Bathhouse Envy

I admit it, I’m jealous. Seething with an insatiable desire and perpetual (phantom) hard-on.

“It was…almost too good to be true,” my friend reminisces, grinning vacuously while I turn over his brand-new Steamworks membership card in my hand. “I could basically get anything I wanted!” I congratulate him and demand he describe every room in meticulous, raunchy detail. I’m burning with vicarious lust, worried that the little plastic square is going to melt in my grasp.

“You should totally come with me next time!” he suggests, but I cut him off with a smirk.

“I appreciate the offer, love, but I’m a girlfag–I don’t think my silicone cock would cut it. Even if I passed in every other way.”

It’s a relief to know that, despite the gay movement’s recent obsession with ‘straight drag’—marriage, parenthood, and sundry other ways we can look like respectable, reproductive citizens—there are still places where you can just fuck and/or get fucked. Queer sex has survived (even AIDS).

Well, at least for male-bodied queers who dig other male-bodied queers, but where does that leave the rest of us?

“You have no idea how jealous I am,” I confess to my friend.

“Of what, my penis?” he retorts (with a bit of a lisp).

I know he’s only partially joking. Having a flesh-and-blood cock not only permeates my sexual fantasies, it would grant me immediate social access to a world I can now only graze. Pleasure World, reified. Sigh.

Still, I roll my eyes and tell him, “No, not of your penis. I’m jealous that dykes don’t have an equivalent.”

I suppose there are regular girl sex parties happening somewhere in this city, but there certainly aren’t public spaces to pick up and hook up, no strings attached. Gay men have the unquestionable monopoly on cruising parks, particular El cars, bathhouses, porn theatres.

I am barely twenty-one and still claim a kind of youthful enthusiasm. I haven’t grown jaded from the dyke bar scene…yet. But I am already exhausted with being on the perpetual outside, looking in. I wonder, if we build it, will they come? Is there a place in grrl culture for a physical locus of promiscuity?

And who’s gutsy enough to create it?

Here, darling: take off your clothes and put on this towel.

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply