This is where I admit the truth. I wrote my queer erotic romance novel, Behrouz Gets Lucky on a whim and a prayer. Behrouz is loosely based upon myself. No, that’s not true. In the most important ways, Behrouz fits me like a bespoke Saville Row suit. When I was 16 and living in Tehran, I had a gay English boyfriend named David Brooks. David was a beautiful green-eyed, long-haired boy, glamorous with a touch of glitter rock. When our family moved from Tehran to the States in 1971, David asked me to bring him a purple velvet suit that he’d commissioned to be sewn by a Tehrani tailor. I lusted for that Nehru suit far more than I’d ever lusted for any garment. The character of Behrouz fit me like that coveted purple velvet, glam rock suit.
The truth is that I was driven to write the first chapter of Behrouz Gets Lucky out of frustration with dating, fucking, and romance. It had been several years since I’d had a girlfriend, or even a fling. In gestational mockery, I’d had a one-night bout of bad breakup sex nine months after I’d started taking testosterone, and during that episode I was so angst ridden and tense that although I normally come with the snap of a nitrile glove, I couldn’t even manage one orgasm.
After the break-up, I’d had a series of singular dates, but nothing really stuck. Either I wasn’t interested, or they weren’t interested. My OKCupid profile was witty and well written; I was a “Daddy in the streets, and a strumpet between the sheets”, but I what I yearned for was taboo; I was a trans-butch seeking a butch. Masculine-of-center pairings were not common and were frowned upon in the dyke community. Not only that, I was just another bottom in an ocean of eager bottoms, all younger and more pliable than my cantankerous, sixty-year-old balding self.
In December of 2014, I was 50,000 words into writing my memoir, and had hit a blockade. Everything I wrote had the consistency of congealed oatmeal. It was lumpy and boring. I hated my writing, was horny and lonely, and my general funk was exacerbated by the holidays. I wrote the first chapter of Behrouz Gets Lucky while in a gloom-pot of holiday bachelorhood. I decided to write a smutty story that described my ideal OKCupid first date. In it, two older queers named Behrouz and Lucky meet up, flirt over tea, meander in the twilight to Behrouz’s apartment where Behrouz gets beaten then fisted, and then they eat an after-fuck omelet while listening to Marlene Dietrich. The object of my affections is erudite, witty, well-dressed, kind, creative, and kinky. I named myself Behrouz, a name that loosely translated from Farsi means fortunate. My paramour was named Lucky. I felt not so modestly clever at my play on words.
Writing that first chapter was so much fun that I decided to write a series of stories about Behrouz and Lucky’s fuck adventures. Initially, it was going to be a book of smutty short stories with a relevant recipe after each story, perhaps my pound cake recipe after a baseball bat beating scene. I quickly dropped the recipe idea as too cute, but wrote a couple more stories. I was still lonely, sexless, and dateless, so I decided to become more proactive with finding a lover. This is where everything gets woo-woo. I apologize for this. I’ve never given a trigger warning in my life, but I’m giving one here. If bat-shit, weird San Francisco woo-woo stuff triggers you, then stop reading right now. I mean it. I’m using the mom don’t-fuck-with-me, stern voice, can’t you tell?
I decided to manifest a lover by writing a novel where I’d describe them and the life that I desired. Yep. Why not? Dating wasn’t working, so what did I have to lose by this less orthodox method? I laid out a plot, made a Pinterest board with Behrouz and Lucky’s clothing and eventually their household furnishings, wrote character notes on everyone in the book including the cats, then got to it. I was careful about what I wished for. It took weeks of indecision before I decided that Behrouz and Lucky could live together, and more time before I decided that they could share a bedroom. I had to genuinely ponder whether I could actually share a bedroom with a lover before Behrouz and Lucky shared a bedroom in the book. I gave Behrouz The Voice of Doom, which was my real life internal voice that I’d had since I was a little girl. The Voice that I honed in 1961 while sitting in the back seat of a jeep that was careening down a narrow road over the Caspian Sea mountains in Iran.
Lucky’s character traits were much easier. At 60, I knew what I liked and I was reasonably certain what I didn’t like. I enjoyed lovers that were more extroverted than me and that were sexually charismatic. They needed to be creative and kind-hearted. They needed to be highly sexual and a top. They needed to be a joyous cook and to fetishize domesticity. They needed to be about ten years younger than me and enjoy reading. They needed to be patient and adept at communication. I carefully wrote all this into Lucky’s character. There were little snippets that I threw in because some seasoning always helps; they were a flavored salt whore and were a more casual dresser than Behrouz, favoring greys and blues to complement my love of warmer colors. I am not a minimalist writer, so Behrouz Gets Lucky was piled with details.
I confided with my friend, co-worker, and test reader Tony about my magical scheme. Tony was also looking for love. He was a middle-aged gay man who had a propensity for dating fixer-uppers, men with Big Issues, usually involving too many drugs, mental illness, and irresponsibility. Tony yearned to date a peer, more specifically, a sweet Southern man who was kind, funny, sexy, a bottom, and gainfully employed. Tony loved my book, Cleis agreed to publish it, I sent my spell into the universe, and waited for my Prince Charming to fall out of the sky.
Tony’s prince fell into his lap first. Tony and Michael met on some sex hook-up app, but it didn’t exactly take. Oddly enough, Michael was exactly what Tony had been pining for, a sweet Southern lawyer who yearned to cook for someone who’d tie him up and fuck the bejesus out of him after a long day at the office. After a few false starts, Tony and Michael started fucking and dating. They quickly made like dykes with a share in U-Haul stock; within six months they’d fallen in love, at eight months were looking at wedding rings behind one another’s backs, and at ten months they announced their engagement. Tony attributed his romantic success to my book, and confided that when they were courting he’d often ask himself, “What would Behrouz do?” to walk himself through sticky challenges.
I was still dateless and fuckless, and truthfully, I kind of forgot about the spell. I missed writing though, so I wrote a sequel to Behrouz Gets Lucky, called Doily is my Safeword. Doily is my Safeword was the story of their domestic life. Behrouz and Lucky were now in love, married, and settled down…now what? In Doily is my Safeword, I elaborated upon Lucky, including traits such as a slight memory loss due to age and a desire to switch from top to bottom occasionally. After I finished writing Doily is my Safeword, I started another fabulous and grand queer project, co editing, drawing, and writing the biographies for the Butch Lesbians of the 20s, 30s, and 40s Coloring Book. I continued to look for a publisher for Doily is my Safeword, and The Butch Lesbians of the 20s, 30s, and 40s Coloring Book was published by Stacked Deck Press in June of 2017.
By May 2017, I was an expert at leisurely jerking off on Sundays, the loneliest day of the week for bachelors, and I’d given up on the idea of finding a lover. I was 62 and as far as I was concerned, that part of my life was completed. I was prepared to lead the life of a big city bachelor with their cat and a passel of creative projects. I’d never been so happily creative in my life and was enjoying the confidence that came with completing successful projects. It was right around then that an old friend of mine convinced me to join a large private Facebook group for people that liked butches. Although there were people with many identities and orientations in the group, it seemed to be mostly folks that were interested in butch-femme dynamics. I was fine with that, after all, at this point in my life, I was busy becoming a crankypants elder writer looking for friends and conversation. I’d been part of the group for a couple of weeks, when I decided to be brave and ask if there were any people in the group of over 5,500 members that were into butch-butch romantic relationships. This started a lively discussion in the group, however the upshot was that there was another Facebook group specifically geared towards butches that were romantically interested in other butches. I decided to check out the group. To be continued……