Hey you. Straight girl. Think you know how to get it on with a lady?

Yes, you say, I've watched the whole first season of The L-Word on dvd. I think I am quite aware how to go there with another woman. I've even convinced my lesbian pals to take me to a dyke bar so that I can get my Shane on with a little hottie.

I hate to tell you this, but once you are face to face with a willing woman, you will probably have NO IDEA what to do. Never fear, get thee to a bookstore and find Jen Sincero's delightfully sexy guide to, well, sleeping with chicks. In it, you will find graphic details of everything you want to know about the topic but are afraid to ask. There are even Barbie dolls modeling some of the more advanced positions. So buy the book before you make a fool of yourself. -Alisa Welch

Q. What inspired you to write this book?

A. I wound up in a relationship with a good friend of mine and it really blew my mind. And confused the hell out of me! It was the first time I'd ever been with a woman and I had a ton of questions but alas, I couldn't find anything out there written on this topic. So I wrote it myself. Gotta do everything your damn self these days.

Q. In your introduction you write, "Labels are indeed for cans and for lazy authors, and for people who are generally uncomfy without everything being put in neat little boxes." But then you go on to label girls who want to sleep with other girls as "straight."  How did you settle on using the term "straight" for your readers?

A. I wanted to acknowledge that being curious isn't necessarily the same thing as being bisexual. If I called it "The Bisexual Girl's Guide To Sleeping With Chicks" it would have, I don't know, suggested more of a commitment to or knowledge of an experience that a lot of people are just experimenting with. Many women try it once and decide it's not for them or like it and take a while to settle into the idea of themselves as bisexual or any number of things. This is a very prickly topic. People get very angry and possessive around sexual labeling. But as far as I'm concerned, how you identify yourself is nobody's damn business.

I know a lot of lesbians who've slept with men and a lot of gay men who've slept with women. I have a friend who was straight all her life, shacked up with a girl and declared herself a lesbian, and is now back with men and bi. It all seems pretty much up to the eye of the beholder to me! And as far as I'm concerned there should be no labels at all anyway. Who cares what you do! Plus, the more research I did on what the rules are for each sexuality, the more confusing it got. Which is why I praise the Kinsey Scale so highly in my book. I could go on forever (and I think I kind of already did!) but basically, I guess I think of bisexuals as people who are more equally attracted to both sexes, and the term "straight," although flawed in definition, was more accurate than "bi" for what I was writing about.

Q. You bring up masturbation before you discuss any specifics of girl-on-girl action.  Why did you feel this was so important?

A. Because a lot of women I spoke to were scared they'd have no idea what to do in bed, and with same->sex sex, you can do a lot of practice ahead of time on your own body. Plus you'll be a much better lover in general if you learn to love yourself first. I was also horrified to learn how many women had never had an orgasm (and almost all of them had never masturbated) so I had to take the opportunity of writing a book to climb on my soap box about that!

Q. You interviewed a lot of women who'd had sex with other women for this book.  What was the most surprising thing you were told?  Hottest? The most disappointing?

A. Hmmm, I'd say the most surprising was how many women had never masturbated. And I'm gonna lump the most disappointing in with that too. The hottest? My god, pretty much everything that came out of their mouths. I swear, I'd be coaxing these women on the phone during my interviews. They'd start out all shy and not want to talk about their sex lives to a stranger, so I'd offer up graphic details of my own experiences and before I knew it I was on the phone for three hours hearing waaaay more than I signed up for. It was great. And very inspiring to hear people shamelessly talking about sex. It gave me hope for the human race.

Q. Your book is very sex-positive and full of what the Joy of Sex called "Sauces and Pickles," i.e. vibrators, strap ons, and even anal balls.  That's a lot of information for a bi-curious woman to take in! Of course when you are talking about sex, there comes a point were you just have to shut up and do it.  My question, and I do have one, is: Is sex between women more complicated than it might seem?

A. No. And I totally agree. Shutting up and doing it is really the only way to go. But there's nothing wrong with picking up some tips here and there and that, along with getting people past their fears, is hopefully what this book provides.

Q. You also write, "Lesbians are into women. If you're just experimenting, don't be a dickhead and use her for sex when you can tell she has feelings for you."  That is really great advice, but what if the straight girl starts having feelings?

A. Then hopefully she won't wind up with a dickhead either! I only threw that in there because those women who are out there just looking for a good time in a sort of girls gone wild way stand to trample some feelings. Of course they could always wind up falling themselves, but it was just a reminder.

Q. The theme of this issue of annabelle is renovation. For a straight girl, sleeping with a woman would count as at least a partial remodel.  Do you think every woman who is curious should try lady-loving at least once in her life?

A. I think anyone who's curious about anything should try it at least once. If they can do it without getting killed or arrested.

Q. In the end, it feels like the book is really a celebration of trying a whole bunch of new sexual adventures without getting tangled in the whole "What does this mean?" trap.  Is that the message you are trying to get across with the book?

A. That's definitely part of it. I also hope I inspired people to embrace their filthy thoughts, appreciate their boobies, stick their hands down their pants more, stick their hands down other people's pants more, realize they are woman, they are hot... stuff like that.

Check out more Jen at www.jensincero.com

Illustration: "l'Oeil et la Bouche" © Catherine Marche, 2001.
For more of Catherine's gorgeous artwork, visit: www.catherine-marche.com

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