Three Lesbian Sex Positions

Courtney Gillette

1. Have your partner be your first. Every girl needs a first. Meet at an Ani DiFranco concert like the giant cliche it is. Kiss for the first time in a sea of queers, the air smokey, the lighting soft. Have your partner’s name be a voluptuous mouthful of Italian-American femininity that belongs to a punk butch girl from Wilkes Barre: Valentina Padovano. Write it fifty thousand times in your diary. Make out with the way those eight syllables taste in your young mouth. Have your partner be a freshman at Temple University. Tell her that you’re also in school, which is true, except that it’s high school and it’s a town forty miles from Philadelphia. Talk to her on the phone every night. Meet her in the city for one date, two dates. Walk around Tower Records. Get pizza. Confess that you’re in high school. Have your partner choke on her cherry Coke. Ask if she’ll show you her dorm room anyway. Watch her smirk hard as she swivels on the vinyl stool in the pizza shop to press her leg against yours. Run walk the fifteen blocks to the Temple dorms. Have your partner take off her shirt first. Bend your mouth to the warmth of her bare skin by pure instinct. Hurry out of your shirt, your jeans, your glasses on the floor beside the low bed, the only light a harsh fluorescent street lamp through the cheap curtains. Touch as much as you can in the quick thirty five minutes before you have to catch the commuter train back home in time for your National Honors Society meeting. Have your partner insist on walking you to the train station, hand wound in yours, and kiss you deeply on the platform among all the businessmen and suburbanites. Call her the next day. Leave a message. Call her the day after that. Call her all during winter break until one day her roommate picks up and tells you that Valentina Padovano dropped out. Wonder what happened to her. Fifteen years later, wonder what happened to her.

2. Have your partner be a stranger. Write back when she responds to your Craigslist personal ad on the W4W page in 2002. E-mail each other for three months, no photos. You’re a nineteen year old NYU student and aspiring writer. She’s a Romanian athlete on a diving scholarship in Boston. Meet for the first time in Grand Central Station one cloudy spring day. Drink together and sleep together and take the Chinatown bus back and forth once a week. Tumble into a long distance relationship. Learn everything about one another’s bodies. Make up the lesbian sex education neither of you ever received. Write long letters filled with hope and longing and the high of young love. Have your partner lean back in the twin bed in your crappy apartment and watch while you take off your underwear. Swear on your life that this girl is the one for you. Bring her home for Christmas. Your mother will yell that if you’re not married, you can’t share a bed, and you will yell that gay people can’t get married in this stupid country, but still—you’ll have to sleep on the couch. Sneak up to your bedroom to hold that girl tightly against your body in the bed that once belonged to your lonely, teenage self. Have your partner invite you to one of her diving matches. Watch from the bleachers as amateur after amateur hits the water before your partner climbs the ladder, raises her arms, and dives. The water slices so clean it barely makes a sound. In her room, climb on her lap and kiss her so hard that she picks you up, walks to her desk, and shoves all her papers and books to the ground so that she can fuck you there. Offer to pay the fee at the end of the semester when she notices the scuff marks the desk made against the wall. Publish your first ever short story about how much you love this girl. Keep taking the Chinatown bus. Spend some weekends fighting. Spend some weekends knowing she’s away for a diving match. Have your partner call you crazy when you worry that she missed her flight home because she’s sleeping with someone else. Don’t be surprised when she calls crying a week later to say that you actually aren’t crazy. Have your partner mail you your things in the saddest box you’ve ever received. Publish your second short story about a cheating, lying diver and send her a copy. Attach a note that says do not fuck with a writer.

3. Have your partner order Seamless while you scoop the cat litter before taking down the trash. In your twenties, you have sex. In your thirties, you talk about having sex. End up here, in a long term relationship, a healthy miracle, a shared address. Go one week, two weeks, five weeks without sex. Worry that this is the lesbian bed death that you were warned of. Talk about it. Talk about having sex. Come home from work so tired that when you finally get to bed, you put your head upon your partner’s bare knee and whine, “Does this count?” Have your partner suggest that you have sex on Saturday. Wind yourself into a knot of anxiety so that Saturday night the idea of sex exhausts you. Promise your partner that you want her. Have her promise back that she wants you, too. Massage the nostalgia of how much sex you had when you met. Bed shaking, skip dinner, over and over sex. Go to the beach with some friends. Have your partner rub sunscreen on your back and wish that it felt like flirting. Watch the young queers who are topless and beautiful and envy their bravado. Drive back home. Find so much sand in your swimsuit and your jean shorts that you should probably take a shower. Have your partner say they want to shower, too. Get in the shower together, in your swim suits, because it’s practical. Laugh about how much sand there is. Squint when you wash your hair. Chat about summer, about maybe going out to dinner later, about the how the lavender shower gel is almost empty. Have your partner hug you when you’re both naked and the water is warm and the sand has washed down the drain. Keep hugging. Inhale deeply. Have your partner sigh. Press your mouth against her neck. Try not to worry. See what happens next.

Courtney Gillette’s essays have appeared in BuzzFeed, Electric Literature, The Huffington Post and Lambda Literary, among others. Her work was chosen by A.M. Homes for The Masters Review and also the winner of the Gertrude Press Prose Contest. She writes a TinyLetter series called First of the Month, and lives in Brooklyn with one bookseller and three cats.