I’m not proud to admit this, but eight years ago I went through this phase where I was suddenly attracted to men. Or if you prefer, persons with a non-detachable penis. So I went straight to the source, and posted an ad on the Craigslist W4M personals in Los Angeles: Kinky Queer Chick In Heterocurious Phase & Wondering What All the Fuss Is About. I was a very popular W.
In the wake of several encounters with the fine M-identified citizens of Craigslist, I decided to reduce my chances of getting heteromurdered, and posted a profile on OK Cupid with a thoughtfully worded description of my likes (piña coladas, getting caught in the rain), dislikes (yoga), and what I was looking for (a tall, good-smelling, aesthetically appealing person interested in allowing me to exercise my curiosity prepositional to their non-detachable penis). Plus a supercute picture of me in a supercute outfit.
After wading through the usual scintillating messages from heterocisdudes (wanna fuck? let’s fuck, when are we gonna fuck? I’m gonna fuck you like you’ve never been fucked—which was kind of the point, I suppose), and then deleting all the offers from heterociscouples looking for a horny unicorn to poke some fun into their sex life (my boyfriend-fiancee-husband-brother and I think you are so pretty and smart and we’d really love to get to know you as a person in your own right so that I can feel less icky about having hot girl-on-girl sex with you while he watches), I was not feeling entirely okay about OK Cupid.
And then they 98% matched me with Avery.
Six foot eight, beanpole-thin, jaw-droppingly, genderfuckingly gorgeous Avery, who looked like he smelled like the most delicious combination of eyeliner, nail polish, pricey hair product and vegan leather.
I met Avery at a swank Hollywood bar, and he was so tall… so pretty… and I sooooo wish Ok Cupid came with a scratch-n-sniff feature because underneath the vegan leather, pricey hair product, nail polish and eyeliner, Avery smelled a little like… wet dog. Just a whiff, a wee olfactory undertone. Nothing a shower wouldn’t fix.
We broke the ice over pricey cocktails, and Avery showed me a picture of the UFO hovering above Sunset Boulevard that he’d taken with his very own phone that very afternoon, and I showed him a picture of my cats, and he told me about his experiences, plural, with alien abduction.
Normally, that’d be a deal breaker for me, but he really was so sweet, and so six foot eight, and he had ungendered and degendered and regendered himself in such a soul-crushingly beautiful way I could hardly stand it—and by then I’d stopped breathing in through my nose—so I stuck it out and told Avery my theory of alien abduction.
It’s your cat. Sitting all its weight on your chest while you are sleeping and staring at you with its big, wide, alienesque eyes, not blinking, and you feel that weight pressing down on your chest and you wake up just a little bit, just enough to see those eyes staring at you, not blinking, and your sternum is slowly but surely collapsing into your chest cavity while those eyes bore right into your skull and into your consciousness, like your very soul is theirs for the taking, and you’re pinned to the bed and can’t wake up so this must be a dream, but it can’t be a dream because it all feels too real, I mean those fucking eyes JUST DON’T BLINK, but I’m telling you, it’s not aliens, it’s your cat.
Unless there’s some sort of anal probing going on—then it’s definitely not your cat, and probably aliens.
Avery looked at me with his beautiful eyelinered eyes, and I swear a little teardrop was shimmering on his lashes when he said, “I don’t have a cat. The anal probe? That’s real.”
Now that anal probing was on the table, we shared our sexual histories—I’d had sex; Avery hadn’t. Not once. Not with anybody but himself. And not for lack of opportunity, just lack of interest. But lately, he told me, it’s like his libido had kicked in and ganged up on him, and he just couldn’t stop wondering what all the fuss is about.
So we got to the nitty-gritty and disclosed our sexual fantasies—but beyond wanting to satisfy our curiosity about the whole penis-in-vagina dealio, there was only one fantasy that got us both really jazzed up: castration—penectomy, orchiectomy, the whole she-bang. Which is a fantasy I’ve had since my radical lesbian separatist feminist days, and Avery had had for as long as he could remember.
But now that I’d imagined Avery with a completely detachable penis, I just couldn’t un-see that smooth Ken-doll crotch, and told him I probably ought to find someone more straightforwardly straight.
Honestly, he seemed pretty relieved, and took my hand and looked at me, not blinking, and said, “I feel like I can really trust you Emily.” (Safety first.) “There’s something I want to show you. But not in public.”
Curiosity may have killed the cat, but Avery certainly wasn’t going to hetero-murder me.
His apartment smelled like Sephora with a just hint of sour dish sponge.
Once he’d made sure the deadbolts were bolted and the blackout curtains were still nailed to the window frame, Avery gently guided my fingers and let me feel the chip they had implanted right there in the webbing of his left hand so they could track him, and when I asked, he told me absolutely unh, unh, no way, mister, can he go to the doctor to have it surgically removed because of the database, and THEY WILL KNOW.
Now there really was a tiny, hard little chip-like object in there, and I could see how badly it was upsetting him, and I used to work in a veterinary clinic, and I like being helpful, so I fished my Leatherman multi-tool with its two and a half inch surgical stainless steel knife out of my bag and offered to remove it for him.
We’d just sanitized the area with Windex when his doorbell rang.
“It’s THEM,” he whispered.
Then the knocking, louder and louder.
“Wouldn’t it be better to know for sure?” I whispered back, unbolted the six deadbolts and flung the door open to behold: this gorgeous, cliché-California surfer dude standing there, like a heterosexual UFO, smelling like the sun and the sea and banana daiquiris, six foot who the fuck cares, because if this is THEM, they can implant their chip in me anywhere they’d like.
He opened his beautiful surfer dude mouth and said, “Hey dude, I live down the hall and I’m looking for my cat. Have you seen her? Her name is Pussy, and she’s just like, gone.”
I said, “Wait right there for just a sec,” and knocked on the bedroom door where Avery had locked himself in. When he cracked it open, I told him the coast was clear and sorry we didn’t get the chip out, then planted a goodnight and good luck kiss on his musty, wet-dog-smelling cheek, tramped over to the surfer dude, his shaggy sun-streaked hair glimmering in the fluorescent hallway light, and stuck my hand out.
“Hi, I’m Emily. We haven’t seen your cat anywhere, but if you’re going to go look for Pussy, I’d really love to help.”