Wednesday, July 9, 2008

lipstick on your cock

A little picture-puzzle for you all: What is wrong with this picture?

Before you say, lose the Macy’s Bag (full of sushi and chicken karaage--it's a picnic after all)and dumb gang-signy fingerings, comb your bangs, and mend your stockings, I ask you to follow my 90s t-shirt and read my lips:

...moisturized, but unlipsticked. Of course, this is not so unusual; just because I have an everyday lipstick doesn’t mean I wear my lipstick every day. But think about the context: here I am, a lipstick lesbo, in San Francisco, in Dolores Park, surrounded by lesbians before the annual Dyke March. And I’m not wearing my femme-signifying lipstick?

Here’s my shameful confession: I haven’t been wearing my red lipstick very much since I arrived in San Francisco a little over a month ago because I’ve been trying to snag and shag some boys. Because the inconvenient truth is, boys who like boys tend to like boys who look like boys. Ever since my divorce a few years ago, I’d been feeling a bit insecure about the homosexual desirability of my femmeness—which is why I immediately chopped my hair off when my ex husband dumped me. But my hair’s grown back, and along with my Mary-Kate Olsen-meets-Barbara Stanwyck wardrobe logic, my lipstick’s come back too...with a vengeance. And it all feels lovely...until the summer months hit and I remember that I need to have sex once in a while.

So a few weeks ago, I met up with an internet-procured hook-up, for which I used a picture from that fateful aforementioned summer of 2006, mainly because I haven’t taken a shirtless picture of me since then (nipple baring feels indecent to me now!), and my body has not changed since then. What is different, however, in that photo, is that my hair is boy (or young dyke--what's the diff) short, and my mouth is lipstick-free. So this guy and I bounce emails with attachments back and forth a few times, and he’s like, “Oh yeah, I like your look,” and I, feeling sexually ethical, say, “Well, my hair is a lot longer now...down past my shoulders.” No big deal, he says, so we meet.

I could feel the disappointment in the air almost instantly the moment I stepped in the door of this guy's apartment. The actual encounter was...uneventful (my highlight: licking his appendectomy scar...which, by the way, was quite nice). But the radical indifference that marked the erotic energy of the afternoon was capped off when, hanging out limply naked next to each other, the guy says out loud what I suspected he wanted to say an hour or so earlier: “Wow, your hair is really long, isn’t it?” It was not an admiration. The wistful way he said it carried the tone of: “Wow, your penis is really not as big as it was in the picture, is it?”

I guess I deserved it. One of the most impossible tasks in the world is to shape your body around the guessed-anticipated desires of another. And I’d been doing just that for the past few weeks, figuring, probably correctly, that boys who like boys would find me attractive if I de-femme a bit. And showing up for this “date,” I had even dressed down, I thought. I wore my usual cleave-baring but simple black v-neck t-shirt (not a ragged Hole or Satan-promoting Danzig shirt), a plain cardigan (also black—no embroidered pansies), and my ultimate sacrifice, "loose" tsubi jeans in size 8 instead of 6 (those are Australian sizes, by the way) for a less stockinged and butthugging look. Imagine if I had showed up wearing my usual Madame Mao-red lipstick.

Later that evening, as she picked me up from the BART station, I recounted this sad tale of femme-failure to my little sister. Her reliably hard-boiled reply: “Well, you could always cut your hair short and buy clothes from Diesel.” To which I could only answer with a hard-boiled laugh: of course I couldn’t do either of those things.

So what’s a girl to do? At this point, trying to “butch up” for the boys is like trying to become white because some racist boys are physically cute. So, I march on with my red lipstick while waiting for that special boy who can correctly read my lipstick. To clarify: this is not a boy who fetishizes lipstick. Because there are plenty of fags out there who advertise for “pussyboys,” but these are not the boys for me. For me, red lipstick is the glowing invitation to the gates of delicious hell that is sexuality, and NOT sexuality itself. Red lipstick makes me feel sexy for sure, but “sexy” is not the same as “horny.” In the film “Notes On a Scandal,” when Cate Blanchett’s schoolteacher character feels utter isolation and depression from her sexual misconduct of seducing a teenager student, she plies on red lipstick, along with purposefully sloppy black eyeliner. She returns her body to the Siouxsie Sioux clone of her teenage years.




She does this so that she can wipe clean, however momentarily, the squeaky-clean “good wife and mother” persona she’d accumulated over the years, to distill the source of her unethical sexuality—which is not horniness, but feminine fury. Wearing the lipstick, Blanchett does a rifling through of Judi Dench’s apartment that is, in its primal physicality, a thrashful dance deserving of a punk soundtrack.





This is the kind of sexy I feel in red lipstick. It leads me to emotions, not positions. I will not let my sexual-romantic destiny be backed into a corner alley, settling for some guy for whom lipstick on boys is purely a sexual thing, tantamount to prancing around in mommy’s underwear. No, I’m an eternal romantic, and I will have to wait for that perfect boy who will fall in love with this femme and only then DISCOVER that he likes having the circumference of his fellated penis lipstick-ringed in red.

2 comments:

hizaashi said...

Hi there! I'm an old friend of Sophie Stone's, who is away from RISD this summer in Ireland, she directed me to your blog, and I'm very taken by the subjects you write about, I would love to chit chat with you! Send me an email at nickg1186@hotmail.com and we can talk more, I'd rather not leave more text here unrelated to the subjects at hand, so let me leave a thought or two that connects to your post-

Have you read the book "Whipping Girl: A transsexual woman on sexism and the scapegoating of femininity"? There's a chapter towards the end called "Putting the femme back into feminism" which also discusses the idea of empowering oneself through femme gender expression, and the way in which feminism traditionally shuns these innate feminine qualities, and typically pushed them away while empowering the butch. It's interesting, and in my own opinion, much more risky to use these practices and aesthetics (your lipstick, for example, or really any male-born/assigned person who takes back their femininity) and therefore exciting/unexpected/powerful, and does not simply reinforce the hierarchical binary. Whew! I totally went on a rant!

If you haven't read this book, I highly suggest it, and if so, let's chat about it more, among other things! Your blog is very thought provoking and resonates deeply with me!

Hope all is well

Best,
Nicki

Lee Gallery said...

In my mind there is nothing sexier than a woman's lipstick rings around a cock, I find that very sexually stimulating also...

I also have a quote of my own, it goes: "If you can't be who you want to be... How can you be who you are...?"

I believe make up is what makes a woman feminine, but that is also a choice, but to be respected for who and what we are is paramount to happiness within ourselves :-)

Live free, long and prosper.

Lee x