Ch. 13: Fear of Sex (or discovering lesbian porn and trying it out at home). July 23, 1987.

Ch. 13: Fear of Sex (or discovering lesbian porn and trying it out at home). July 23, 1987.

A Chapter by Gee Roughin

Alice woke Suzie-Q up early. “Get up! Get up!” she said, shaking her. “I didn’t tell you last night--you seemed so tired! But Ruth wants you there at 7 am today! You shouldn’t miss it.”


Suzie-Q groaned and squinted. “What time is it?” It was still dark out.


“4:30. You need to leave at 5 to get yourself there on time. Do you want me to make you coffee?”


“Yeah, I’ll drink coffee today. Half an hour! I’ll never make it out of here in half an hour!”


“Yes you will. Anyway, it’s the good time to go to the shower while everyone’s sleeping. Now!”


Alice brought Suzie-Q eggs, toast and coffee to the bedroom 15 minutes later and then pushed Suzie-Q out of the house, map, address and phone number in hand. Suzie-Q was relieved she had washed her own clothes the day before.


It took her the full 2 hours to make it to Ruth’s neighborhood and find her house. It was a brick townhouse in the middle of the city. Suzie-Q had only ever ridden through this part of downtown before. She walked slowly, dazed by the animation, the color, the life and noise she found around her. Ruth opened the door with a big smile. “So, you made it, Suzie-Q! I’m glad you got here on time, we’ve got a lot of things to talk about!” Ruth was yelling out the door. Suzie-Q looked behind her but nobody seemed to notice. “What a great name!” she added as she closed the door. “Just like the dance.” Ruth danced the Suzie-Q while Suzie-Q just stood there staring. Suzie-Q had never even heard of the Suzie-Q. “What are you staring at?” Ruth kept going. “You look like you’ve never even heard of the Suzie-Q!” Suzie-Q couldn’t possibly admit that she’d never heard of the Suzie-Q, so she just kept staring. “It’s a swing step, from the 20’s--you don’t get out much do you?” Suzie-Q finally started to laugh.


“No,” she admitted, “and I’ve never heard of the Suzie-Q.” Ruth cracked up. They both held their stomachs.


“Well that’s a good start,” said Ruth. “If you can take that at 7 am, I think you can handle the rest!”


Ruth gave Suzie-Q a tour of the house. “The angels are sleeping, in there, and in there,” Ruth pointed on the second floor. On the third floor was a sitting room with a piano. “They can both practice in here"it’s nicer sound than in the bedrooms--but don’t let them try to tell you they can practice at the same time--they’ll try!” The fourth floor was a terrace. It was a beautiful view of the city from there--especially at that time of the morning. Suzie-Q got a dreamy look as she gazed far over the rooftops at the mist rising. “You’re a romantic, I can tell,” said Ruth. “You wanna cup a coffee?”


“Sure,” said Suzie-Q.


“Stay here and dream. I’ll be right back.”


Ruth disappeared downstairs. She came back with two cone shaped blue and purple mugs.


“Ok, let’s finish with the business part so we can move on to the rest. The kitchen is on the first floor--eat whatever you find in the fridge while you’re here--that’s part of your pay. There’s a detailed schedule of swimming lessons, violin lessons and piano lessons, with addresses and directions, on the kitchen table. You take public transport. There’s nothing today--you have a day to figure it all out. Today you can try the city park. The kids will tell you where to go.”


“There’s a transport allowance in one envelope and an eating out allowance in another. The transport allowance includes your commute. Only use the eating out allowance when you’re tired and on the other side of town--don’t dare use your own money--and the leftover’s yours if you don’t use it. They are not allowed to eat at MacDonald’s, Burger King, Dunkin Donuts, or anything like that. The kids know where they can and can’t go--keep a list of where you eat and give it to me--if they take you somewhere they’re not supposed to go, they’ll get it from me.


“They have a summer reading list--the explanation is on the kitchen bulletin board--and of course they have to practice 1 hour a day each--at different times!


“For the rest, do what’s fun for you. They can entertain themselves and hang out with friends, but you have to be with both of them--except during lessons--so they have to stay together. Any questions?”


Suzie-Q just stared.


“You’re just staring again,” said Ruth. “Oh, maybe it’s cause I didn’t talk about the moo-la. It’s $10 an hour, and I’d really like you 5 days a week for the moment if you can--8 to 6. Does that sound ok?”


Suzie-Q gulped. She hadn’t expected that much money. She felt embarrassed.


“Don’t spend it all in one place. You’ll need it once school starts in September. Speaking of which, I hear you’re a runaway. Can we talk about that?”


Suzie-Q’s summer white face went winter white. Why in the world did Alice tell her that?


“You thought I didn’t know? Listen, girl, you need help. Lucky Alice did tell me--I’m a very good person to help you, but you need to talk to me.”


Alice thought about Lida saying, “You can’t do it alone.” She was just working herself up to start when Ruth beat her to it again.


“Ok, a few things about me to begin with. First, I’m a child custody lawyer. Don’t panic, I won’t take your parents’ side unless they’re on your side. I also defend children when I think it’s in their interest.


“Now I’ll put it to you straight. At 16, if you need to get away from your parents, you’d be better off on your own with a lot of help than stuck in some foster home whose family culture might traumatise you, or in juvie. Only legally, you can’t be alone. You’re not allowed. That’s why you need help. The more I know about your situation, the better help I can give you. And the last thing I’ll do is tell your parents where you are without your agreement.”


“Ok, I’ll talk.”


“That was easy.”


“Not for me,” said Suzie-Q. And Suzie-Q began to talk. Suzie-Q told the whole story from the night the Russians came up to the rainy night before last in Alice’s back yard with the dogs. Then she stopped talking.


“Wow,” said Ruth. “You’ve got some guts. Don’t you worry about a thing,” said Ruth. “You’ll make it out of this mess.”

Suzie-Q believed her.


On their way back downstairs, Suzie-Q asked if Ruth had a ladies’ room she could use. Ruth laughed. “The ‘ladies’ room’ would be the one on the second floor,” she said. “Come on down to the kitchen and meet the family when you’re done.”


In the ladies’ room, Suzie-Q found a large stack of reading materials. On top was a magazine called On Our Backs. On the front cover was a black and white photo of a woman dressed in leather with a zip-up bustier in the middle of a construction site. The woman was not wearing make-up, and although she was alluring, she did not look like a model. Something in the woman’s expression was open, like someone you might know. Handcuffs were hanging from her belt.


Suzie-Q picked up the magazine and began to flip through it. The next shot she saw was a full-on take of a woman’s naked crotch. The woman in the photo was exploring herself with her fingers. Suzie-Q felt the blood rise to her face. She quickly flipped to another page, where she saw two women kissing. Like in the photo on the front cover, the faces of the two women looked natural, not glossy. One of the women was naked, and the photo showed her naked breast. The other woman in the photo had her hand on the naked woman’s shoulder, her fingers stretching towards the naked woman’s bare chest. Suzie-Q thought of kissing Sam the last night she had seen him, his palm stretching towards her breast. She wondered why she had stopped him. She wondered what would have happened if they had kept going. She couldn’t really remember why she had told him to stop, and then she remembered that the reason was God. For an instant, Suzie-Q wondered if she believed in God anymore. Then, since the thought was too shocking and scary, she changed it and decided to wonder if God really had such a bad attitude towards sex. She closed the magazine, flushed the toilet, carefully washed her hands and went downstairs.


As Suzie-Q walked into the kitchen, Ruth asked her in a very loud voice if she had found the lesbian porn in the “ladies’ room.” The blood rushed back up to Suzie-Q’s face, and she wasn’t sure how to answer.


“Look, you’ve embarrassed her Ruth,” said the man in the kitchen. Suzie-Q blushed a darker shade of red. “I’m perfectly sure she could have found it on her own.”


“If she weren’t embarrassed she wouldn’t be normal. I was certainly embarrassed the first time a saw a picture of a woman’s p***y. You’d never have known I saw my own every day in the bathroom! Suzie-Q, this is my husband, Samuel. Samuel, Suzie-Q.” Suzie-Q’s cheeks went yet another shade deeper. “Samuel doesn’t like to be reminded that I’m bisexual. He thinks it threatens him.”


“Pleased to meet you, Suzie-Q,” said Samuel, putting out his hand. “Ruth, I am not threatened by your bisexuality. I just don’t understand why our private life has to be divulged to absolutely every new person we meet.”


“I don’t see what my bisexuality has to do with ‘our private life.’ Besides, Suzie-Q, sex is political, and politics is public. That’s why I tell everyone I’m bisexual, and make good and sure all the women who come in my house find the lesbian porn!”


Suzie-Q had never before heard a couple disagree or argue in front of anyone else. She didn’t know what to think. Suzie-Q also didn’t really know what Ruth meant by “bisexual.” Suzie-Q didn’t even know those people existed, and she wondered what they did.


Ruth swept Suzie-Q back up to the second floor to meet the sleeping “angels,” then she and Samuel both left for work.



When Suzie-Q got home, Alice had dinner waiting. Suzie-Q told Alice about her day--everything except the lesbian magazine--in a torrent of words that seemed to keep coming round to the theme of food. Suzie-Q had a feeling that Ruth’s family ate good food and as much as they wanted of it. Suzie-Q wondered why she did not have that impression of her own family.


Picking up on Suzie-Q’s obsession, Alice finally broke in, in a whisper, “Was there ham in the fridge?”


Suzie-Q could tell the question was supposed to be insinuating, but she couldn’t tell why. Suzie-Q said, “Yes, but the kids didn’t seem to want any.” At that, Alice looked confused and disappointed at the same time.


Suzie-Q took her clothes to the bathroom to change and brush her teeth at the same time. When she came back, Alice hadn’t started to get ready for bed yet. Suzie-Q walked over to the bookshelf and scoured it with all her attention while Alice began to take things off. Alice came running over with nothing on on top yet to pull her favorite book off the shelf and hand it to Suzie-Q. Suzie-Q giggled, said thanks and didn’t look up, except once by accident.


When they finally got into bed, Suzie-Q felt restless. Alice kept turning one way and another, and sighing loudly. Suzie-Q held very still, but she wasn’t sleepy at all. Finally, Alice said, “Suzie-Q,”



“Are you sleeping?”



“Are you sleepy?”



Alice sprung up in bed. “Hey, I have an idea!” said Alice.

Suzie-Q remembered the night the Russians came, and the idea about seeing her nuclear bomb shelter. “This oughta be good,” said Suzie-Q.


“What if we pretend that one of us is a boy and one of us is a girl, and practice?”


“Practice what?” said Suzie-Q.


“Practice kissing,” said Alice, the last word in a whisper.


“Ok,” said Suzie-Q.


Alice jumped out of bed and started hunting around for something.


“What in the world are you doing?” asked Suzie-Q.


“You’ll see…” said Alice in a mysterious way.


Suzie-Q sat up and waited. Alice finally found a pair of scissors and a piece of red felt. She cut a square about half the size of her hand. Then she came back and sat down cross-legged on the bed across from Suzie-Q. She put the red cloth up to her lips and then said, muffled from behind the red cloth, “I’m ready.”


“What’s the red cloth for?” asked Suzie-Q.


“So it’s not like we’re kissing for real,” said Alice, muffled behind the red cloth.


“That’s silly,” said Suzie-Q. She took the red cloth off Alice’s mouth and kissed her for real, tongue and all. When she finished, she felt a little afraid of how Alice looked at her.


“Can we try that again?” said Alice timidly. “I’m not sure I got it.” Suzie-Q tried again. This time, she put her left hand on Alice’s back and pressed her forward so she could feel Alice’s breasts brush up against her own. Then, with her other hand, Suzie-Q touched Alice’s shoulder. She began to stretch the palm of her hand down towards Alice’s left breast.


Alice came up for air and said, “Hey, watch the hand.”


Suzie-Q thought Alice sounded like a line straight out of a “Just say No” movie about sex made for Christian teens. “That’s probably enough for one night,” said Suzie-Q, annoyed.


They both lay back down. Suzie-Q whispered to Alice, “Can I put my arm around you this time?”


Alice nodded.


Suzie-Q put her arm around Alice and brought her thumb right up so it was touching Alice’s breast. Alice pushed herself up tight against Suzie-Q’s thumb. Suzie-Q opened up her hand and said, “Can I please?”


“Ok,” said Alice.


Suzie-Q touched Alice’s breasts for a little while and then said, “Ok, let’s go to sleep now.”


“Goodnight Suzie-Q,” said Alice.


“Goodnight Alice,” said Suzie-Q. She kissed her on the neck. It took them both a long time to go to sleep.


The next day at work Suzie-Q took many trips to the “ladies’ room” to follow up on her reading. The pictures in the magazine were mostly not very trash, but they confirmed a feeling that Suzie-Q had that what she was experiencing with Alice was real and normal. The articles were highly informative. Suzie-Q was too afraid to really explore herself on her own, but she thought she was learning a lot that might be useful sometime in the near future.


Suzie-Q had to ward off a gnawing feeling that she was on her way down the slippery slope. But every time a slippery slope fear overtook her, she was reminded of her day on prostitute street, and she thought how close she had come to falling down a real slippery slope, and she thought that this one was much less dangerous. Suzie-Q felt guilty about God, but she couldn’t really believe that God created pleasurable things only to refuse and suffer from. Suzie-Q decided she was going to come up with her own theory about God and sex.

© 2011 Gee Roughin

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Added on November 6, 2011
Last Updated on November 6, 2011
Tags: fear, paranoia, America, 80s, lesbian, gay, bi-sexual teenagers, paranoid wasp


Gee Roughin
Gee Roughin

Cairo, Egypt

Before spending seven years writing Paranoid Wasp, I studied literature at Wheaton College (IL), Yale University and the University of Chicago. I moved to Paris in 1999. In addition to ten years in Fr.. more..