To The FemmeMobile! Away!

{October 25, 2013}   When research strikes

Hi, all!

This year has been something else. I’ve pretty much settled into my femme identity with no more trauma, which is nice. Things occasionally come up around gender or sexual inequality, but mostly little things that I post to Facebook or campaign about elsewhere.

And, a lot, I haven’t had time to write down anything that isn’t a burning desire.

Anyway. I do now. New issues! Ones that aren’t really femme or lesbian, but definitely sexual identity. So I might as well unpack those, right? Dust off the FemmeMobile, folks… 😉

I wrote a book! (Uh, that is, another book!) I don’t know how popular it is yet, as royalties won’t come in for another month, but it’s getting ace reviews from both reviewers and readers. You can check it out here, on Amazon, where it has some fabulous reviews. 😉

I need to talk about some of it for this all to make sense, so in short, it’s about someone getting into BDSM (mostly the BD part) with some friends of his. (Also in small part, it’s my response to how horrible “50 Shades of Gray” was. I mean, really, that book was about how to be in an abusive relationship, and how, if you’re interested in kink, you must be broken. Fuck that shit.) I did research. I wrote the book. It was beautiful. My butch (the same one I started dating over three years ago!) read it and was like, “So… honey… this is some fun stuff. :D” Ahem. Yes. >.> *grins*

Now I’m working on the sequel, which I’ve had a harder time with. A character in the book, London, who was just kind of bossy has decided that she wants to Dom. I’m not a Dom. I did some ‘net research, started writing, stalled out, started again, etc. Not sure what was wrong, I finally stopped, re-read “A Little Weird,” realized in part what was wrong, complained to a friend that I hadn’t found a book on BDSM that really helped me, and was loaned copies of “The New Topping Book” and “The New Bottoming Book.”

I’ve now read “The New Topping Book” (which was AWESOME, btw, and I highly recommend it for anyone who’s curious) and started “The New Bottoming Book,” (less important for my novel, as really I need to shape a top, not a bottom). It answered a lot of the “Ehhhhs,” I had in writing the second book, so with a much clearer idea of what I need to be shaping, I’m all set.

Allllllll of that is to say that I did this research because I was idly curious and thought it was a fun take on a story (also, I like empowering underdogs, and after “Shades” I think of healthy kink as an underdog) , and now I’m like, “Gosh, I have a lot to think about.”

Today is the first day of my period, so I’m a little low energy. I’m also coming down from a big weekend. I decided to finish “The New Topping Book” today, and pretty much just bulled through it. (It’s an easy and entertaining read, so that helps!)

Hm. I’m not sure how to continue here, so I’m going to back up and turn sideways.

I think I learned, growing up, that weakness was bad. My mom was a caretaker, but for all the wrong reasons. She’d fix things or arrange things or organize things for someone, help them with their life, but she’d be angry and resentful about it and never tell them. It left me with this mindset:

I never want to ask for help, because it is never freely given. I never want to show weakness, because then I’ll have to fend off those who would help and be angry with me for it, and do so in a way that won’t hurt them. People who care take of others can’t be trusted: they secretly hate it.

Also this:

If you ever have some time for self-care or downtime, do not use it. Find something “productive” to do.

I’ve realized aspects of these things before, but never quite as full blown as I’m realizing it now. I think I have the Topping Book to thank for that. One of the sections that really hit me was the idea of a top’s limits; that part of their job is to know their OWN limits. That it’s not just the bottom that sets limits, but that the top needs to know what they can and can’t do. You may or may not have noticed, but a lot of what a top (or a Dom) does is care taking. Be in charge, including comfort and aftercare and cuddles if that’s what your sub needs. This is exactly the kind of thing I avoid needing, but I’m definitely subby. (I don’t know how subby; I haven’t experimented enough. Luckily Q seems eager to experiment with me! Anyway, there’s definitely that inclination, though.)

In reading about tops being responsible for knowing what they can and can’t do, I had a realization: I might not understand why they would WANT to take care of anyone, but I can accept that it’s their job to say, “No, I don’t want to do a scene where I push you hard and you need aftercare, because I don’t have it in me for aftercare right now.” That it’s NOT my responsibility to feel guilty for needing help. That it’s okay to have downtime.

What a concept!

In reading the topping book, it also suddenly occurred to me that it’s okay for me to know my own limits in every day life, and to take care of myself. Gasp! You mean, today, when it’s the first day of my period, I’m tired and crampy and a little emo, it’s okay to stay in my PJs and take a hot bath and even go back to bed for 30 minutes?! I like the fantasy of letting a top (that I trust to know their own limits) pamper me like that. So why couldn’t I pamper myself like that? Why isn’t it okay to practice some self care?

Sometimes I have “sick days.” When I’m tired and stressed and I can’t take it any more, I cancel everything and watch movies. I’ve been getting better, too, about taking time off. (I’m self employed, so this takes real determination.) I’ve been doing much, much better at it. But there’s almost always a level of agitation or guilt or “shoulds” that go along with it.

Today, in reading the topping book, it was like hearing permission to be weak and vulnerable and have down time. It was this amazing idea that someone else could do that for me, could insist on it, without feeling burned out or resentful. That they might GET something from it, in fact. And if they can do it for me, and it’s not only okay but expected and praised… then why can’t I do it for myself?

In sex instead of life, there’s another aspect to this. I really don’t understand the urge to dom/top. I can accept that others have that urge, even if I don’t at all get it, and be glad for that. But between the aforementioned aversion to care taking, and the lack of understanding, I have personal concerns. Like, what if Q wants me to try topping so she can try bottoming? What if she gets angry and resentful at topping because I’m… I don’t know, too subby? (When I think about this rationally, I realize we have EXCELLENT communication. I don’t really believe this would happen, because she’d tell me something was going wrong first.)

Anyway, these are things I’ll have to think about and discuss with Q. Some part of me feels like I SHOULD at least try topping if she wants, and the gut part of me knots up at even thinking about it. (This is hilarious, as I’m rather a leader type in everyday life.) I don’t know if it’s a holdover from my gazillions of other sexual issues, or if it’s because I associate bottoming with girly genders (which Q is not, and it kind of a alarms me to think she suddenly would be — though I don’t think that’s how it works…) (also, I realize I’m totally gendering here, and that’s not a good thing. Believe me, you don’t have to point out the negative use of stereotypes, I’m aware of them.). All stuff to start processing.

Oh yeah, and did I mention we got engaged? 🙂 More stuff to process! And some other stuff, too, that isn’t mine to talk about just yet… ayup, life is changing. I’m definitely going through… something. The planets are aligned or somesuch!



{March 9, 2010}   Chivalry: a dying art

So, G was talking about the Oscars, and mentioned Robert Downey Jr (a reason to go straight if ever there was one. As long as he stays clean. Please, RDJ, stay clean!) helping Tina Fey up the steps — a chivalrous gesture.

I have two sisters, at least one of whom seems to be alternately of the “chivalry is misogynistic” and “I like it anyway” camps. Personally, I have always liked it. One of the things that distressed me in dating women was actually my perceived lack of chivalry; I like someone who goes that extra step to see to my safety and comfort.  I can see how it can be misogynistic, but I can also see how it can simply be a matter of taking that extra step because you care for someone. Or for manners.

One of the things that I really enjoyed in dating DK was being able to take her arm, having doors opened for me, having help if I had high heels on.  Not all butches are chivalrous, and I’m finding it’s becoming an important thing for me.  I also find that it ties into a sort of caring mentality; butches who are chivalrous are, I find, more polite and… I’m not sure how to express it. More masculine, in that “Safety and family and manners are all important things, as are taking care of those who are important to you, let me help” sort of way.

One of the things that really attracted me to Q was the fact that she opened doors for me.  Such a simple thing, but it shows a thoughtfulness that will hopefully carry through in other actions, too.  It’s something I look for, when I’m looking for potential SO’s.

I sat around a table one night with DK, Nezu, and Phi, talking. Phi and I were talking about the thought of dating women — and how stressful it was, to think about having to reciprocate on the things we just expected from guys. How I like chivalry, for instance, but have no desire to be chivalrous. I had some idea that if I were in a lesbian relationship, we’d basically trade off — and that seemed exhausting. It was a relief to find that there were people out there who liked being chivalrous, and I could just be myself. Phew.

I like chivalry. It’s important to me, and it’s sort of a marker to me about how thoughtful someone is. I don’t believe it’s necessarily misogynistic, but can be done with compassion, care, respect, and not because women are the weaker sex. Not so many people do it anymore, and I understand why… but I sure do like it. 😉


{February 9, 2010}   Sex and language

Remember how I said I was going to write about sex? Yeeeaaaah. Well, hey, I’m finally getting there!

Part of why I haven’ t been doing that is, ironically, for healthy reasons. After I found Sex is Not the Enemy (sidebar!) and decided I’d write about that, I realized that, well, I didn’t mind writing about that. I think in just thinking about talking about sex, I’m getting less stressed about it. Also, have I mentioned I’m writing a femme/butch novella? I am. There will be sex, which will give me what is most likely a much better platform to figure out my continuing weirdness from. (I should probably write about sex anyway, just to practice. If I’m TOTALLY comfortable writing about it in a blog, then I’ll be more comfortable talking about it in person! But I have no illusions that blogging about it is going to be nearly as scary as talking sex with a real live person I care about…)

So, anyway, I started analyzing (because I LOVE analyzing!) what got me the most worried. It’s totally language. (Yeah, my last post did remind me of this. *grins*)

When I first started writing gay sex, I had the same problem. “Penis” is clinical, “Dick” is high school, “Cock” felt waaaaay too dirty. Not hot-dirty, but shameful dirty. Now I’m hitting the same problem, both in my (admittedly non-existent — YET) sex life, and in writing the novella. (Which I haven’t started, but I’m good at predicting.)

I bought a couple of lesbian short stories (I seriously want to shoot the ‘femme’ in one of them), and read through those. Mostly, they avoid talking about The Area at all. There was an occasional ‘pussy,’ lots of ‘slick wetness’ and — oh yeah — ‘lips.’

Let’s imagine this scene for a moment.

[There is hot, passionate making out going on!]
Bobbi: Ooohhh, yes, right there! Lick my lips!
Sharon: uh… okay… *licks mouth*
Bobbi: …not what I meant.
Sharon: You have to be clear in these things!

Also, just in writing this I’ve realized that in a situation like this, I’m a lot more likely to say clit anyway. Which, who knows why, doesn’t carry a lot of the baggage cunt or pussy does for me. (They both just seem violent or brash. Which isn’t bad, except I’m neither a violent or brash person. IN SEX. You in the peanut gallery, stop laughing. And while I’m sure someday I will have violent and brash moments, they aren’t all the time. So when I’m not feeling either of those, I need another word. Or I need to get over my issues. I’m not sure which. Feel free to weigh in!)

In writing gay romance, ‘cock’ stopped seeming a shameful word, and now it’s kind of hot. So maybe les sex is the same thing, and once I get used to using the words I won’t have the violent/brash/clinical/high school connotations? (Okay, I am ALWAYS going to have the high school connotations with words like “vajayjay.”) That, I’ll figure out as I write my les novella. 😀

But, here’s another issue. I’m not the ordering kinda gal. It almost makes me more uncomfortable to think about ordering someone to do something than to think about the language involved. Which brings me to ANOTHER thought I’ve been thinking. I feel uncomfortable taking over, taking charge. I’d much rather push and push and tease and push until the other person drags me off somewhere, and I will happily do whatever they say. This seems very D/s to me, and I’m not at all sure I’m comfortable with that. In fact, I’m just going to leave the topic there — look, I broached it, now let’s not talk about it until I bring it up again, okay? Okay.

Instead, let’s go back to that ordering thing. 😀 Where’s the line between ordering someone to do something, asking someone to do something, and saying you like something? I mean, it’s easy enough to say, “Hey, I like what you’re doing right there right now!” but what if we’re making out and what I’d really like her to do is to… uh, my mind went blank. Bite my hipbone! That’s something I can talk about right now without stress. 😀 Okay, so then I say, “Hey, would you..?”

…actually, that seems simple enough. I think it’s just the compilation of all the stresses that made it seem so big. Good thing I used hipbone! Also, part of what I’m dealing with — and I’ve just realized this — is the fear that whatever I say, I’ll get that disgusted, “EW NO!” reaction. But asking doesn’t hurt, and I’m not going to get ridiculed. (Or if I do, I’ll break out my handy pit bull launcher and sic Lily on them. Then call Every Butch I Know. What? I’m allowed to be vindictive. Because.)

Okay! Now let’s go back to that D/s thing. Actually, I don’t know enough about D/s to know if that’s what it is, I’ve just had it hammered into my head so much that submissive at all = BAD BAD BAD that even this little bit of it makes me quail. The fact is, I’m such a tease. You know what my favorite thing to do with DK was? Tease her. Bite my lip. Bite her lip. Grab her tie and pull her in and tease her some more before walking away, all mock-innocent. Lick her earlobe. And I knew full well that if I did enough of it, eventually she’d give me that Look and grab me, kiss me senseless or pin me against the wall or against the couch or haul me around and do wonderful wonderful things.

I’m feeling all mushy just thinking about it. (Not THAT kind of mushy. *grins*)

I’m an instigator, no doubt about it! It’s how I feel the  most powerful, pushing someone right up to that edge and then right over it, too! Then I get a little thrill about how powerful they are, and there’s a TOTAL kink there. But despite the fact that I’m going to gleefully instigate, I don’t really want to take charge when it comes down to actual sex. This surprises no one, right? 😉 But aside from my bizarre and varied issues, it’s more than that. I find it VERY difficult to initiate. (Okay, that is, in part, because of my issues.) I like it best when someone else leads the way, and I can just cavort along. And there is cavorting. I did the most of my cavorting with my ex-boyfriend (since he lived on the same continent and all…), who would happily lead the way and I gleefully followed. I can totally imagine doing what someone asks and feeling all sexy about it, but the idea of ordering someone else around? It’s kind of an anti-kink for me. (That’s not strictly true. There are certain moods that I find myself in that, occasionally, will make me want to order people around. Often I also feel wicked. >.>)

But even when I’m in the right mood, I don’t get the same warm-inside-slinky feeling that I get from imagining being hauled around and allowing requests. Because that’s really what it is: you tell me what you want, and I’ll decide if I’m willing to do it.

I remember thinking once that that wasn’t very fair. At the time, I was thinking about movies. I would say, “I don’t know what I want to see. What do you want to see?” It was an insecurity move: I didn’t have to show my hand, and I had the power to yea or nay. Sex doesn’t feel the same thing. It’s more like, “Will you get me a drink while you’re up?” “…only if you’re very good.” It’s totally a power play. They want something, I have the power to give it — or not. Which, from what I’ve read, IS a D/s thing. I think. Maybe. The whole subject makes me uncomfortable so, in general, I stay away from it. (The BDSM fiction I’ve read has left me feeling very turned off and twitchy.) BUT! Maybe I should look, just so I have some answers.

Eckhart Tolle, among many others, has said that you can’t deal with something until you’ve accepted it’s there. I’ve been running from this submissive, follow-along tendency for, um, ever. Time to look at it, because it could come from general insecurity, but I don’t think it does. It could be a kink, so I might as well find someone who has a mirroring kink, right? Hmmm.

MORE things to think about. 😉


{February 5, 2010}   So much to write, so little time!

I have Things to say. So many, many things. First, a round up!

On my question of how femme is subversive, Phi gave me a very good response that I’ve been mulling over, which is that (now I might get this wrong, but that’s why I linked it!) femme is subversive because it’s taking femininity, and saying that femininity is innately powerful, too. There’s also a power dynamic there that’s missing in traditional femininity, (I have spelled that word differently every time I’ve spelled it, each time wrong! Good thing for spellcheck!) a sort of acknowledgment that the feminine things I do are powerful. To quote Phi’s response:

Likewise, the ‘making your partner dinner’-type fantasy reads as femme to me because it’s another instance of doing something that’s stereotypically thought of as subservient, but in a way gives power. (In the sense of, ‘I have the power to make you happy by making your favorite food,’ or something like that. I think this is why I love making desserts…)

(Phi, love, you can make me desserts ANY TIME. *grins*)

Most feminism strengthens women while, at best, making feminine things neutral. Femme says that feminine things are powerful, and doing them does not make women subservient. It’s subverting femininty into a power dynamic, instead of a submissive dynamic.

I think. *laughs*

On bisexuality, Mel said this:

Everyone has a list of things that they’re attracted to. Y’know, like this sort of shape, this sort of look, this sort of personality. We all have this, we’re not all attracted to everyone, even of the preferred gender. And I have quite the list. But my list doesn’t have a Male/Female ticky box.

I love this! Bisexual means that you like men and women, so it adds something to me (something I feel doesn’t belong). But this feels more accurate — it’s not that I’ve added liking more sexes to my range, it’s that I’ve taken away caring which it is. This feels much more accurate. …Which  means I’m ticky box sexual? ;-D

What else? G had a post about what being butch means to her, specifically. About what her butch is — as opposed to what butch is “supposed” to be. It got me thinking. (Run! Run now, before it’s too late!) (You ever type something like that and wonder what it says about you? Am I just having fun or am I expressing a buried, subconscious fear of rejection/dislike of my self, taught by our self-hating society or possibly that one kid in kindergarten? Hmmm…) (Obviously, I am in a tangential mood. Run! Run now, before it’s too late!) G’s post got me thinking about two things, actually. One of the things was what makes me feel the most femme. What I consider to be femme about myself. The other was kinks.

“Mwah?” I hear you cry.

Okay, I don’t mean sexual kinks, per se. (I have a sex post coming at some point! Just… so many things to write about, so little time!) I mean… every day kinks. People kinks. S.O. kinks.

I can’t decide if my post should be about what makes me femme, or kinks. Oh, sure, I could do two posts, but let’s not be crazy here. ;-D I think I’ll start with one, and then move on to the other! Gasp! Brilliant idea.

Post One: Femme!

What makes me feel femme? What is it I do or say that makes me go, in that moment, “That was femme of me”? Good question.

I paint my nails. This is a new thing for me (I seriously need more colors.), and part of me worries about my poor nails, hidden under that chemical and color. I try not to think about it. ;-D Anyway, I’ve only started doing this in the last little while. When I look down at my painted, shiny nails, I feel very femme. I also feel invincible, like that businesswoman who’s untouchable, so put together and perfect and very, very fierce. The one everyone wants and everyone is equally afraid of, who does everything the boys do but does it with perfect nails. Ohyes.

I wear strident colors that aren’t normally paired. Today it’s baby blue, paired with a burgundy camisole and jewelry.  I wear hats. Not all the time, but I feel quite coy when I do, and distinctly femme. I wear ribbons around my throat, silk or sheer, tied in a bow at the nape of my neck. Sometimes I dangle pendants or charms from them (my favorites being a seashell and a silver dragon). I have a femme walk. I don’t do it all the time, but occasionally I’ll catch myself with the femme walk. It’s a strut, a walk that says “I know I’m hot, and you know I’m hot, and I’m hot for her. Come talk to me, if you think you can. Also, I’m going to smile and wink at you from across the room, because I’m a little bit of a tease like that.” (Most of the time, even those people I winked at don’t have the confidence to come talk to me. They do look very cutely flustered, though.) (My mom used to call this my “Pretty Woman” walk — you know, from the movie? I’ve since noticed that Julia Roberts always has the walk, though I hope I’m a little less clunky looking! Less like I’m marching, more like I’m Just That Awesome.)

What else? I feel very femme in my low slung jeans, bare feet, and man’s undershirt. I can rock a man’s undershirt with the best of them (in a totally different way than butches do). Especially the white ones, that are practically sheer? Add in some finger- or toenail polish, and maybe my cute black hat, and I feel killerly femme. I feel femme any time I make anyone else do a double take. It’s an outside way to kick me right up into that femme state. I feel femme when someone opens a door for me, or lets me take their arm, or steps up and acts a little bit protective.

Hmm. This is where the lines between femme and kink start to blur. Because those last things? They’re also a kink of mine. Such a turn on. Makes me weak at the knees.

I also notice that most of my femme things are outward thing. I’ll have to think more, pay attention to when and why I feel femme. It’s a nice thing to notice, and gives me a sense of myself. *grins* I don’t think of myself as ‘acting’ femme all the time, and yet I always think I am femme. Now there’s something to consider.

Post Two! Kinks!

Everyday things that make me weak at the knees. As I said above, opening doors, letting me take your arm, being protective — all kinks. Chivalry, I suppose! Eyeliner on men. Suits and ties on women. Ties. And ribbons around my throat. Both for a very wicked sort of reason — despite the fact (maybe because of the fact…) that I have a hard time talking about sex, my mind is FULL of it. Every time I see a tie, or I wrap a ribbon around my throat, I’m reminded of the ability to grab it and pull someone in. To drag them around, or be dragged around. It’s socially acceptable bondage, and it makes me bite my lip and think evil thoughts. 😀

Oh, and of course, what got this whole post started. From G’s post, linked earlier:

…kiss the back of her neck as I zip up the back of her dress…

There is something about the nape of my neck. Probably has to do with all sorts of power dynamics, but the best part about getting dressed to go out when I was with DK? Putting on a necklace or needing help zipping up my dress. The brush of fingers, and the occasional kiss. Gives me shivers. Mmm.

Being physically pulled around. Manhandled is probably the right word — serious kink. Leaning against another’s strength, and PDAs. Not graphic ones, but more… claiming. I’m a little territorial. This is mine. (That look several of my SOs have gotten on their face when I do the ‘this is mine,’ slink and kiss. Half amusement, half tickled. Definitely a kink.)

A look and wink back, when I look and wink at someone else. I think that’s the only time I’ve ever approached a person in a bar — if they don’t have the guts to approach me, I’m probably going to steamroll them. But once, I did the grin and wink, and he grinned and winked back. It didn’t work out past that one night, but I was totally drawn in!

This list could go on forever. I may have to revisit and refine it later. 😉

But NOW, I should listen to my stomach and go find something to eat. I have another day of 4000 more words to write tomorrow. So much writing. So little time.


et cetera