Unlike some sex negative feminists, Ann did not judge her friends for the work they did. She admired their ability to be sexy, be sexual, without a seeming care. Ann had too much anxiety and fear to be like this.
Instead, Ann judged the men who bought their services. Men, whose desire was predicated on the domination or exploitation of another. They sickened her. They fascinated her.
“Ann!” her pretty girlfriends cried out.
Ann smiled and enjoyed regaling them with her tales of her twitter feuds, expensive probiotics, and silly stories about Gene talking in his sleep. In their royal circle, she was the court jester. She didn’t mind this role at all. She was honored to be welcomed into their circle. She wished she could spend more time with them, but most of her time was spent with Gene, at home.
The evening wore on and Ann felt joy at jumping from conversation to conversation, never feeling like she wasn’t part of something much larger. A community of artists. A whole art movement. She searched for men who might flirt with her. Maybe one or two would take the bait initially but any flirting would peter out to nothing and they would move on. No matter how much care she took to perfecting her looks, as good as she could get them, she would never feel the success of her efforts.
Giving up, she joined a group of her gay guy friends as they walked towards a bar for an after party. The streets of Bushwick reeked with stale garbage, feces, alcohol and Ann knew — weird as the feeling was — that she would miss this neighborhood. Despite its rancor, there was life here.