I recently had a question asked by two different viewers on my Youtube channel, and it gave me pause for thought, and fodder for a blog and vlog on the topic. The question is “Can Butches and Femmes be just friends?” Meaning here, can they successfully navigate the terrain of friendship – without becoming emotionally involved and without sex becoming a factor or issue in the equation?
Facebook is the prime example of epic failure in the realm of Butch-Femme friendship. More drama and crap goes across the status bar of that application than I can even fathom. Personally I don’t let it bother me when someone un-friends me because I tell the truth, hey I know the truth hurts! And if you can’t run with the big dogs, stay on the porch. If you can’t take the truth, GTFO . Because I tell it like I see it, and for some that seems to be just a tad bit too insightful for them, they are afraid I may call their bullshit like I see it. Hell, it has happened and I have been un-friended by both Butches and Femmes in the past, for doing just that – calling bullshit when I see it. I don’t care to be a spectator in anyone’s drama filled exchanges…and why would I? Nope just not into the drama myself, so take your “friendship” – and I use the term lightly – and GTFO. Good riddance. I don’t need the bullshit believe me – neither do you.
So can Butches and Femmes ever really be “friends”? I am not sure. I know that I approach every relationship in my life from an angle of friendship. I offer myself as a friend. Sex, when used as a weapon in any relationship from friendship to the romantic realm, is just wrong. And sexual exchanges of innuendo or as “come on” talk within a friendship is not acceptable behavior from anyone who wishes to just be friends.
What I do know for myself is that Butch – Butch bromances are needed and necessary. I am sure it’s the same for Femmes, although I cannot speak to their thoughts directly. You often need the advice of someone who possibly thinks a bit more like you do; who has walked the path that you are on and knows the ropes across that wiggly bridge. Advice and having an ally are valuable tools in navigating this minefield of this LGBT life. When I have Butch things that I think only another Butch would be able to relate to then I take my questions to my other Butch friends. If I am having Femme issues I might consult a Femme friend for insight, but it’s my Butch buddies that give me the most support; needed, necessary and like-minded support.
I do think that Butches and Femmes can be friends without sex or relationship stuff becoming an issue but it takes mature people to make the friendship. And there is also that category of acquaintance versus actual friend. Acquaintances are those who you know, but aren’t very close to, perhaps it’s your buddy’s girl, or the girl at work, she’s someone that you wouldn’t persue a real friendship with anyway.
Generally when a Femme puts you into the “friend” category, you stay there regardless. Any sort of romance that may pop up are usually just fleeting things and you stay in the friendship category, because most Femmes are strong willed, solidly minded and once you are in that category there is no such thing as a “get out of friendship free” pass, it’s lost somewhere between the “go to jail” and the “get 100 condoms free” passes in life. She wants to be your friend not your lover. She wants to tell you how to dress better, not undress you. She wants to talk to you like she would talk to another Femme, not like she would converse with you if she were sleeping with your ass. Exhibit one…she will tell you about the fabulous Butch she fucked last weekend…a lover or potential girlfriend would definitely not be telling you those things. Because if she saw you as a potential lover or sex partner she would want you to think that you are the only one, so if she’s telling you about her latest conquests then you are definitely in the friend category. Stay there.
When Butches and Femmes cross that threshold between friendship and a relationship one of two things happens. Either they get together and stay that way, or the friendship goes straight into the shitter. The second may happen slower, but it will eventually happen as you drift apart, one of you becoming more distant, you talk less, and then poof, no more friendship.
As you grow older in life and you gain experience in dealing with various personality types along the way, you gain insight and intuition about things. You learn to know the difference between friendly gestures and those with romantic overtones. You can feel when someone is not telling the whole truth, but is giving you marginal information to keep you in some sort of spot where they can later manipulate you into whatever they wish. You learn to avoid those people, they are toxic. Butch or Femme. Toxic.
Basics of Butch – Femme Friendships
No pet names…once a pet name is given some sort of weird connection happens, it breaks boundaries.
No pouring out of the heart. Save this for your time with like-minded buddies and other friends.
No sexting, multiple texting, or massive email exchanges. Each one gives the lead to more, and that leads to a falling off of the friendship cliff.
Respect boundaries, have impeccable manners and general good behavior that will keep things friendly.
No holding of hands, touching or other intimate behavior between friends.
No names. When discussing recent sexual conquests do not use names or identifying things.
No sexual inuendos, small talk or references to be exchanged or referred to in conversation, both in person or online. Using any type of sexual or “come on” type language is just a recipe for trouble, with a capital T. Afterall , it ‘s supposedly “friendship” you are after, not a relationship or sexual escapade, right?
If sexual tension evolves, deal with it head on, do not sweep it under the proverbial rug. Get it out in the open, discuss it and solve it. Maybe you are not meant to be friends…but are you meant to be more? If you can’t put the tension aside then it’s time to either end it or ask her out properly…you decide and let those chips fall where they may. But remember, if she never trusts you when you say “she’s just my friend” after you get together, it’s exactly how you two met…historically speaking. History says a lot. She won’t want you having other “friends” of the opposite label, i.e. Butches having Femme friends and visa versa.
No drunk calls, texts or emails…never, ever a good thing. If you are thinking of your Butch or Femme “friend” when you are drunk then it’s NOT a friendship in your head, it’s turning into something much more dangerous…the desire for a relationship.
Warning signs that it’s more than a friendship.
You start to dress more “her style”, listening to what she likes in her Butch or Femme, you start to look at your wardrobe and think of what “she” would like to see you wear, not what you like. Never change yourself for someone, especially a “friend”.
You stay up late at night waiting by your computer for her to get home so you can chat or email with her. This is a definite sign that it’s getting beyond friendship in your head.
Buying expensive gifts…you don’t do this for other friends, so if you find yourself looking at diamonds suddenly and thinking of buying one for her…it’s gone way beyond friends in your head.
Suddenly changing your other friends, because she doesn’t care for this one or thinks that one is too much of an influence on you. A friend will never ask or suggest that you lose another friend just so you can be “her” friend. A true friend will encourage you to have other friends, and may even want to hang out with you and them.
Isolating…if you find you are staying home more, waiting for her calls, emails or texts then you are not being friendly, you are being stupid.
Jealousy…if you or she starts telling the other who they can and cannot hang with, communicate with or who they should and should not sleep with, or what to do with their hair, nails, brows, etc…then it’s obvious it’s not friendship, it’s a connection going deeper.
Drop off friends.
Signs that a friend has decided that you are too much work, or that she’s feeling pressured and maybe things need to frost over a bit between you before it goes somewhere other than friendship….
She becomes a bit distant, has to work late, has prior obligations and cant’ hang with you.
Phone calls become rare to non-existant. Your calls go unanswered or to voice mail.
Texts and emails start to trail off, not so many anymore. And those that do come are short and to the point. Then she finally stops altogether.
Friends with Benefits.
Never a good idea in my humble opinion. Tried it and failed miserably. And I find that it’s always a friendship killer because once you go to the intimacy level, everything changes. You may think you are still friends, but you are now more than friends, but less than lovers. The whole dynamic is different, strained and usually not very much fun. One of you thinks it’s friends, the other has built a house and put up a picket fence in their mind. Watch out for this one; tread carefully.
So those are my thoughts and ideas on Butch-Femme friendship. I do have a few very sweet and good Femme friends. I adore every one of them, but I also keep them at a distance socially, out of respect for them, their Butches and for myself. I want to be a good friend, and sexual fantasy about a Femme friend would not make me a good Butch…it might make me typical to some, but not good!