Again on Butch-femme Relationships

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I have just had the pleasure of reading a most outstanding piece on Huffpost  called “Redefining Butch-femme Relationships”, by Georgia Kollas, writer, Huffington Post blogger, and cultural observer.  I loved it!  It could not have been any better!  I encourage all of you to give it a good read!

Also, Ms. Kollas is a self-identified as a femme, a “strong, badass” one at that!  I love reading about the “dance” from a femme perspective as it’s obviously the opposite, yet the same as my own experience from my stance as a Butch.

To quote one favorite and much agreed with paragraph from Ms. Kollas’s article:

…We are yin and yang – seemingly oppositional forces that are actually complementary and interconnected. We offer a devoted appreciation for the gender expression of the other, an affirmation of intrinsic qualities that make us who we are. Each of us is unique, with our own blend of characteristics along a gender spectrum. We all carry both masculine and feminine aspects within ourselves.

I so agree that we are the “yin” and “yang” in each other’s worlds.  We are the same, yet complete opposites that need on another for happiness and love.  We, both identities, thrive on the energy that our opposite exudes.  As a femme loving Butch, I am very strongly attracted to the softer essence of the femme, and to her fierce badass parts as well.  It’s not just about the sex, it’s about the “big picture” that each of us has in mind.  It’s about the sensuality, both strong and intriguing, that lures us to each other; to desiring to be in one another’s presence.

I’ve always heard the old “mimicking hetero” stuff, even from other lesbian identified people in my community.  And it makes me chuckle to myself because that’s really not what Butch-femme relationships are at all.   As a Butch I do not desire to be or to mimic a man; I am a undeniably a female person who is entrenched in masculinity from within my soul.  I embrace my masculinity, and I love women who embrace their femininity with that same reciprocating enthusiasm – particularly lesbian identified femmes who find my Butch-ness appealing and attractive.

I appreciate the power of a femme; that alluring mystique that captivates my every thought when I am with her.  I love the flirtations and the magic that happens within the Butch-femme dance.  That magic fills my chest with pride; pride for being with such beautiful and sexy woman that makes my masculinity feel so perfect to me.  There is just nothing akin to the exquisite dance that happens when we are connecting.

Another favorite line from Ms. Kollas writing,

I love butch–femme and the particular dynamic that exists when two people are firmly in their fullest expression of their gender and interconnected in a dance of complementary opposites.

I see femmes as precious beings; ones to be protected and to be loved deeply.  As I run my fingers through her long hair, balling my hand into a fist and pull her head back to kiss her passionately it is actually she who controls that very moment, as it is she gives me that power.  There is a power exchange in the Butch-femme dynamic that is fierce, yet so subtle and we feel it deep in our bones; spiritually, emotionally and sexually.

We know the deal, and we’re in-tune as we dance.

Kudos to Ms. Kollas on this wonderful article!

Peace.  ~MB

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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

 

Understanding B-F Dynamics, a Comment Answered

Comment received from Lipstick Lady

“I’m a feminine (lipstick) lesbian, and I honestly don’t understand the whole femme/butch dynamic. I’m not attracted to men, and I’m not attracted to women who look like men, either. But that’s just me (and a couple of my friends in the community as well). My gay male friends don’t understand this, either, and I honestly can’t explain it to them. I always refer them to someone else when they ask.” (unedited)

Dear Readers, If you are Butch / Femme you have probably heard some version of this comment before.  I know that I have heard it enough around the web on occasion, but this time I want to try to see if I can help understand here. As a Butch lesbian when I hear comments like this one it kind of gets uncomfortably ignored.  Most of the time the uncomfortable topics often just make us Butches squirm and chew our nails, remaining silent in response.  Or we throw out the quick and irritated one liner.  I want to do neither of those things here this time.  Thus, the following blog is written with the very best of intentions to truly help LL understand the Butch lesbian identity a little bit, and maybe understand Butch-Femme dynamics in some small way at the same time.  All of this is strictly from my perspective of course.  This may not be exactly the same for every Butch out there, but I think there is some basic common ground where you will nod and get what I am trying to explain.  It’s a tough question, just how DO you explain a relationship and lifestyle to someone who honestly doesn’t understand yet would like to?  Let’s see how I do here…

Dear Lipstick Lady,

Well, none of us understand everything!  Don’t sweat it if you don’t, you don’t.  It’s cool.  And it really doesn’t matter as long as you are happy with whatever type you like to date. But, I would like to try to help you glean a little understanding, since we are both part of the same umbrella community of lesbians.  Just look around the community and you can see that there are as many kinds of lesbian “types” – or ways to define oneself – as there are donuts at Crispy Creme!

The Butch-Femme dynamic is just one way that lesbians have paired up as couples in our community.  It is also the one that has been around since basically the beginning of time, and in many ways used to be kind of the “standard” for old time lesbian relationships.  Sadly it’s also quite often more misunderstood than other less contrasting pairings of women.  And thus B-F couples are often criticized and heckled with the lame old things such as accusations that we, as B-F women in a relationship are trying to somehow mimic the heterosexual dynamic of male and female.  Some people see us in the light that one of us must be the “guy” and one is obviously the “girl” – something I tend to believe that you probably do see when you observe a B-F couple yourself. Hell, it gets joked about that way all the time.  We even joke with each other in fun about it.  And there is a part of the B-F community itself,  that identifies as Old Fashioned Old School (OFOS) Butch-Femme, who do more closely follow the patterns of heterosexual relationship models.  But not all B-F couples think of themselves in this manner, probably the majority really don’t follow most of the OFOS scenario. To each her own, because everyone has their own unique styles of being Butch or Femme and each their own ways of interacting with one another.  There are tons of ways to embody the B-F relationship, each has it’s own personality in my opinion.  

I think the biggest piece of Butch and Femme attraction to one another is the contrast, enjoying the “equal yet opposite” kind of idea.  We like that our partners provide us with different ways of being a woman, one more delicate embodying the more feminine essence of womanhood, and one more rough and tough, tomboyish, embodying the more masculine, yet still a woman.  There is a sensuality to the Butch lesbian that is attractive to many Femme lesbians; a way of bringing a bolder energy, that is generally more dominant yet also being vulnerable, but only really allowing her Femme partner access to that vulnerability behind the bedroom doors.  The Femme lesbian hold the keys to all things feminine between the couple usually, and only she can unlock that Pandora’s box of femininity that lies behind that rough Butch exterior.   She desires the Butch’s tree bark exterior knowing full well that there is a soft, smooth muscled woman’s body beneath that only she has the privilege of access.  The Butch loves all of those feminine ways of the Femme; ways that she herself cannot be.  Butch – Femme relationships are often called “The Dance” for it is a give and take of opposite desire in many ways; a way that one compliments the other.  This is very difficult to “explain”, I hope you will pardon my awkward – but genuine I assure you – attempt here!

Now, I don’t understand many relationship dichotomies either, but I always try to respect the choices of people as individuals deserving equal treatment and believe that we all should have a voice in our world. It’s a pretty well known thing that most of us who identify with the B-F lifestyle/dynamic don’t “get” it when two Femmes or two Butches date one another, but it’s cool with me if that is what makes them happy! Personally I do not date other Butch women, as I prefer the flair of the Femme type as a lover and partner in my life.  That’s just ME and my personal taste – just like you probably have a particular “look” or “style” you like in the women you choose to date or partner with in life.

It’s hard to explain to someone who has probably never had that kind of experience themselves. Kind of like you trying to make me understand how it “feels” in your body and brain to be feminine, (as you self-describe in your comment) or how feminine you feel in high heels, or why you apply make-up…I would NEVER “get” it! LOL (I know I have some of my readers dying laughing at me with that vision!) We don’t have to completely “understand” different dynamics, genres, types or kinds of lesbians and/or lesbian relationships, but I hope we can all respect our differences and still understand that we are all lesbians – despite of what “type” of woman each of us love – or how she might define herself – we all love women!

I wanted to directly address one part of your comment that bothered me a tad, but please do not take this as me giving you shit but I just wanted to clarify this a bit — I do not look like a man. I look like a Butch lesbian, which is what I really AM – a lesbian who is Butch. I don’t believe that you meant any harm by using that comment about “women who look like men”, but it’s a common misconception that we as Butches somehow “desire” to look like men, or even that we want to BE men, we do not. We are woman who also love woman, lesbians.  And if I wanted to be a man that would make me FTM (female to male transguy). And while do have FTM friends who I can relate to much of the time, and who I respect tremendously for their courage and authenticity in their own lives,  I am not FTM myself and I don’t want to be seen as the “man” in any relationship.  Now I get that I present in a very Butch way, having a really androgenous appearance and mannerisms, but I assure you I am all lesbian!  🙂

Yes, I’m a woman just like you with the same parts, but because it’s just me and the way I am; the way I carry myself, my parts aren’t perhaps as hmmm….for lack of a better word “accentuated”  as yours, being you are more feminine. I like sports bras instead of Victoria’s Secret ones; and I love my jeans as you perhaps love your beautiful dresses. My work boots are so comfortable, as I am sure your pretty heels – even though they make your feet hurt sometimes (and we Butches LOVE to see on your feet), are just as pretty in your opinion. And it’s all cool!! Just because we wear different clothing styles, or we walk different, and our hair is probably radically different lengths, etc… doesn’t make either one of us more or less woman or lesbian than the other.

I didn’t “ask” to be born Butch, any more than I “asked” to be born lesbian! It’s just the personality and body type I was born with I’m afraid. Took me many years to recognize myself without shame. I was never “girl” enough even as a child, often told I looked like a boy, acted like a boy and would make a “cute boy”…I just wanted to be ME, and just be liked for who I am. Hell, like most other Butches I “tried” to be more girly as a teenager for a while and it felt like I was dressing up for Halloween, or in some kind of school play! I felt like an imposter. It was not me. Just like maybe flannel shirts and work boots aren’t really your style? (I don’t know you personally, but as a self-described Feminine Lipstick lebian I am guessing you are quite comfortable and right at home in “pretty” things like dreses, high heels and make up. If I am wrong please forgive me, but that’s my personal “bias” about how a Lipstick lesbian may be comfortable in presenting to the world.)

As a kind of thrown in side note here, historically, in many ways, B-F’s were the sort of “pioneers” of today’s more modern and diverse lesbian culture. The history of the Butch-Femme culture is quite fascinating. I encourage you to perhaps do some reading – there are quite a few really great books by authors like Ivan E. Coyote, S. Bear Bergman and others that would probably help you understand it a bit better than I could ever do here.  Ivan is my favorite lesbian author and is just incredible.  She reads many of her works aloud on Youtube usually filmed when she does public appearances.  Not meaning that you have to “participate” in any kind of way, but I believe that for each of us to understand and support others in their own preferences is a good thing for our community, and having some kind of understanding of those who are different from us is always a good thing for everyone concerned.

I would like to say Thank You for commenting, and for inspiring me to actually think about this and give you my own personal feedback. I have heard similar statements of course during my life, but I have never actually taken the initiative to really give a personal reply. I enjoyed the thought process writing to you, of having to think about how I could help you understand – and maybe even give you some insight into the things this brings up for a Butch lesbian when brought into conversation. It’s not that it brings up negative feelings or opinions, but that it’s like trying to explain why you are attracted to women to say a very straight woman and have her really understand what you are trying to convey. It’s the old “why did the chicken cross the road” sort of question, we all have varying answers based upon so tremendously many things! So, yeah this was fun and thought provoking to write. I hope that you will actually write me back and let me know what you think now; did this help you to understand maybe even a little bit better? Or did I totally miss the mark and just confuse you?

I also would like to extend the invitation to my fellow Butch and Femme identified readers here, for you to give me your best shot at helping Lipstick Lady understand the Butch-Femme dynamic. I would particularly love to hear from a Femme on this for her, so she has a Femme’s idea to compare with mine as a Butch.  You have all read my response and this drawn out attempt to help her understand, what did you think about what I said? Comments? Additions? Rebuttals?

Odd thought to end….I wonder how a real writer who identifies also as Butch, such as the famous Ivan E Coyote, would approach this? And in what way could she help LL understand better? LOL…Yeah I guess I just put Ivan on a pedestal, calling her a “real” writer.  Although I am sure some of you are also in that catagory as published writers, too. I am more referring to Ivan’s skilled knack at writing stories about her tomboy past, Butch identity, and her struggles to be true to herself…she shares so much in her stories, often things that resonate with me in my own experiences growing up Butch. Just a thought…perhaps I shall drop her an email and ask – LOL like she’d answer me!

The Butch-Femme Friendship Dilemma

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!

Relationship Checklist

During the month of July, 2010, I did a video blog – or a vlog – called “Lesbian Dating Application” which was very funny, but serious too as it laid out all of the things that would and would not work in a relationship for me. Here I would like to revise that previous performance, and update it, because originally it was filmed over 2 years ago, and we all know how life and situations change; how we can change too.  So I believe updating in both written and video is necessary at this time.

Script goes something like this. 

Dating is hard these days.  You never know what kind of weird stuff that beautiful Femme in front of you has going on in that pretty little head or what she will pull out of her Guici handbag of tricks.   Wouldn’t it be cool if we had paperwork? Like a “lesbian dating application” listing out what will and will not work for use and ask them to indicate their take on each question.  While some can and would be simple yes or no, others would probably require some thought and effort in putting together a serious answer.

The Interview Itself:

  • So if you throw  the application back in my lap and stand up to leave…it might now work out.
  • If you show up to the interview looking like a 14th street hooker….it might not work out.
  • If you have more tattoos than I do…it probably won’t work.  While the occasionaly tat is nice on a woman, I find large tats and full sleeve tats to be a bit over the top for my taste in who I can see myself with long term.
  • Same goes for piercings, if there is metal protruding from your face or your ears are gaged and flopping like a basset hound’s then I am just not interested, thus it just won’t work.
  • If you sit there smacking gum, talking with a thick hood-style accent and vocabulary…nope, definitely won’t work.
  • If your cell phone is not set to silent during my time, my interview time that is, and she stops me mid-question to take a call from your recent ex-lover…get the fuck out.  Not going to work.
  • If you must bring a girlfriend or friend to the interview for “moral support” you might as well turn around and exit stage left cuz that shit just isn’t cool and it will not work.  I had asked to spend this time alone with you, and do not need a chaperone.
  • If you show up on your lunch hour and expect to be munching on your lunch while I am trying to interview you, it will just not work.  I need your focus and undivided attention during a serious conversation.  Had I wanted to do a lunch interview I would have reserved a table somewhere.
  • Now if you show up with lunch for both of us…we might be able to work something out because you obviously took the time to think of me as well, and that is impressive.
  • If you start any answer with the word “Ya know Girl” or “Oh Girl let me tell you….”  It’s just not going to work, because you obviously have me confused with some Femme you must have applied to for the same reason. Same goes for the pronouns, miss, ma’m, lady, and sometimes woman, in the way you are addressing me as a persona senses of the words.  If you know I am Butch you would know that I do not care a lot for the prissy female ways of being addressed.
  • If you come to the interview and are polite, courteous, smiling, have a great attitude and you obviously took the time to dress nicely and do your hair and nails, then I definitely am interested in seeing if we can work this out.  Especially if you brought lunch…awww, how did you know that liverswurst is my favorite??

Remember, your chance to leave a good first impression on someone will stick with them. And that first impression is made in the first 30 seconds of contact.  I can tell if you are someone I would date within a very short period of time.  I am all about first impressions, and about being with a woman who takes the time to make sure that she is always up to par and giving off good first impressions – even in her everyday life.  I do not want things to become “sweatshirt and braless” within 2 weeks of us starting a relationship.  Because that means you just did the interview appearance up to impress me upfront, but aren’t interested in how much I love my woman to look damned good every day; as well as for her to be making great first impressions on my family, friends and the general public And I like it when you are on my arm and we are out around town together, and we both look good…getting smiles from friendly strangers wherever we go…that is important to me and if you are like that too, then this will definitely work.

Key Points of the Relationship Expections: The Issues

  • Sundays are reserved for football, and I love my Sunday games, so scheduling a 1:00 dinner with your friends from work and expecting me to go with you….just not going to work.
  • If you are going to force me to go shopping for “girl things” like clothing, handbags or shoes…we will have issues.  I don’t care for that kind of shopping, and unless you are ok with me perusing the tool department while you clothes shop, then we’ll definitely have issues.
  • It’s 2012…if you have to question every cell phone call and text I receive then we will have issues.  Trust is a big thing, and jail breaking my cell phone while I sleep is punishable by breaking up!
  • Same goes for my computer.  It’s my private world, my solace and my place of refuge.  I have a lot of private writing on there, and when I want to share it I will, but catching you at 3am trying to figure out how to close out of my email account will piss me off and you will be leaving shortly there-after.
  • I suffer from B.E.D.D.  This is Butch Emotional Deficit Disorder which is the basic Butch trait of not always showing emotion or emotional reaction to things you think I should react to right away.  I sometimes appear clueless when you are crying, you have to tell me why..I can’t read your mind for hell’s sake!  And when I am not reacting in the way you think I should, remember BEDD.  It’s not contagious.
  • If we have to ever use the word “let” in a sentence accompanied by “you” then we will have issues.  I am my own individual, you will not have to “let me” do anything once you are standing outside with your suitcase packed.   Yes, “let” will definitely mean we have issues.
  • If you don’t love my dog, or are jealous of Nola, it will cause us to have issues.  I adore that dog, and she doesn’t talk back, nag or require weekly manicures, so she’s an easy keeper.  Are you?  If not then I can see issues in our future.
  • If you think you are going to drive when I am in the car we will have issues.
  • Same goes for pumping gas and getting maintenance done on the car.  I like to do that stuff, it’s a Butch thing…let me, or we will have some issues.
  • If you are highly jealous it could cause nasty issues.  I am a very social person, I have friends that I go fishing with, play pool with and hang out with (sometimes without you) and I get phone calls, texts and emails from them.  Because I have friends does not mean that I am any less committed to our relationship, it just means I am a social creature…and I encourage you to have friends too.  We can be happily individualized, and still be a great couple!  I get aggravated with jealousy.  Trust me, and I will trust you.
  • Baggage is something we all have.  Dragging up my past and using it in anyway against me will decidedly cause some issues.  I won’t throw your baggage around, so don’t toss mine across the room either.  If my baggage concerns you then we need to do some talking, so that we don’t have issues.
  • Addressing a Butch can sometimes be a mine field.  Our personalities and outward appearance often doesn’t match our mental state surrounding our identification.  Calling me cheesy pet names like “pumpkin, peaches, or tootsie” will drive me nuts.  Calling me Babe or Honey can work, but be very careful in that minefield please.  I’d hate to see you blown up by this issue.
  • If you have a drug and alcohol problem worse than mine then we will have issues.   Because I detest drunks, and will not put up with drunken behavior…now if you want to have some wine in the evening while we cuddle in front of the TV I am cool with that, but constant drinking will bring up serious issues.
  • The only time I am okay with lying is when it’s to hide a surprise party or something special.  Lying will cause issues.  I can smell a lie on your breath, so don’t’ even try it.  Plus, if you feel it’s necessary to lie to me then we determinately have issues.
  • I am playful and like to tease.  If you take everything I say seriously then you will have issues.

So, in closing up here this is basically what I am saying; I’m easy to get along with and pretty laid back.  My biggest fear is being able to trust someone with my heart and life in general.  Any kind of hidden agenda will not go over well with me.  You have no need to be sneaky, conniving or to hide things from me.  Be up front, be honest and we will never have issues.  When I ask you a question I like to get straight forward answers to the whole question, not the bare minimum that you think will cover it.

To quote the song, I’m lookin for a lover who won’t love another, but she’s so hard to find.  So I’ve been taking it easy, and not doing any deep searching.  If  she walks in and wants that interview, I have my pad and the applications all ready to go.  Of course I will also need your Carfax. LOL

In all seriousness, dating is scary.  Relationships are sometimes frightening prospets of vulnerability to a Butch.  It means laying ones heart on the line and hoping like hell she doesn’t stomp on it with her 4” stiletto heels.  It means having a confidence that she’s going to protect that heart and bear witness to an oft tormented soul and that she’ll do it with the utmost respect and privacy.  The lifetime I’ve seen of wear and tear on my heart has perhaps hardened it slightly, but it’s still pumping life-vital blood and it still has room for more cracks and chips.  I am still a loving and caring Butch, and I still want that perfect-for-me Femme in my life on a daily basis. I’m ready to love again; ready to give it my all.  I just hope she shows up soon and that she’s ready for the challenge of MainelyButch.

Thanks to all of my readers here and my viewers on Youtube who cross over here to read my stuff as well.  I truly appreciate you all and I so enjoy sharing my writing and thoughts with the world and all of you.  Comments are encouraged and appreciated!

More on My Personalized Butch Template

More great things I did not include in the last blog about the”Butch Visibility” stuff.  These are just  sort of some of the things incorporated into my own Butch Template, they feel engrained, sort of like they are just THERE and I can’t explain why; but they are  reasons and nuances of my own Butch-hood…the way it’s gone down for me and whatI enjoy about it all.

  • Sports bars and fist pumping
  • Fishing with the guys at 4am on a Saturday morning
  • Burnouts, 360’s and wheelies, yeee haaa
  • The hardest wardrobe choice I have to make is what color boxer-briefs I will wear today.
  • I can be up and ready in 10 minutes…power shower included.
  • Old spice deodorant
  • Aero Cologne…with Lagerfeld and Tommy Hillfiger as my back up go to guys
  • John Wayne….Brad Pitt….Johnny Depp….all great Butch idols
  • Going into an auto supply or a mechanic and having them actually listen and take me seriously.
  • Fixing things…anything, the car, the house, her blow dryer…
  • Techno gadgets and the fact that I am a Techno-Geek-Butch who Femmes often email or call for computer help and advice
  • Being able to hold my own in a good debate, argument or the occasional bar fight of days gone by.
  • Hanging out with strong, rough, well defined males role models, who teach me the finer points of being dashingly Butch without the macho crap of some male personalities.  I can leave the crap on the cutting room floor.
  • A firm FIRM strong handshake!
  • The days of drinking, shooting pool, winning and dangling ciggs as I hung over the pool table to take my shots.
  • Driving muscle cars and kick ass trucks, ATV’s, Smowmobiles, Stomp Chompers, and dirt bikes.
  • Working hard and proud at predominately male dominated jobs.  And doing a damned good job!
  • The sound of high heels walking next to me.
  • Victorias Secret catalogs….need I say more???
  • Spitting contests…for which watermelon seeds work the best.
  • My knife collection…just makes me happy as hell.
  • Sunday, Monday and Thursday FOOTBALL!
  • Driving…long distances and short, I just love to drive.
  • Being a bit sentimental and sending notes and cards to friends…hey not everything is so Butch!
  • Tatoos that mean something.
  • Social networking and meeting great new people…like here

I am not sure how we got onto this subject, but it’s just played around in my head, and I do things and think, “hey there’s another one!”  I just enjoy life, writing and being Butch.  Butch is Good.

Identity Policing and the Enforcers

I have been doing quite a bit of reading of some other great blogs here on WordPress, as well as listening to people discuss their lives and issues surrounding “identity policing” on Youtube and Vimeo, and other places.  It’s been a topic on Facebook as well, and Twitter, too…hell every social network seems to be infected with the new LGBT Identity Police Virus.  Inner-community homophobia is rampant.  Inter-community bullying is growing at an alarming rate, and our community sub-sets are feeling the heat of pressure from the more “mainstream” LGBT population at large.

One blogger, who I follow, writes about someone criticizing their blog for their own personal opinoins, saying they are basically all bullshit.  These are the feelings and thoughts of a person in her blog, and no one has the right to call her personal thoughts “bullshit” or any of the other totaly derogatory words that were used toward her about her blog and about her as a person.  Yes, personal attacks on a person’s integrity and personal life.  It doesn’t just happen in Hollywood anymore, folks.

I was appalled by what I read, as the blogger wrote all about the attacks in a recent blog and one thing she said was this ” Knowing who you are, being okay with it, loving yourself is good. It’s healthy.”  Which was a response to her attacker, who told her that self-love is not attractive.   Where has this creep been living, under a rock?  Don’t we ALL know that before anyone else can ever love you you must love yourself.  For all love in your life starts with you; starts in you. And without self-love and self-respect you can neither give nor receiver either from another.

On another of her blogs she writes of the new fangled word “heteronormative” which is often used to describe the type of relationships that I am comfortable and satisfied with in my own life – Butch-Femme relationships, which often appears to outsiders as if we are mimicking the “husband and wife” model of the heterosexual world.  And pershaps in it’s under pinnings, we do sort of look to this model.  It is a very traditional model, and one that holds respect of generations.  Again, our own LGBT community shuns us over the dynamics of many of our relationships, saying we are acting “too hetero”.  Yup, you are either “too” much of something or “not enough” of something it seems these days.  When I am called “Sir” – which happens quite often throughout my daily ventures – I am presenting as “too Butch or masculine” and when I tear up over a story of a dying 2 year old eating banana splits, I am labeled as “not Butch enough” for showing the slightest of emotion.  WTF?

Problem for me is that I am too fucking secure in exactly who I am in this world.   I am Stone Butch and I love myself, just the way I am.  I am far more comfortable in this skin that I ever was when I was stumbling through life trying to satisfy others by not looking “too Butch”; but presenting as just androgenous enough to be accepted by most of my former lesbian friends, most of whom sought to assimilate an identity somewhere closer to the feminine, so they could “blend” more easily into the hetero world around us at work and in public.  An identity theme that  was neither comfortable nor doable for me – ever.  Although I did give it a shot for a period of my life, I looked very much like a gay boy in drag.  Laugh, but I am serious.  Never did I look right or feel right until I fully accepted my Butch-ness and threw off society’s squeaky demands that I “femme it up”, only to turn and pick up my suit coat and tie, and – after putting them on  – getting that exhilarating feeling like I had just come “home”.

Thinking about the whole screw-ball idea of “policing” each other in various ways, some as simple as Femmes calling Butche’s “litter pigs” as one of us casually tosses a stub of a cigarette butt into the dirt at our feet and crush it with the dented steel toe of  a Chippewa boot, to the much larger infractions of calling a Butch a “sissy boi” when he/she has trouble choosing which restroom to use at the truck stop on Route 66.  THAT is as crushing moment, just believe me.  The heat will rise past the collars of our button down shirts, flushing our faces a slightly paler shade of Harvard’s crimson school color.  Every nerve is on edge, and we fight back stinging tears of pure anger – at ourselves and at the person who called us out at that very vulnerable moement in time.

The trans community, as a another stark example of recent “enforcer” behavior stuff,  has been enduring some serious infighting as of late – across Youtube, Twitter and Facebook – with quibbles about people blurting out the “you’re not trans-enough” stupidity.  Seemingly trying to “police” who “gets in” to the “trans club” and who is just not “good enough” in their eyes.  And WHO are they to be setting the “rules” of what is enough and what is not?  I don’t get why people who sort of “self-identify” with a particular group (whether it’s the trans group or some other sub-set of the LGBTQ community), are just not more supportive of each other and of their own diversity!

Oh and what – pray tell – did we all do before social net working for our serious discriminatory behavior entertainment?  One must pause to reflect, remember the bus stop taunts, the icy stares of older school teacher mums, the doctor’s frown when you didn’t want to undress from the waist up in fear of chesticle exposure.  Seems we are all our own worst “enforcers” of these mythical laws of gender expression and how it “should” be done, or portrayed.  I keep hearing  and reading the words “trans enough” or “NOT trans enough”…which secretly scares the bejesus out of my ass, because the miniscule piece of me that once in a while questions my own gender non-conformity-  as a Butch lesbian – cries a little every time I hear “trans” followed by the dreaded word “enough”.  Is it these 2 or 3 small words that keep my Butch ass in line as a Butch?  Meaning perhaps I may think that IF I were to ever consider transition that of course I would never be “trans enough” and would definitely be “NOT trans enough” for eternity…thus why would I EVER even consider it?   Yes, I will admit this to myself and to you my readers, those words fuck with my head in a big, bad way.  And I will not even consider transition at this point in my life, for a few reasons but a very VERY  big one is fearing the use of those words against ME.  I would never be “trans enough”, because I will always just being that Stone Butch that rides a very thin line between gender identifications, constantly being trailed by the “gender police” across America.

What do you think?  How have the “gender police” pissed you off?  And do you encounter the secret LGBT “enforcer” squad in your world?