Tag Archive | Lesbian Relationships

The Ex-Girlfriend Conundrum

A reader recently emailed me a “Dear Lesbian” question.

This particular reader is in a new relationship, which she is very happy with, except for when her new lover:

“talks about her history of a gazillion former girlfriends, which is really beginning to annoy the hell out of me. Maybe you can write a post about that and what to do or how to deal with that?”

Of course, with limited information, I will have to speak in generalities, but since ex-girlfriend concerns are a very common issue, there is a lot to say about the topic.

Here are my thoughts on the ex-girlfriend conundrum, in no particular order:

1).  It is actually quite common for many Lesbians to remain friends (or at least friendly) with our exes. I have known entire teams of Lesbians who have been connected for so long that there have been enough relationship interconnections to require a flow chart to decipher. (“Beth dated Susie, then Susie dated Jill, then Jill dated Cathy, then Cathy dated Beth, then Jill dated Beth, then Beth and Susie got back together, then…”). And somehow, in the midst of all of this, they all manage to play softball and eat chicken wings together. This fact is a peculiarity of dyke culture that many do not know or understand. Of course, this phenomenon isn’t true of ALL Lesbians, but it happens enough to be worth mentioning.

2).  Whether to be concerned about ex-girlfriend(s) depends entirely on the situation. Based on #1, above, it is not uncommon for many Lesbians to remain on good terms with exes, or to stay in regular contact with exes. The main factor to consider in this scenario is the character/commitment of your partner. If the ex-girlfriend is being inappropriate/flirtacious, then it is the partner’s responsibility to set clear and firm boundaries with the ex. If the partner does not do so, or, much worse, flirts back, then there is an issue to be dealt with; and that issue is with the partner, not the ex-girlfriend.

3).  If the issue isn’t that an ex-girlfriend is still in contact, but rather that the partner is simply talking about her exes, then the question becomes why. First, is the talking about exes above and beyond the “normal” amount expected during the getting-to-know-you phase of a relationship?  Some talk of romantic history is necessary, even desirable, in the beginning stages of a new relationship. For better or for worse, we all have been influenced by our life experiences, and our former partners are a significant part of those experiences. Talking about what happened in former relationships not only provides context and history, but it also helps to learn what our new partner hopes for, needs, and expects in a relationship. If, however, the talking about former lovers is more along the lines of bragging or obsessing than “normal” sharing, then that would lead to many questions needing to be answered, such as: Is she insecure and needs to brag to feel better about herself? If so, why? Is she still obsessed with an ex and therefore not really ready to move on? Is she trying to make you jealous, and if so, why? Etc.

4).  Perhaps most importantly, why does the situation bother you?  How does it make you feel ~ jealous, insecure, angry, etc.?  Do you feel threatened by the presence of (or the talk of) ex-girlfriends? If so, is this due to being unsure of the status of the new relationship, or is it primarily because of your own issues/insecurities?  Have you had jealousy issues in past relationships and/or have previous partners cheated on you?  In other words, how much of this issue is current-relationship-related, versus you-related?

5). Sometimes, jealousy can be mistaken for passion. When things become too calm/”normal” in a relationship, sometimes one or both partners mistake this for a lack of passion, and therefore may find something to argue about, or someone to be jealous of, in order to stir up some drama in an effort to recreate the “passion” in a relationship. Hot “make-up sex” temporarily satisfies this need, but usually, normality returns to the relationship rather quickly, leading to a repeated pattern of drama-stirring. If this is the case, it is time to examine the factors underlying this pattern.

So: considering all of the above, as well as any other factors that are relevant to your own specific situation, the best first step, as with ANY issue, is to figure out what is actually going on. Some of this assessment needs to take place before talking to your partner; to gain as much clarity as possible about your own perspective.

Then, when talking to your partner about this (or any other!) issue, it’s important to remember to try to approach the situation calmly, kindly, and NOT defensively. Always remember, it’s very likely your partner isn’t trying to hurt you. Make sure to treat her with kindness and respect, and make sure you are being treated with kindness and respect also.

Image: PicsArt #FreeToEdit

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER: This blog is NOT intended to be professional advice, nor to substitute for the advice of a licensed professional. The reader should consult with an appropriate professional regarding all mental health needs.

How Much Sex Is “Normal”?: A “Dear Lesbian” Question

I just received an anonymous comment on my Lesbian Bed Death post, and since I think others may have the same questions/concerns, this comment will be the subject of today’s “Dear Lesbian” post.

Here is the comment:

The comments about happy couples still having sex after years worry me. I am a 45 year old lesbian. My girlfriend of 3 years never wants to have sex. Well, maybe not never, but hardly ever. Maybe like once every 3 months if I am lucky. I have been assuming it was lesbian bed death, but now I am worried. Does this mean my girlfriend is a Straightbian?

Without any further details, I am going to have to speak very generally, but first of all, I want to stress that there is no “normal” amount of sex to have.

What is “too much” for one person may be “too little” for another. Some people might want to have sex once a day, others once a week, others once a month, others once a year, others the 12th of never. (And any variation thereof).

While there is no “right” and “wrong” amount of desire for an individual, things can get tricky when we partner with another person, because one partner’s preference for frequency of sex may differ significantly from the other’s.

Ideally, couples will be (at least mostly) compatible regarding desire for frequency of intimacy, but sometimes, one partner will want to have sex much more frequently than the other, and when there is a big discrepancy, that is a really tough position to be in, for both partners.

This situation can happen with heterosexual or gay male couples too; so this issue is definitely not limited to Lesbian couples.

Bottom line: It’s impossible to say whether or not this person’s partner is a Straightbian, and it’s really not my place to do so anyway.

It is unclear whether the sex is still good when it does occur, or whether there has been a sudden and/or significant change at some point. Those are questions that the commenter will need to consider herself.

There are many non-Straightbian-related factors that can potentially decrease a woman’s sexual desire, including, but not limited to: thyroid dysfunction, parathyroid issues, chronic fatigue, chronic illness, chronic pain, stress, overwhelming responsibilities, perimenopause/menopause, post-hysterectomy issues, body image issues, grief, surgical recovery, hormonal issues, relationship issues, mental health concerns, etc.

And since so many issues can potentially inhibit sexual desire, it’s not always easy figuring out the cause(s).

As difficult as it will be, if the discrepancy in sexual desire is an issue (and it sounds like it is indeed a concern for this reader), the only way to start is by having a kind and supportive, but frank, conversation about the situation, approaching the issue directly but sensitively.

But don’t just assume that if your partner doesn’t want to have frequent sex that it must mean she’s a Straightbian. The discrepancy in desire may be caused a variety of other issues, and those answers can only be determined by the individuals involved, using good communication/problem-solving skills, and seeking professional help if needed (while also using our Lesbian intuition at the same time).

Hope this helps explain further, and as always, please let me know if you have any questions or comments.

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER: This blog is NOT intended to be professional advice, nor to substitute for the advice of a licensed professional. The reader should consult with an appropriate professional regarding all mental health needs.

Lesbian Tools For Identifying a Straightbian

“Note: This is a joint post with Dirt, originally posted here.

 

In recent posts, Mrs. Dirt and I have written individually and written together, slowly chipping away at centuries of Lesbian inaccuracies, revealing a dual picture of the oblique perception of Lesbian and the Women who have forged that skewed perception by co-opting Lesbian.

By injecting biology back into the paint, each post is a brush stroke laying bare the vast differences in Lesbian behaviour vs the behaviour of Girls/Women. These differences are KEY to understanding ourselves, our unique behaviour and our place (or lack thereof) in Hetero society and perhaps more importantly possessing the tools to recognize the overwhelming number of (STRAIGHTBIAN) Women hetsplaining their distorted approximations of Lesbian that has gone to make many STRAIGHTBIANS wealthy, fortified many more academic careers and generated an impotent political movement (Radical Feminism), carving a treacherous landscape that threatens the safety of every Lesbian alive least we mention every Lesbian dead!

The more tools we have in our Lesbian arsenal, the better equipped we are to fight the egregious lies STRAIGHTBIANS/RadFems have lead society and worse Lesbians ourselves into believing. Below are some core behaviours that should raise a Lesbian red flag or two:

  • Regardless of age, declaring they’re a Lesbian is constant, excessive and over the top. Lesbian youth obviously are allowed a honeymoon period when they first come out, but once acquainted with other Lesbians/Lesbian community that “shout-it-from-the-rooftop-I’m-a-Dyke” fades. If said Lesbian is 40-something, been out for a while, and still acting like they just came out-BEWARE!
  • If heavily involved in abortion rights/rape issues/prostitution/domestic violence and other primarily Heterosexually-focused topics/groups/activism (especially if to the exclusion of caring about solely Lesbian issues)-BEWARE!
  • If arguing with men/MRAs/men calling themselves women etc. factors heavily in their life/day to day-BEWARE!
  • If sexually abused between the ages of 0 to 18, particularly 0-12, straight females have either an aversion to males or a pathological need to be sexual with men. For sexually abused straight females who developed an aversion to males, the hypersexual pathology often still persists. This may present itself as a seemingly intense sexual newness that can be mistaken for normal Lesbian relationship newness/passion, but instead of a genuine Lesbian passion, the hypersexuality is due to pathology rather than legitimate Lesbian passion. Lesbian passion surely involves sex, but the intimacy developed through sex and passion quickly matures into a Lesbian relationship. Hypersexuality as exhibited by STRAIGHTBIANS/sexually abused straight females never develops beyond the sex stage, and parallels the internal age they were frozen at when the abuse occurred. That isn’t to say that a STRAIGHTBIAN and a Lesbian may not form a long term involvement, but that involvement never develops into a fully mature intimate relationship. Lesbians usually find themselves confused in these involvements, often playing out the role (over and over) of a rescuer/saviour/helpmate and if the involvement lasts beyond a year the once hypersexual (straight) partner’s interest in sex wanes (Lesbian Bed Death). BEWARE!
  • Repeated claims of victimhood, usually where none exists. Repeated attempts at creating seemingly useless/needless drama. BEWARE!
  • Pathologically (paranoia) thinks everyone is either an enemy and/or makes enemies out of everyone at some point. BEWARE!
  • Can seem younger than their age (child-like/teeny bopperish)-again stuck in time (like the needle on a scratched record)-usually at the age they were sexually abused. BEWARE!
  • Adamant in the belief that any woman can be a Lesbian. REALLY BEWARE!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • Exhibits stalkerish behaviour toward love interests, exes, perceived enemies. BEWARE!
  • Will perseverate on real or imagined slights (Borderline Personality issues) and stop at nothing to get even (time or money no object). BEWARE!
  • While as Lesbian youths we all play around with our look (hair/clothes etc), but where you see this persisting past the age of 30 (excessive piercings/tattoos/shaved heads/body modifications/mohawks/pink/blue/purple/funky hair colours/clothing usually worn by preteens/teens etc). BEWARE!
  • These Women are often either directly or indirectly involved in versions or variations of the kabbalah, shamanism, witchery, tarot reading, runes, crystals, moon howling, drum circles, art projects involving their period blood, crones, midwifery, ceremonial blessings/unions, high priestery, celestial shitola, and/or many other special snowflakeries. STRAIGHTBIANS will have deeply studied or tried any or all in vain efforts to fix their early traumas/themselves. BEWARE!

While Lesbians also suffer from sexual abuse, due to differences in brain function, Lesbians obviously behave differently than Girls/Women who were abused. And because sexual abuse is usually perpetrated by a male, natural attraction isnt problematic for Lesbians in the way it is complicated for sexually abused Women. While we will elaborate these differences and complications in a later post, our point here being is that the behaviours listed above are not displayed in any enormity by sexually abused Lesbians or any Lesbian for that matter, they are however seen in high levels in STRAIGHTBIANS.

So to recap, we are not saying your new girlfriend’s interest in the kabbalah or astrology should send you running for the hills, but we are saying if you can tic multiple checks beside our list above-BEWARE!

Until Lesbian biology takes its rightful place, both Mrs Dirt and I individually and together will continue to give Lesbians the tools needed to see themselves as NORMAL, to see imposters in our dating pools and Lesbian authorities, and to gain confidence and accuracy in our gaydar.

dirt

03/01/2017: Edited to emphasize that one (or even a couple) of the attributes above, alone, are not cause for concern, but if MULTIPLE items from the checklist are present, then the likelihood of a Straightbian increases. So, for example, if a person has tattoos and likes tarot, it’s likely not a problem. But if she ALSO constantly talks/posts about predominantly heterosexual concerns, if she believes/argues “any woman can be a Lesbian”, if she engages with males all the time, if she engages in drama-drama-drama, (etc.), then it is worth starting to observe closely.

03/02/2017: Edited (again) to add that our point is that if a woman focuses much attention/energy on predominantly heterosexual concerns (such as abortion), and especially if she does so TO THE EXCLUSION OF CARING ABOUT LESBIAN CONCERNS, then that is a warning sign of a Straightbian in combination with other factors. We are not saying those straight issues aren’t important, just that they are NOT PRIMARILY LESBIAN.

Lesbians Need A New Symbol

Note:  Please also read: Dirt’s companion piece, “Double Female Symbol-Not Lesbian-Then or Now” for additional information/explanation.

Dirt and I have been talking and writing for a while now about how Lesbian has been consistently misrepresented, used, and abused…twisted in a whirlwind of hetsplanations, pornifications, and outright lies.

Even the universally recognized symbol for Lesbian (intertwined female symbols) is NOT LESBIAN.

womanwoman

“Lesbian” Symbol (NOT!)

Why?

Well, there are many reasons; Dirt’s companion piece, “Double Female Symbol-Not Lesbian-Then or Now” for more reasons/explanation.

The piece of the puzzle that I am focusing on today is: this symbol does NOT accurately represent Lesbian because 2 females kissing, holding hands, or even making love does not mean either/both are actually Lesbian. Any 2 females can do any of those things, of course, but it is NOT “Lesbian” unless the individuals involved are BOTH Lesbians.

Here’s the truth: If something doesn’t involve actual LESBIANS, it is NOT LESBIAN.

In TV shows and movies, if there is even the slightest whiff of flirtation between 2 female characters (even if either of the characters was f**cking a man 5 minutes earlier and/or goes on to f**k a man 5 minutes later)…BOOM…people will immediately start talking about a “Lesbian scene” or “Lesbian subplot” or “Lesbian subtext” or “Lesbian kiss” etc. etc. etc., ad nauseum.

The following is but a very small sample of the NON-lesbian characters/scenarios in TV and movies that have been incorrectly called “Lesbian“:  (Note that I am not talking about whether or not the actors themselves are straight; I am talking about the characters/scenarios):

1). Roseanne Barr’s famous “Lesbian” kiss with Mariel Hemingway in the episode “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”. While addressing homophobia, an admirable goal, was the reason given by Barr for including this scene, unfortunately, calling kissing a married straight woman a “Lesbian” (or “gay” as some  people, including Barr, incorrectly insist on saying) scene undermines real Lesbians by implying that we are defined solely by physical contact or action. Lesbian is lesbian, and straight is straight, regardless of physical/sexual activity.

2). The entire hideously offensive “Lesbian” movie “The Kids are All Right“, in which Julianne Moore’s allegedly “Lesbian” character f**ked a male like a minx throughout the whole debacle, only to claim at the end of the movie that such straight behavior didn’t mean she wasn’t a “Lesbian“.  Um…yeah, it does, in fact, mean just that.

3). Almost every “Lesbian” storyline in Orange is the New Black, starting, but sadly not ending, with Straightbian Piper’s on-again, off-again affair with Alex. This decidedly NON-Lesbian storyline is foreshadowed in the Season 1 official trailer, in which at approximately .36-.37 seconds, Piper’s mom asks “You were a lesbian?” and Piper (sitting with her MALE fiance) replies “At the time”. No, no, no, no, no! You either are, or you’re not, a Lesbian, Piper. To make matters even worse, the OITNB Lesbian characters who are REAL Lesbians are portrayed as sexual predators (Big Boo) or killed off (Poussey).  Boo, Hiss.

4). Thelma and Louise has been applauded as an excellent example of “Lesbian” subtext. Bullshit. Both Thelma and Louise were straight women who needlessly got themselves into a difficult situation, making progressively worse and worse decisions…including Geena Davis’s character first willingly making out with a guy in the parking lot (who turned out to be a wannabe rapist) which resulted in the very reason they became outlaws, then later f**king a male thief’s brains out. The whole sad nonsense culminated in them driving themselves off a freaking cliff.  Thelma and Louise are not heroic feminist icons, and they are definitely NOT Lesbians.

5). Xena: Okay, this last example actually pains me to discuss, because I was a Xena fan. I realize now that I was so starved for Lesbian representation that I was willing to scarf up the “subtext” scraps the writers and actors threw us. I was willing to overlook the “maintext” plots involving male romantic entanglements. I was willing to deny my own discomfort when the show could not be trusted to even acknowledge us, much less actually care about us, despite the fan base being heavily Lesbian. Now it’s time to admit that the  so-called Xena “Lesbian subtext” was only a pitiful broken bone thrown to the hungry Lesbian audience, all the while maintaining the true heterosexuality of the 2 main characters to keep their ratings, and their straight privilege, intact.

The examples of such NON-Lesbian scenarios go on and on and on and ON.

It is time to stop this foolishness. We need to stop calling any female/female innuendo “Lesbian”. I know I said it before, but I will say it again and again and again:

If something doesn’t involve actual LESBIANS, it is NOT LESBIAN.

lezzie-symbol

 

Lesbian Bed Death: Where Myth Obscured Truth

NOTE: Please read Dirt‘s companion post on the same topic:  Lesbian Bed Death: Unstraightening the Lies

Back in 1983, a sociologist flake named Pepper Schwartz wrote a book called American Couples, which reported that Lesbian couples have less sex/intimacy than heterosexual and gay male couples.

Thus, a hypersexualized STRAIGHT academic  dillweed single-handedly brought the damaging concept of “Lesbian Bed Death” into the public’s consciousness, where it persists, even among Lesbians ourselves, like a demented stalker steadfastly ignoring a restraining order.

Schwartz’s assertions and methodology have been challenged repeatedly ever since. One fatally flawed study about the sex lives of “queer” (ugh!!!) women  even claimed to have completely debunked this myth. [That 2015 study, although well-meaning and well-received by all of us hoping to invalidate the myth once and for all, is sadly not valid because conducting a self-reported “queer” (ugh!!!) survey which was “open to all women who have sex with womendoes NOT equal Lesbian].

So, what is the truth?

Lesbians can’t trust Schwartz, and we certainly can’t trust people who think a self-report survey of  so-called “queer” (ugh!!!) women would in any way be valid for actual Lesbian experience.

In many conversations with Lesbians over the years, I have found it shocking how many of us simply accept “Lesbian Bed Death” as truth, even when conflicting experience and information is presented.

In some cases, the myth even seems to become a self-fulfilling prophecy; whereby the natural/normal decreases in sexual frequency that often typically accompany long-term relationships are misinterpreted as the death of passion, which, then, in turn, is often misinterpreted as the beginning of the end of the relationship.

I don’t have any formal research to prove it ~ (and, quite frankly, no self-report research could ever truly prove nor disprove anything anyway, and self-report is the only  way to ethically conduct sex-related research) ~ but, regardless, based on much anecdotal data from numerous friends and acquaintances, as well as many online conversations, I am confident in saying that “Lesbian Bed Death” is indeed a myth.

There are several important factors, however, that I feel contribute to the longevity and tenacity of this nonsense, and I wanted to address some of those factors in this post:

1).  Lesbians are vulnerable to the very same issues that can cause sexual desire decreases in everybody…but the difference is that we attribute these universal issues to “Lesbian Bed Death” due to Schwartz’s ridiculous fiction. These factors could include, but are not limited to: aging, chronic pain/illness, stress, grief, menopause, surgeries, injuries, relationship issues, mental health concerns, body image issues, overwhelming work or personal responsibilities, boredom, schedule conflicts, unresolved trauma, etc. etc. etc.

2).  People in general tend to believe so-called “experts” and take what they say as fact, when we all should be questioning everything that we are being spoon-fed. “Lesbian Bed Death” was reported over and over and OVER until it became generally accepted. But just because something is often-repeated does not make it true. (Earth is not actually flat, but for centuries people were TOLD it was; therefore, until someone challenged that myth, people actually believed that if they walked too far they would fall off the planet!).

3). As Dirt and I have repeatedly discussed, Straightbians perpetually wreak havoc on Lesbian lives, and sex is one of the many ways Straightbians are harmful to Lesbians. As related to the “Lesbian Bed Death” mythology: if one of the partners is NOT A LESBIAN, she is never going to share true sexual attraction/interest with a Lesbian partner…and particularly not over a long period of time. So, while a Straightbian may initially have sex with a Lesbian (due to curiosity or novelty or commitment-seeking or manipulation, etc.), once the relationship is established, it is highly likely that the frequency of sex will decrease significantly (or may even disappear totally). Note that when this happens, it is NOTLesbian Bed Death“….because one of the partners is NOT A LESBIAN!  Instead, this is a simple case of 2 people not sharing a sexual orientation, which negates true attraction.

Moral of this post: Lesbians: please forget you ever heard the term “Lesbian Bed Death“! Schwartz was wrong, but in true Straight-privileged fashion, she felt free to DICKtate and hetsplain Lesbian sex lives, and her lies have haunted us ever since.

It is time for Lesbians to tell our own stories, listen to our own intuitions, and focus on our own Lesbian selves for a change.

Our sex lives are our own, to do with as we please, and what we do, how we do it, and how often we do it is our business and within our control. We don’t have to be victims of a fictional syndrome perpetuated by a straight woman. Lesbian love is so far outside heterosexuality that what occurs emotionally/sexually between two Lesbians remains inconceivable to hets. Hets cannot and should not speak for us…we can, and should, speak for ourselves, thank you very much.

Hetsplanations for Lesbian sex consist of outright fiction and damaging myths ~ so hetsplanations need to go STRAIGHT to where they belong:

image-1

Deciphering Butch/Femme

Image 56

I am a member of one of the most misunderstood categories in the history of humans: Butch/Femme (of course, I am the Femme in this equation).

Lesbians in general are marginalized, misunderstood, and made invisible within general society; and, as Lesbians ourselves, this sad phenomenon is also true of Butch/Femme,  who also have the additional burden of being marginalized, misunderstood, and made invisible within the Lesbian community itself.

There are many inaccuracies and misconceptions about Butch/Femme…far too many to cover in a single post, so my aim with this post is to simply highlight the major misconceptions about Butch/Femme, and to give a brief general explanation of why these beliefs are faulty.

1).  Incorrect Assumption about Butch/Femme #1:

“Butch/Femme is ‘performance‘; a cartoonish mimicry of heterosexual relationships.”

Why this is Wrong and the Real Truth:

We are both Lesbians and women and are both attracted to women.  We have no desire whatsoever to mimic heterosexual relationships. Dirt is NOT “the man one” and I am NOT “the woman one” (and to imply that we are is both unbelievably ignorant and offensive).

We are not “performing” nor “playacting”: we are just who we are, period.  We couldn’t change ourselves, no matter who pressured us to ~ and, quite frankly, we wouldn’t want to change, even if we could.

There isn’t a power-imbalance dynamic in our relationship; we are equals and we both contribute to the relationship in every way. We don’t have rigid duties/roles/expectations, nor do we want them. We don’t relate to each other like Ward and June Cleaver.

2).  Incorrect Assumption about Butch/Femme #2:

“Anybody can be Butch/Femme simply by assuming different hairstyles, wearing different clothes/shoes, no makeup/makeup, etc.”

Why this is Wrong and the Real Truth:

This assumption is related to #1 because it incorrectly assumes that Butch/Femme is what you do, rather than who you are.

Slapping on a backwards ballcap and some jeans and a t-shirt does not make you Butch, just as dabbing on a little lipstick and wearing a bit of jewelry does not make you Femme.

The truth is that we are always Butch/Femme, regardless of what we are wearing.  Right now, I am wearing no makeup, athletic shorts, a (so-called) “men’s” t-shirt, and Asics, and yet (gasp!), I am still Femme.  Why?  Because that is who I am and how I was born.

3).  Incorrect Assumption about Butch/Femme #3:

“Butch/Femme is based upon roles performed within the relationship.”

Why this is Wrong and the Real Truth:

Again, this faulty assumption is related to numbers 1 and 2 above, because it is also basing the definition of Butch/Femme on actions rather than being.

Mowing the grass and washing the car doesn’t make someone Butch, and cooking dinner and decorating the house doesn’t make someone Femme.

Conversely, doing creative things such as crafts or cooking or decorating does not make a Butch “less Butch” and carrying the groceries in or changing a tire does not make a Femme “less Femme”.

The truth is that we are always Butch/Femme, regardless of what we are doing. I drive a truck, Dirt drives a car.  Dirt does the majority of the cooking and decorating for holidays/seasons, and I pay the bills and manage the money.  I would be willing to bet that many people who see us would be surprised by that information.

4).  Incorrect Assumption about Butch/Femme #4:

“Butch/Femme is determined by what you do in bed.”

Why this is Wrong and the Real Truth:

While I have no intention of discussing our sex life (sorry!), I do want to clarify that I have seen/heard many incorrect assumptions about Butch/Femme in relationship to sex.

For instance, I have seen people assume that Butch/Femme means you are into BDSM and/or that the Butch is always dominant/”top” and the Femme is always submissive/”bottom”.  People also assume that all Butches are “Stone Butch” and that is also not true.

While I cannot comment on the sex lives of all Butch/Femme couples (nor do I even care what other people do in bed!), I can unequivocally say that nobody should universally make these assumptions about Butch/Femme couples.

Also, role-playing or positioning in bed does not make anyone Butch or Femme.  (Just because you were on top last night does not mean you are Butch).

Do whatever floats your boat (well, I mean, of course, as long it is between consenting adults), but please don’t assume that whatever it is that you are doing in bed defaults you to Butch or Femme.

Relatedly, please don’t just assume that you know what we are doing in bed either, based on one of us being Butch and the other of us being Femme.

5).  Incorrect Assumption about Butch/Femme #5:

“Butch/Femme couples are the most visible lesbians.”

Why this is Wrong and the Real Truth:

I have heard many lesbians refer to themselves, or others, as Butch/Femme inaccurately.  For instance, I have frequently noticed that lesbian couples will often say stuff like “I am the Butch one”/”She is the Femme one” or vice versa.

Usually their reasoning is based upon some variations of the misconceptions listed above, such as division of household duties; one fixes the toilet and the other does the laundry.  Sometimes the reasoning might be that Lesbo 1 (the alleged “Butch”) has shorter hair than Lesbo 2 (the alleged “Femme“).

These misconceptions only makes Butch/Femme lesbians feel further isolated and misunderstood within our own (supposed) community, and these issues stem, in part, from the rarity of Butch/Femme lesbians within the lesbian community.

Most people in the general public don’t even recognize Dirt and me as Lesbians.  Most people who see us shopping in Target seem to assume we are a straight couple, even though, contrary to some peoples’ uninformed opinions, we are not “trying to pass” as straight.

It is frustrating for both of us to never be seen for who we are (and, in the case of Butches, to only rarely to be seen as what sex they are!).

Both of us have had many similar experiences in Lesbian-only bars.  Dirt has been called “Sir” in Lesbian bars and has been asked/ordered to leave Ladies’ Rooms on many occasions (which makes absolutely no sense because only women were allowed in  those places…well, at least that was true at that time…!?!?).

I, on the other hand, have had the repeated frustrating experience of being mistaken for a straight woman who must have somehow gotten lost and just happened to accidentally wander into the Lesbo bar.

It is bad enough for the general public to not recognize us, but it is 1000 times worse to not even be recognized/accepted/understood by who should be “our own people”, the Lesbian community.  Instead of being accepted and welcomed by the lesbian community, we are constantly falsely accused of “trying to pass as straight”, of “role-playing”, and of mimicking heterosexuals.

Even some purported experts of the Lesbian community (some actual Lesbians themselves, some Straightbians) have put forth misleading, inflammatory, ridiculous, and just plain ignorant theories about Butch/Femme.

I seriously doubt that most of these self-proclaimed experts have ever even seen a Butch/Femme couple in their entire lives, much less had enough experience with us to offer an informed opinion.

Which leads me to my last point of the day, which directly ties in to #5:

Since most people have erroneous notions of what Butch/Femme couples are, because most have never actually seen or heard of any Butch/Femme couples in history, in person, on TV, or in movies, people frequently mischaracterize well-known fictional and non-fictional couples as Butch/Femme.

Just to be clear, I do not know of any famous true Butch/Femme couples in history, movies, or TV.  That’s right…ZERO.  Zip, nada, none.  I said it, and I mean it.

Please note that I am not saying this to hurt anyone’s feelings, nor to put anyone down in any way, because it’s not a hierarchy and it is not an insult to say that someone is not Butch (I say that because I have never known any lesbian to care if they don’t get called Femme, but they do care passionately if it is pointed out that they are not Butch!).

I am also not saying we (meaning Butch/Femme) are better than they (meaning all other Lesbians) are, or vice versa.  I am simply stating that we are different, and that Butch/Femme couples have never…I repeat, NEVER…been included and/or accurately represented by alleged experts or in the media.

So here is a list of just a fraction of the couples (real and fictional) who I have personally heard people mistakenly refer to as Butch/Femme ~ but who just aren’t, no matter how you spin it:

1).  Xena and Gabrielle:  Now, anyone who knows me knows that I LOVE LOVE LOVE Xena, but let’s be honest, she’s just not Butch.  Hot? Yes!  Badass? Oh, yes!  Hero? Indeed!  Butch? Nope. Plus, you would never catch a real Butch in those clothes, because she would literally die first.

2).  Corky and Violet in Bound:  Bound was an entertaining movie with some hot scenes, and Gina Gershon as Corky had a certain undeniably sexy  je-ne-sais-quoi, but sorry, Lesbos, she isn’t Butch (and the Violet character is a Straightbian who uses a dyke to get out of a bad situation).

3).  Idgie Threadegood and Ruth Bennett in Fried Green Tomatoes: Being the Sweet Southern Belle (ha!) that I am, I just adore Fried Green Tomatoes, and have probably watched it 2,357,982 times and I still get misty-eyed just thinking about it.  But is Mary Stuart Masterson’s Idgie Butch?  Um…no. Sorry.

4).  Nikki and Helen in Bad Girls: This is one of the most famous and beloved fictional TV lesbian duos of all time, and I watched their romance unfold with bated breath along with the rest of lesbian fandom. Are they a great lesbian fictional couple?  Sure!  But are they Butch/Femme?  Nein.

5). Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas: Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas were one of the best known Lesbian couples in history, and both of them were remarkable, talented, and inspirational to lesbians everywhere.  But were they Butch/Femme?  No, not by a long shot.

Here are some clues to help decipher whether someone is Butch:

  • Has she flat-out refused to wear a dress since the approximate age of 3?
  • Has she usually/regularly been “Sir’ed” or “passed as male” from a very early age on up?
  • Are all of her closest peers/friends male (or were they when she was growing up)?
  • Has she been accepted by males as “one of their own” from an early age and up until the present?
  • Are her mannerisms/demeanor/language viewed as (so-called) “masculine/male” by others?
  • Is she like catnip to straight women? Do straight women change how they act around her and giggle like schoolgirls when she enters a room?

Answer Key:  If the woman in question is Butch, the answer to ALL of the above would be “Yes”. 

Today’s thoughts are just the tip of the proverbial iceberg regarding the numerous ways that Butch/Femme Lesbians have been ignored, disrespected, maligned, and misunderstood.  Stay tuned for future posts on this subject, which is near and dear to my heart, mind, and soul…because, for me, this is not just some theoretical conversation ~ it is my life.