Tell me about love


A picnic on a bed in Paris


It’s summer time in the Northern Hemisphere and that means summer movies. A look at the popular movie listings is a bit discouraging to my film-going tastes.

I’d like to see something that takes my breath away, something that is about women loving women. Something that’s not a soap opera, something that’s not cliché, something that’s not porn. That’s not to say there haven’t been good or fun or titillating movies: Tipping the Velvet, High Art, When Night Falls, I Can’t Even Think Straight, Fire, Saving Face and a few others come to mind but nothing truly timeless, universal and outstanding.

Why is that? It’s not as if there aren’t lesbian film makers, lesbian writers, lesbian actors and important lesbian relationships. Why hasn’t there been an outstanding, well-written, finely acted, well-composed film about a love shared between two women who happen to be lesbians. Why is it that a recent lesbian film was promoted as having the longest-ever onscreen kiss? Because that’s what makes a film? Or that’s what makes money?

And so, I wondered about love between women, as experienced by women other than me and why it might be so difficult to capture and translate into art.


Is love the same? A certain number of similar scenarios played out across all sorts of partners whether the partners are same-sex or opposite sex? And who said men and women are opposite? Opposite to what? Each other? Male is opposite female? Really? How quaint is that? But I digress. Again.

In films, there are formulas. Boo to that. Don’t give me that Hollywood/Bollywood storyline. And please: all that lesbianic, Bound-style noir stuff is oh so boring. I want the telling, revealing slice of life, the wacky, happy, sad, intense, iconic moments that tell me what love is, why it is, when it is,  how it is and where it is and what that line is; between what love is and love isn’t and what it could be and why it will never be.

I want glimpses that hint at what brings love into existence and what makes it go away, arrows that point to those soaring emotions and the feelings that make you want to rip out your heart and your guts and throw them on the floor and for good measure, jump up and down on them, to prove a life and death of love, and then to see them shoved back inside, to see those guts move and that heart start beating again.

I want the stories that tell me why we bother with love and loving, why we do it, what we do it for, what we get, what we give, what we feel, where we feel it how we feel it and what it means, if it means anything whatsoever.

And because we do not come into the world as disconnected, isolated capsules of skin and water and blood, I want to see what friendship love is, what family love is and why it is and what it is and what, what, just what does love mean with these non-lovers: what is it from those we call friends and those we call family? How do these loves influence the other love, the love between two, and especially, love between two women? Don’t give me those pat pop-psych Dr. Phil, Oprah, Rumi, Sylvia Plath, Pablo Neruda quotes. I’ve heard them all. Whisper a truth about love and loving instead.

About love between women…

Women are not men. Straight women are not lesbians. Do we, as lesbians or bisexual women think the same or feel the same as straight women do? Do we see things the same way as straight women do even if we have things in common like periods, and ovulation, and worrying about, oh, everything. Do we think and feel the same about love and loving?

Tell me, tell me, tell me. What about lesbian love? I know about mine. I want to know about others. I want to know what they think and what they feel and why and what and how and where and who and when, because we are not like other people, are we, us lesbians? Are we? And what of the notion of lesbian mates?

We don’t go looking for that mate that will give us the good-looking children, that (manly)man whose genetic material we think will confer some special benefit to our offspring; someone who will protect us, give a good home — do we? We aren’t like everyone else — yet. How does an evolutionary biologist explain us? Do we need to be explained away? Does anyone besides me think that maybe just maybe some evolutionary biologists are jumping to conclusions? Some might put it down to affiliation needs because goddess knows, women can’t have raw-need-you-now love feelings that are just as much a part of loving as holding hands at the movies. Just sayin’.

So tell me. And for those of you who eschew love as an old-fashioned notion, good for nothing except misery and music, I will tell you this — with all due respect to W. Somerset Maugham: that love and loving is an exhilarating, breathtaking, heart-stopping, life and mind expanding thing, interspersed with waves of calm, affectionate heartbeating experiences. And my advice to you is to have everything, anything whatsoever to do with it, everywhere and everywhen that you can when it’s right and maybe even once or twice when it’s wrong.

Love answers? Love conquers? No. Maybe. Sometimes. Love is forever a question, a call; a shield, a garden. Love is art and sky. It’s the alphabet and words arranged just so on a page; love is water, sun, sky, moon, morning, ground, house, train, wings, car; it’s the park, rocks and stones and the sand, the night; the kiss on the forehead, the book, the story and her arms around you and your arms around her. Love, when it’s in the form, the sound, the shape, the taste, the feel, the proof that 1+1=3, matters.

Maybe it’s not time for an outstanding film of a lesbian love that works. Maybe the money and talent and interest just isn’t there for a film that tells a timeless, universal lesbian love story. Maybe in the world of entertainment, being a lesbian is reduced to a weird trinity of coming out, crazy-assed drama and sex depicted as comedy, sad drama, three-way murder mystery or porn.

Somebody please: make a great, outstanding film about a lesbian love.


About FS

Toronto, Canada. Writing about slices of life, the moments and minor details of which come into awareness or out of imagination and the spaces inbetween. On hiatus from writing ... at least for now.
This entry was posted in being a lesbian, lesbian, lesbian life and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

17 Responses to Tell me about love

  1. anonymous says:

    as a straight man it is very disgusting to me to see women falling in love with other women. this makes me want to vomit. there are so many more lesbians now out there than ever before. what about us straight men that are looking to meet straight women today? do you women exist? i sure hope so.

    • fs says:

      Hello, Anonymous: I debated a long while whether or not to allow anger and hate to enter here. Your anger and hate has nothing to do with being a straight man. Not all straight men begrudge women who are lesbians their love. Many of my very good friends are straight men and they have found love, and marriage and children and everything they wanted. And many of my straight women friends want to know where all the good straight guys are because they can’t find them. It is true that relationships are hard to find these days. Straight, gay or otherwise. Where do you go to meet someone? In times of internet speed, how do people take the time to get to know one another? What I think I can be confident of is this: straight, gay or otherwise, anger will not draw a good love to you.

      I could debate many of the things you said in your three lines of not very nice things to people you do not know, including me, who have never said or done anything to you to warrant your angry words.

      For any man looking to meet women, be where women are and be a good person, a good heart. Good straight women exist, as do good straight men. If you can’t be where women are, there is the internet. Today, 11 per cent of all marriages begin on the internet. I’m not too sure hate and anger fits with ‘good’ anything. However, I do hope you find her, the woman you’re looking for. She’s out there. And if I may offer a word … romance over anger. Lovingkindness over blame. Because you might find her and lose her to — or because of — your anger and lashing out. Women, straight women and lesbians, generally do not find that appealing. And if we do find it appealing, we’re generally over it by the time we’re 30.

    • tanalin says:

      you feel disgusted at people falling in love with each other and not you? you hate that women offer their hearts and bodies to each other and not you? I know a prayer called I pray you enough (google it) and I pray you enough insight so see that when you stop hating then a woman might love you and you might be able to love her and yourself enough to have the respect that LOVE deserves….. drop the is there enough left for me babble and start working on yourself… be a real man and learn to love who you can be and then only then will the person you might be able to let go to will come along ….. ok enuf said off to love my woman …………

      • fs says:

        Dear T: Thank you….it was a challenging process to decide to let his comment through — and not sweep it away with spam swiper. Love on balance always wins. Freedom, on balance always wins. Open, on balance always wins. Hate, control and closed does not last. It is not the way of the human spirit or the human heart. Your woman is lucky to have you: thank you for speaking up.

  2. UK says:

    In my opionion “the perfect” movieromance is not something you will find in a romantic movie! 😉 Something MORE than good looking women, laughter, sadness, angst, tears, handholding and … is needed to build up the right frame in which to enact TRUE romance… I think.

    However much I love “I can’t Think Straight” and “Imagin You and Me” as lesbian feelgood movies both could do with that extra layer fs mention. That extra something that makes the romance “feel” real …. perhas something like “Saving Face” or “Aminée and Jaguar” both movies with storielines that moves beyond the romance.

    • fs says:

      Dear UK… I think you’re onto something there; there needs to be a strong context and story other than simply the romance. TO be honest, I am not a fan of any kind of romance movie: and I now won’t go to see a movie, “just” because it’s got lesbians in it, although, I will see ANYTHING that Lisa Rae is in. (Be still my beating heart!) I loved Saving Face and Blow Dry for the very reasons you mention. Thank you :-).

  3. terrisitagg says:

    “There are two primary choices in life: to accept conditions as they exist, or accept the responsibility for changing them.”
    Denis Waitley

    Just sayin’! Sounds like you have a collaboration on your hands!!
    By the way, I have yet to find all the nuance, richness, expression, depth and beauty in the telling of ANY kind of love story. Maybe I’m just too particular, or jaded?
    As always dear FC, well writered.

    • fs says:

      Dearest T: Particular is good, and I’m not sure I’d say you’re jaded. Real life doesn’t always translate well to film, or theatre; it’s the extraordinary moments inamongst all the ordinary ones, and somehow.. we look to those to sustain us, when sustenance is a thing that is both powerful and mundane. I am sometimes struck that the best stories and best enactments of stories are basically around here is what happened, and here is how the people around what happened managed it, dealt with it. Love happens. It finds people (if it’s an energy)

      and you know me, T: There’s always a third or fourth way ;-).

      thank you….as always… thank you. I’m glad you pop in.

  4. Pingback: You may not be her first …. « Brae. A gay woman's tale!

  5. Brae says:

    FS .. I think if anyone can right a screenplay to do this then it is you!

    You “connect” on so many levels with the thoughts and heart of so many lesbians out there ..

    This is just a fantastic post, again!

    Thank you

    • fs says:

      Hello, you… awwww thank you. I’d LOVE to write the story, you know….;-) maybe that’s a project!

  6. bookish butch says:

    Not too much, but, give me an example of a movie that you think has all that, and maybe we can coloborate on a screenplay, just saying, could be fun:-)

    • fs says:

      BB: There hasn’t been one that has all that that I’ve seen, although having said that, I haven’t seen all of the lesbian films in the world… so it might be out there and I don’t know it. There are a few wee films that TOUCH, just touch on the three loves, so for example:

      — while the lesbian relationship is not central to the story, it’s an important part… It’s called Blow Dry, with Natasha Richardson.
      — Nina’s Heavenly Delights is sweet(ish)

      Wow… now collaborating would be a very cool thing to do… ;-).

      • bookish butch says:

        Haven’t seen Blow Dry, but, I loved Saving Face, and it was multi-layered.

      • fs says:

        Dear BB: Yes, it was: I love, love love Saving Face. I think it could have gone a bit deeper into a few things, but yes: it hits the points. I highly recommend Blow Dry. It is surprising.

  7. bookish butch says:

    I like Imagine you and Me and Better Than Chocolate, a lot, not perfect but, romantic and about taking chances, nice:-)

    • fs says:

      BB: Yes… they are sweet, and sweeter. and perhaps even true to life in their way. I suppose maybe, I expect something MORE — something richer, deeper, layered. something that works on numerous levels..? Is it too much to ask, do you think? Maybe we’re not there yet in our art..?

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