrapped around the bar, going out the door, and spilling out onto the street. Jumpy, jittery, excited like kids in line for the merry-go-round, just waiting for the privilege of bringing her a cocktail. And I’m in that line, and I’m nervous, because I don’t know what she prefers. I don’t even know if she drinks, I mean, maybe she just wants a soda. Maybe I’m being presumptuous even getting in line in the first place, maybe she only likes butch things. I mean, I heard her last girlfriend was a boy. My tastes are fairly catholic, but maybe her tastes are... less diverse. Maybe I should just get out of line. Go back to the dark little table where my friends are sitting, moaning about how much they hate dyke bars, moaning about how much I hate dyke bars, telling me, “Gina, dude, c’mon, you never go to bars. You’re always talking about how you hate dyke sceney-ness, and this place is chock full of hipsters. You like hanging out places where nobody trips into your lap smelling like beer and a bad idea. You like Scrabble. Did you really drag us here to cruise some woman who doesn’t even know your name? We’re going back to your place, come on, girl.” They try to pull on my arm, but I convince them to stay, Just another 10 minutes, please, guys? Because I want her to notice me. My eyes are crush eyes, full and sparkling. I really wouldn’t be surprised if I looked in the mirror and saw two glowing red hearts in my pupils and a halo of cupids dancing around my head. I am brimming with happiness and sex, brimming with sweetness and dirtyness just being in her presence. I’m out-of-my-league, and scared as hell, and I’m loving every minute of it.
Yeah, you guys... You guys are totally like that.
Consider this reading flirtation, then. Consider it foreplay. This is where I dress up really pretty. I get a haircut that brings out my curls. I pick out my sexiest garter belt, and my laciest bra, and my frilliest underpants. I wear fishnets without holes in them. Unless you’ve hinted to me that you like your girls scrappy and punkette. Then, I pick out the most fucked-up pair imaginable. The pair that could only marginally be called stockings, the pair that’s just barely hanging from my garters by a thread, the pair that you’re probably gonna cut off my legs in forty-five minutes, anyway, so do the holes really matter? They’ll just make them that much easier to rip.
Sidenote #3: If you like a girl, and you notice that she wears ripped stockings a lot, there’s a good chance that she wants someone to tear them to shreds. You, perhaps. Ask nicely before you do it. Be gracious if she says no. Ask her if she wants your hands or your knife anywhere else. And please, don’t rip up her underwear unless you have a spare pair in her size to give her when you’re finished.
I write because if I didn’t write, I’d go crazy. I am convinced that writers put pens to paper and fingers to keyboard because we have no other options. But I perform to turn people on. I perform because I get to be an exhibitionist and a voyeur at the same time. Now, by now, most of you have probably figured out that I’m an exhibitionist. Most of you probably even knew that before you came here tonight, I mean, what, a good third of you have seen me naked on the internet? A good half of you have seen me naked in person, even if it’s just from a distance, at a party? I think that even the shyest sex writers are exhibitionists. I’ve learned to embrace that instead of denying it.
But the really sexy part about performing – the part that’s always the most fun for me – is watching an audience respond. Seeing how you react. It’s as thrilling for me as looking up at you from my knees when I’m sucking your dick. It’s as awe-inspiring as sliding my fingers into your wet, open cunt. It’s as sudden and beautiful as a hard slap across my face, as sliding a gleaming needle under hungry skin.
Seeing you throw your head back, like you’re coming, like you’re breathing hard and deep while I hurt you. Seeing your mouth open wide, brimming with possibility – because laughter and orgasms and pain all look a lot alike. Seeing your brows furrow, the little questions and joys on your face. Hearing the contented sighs, the small murmurs of agreement. The sharp, slight intake of breath when something shocks you, or turns you on. You’re why I do this. You’re why I like this. Meeting you. Watching you. And cruising you, yes.
So, what do you say, Daddy, Ma’am, pretty girl, sweet boy? What do you say, filthy, gorgeous, outrageous, blessed ones? We got a date sometime?