Butch Desire

Butch desire is to fem hunger what peanut butter is to jelly; what ying is to yang.

I recently read a really GREAT blog about “hunger”; specifically fem hunger. You can read it here, which is my previous cross post about this blog, and will connect you with this wonderful blogger. The writer is a fantastic femme, who writes with elegance and ease about this topic and many others concerning Butch-fem relationships and dynamics. As with anyone, I don’t always agree with her, but I have found that she quite often stimulates me to write more!  I truly value her opinions and perspectives.

This article she wrote about fem hunger has made me think much about what it is that I, as a Butch who desires that fem hunger, feel and how I respond to that hunger.

Butch desire is the deep, almost primal, need a Butch feels when acknowledged by a femme. It’s the riveting eye contact that conveys the message that they want more; they want to take it all. Butch desire runs deep in the body, and is activated like an electrical current, making the heart race and the breath come in heavy sighs. It’s that desire to be wanted and needed exactly as I am – Butch and proud – not to be told to “tone it down” or hide in any way.

It’s the unending need to fix everything; to make everything good and right for her femme; to treat the femme like the queen of her world, as it should be. Then it’s the aching need to take what is hers; to conquer and devour every savory morsel of femininity exuded by her fem lover, and to do it with force and precision.

“I want you as a woman, not as a man; but I want you in the way you need to be, which may not be traditionally female, but which is the area you express as Butch…….I make it right to want me that hard. Butches have not been allowed to feel their own desire because that part of being Butch can be perceived by the straight world as male. I feel I get back my femaleness and give a different definition of femaleness to a Butch as a femme.”
Amber Hollibaugh, “What We’re Rollin’ Around In Bed With” My Dangerous Desires

Butch desire is the raging need that fills my mind with visions of her, spread before me quivering and waiting for my touch, sometimes gentle and sometimes rough and demanding. It’s the ache in my entire body that is only stopped by her moans, that deep connection we make in becoming whole together, mind, body and soul. It’s her unbridled hunger for being taken and my overwhelming desire to claim her as my own. Butch desire is all of those things, plus much more. From the way it makes me lick my lips in anticipation, to the guttural noises I make as I find my release with her body quaking under mine.

That hardness; the rigidity of our closely guarded emotions, that we keep locked up safe behind our walls of protection, is also our vulnerability. When a femme sees momentarily behind the wall that we build, it’s an intimate and very exposed feeling for a Butch. We do not show our vulnerabilities readily, nor often. Some say we are damaged goods; that our lack of visible emotion and response is from some trauma – or from our “wanting” to be male – nothing could be further from the truth for a truly authentic Butch.  Femmes have a way of seeing through our thinner walls, and of reaching past those super-tender spots without threatening or damaging us.  This serves to heighten our desire; to fan the flames of heat and passion.

Never have I desired to be “male” – although standing to pee is very appealing – it never came to me to transition to the male gender. Femmes get this. They don’t push us to change, but accept us for who we are and how we represent ourselves in the world.  We are women who push the gender boundary and skew the binary; who look, feel and think a bit differently perhaps. There’s a thin line; a boundary of distinction, invisible to most and yet something that we are very keenly aware of as we move about our world.

Being a dominant Butch it’s often assumed that I take on a “male” role in any relationship.  While this has some truth to it, it’s not really that cut and dried; every Butch owns her own butchness – and what that is and how it plays in her life, daily.  Being Butch doesn’t stop when no one’s looking, it’s an authentic way of being in the universe. And it’s that combination of being female, yet very masculine that feels every so right to a Butch – and to her fem partner.  It’s what gives me life and joy in being.

When I am with people from outside of the gay community I am more keenly aware of my differences with them.  Whereas when I am with my counterparts I am much more relaxed and less guarded overall.  The more “mainstream” lesbian community generally frowns on the Butch-fem dynamic, lifestyle and those who partake in it’s beauty.  Sad for them in my opinion.  Lesbians seem to have a real tendency to be judgmental of other lesbians – at least that has been my own observation.  I see more lesbian on lesbian bashing than I care to see.

Personally, I don’t give much weight to their opinions, rude remarks, comments, or slurs of others – lesbian, straight, or whatever.  That’s their business; their own frame of thinking, generally constructed from within their own culture, community and situation in life.  People get hung up on what they do not understand; it frightens them, so they try to minimalize it however they can.  I find this to be a real form of “internalized” homophobia.  Preach about equality, but disrespect those who do the same things you do – just tweaked a bit.  That does NOT make much sense.  And perhaps me even saying this here doesn’t either, it’s MY own internalized phobia of occasionally worrying about what others may think.   And there I will leave it.

~MB

Identity Complexity

“How do we bridge who we become with who we were?”

“Remember who you wanted to be”  quoted from a bumper sticker I saw yesterday

“Language sets expectations”

I seem to be running into all of these one-liners that are basically alluding to identity and I find this very interesting.

I have also had some conversation surrounding identity and how we embody it, about the multiple pieces of a person and how they make up the whole.

Also, in writing about intersectionality it spurred me to think about all of the things that make up me; all of those pieces, and how they all fit together with each other.  It’s hard to figure out which piece goes in what order when you start listing all of those aspects of yourself out.  Like, what comes first, what is your first identity?  Of course we all know that it’s your sex.  When you are born they automatically declare “it’s a Girl!” or “it’s a Boy!” and God forbid they can’t figure THAT out, then all hell breaks loose I would imagine.

So if our first identity is our sex, whether we are male or female, then our second identity would be what color we are – am I right?  Those will be the first things noticed about you when you are first seen, what sex and what color.  So, I started life as a white girl.  Oh but wait, wee what I did there…I listed white first.  So is my color or my sex predominant?

I read a lot about “white privilege”, so I think that your color is the predominant first identity.  Even in common conversation we tend to go to color first, like “the black kitten” not “the kitten black”  Am I making sense?  I am thinking this through as I write…so bear with me here.

Identity, as we know, changes over the course of life.  That’s just how it works.  There are some things that don’t change, like your color/race.  But we do go from being “girl” to being a “woman” at a certain age, and we develop into people with various other identities to tack onto the ones we start with.  Once you decide your sexual preference, there’s that.  So, now I am a white woman lesbian.  Jesus, this can be super complicated.

At one time in my life I was a soldier.  And thus that was part of my identity.  Now I am a former soldier, or a veteran.  At one time I identified as a Republican (go figure, it’s true though) but now I identify as independent in political thinking, leaning toward Democrat. I now identify as a Butch lesbian, but remember there is no singular experience of an identity.  So my Butch will be different from your Butch, maybe subtly or maybe starkly, but it will definitely be different.  People are all different, no two are ever exactly alike.

There are identities in class and socio-economic status too.  I’ve always identified as middle class, grew up that way and have maintained that middle class socio-economic status – although some days I feel poor as fuck, I know I do have privilege as middle-class.

This all brings me back to line one of this blog: How do we bridge who we become with who we were?  We all build history in our lives.  Years ago I was a hard-core drug addict.  Today, while I still fight the demons of addiction, I am not what I was once upon a time by any means.  I have evolved, grown, learned and improved in that area of my life and identity.  I think back to when I identified as a more conservative Republican and what that was all about.  I was in the military, perhaps I was sort of brain washed by the military machine.  Today I am much more concerned with social justice and equality than I was back then.

So, there are all of these pieces of ourselves that come together neatly – or so we hope – to make up who we become; who we are today.  Who knows what new pieces will be added to make up who we will be tomorrow, or next week.  Good thing is that as human beings, with very complex brains, we do have the ability to make concerted efforts and to make choices, thus we do have influence on what happens with our decisions.

These are all the pieces of my identity that intersect to make me ME:  A white Butch lesbian woman, independent, Methodist, working-class, HIV+, recovering addict, American, introvert, avg. intelligence, physically disabled, outspoken, employed, mobile, compassionate, activist…hell, the list can go on I suppose.

Like I said, I’ve been thinking about all of this because of the word intersectionality.  So, I’ve been thinking about the way the world sees me.  Not how you or my family sees me but how I am seen statistically.  (But then it is interesting to wonder about how my closer contacts identify me, too.)

Then I think about how the word is used when speaking about oppression, domination and discrimination.  Of course, I am already considered a 2nd class citizen because of the mere fact that I am female.  Men want and do dominate our world unfortunately.  Women will always fight male domination and oppression, I do not foresee a time when that will not be a fact in my lifetime.

Just this last week it was a full panel of MEN that were gathered and deciding on women’s health issues during the Trumpcare debacle.  Not one woman on that panel or in that room!  THAT, my friends, is fucking oppression and male domination at it’s finest – or worst I should say.  Why is it that men think they can or should ever be deciding on women’s health/body issues?  Where do they get the idea that it is THEIR job or duty to tell women what to do with their own bodies, or what is/isn’t going to be covered by insurance.  Insurance covers Viagra, so equally it should cover contraceptives.  Fair is fair in my book.  But not in the “book of men” I suppose.  No man should ever be making a woman’s decision for her. Ever.  That panel should have been ALL WOMEN.

I will leave you with  a quick question, which of your identities expose you to the most oppression, domination or discrimination?  Drop me a quick comment below and let’s talk a little about this.  I’m very interested to know what you think.

Peace!  ~MB

 

 

 

 

 

Big Word: Intersectionality

I seem to keep running into this word: Intersectionality.  So, I went to Wikipedia to research it’s origin and meaning; to give myself some basic understanding of the word.  This is one of those specific times that I wish I had much more direct contact, like in face-to-face conversations, with others in the LGBT community on a regular basis.  But, I am relegated to internet relations and community for now – it’s a hazard of living as an older LGBT person in rural America.  I wish I could discuss this word and it’s meaning and how it pertains to the LGBT community with some people who could explain it to me in more detailed terms.

From what I am gathering here it means basically that there are lots of “parts” of you that come together to make a “whole” of you.  And “intersectional theory” claims that there are overlapping or intersecting social identities and related systems of oppression, domination and discrimination.  This gets really deep, basically saying that we are multi-dimensional and intertwined with our various “parts” and the discrimination/oppression we experience is generally addressing the individual parts.  So, I may be oppressed because I am a woman on one level, and then discriminated against because I am lesbian on another platform.  It’s quite complicated.  But I get the gist of it.

I encourage you to click on the link to the word intersectionality and read up on it.  You may hear it being tossed around in the media a bit more, as we are realizing that marginalized people like us are also intersectionally challenged with multiple types of oppression, domination and discrimination.

I know, this is a deep subject I have chosen to address here, but it’s important for me to understand things like this as much as I possibly am able to understand.  Vocabulary and wordsmithing is something I really like.  I love to learn new words, and how to use them properly.  I do realize that my understanding of “intersectionality” is currently limited to what I am reading here and on the web in general, and that personal discussion of how it affects others is much needed for me to understand it completely.  So, if you have some input for me, or a take on what it means for you please leave me a comment, let’s have a discussion!

Peace!  ~MainelyButch

Rules Don’t Apply: Being Butch

butch-name-tag

I am Butch.  A Butch who loves femme women in particular and a member of the Butch-femme community; a community that struggles in today’s politically correct sort of world.  We are more often than not, ostracized for “copy catting or aping” heteronormativity.  My partner is asked why she feels the “need” to be so feminine, and I am grilled about my “wanting to be a man” by those that just don’t understand the Butch-femme dynamics or lifestyle.

Within my own community I find people telling me I should just “transition and get over it” when that is the furthest thing from my mind.  They seem to think that I must “want” to be a guy, because I look and act in more masculine ways.  The truth is that I love being Butch.  I am not afraid of my female parts.  Since I have had chest surgery I am much more comfortable in this female based body.  Sure, I hated my boobs when I had them, but that didn’t mean I had to transition.  Many lesbians, like me, are uncomfortable with their breasts – even some that don’t identify as Butch!  I was just lucky enough to be able to do something about my upper body dysphoria and have the surgery I had wanted for all my life.  I am fine with my body now; I’m flat chested and happy.  I am fine with my masculine appearance and my butch ways.

See, the rules don’t apply to me.  I have chosen to live outside the definitive lines of the gender binary.  I don’t prescribe to much of anything that would label me a girl/woman/female person.  As well as I don’t identify as a male person.  I fall somewhere in the middle of that scale, a gray area where I embody the best of both worlds.  It’s a comfortable place for me, mentally and physically.  I lean hard toward the masculine end of the spectrum, by pure nature.  I was born this way; born Butch.   It’s the only place I fee comfortable, safe and seen.

I am pretty stereotypically Butch.  I dress like a guy, talk like a guy (thanks to the US Army and smoking I have a pretty deep and rough voice) and I embody most things masculine in nature.  I’ve even been told that I think like a dude.  I am not very emotional and I rarely cry….all things that people believe are stereo typical of most Butch women. That tough exterior and rough attitude everyone believes we have. I like to think that Butch is my actual gender, that I am neither man nor woman, but somewhere in between and we call that “Butch” in my world.  In my world Butch is a noun.

I am often mistaken for a guy.  I get called “sir” and “dude” all the time, and it doesn’t bother me.  It often makes me smile, like I have some sort of secret.  I wear my Butch like a scarlet letter, prominent and proud.  I walk the walk and talk the talk so to speak. And it embarrasses me when people who I am with will try to correct those who mis-gender me; somehow it’s easier for me to just shrug it off and laugh to myself. I get a kick out of it.

I feel bad for my friends who are femme lesbians.  They are so invisible. Usually being seen as “straight” all the time.  Only we see each other; we seem to recognize each other somehow.  I know that it must be hard for her when she’s told that she can’t be a lesbian because she’s too pretty, or she hears the dreaded “why do you date girls that look like guys, why not just date a guy instead?”  As Butches and femmes we hear these types of comments, or get these questions, quite often.   I’ve heard some brilliant answers to them over the years.  But it never ceases to amaze me when someone feels so emboldened as to ask such personal stuff.  And it’s always so disappointing to hear it from anyone who identifies with the LGBT community, that just feels like a true back-stab. You would think that they, if anyone, would understand that we are all unique and we all like different things; differing lifestyles and have various tastes.

So when I lace up my Chippewa work boots and tug on that worn old ball cap over my closely cropped crew cut hair, I definitely look the part that I gleefully embody:  Butch to the core.  And loving it. I blur the lines of the gender binary and I am comfortable in my own skin, being authentically who I am, and I never want to change that.

Peace.   ~MB

Those Darned Definitions…

cropped-cropped-cropped-001.jpgMan!  Has language changed some radically since I’ve been walking this green earth.  Daily I am surprised by the “new” use of “old” words; the newer definitions and meanings of some.  Start with the word we all know and use in a zillion different ways:  Queer.  Now we know the dictionary meaning to be “odd or unusual” to be short.  But then we all know the meaning when it’s used to describe someone’s sexual preference for the same sex…i.e. “He/she is queer as a three dollar bill.”  meaning that he/she is gay…another word…Gay….now that is supposed to mean “happy and joyful” by the dictionary, but when used to describe me it means I like pussy, and I’m a bit queer.

Today’s LGBT world (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender, for those who may not really know what the letters represent, seriously.)  Yes, where was I …in today’s world we are constantly changing up language.  It’s a far cry from what it was like in the 70’s when I was growing up.  Or the 80’s when I was just coming out and defying the world with my gayness.

There are so many words now to describe or to define who one is in the world.  I could not possibly do justice to all of them here, but I will take a stab at a few of the more common ones just for fun.

There’s the all famous Butch.  The definition of Butch varies so widely now that I am not sure if I am even still Butch!  Hell, it seemed easy when I finally did define myself as such, it felt wholesome and right.  I was a masculine presenting woman.  Butch.  It is my identity, my definition of me.  But what it means to me and what it means to other people can really be confusingly different.  I define Butch for myself as a masculine woman.  A woman who is more comfortable walking the masculine side of the binary, but who is not a man and does not necessarily want to be a man.  (Some people are convinced that all Butch women secretly just want to be men – both straight people and other LGBT people have been known to say this more than once).  I want to wear my jeans and workboots; flannel shirts are a must to my Butch wardrobe.  I don’t walk like a girl, or talk like one.  My voice is very deep, raspy and quite often mistaken for a male voice on the phone.  Plain and simple for me, it’s just how I was constructed by life.   I am a masculine woman, a Butch to the core.  Of course, this is just my definition and will certainly vary from yours or someone elses.

Femme is another widely varying word.  It’s gained some serious notoriety and popularity in the last 10 years I believe.  We have had the word Butch for so long and it’s been more popular for the last 100 years than I think Femme has been.  In my experience I didn’t really have a word for the type of women that I found super attractive until I discovered the word “Femme”.  To me Femme means a very feminine presenting woman.  A woman who revels in the glories of being very feminine appearing, acting and who is often attracted to her polar opposite – the Butch.  (I know this is not always the case, I am aware that Butch/Femme is only one dynamic, and that there are others, please don’t shoot me).

Now there are all these fun descriptive words that you can throw together with Butch and Femme.  There’s about 100 ways to be Butch or to dilute it, which ever you think is happening. Personally, I think the dilution factor is more of what is taking place.  Historically we know that the Butch-femme dynamic kind of started as a cover so that women could see one another  and appear to be a hetero couple…they were hiding from the law and society basically. There’s a LOT more to the history than this, I am seriously over simplifying here for brevity.

Today we have baby Butches, Tomboi Butches, Soft Butches, Hard Butches, Stone Butches, Daddi Butches, etc. etc.  I am sure I have missed a dozen or so other types here…but you should get the gist of where I am going with this. It’s a hard thing to just say Butch is Butch nowadays, because there are so many layers and depths to each “type”.  If you look in Wikipedia or do a Google search for any one of the types you are bound to come up with more reading than you probably need to get to the point.  You can be whatever you choose, and you can define it in any way you want along the squiggly line of the binary.

Same with the femmes, you have the high femmes, diva femmes, lipstick lesbians, queer femmes, and that list goes on and on as well.  I am not as familiar with it as I am with the Butch side of things, obviously and for obvious reasons.  All I know is that I really love femme women.  And the way they embody their femininity is up to each one of them, they can put on a baseball cap and pull the pony tail through the back and still be a diva femme.  It’s all in the attitude I have come to realize with femmes.  They have this great attitude about femininity and they revel in it.

Today’s younger crowd has a ton of other new words too that I just don’t understand.  I’ve come to the realization that I am too old for some of this new wording. But I want to learn!

Personally, I used to identify as a Stone Butch.  I am not so sure about seriously identifying with the “stone” part any longer.  I’m just not sure exactly what stone means to me now.  I know that I am not a “touch me not” Butch, as the word “stone” is supposed to imply in some circles.  I don’t care for some things; for some forms of touch, but I do like to be loved on quite a lot!  I enjoy sex, and sometimes I think the the inference to “stone” is that he/she is not someone who likes to be touched or who enjoys any kind of sexual touch.  I have to say I enjoy both.  While I have my limitations, and my boundaries that doesn’t negate the fact that I am human and need human interaction and touch.  Hell, I love sex.

Stone is a word that gets thrown around a lot more as I’ve noticed lately. I even see it in reference to “stone femmes” now, which I never encountered before say the last year or so.  I’m not sure of how that definition would read or what it would be.  Perhaps one of you readers have more information on this one, or some anecdotes to share on it.  I see it on Fetlife quite often and wonder about it.

So, these are my more random thoughts for today’s blog.  I was just pondering word-smithing and how radically language in the gay community has changed over the decades. Words seem to come into fashion and fade just as quickly sometimes.  It’s interesting as fuck.  You may see me write a bit more about this, perhaps from a more serious angle next time, tonight I am in a fun mood and wanted to keep it fairly light.

Rock on.

~MB

 

 

 

The Christmas Blues

What is the real meaning of being alone. What do each of us consider when we say that we feel alone or that we are alone? I’m sitting here tonight, my friend from the neighborhood is here, playing on her computer in the living room. We just hang this way sometimes. She comes over and she does her thing and I do mine, it’s just the fact that we aren’t completely alone, and if conversation happens, then great.

The awesome woman that I really want to be spending this time with in these evenings that are leading up to Christmas in 2 days, is so damned far far away. I’m trying to figure out how I am feeling about that right this minute. I knew this was coming, but still I don’t like it. She’s there. I am here. And when I feel strongly like I do about her, I realize that my desire to have her with me gets quite intense.

I was married for a number of years and Christmas was a big deal in our house. I love Christmas myself, but over the last few years I have spent them pretty much alone – solitary, and single. I hate to say I am getting used to it, because I never am used to it. Every year I wish I had my own special person with me; beside me and enjoying each other’s company during what is supposed to be a very festive and loving time of year. It’s hard not having that. I’m really sick of it.

But I’m not so sick of it that I will just settle for anyone to fill that void that I feel in my heart. I’ve never been an easy one to find love with, and I know it. I’m shy, picky and can be difficult in my own ways. But I am also a committed and honest son of a gun, which has got to count for something.

I’d really like to see her soon.  I’m sure it’s scary for both of us, but I think I may be the bolder one in this situation. I’m ready as hell to see her here in front of me, where I can reach our and touch her….Skype and Whatsapp only take this so far. I realize there’s a safety net with the computer…and that she and I actually come from 2 very different places in life both in lifestyle and age…it’s scary any way you look at it I suppose. But I do hope very much to meet her in person in the not too distant future.

I love that she has time for me in her days and I am totally appreciative of it…I don’t know what I would do without being able to see her for days now. I’m completely hooked. I would stay up all night just to talk to her online. I even get up at 2am for our Skype sessions sometimes, just so I can help get her day started off right…..and I know she likes to see me in the morning, so it’s a bonus for me also in getting to see her smiling face. I’m really honored that she’s attracted to me and that we get along so great. Lucky I am.

It’s hard for me to describe Mushy without using the Butch-Femme scale (we all know the scale, but I will put it in after this post.) At first I thought she was more of a 5 ½ or a 6 even, she was very much the rougher side of Femme, but definitely not Butch. After getting to know her better these last 3 months I’d say she’s more of a 4 on the scale – if I had to say. She identifies as neither, I might add. She’s referred to being one of the “normal” lesbians. Which I guess she means that part of the lesbian culture that looks fairly straight, dresses in women’s clothing mostly (not meaning just dresses, but women’s business attire, etc) and have no real idea what Butch or Femme mean, except that they’ve heard them in usually derogatory ways, and that it wasn’t a crowd that she knew. I remember trying to hang with that crowd in the 80’s…we all looked pretty much alike, dressed alike and didn’t “buy in” to the label thing at all. The words Butch, Dyke, and Androgenous were taboo, and usually used as slurs.

I gotta say, there are as many ways to be a lesbian as there are ways to be beans. It’s all just in who you are and how you are raised, and how you are genetically made up. We are each and every one of us unique in some kind of way. That’s what makes us US. While some of us are clearly lesbian, clearly Butch and very visible, (yet also invisible in some ways). We have the disadvantage of not being able to pull off hiding and blending in with a crowd at all. We are unique and we don’t want it brought to our attention much of the time.

I am tired of looking around at just Femmes or those who identify as Femme thinking they are the only viable partners for Butches. Sure they do make wonderful partners for us, and us for them. And there is this cultural understanding between the two that negates some of the uncomfortable questions that come up when you date someone that isn’t familiar with the dynamic. And you can’t blame that person who isn’t familiar for asking the questions either, it’s just normal curiosity; if she’s interested she’ll have questions about you.

I find myself to be so self conscious that I don’t ask enough questions. I wish I wasn’t so shy about it sometime. I’m always afraid that I am going to ask a question that is totally out of line or will be a put off. But eventually I do gather more courage and loosen up as you get to know me and I become more trusting of you. I also have that filter, where I am thinking about 3 thoughts at a time and I can’t speak any one of them out loud….Butches know that feeling I know!!!  The mind is a muddy place sometimes 😉

Femmes know that Butches have a hard time starting conversations. Butches are also afraid of those lesbians that don’t identify too. How do we know what we are expected to do or how we are expected to act if we don’t know which one of us is Butch and which is Femme in the interaction? THAT scares a Butch. We have this inate need to know. I’ve thought a lot about this lately, and seen it play out in my own conversation with the woman I am seeing. She doesn’t fit the Femme scale well, she’s more one of those outside of the scale. She’s a great woman, pretty, smart and super funny. We laugh and laugh together, and I just want to reach through the screen and kiss her all the time….makes me nuts.

I know that dating someone outside of the B-F spectrum is a little different for me; challenging in a very very good way. I’ve dated inside that dynamic for a long time now. My ex-wife while she didn’t particularly identify with any specific label would surely hit dead on to a 5.5 on the proverbial scale. She was feminine as hell, while she could cowgirl up and do a hella job wrangling horses or hauling trees and brush. She was pretty versatile, and I enjoyed that quite a lot. She had her virtues and I certainly had mine in the relationship. We successfully made it work for a good number of years before we grew apart. So I know I can date outside of the dynamic to some extent. I’ve even been more successful there than anywhere else. Hmm…..thought…..

So as you can tell I am thinking about being alone over the holidays, and what that will be like this year.  I am wishing like hell that she could be here with me to laugh, and snuggle and enjoy the holiday glow.   It’s all just sparked my brain to write.  So ye are the subjects of my torture, dear readers.  🙂

Hope you all have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

So my dear readers, I know quite a few of you identify as Butch or Femme, what do you think?

Can we date outside of the dynamic seriously?

What kind of obstacles can you see with dating someone who doesn’t know B-F as a lifestyle?

I’m curious about what you have to say.

Rock on…… ~MB~

Who Am I ?

WhoAMI

I am a very passionate person.  I tend to write sometimes without rereading and adjusting things that come off wrong evidently.  I get into just writing my thoughts, and I should be doing more proofing I guess, but the passion of the moment in writing overrides me sometimes.

It’s hard to explain how I truly am to any person.  And when you look inside sometimes you see more negative than positive, I have tried to override those kinds of thoughts inside of my own head, and I have to say it’s made a world of difference,  Once upon a time I thought I was pretty much useless and not going anywhere, but now I know my worth and see that my journey is important.  I have shed the negative thoughts about myself and life in general, and now try like hell to keep that positive perspective on all things.

Who am I really?  

Well, I can be very passionate, and also very intense and determined….and maybe a little demanding.

I’m a resilient type person, I can take a lot. With my resilience comes my flexibility and ability to learn from things.

I am self-confident and self-assured.  I know what I bring to the table, I know my weaknesses, and I can handle myself.

I am fierce in my protection and defense of myself, my friends my family and my lover. it’s jut part of who I am.

I don’t give up easily, but I do know when to back off of things and just let them be for a while at least.

I like things to be clear and understood.  I like to know where I stand in things.  Don’t dick me around.

I’m honest to a fault, I tell it like I see it and I’m straight forward with stuff.

I can be patient as hell, for a period of time.  I’m not one to wait forever though, I don’t think that anyone would in truth.

I always try to bring my authentic self to the table, no matter what, and I do it with power and authority over who I am and how I am perceived.  Perhaps too much sometimes

I’m dedicated and committed to those things that are important to me in life.  I take commitment seriously, whether it’s commitment to getting something done, or commitment to my family, friends or a relationship.  I see commitment as a promise, and I don’t like to break promises.

I love people and wish everyone well no matter what in the end.  I tend to be very loving and caring.  I will give people chances sometimes beyond what they may deserve, but that’s because I see the good in them despite the bad moments.

I am very family oriented, and respect that in other people as well.  Our families are our blood ties to this planet.

I am gentle and yet firm.  I actually have the heart of a teddy bear, and want nothing more than to make others feel happy, safe and secure in my presence.

I am a good partner and a good friend.  I don’t make enemies easily, and I hold only a few as “good friends”

I am funny, I use humor and satire to deal with lots of things in life, sometimes appropriately, sometimes not so much.

I’m a decent looking stone Butch lesbian and I take pretty damned good care of myself.  Good health and appearance are important to me.  My personal health can be complicated, but it’s not difficult and I keep it under control.

I keep myself open to the world and it’s opportunities.  I maintain a positive perspective, as I have found negativity to be draining, stressful and unproductive.  I try to keep that out of my life.  Nothing is without solution or resolution.

And I have my weaknesses…I haven’t always been great at emotional stuff, at communication of emotions.  Often when I want to say something I will hold back for fear of it coming off wrong or being seen a fool.  I’ve been working diligently on the emotional side of myself, and it’s greatly improved even in the last 6 months.  I’m learning myself very well.

I’m still growing and learning about myself, it’s an ongoing process for all people I believe.  And people do change over time.  Like, I know that I am not the same person that I was 5 years ago…I’ve definitely done a ton of maturing and have learned to better understand myself and to better sit with my emotions.  I’ve learned a ton of self-control, self-confidence and have gained a lot of self-esteem that I formerly lacked.  Today I walk a lot taller and feel a lot better about who I have become in this world.  It’s a good feeling.

In the situations where I have left or become cold in a relationship it’s always been because of very definitive reasons.  I don’t take to kindly to much bullshit.(i.e. cheating, lying, ignorance, arrogance, disrespect)  And if I can’t change it then I will often turn my back on it.  Life is just too damned short for all of us to be putting up with crap thrown into our lives unnecessarily by other people.  I like things to be honest, clear and understood.  I like to know where I stand in things.  When I don’t know is when I get very wary and weary of the chase.  No one, especially me, wants to chase a ghost of something, we need something substantial to base things on.

Someone said to me yesterday that the chase is what they like in a relationship.  I guess it’s not that I don’t enjoy the chase to some degree, but I also have to know basically where I stand in the chase, am I gaining or losing?  If I am gaining I am more likely to keep up the pace, if I am losing I will turn it down and turn it off eventually.  Although I do not give up easily if I am sure that I know what I want and what I am after is what I truly welcome into my life.  But there is a point where the chase can become too much if I am the only one participating, then I have learned that’s the best time to just let go and move on down the road.  I’ve been in this battle for love for many years…I’ve seen the best and worst in people and I’ve seen and know all the tricks and ways people can manipulate on another.  Women are particularly good at that.

When I have an issue with someone that I seriously care for then I try like hell to work it through, and not just give up and throw in the towel.  Things aren’t always easy, life is never easy.  Love certainly isn’t easy or a given to anyone.  I’m not a quitter, never have been.  Yes, I have left some bad situations, I’ve saved my own ass a few times, but I’ve not quit when I knew it was worth fighting for something.  I’ve had a super long-term, very successful relationship – even though it’s ended as a relationship now I consider it to have been a very big success as it was part of my formative years and learning about the world and a very important part of my life.  And I’ve chosen to stay basically single the last few years, albeit I have seen a couple of women, I haven’t let myself back into any type of serious relationship for quite some time.  I didn’t want it, I didn’t need it and it was just time that I needed to rebuild myself personally. Sometimes we all have to do it, I get that.

I did have someone enter my life that I really came to care for deeply.  It only saddens me that this person can’t seem to let go of her many preconceived notions of not only who I am but what this love would look like.  She’s pretty damned awesome, and those kinds of people don’t often cross our paths.  It’s a rare thing for it to happen, and should be capitalized upon, so, I hate to just let it go, but I’ve been forced to do just that.  She can’t see it.  So it’s useless for me to continue to have the vision in my own head of what could be with us, when she can’t see it herself.  It’s got to be all good though, I can’t let it drag me down because that just isn’t who I am anymore. I’ve learned that when someone else doesn’t want similar things out of a relationship that – after a valiant try – you should just walk on and find someone who does wish for similar things. I did give it my best shot to allow her into my life, and to try to be in hers, but it just wasn’t working the way it should have worked.

So what do I want?  I want someone who cares for me like I care for them.  It’s that easy.  It’s that simple.  And it could and will be a beautiful thing.

Moods and Transformation

Flannel Files is a blog that I read regularly.  In a post concerning her own personal metamorphosis she asks these questions…

“”What about you?  Are you a moody butch or in a relationship with one?  Are you still a work in progress or is your transformation complete?”

I certainly have been told that I am moody at times in my life.  And I know this is true, because I take medications to keep my mood on an even keel; keep my depression at bay and to keep me happy enough to continually participate in life.  Although my more somber moods tend to be less frequent nowadays, still I do have them.

 Butches seem to get a bad rap for mood swings.  Not saying we don’t have them or deserve a rap on the noggin occasionally, but when a Femme has moods we blame it on PMS conveniently, and when a Butch gets a bit growly it’ s like “wtf is wrong with you?”  Personally, I live alone so it is not so much of an issue for me, but I do feel for my Butch brothers, ya’ll got it rough.

Ah, and our transformation.  Yes, we can call it that, just don’t call it transition please.  People are confused enough about us Butch figures.  We come off rough and tough and then we get accused of wanting to “transition” to be male.  No, that’s not the case with most of us. We are completely confused enough transforming to being just plain old Butch.  It’s a lifetime fight; a lifetime transformation and a lifetime of learning to accept who we are and convince others to do the same.  

I went from this gawky short kid who was trying to survive high school, and did by the skin of my teeth) into a slow transformation over the decades to the Butch that I am today.  I’ve talked and written about several of the “episodes” that I’ve experienced along this journey; from the funny to the mundane.  Even again today I had another ‘dressing room dilemma’ at Walmart.  I wasn’t even binding, yet the lady directs me right into the guys dressing room.  I shrugged my shoulders, grabbed the jeans I was trying on and headed in.  She never saw me past my haircut evidently.  Not saying the rest of me was any less Butch, but I wasn’t trying to ‘pass’ by any means.  

I am not sure any of us as human beings ever are finished with our transformations in life.  Every day that I wake up is a new challenge.  Every day is a new learning experience or chance to learn if I open my eyes and see it.  As I have gotten older, past that 45 mark I feel like I have definitely gotten more rooted in my ways; I’ve become a creature of beloved habit.

Now not all habits are bad.  I have a habit of getting up every morning and slugging back 3 cups of the darkest roast, strongest coffee I can get, before I can even speak.  The bad part is the couple of cigarettes that I inhale with the coffee.  I also have a habit of wearing a white t-shirt under just about everything I wear – even my polo shirts.  It’s just something I do, maybe from watching my father don a white t-shirt for years when I was young.  Maybe just because I love the feel of the cotton against my skin.  Some habits just stick with us over our lifetimes.  Some come and go and if we are lucky don’t return ever.  

My transformation from soft Butch to more Stone Butch came after my LTR of 14 years ended.  It was then that I realized that I had been untrue to myself for a very long time.  That I had been trying to be someone who I wasn’t.  I tried to be softer for the woman I was with, not for myself.  At heart I am Butch to the core.  I live and breath a rough kind of deep masculinity only confined to a female body.  It’s a masculinity that I was born with, that genetically I have always had – or so I feel personally.  I have never known a day in this life that I did not feel Butch.  And as I have said before, Butch to me is my gender. 

Today I identify as a Butch.  While some call me a Stone Butch, I never quite know if I can put that word with Butch or not.  While I am a Butch lesbian I know that I have capacity for deep feelings and a softer side.  I can be compassionate and caring even though maybe I don’t look the part.  I understand my masculinity in a feminine way.  I don’t take things for granted like a guy would, possibly because I feel that I have more to lose.  And I don’t want to ever be considered misogynistic. I treat people with the same respect with which I wish to be treated.

I thank Flannel Files for the inspirational writing prompt!  While I didn’t relate to the butterfly “metamorphosis” type of transformation, I think it was more like going from puppy-hood to being a big dog!   What do you think?

Butch Strength

Sudden Awareness blogged “Talking Tough” and asked this question:

Why do we value strength so much that it is one of the most frequently

cited attributes used to define our ideal selves?

 

Butches are generally seen as strong.  Rough, tough and resolutely strong.  It’s been bred into us seemingly, either from our bio-parents or from our chosen influence(s).  Ask any Femme what she likes in a Butch and she will most likely say “I like how they are strong and tough.”  I believe that it’s a Butch and masculine trait to be the strong; to be the stronger person in most relationships, particularly when that relationship is of romantic nature, but also when we are in the presence of anyone who seems to need our strength to help them.  Butches inherently like to be helpful, to solve the problem, to be the cure.

 

To me that strength has to come from a few various places inside of me.  Physically I am not that big at 5’3” and 150 lbs., but I am body-strong. Even through fighting chronic pain in my c-spine and lower back I can still push myself physically through tasks that require brute strength – and I pay for it dearly later.

 

The mental side of my strength is that I am pretty absolute in my thought process.  I have convictions that I stick to; ethics that I follow and cherish.  I love to solve problems; to challenge my mental capacity to see the issue and the solution in one vision.  I adore learning and look for every opportunity to advance my knowledge in just about any topic area.

 

The emotional side of strength is my secret weakness. Emotionally I usually feel a bit stunted in my growth.  I found, from a very young age, that showing any kind of emotion could be viewed as a weakness; a character flaw of sorts.  I rarely cry as I see crying as a true weakness in just about any form.  As a youngster I never wanted my father to see me cry for fear that he think that he had raised a “sissy baby” who would cry if she was upset or sad.  Thus I built this brick wall over my tear ducts and refused to cry.  Even when it would be appropriate to cry, if I get teary eyed I feel the shame of weakness in the tears.

 

The blogger Sudden Awareness brought this question of Butch strength up in their blog.  Also saying they were going through this rediscovery of authentic self.  I was also writing on this subject, and pondering my strengths and weaknesses in this life.  As you have heard me speak of in past blogs, I am a true believer in being one’s authentic self and it’s something that I am vigilantly aware of being in my own life.  I have been going through some changes within my own world as of late, and have been trying not to lose my authenticity in those changes in any way.

 

Life should never stay the same.  Evolution means that we continue to morph and grow each day of our lives.  Each day we can be open to learning something new, discovering or rediscovering ourselves in things that we read, see and experience in daily life.  I live by the motto that if you are not growing and changing that you may as well be dead as it’s the same thing.  I have always said that the only time you do not grow as a person is when you are cold and pushing up daisies in some field of squared off stones.

 

My own life has changed radically over the last 8 years particularly. I left a world that I had become very comfortable inside of, and ventured into a community that shuns me on a daily basis singularly on my appearance as a masculine Butch personality.  If I meet another lesbian who asks why I want to be a guy I am going to throttle her for assuming things she does not know, and for putting her ignorance into words so effortlessly.

 

Sometimes I feel like every decade of my life has been a bit of a kind of separate life; a slice of time in one life.  Each decade has had its defining moments, and it’s ups and downs, ways of being and ways not to be.  It’s with this current time that I feel that I have truly stepped into being my authentic self – lock, stock and barrel.

 

I have never felt comfortable in the LGBT community because of the separation of the Butch-Femme crowd from the rest of the lesbian social circles.  I have always found this odd in so many ways.  I’ve experienced lesbians who have been actively afraid of the Butch – Femme dichotomy to the point of feeling threatened in some weird way.  They seem to be afraid that by associating with us that they would somehow be seen as traitors to the rest of the women who proclaim lesbian as their sexual identity.  Often we are accused of re-enacting the heterosexual norm with our more decisive roles and ways of being Butch and Femme.  To me it just seems ridiculous.

 

I am Butch, always have been and always will be.  I don’t disrespect anyone for being who they are in this life, and I hate it when people try to instill their insecure values upon me.  I will continue to be my authentic Butch self, and hope every person on earth is given the freedom to be their own selves as well.  It takes strength and fortitude to walk through life being something that other people dislike or despise.  I’ve experienced both, plus being something/someone that people also hate just for who I am as a Butch.  My own security in myself is based in my strength as an individual; as someone who is proud and will not be bullied into being any other way.

 

Butches have to have strength and be resilient to deal with their own parts in the LGBT community; to survive under the trans umbrella as masculine of center on the binary scale.  Our strength is something that we are forced to have and something that keeps us safe inside of ourselves.  The strength to get up every day and know that even our own community has issues with us and our gender identity can be dismaying to most, but to a Butch it’s just another part of the challenge that keeps us towing the proverbial line.

 

Inside of the Butch-Femme dynamic Butches rely on the strength given to them by their Femme counterparts many times.  Femmes while being more delicately presenting are very strong in heart and conviction.  A Femme can be a fierce enemy or a fierce ally.  Believe me you don’t want her as an enemy!  A Femme can make me feel incredibly strong, while I also know she realizes that I can also be incredibly fragile at the same time.  My masculine presence is threatened every day, and that alone requires a kind of strength to deal with that I cannot even begin to explain.

 

 

 

Approval of Others….Or Truth of Self?

Would you rather live life according to the approval of others or aligned with your truths and your dreams?

Inadvertently we all start out in this world in the way of living according to the approval of others; it’s called childhood.  We are dressed to the approval of our parents – or grandparents – and fed what they figure we should be eating to quickly grow the hell up and move out of their houses!  For some futures are laid out in details; you will attend this particular college, study this certain course of study, go on to become a professional in your field or you’ll follow in your Father’s footsteps and take over the family business.  Parents’ attempts at living our dreams and wants vicariously through their offspring is epic.

There’s always those who parents throw their hands up in the air and give up on though.  These particular kids don’t want or intend to conform to Mommy  and Daddy’s wishes  – ever.  I know because I was one of those kids.  Whatever my parents wanted, somehow I wanted the exact opposite.  At least it always seemed that way.

As a teenager I became increasingly more rebellious and after graduation I joined the US Army – see I never intended to even TRY to go to college, high school had been hard enough to navigate in my sexuality, and hiding my true authentic self to the point of pain and tears.  I never really fit in, although I tried like hell to hang with the rougher crowd; the faster cars, drug fueled escapades and sneaking in through the 2nd story window early in the mornings.  I wore Levi’s with holes in the knees and ass, rock band t-shirts and heavy work boots…although I kept my hair shoulder length as a semi-attempt at disguising my Butch self, I never felt that I truly belonged anywhere.

Today, some 30-35 years later I feel that I live today more aligned to my personal truths and closer to what makes me feel like a real, valuable person, a good Butch, and though it was a long journey, and a struggle to arrive at this place I finally feel comfort in who I am, and in my body.

It has taken years, and I’ve had places along the trail where my boots became mired in the muddiness of life and times that I have fallen to my knees, weary from just trying to be myself, without being constantly judged for who I am; for what I seemingly represent to some others.

There were years that I tried to hide myself still in certain situations.  Generally they pertained to work and my professional life in the construction industry.  I entered that world at a time when very very few other women were doing what I was doing, from the actual physical labor of swimming pool construction, to design, layout and entire job coordination or general contracting.  I recall conferences where I was singly the only woman “in” the business, and the other women there were the wives of the men in the business.  There were proud moments of receiving recognition for my work – my father taught me well – or getting some kind of award.  I tried the wearing more feminine clothing route for those things and I felt like a clown, make up and all.  The discomfort and humiliation of my feeling that I had to do that would just devastate me.

For a while in my early adult years I turned to drugs and alcohol to cope with my gender and sexuality issues.  I was not alone in that quest to kill the pain that way; many of my fellow Butches and other LGBT friends fell down that hole of hell just as deep.  When I was high or drunk – or a combo of both – I was a bolder me; I wasn’t as afraid of the world, the taunts and the looks shot my way.  In the early eighties I started to lose friends, mostly trans women and drag queens, to some strange illnesses.  Then the CDC told us about HIV and AIDS and I lost more to voilence and ignorance, and suicide as a result.  In 1992 I had managed to get clean and then got sick several times that summer.  My counsellor (yes I had turned to therapy to help with my low self esteem and addictions) urged me to be tested…and yes, I tested HIV positive that final day in August 1992.

That was 22 years ago now.  I take a lot of medications to stay alive.  I take a good amount to combat the depression and anxiety disorders brought on by dealing with everything, especially this disease.  My daily battles now are more with health considerations than with gender struggles.  It was about 6 years ago that I woke up one morning and gave permission to myself to BE BUTCH in all the glory that that meant to me.  I am happy with myself, although always striving to be better; to be a better world citizen, to be a better writer, vlogger and friend.  I have the incredible love of my large extended family and a great network of friends both online and in daily life.  I could not be a luckier person in my opinion.

So my answer would be that I would always choose to live my life aligned authentically, true to my self and who I am in this world, and true to my brothers and my community.  I pursue dreams that still allude to finding happiness simply in being who I am and serving my purpose of leaving this world a better place than when I entered it….that is what I hope to accomplish.

~MainelyButch