By GRACE JENNINGS-EDQUIST
In 2010, Brooke Hemphill was a relationships and sex columnist who was sick of dating “douchebag” men.
“I had my finger on the dating pulse, but as it often the case with people who in this line of work, my own love life was something of a disaster,” 35-year-old Brooke told Mamamia.
“I had a long run of dating what you might call douchebags.”
When she unexpectedly had a one-night stand with a woman, the Sydney-based writer and producer embarked on a year of sexual experimentation — and now, she’s written a book based on her experiences dating women that she hopes will “open a conversation about sexuality”.
Mamamia sat down with Brooke today to ask what she’s learned from her experiences.
Q: What’s the book about?
A: “Basically the book charts a year in my life where I exclusively dated women, but it goes beyond that and I go back and look at my previous relationships…
This wasn’t a social experiment. It was a series of events that happened to lead to what I would call my ‘lesbian year’.
Q: What’s good about dating girls?
A: “When I found myself in a relationship with a woman I learned a lot about myself and what I was looking for in a relationship. A key relationship in the book is with my ex, Claire, and my relationship with her was much better than with any man I’d ever dated.
I‘d had my experiences with guys who just disappeared off the face of the earth, whereas Claire was very communicative…
(But) that could be just a case-by-case basis, I couldn’t generalise for the entire gender.”
Q: What’s not so good?
A: “I openly admit that I’m not very good about talking about my emotions and feeling. so there’s a lot of that when you’re dating a woman…
It kind of forced me to talk when I didn’t necessarily want to. I’m very introverted, my reaction is to kind of just back away, and it pushed me to talk.”