door-to-door bisexuality

copyright june 1999 d. nuccitelli

It was a dry Wednesday, a Wednesday that reminded Connie why corporate fools called it "Humpday" with jolly desperation. Her hands were busy all day at the basement headquarters for the organic communal worker-owned Guatemalan lesbian hemp-growing collective, but her thoughts dwelt elsewhere, in steamy illicit fantasies which made the job nearly bearable.

She had only been home half an hour and she had already fielded three phone calls from the softball team roster to reschedule games and run the rumor mill - did you hear about Anna? Seen with a man! I heard they were kissing! Her hand on his *ass*! in the middle of the co-op! - And now the doorbell was ringing. Connie tried turning the kitchen fan on and pretending not to hear it, but it rang again with a cheery insistency that pulled her conscience to stern attention.

It was a woman, at least, and what a woman. Her shiny high heels made her slightly taller than Connie, but even without the heels, the filmy cocktail apron over her black dress would have made Connie feel about a foot shorter. High femmes, she felt, earned their name by floating above the crowd. This one fired a perky beam at Connie, triggering primal memories of fifties sitcom wives. She defended herself against the image with lesbian weaponry: her libido.

"You can't be here to borrow a cup of sugar, because you look sweet enough already," she grinned at the strange woman. Her visitor beamed on and held out a hand. "You must be Connie. They told me you were a charmer!"

"Who - told you what? I'm sorry, you were...."

The woman's smile grew broader. "I'm Laura, from BCP. We're just out today doing a survey of -" her gaze traveled along Connie's attractively round body - "*select* members of the lesbian community. Do you mind answering a few questions?"

"Well, no, not at all, anything for the community..." Connie replied, slightly mesmerized.

"Great!" Laura said brightly. "First: how would you describe your sexuality?"

"Lesbian," Connie replied proudly, glad to do her part with some easy questions.

Laura wrinkled her forehead slighty. "Well, we're actually looking for something more *descriptive.*" At Connie's confused expression, she continued, "You know - who you're attracted to, and why: what it is that really makes your wheels spin."

Connie frowned. "Well, uh - women.. because I like women. Femmes, mostly, I guess. It's something in the balance of power and... fabulous dress sense."

Laura wrote this down rapidly, nodding. "So you'r eattracted to strong femmes? Have you ever been involved with a boy, or had a crush on one? Maybe before you came out?"

Connie blushed defensively. "I don't see where that's anyone's business -" she began, but Laura was ready for her. "We're not the Lesbian Police, you know? We just want a survey of the queer community that finally represents every aspect of everyone's sexuality!"

She waited happily for Connie to respond, and Connor felt herself give in to Laura's expectations. "Well, before I came out, you know, I was with a bunch of guys. Almost got married to one of them, but he broke if off, and I'd met this one gorgeous dyke..." She sighed.

Laura scribbled encouragingly and briskly on her clipboard, and Connie grudgingly continued. "My last girl actually left me because she thought I was having an affair with this queer boy who worked at the bookstore. The worst part was that I couldn't even deny that I was attracted to him. It was just.... He looked like a babydyke, with these little wire-rimmed glasses and tulip-pink hair. It was only natural."

"Did anything ever happen with that?"

"No... well... no," Connie said regretfully. "It was just a lose-lose situation. Anyway, he was totally a Kinsey Six."

"That was my next question, actually!" Laura said approvingly. "Where would you place yourself on the Kinsey Scale?"

"Oh, god, I don't even know how that thing works anymore," Connie laughed in alarm.

"Well, there's a simple test you can do to figure out your number," the pollster said helpfully. "It goes from zero to six, where zero is the opposite sex, six is the same sex, and everything else is somewhere in between."

"Well, I knew that much!"

"Great! Okay, so the first question is who you've been sexual with so far. You'd be a six, am I right? Or, what about those near-husbands of yours?"

"Not a six," Connie admitted. "I used to be very promiscuous. I think I was trying to prove something before I came out. More like... I guess whatever's smack in the middle. A four?"

"Let's say a three," Laura smiled. "So, then you figure out who you mostly fantasize about."

Connie blushed again. "Mostly women. Look, can we continue this inside?"

"Of course! Wherever you're most comfortable," the gorgeous femme assured her.

Once they were safely seated in the quiet of Connie's living room, Laura made another note on her clipboard. "Mostly women - let's call that a 4.5. About three-quarters?"

"Sure," Connie said nervously, playing with some tchotchkes on the coffee table.

Laura laughed. "Look at you! You're practically clawing the arm off the sofa! Come on now, relax. If you can't trust your own sexuality, what can you trust?"

Connie relaxed a smidgen. "I guess you're right. Yeah. I'm sure you're right," she said, trying not to look uneasy.

"Terrific. Okay, the last two Kinsey questions: How do you currently identify? You're a lesbian, but you sounded like maybe not a Kinsey Six...."

"Oh. A five, then, I guess."

"Super!" Laura wrote that down too. Connie swore to herself that if there was any more perkiness this girl would get a coaster to the throat.

"And last, if you walked into a big party somewhere - say a big downtown block party or something - who would you be attracted to? You know, mostly women, mostly men, only women, some of each...."

Connie tried to visualize the last Pride parade. She kept seeing all the hot dykes in the Avengers, but then she thought about the gay men's chorus that was singing nearby, with the bookstore kid - Brian - in the tenor section. Laura nodded understandingly. "I'll just put that down as a three... and...." She busily added Connie's scores up and averaged them out. "Congratulations! You're bisexual!"

"What?!" Connie grabbed the clipboard. "Let me see that! You must have done it wrong."

"Honey, I'm a pro. I know a bi chick when I see one, and you're it."

"But I'm a lesbian! Bisexuals are...."

"What? Just going through a phase? Just don't know what they want? Just trying to be chic?" Laura offered helpfully.

"You sound like my parents!" Connie complained.

Laura grinned. "No, honey, you sound like your parents. I'm just finding you the words."

"Well... but...." Connie spluttered. "Look, it's a matter of self-identification. Lesbianism is more than just who you sleep with, it's a whole political sisterhood!"

Laura looked amused. "Maybe all your friends share politics, but there's no Lesbian Party in the electoral process yet. And bisexuals have some pretty radical politics too, you know. What makes you so afraid to self-identify as bi?"

"I'm not afraid!" Connie snapped. "I just like it where I am. I like dyke culture and dyke politics and *dykes.* I don't even know what bi culture is!"

"Actually," Laura said, flipping a page on her clip board over and setting it on the table, "that was the very next thing I wanted to talk to you about! We're offerings ome really fabulous packages right now, for only pennies a day." She pulled a brightly colored brochure out and spread it across the coffee table.

"Packages?" Connie said incredulously. "You said you were doing a survey! And now you're telling me what my sexuality is and trying to sell me something! Where did you say you were from again?"

Laura turned the brochure over to show a shining logo. "BCP - the Bisexual Conversion Program. Of course, we don't really have to convert anybody. We just go out, talk to them, and let them realize their own potential." She rode on determinedly. "These packages, they're fundraisers to raise awareness. You get stuff like erotica, magazine subscriptions, these great stickers from that say 'You're Bisexual'--" She broke off when she saw Connie scowling. "Oh, Connie, don't go back on me now! Remember all those hot young days of womyn-loving-womyn rhetoric and revolution when you first came out? Remember how amazing it felt to be told you could love women and overthrow the patriarchy with one stroke?"

She's sure got my number, Connie reflected. Maybe this woman did know what she was talking about. "Yeah," she answered warily.

"well, this is still the same revolution, Connie! Except we let you fuck that queer boy, and the femme dykes, and the femme bi grrls, and anyone else you want! You see - it's like true gender equality in practice, from your bed to your belief system!" She smiled cynically. "And all for just $19.95, if you pay now! Your membership card will be mailed to you in five to eight working days and you can start learning about a whole new world!"

"You're kidding." Connie started to laugh. "You guys have really found a way to make a profit off the queer thing? Well, hell, count me in. I can always go back, right?"

"Of course," Laura agreed. "Sexuality is fluid. We understand that like no one else. Now let me show you these programs we're offering...." She spread the brochure out again. "You can sign up for 'Acknowledging the Possibilities,' 'All In One Package,' 'Refusing All Labels,' 'Gender Freedom,' or 'I'm Every Gender.'"

"What's the All In One Package?"

"That's for the person who identifies as bisexual because they've only dated women, but all their lovers identified as boys or became FTM later - you know, technically they've only been with women, but they've also only been with boys, but...."

"I see. All in one package."

"Exactly. And they're all like that, tailored to fit the customer's reasons for identifying as bi. Like the 'refusing all labels' would be for someone who says things like 'I don't want to pin myself down to a label, I'm just *sexual.*' Or 'I'm every gender' might be for the lovers of the 'all in one package' bisexual - people who say things like 'I'm a gay man when I'm a boy, but I want to be with women as a women, except when I'm checking men out....'"

Connie studied the pictures, which featured buttons and explanatory literature. 'So which one should I get?"

Laura whipped out a box from nowhere. "I'd recommend either 'Gender Freedom' or 'Refusing All Labels." Gender Freedom comes witha ton of political information connecting bisexuality with feminism, human rights, labor rights, civil rights, et cetera, including bumper stickers and pins for your friends. Also, you get guaranteed politically correct erotic videos made by women with you in mind."

She winked, and Connie felt herself reach for her wallet. "This is such a great idea. I wish we had thought of it. I mean, the lesbians. Maybe we could form a coalition or something." Her mind was spinning wtih what she was already learning. "Wow. Who do I make the check out to?"

"Just put BCP. And hey, for an extra ten bucks you can get a magazine subscription in there too. Year's supply of Anything That Moves. It's a very special deal," Laura smiled.

Connie paused over the check and channeled her new... *bisexual* charm. "How about I throw in the extra ten bucks and you throw in a kiss?"

"It's a deal," Laura said firmly, and leand into her lips.

Connie signed the check with a flourish.