Who's the Top?

From the film, “Who’s the Top?”

Perhaps you also have hid behind the couch while the older members of your family were watching a movie inappropriate for your age. You can hear the breathing and soft moans of the actors in the throes of sex; something is awakened inside of you that you have no name for, even as you’re sitting on top of the washer enjoying the rhythmic vibration on your genitals. You have no outlet for your desire, until one day when you’re 13 a handsome boy takes your hand and leads you to a darkened room of the church, and you enter a long-term scene of desperate groping and exchange of saliva whenever there’s a moment you can skip out of church service. Then you find he’s embarrassed of his innately sinful sexual desire, and all you have together must be kept secret. By the time you are 13-you are already jaded in love. So what does a jaded person do?

I, for one, turned to the world of fantasy, specifically musicals and films where the characters always seemed to be forsaken or obsessed with love and/or sex. The likes of Liza Minnelli in “Cabaret”, Idina Menzel in “Wicked” and “Rent”, Nicole Kidman in “Moulin Rouge!” and Audrey Hepburn in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” graced me in both my dreams and ideals. I projected my life path as becoming an actress in New York City, in everyday life perhaps a little fragile-but on stage a powerful force to be reckoned with. I was also simultaneously turned on by all of these women; their poise, their talent, and also that they were broken but confident. Innocent, but sexy. Also, many were either openly or questionably prostitutes. Prostitutes were the only women that frequented the pop culture I ingested at an early age who were unabashed in their sexiness. I found this trait so immensely attractive that I found myself fantasizing about what being a burlesque performer and courtesan would be and feel like.

Sex scenes in books were also my guide to the world of sexual relationships. I remained content as a virgin until I was 19, so the world of books were the only place I was going beyond heavy petting for a very long time. When I was in high school I found the feminist magazine “Bust” in my possession and I quickly found the erotica section-it happened to be a sex scene in a shared apartment laundry room between two lesbian neighbors that had just met. I would read it and reread-it, until my fingers were wet and I was cumming in my twin-sized bed; full of Christian guilt about thinking sexually of women, yet again.

Once I was in college, I came out of my shell of homophobic sexuality-through female cuddle buddies and flirting with queer women. But the day that tested my internal homophobia was the day the filmmaker Jennie Livingston came to my ballet class to give a guest presentation. Livingston is best known for her Sundance Grand Jury Prize winning film about gay ball culture “Paris is Burning”, as well as other queer-topic films. The piece we saw that day was a 22-minute short “Who’s the Top?”, which is a kinky, lesbian sex comedy with musical numbers. Some scenes included biker lesbians tying up the protagonist and tap numbers-with offered asses and spankings to boot. I was enraptured and really turned on. Afterwards Livingston asked if anyone had any feedback. I wish I had been brave enough to say, “Yeah, that was fucking hot!” Instead I perhaps coughed a little bit, and quickly left when class was released to go and masturbate. Livingston’s film embodied both my previously sacred space of musicals, my “profane” desire for women, and was my first exposure to the world of kink-which currently occupies most of my social and sex life.

Currently I am not where I expected to be on my life journey, but my wildest sexual fantasies have come true. I have a submissive girlfriend, who I can spank and flog to my heart’s delight. Also, after we started dating and also being polyamorous, I started a sex blog to chart my sexual journey under my kinky name Mstress Monster. I have matured in my conception of sex, and realized that not just prostitutes can take hold of their sexiness. I too can be sexy and not just maybe this time I’ll win-as Liza Minnelli crooned, but this time I will win.

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