To The FemmeMobile! Away!

{January 7, 2010}   Baby butch: 1 Me: 0

I saw a baby butch today. I’ve been at D-world for 3 days now, and she’s the first butch I’ve seen. Because I tend to be oblivious when it comes to men (because I never realized I wasn’t as attracted to them or because I’m just oblivious? I have no idea…), and because as a femme I worry about being invisible to the butch gentlewomen I’m attracted to (even though they say otherwise), I figure I’d better get better at giving the same flirty smile to them as I’ve gotten used to giving to men.

I’m always afraid that I’ll misjudge, and give a straight woman a flirty smile. I remember when my friend Ashlan (who is very straight) cut her hair short, everyone started asking her if she was gay. It drove her nuts. I don’t want to add to that. πŸ˜›

Anyway, I didn’t gather the courage I needed today to give the butch woman a flirty smile. I tried to catch her eye, but she was looking elsewhere. Still, she was adorable and I enjoyed the eye candy. Very short, curly black hair with crystal blue eyes. One ear was pierced with silver hoops all the way up, and she was wearing lots of black. It’s cold out; other than ‘my height but stockier’ I didn’t see a body type, but I didn’t really care. I had that total gut-tug that makes me think ‘butch.’

And then I think, “What if I’m wrong?” and I get halfway paralyzed. *sighs* If I don’t have the guts to make myself seen, what then? I think it is, in part, a matter of practice. I caught myself giving this random table of men a saucy grin earlier, for no reason other than they were sitting there. I’m lucky enough to naturally have the body our society deems ‘right,’ (going to the gym doesn’t hurt…) and I know people consider me attractive. I take it as a given, now, that I can give a table of men a saucy smile, and even if they’re all gay men they’ll at least laugh. I’m not nearly so confident with women. I think it’s latent homophobia; it’s okay to assume someone’s straight (ie, the table of men), but not gay (ie, that woman I think is probably butch). Which means… I have something new to work through. Oh joy. πŸ˜‰ At least, if I’ve identified it, working through it will be quick.

Of course, part of it too is simply insecurity. I don’t know this world, how to send signals or how to receive them. Even in the straight world I tended to just send signals out, and hope someone picked up — I generally failed at receiving them. Frankly, if I can just get back to sending signals out (but are they the right signals? AGH, I don’t know!) I’d be happy.

OTOH, I’m damn good at the teasing grin/saucy smile. Maybe I’ll just go back to tossing it around indiscriminately and get myself in more trouble and see if that works. Some days, I wish I were more high-femme. Then, at least, I would be more obvious. Alas, jeans, edgy hair and snug T-shirts are my uniform of choice, though I’ve added dresses and some other things to my repertoire. Still, it’s not 50’s retro high heels and petticoats… Hopefully the people I’m looking for will see me anyway. >.<



Sometimes, it just doesn’t hurt to ask, especially if your signals are getting crossed. At the poker game last night, the new gal was not pinging up as anything on my radar, but certain things she was saying were striking me as meaning that she was interested in girls. Finally, I asked her very politely if I could ask her a question and put it as such: “Gay, straight, or bi?”

I’m sure that you can’t get away with that at a public place, but if say you were at a bar or whatnot, it is not a completely inappropriate question, I think.

JB says:

That’s true, and if I’m sitting with someone I don’t mind asking. I think my real problem is in approaching them in the first place; if I haven’t spoken with them, I don’t have enough of a feel to even ask!

With guys it wasn’t a problem; I always assumed they were straight, did the saucy grin, and let them approach me. Now I worry about assuming someone’s gay, and worry about whether they’ll realize I’m interested even with the saucy grin. Which, thinking about it, is pretty silly. It’s a very saucy grin, and I don’t think it’s really that mistakable. *laughs*

*grins* Thanks for coming over. πŸ˜€


Jen says:

You know, I’m all for the finding out a la Trisha. Mostly because not knowing someone is bi or gay, and then finding out they are by way of TEXT MESSAGE, of all things, is fucking terrifying . . .

In all my encounters with women, I either come on too strong or they do. I tend to be a very, very shy bi.

I mean, I could probably have dated my friend Carman . . . she’s sexy (I like earthy femme types . . . you would rank on my sexy chicks; I don’t do high-maintenance high femme) . . . except I got a text from her one day saying, “I need to tell you something.” So I wrote back, “Ooookay . . .” “I like you.” “Umm. . . wow. Okay. I’m kind of at work right now. And I have no idea what to say to that.”

I got blindsided (having had NO idea that Carman was even bi), and it scared the crap out of me. I had never thought about her in that sense, and all of the sudden . . . and she’s hot and sweet and now she’s totally with some guy named Tim. Engaged, even.

At least you live in the Bay area and have more than one lesbian bar. We have one that I’m aware of (according to my best friend, all the other gay bars in town are for boys). I’m too scared to go to Tootsie’s. Also, I hate bars.

Seriously, though. Knowing first is a good, GOOD thing.

JB says:

Oh man, that is kind of sadly hilarious. *grins* I have no problem just asking if we’re talking, but my concern is more the person across the coffeeshop, say, that I’m not talking to. To approach, or not to approach? And I’d like to say that if I approached and thought I was getting signals, I’d ask, but I, uh, tend not to notice signals. >.< Maybe that will get better, now, since I'm trying to tune in? I hope so! It can't possibly get worse. ;-D


Nezuko says:

As come-ons go, the saucy smile is a pretty safe one. If you accidentally give a butchy straight woman a flirty smile, she’s likely to just smile puzzledly back at you. You’re not going to offend anyone with a smile. And your butch targets will probably swoon. I know I”d swoon if a pretty femme tossed me a saucy smile. Well, ok, not swoon, because that’s hardly butch. But I’d definitely get tongue tied and have no idea what to do with my hands.

JB says:

she’s likely to just smile puzzledly back at you. *dies* Thinking the whole while, “Gee, she sure is friendly…”

But back to the topic, you’re probably right. And a butch who’s at all aware of signals (ie, not someone like me. >.>) would pick that up. So now I just have to gather the courage to do it, even if I don’t know if the person is straight or lesbian… πŸ˜‰

(I’ll make sure I take a swooning couch with me wherever I go. ;-D)


[…] didn’t look up. But that’s not the point! The point is that a few months ago I would have been worried about flirting with strange women, because god forbid I offend or give the wrong signals, even if that’s just another sign of […]

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