Are you shocked? Sometimes I am too. Last weekend I did the Robin Byrd Show Live, and all I could think was, "If my mother could see me now." I'm 78 years old and grew up in the 1930s and '40s, so it took me quite some time to figure out that I'm bi.
I look at all the sexual freedom that there is in the world now and realize that I was a pioneer of sorts. Despite the fact that I wanted a football helmet and a pair of cleats for my birthday, I assumed that I was the same as all the other little girls in my class in suburban Boston. It wasn't until I was 12 that I really had my first inklings that I might be different.
My parents sent me to a sleepaway camp that I absolutely adored, Camp Takawalananakiki. It was around the campfire that I began to feel sexual stirrings. There we were, campers and counselors, all girls. I realize now that most of them were probably lesbians, but who knew? We'd sing songs, hold hands, exchange glances -- titillating for sure. But it would be more than 15 years before I circled back to it.
Though I was pretty much in sync through high school, it became somewhat evident when I was at Middlebury College that I didn't quite fit in. I'd be out on a double date, necking with a guy in the front seat of a Rambler but secretly getting turned on by my girlfriend Marlene necking with her guy in the back. There was a vibe I was sending out. Honestly, I was not in touch with it, but it did alienate people, including my roommate. And I only hoped that when I went to law school, I'd be in an element where I could settle in. But my mother always said, "Law school is for boys. Girls go to secretarial school."
So off I went, doing my stenography and getting cozy with the gals after class -- so much so that my parents went on a mission to get me married. They succeeded. At 24 I wed. Still a virgin, I married a man I did not love and wound up in a passionless four-year relationship. Sex was hardly in that equation, except for the weekly handjobs and what I endured when, twice a month, he would bounce up and down on me. All that delicious necking I'd done for years, and it all led to that? It was hard to believe.
After the divorce I took matters into my own hands. In 1962 I sailed to Paris, where I made up my mind to discover men in the first year and women in the second. It came upon me quite accidentally. Well, yes and no. I confess that I went to a club, a sexy, smoke-filled club with a big bed and men and women all butt-naked, milling around with drinks. I lay down on that big bed and felt the tender hands of a buxom blonde touch me. Wow! What an awakening! So it was not such a surprise that I finally met a young French woman and fell in love.
It was everything young love should be: long walks and talks, picnics, wine, hand holding, museums, soft touches, kisses and love. Amour. For God's sake, it was Paris.
However, after a few years, puritan Boston beckoned, and, believe it or not, I felt that I really wanted to marry again. So I returned home, but then I left Boston and went to New York, where I had the freedom to be myself, pursue an acting career, sing and throw myself into the New York dating scene.
For the past 45 years I've been in a few relationships, serial relationships, with both men and women. I even had a 25-year relationship with an ex-nun, right up until six years ago. When that "marriage" broke up, I started dating again -- men, women, websites, parties, you name it. Nothing worked. See, I like young people, but they really won't have anything to do with a woman in her 70s. The problem with being an older bisexual woman is that you get turned down twice as much. The men my age are usually married or a little off, and the women my age are all walking around with walkers. As for me, I've had a facelift, I swim, I run around the golf course, and I put my sexual frustration into my solo shows!
I was becoming filled with despair, and that's not my usual state. Last year I was in the Fringe Festival with "I Married a Nun." (Write what you know, after all!) But around that time I was also out in Southampton, golfing at my country club, where, lo and behold, I hit my first hole-in-one. Everyone on the course shouted out their congratulations. Then I was approached by a very attractive woman who was 20 years my junior. She offered to buy me a drink. And guess what? We've been together since. That's right. My pussy really is purrin' again.
What is so compelling about her is that she too has led several lives. She was married to a man for 19 years. One of the things we have in common is that we both understand our bisexuality. All my life I've liked boys and girls and could never figure it out. People always say you should be straight or gay, but what most people don't understand is that bisexuality is not a choice. It just happens. It really has to do with emotions. And if I like somebody very much, it doesn't matter what his or her sexual orientation may be, because I just like them. And if that develops into something, maybe even into lovemaking at some point, well, then it happens.
But back to my girlfriend. How long will this last? Who knows? But I do know now that I'm as fun as ever, and she realizes how young I am, not to mention the fact that I feel great, because my pussy is, well, I think you've got it.
D'yan Forest stars in "My Pussy Is Purrin' Again" at FrigidNY Festival through March 3.
For more info, visit frigidnewyork.info/Show/237.