When I was 18, I chose to attend an all-women’s college.
It was a poor choice on my part, but after I’d applied, toured the gorgeous campus six and a half hours away from home, and they’d given me the most scholarship money, I felt obligated to attend. My dad kept saying, “It’s such a good fit for you!” And I kept looking at him like, “Do you even know me?” Maybe, too, he thought it’d be a fresh start for me.
I was a good student, and this private liberal arts institution would challenge me appropriately, but I’d never had many female friends. I actually stopped having any at all when I was a freshman in high school, instead trailing after a pack of dudes all a year younger than me who smoked pot and dropped acid and played Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd on repeat. Most of the dudes were overweight and acne-prone, and I reveled in being the “pretty girl” they were friends with, which was a relative term really. I was the only girl they hung out with, and I wasn’t so pretty when I buzzed my head and started wearing their clothes, many sizes too big on me, but I reveled in the attention, like they were my worker bees and I was their queen.
Obviously I’d had my issues with drugs, which my parents had known about. They’d smelled it on me, or I’d come home blinking and fidgety, red-eyed, or wet-eyed, or they’d woken up to me retching in the upstairs toilet. They often watched me in their tight-lipped, unapproving way, as if they were constantly saying to themselves, “Who is this child and what the fuck is she doing wrong now?” They caught me sneaking out so many times from various downstairs windows that they nailed all of them shut and then put the security system on every night.
So this college, this all-women’s college, surely probably seemed like a good idea for their drug addict daughter. I’d be around women! Women who wanted to study and academically succeed! She’d be a whole two states away from her druggie flock of ugly boys, and she’d make a new time of it.
Ah, my parents’ naïveté. They didn’t have a good grasp of the concept, wherever you go, there you are. So they dropped off their women-friendless drug addict daughter at that college two states away, probably feeling really good about themselves. Probably feeling like I was going to turn it around and get it together now.
But I didn’t.
I found a new flock, a new set of worker bees, and this time, they were lesbians.
The majority of women that attended this particular all-women’s college were LGTBQ+, foreign, religious, virgins, and/or forced to attend by their parents. I didn’t fall into any of these camps. I’d never been interested in women sexually. I wasn’t from Gambia. I wasn’t Muslim or hoping to get my degree before finding a good Christian husband. I definitely wasn’t a virgin, and my parents hadn’t forced me to attend.
This was a huge change from years before. In the 60s, this particular institution’s student body was made up of Christian heterosexual white women. They put early curfews on the students who lived in the dorms, and women could only leave campus wearing gloves and hats. Male visitors were not allowed in the dorms after 10pm.
I had no idea where I fit in. I tried hanging out with some of the women who had been forced to attend, but we didn’t have much in common. One woman, who got her first bout of chlamydia just two months into freshman year, was regularly driving to frat parties at a co-ed college nearby and fucking men named Chris. “It makes it easier, so I never call out the wrong name in bed,” she told me.
So I went with what was easy, which was the LGTBQ+ crowd. My roommate was a member, tacking up a giant rainbow flag above her bed before she’d even put the sheets on. When she got new friends, I got new friends. For much of my first semester, all I really did was hang out in my dorm room, study, and drink. I didn’t have a car on campus and a liquor store was just a short walk away.
Engaged in this new world I’d never been privy to before, I considered taking it on. I examined why I’d never been attracted to women sexually before. Yes, I’d had some “girl crushes,” but it was because I wanted to be them, not that I wanted to fuck them. But, I thought, maybe I’d always wanted to be “one of the guys” because I really wanted to actually be one of the guys, and therefore, fuck the ladies.
A woman I’ll call Tina came into my purview. We had some classes together because she was a fellow English major, and the LGTBQ+ camp on campus seemed to inevitably be drawn to one another, so within a month, I knew all of the women that identified this way.
Tina was tiny, a waif. She resembled a 12 year old. She was maybe 80 or 90 pounds, less than 5 foot tall, with a glossy black collar-length lob cut and black plastic framed glasses. I learned quickly that she had a thing for me, and I submitted to the idea of trying out this sex with women thing.
One afternoon, I kissed her and then drew her back to her dorm room when I knew her roommate was out of town for the weekend. We both quickly undressed, and she laid on her back and I went about the business of fucking a woman.
I quickly realized I had no idea what to do.
I barely knew what to do with my own vagina and clit, let alone someone else’s, and she had a full bush. “I’m sorry,” she told me, “I wasn’t expecting…”
Between her legs, I stared at her vagina for a moment, thinking of the time I’d looked at my own in the mirror and how hers looked just like mine. I slipped my finger inside of her, bringing it in to touch her G-spot just like I’d do with my own. She arched her back and moaned. I guessed I was supposed to put my mouth on her now, but…how exactly? I then remembered something one of my guy friend’s had told me once: lick the ABCs. Her pussy tasted sweet and salty at the same time, not much different from when I’d licked my own finger after fingering myself or kissed a man after he’d eaten me out.
I played more than anything, sucking on her clit while fingering her and trying the whole ABC thing. She seemed to like the letter A quite a lot, so I did that over and over again, running my tongue along her labia and then flicking her clit at the crest of the A.
I don’t remember if she came. I don’t think so. Eventually, I got tired of stopping to pull hair from my teeth, so I let her take over. I laid on my back, in a way I’d laid on my back before with men. She got between my legs and mimicked what I’d done with her. It was okay. Eventually, we did a little breastplay (she didn’t have much in that department, but she had nipples) followed by some exuberant fingering — her in me and me in her — and then we were through.
She cuddled up to my chest, and I laid there feeling…disappointed. It felt like we’d just done the foreplay part of sex and not the actual part of sex. I missed having something hard and substantial thrusting in and out of me, being pounded.
I tried to date Tina. It felt right since I knew she liked me and I’d gotten her into bed, but it wasn’t for me. On one of our dates, we held hands and walked to a local coffee shop. In line to order, she dropped my hand and said, “Order for me whatever you want and I’ll get a table.”
“Uhhh,” I thought to myself.
I left the line and walked to her table, “What do you want me to order?” I asked.
“Just get two of whatever you get,” she responded.
A look of confusion passed over my face.
“I want whatever you want,” she reiterated.
“Okay…” I said and did just that, ordering two drip coffees.
I brought it to our table where she had started setting up a game of Scrabble.
“I need cream,” she said and then she followed me to the cream and sugar station. I watched her pour the creamer into her coffee while holding her hand next to the cup.
“What are you doing?” I asked.
“I put creamer into my coffee until it’s the same color as my skin,” she said. Her skin was lily white.
This girl is fucking ridiculous, I thought and then walked back to the table where she whipped me in Scrabble, contesting several words I’d chosen, which irritated me beyond the weirdness of the whole experience.
I never had sex with her again or went on another date with her after that. She was hurt, terribly.
“She liked you so much!” my roommate told me later.
“But why?” I asked her. “I just wasn’t all that into her. It had to be obvious.”
“Then why have sex with her?”
“Because I…wanted to try it out.”
“Oh God, you’re one of those,” my roommate said.
“What do you mean?”
“Just one of those straight girls ‘trying it out.’ All of us get our heart broken by a girl like you.”
And then I met another woman on campus I’ll call Tracy. Tracy had a short spiky haircut and big tits. She was strangely androgynous while still having a super womanly body. I wanted to fuck her the minute I saw her. I thought, This is the kind of woman I should try things out with.
But Tracy wasn’t DTF. She’d been raised Christian and had had a few girlfriends, but she wasn’t into sex outside of committed relationships or trying things out with a girl that had been dubbed a “straight experimenter.”
I tried hard at wooing her because her reticence made me want her in a way I’d never wanted someone before. I showed up where I knew she’d be. I sent flowers and left sweet notes. The one time we made out, she let me get her shirt off and suck on her nipples, but she wouldn’t let me slip her pants off. Her roommate interrupted us before it could go any further, and then just the next week, school was off for Christmas break and I went home.
Back home, I fantasized about going back to school in January and finally getting her in bed. I knew she had a strap-on and I imagined looking up at her, her sexy tits jostling with each thrust as she nailed me with it. I was certain I could turn the tides if I just stayed on course.
I even went to a few parties with my old crew from high school and come out to them as gay.
One asked, whom I’d sucked off once while I was super drunk.
“Yup. I finally found my people,” I replied.
“Well, okay,” he said. “Explains why you buzzed your head.”
I nodded. Yup. Exactly.
I mailed Tracy Christmas presents, including a star I paid to have named after her from one of those scam companies. When she received them, she called me up.
“I’m not sure why you got these for me,” she said.
“Because I’m into you,” I told her.
“Uhhh. I just thought we were sort of friends? I’m dating my ex-girlfriend again.”
I was devastated, or as devastated as I could have been over what turned out to be a very non-relationship.
“Serves you right,” my roommate told me later. “You’re fucking straight. Quit experimenting.”
Just as I had burned bridges with Tina and people who had sided with her, I had now burned some more after my attempt with Tracy.
Realizing the LGTBQ+ scene just wasn’t for me, I started driving with Ms. Chlamydia and her crew to frat parties at the co-ed college nearby. I didn’t bring home any STDs, but I didn’t bring back any dignity or self-respect either. My drug and alcohol use skyrocketed, and I grew more and more selfish and self-centered.
By the time I left that all-women’s college at the end of my sophomore year, I’d successfully alienated everyone I could, which made it easy to leave and never look back.
At the tender age of 19, I had no idea who I was or what I even liked. I knew I was a good student, but I’d spent most of my life up taking on the identity of everyone around me, adapting and changing as I saw fit just to feel like I was okay.
Feeling like a painful misfit, I’d fallen in with my high school crew and just done whatever they did. I didn’t like Pink Floyd. I didn’t even particularly like pot or acid or living under the fear that my parents would find out what I was really doing. I didn’t like constantly doing things to upset my parents, but I was desperate to fit in and be accepted into whatever group happened to adopt me.
When I went off to college, the same was true. The LGTBQ+ crew took me in, and I was willing to try to fit in. I tried on a whole new sexual identity in the hopes that maybe now I’d find my place, maybe now I’d finally find out where I belonged, but all I did was end up hurting myself and other people in the process.
It took me another three years to get it together, to quit hurting other people because I didn’t know who the fuck I was. I had to give up the drugs and alcohol. I had to cut off old using buddies and make totally new friends who didn’t use and abuse. I had to identify, evaluate, and then shed or adopt as my own the thousands of opinions and thoughts and beliefs I’d gotten from other people. And then I finally found exactly where I belonged, exactly who I was and how I could be the person I wanted to be, in a 12-step fellowship.