To The FemmeMobile! Away!











{June 19, 2012}   Father’s Day

A couple of weeks back, S (Q’s 8-year-old daughter) looked up at Q and said, “Should we get you father’s day cards?”

Now, I wasn’t actually there for the conversation, but it was relayed to me thusly:

S: Should we get you father’s day cards?
Q: Well… I suppose you could… why do you ask?
S: Because even though you have a girl’s body, you’re more like Β a dad.

She was right! Kids are smart like that. They’re not all caught up in ‘supposed-to’s like the rest of us are. Β A few days later I picked them up from school (something that only happens rarely), and asked them if they still wanted to get their Mutti a father’s day card. To resounding yeses, we headed to CVS. J (Q’s son) went through several cards before finally, frowning at me, said, “These all say ‘father.’ But she’s our Mutti.” I told him it was okay, she’d understand, and we could always cross “father” out and write “mutti” instead. ApparentlyΒ satisfiedΒ with this answer, they both picked out cards and then announced we should get Q a present, too. They bought Reeces Cups with their own money, and off we went.

Q gets a little resentful over mother’s day because people forget about her. She sends cards and well wishes to her friends, butch and andro alike (I believe I’m pretty much the only femme in her life), but doesn’t get any back. Last year her brother sent her flowers, which was a BIG deal. Then again, I wonder how many people remember at all. I send a card to my folks on their respective days, but not anyone else. Hmmm.

It also occurred to me that in another couple of years, I might well be “eligible” to be getting mother’s day cards of my own. That kinda freaked me out. I think I wouldn’t mind if everyone forgot. >.>

It’s funny; I was also the one kid in the family who DID NOT WANT KIDS, KTHNX. And I’m the first one to end up with them… This amuses me, though I’m still not sure it counts as they’re part-time kids. Also, I didn’t have to deal with any of the crappy baby ages. (I know lots of people say that’s their favorite part, but I like kids best once they hit 7 or 8. Then you can DO STUFF with them!)

Anyway, now I’m starting to ramble. Life continues on.

J

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{November 17, 2011}   Awesome kids, and unrelated sex fun

Yesterday this blog got 26 hits. I have no idea why. But hey, I won’t complain! πŸ˜‰

So last weekend Q and I went to Q’s ex to pick something up, and the kids were having Β a playdate. The ex pulled us aside and said that she’d told the twins we were coming, and Jake (who will be 8 in Feb) went to his friends and bellowed, “My other mom is coming! She looks like a boy, and that’s okay!”

8 year olds FTW.

(None of the kids cared. *laughs*)

Anyway, also last weekend Q and I were again too tired for sex. There’s been a lack of sex in our lives lately, because of sheer exhaustion. Anyway, I didn’t really want to watch more TV, and I kinda wanted to mess around, so I suggested we pull out the sex cards, a normal deck, and play poker with the sex cards as chips. Q added sex scratchers, and we played! After a bit we decided that we could choose one card from the ones we won to cash in each round, but whatever activity could only last two minutes. It was awesome! (It also ended in sex, which was a bonus. ;))

It was a far cry from times when I could barely talk about sex, much less suggest anything or choose a card to suggest something I actually wanted. Β It’s pretty awesome. AND, we had so much fun! What a great way to spend an evening. πŸ˜€

J



{April 19, 2011}   Butches!

Oh, guys, this is awesome: Butches With Cute Animals. Awwwww! But my favorite month is April, because I just found out my boifriend, Q, is on there! Twice! πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

J



So, first I was crazy busy, starting the editing process on my new book and trying to remember how to schedule time when training dogs and editing, and then I got a sniffle, and then I got the flu, and then I got pneumonia.

Healthy, fit 30-year-olds are not supposed to get pneumonia.

Anyway, I’m on antibiotics now, and after almost two weeks flat on my back wishing for death, I’m getting better. Woot! (I still have a cough that sounds like a death rattle. No, really. It’s starting to ease off.)

I haven’t seen my Q in quite a while. We both agreed it was in her best interests NOT to get the flu or to pass it on to her 7-year-old twins. Them’s not fun times (and I don’t think their mom would EVER forgive me). (Q is not their mom. Q is their butch-parent, and they also have a mom-mom.)

During our forever separation (it totally felt that way!), she sent me a lovely email about the first time I wore lingere for her. I remember that day, because I was scared shitless! I was so nervous. I mean, this was back last fall, when I was still a bundle of nerves when it came to doing anything a little bit assertive. I’m still not the most assertive person in the world, and I get flustered and embarrassed easily, but when I remember how I was even last fall I realize how far I’ve come!

Anyway, all this to say — last fall I pulled out my red negligee for Quin for the first time, and surprised her. And even knowing that she was going to love it, man, I just about had a panic attack doing it! So last week, when we hadn’t seen each other in so long, I got this fabulous email out of the blue. This is part of it:

I was just thinking this morning about when you asked me if I wanted to see your new shoes. When you finally walked out to show them to me, I looked up from cooking in the kitchen to see you wearing, much to my surprise, red negligee and red high heels. I about fell over in the kitchen. When you saw the enraptured look on my face, you released a belly laugh full of amusement …. and relief. You were so nervous that you were literally shaking in your shoes. Even after I came to you and had you sitting on my lap, caressing and enjoying the wonderful present of you in gift wrap — my approval and enthusiasm totally obvious — you continued to tremble. I showered you with praise about how gorgeous and sexy you were, and what a treat you were giving me. You threw your arms around my neck, while still straddling my lap, and gave me a big hug and buried your face in my neck — still trembling a little, still nervous, but so relieved to see how much pleasure it brought me. […]

That was right after my first trip to Colorado — early May 2010. I know because you sent me a picture text message showing off the new high heels you’d just purchased while I was still in CO (I still have that picture). You were very excited about them. And I’m writing all this to say that even now, ten months after the fact, I’m still so very proud of you for having the gumption to walk into the living room like that: defenseless and exposed, shaking like a leaf, and terrified that I might have a negative response. It was a brave and gutsy move that took a lot of courage on your part. It wasn’t just a big step for you…it was a *giant* leap of faith; faith that I wouldn’t let you down or be disappointed (and how could I be?); faith that you were sexy.

It was fantastic. YOU were fantastic. And I am proud of you and so honored that you trust me with so much of who you are and who you are becoming.

I can’t tell you how much this letter makes me puff up and feel good. It was probably one of the biggest leaps forward I took all in one night, and it was really hard. So to get something like this so long after the fact, that makes me grin and feel proud of myself, is pretty awesome.

I think one of the things that, a year after we first started dating, makes Q and I continue to have such fun is this constant love, praise, and appreciation we shower on each other. We’ve both been really careful not to just get used to things, to start to expect things. We make it a point to notice when one or the other is going out of their way and mention it, from simple things like getting a glass of water to big things, like Q coming down and surprising me this last week.

Oh yeah, she came down and surprised me this last week. I was napping on the couch, still sick, when I heard a knock at the door. I stumbled up and opened it, and for a moment could only look at the nice young man and wonder how he’d known to go through the gate, and gee, wasn’t he attractive… and then I realized it was Q! *laughs* What a gift to open the door and see her there, when I hadn’t seen her in so long and wasn’t expecting her at all. It made me feel really warm and fuzzy. πŸ˜€

Things are going spectacularly. πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

J



{February 5, 2011}   life craziness!

Hi, everyone! I kind of fell down on that femme study again, didn’t I? Oh, well. I’ll just have to love myself anyway, or something like that. πŸ˜‰

So. Guess what? I had an article written about me and my mad dog training skillz! It came out today, and I’m on cloud nine. There are lots of quotes; who knew I sounded so authoritative on the subject?! I mean, sure, I’m an authority what with making a living off of training dogs and all, but it’s funny to SEE myself sounding like an authority.

Am I making any sense? Well, it makes sense to me. πŸ˜€ I’d link you all to it, but given it contains my phone number… maybe not.

In other fun and exciting news, my email may have gotten hacked. So I’ve been re-setting all my passwords… *sighs*

In much better news, though, my mom is coming to visit me today! My mom is seriously special. From what my older sister says, she’s dealing with some internalized cultural homophobia, but from her actions I know that she’s fully supportive and not actually homophobic at all.

And my mom really is awesome. πŸ˜€ Last year, when I was dating DK, DK came home with me for Christmas. My mom (who loves clothes shopping) asked what DK would like. I haltingly explained butch in the shortest way possible. My mom didn’t even bat an eyelash, though I don’t think she fully understood it, and then would call me with great glee over the next weeks.

“I can’t decide between these cufflinks with a blue stone in them that will go perfectly with the blue pinstripe in the shirt I bought, or these silver cufflinks which will go with any shirt she pleases. What do you think?”

“Which is better, a tie pin or a tie clip? A pin is smaller, but a clip won’t puncture the cloth!”

“Okay, I can either get two ties and two cufflink sets, or I can get one of each and this gorgeous pocketwatch! Which do you think would be better?”

Seriously, my mom is awesome. (She also drives me crazy sometimes, but that’s what mothers do.)

So, she’s coming up from SoCal to the ironically-warmer-NorCal to visit me! This is the first time she’s come up since I’ve moved up here, and I’m SO looking forward to it! I can’t wait to show her my place and my town and she’s coming to one of my dog training classes and and and! And the BEST PART is that I get to show off my butch, who’s coming down on Saturday night and part of Sunday! Q bought me flowers, so they’re bright and cheerful on my counter now, and I know she and myΒ  mom will get along, and I get to show off all my favorite people. (I think half the reason my mom is coming up is to meet Q, actually, since we’ve been dating for a year. I mean, Q is only the third person to make it past 4-5 dates.)

(I had a really entertaining conversation with Q/myΒ  mom. It went like this:
Me (to Q): So… my mom was wondering if she can meet your kids.
Q: …no. I try not to introduce them to too many people, because it gets confusing for them. Basically, I only introduce them to someone’s parents when I’m marrying that someone.
Me: *nods!* Makes sense. I’ll tell her so. πŸ™‚
Q: Uh, maybe you can make something up? I don’t want to offend her.
Me: …I’ll tell her what she’ll be most impressed with.
Q: Okay!

Me (to mom): So, you can’t meet Q’s kids because she doesn’t want them forming attachments and then getting confused. They’re only allowed to meet parents when she’s marrying the person.
Mom: Oh! That makes total sense. Good for her! Okay, no kids. What else should we do? πŸ™‚ (Okay, the smiley face was implied because we were on the phone, but still. I could hear it.)

Me (to Q): So, I told mom …[what I said]. She was really impressed at your responsible parenting.
Q: …she wasn’t offended?
Me: Nope. I knew she wouldn’t be.

And that was the end of the children saga! Okay, maybe it’s only entertaining to me, but I think it’s VERY entertaining. πŸ˜€ Q and my mom are kind of frighteningly alike in some ways. (They are unalike in the really important ways.)

Oh, and that last locked post? I forgot Q had the password. Ha ha ha on me. So someday if I want to write about her again, she said I should have a new password because the temptation to read would be too great. Which means someday, I’ll have a new password, and if you want it then you can ask for it. πŸ˜‰

I’m so looking forward to introducing them! Q is nervous, but she really has no reason to be. It’s all going to be fabulous. :DDD

J



{January 5, 2011}   Hot hot hot butches!

OMG. Time goes by, and I don’t see butch bodies because I’m not searching them out, and I swear, I forget. I forget how amazingly hot I think they are, and how much they turn me on. I mean, I know in an abstract sort of way, but…

Well. Then I see this, which only has a few butch/trans photos, but OMG I’m like, “Jesus Christ that’s HOT!”

Wow. I mean — wow. Wowee, even.

Okay, it’s also the fact that they’re half naked and OMFG muscles. *whimpers* Q is still as hot as these people, but I think because I SEE her regularly I’m like, “Hee hee, that’s mine,” but there’s not that first whoa-startle-stare reaction.

Holy god, Q is hot. πŸ˜€ And we’re both working on exercising again and getting back to the gym and eating better, so I have high hopes of us staying hot. And when I say ‘us,’ I mean ‘her.’

I also just finally clicked on the Butch Lab, and it makes me happy. So much eye candy! How could I not be happy? (Yes, I am totally objectifying and sexualizing those butches. No, I’m not reading the interviews. I’m just drooling. It’s awesome.)

Next, or at least soon: The study on femmes! Woot!

J



{November 6, 2010}   Re-thinking Gender

There’s two parts to this post, so bear with me.

Part one!

I’m reading Gender Outlaw by Kate Bornstein, on DK‘s suggestion, and I really like it. It’s making me think again in twisty ways that I find, without some influx of twisty thinking, I tend to stop doing. (Which is a shame, as I really enjoy doing it!) It does remind me, though, to be careful with my words.

One of the premises of the book is that gender is a societal construct, but then in the next breath Kate talks about never “feeling like a man.” If gender is a societal construct, then we would ‘feel’ like whatever society told us to feel like, and there would be no transgenders of any sort. Maybe the way we perform gender, the earmarks we look for, are agreed upon and enforced by society, but I don’t think it’s entirely a societal construct; not if we’re “feeling” that one is right and another is wrong.

It reminds me very much of something I still struggle with, and struggled badly with for a long time. I was raised with the idea that women should not be barefoot and pregnant; that this is the ideal of the conservative patriarchy, and something they try to enforce (which I do agree with). I’ve met many feminists, and at one point held the belief myself, that women only wanted to be “just” wives and mothers (Christ! Hardest job in the world, and it’s a “just.” There’s something really fucked up there.) if they’d been told so and brainwashed into it; that no woman would “naturally” be inclined toward wife and motherhood. Then I realized that if we’re going to give women a choice in what they want, part of that choice has to be being a wife and mother. I’ve met a few women who get great joy in doing so, who feel complete and happy. (Heck, AlphaFemme seems to be an example of this; she talks about the great joy she gets in being a domestic wife — AF, I know you’re not married, but work with me here. ;-D — and I don’t think she’s been brainwashed into believing that’s what she wants.)

As my cousins (all conservative catholic, very much raised with the idea that the only proper job for a woman was to be married with kids) started to get married, I really struggled with it. I wanted to shake them all and say, “You don’t have to do this! Stop it!” But if we’re going to give women a choice… I’m better, now, at believing they’re doing what’s right for them. To make myself okay with that, I also believe that if this isn’t right for them, then it’s part of their greater growth, and it’s right for them right now to attain higher healing or something like that. It’s definitely not perfect nonjudgement, but it’s the best I can do for the moment. Now that I’ve seen several of them married, there are actually two who take great joy in their current state, who are radiant and happy (if sometimes tired!) when I see them. It’s a good reminder that some women really do want that.

It’s something I need to remember as I read gender bending books, because it’s easy to start saying, “People only portray women and men genders because we’re told to!” Maybe many people only portray them for that reason, but there are some people for whom they’re actually correct, for whom they fit nicely. Definitely something to remember; to an extent, gender is a social construct, but some part of it is inborn, too, and I shouldn’t discount someone’s gender just because it’s the majority. So, really, this is a note to self. πŸ˜‰

It does make me laugh, though, that the argument often used for why there aren’t natural genders is that they don’t feel right. In arguing such, the person is almost disproving their own point! (Maybe this isn’t Kate’s argument: I haven’t read enough to know. But man, it’s an argument I hear a lot.)

Part 2!

Anyway, there was something else that occurred to me that I wanted to mull out (and get other opinions and discussion on, if possible!).

There was something in Gender Outlaw where she was making lists of what possible genders there were, and she added boy/girl
lady/gentleman
femme/butch
faggot/dyke
man/woman,
and kept going. But really, it was that ‘boy/girl’ that struck me.

I once had a friend say to me, “whatever else you identify with, you can always identify as a woman.” I was appalled. I don’t feel like a woman. I have never felt like a woman. I feel more like a girl, but that’s not right, either. I feel femme. (In his defense, I hadn’t yet even discovered femme.)

More recently, someone on an author list I was on was asking if there’s a difference between boi and butch. Now, those of you who identify as such are welcome to correct me, but in the limited time I’ve been in the community I’ve thought of them as two different things. Both masculine, yes, but I think of butch as presenting adult-masculine, and boi as presenting teenage/young twenties-masculine. They’re two very different presentations, and I’m not remotely interested in bois. What’s really interesting to me is that I think of ‘baby butch’ and ‘boi’ as two different things: A baby butch, to me, is either a butch who’s just coming into the identity, or a young (emotionally, mentally, or physically) butch. A boi is someone presenting as young-masculine. (On a slight tangent, Q and her buddies have “Boi’s night” — which makes perfect sense to me. They’re getting together to play, whether it’s at a bar, on a video game, or just hanging out. Just like I have “girl’s night,” when my whole attitude is one of play. Slightly different than living that, though.)

Given my responses to girl/woman as applied to me, where one almost fit (despite my age) and the other DID NOT (despite my age), I’m thinking that I subconsciously see these all as different genders. (Realizing that also helped me finally come to terms with femme as a transgender. It’s so close to feminine that I was still having issues coming to grips with the idea that it’s its own gender, rather than an offshoot. But girl/woman and lady/woman are all close, too, and I’d call those separate genders. This made me realize that though femme is close to feminine, it doesn’t make it an offshoot; it just shares some attributes, and that’s okay. :))

I also wonder how much I’m conflating ‘archetype’ with ‘gender,’ and if the two actually should be conflated, anyway.

(In a total aside, I’m sitting at my little glass table outside, and there’s a hawk crying somewhere nearby. What a beautiful, haunting sound!) (And now Bobby da Bird is imitating or responding to it. Very cute.)

If I define both archetype and gender, I find they’re awfully close; it’s just that one is more all-encompassing than the other (gender being more all-encompassing and less rigid than archetype). Let’s see… off the top of my head, full of mistakes:

Archetype: the life-long patterns and paths, ways of behaving and thinking.

Ex: The hero archetype has a life pattern of a difficult journey, coming to grips with something at the end (either mental or physical). The warrior archetype goes to battle, and must learn eventually when NOT to go to battle. (Ha ha, this is totally my archetype. >.>) The bard archetype is a wanderer who brings news, information, and new ways of thinking by entertaining and telling stories. The damsel archetype is someone who wants to be rescued, then protected. (This, in seemingly direct opposition to the warrior, is also me. Luckily Q has a knight archetype. :D) And so on among many more archetypes.

Gender: Clothes, behaviors, ways of acting that declare of us one gender or another. Sort of. Maybe an aspect of personality? Damn, I can define what makes a gender presentation, but not what a gender is. I’m going to go with an aspect of personality and tastes.

Okay, so the stress on archetypes is a life-long arc or behavioral pattern, whereas the stress on gender is the current way one behaves and expresses. Two different things, and yes, I think my tendency toward thinking of girl/boy/boi/butch/femme/woman/man/etc is a gender, not an archetype. (Of course, girl/boy have the same problem that man/woman do: whereas man/woman are also conflated with biological sex, boy/girl is conflated with age, and as a gender will likely mature into woman/man. So maybe it’s only a gender on someone old enough to have chosen it? Hmm.)

Anyway, I started this to get your ideas. Do other people think of boi/butch/girl/woman/femme/man/etc as genders? Or is it more like boy/boi grows into man/butch, and it’s all one gender? And what about gender only being a gender on someone old enough to have chosen it (whether or not they’ve done so consciously)? I’ve met teens I’d refer to as a ‘young man’ or ‘young lady,’ and adults I’d refer to as a ‘girl/boy,’ so…

Geez! So complex! πŸ˜€

J



{September 22, 2010}   Ways of relating

I have some friends on my personal, everyday blog who will occasionally stop posting for months or sometimes a year at a time. It gets into a vicious cycle where you don’t want to post something because there’s so much to catch up on — or so they tell me.

I’m not very into cycles. I’m just going to start posting again. πŸ˜‰

So, I had a bit that I’d written out about sexual power and coming into my own and getting rid of some neurosis, and how it links into femme… but I wasn’t sure I liked it, and then Q called. We chatted for a while about general stuff, and I mentioned I was blogging. Q reads all my blogs — even my column, and my books, and I think she’s now surpassed my little sister as my best fan — and she said tonight that she can tell when I’m not writing, that my anxiety and stress levels rise and I get tired easier.

Now, I know that’s true about myself, but it was still surprising to hear someone else say it. There’s something very interesting about dating Q, and I don’t know if it’s Q, or that I’m dating another woman, or if I’ve just grown up and gotten better at picking partners. But whatever the reason, Q is much more aware of me and my boundaries and what’s going on than I’m used to. (This is a good thing. It’s a thing that sort of constantly surprises and tickles me.)

My friend Jane was here, visiting, and we had a lot of really good discussions. (Actually, she had a very clever way of explaining my struggle with butch as a gender, with the idea that I like butch, not female. It was that she can tell what type of guy she doesn’t like, but she can’t tell what type of guy she does like. That she’s attracted to guys, and within that category there are types she doesn’t like. Similarly, I’m attracted to butch, and within the category of butch there are types I’m not attracted to. It was just a really interesting way, I thought, to compare my preferred gender to something more usual to the average person. Sort of looking at what isn’t, rather than what is.

WOW, that was a tangent!)

One of the discussions Jane and I had was about dating women vs dating men. She was asking if it really was different, if we really do relate differently. I told her that in my (highly limited) experience, YES. It’s the little-but-big things, like the fact that when women stress out, they typically want to talk through a problem and preferred being held and reassured, whereas when men stress out, they typically want some time to themselves and pull away from touch (many many many relationships that fall apart due to outside forces — ex, money issues — do so for these reasons. Women need companionship under stress, men need alone time). While DK was likely to need alone time when she was stressed, it still wasn’t the same as when my boyfriends needed alone time. He wanted to be Left Alone and played video games. DK might have gone on a walk, but when she came back, even if she didn’t want to talk about it, we watched a movie together. Q processes a lot more like me; she talks, and mostly needs someone to listen so she can talk out loud and figure out the solution.

It’s interesting to me, that my life seems so much easier now that I’m dating women. It’s like — oh. I get this. This is good. πŸ™‚ The other day my mom told me she was tickled that I was dating women, that it was hilarious because she and my aunt had been talking years ago about how much easier it would be to live with other women, and too bad they weren’t attracted to them. The fact that I’m living what (I suspect) my mom wishes she could seems to amuse her to no end. *laughs* I’m glad she’s tickled by it.

In perfect female-dating-female form, last night I needed a night in and a night to snuggle. My stress levels weren’t skyrocketing, but they were definitely high, and I was dealing like a woman does. πŸ˜‰ Q came down and let me have my pick of what movies to watch, so I picked Enchanted. (I love that movie, though I haven’t bought it yet! She has a copy on her computer, though, which she grabbed from a friend when I squealed about it one day.) It was really awesome, to sit wrapped up on the couch watching a princess movie and not feeling awkward about it. Q, being the awesome butch she is, even waltzed me around to the princess music while I cracked up. πŸ˜‰ It’s things like that — I don’t think I would have been so comfortable with a guy, but I can’t say if that’s my issue or a guy/patriarchy issue.

BUT — regardless of which it is, it brings me to another point. (This is why I should blog more often. Otherwise, it builds up and I write posts like this, which aren’t one point but eighty zillion different ones!) In a study trying to define femme, one of the big things that came up was that in a relationship between a man and a woman, on average the man had more power. In a relatioship between a femme and a butch, though, on average the femme had more power. Now, I don’t know that I’d say I have more power than Q (and I think there’s an inherent flaw in that kind of statement, anyway; we’re so used to seeing women with less power, that I think equal power would seem like more power), but I certainly do feel equal. It’s things like the princess movie: if I had watched that with a boyfriend, I’d have been very aware that they were doing something nice for me. That they were ‘putting up with’ this movie for me, and I should be appreciative of that. Now, whether they would have actually liked that movie, or whether they would have secretly liked it but not said so because guys aren’t supposed to like it, or whether they honestly would have disliked it doesn’t matter. No matter which of those were true, I would have still felt like they’d done it for me, because of cultural pressure. I would have felt beholden.

Watching it with Q was different. I knew we were watching that movie because it was what I wanted to watch. I knew she was doing it for me. I wasn’t worried so much about whether or not she would like it and I had no sense that I’d be beholden to her for watching it. I appreciated her sitting with me and enjoying it with me, but I also expect that you do that for each other when you care. There’s an added burden when I think about watching it with a guy, like I’d have to somehow pay them back, that I don’t feel when I watch with Q. I don’t know if that has to do with the fact that Guys Don’t Watch Princess Movies, or if it’s because I feel that if a guy is snuggling with me, they’re taking care of me rather than just being with me. As another female, I knew that Q was taking care of me, but because she also gains comfort from touch I don’t feel like I’m wearing her out.

I think that’s it. It always felt like one or the other to me. Either I could give comfort to my boyfriend by leaving him alone, or I could get comfort by snuggling, but there was no sense that we got comfort from each other. I have that with Q (and DK before her), and it’s pretty awesome.

Okay, jeez, I could keep going but I need to get to bed soon, which means I need to turn my mind off. Hopefully, though, I’ll be back to semi-regular blogging, now. Woo hoo!

J



{July 24, 2010}   Women: Gender and Sex

I was responding to G‘s comment, talking about how I felt that who I’m attracted to isn’t the same as who I am, and I was thinking (again, ad naseum) about being uncomfortable saying I was attracted to women, when something hit me.

I think my struggle isn’t with the sex. Someone asks about my sexual orientation, and I assume that they want to know what biological sex I’m attracted to. So I say “women,” because technically that’s correct. I think the problem lies in the fact that I’m not attracted to sex, so much as gender, transgender, and masculinity. But “woman” is also a gender orientation. I’m not attracted to women as a gender; I’m attracted to butch. But if someone asks what sex I’m attracted to, and the name for the correct sex is the same as the name for a gender I’m not attracted to… you see my dilemma? (I spelled that word so poorly the first few times that spellcheck couldn’t figure out what I was trying to say. *laughs*)

If someone asks me who I’m interested in, I say “Women” and I am both telling the truth (it is the biological sex), and lying (it is the wrong gender). I therefore really don’t feel like I can say I like women, because it’s a lie; I don’t like woman-as-gender particularly. (As a friend, sure, but — you know what I mean.)

It’s a linguistics problem, and it’s reinforced every time I try short cuts. I mean, if I’m talking to someone and I reference anyone I’m dating, it’s usually as, “The woman I’m dating…” which reinforces my own dysphoria. I don’t like the gender ‘woman.’ I am telling people I’m dating a woman. They assume I mean the gender as well as the sex, and while I can’t control their assumptions, knowing that I am feeding into those assumptions creates a discomfort within me that exacerbates the whole problem.

I don’t see easy solutions. When I can, I say, “The butch I’m dating…” but if I’m not talking to someone in the gay culture, especially if it’s not an appropriate time or place to get into a gender discussion, ‘woman’ is easier. I could say, “The butch woman I’m dating,” which would at least give people some clue as to what I mean when I say ‘butch,’ but it’s unwieldy. I could just not talk about it, but… A) ick, and B) I use anecdotes from my daily life ALL THE TIME to make a point or tell a story, usually with my clients, so that’s not going to happen.

Which leaves me… at least understanding why I don’t feel like ‘lesbian’ is the right term to describe my sexual orientation, even if it’s technically correct. Interestingly, if I think of the definition of lesbian as “women (the sex) who are interested in same-sex partners,” I’m more okay with it. If I think of the definition as, “Women who love other women,” I have that instant dysphoria again.Β  I think it really is the same-word-for-gender-and-sex conundrum.Β  Hmmm. I’ll keep you posted on my search for a solution. ;-D

J

*Edit: I just read Jolie‘s response to a comment G made here — G’s just gettin’ all around this week! *grins* — and I think it’s also accurate, and further adds to my discomfort. She mentioned that saying she likes women (or is lesbian) feminizes the partners she’s with. THAT IS TOTALLY TRUE. And, again, it makes me uncomfortable, both for misrepresenting myself and my likes, and for misrepresenting the person I’m with. Oh, language. It’s time for you to grow.



{July 17, 2010}   Butchsexual.

So, wow, things are happening and I’m not even sure where to begin.

In that last protected post, I talked about internalized misogyny — the dislike of women, the belief that women aren’t as good, the feeling of women being unclean. I’ve known I’ve struggled with this for some time. Heck, I was a teenager when I first became aware of what I was feeling. Do I want to talk about this? I’m not even sure. I’m not even sure it’s something I really have anything to say about, except that it’s there. I can point to a few causes that probably add up together, but that doesn’t help me solve it. It’s gotten better over the years, and it’s much better right now, though I am my own worst enemy (I push myself way too hard, add stress on stress, and then it just gets worse instead of better — but I’ve had some awesome discussions with Q, due to my protected post, and that’s easing off, too). Do I need to talk about this right now? I don’t know. Do other people struggle with this? With the female body being icky or whatever? It seems like most lesbians I talk to love love love the female body, and it’s part of what made me second-guess my own sexuality for so long. If I didn’t like it, surely I couldn’t like women, right? Is this really unusual, or do people just not talk about it?

I was watching porn with Q the other day (I BOUGHT PORN. Well, she bought porn, but I went into the adult shop! And had an opinion! And the ground didn’t swallow me up! And the lady at the counter liked my hair!) and I thought, “Hmm, this would be so much hotter if one of those people was butch.” It was like a mini-epiphany, even though I’ve known it for a while.

We were watching gay porn, with hot guys, and I STILL wanted one of them to be butch. I’m still not in the least attracted to feminine women, though I can easily acknowledge that some of them are quite pretty. It’s just not my thing. And honestly, I haven’t been attracted to a guy in months, now. And before that one guy, it had been months again.

My mini-epiphany? Was just that I really like butch women. I’m butchsexual. I don’t like other women, I apparently don’t like guys. No wonder I had such a hard time figuring myself out.

Geez. I’m not sure any of this is really more than blathering, at the moment. I’m exhausted, I’ve been doing promo ops for my new book, working on a column for Geeking Out About…, dog training at twice the levels I usually do, not particularly sleeping well, and being very, very stressed. It’s all piling up, so now the little things are seeming like big things, and I have no time for blogging, and when I do have a minute I forget what I was going to blog about. >.< Some day I’ll have a chance to go through my drafts and put something thoughtful up. Some day. >.>

J



et cetera