I don’t like flirting. I don’t like being coy. It has always struck me as painfully fake.
Subtext in situations always screams so much more loudly to me than the words being spoken. It can be deafening. So when I sense someone flirting or looking me in the eyes playfully, I can’t take it. Flattered or not, I cut the room with a joke. Make boys laugh. Laugh with boys. Simple, honest, and 90000% more fun. It has worked out extraordinarily well for me. Silly over sexy. No problem.
My boobs came in late. So did my period. I remember wearing padded bras and looking at my watch, wondering why I didn’t have my own run-out-of-the-classroom-cuz-I-bled-through-pants anecdote. How FUN! The female comradery! Trading stories! It’s not that I was rushing to grow up, I just kept thinking it would happen and it just.. didn’t. TilI was 15. My body wasn’t womanly, and the way I carried myself wasn’t womanly. I walked through the halls with a huge cheesy smile, greeting everyone with a high pitch “hiiiiiiiI!!!!!” and lanky armed wave.
So when I inevitably get to the moment of truth, being ‘sexy’ with my first boyfriend, I thought, what the hell does that look like on me? Welp, I was fifteen so it looked like H&M drenched in insecurity. Why did I need to be sexy for this boy that all I did was cuddle and laugh with? I didn’t win him over by seduction, I won him over because I was small and weird. It was like someone asking me to put on a dumb costume while they wear normal clothes. Why do I have to perform? What was the point? I resented the notion.
Eventually, I would find myself in acting school being asked by my teachers to portray confident vixens. They saw powerful, sexually deviant women swimming in me, which was so beyond my understanding. I was someone whose main interests were dogs and bad improv. I wasn’t some kind of sexually tone-deaf dweeb, but I was nervous.
I had trouble “initiating” within my loving relationships. How da heck am I supposed to do it in front of you? In front of the class? In front of this live audience?
To start a sexual moment, staged or real, you have to want to be seen. You have look at the person (Probably in directly their eyes. I know. Bummer ), TAKE OFF YOUR CLOTHES (!!!), and do this slowly, carefully, and pretend like this is easy and comfortable for you. You have to make them want you. You have to bend over, say so much while actually saying nothing. But.. what if you’re stuck waiting? What if they laugh when this is actually NOT a joke you made on purpose? What if they look at you and say, “Ehhh. You’ll get some when you’re older. You’re just a kid.” And all of a sudden I am back to being 15 and wondering why my period is taking so damn long. Maybe it will never come. Maybe I’m not worthy of womanhood.
These are old fears realized in a “funny girl”. I like making people laugh. I like laughing. I like the feeling of almost disbelief that I get when someone hits my G-spot of humor. Oof, that’s rare and sho-as-hell sexy.
Eventually I began to feel confident and sexy under various gazes, partner and director. I don’t have a precise reason why this happened. Maybe it was just time, I dunno, but being vulnerable this way doesn’t daunt me anymore. After bearing typical New York trauma for two years, holding my ground on the pavement, getting from A to B, fending off jerks and carving out Who I Am amid the myriad of traits and energies, I do feel womanly. I do feel worthy of your gaze. I do feel in control of my moment because I know that I am worth your time.
I think the trouble with sexuality is sometimes we feel that it’s supposed to look like something, like you’re doing it wrong. ‘She did it better’ ‘She looks so natural’ ‘He wants me THIS way’ But that’s all bullshit. The way I am sexual can only be as developed as I am in this moment, and it’ll grow and change. I don’t have to push anymore. Orgasms just look the way they’re gonna look on different people, staged or real, elegant or ugly.
As I tell the stories of the women in JERK, I don’t have to access anybody’s truth except for mine. They’re all different women I’ve been at different places in my life. Some of them are okay being seen. Some aren’t. That’s fine. They’ll get wherever they’re getting to, in good time. 8=D ❤
Becky Granger (Women) is excited to be a part of Critical Point Theatre’s JERK. Before moving to New York last January, Becky received her BFA in Theatre Performance from Virginia Commonwealth University. This year she performed in Why? A Reverse Christmas Carol About a Woman Who Voted For Trump at UCB, along with various stand up comedy shows around NYC.