Find the Right Person
It was late at night and, just like every other for the past week and a half, I was waiting for a co-worker to pick me up. The weather left a layer of sweat on my skin, the cool feeling of the AC once I hopped into her car was refreshing. Music blasted to the point where I could feel each beat and bass line shake my bones, again, just like every other night, and I relaxed against the passenger seat.
“I noticed your tattoo,” she looked away from the road and gestured to the rainbow tattoo on my wrist. She continued to speed and swerve and finesse her way through the city, the music suddenly low but loud enough to keep my ears busy.
I knew what she was referring to, but as many queer people know, revealing your sexuality was risky; someone could seem nice and cool, but you never know their values or morals or even basic look of things until you really get to know them.
(Our regular carpools always consisted of small talk and my fear of crashing from her need for speed).
I acted as if she referred to the ink on my opposite wrist. “Oh yeah.” I waited to see if she would continue.
“So, are you like gay? A lesbian?”
My hands suddenly became sweaty; I locked my phone to wipe my hands on my jeans. “Uh, yeah.”
“That’s cool, I have a friend who’s a dyke,” her eyes were both focused on the road and her phone, the curls from her hair falling into her face when she passed me the device. “So, are you into butches or femmes?”
I was still in shock, both from her apparent acceptance of this part of me and her openness and comfort level to ask me intense follow-up questions. I swallowed and looked at the pictures of her friend as my heart beat quickly. A car honked and she cursed. “Um, I don’t really have a preference... I don’t know. I’m not really dating right now.” I handed her the phone while she switched lanes.
“So you’ve never been with a guy?” she asked.
I mentally rolled my eyes and sighed, the car gaining in speed. Ah yes, the question every lesbian likes to hear and be asked. “No.” I’m a lesbian I added again in my head.
She laughed in disbelief, but it wasn’t in judgement. “I remember when I was a virgin.” We came to a sudden stop, the seat belt nearly crushing my chest.
My eyes popped open and it took almost everything in me not to scream. "Well, just because you don’t sleep with a guy, it doesn’t make you a virgin. Girls lose their virginity to other girls in plenty of other ways—"
Her hand shifted into a different gear and we continued to swerve on the highway. “You ever use a strap? Someone on you?” Suddenly the questions became personal and I froze. I am a very private person, I’ve never vocally expressed my feelings and thoughts when it came to sex or love or much anything else because of my fear for conversation.
She tossed her phone in her lap and waited for my answer. I thought about just shrugging and jumping out of the car, but knowing her and her openness and exuberance, I answered. “I’m not really into that stuff. Sex really.”
“Wow, so you never ate a girl out?” The rev of the engine.
I could feel my cheeks physically catch on fire. “No.”
“Wow,” she repeated. “That’s crazy.” We approached a yellow light but she continued to increase the speed of the car.
I spoke up, my hands shaking and my tongue going dry. “I’m actually a lesbian ace.”
Her question of the word was not surprising in the slightest. It was unknown, it seemed, to most of humankind. I was actually quite excited to say who I was. I’ve never spoken it aloud prior to this moment in her car — now with the windows rolled down and the highway wind making my eyes burn — and it was exciting to finally get it off my chest.
“I’ve never heard about that before.”
A dry chuckle found its way past my lips. “Yeah, a lot of people don’t know about it. I didn’t, actually, until last year.” My heart continued to pound and I sat up straight, body completely facing her. “I’m asexual so, I don’t really have sexual attraction. I like girls romantically, emotionally...” I would go on to explain how it’s more in depth than that, but you could only explain so much on a 15 minute car ride to work. “I don’t mind kissing sometimes or holding hands but anything else is...,” I shook my head and hit the air with the back of my hand, “...no. Just no.”
She turned the music up a little louder. “So you never had sex?” she nearly shouted.
I cringed. “No.” I scrunched my face at the thought.
“You’ve never had an orgasm.” she concluded sliding into another lane behind another car with ease.
I tilted my head, bit my lip and suddenly found the courage to speak on things I’ve only talked about to one other human being. “Oh no, I’ve had them.”
“But I thought—“
“Sexual attraction and sexual drive aren’t the same.” Again, another conversation that couldn’t be fit into a 15 minute car ride.
She seemed confused, and I didn’t fault her. A straight girl who only messed with dudes wouldn’t have a reason to know about stuff like this. “I can see you in five years with a girl.” We were just a minute away from our job’s parking lot and, on one hand, I was grateful this conversation would be over, but on the other, I knew I’d never open up to someone like this for a long time. “I sure hope so,” I laughed nervously. “I’ve only been with one person and people tend to leave or mysteriously disappear once they find out I’m not interested in sex.”
“Really? That’s fucked, girl.” she swerved in the streets. “You two will be fucking every day, I already know.” she went on with a knowing grin.
I furrowed my eyebrows, but confused and wondered if this is what ‘normal’ people talked about. “Um, I don’t know. I just told you I’m not into that.”
“Maybe you’ll find the right person. I don’t want to fuck every guy I’m with at first.”
It was obvious she didn’t get it so I played along. “Maybe. But I don’t think so.” I pressed my lips together and nearly jumped out of the car when we, at last, pulled into the parking lot. “You’ll find the right person, don’t worry.” she assured once she turned the car off. My jaw dropped to the car floor, my brain struggling to interpret the conversation I had just experienced.
I left the car and kept a tight grip on my lunch box. I didn’t want ‘the right person’ to include me having to reside to having sex. The right person would love me for who I was without expecting physical intimacy. Finding 'the right person' was different for everyone, and I wasn’t interested in finding them if they couldn’t love all of me. Love me for me.
The right person is ‘right’ for a reason and, in a world full of sex and sexual desire, it’s hard to communicate and thrive when everyone seems to want all things to end in sex as the final touchdown.
You’ll find the right person? I really hate that saying.