As a trusted gay expert, I sometimes like to claim that lesbianism was invented alongside the game of tennis, that these two consuming pastimes developed organically from the same voluminous flower. How else can one explain the perfect hybridization of sport and sexuality in the valiant figures of Martina Navratilova and Billie Jean King?
As lesbians, we need an origin myth to explain the obvious, yet enigmatic, correlation between lesbianism and tennis. Lesbian Tennisism is hard work on and off the court, but be assured we have a lot to learn about tight grips, short skirts and carefully placed backhands, if you'll only look to the fine example set by... the Lesbian Olympians!
Navratilova on display at the BODIES exhibit
When I play tennis, I don’t even call it tennis anymore. I call it “exploring my heritage” because this game of precision, etiquette and quiet intensity rewards lesbians for their natural tendencies toward precision, etiquette and quiet intensity. Although the game itself is centuries old, tennis came to its aesthetic culmination within courtly French society, where the self-conscious mental control of the body was highly celebrated. And, if you’ve been following along with this blog, the phrase "self-conscious mental control of the body" should remind you instantly of one thing and one thing only: Lesbianism. Ever since the French made tennis — along with everything else — gay, lesbians have gravitated toward the sport like moons to a gaseous planet. And each time these celestial bodies align, a new Lesbian Olympian is born.
Fifteenth-century handballing was known simply as “jeu de paume.”
Every casual historian-folklorist-Native American-theologian-storyteller knows that the game of tennis was originally played by ancient lesbian gods and goddesses in their luscious, mythological wonderland high atop Mt. Saint Vagina on the Isle of Lesbos. While most of their tournaments were harmless backyard frivolity, on occasion, a deep-seated rivalry between highly seeded players would erupt into a terrible display of sound and fury. When Aphrodyke scored the final match point at the Harvest Moon Cup, her opponent "Athena: Warrior Princess" furiously cast infection across the precious yeast crops, much to the dismay of sexually active lesbians everywhere. Each time Dymytyr's tennis elbow acted up during a match, so did the great North winds, destroying carefully constructed houses and mullets across the land.
As is the way with the fickle moods of the gods, mortals would