Like Gentleman Jack I'm a lesbian who loved seducing straight women – 'turning' women turned me on
I'M a lesbian and for a good ten years, I hooked up with 'straight' women.
Some of my lovers still can’t admit they slept with me because they’d been cheating on their boyfriends (now-husbands) – so I get the thrill of the secretive chase that excites Anne Lister in Gentleman Jack.
Suranne Jones plays Anne Lister in Gentleman Jack, a land owner who seduces straight Ann Walker (Sophie Rundle)
The raunchy sex scenes between Anne, played by Suranne Jones, and supposedly straight Ann Walker (Sophie Rundle) have got viewers hot under the collar, especially as they're based on a true story.
Anne was a landowner who was teased for being masculine but had a string of female lovers. The current series set in Halifax in 1832 is based on her real-life diaries which were so steamy she wrote them in code.
People are amazed by how brazen she is and I get it – seducing straight women is sexy, there's something about the forbidden fruit which is so erotic.
Why lesbians wear ponytails
That's not to say the show is totally on point though.
The sex scenes are Hollywoodised – no lesbian would, like Anne, let her hair go loose just at the crucial moment she’s about to pleasure another woman.
It’ll just get in the way.
But I’m pleased the show is removing some of the horrible stereotypes about how lesbians have sex.
The pornified myth is that we’re simpering fools waiting for a man to show us ‘real’ sex.
The other myth is that we’re too ugly to get it from a guy, so are out to convert straight women.
Obviously untrue if you've seen Anne's epic romp with her married lover Marianna Lawton (Lydia Leonard).
Things got so steamy she even timed her orgasm – how many straight couples do that?
Yes, if Anne can’t mange to woo Miss Walker, I’d gladly have her.
Forbidden fruit – and I'll have a bite
I’ve loved watching Anne become deeply immersed in an illicit affair with straight Ann, tossing her yards of underskirts aside for sexy, secretive romps left, right and centre.
When she lured Miss Walker in by saying she had to "study anatomy"? A genius line if ever I heard one – and judging by the split second of mouth-open, orgasm-stuffed action we then saw Miss Walker was a fan too.
As a lesbian, I can completely get the draw of a straight woman.
Like in Gentleman Jack, many are scared of the unknown – which makes it a doubly exciting challenge.
Some of my supposedly-straight conquests even kept our time together secret because they wanted to keep their heterosexual rep, and that wasn't even the ones who had blokes at home.
That said, I quickly learned that coming on to a woman as strongly as a boy does can come across as creepy, so I used the gift of the gab.
By university, I barely tried to seduce anyone, instead making my sexuality very public and waiting for the girls to stream in. You could say I had a touch of the Gentleman Jack about me.
I ended up with some brilliant women who were, partly inspired by Lindsay Lohan dating Samantha Ronson at the time, up for a lot of fun.
Turning women turned me on
Bedtime is always great when a woman realises she’s with someone who knows what’s what.
Gentleman Jack’s Anne, with a bit more money to her name, went all out when she splashed her cash on a special Wendy house for her and Miss Walker to romp in away from prying eyes.
I didn't need that, instead stealing snogs in toilet stalls, down alleyways, in each other’s rooms in the dead of night.
Every time I was alone with these women, my heart thumped out of my chest. Not only did this other woman fancy me, she was risking so much stigma to be with me.
So, yes, I get where Anne is coming from, but I’m not sure things will end well for her.
For that decade I hooked up with straight women, whenever things didn't work out I blamed society for making them think it was easier to be with a bloke.
But as soon as I dated other lesbians, I realised I could be the problem, too.
I was treating women in the same way I’d seen men treat them: patronising them, misleading them, playing games.
Viewers might laugh at the scene where Anne battles with Miss Walker’s many layers of clothes, but it's no wonder they were nervous. This wasn’t the only obstacle the pair faced – at that time lesbians didn’t have a name, let alone a community, and finding someone like Miss Walker, who was interested would have been as knee-tremblingly exciting as any action between the sheets.
Even now some would like to think Anne is a deviant out to defile a nervous young woman.
But I say she’s actually helping Miss Walker come to terms with her sexuality, and that’s a good way for lesbians to be represented.
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