Lesbianism and Art- From artgazine.com
Cloyne Court, Episode Twelve
By Dodie Katague
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Rated "R" by the Author.
Based on a true story that took place in Berkeley, California in the late 1970s.
I made eye contact with the nearest one and introduced myself across the side of the sofa arm. “Hi, I’m Derek.”
“Get lost, dickhead!’
“Is this the house meeting?”
“Ass, what do I look like, the agenda Nazi?”
“Well, now that you mention it.”
“Fuck off, prick.”
Why were they angry around men? Was it a mating ritual that identified them to other lesbians? Was there some secret phrase or password that would let me into their inner circle of understanding? I imagined the conversation.
“See that man seated over there?”
“You mean that prick?”
“Yeah, I’m a dyke too. Let’s go to my room and read some Camille Paglia." (wink)
I would have been honored to have a lesbian woman as my friend. It would have been so edgy. So racy. So Berkeley. Think of the special bonding conversations we could have. “See that woman there. She’s hot. I’d like to get into her pants!”
I didn’t care whom they had sex with. I only cared about whom I had sex with. Learning to figure out whether a woman was interested in men was just another hurdle that stood between me and losing my virginity.
Mary Jewell called the meeting to order. Her long peasant sundress hid her rubenesque body. She glanced at me and looked surprised. “Ok, let’s start the meeting. We have a speaker tonight, but before we get to that, Carrie wanted to voice a concern. Carrie.”
Carrie was the butch woman with the short-cropped haircut I had spoken to earlier. “I am concerned about the oppressive presence here tonight. I do not feel I can adequately value or express my views when there are intruders among us.”
I was wondering whom she was referring too, when Mary looked at me and asked me to introduce myself. I stood. “I’m Derek Marston. I’m pleased to meet all of you. I moved into the house this morning. I’m new to the co-op system and Berkeley. I’m here to learn new things and try new experiences…”
I was interrupted by a voice from the back of the room. “It goes against custom to have you here.”
Before I could respond, a verbal sparring debate began. “Custom is what has oppressed women for centuries. Why should we behave like our oppressors?” said a strong female voice.
“I think the meeting should be open to everyone,” said another voice.
“But it puts a damper on open discussion.”
“If we can’t discuss sensitive topics with men present, who are we going to talk too?”
“Besides, how will they ever learn to please us if they don’t learn?” said another voice.
“Women shouldn’t have to depend on men for anything.” That statement came from the aisle of lesbos.
The discussion deteriorated into everyone talking at once and nobody listening to anyone. I listened in awe to the impassioned pique my presence had provoked.
“OK, let’s take a vote,” Mary said.
I was impressed at student democracy in action. However, if the house had to vote on every item, like who was allowed to attend the house meeting, this was going to be a long night. They still hadn’t approved the minutes from the last meeting, and I was interested in whether the house would approve building a backyard sauna.
The vote was taken. I was allowed to remain. Carrie the lesbian rolled her eyes in disgust.
“Ok, tonight’s speaker is Candace Harris,” Mary said, reading from a card. “Candace is a facilitator from the Peer Sex Education Program.”
Candace was a tall, lanky woman. She was wearing leather motorcycle pants, black boots and a white camisole that showed off her firm, bare shoulders and accentuated her nipples against the thin material. She was not wearing a bra, and I watched her breasts jiggle as she paced the floor.
Mary continued. “Tonight’s discussion is entitled Pre-orgasmic Women and Techniques for Self-Gratification.”
That’s when I realized I was at the wrong meeting. This was the Sunday night women’s group. The house meeting was the next evening. I discovered later that there was an unspoken understanding that men were not welcome at these meetings. It was for women only, so they could discuss topics freely without the dominating masculine viewpoint hampering the discussion. How could I leave? Too many women had spoken in my defense, and the vote had been overwhelmingly in favor of letting me stay. Though I was now embarrassed to be there, I did not want to disappoint them. I remained.
Candace led the discussion by asking, "Can I get a show of hands of women who haven't had an orgasm or aren't sure?"
I looked around nonchalantly trying not to stare. Half the women in the room raised their hands. That’s when I saw her sitting on the windowsill for one of the large French windows. She was the pretty woman I’d seen at the Berkeley BART station on my eighteenth birthday.
Now that I could see her face, I studied her. She had long flowing auburn hair and a quiet, familiar face that turned to look at every person who spoke. She was barefoot and wore a simple collarless striped shirt with long sleeves and a worn pair of faded blue jeans. She looked like all the women I had known from high school. Yet, something was different about her. I stared until we made eye contact. She smiled. My heart jumped. She shifted her gaze to answer Candace’s question and, if memory serves me correctly, raised her hand.
Candace continued her poll. “And let’s have a show of hands from the others who have had an orgasm but want a stronger one or multiple orgasms?”
There were a couple of raised hands from the side sofa, including Carrie and her lover, Sonya. Multiple orgasms? I had never thought about them. At least I had enough experience, although self-induced, to know that if one orgasm was good, multiple ones had to be better. I paid attention now. I wished I had brought some paper and a pen to take notes.
Candace turned off the room lights and started the slide show. The slides were actual close-up pictures of women’s vaginas with the labia held open to show the clitoris.
Note: This is the last excerpt of Cloyne Court that I am posting in this blog for now. There is great possibility that I may be able to post Excerpts 25 to 37 soon. I will be on vacation for a whole week, so it is very probable I will not be posting any new article until October 1.
Cloyne Court is available in your local bookstore (BN) as well as on line( Amazon and E-bay).
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