December 21, 2007

Season 5 Predictions

March 26, 2007

Revenge Fantasies

I'll Have Some Revenge, Please, with a Side of Sin

Viewers love a good villain, and Jenny decidedly stepped it up to become legendary this season from the moment Some of Her Parts got panned — not in The New York Times Book Review or the Los Angeles Times, but in the lesser known (within the literary community) Curve.

She took down animals and virtuous vets. She whipped out her pen — well, her laptop anyway — and swiped at her friends, and then threw down the gloves and had a catfight (a peeing Pomeranian in tow) with Tina in the middle of a development meeting. Wow! If only her guardian angel, Shane, weren't so distracted by her parenting and romantic duties, then she could have reined in her roommate — not that Jenny is her responsibility, but she does have a way of defusing her temper and keeping the girl in check. Let's face it, Jenny makes hating fun, and we all need an outlet for our various frustrations, no? Okay, maybe it's just me. Admittedly, I didn't always hate her until this season, when her behavior became unspeakably egregious, though I hope she comes back to face the music. (And props to Mia Kirshner for turning in a brilliant, funny, truly sinister performance: It can't be easy to be vilified by fans, and yet it's got to be fun as an actor to let loose. But I digress...)

How do you seek revenge against an attention-seeking manipulator like Jenny? Anything you do to her will justify her feelings of persecution, and/or provide literary fodder. I have concocted many fantasies for the sake of conversation, though in reality, I harbor very few, because I am a believer in karma. Exacting revenge against someone like Jenny is an indulgence — the avenger is indulging her subject. Sure, I'd love to see Schecter go head-to-head with Oprah, and face a national inquisition a la James Frey: Remember how Oprah went through his book page by page, her pointy boot mere inches from that smug face of his, ripping him into, well, a million little pieces? But Jenny has survived a poolside face-off with Kate Arden and Stacy Merkin, and, made it to Tasha's party without a hitch, knowing she'd see Kate there. She's a fearless little hussy, that one.

The best thing to do with a Schecter-type is to sit back, wait, and watch her get herself into her own kind of trouble. Because, inevitably, she will. She's burned the bridges, worked herself into a froth — and friends don't forget. Don't help her, let her be responsible in her own demise, and revel in the Schadenfreude when all is said and done. What better revenge is there than that? Your hands are clean, and you've deprived her of the very thing she wants most: Your undying attention.

P.S. The cat cameo this week was not Miss P. It was her very shy brother, who is known to hide in rafters and under desks for hours at a time. Some friends don't even believe he exists. But here's living proof.

March 01, 2007

Sex with an Ex

Are You a Member of the Vulva Mafia?

First off, I want to respond to some of the feedback I've been receiving. I realize these v-logs seem to start in the middle of a thought process, so I'd like to explain myself: With each v-log, I pick an issue or a theme from The L Word explores, and integrate it into a discussion about our lives — okay, my life and those of my friends. But the objective is to inspire you to share your own stories with a v-log or with your own feedback. Okay, just wanted to give you some context.

In this season's opener, Alice says one of Dana's last dying wishes was for her to broaden her social horizons. Alice — the best friend a girl could ever ask for, the consummate diplomat, and most importantly, the keeper of The Chart-heeds Dana's words, and indeed ventures out into new "portals." She gives Bette's boss, Phyllis Kroll, her first dose of lesbian sex-and it is as unforgettable for the much older, married Phyllis, who is decidedly in love with Alice as it is unmemorable for the astronomer of the lesbian universe. She reaches out to one of the hubs of her Chart — Papi, the self-described love machine, whose high volume of sex partners crash Alice's server. Her pursuit of Papi takes her out of West Hollywood — finally! — where she discovers a world outside of The Planet and Fred Segal, and encounters a lesbian community she never knew existed. And through Papi, she falls in love with Tasha Williams, an officer in the Army's National Guard, whose sense of patriotic duty clashes with Alice's politics, which just serves to deepen her feelings for Tasha.

Whether we're gay or straight, it's hard to leave our comfort zones and go out into the world to meet new people. But I think we L girls are especially inclined to stay within the communities we've created for ourselves because, for many of us, our friends double as our surrogate family. Our friends may be our social planners, matchmakers, drinking buddies, friends with benefits, dinner dates, confidantes, head hunters, all of the above, or some combination thereof. We're like a vulva mafia, watching out for each other, hooking each other up with love, with jobs, with whatever we need. And we need that safe haven.

But sometimes our world can get too insular, suffocating, even — especially if you wake up one day to realize that half of your friends are exes, and the other half is off-limits because they are the exes of everyone else. Opening a new "portal" a la Alice takes courage, but it's wholly beneficial: you may discover a new world, rid yourself of boredom even if you didn't know you were feeling it, and best of all, keep yourself out of trouble... at least for a little while.

February 06, 2007

Sexploits

Sleeping around with your vadge badge on...

We've seen Alice's "High Noon" fantasy between Shane and Papi, the two real lezberados of The L Word, but while they rival one another in bed-notch volume, only one wears the vadge-badge with pride. This isn't to say that Shane doesn't cop to sleeping around; rather, she's just not boastful or competitive by nature. Do women like Shane and Papi actually have more voracious sexual appetites than their peers? Or is this about something else entirely? This Lezberado here is not a shrink, but drawing on my own observations and experience, prolific sex appears to be filling a void for each of them — for Shane, it's about confronting and rejecting intimacy; giving in to resignation because she is convinced she's inherited a womanizing trait from her father, and constantly proving to herself that leaving a woman's bed before breakfast is a testament to her determined independence. In a way, it's also about shame — facing it, indulging it, avoiding it. But Shane is really trying to work on it. For Papi, with whom we're not yet well acquainted, I can only guess that it's a manifestation of her insecurities. She's discovered that she's good at making women feel desired, and mastered her own kind of "circle game" (though I don't think that's what Joni Mitchell had in mind). Papi may be a legend in her own mind, but it works for her. She's a Sapphic celeb, the Warren Beatty of East LA.

This isn't to say that these women and women like them aren't in it for the pleasures of sex, too; nor is it to say that they are incapable of love. Of course sex and love are both important to them: We're all sentient beings. But as Shane learned with Cherie Jaffe and Carmen, love is daunting; it often happens when you're not expecting it, and you're not always at the ready and capable of accepting all that comes with being in it. I joke that I had once been an accidental slut, and thought that every sexual conquest held the promise of a potential relationship, only to learn it was a one-night stand when she didn't call the next day. For the record, that's only partially true. I squeezed a couple more days out of a few of them... One of them has even stuck around for six years and counting. Go figure.

January 30, 2007

My name is... Lezberado!

Thoughts on my first video; plus, more questions about lesbians going straight.

Please forgive my first V-Log. It was this Lezberado's maiden voyage, and I must say, I was suffering a potent combination of the flu, a slew of work deadlines, and not a little performance anxiety — I don't usually bottom for the camera. So you were very gracious to bear my stream of unfinished thoughts on all things L where season 4 is concerned.

I believe I went off on a Tina-related tangent, and I wanted to finish the thought I began in the V-Log, when I said that quite a few of my dyke pals switched teams in the past couple of years. No, not the sexually ambivalent and ambiguous types: We're talkin' lifers. As we see with Tina, she has had to come out all over again, this time to her queer friends, many of who are mad at her, mistrustful of her, perhaps even feeling betrayed by her recent life change on some level. What we don't see on The L Word with the Tina storyline, but we might know from our own "hasbian" friends, is the re-coming out process to straight friends and family, who may be confused and think, well, if you can fall in love with a guy now, why did you shtup women for twenty years? Because you can, I say. But I digress. Just as with straight women who fall in love with women later in life, there is a life change that comes with falling in love with someone you never expected to. And none of these factors make the transition any easier.

There is no denying that lesbians who get involved in opposite-sex relationships enjoy all that comes with heterosexual privilege, which is to say, the world is their oyster. But sexual orientation usually extends beyond sexuality — it's how we live our lives. And if one of us falls in love with someone of the opposite sex, does it mean she wants to renounce her past? Halt all connections with her friends? Stop loving Le Tigre? Lose her ability to understand the way she once lived?

And do "hasbians" develop a taste for the kind of a hetero life that includes a total aesthetic change, an embrace of bridezilla culture, and an ability to watch Desperate Housewives without campy irony?

Tina struggles for sure, in part because she's feeling a bit sensitive and perhaps even a little paranoid because of her own insecurities in having this new life with Henry (and in part because it's in her nature). Perhaps she may find the straight life isn't for her. Only time and a few episodes will tell. This here Lezberado is a Kinsey 6, so I assure you, I'm not offering up an apologia because I am contemplating a life change, not at all. But as an erstwhile lothario, who relishes my many wonderful memories of straight girl conquests, I can appreciate just how fluid is sexuality, and I try my best to withhold judgment so that I can join in my friends' revelry as they find love, wherever it may be. It's clichι to say it, but it's not going to stop me: Life really is full of surprises, especially in matters of the heart.

--The Lezberado

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