‘Woman Problems’ by Valerie Pleasant

Fiction, Short Stories

“You know, together I’m pretty sure we make a full woman.” Lynn says, hands behind her head, falling back onto a pillow next to Anne. She pulls her pants back on.

“Might have to check your math on that.” Anne says, cuddling into Lynn’s chest.

“Oh, I can show my work.”

“Please do.” Anne rolls her eyes with a smile, not thinking about much else than the face of the woman she-

“Great!” Lynn says, breaking Anne from her train of thought. “So, I’m a butch transbian, so by most standards I’m literally just a cis-het dude-”

“Wait, is this actually-”

“That somehow manages to trick lesbians into sleeping with me-”

“Babe, stop, I didn’t really-”

“And you’re a very passable femme, you’ve got the look and everything, but you’re not on hormones, so once again: cis-het dude.”

“Baby, I’m sorry for indulging you. Please stop!”

“I’ve got the hormones, you’ve got the dresses, together we’re unstoppable! Or, baseline acceptable, but still good!”

Anne says nothing, and groans into Lynns chest (which, as a sensation, Lynn doesn’t find all that bad. Like it’s not great but she might bring it up sometime. She decides that if she does, it will be some time other than now).

“You asked me to show my work.”

“I learned my lesson. I won’t be asking you to explain anything, ever again… Why the fuck do you get so self-hating ‘but it’s playful so I can’t get called out on it’ after sex, anyway?” Anne asks, lifting herself from Lynn’s chest, though accidentally crushing one of her partner’s breasts (this happens during a growth spurt… They hurt a lot during growth-spurts, okay?) in the process, gaining an absolute howl from Lynn. “Sorry, sorry!”

Lynn cups her breast in care, “Fuck, that hurts!” Lynn takes deep breaths while Anne awkward-panics (lots of movement of the hands) and feels very bad. “It’s fine, it’s fine, I’m fine… Kiss it and make it better, though?” Lynn asks with a smile that shows she is still feeling a fair bit of pain.

“I just did that for a good ten minutes. And don’t dodge the question!”

“Five minutes, I’m pretty sure.” Lynn says. Anne stares at her expectantly, to which she responds, “What question?”

“Lynn!” Anne slams her fists on her knees in that genuinely frustrated way Lynn finds adorable.

“I really am pretty sure it was five minutes.” (It was seven minutes and twelve seconds.)

“If I suck your tit for five more minutes will you answer my fucking question?” Anne asks.

“What question? And yes, you can start whenever you’re ready.” Lynn settles back in bed in a readied position with a smirk, eyes closed.

“You’re not funny.” Anne crosses her arms, and looks away, glowering.

Lynn sees this through one open eye and sighs. She lifts herself from the bed, and hugs Anne from behind, chin resting on her shoulder. Anne makes no recognition of this and continues to avoid eye-contact.

“Okay…I….I went a bit far, I’m sorry. Don’t make that face, I am. I was being stupid, and I’ll stop.” Lynn guides Anne’s chin until they meet each other’s eyes. Anne waits, hopeful. “I really am funny though… like, that wasn’t cool.”

Anne snorts loudly and attempts to escape Lynn’s hug so that her smile isn’t visible. Lynn holds her tight and kisses her. They hug each other close, neither of them particularly wanting to separate and continue the conversation.

Anne separates first, “Tell me. Please.”

Lynn sighs again, but does not let go of Anne, continuing to look into her eyes. She opens her mouth to speak but closes it again, swallows the words that were supposed to come out, and tries again with all new ones, “I… Okay, so, I can look in the mirror. I’m past that point, obviously, but, like,” Lynn hesitates, not wanting to ask this question. “How do you deal with the fact that every time we have sex, a lot of people would look at it like it were two gay men, doing… the things that gay men do?”

Anne takes a moment, hurt by Lynn’s words. “I…I don’t think about other people when I’m with you, Lynn. I think about you. I think about the things I want to do to you, the things I want you to do to me, but mostly I’m just thinking about you and how much I like you — how happy I am that we’re doing… this.” Anne looks down and separates from the hug. Lynn disappointedly lets her. “I definitely don’t think about anyone else and how they might see it.”

“Right, right, god, fuck I’m sorry.” Lynn explains, trying to make her body smaller to get back into Anne’s view, “In the moment you’re all I’m thinking about. In the moment you’re like my fucking world. I love…I love fucking you, I love being with you, I love what we have and have had for a good couple months and I’m honestly so thankful for it. The…the problem is afterwards. When we’re calming down and I see my body and I remember how fucking close I am – how fucking close we are – to being considered women, and yet this fucking thing between my fucking legs keeps fucking stopping me.” Now Lynn looks down. Having said her part, she looks away and moves her mouth to the side like a child unsure of how her apology will be taken.

Anne sighs. “Well fuck…” She looks at Lynn, regretting having asked the question that started this conversation, but she can’t take it back now. Anne hopes to god no one says anything, in fear of ruining what they have. For now, they’ve said enough. “You’re still a girl to me.” Anne hopes Lynn will look up at that, she does not. “And you’re also still a girl to you. I know it’s hard but you need to stop caring what they think you are. You’re a girl, and you know that full well. It’s just those fuckers that think they need to have say on literally fucking everything that disagree. You’re a girl, Lynn.” Lynn wears a faint smile at that, and lifts her head slowly to look at Anne. “Okay, so I want to slap your estrogen-filled boob to illustrate a point I’m about to make, but I know it already hurts so I’m not going to do that-”

“Thank you.” Lynn covers her breast for protection.

“No problem. But you have the parts. Not all girls have boobs, and some guys have boobs, but if that’s what you need then focus on the things that are literally right under your nose, okay?”

“Okay, yeah. Thanks, baby.” Lynn smiles, and then tilts her head, “So, what do you focus on?”

“Huh? Oh, my cock is prettier than yours.” Both women stare at each other for a moment and then laugh and hug once more. They kiss deeply and feel each other’s heat close. While they kiss, eyes closed, neither of them doubt any aspect of themselves. Anne’s hands start to move over Lynn’s back, eliciting a moan. She moves one hand over the front of Lynn’s pants, “Now take this off, won’t you?”

Lynn smiles and slips off her pants, “Totally! You’re good to go again?”

“Huh, oh, no, I’m super tired!” Anne feigns exhaustion and begins to get out of bed.

“What? Wait! But, like, hold on! What!?” Lynn scrambles, trying to reach for her partner.

“But you’re going to keep those off and get comfortable with the fact that you’re no less of woman, regardless of what’s between your legs, okay?” Anne kisses her partner on the cheek and waits.

“I mean, yeah, totally, sure, but like, I can do that afterward, right? Baby?” (Lynn would not describe herself as pleading.)

Anne walks out the door, naked, a bounce in her step as she calls out, “I’m going to make some food! You stay put and cool down.”

Lynn is left alone, naked, vulnerable, and unmoving. She feels cold at losing her partner’s touch, and she definitely hasn’t started loving the bits between her legs. She looks to the bedside table for her phone, and sighs as she picks it up. She opens the camera app and begins scrutinizing herself. Lynn looks desperately for things to love; she looks desperately to see truth in all the arguments Anne has ever given her. Again, she fails to completely love herself. But this once, she notices something she hadn’t previously. This thing being that her desperate want to be a “pretty woman”, readily accepted by her peers, is a fear women always have, regardless of being cis or trans. She turns off the camera, lays back on the bed and looks up. She is neither comfortable, nor in love with herself, but she is beginning to understand that she does not have to be. Not immediately, at least.


VALERIE PLEASANT is an erotica writer, hoping to create erotica that anyone of any gender identity or sexuality can enjoy, without dysphoria or discomfort. Being a queer trans woman, she feels the need to reinforce that in everywhere. She tries her best, and has not yet been adequately rewarded with a Booker prize. This is tragic.

Copyright © 2018 by Valerie Pleasant. All rights reserved.

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