By Jody Valley
Looking for camp stories
Q: I am 51 years old. I can’t tell you how happy I am for having the courage to come out. I know this sounds like a real ego trip on my part, but it took a lot for me to see who I was, leave my heterosexual relationship, and be who I am. So, damn it, I’m proud!
My problem is, if it is a problem: I have met a really wonderful woman! Okay, you say, what’s your problem? Well, I have met the “really wonderful woman” right out of the closet! Okay, you say: “That’s great!” I say that, too.
Except: What am I missing!? I have been with this perfect person for one year now. I’m in love; she’s wonderful; life is good… but… I’ve not been with another woman. I wonder how it would have been for me to have been with another woman. Okay, I’m really asking: how would it be with another woman, sexually. I know that being with this woman on a day-by-day basis is wonderful. I also know that she satisfies me sexually, but I am such a new person to woman-satisfaction that I just have to wonder, how it is with other women. I hear women talking about being camp counselors, and all the sexual fun stuff that went on with other gay counselors. And, with all the other stories with seasoned dykes, it just makes me feel like I have missed so much of my “sexual adolescence.” I just want some time to go out and experience the 30 years that I missed. But, if I did, well… I would lose the woman that I feel so much love for; the woman that I do feel sexual satisfaction with, and the woman I could live a lifetime with.
I just hate these thoughts that I have. But, hate them or not, they are there. I would so be grateful if you could help me get rid of my nagging thoughts of wishing that I had come into my sexuality so much earlier and had the experiences that so many my age had had. How can I get rid of these feelings and just appreciate my life as it is?
ISO Sexual Prime
A: I think that you need to get into appreciating the life you have had, understanding how valid it is, and what you’ve learned from itÑinstead of thinking that it was, somehow, invalid and less valuable than that of other lesbians who have lived their lives as lesbians from early on. Simply, you had different experiences; they taught you otherÑand sometimes similar things– and you are who you are because of it. Your life is as valid as any other person. There are many others just like you. As you tell your story to others, you will surely find your group. Except: Many haven’t found their love, right out of the closetÑor even find it at all. Change you point of view, and appreciate who you are, and the love that you have found! You are a very lucky woman.
Short term, short joy
Q: I’ve been in a relationship with “Jim” for 9 months. We’ve been taking it slow as we both have been burned in the past. Things seemed to be going pretty well, as least I thought so. However, Jim just told me that he doesn’t have those big highs with me anymore, like when he sees me his heart doesn’t “pitter pat,” anymore. He says that if I were right for him, he’d still have that, and always would. I have to say that I feel somewhat the same about the “pitter pat” thing, but I felt we were moving towards a more comfortable, intimate relationship, which I was enjoying.
Jim’s past relationships have not been all that long. He told me that he was sure that it was because he hadn’t found the right person, but felt that I was the Right One. I’m devastated! He’s ready to move on, and I’m stunned.
A: I know that you are in shock and pain, but for what it’s worth to you, you have a realistic view of relationships, and Jim does not. With his view, he’ll go on with short-term affairs for the rest of his life, unless he wakes up to the reality of what relationships are all about. You are on the right track, if not temporarily derailed.