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Thursday, May 3, 2012

“Six Degrees of Ex Separation”

Miss-Adventures: A Hapless Helpless Hopeless Dater Teaching Tool

Good lord, the lesbian community is ever-so small.  Also, it’s ever-so incestuous.  I can’t tell you how many times a friend will start to date someone new and I either know them directly or know of them indirectly.  Worse yet, not only do I know them, but I probably know everyone they’ve ever slept with.  Worse than that, I can probably connect whom I’ve slept with and whom they’ve slept with in under six degrees.

Take my own relationship, for example: After all my (unsuccessful) attempts at online dating, whom do I wind up settling down with?  A friend of my ex wife’s.  And how did Glamazon come to be a friend of Ex Wife’s?  Through her ex girlfriend, of course.  That’s how it works in the lesbian community: we sleep with a new girl, invite her into the fold of our own social circle and maintain life-long(!) friendships with those girls even after we’ve broken up.  So naturally, we form this incestuous group whereby our former girlfriends, dates, hook-ups, dirty one night stands and drunken make-outs may only be divided by one or two people. 

I have a couple of theories as to why the Six Degrees of Ex Separation exists. 

Theory Number 1: Women’s natural instinct for bonding.  No, not bondage.  BOND-ING.  (Although I’m not here to judge if your thing also happens to be bondage.  Whatever.  I digress.) 

“Female bonding is a term that is used in ethology, social science and in general usage to describe patterns of friendship, attachment and cooperation in women; or in the case of ethology, associations between females of various species.”  (Thank you, Wikipedia)

Women are, by nature, highly emotional people.  More often than not, “dating” doesn’t just mean dinners out, dancing or a romp between the sheets.  It’s a U-Haul on the second date, marital engagement by week 10, bare your soul and wind up in couples counseling after six long years level of connection which renders both parties unable to simply cut their losses and walk away once the relationship ends. And this, of course, leads to an embarrassing ensemble of incestuous exes.

Theory Number 2: The lesbian community only accounts for 5-9% of the population (depending on your definition of what exactly constitutes a “lesbian”).  Everyone is someone else’s ex and just based on the sheer numbers, you’re bound to sleep with an ex of an ex.  Or a friend of an ex.  Or a roommate’s ex who drunkenly slept or made out with half of your social circle.  Anyway, you get the picture.

Lesbian New Math:

Jenny: “Did you hear who Kate is dating?”
Nicole: “You mean your ex?  No, who?”
Jenny: “Yeah. She’s dating Barbara.”
Nicole: “What happened to Carrie?”
Jenny: “We kinda hooked up last week. But I think she’s going out with Rachelle.”
Nicole: “But Rachelle and I made out at the bar last night!”

Jenny Kate
=
Kate + Barbara



Kate Carrie
X
Carrie + Jenny
=
Lesbian New Math
Nicole + Rachelle
Carrie + Rachelle

As twisted as it sounds though (and not just psychologically; the diagram, at best, resembles a drunken game of Cat’s Cradle), I wouldn’t have it any other way.  It’s a strange, incestuous and sometimes very dramatic community, but in the end, I feel supported by it, comforted (and yes, weirded out too) that, when the heartache is over, my best and most casual friends have known me so intimately and have seen parts of my soul that most people never see.  I look forward to the day when my “inner circle” of friends is comprised of the first girl-crush I ever had, the woman she pursued instead of me, that girl’s former roommate and her partner, my ex-wife and her current girlfriend (and my ex’s ex who lives in her basement and sometimes babysits Glamazon’s and my future child[ren]).  (Were you able to follow that or should I diagram it?)  It’s one big dysfunctional and gossipy family but a “family” nonetheless.