Jenny Block asks: Do you switch? And if you don’t, why the hell not?!
The first time we kissed, she pushed me up against the side of my Wrangler and pinned me tightly to the cold metal. I’m not going to lie. I love that shit and I seriously melted at the sheer aggression she displayed out of the gate. But it’s not the only way I like to play. And since it was our first date, I wondered immediately if she could, well, switch.
I’m a small girl — barely 5-even on a good day — and Gap Kids fits me better than Gap. But I’m no shrinking violet. I speak my mind to anyone who will listen and I have never once met a stranger.
This has left me in a quandary when it comes to sex. Girls make assumptions about who I am in bed because of my small stature and femme presentation. They automatically assume submission. They often also assume fragility as well.
I’ve made the unfortunate choice of not being true to my sexual self in the past and it hasn’t gone well. I allowed girls to treat me like a submissive and acquiesced when they said they didn’t ever want to find themselves on the receiving end.
But the truth is, as much as I love to be thrown around, I can also enjoy taking the lead myself. So when I discovered that my now-girlfriend, the one who pinned me so aggressively to my Jeep that night, could play on the submissive side as well (and could change roles on a dime, at that!) all the bells went off in my head. The good bells.
I whispered nasty things in her ear. I climbed onto her lap. I told her what to do and I reminded her what would happen if she didn’t see fit to obey. And then I held my breath, eager — and a little bit anxious — to see how she would react. No doubt she could have tossed me off her lap. This was all about the mindfuck, the power play and if this was going to work for more than a night or two, I needed to know if she was in.
Her eyes went soft and breath quickened. She was frozen in her seat and she obeyed me to the letter and I have never felt more relieved or turned on. In a snap this girl was happy to be whoever it was her turn to be. Taking turns. One of the first and best lessons we learn as a kid. Makes sense now more than ever to play by those rules. That way, everyone on the playground is assured a good time.
They call that being “a switch.”
To my mind, it’s magic … might even be the secret to avoiding lesbian bed death. With so many roles to play, how could you ever get bored? With this kind of fluid role reversing, you get to be all the things you are and want to be and even never realized you could or wanted to be.
How do you know if you’re a switch? Well, if you like playing both sides of the fence, as it were, that might be the exactly who you are.
It erases the “this is what femme sexual behavior looks like” and “this is what non-femme (soft butch, fill-in-the-blank) sexual behavior looks like and instead introduces my favorite kind of sex — “this is what sex looks like for you and me as we define it and change it and explore it as we go.”
Being a switch doesn’t mean you have to do anything. Toys and strap-ons and every position under the sun are at your disposal, but not required. All it means is that you always get to choose and the options to choose from are infinite regardless of whether you wear your hair long or short, whether your go-to shoes are high heels or loafers, whether you fancy yourself super girly or not so much.
Being born a lesbian feels like a very lucky lot. It’s a brave new world and we get to define it for ourselves as we see fit. I can be a femme in the streets, and a butch and a femme in the sheets and there is no one who can tell me otherwise. All you have to do is find a girl who knows herself well enough to enjoy the switch without having her ego wrapped up in all things sexual.
Ego is our biggest enemy in bed. It keeps us from pleasure because it makes us think we have to prove something in bed. But you don’t. I promise. You can be a bad ass in business and a pussycat in bed. You can be the kind of girl who does not take any shit in the boardroom and be a total push over in the sheets. Sex is play. Period. As long as you remember that, your orgasm quotient will go up exponentially.
There’s something comforting about being able to name yourself. I’m not generally one for boxes or putting myself in one. But the human in us all has a longing to know where we belong. So, as much as I advocate “do you” whatever that means, if a label helps ease your mind — as it has occasion to ease mine — then it’s nice to have this one at your disposal.
Forget the roles. Get out of your head. And switch it up. You’ll be glad you did!
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This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition May 8, 2015.