Scenario number one:
There has been something that eases us into this particular scenario, whiskey cognac, wine. A lubricant, because no good story of this nature happens without something wet.
Then your ‘straight’ friend turns to you and barely audibly states, ‘I could kiss you right now’.
And…It’s out there, not only the idea but the manifestation of it, materialising in front of you as she licks her lips and turns away shyly. There is a part of you that asks, ‘what fuckery is this?’, however another part is curious.
This woman who has never, in any way shape or form, shown any interest in women suddenly looks at you like you are the last piece of chicken in the pot and she has not eaten in days. She will devour you.
Scenario number two:
There are laughs, there are chokes and there are wonderful group dynamics on this fantastic evening. I make all the right jokes, a good mixture of teasing, flirtation and faux modesty. I feel cute, I look cute and she is delicious.
After a particularly funny statement, she leans over with a light touch and smiles saying, ‘you and I will be spending a lot of time together.’
Another drop of pure sweet sensuality drips onto me like a drop of pure honey. Again, that just happened.
This was all in the space of one night. I was sticky from all the sweet goodness.
Scenario number three:
‘Wine can be paired with a number of things, lemon, fish, nougat’. This is the wisdom the wine expert tells us. The lovely French woman, dating the delightful Xhosa boy by her, leans over and asks if she can have some of my nougat.
‘Sure’ , is my reply and hold it up to hand it to her . Instead she takes a bite. My girlfriend later on asks why I fed the European lady who was flirting with me nougat. My only reply was she really did ask nicely.
The feeding was involuntary on my part.
Much as I would like to believe that I was on my sexy game that night and it was one of those evenings where the stars align and shine in your visual favour, it was not. I had just come from work, my dreadlocks looked a hot mess because I hadn’t been paid yet (and the salon is NOT free) and I am pretty sure I was giving off my usual pre menstrual bloaty vibe.
Basically I was not bringing sexy back.I did not even know where sexy had gone to try and get her back, and she was not picking up the phone.
But none the less I was ‘something for the honeyz’ that night.
So why do you ask was this the case?
After some hard soul searching I came to the conclusion that as the only non heterosexual girl they subconsciously (or consciously) knew I could safely be the recipient of any repressed sexual desires. Furthermore what made me less threatening (and therefore more endearing) was the fact that I had a girlfriend.
Think of it like seeing a lion in the wild and seeing a lion in a zoo. You wouldn’t go within a hundred metres of a lion eyeballing you from a tree. But you WILL go and say ‘hey kitty kitty’ to a lion in a cage from a metre away.
It’s all about courage brought on by circumstance.
And my being in a relationship coupled with the comfort of friendship, not to mention me ‘cute as a button’ demeanour, allowed these women the space to explore something outside themselves and flirt with another woman.
The problem lies in ideas of what is and is not‘acceptable’ as a means of self exploration and expression. In terms of expressing your sexuality you can try some things and not others, explores some identities and not others.
Obviously this varies in different contexts. In the deep rurals trying out a little black dress as a means of self expression will not go down well, in bustling Durban/Accra/Kisumu it will be a hit. But one thing that does emerge is that messing with sexual expression in terms of sleeping with men or women is something that is still a taboo across the board.
But people need the space to explore.Humans crave freedom, exploration, the pursuit of knowledge and understanding of ourselves and the world around us.
Sexuality is a big part of that.
Now I am not saying that every woman who tries sleeping with another woman will denounce dick instantly but whether she does or does not, she is making an executive informed decision.
And that is what we need in life.
Executive decisions being made for us about whom and what we are do nothing for any of us. It will make for a happier more secure world if we made those decisions ourselves. Therefore in my view it is an act of activism when I flirt. I am not doing this for me but for ALL the women in the African queer community and beyond.
Hold your applause.
Hang up the phone. We can call the Nobel Peace prize committee later.
I am but a humble servant of the cause, armed with my laugh, off colour comments and non-threatening femininity (link to studs for studs and femmes for femmes).
So get out there and do your bit for the struggle my people. It was once said there are women who write and women who riot. I feel we must make a new category, women who flirt.
So my Afro Queers get out there and adopt a straight woman. Do it for the baby LGBTIQ babies that will come after us.
Free a sexual woman from the shackles. Flirt and if it goes further take it there. They deserve to be free as much as the zebras, lions and rhinos that we have on our majestic continent.
In the wise words of my girlfriend ‘I don’t mind you flirting just give don’t give away my damn nougat.’
For more stories check out this one where the writer says they are not a Madam so do not ask them to ‘hook you up with women’, this one about not freaking out about being attracted to a woman and this one about why being sexually liberated.