"Which one is the man, and which one is the woman?"
That is a question I have faced more times that I can count. Nosy and confused taxicab drivers generally pose the question while they are hauling me around Manhattan. The exchange goes something like this:
I enter the taxicab and tell the driver where to take me.
"You very pretty, Miss," the driver says, in a thick accent.
"Thanks," I respond, flatly.
"You got husband?" he continues, not at all dissuaded from prodding into my life.
"No, I have a wife," I say.
The driver shakes his head, astounded by the information that has just passed through my lips. He adjusts the rearview mirror to get a better eye-to-eye look at me.
"Wait... you married woman, so you lesbian?!" he stares intently at me, not paying any attention at all to the traffic on the road.
"Mmmhmm, yes," I confirm.
"Oh, my God," he says, truly shocked, "I never seen lesbian like you before."
He pauses, and takes a moment to continue to examine me, trying to decipher if I am, indeed, a lesbian, or if I'm just pulling his leg.
"You married... so, which one is the man, and which one is the woman?" he asks (of course).
"It doesn't really work like that," I respond, realizing that most sane people would tell him to shut the hell up and concentrate on driving. Lucky for Mr. Curiousity, I am cuckoo enough to continue the conversation.
"So, how it works, then? Somebody husband and somebody wife?" he asks, clearly very interested.
"I mean... my wife is not very feminine, but I wouldn't say she's the man and I'm the woman. It's complicated, and every lesbian couple is different," I try to explain.
"Oh, OK! So you the woman! You the wife," he declares, happy to have made his first LGBT breakthrough. In actuality, he still doesn't get it.
I sit and stare out the window, praying that we don't venture into the next logical step in the conversation. About half of the drivers will stop their questions at that point; the other half just have to know more details.
"How you have sex?" he asks, prying deeper into the secret vault of information.
"Um...," I say, trying to formulate the best answer. But before I can adequately put the words together, he jumps into more questions.
"Do you use tool?" he inquires, excitedly, "I have friend... he show me video once with two girls, and they use something like that."
First of all, he has a friend who showed him a video? Yeah, OK. Right, we've all heard that 4,000 times. Secondly, at this point I am getting a little uncomfortable. However, a voice inside my head says that maybe it's a good idea to educate the man, because more than likely, he will never ever again have the opportunity to ask a real live lesbian questions about sex. I press on and try to think of the conversation as Community Sex Education... taking one for the team.
"A tool? You mean, like a dildo?" I ask for clarification.
He nods his head, not taking his eyes off of me in the rearview mirror, totally oblivious to the delivery truck that almost hit the taxi.
"Well... sometimes we use a... uh, tool. On special occasions. But for the most part, we just use our hands," I explain.
"Mmmhmm?" he responds, attempting to process this information, "This very interesting for me. I never hear this things, and it make me very curious. So, I begin to understand it is like what they show in the porno movies, yes?"
"No," I say, firmly. "It's not anything like that at all."
Clearly, I could explain that I run a company that makes porn movies that show more realistically the kind of sex we have, but I wisely understand that such information would be far beyond what could be easily explained in a 10-minute taxicab ride. Moreover, revealing my "secret identity" -- lesbian porn impresario -- would subject me to further questioning and force me to answer even more intimate inquiries. I abstain.
Thankfully, by that point in the conversation, the taxi has reached my final destination, and as he turns off the meter, the driver leans back and says, "Thank you, Miss. So interesting things I learn today. I never hear this before. Maybe I have you in my taxi again! Then you teach me more!"
I exit the taxi, feeling relieved. I hope that my openness has paid off, since there is now one more person in the world who is less scared about same-sex sex. Maybe I am the first gay person with whom he has ever spoken. Maybe he will tell his friends what he learned from me. Maybe.
One thing's for sure; he will never forget what he learned from me.
Join me next week for Juicy Jincey's Binoculars, where I will zero my lenses in on the seemingly endless phenomenon called "Gay Guilt."