Hold onto your knickers, Grandma: Lots of girls kiss other girls these days. And I’m not talking air kisses. And I mean straight girls. I mean very straight girls, such as pledged virgins who are looking to explore the boundaries of their sexuality without crossing over that thin pink line.
Cue old people style reminiscence: I remember when I first heard about the straight girl-on-girl phenomenon. I was at a writers’ colony, working on my novel Younger, and left for the day to visit my twentysomething nieces Kimberly and Katie. Over dinner, I grilled them about what life was like for young women these days, and they told me about date rape drugs, and digital romance, and dressing professionally in the age of Paris Hilton.
And then one of them said, very casually, “Oh, and of course there’s the thing about girls making out with other girls.” That’s the point at which I spilled my Cosmo and my eyes popped out of my head and landed on the table. Yes, K & K informed me. It had become fairly standard for girlfriends to suck face (they didn’t use that term; I heard it in On Golden Pond) as part of the evening’s entertainment, to amuse onlooking guys as well as themselves.
Well, blow me down. When I went back to the writers’
institution colony and told this tale, the other middle-aged poetry scribblers were as shocked as I was. But a young woman who taught at a Southern college knew all about the new faux lesbians. “All my female students do it,” she said. “It’s especially popular among the pledged virgins.”
I wrote it into the book, and I’ve been on the lookout for casual girl-on-girl action ever since, though it still doesn’t seem to have hit my suburban New Jersey neighborhood. But if you’re in a bar in the city and you see two girls kissing passionately, don’t be shocked or assume they’re lesbians. And next time you’re feeling affectionate toward another mom in your book group or your BFF, you might consider forgoing the peck on the cheek and slipping her a little tongue.