I’m just not the girl I used to be. As another 17th of January passes on the calendar and I blow out one more candle on my cake, it gets harder and harder to wrap my brain around the fact that I’m not that fabulous young psuedo-celebrity (read: shameless attention whore) that I used to see squinting back at me through bloodshot eyes in my bathroom mirror. I still slap on the warpaint and put on my glittery accoutrements, stomping the stage and living it up. But come last call, I’m more likely to be looking for some cold lo mein in the hotel refrigerator than for the next after-party or for some sexy roughneck to grunt sweet nothings into my ear. I need to face it: I’m getting old.
Any time I voice this out loud, well-meaning friends and acquaintances always answer with a chorus of “No” and “You aren’t that old” or, my personal favorite, “27 isn’t old.” Whenever people guess my age, 27 is always the go-to response. I’m pretty sure there is an unspoken rule that if you are asked to guess the age of someone you know is in their 30s, you guess 27. It’s the perfect age to offer the guesser some plausible deniability. Any younger, and they’d know you were low-balling them. Any higher, and you might come uncomfortably close to the truth. 27 is the perfect middle ground. Of course, I am pretty well-preserved for my age; I’ve never gotten what someone from my grad school days used to obsessively refer to as “the 30-year-old face.” This isn’t me being vain, but it’s true. Any fine lines or wrinkles that might have tried to make their way to my face are currently filled to plushness with Taco Bell. It’s one of the benefits of being a big girl. That, and I’m harder to kidnap.
Now don’t get me wrong, I recognize that I’m not inching toward an open grave or anything. Feeling old isn’t the same as feeling elderly. It’s just that when I look back on all the crazy stories I have from my 20s, I feel distant from who that person was and, at the same time, I can’t figure out how I stopped being her. Being married was certainly part of it. I started seeing my ex-husband when I was 26; when you’re 26, you think you’re so grown up and all of those wild times you have are just de rigueur and won’t ever really stop. It’s just that they get a little fewer and a little farther between as you start focusing on other parts of your life. Not that I’ve ever been the poster child for good life choices, but when I got into that relationship I started to shift some things around in my life and spending a little more time living in the future than just living it up in the now. So when I got jolted back into the now, seven years older and with no husband, I had an understandable sense of disorientation. How did I become this person?
At a recent Dakota Divas show in Bismarck, I decided to try to get a little piece of that wild, rebellious youth back. Spoiler alert: this is where it starts getting a little seedy. Mom, you may want to click over to another page. Go to Amazon and buy yourself a Kindle book or something. Trust me: it’s for the best.
A lot of things contributed to the shenanigans that were to follow. One is that the booze is always pretty free-flowing at the DD shows (especially Sunny’s unbelievable “Queen’s Punch” – I LIVE!) and that alone can lead to bad life choices. I’ve never been accused of excessive sobriety, and this show I started hitting it early and hard. There were just so many delicious options…and people kept dumping them down my throat. How’s a girl like me to say no?
On top of that, I came to the show looking for trouble, specifically in the form of a cute little married photographer whose name escapes me (though I remember his wife’s name, strangely enough) that I had met at a previous show. I was being flirty with him and trying to lure him back to my hotel room when he told me he was married. I said, “Usually I like to hear about the wife AFTER we’ve had sexy-sexy time. I find it spoils the mood.” (I know – classy, right?!) To which he responds, “What if the husband and wife have an arrangement that as long as they discuss it beforehand, they can have sexy-sexy time because it makes their sexy-sexy time at home that much better?” That’s not the kind of thing you tell a girl like me when you’re waiting for your wife to come pick you up. I start to look for the technicalities. “Well, how far in advance do you have to discuss it? ‘Cause, I mean, she isn’t here yet. You could call her! Text her! Send her to Perkins for some pie. I mean, it’s not like I need you for the WHOLE night…” Sadly, it was not to be, but after smearing my lipstick for a few hot minutes, he did say, “Well, you’ll be back in January…” And back in the Capital City I was, hoping that at any moment my horny little swinger would swing my way. There were no sightings.
Not one to easily be discouraged, I started scanning the crowd for a suitable replacement. No one was really piquing my interest until I saw this guy I’d seen earlier lurking around the door to my hotel room. He was tall and thin, a little wiry but with some muscle. It turns out he was staying in the adjoining room, and he offered to help me carry some things back to my room as we were cleaning up the ballroom. He was an oilfield worker who had come down for the weekend to visit some friends, who had invited him to the show. He described himself as “Straight…but open.” I decided to see exactly how open, and set about it by opening the connecting door between our two rooms. His was already open. A good start.
At this point, I feel that I should explain the title of this post. There was an article in several North Dakota newspapers about the oil boom and its effect on dating and sex. So many men have come to the oil patch looking for work that men now far outnumber women. This leads to a number of problems, not least of which is the rising rate of sexual assault, but it also means that if you’re a woman, it’s not all that hard to find a date. Even if you are less than a supermodel. One charming man in the article was quoted as saying that even “ugly women” were getting plenty of action, calling them “Williston 10s.” I hope he used a pseudonym, or one imagines that he won’t be getting laid any time soon by women from any part of the scale. I decided to put my pride aside, and see exactly how far this “Williston 10” thing could take me.
Turns out, this date was pretty much a sure thing. I entered his room with a bottle of rum and some Sprite, but I had barely set them on the bathroom counter by the ice bucket when he was already pawing at my zebra print catsuit and running his hands up and down my hips. In an odd moment of clarity, I stopped him for a second and said, “You know, once the undergarments go away I start to look a whole lot different. Things go away, other things reappear. There’s a whole lot of Industrial Light & Magic happening under here.” His response, “Yeah, I figured.” That’s it. Well, with that we were off to the races. And it was nice. It was a little awkward that he felt the need to say “I’ve never done this before” a few dozen times, especially since his oral talents said otherwise (Sorry Mom, but I did warn you. I bet that Kindle book sounds like a pretty good idea right about now, doesn’t it?), but all in all it was an enjoyable time. It gave me back some of that old feeling of crazy, wild immaturity, and left me feeling that maybe I’m not the stuffy old person I sometimes feel like when I’m getting ready for bed (a little earlier every year) or wondering whether or not to add that extra year onto my ManHunt profile. It reminded me that even with a couple more years and maybe a few extra pounds, I’ve still got it. The moral of the story: when life hands you lemons, ferment them and make booze, get sloppy drunk and fuck a sailor. Or an oil patch worker. After all, even if it isn’t a love connection, there is someone out there who’s eager to make you his very own Williston 10.
Tags: Bismarck, cougar, Dakota Divas, drag queen sex, Janessa, Janessa J, Janessa J Champagne, Janessa Jaye, Janessa Jaye Champagne, oil boom, oil patch, oilfield, polyamorous, sexy sexy time, straight but curious, straight but open, swinger, trannie chaser, tranny chaser, Williston 10