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Rachel Kramer Bussel - First-Timers.docx
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Thank You, Frannie, Wherever You Are Lynne Jamneck

For the sake of making her feel at ease, I'll call her Lola. I'll call myself Kate. I've always wanted to be a Kate, but I ain't got the freckles. Or the gun. Girls called Kate should carry big firearms.

You know, when you're young you have balls the size of Montana and simply no clue. Of course, you'd never admit it, because that would go beyond the Code of Butch, and that, well... that's just tantamount to being spiked and skewered, really. Can you see I'm a Stephen King fan?

But I digress.

The first time I saw Lola, her ex was in the backseat of her car. I saw the ex, but I noticed Lola. She was wispy, and seemed sweet, and she was fucking sexy as hell. My butch cojones fluttered. I had no style back then, Lola told me later. It was she who taught me not to stick my shirts way down my jeans like that. Dorky.

Lola would surprise me.

Our first date was having respectable drinks at a place overlooking the ocean. Our second date three days later was at her house. She slept upstairs in the loft. The high-ceilinged acoustics were tremendous.

We were going to watch a movie. She rented one she'd already seen. Clever minx. She was not as innocent as she seemed.

Our first kiss on her single bed was already a fight for supremacy. Almost immediately, she had me underneath her when I knew I wanted to be on top. It was because of those outdated issues of Spare Rib I'd read at seventeen. Those feminist journals all carried contradictory messages. The personal is not political as they liked to tell you, it's fucking personal! Feminism brings out the sailormouth in me.

But I digress again.

I wanted to fuck Lola all right, but I had no idea ho>v. When last did you hear a butch dyke say that?

Sitting in my room, crunched into a tight ball on my bed, I knew I wanted to do several things to her. Those "unnatural things" you hear about on Sunday mornings. (And by the way, side note: the more you tell someone not to do something, the more they want to. It's ironic, but encouraging.)

I smoked one cigarette after another, but their influence offered no answers. They just made me feel cool and suave and debonair and started the whole libidinous puzzle all over again. Because smoking will do that. Make you feel cool. And when a butch starts to feel cool, she gets cocky, and all she wants to do is conquer. Take my word for it. Overcome, overpower, surmount.

Lola was my first femme. She gave new meaning to Bruce Springsteen songs. She was a puzzle because she acted all shy and demure when I looked in her eyes, but when it came to sex the boy in her awoke. I started to realize very soon that there was something Lola wanted to do to me, something no one else had ever done. Like the song goes—I had a little secret.

I was in poised confusion. On one hand, I was entertaining myself with fantasies of fucking Lola, and on the flipside I had to figure out how I was going to give myself over to her. Her intentions were becoming clearer by the day.

She used to drive us around town. Expensive sunglasses gleaming on her nose, my hand on the inside of her thigh, and the African sun bleeding on her hair. We'd get takeout and eat it parked by the graveyard. I found it mildly stirring that we'd want all those dead people to know there were dykes eating KFC outside the gates.

Lola had a brother. He was as queer as the idea of democracy and lived with his boyfriend in the same house as Lola, downstairs, while she had the loft upstairs. He was a whiz with computers and made music using a mouse and a keyboard. Every fag is a DJ, whether they prescribe to the stereotype or not. Somehow it's just special when a gay man plays Gloria Gaynor instead of hearing it from the turntable of a thirty-five-year-old straight divorcee, you know?

Upstairs. That's where Lola and I would be. On her bed, bodies touching, talking in short sentences. Talking slow and long, and making out the same way, trying, trying to be quiet. And Lola, trying, trying to get her hand inside me.

What was I to do? I spoke to myself from inside the bathroom mirror, black hair cut to a buzz, wearing protective flannel armor.

Lola was my second.

Right at the beginning there was Francesca. I'll call her that because she wont like it. My revenge in words, ha. Even better—Frannie.

Frannie had issues. She wanted me to do all sorts of things to her, except put my fingers in her cunt, which is what I wanted to do.

When I was twenty, Frannie's bartender hands initially revealed to me that I was indeed most definitely a dyke, down to my budding Daddy complex, which would slowly start to assert itself over the next ten years. Hey, fuck off—I'm a late bloomer.

After I fell for Frannie, she went away and wrote me a letter and said thanks for the support, but she's not the committing type. Two months later, Lola rose out of her little car in front of me like a vision and I was in deep trouble.

I was a virgin.

Sex, you know.

It's a curious thing to think about because most butch dykes will never admit to ever being intact. There's this magnificent fallacy that they emerge from the womb already strapped in and knowing how to swing that thang and how to make a woman come in three strokes flat. It's not true, of course. The fact that they'll convince you of the opposite is just part of their charm.

Lola used to get this wicked grin when I listened to my Indigo Girls CDs. She saw the latent talent in me. She always said I was a diamond in the rough. Nonetheless, first it was time to surrender myself to her. Or I'd never know her the way I'd want to.

Kate and Lola, turning up the heat, F.U.C...K.I.N...G.

That bed of hers was small but, shit, it was worked in good. She said she'd had it since she was a teenager, which was a sexy sort of affirmation, if you know what I mean. She was skilled, Lola the femme. Wasn't it supposed to be the other way around? Hadn't it been Spare Rib and Ms. Magazines job to prepare me for this? To boldly go where Kate had never gone before?

I was nervous, so I got off the bed. Lola was undeterred. She was a woman on a mission. We were kissing, standing up and scrambled, a hand touching warm skin. My head was starting to swim. I was afraid that Lola would think me inept. That's a short word but it encompasses so much.

I wanted to get Lola's clothes off because her body was...so exquisite.

But Lola wasn't bothered. She just pressed me flat against the wall. She had these two tall wrought-iron candelabras. I crashed into one and sent it tumbling onto the wood floor. Downstairs they must have heard it. "Oh fuck," I said. Lola said "Shhhh," and stuck her hand down the front of my pants.

I may have been reticent but I was hot for her. Hot, tight, and hard. She had me against the wall so hard I couldn't move, her one hand at my fly while the other pressed hard against my hipbone. Her brother was downstairs making his club-music. I think his bedroom door was open.

I felt Lola's hand break past the barrier of my panties—white cotton, because I'm a sensible sort of girl. Her fingers played with me, teased me. Without words she affirmed what I'd wanted all along even if I'd been trying to bullshit myself into believing the contrary. Just because I knew my phantom dick was throbbing enough to be heard didn't mean that I couldn't let Lola show me what it was hurting to do in the first place.

She planted her hand on my mouth because she knew that I would make a noise. Like I said, she was experienced.

It only took one smooth but forceful thrust and Lola broke me, forever. Tore away the last restriction between my insecure, protestant, feminist-repressed shadow and the cocky, self-assured dyke I was destined to be. Sensible, but cocky.

It did make a noise, but only into the palm of Lola's hand. It only hurt for a moment, and I bled only a little, which I was grateful for. Blood makes me feel vulnerable. And when the momentary sting was gone, something completely different began to happen.

Suddenly I began to give Lola instructions. As if I was a goddamned pro! I believe harder was the most popular direction of the hour.

This was what I'd been afraid of for so long. Of feeling Lola, of knowing what it was she could do to me. Scared of the thought that it was what she wanted to do to me, because the pleasure of getting fucked brings up all sorts of questions, doesn't it? What exactly is it that will make a person want to do such an intimate thing to you? Is it because you have good hips, long legs, a fucked-up mind, or the ability to name all the states of the U.S.A.?

Damned if I know, but I let Lola do it to me anyway. I let her enter me, and in more ways than one. Her hand inside me felt like it filled all my questions with mouth-watering answers.

Lola, Lola, you wench of a masquerading lass—you knew all along what this girl wanted, didn't you? How could I ever hope to give a woman what she needed when I myself had never experienced it? In the end, it's not about being vulnerable. It's just about getting to know your own needs.

Frannie ended up losing out big time. She was the type who chased infamy and controversy. She just chose to refer to it as not being tied down. Today Lola has all the infamy she can handle.

I'm always trying to kiss her in public and upset those queer little people who choose to live in boxes. And I write about her. With words I commit her to infamy. Billy Joel was right. He didn't start the fire. Lola did.

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