Tuesdays with Ana: What do two women do in a bedroom, anyway? (On violence against women)

As we are gearing up for Kat’s birthday bash and the community festivities over the next week or two (to celebrate the release of Lighting the Way THIS Thursday, June 6!), I have had the delight of receiving quite a few submissions for Kat’s birthday club. Kat has received a hand-drawn birthday postcard, several fan-fic stories, and plans for how to celebrate her day. For those of you who read “Tomorrow” in Coming to Terms, you’ll know that Kat has never before celebrated her birthday.

You’ll get to see the wonderful line-up of birthday wishes, one per day for as long as people send them in.

What I’d like to talk about today is something serious. One of the comments Kat received was, “What do two women do in a bedroom, anyway?” There were comments about strap-ons and her perceived sexual life with Natalie.

I’d like to talk more about these kinds of comments and kinds of assumptions that are made about two women who love each other.

When two women love each other, it must be:

  • based on genital parts coming in contact with each other
  • deficient because no penis is involved
  • valuable only to the extent that it imitates male-female genitals coming in contact with each other
  • a source of lurid, titillating curiosity for heterosexual speculation and viewing pleasure
  • sexual, rather than platonic
  • a rejection of men, due to rejection by men, or a political statement about men–in short, even in the absence of men, it must be centrally related to men

The irony is that Kat and Natalie’s story is, at heart, a love that defies definitions. One reader said, “I want Kat and Natalie to kiss so badly that I can taste it” and that they are obviously soul mates. Another reader said it reminded her of her own college roommate, years ago. Yet another reader said it made her think about a girl whom her family loved while she was younger.

The attack on Kat and Natalie, the ugliness and the assault, happens because a few guys feel entitled to certain responses from two adolescent girls. When I wrote this story, I was so adamant about Kat and Natalie not being clearly defined as lovers because the physical details of their bedroom life have absolutely no bearing on the “right” of boys to attack them. Because Kat and Natalie were perceived to be lesbians (because why else would any girl refuse the advances of a drunken college boy after midnight in a dark area of campus?), they were attacked and shamed. Their actual, biological, physical sexuality was irrelevant.

As Sir Patrick Stewart said so poignantly and passionately in this video, violence against women is never the answer. Physical, sexual, emotional…it is never the answer. While it is true that there are many forms of violence and women can also be perpetrators, the violence committed against women does not end with the visible marks of fists and beatings. The violence of reducing women’s love to voyeuristic, titillating pleasure is a violence just as long-lasting and just as dehumanizing.

When one girl walks in public holding the hand of another girl, do we really need to know what happens in the bedroom behind closed doors? Do we need to know the precise contact points of clitoris and labia and vulva? Is it possible…gasp…for one woman to love another without it being sexual?

When I wrote my first F/F sex scene, I found out that I could describe the intimacy and connection in a way that didn’t sully the characters, myself, or readers. (I understand that many people read, write, and enjoy erotica. I respect them and support them. Kat and Natalie, however, are different. Not better or worse, just different.) I found that writing the sex scene was beautiful in its own way, and it deepened and enriched the story between Carene and Leila.

Kat and Natalie, however, are my special couple. Their love is a sister-partner-friend-roommate love (at times almost parental, with Natalie looking out for Kat) that is the love all of us have felt when we have found a female friend who loves, supports, and infuriates us.

What I hope readers will take home is the realization that the love between Kat and Natalie is universal. It’s not something to titter about while making jokes about sex toys; it’s the purity of love when one human being connects with another.

Please come and help us celebrate Kat’s birthday in the next few days and weeks. But most of all, please open your heart to a different kind of love.

(and if you’re bringing a wooden spoon for the birthday girl, at least give her something nice as well!)



33 thoughts on “Tuesdays with Ana: What do two women do in a bedroom, anyway? (On violence against women)

  1. Spanking101 says:

    Loved the last paragraph. (and if youโ€™re bringing a wooden spoon for the birthday girl, at least give her something nice as well!) It sounds suitable for a birthday spanking. ๐Ÿ™‚ I will never forget the day, I told a group of friends while the birthday girl was away that this birthday girl needed a birthday spanking, and it was pretty funny someone picked her up, set her over another girls lap and she got spanked. She was so embarrassed but it was so much fun for everyone.


  2. Casey McKay says:

    You always write the most thought provoking posts! First of all I just have to say that your first sex scene between Leila and Carene is still one of the most beautiful scenes I have ever read. Second, I admit to having read “Tomorrow” without reading The Way Home, I was trying to figure out what Kat and Nat’s relationship was. Are they just friends, more than friends? But it ended up not mattering, I stopped thinking about it and just got involved in ‘them’. Their relationship is so real, and you do a good job of making it real without sticking them with labels. I say Kudos to you, and I am looking forward to all of the festivities for Kat’s birthday! (Would she like an ice cream cake to go along with her wooden spoons?)


    • Anastasia Vitsky says:

      Thank you for your open heart, Casey. There is nothing to “admit to”…of course people will wonder about the nature of Kat and Natalie’s relationship, just as we wonder about all relationships. There’s a difference, though, between natural wondering and voyeuristic tittering. It’s a hard thing to do, and you’ll see that my other stories do come closer to a defined label of “romance”.

      But what I love about your perspective (wow, thank you about the sex scene!) is that you embrace the wondering AND recognize not everything can be labeled.

      I am sure Kat would be delighted with an ice cream cake. ๐Ÿ™‚ Mm!


  3. pao says:

    I wonder if the words ‘deficient’ and ‘penis’ in a search would turn up Ana’s blog ๐Ÿ˜› Well said, Ana. I actually met a guy who was shocked that a woman could be attracted to another woman. The nature of Nat and Kat’s relationship was what drew me to them then ๐Ÿ™‚ I loved that it was just love between them, pure and simple (only it’s not that simple, with the added DD bit).

    Also, YAY for the second book in two days’ time! Super cool that Ana linked this post to Sir Patrick Stewart’s video ๐Ÿ™‚


    • Anastasia Vitsky says:

      LOL. That would be an interesting search, for sure!

      Friendship love, just like agape love, is a wonderful thing. Modern culture understands bromance…so why not sister-friend love? Love pure and simple, as you say…and maybe with a spanking or two. Or ten.

      Yes, the book will be out in only two days! Happy birthday to Kat and to everyone, right?


  4. Celeste Jones says:

    Lovely post, Ana. I’m not sure if I can say this clearly, but I guess I think of Kat and Nat as intimate, but I don’t necessarily imagine them as lovers. Sometimes sex muddies the waters. I like just reading about these two as they are.


  5. Natasha Knight says:

    Nice post Ana. It’s funny, I can totally understand you not writing explicit scenes for Kat and Natalie (or any of your other characters for that matter) and get your reasons. I imagine when people hear f/f, the first thing that comes to mind (not for everyone of course) is the hot sex scene. It’s a shame but I think that’s how our society is for whatever reason. Once people learn more though, I believe they can learn that love between two women isn’t’ any different than love between a man and a woman or two men. Anyhow, you don’t have to defend it.


    • Anastasia Vitsky says:

      If I wrote M/F, or to a certain extent M/M, it would be a different story. But there is so much F/F written from a male voyeuristic pov already, and I don’t feel inclined to add to that.

      I like your statement about not defending. It’s a good policy. Sometimes, though, it is nice to explain. ๐Ÿ™‚


  6. bentalice says:

    I’ve got this column under a permanent link, Ana. I love what you’ve said and how you’ve said it. I’m still going to write some very explicit stories, but this column reminds me that I really need to work in some of the affection that Sophia and I share.

    Thanks, babe, for reminding me of who I am.


    • Anastasia Vitsky says:

      There’s nothing wrong with explicit stories! Obviously, an entire readership loves them. When an author enjoys writing the explicit stories (or calculates a best-selling algorithm and seeks to fulfill that need in order to earn sales), there’s nothing wrong with that, either. The problem is when we become so stuck in the sex-is-all that we fail to see the beauty in all kinds of relationships…and when we insert (no pun intended…lol) sex everywhere in a gratuitous fashion.

      Some people love and appreciate the explicit sex. Some people don’t. Why not give it all a try?

      And yes, those touches of affection are what make the stories (and life experiences) amazing.

      Thank you for being a F/F writer who gets it. ๐Ÿ™‚


  7. Joe gallo says:

    Very well written Ana. I have seen the emotional scars of abuse, thank you for your articulate comments.

    I will bring Belgium chocolate.



  8. Constance Masters says:

    I love everything about this post Ana. So much so that I donโ€™t really know where to start. I love my husband more than anyone in the world except for maybe my children. I do though have a best friend who means the absolute world to me. She is always there, she doesnโ€™t judge and I can tell her anything. That includes rambling about things that my husband pretends to listen to but doesnโ€™t really. I think that women generally need each other in that way. I think it is possible to have a soul mate that you arenโ€™t sexually involved with. I also think you can have more than one.

    As for relationships, my sister is gay, her partner is just like another sister. Do I wonder what they do in the bedroom? Hell no, anymore than Iโ€™m sure she would think about us and what we do.

    Each to their own I say and Happy Birthday Kat ๐Ÿ™‚


    • Anastasia Vitsky says:

      I love your comment. So much that I put it up in today’s post with your wonderful song and slideshow. I am lucky to have someone like you who understands–not just in an intellectual way, but in a heart way–what it means to talk about love. You understand with your feelings rather than trying to classify things, and it’s wonderful.

      P.S. Now I can’t help wondering if your sister is Kat to her partner’s Natalie. Hehe.


  9. Rogue says:

    I’m bringing Kat one of Blondie’s pocket paddles…designed just for Kat….to be used ONLY by Kat.
    Don’t bar me at the door or put me in the corner. ๐Ÿ˜‰


  10. Roz says:

    An excellent, though provoking post Ana. Happy Birthday to Kat!

    I have always perceived Natalie and Kat has having a special, loving and intimate relationship. As Casey said, I too wondered, but soon became involved in ‘them’ and the ‘real’ love they have for each other. Lovers or not doesn’t matter.



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