It was a Thursday night, with nothing to show up for tomorrow. I was freshly broken hearted, and I needed a night on the town.
A friend came over for dinner, and we recorded a podcast together. Then we went down to the local tweetup. I haven’t been to one in years. I said hello to a few people and then was so bored by all the straight people in the fancy hotel bar that I grabbed my hoodie and headed out the door. At first I tried a club that I heard some friends were at. I looked around and didn’t see them, found the bathroom, and took a shit while checking my email. Oh the wonders of a smart phone. It was early enough, so I thought maybe I’d take myself out for a movie. I checked Fandago, and everything yet to play sounded pretty shitty, so I scratched that idea.
I thought about turning on my location on OkCupid, but my phone battery was running out of juice, and it’s always the same one or two dykes I’m not interested in on the Locals app anyway. Then I realized all of the hipsters hanging out in the window of the art school gallery were there to see my friend’s boyfriend’s band, who weren’t bad. I thought what the hell and went on in. The was no cover, and I saw some friends. I stood around with all the straight hipsters and watched the crowd. The people walking by the window outside were more interesting, even though some of the hipster girls were kind of pretty. I was still surrounded by straight people.
After that, I didn’t want to go home, so I decided to try that bar I heard was still a gay bar. I don’t even drink anymore so I was a little nervous about checking out the unfamiliar scene, especially when everyone outside looked straight here too. I went inside, and almost immediately saw one of my ex’s friends, who I pretended not to see. I walked into the little bar a few more inches and all of a sudden a punk band started playing. They were pretty good. They were playing songs with titles like “I just want to be alone” and “Go fuck yourself.” It was perfect for my mood. I hung out leaning on the wall for a while, scoping out the crowd and listening to the music. Every girl I thought was hot would suddenly kiss or grab the ass of some ugly guy. I went and sat on the couch near what seemed to be the only single girl in there and watched the rest of the band play. She seemed kind of out of it and probably straight. As soon as the band ended I got the hell out of there.
I headed down the hill and saw a couple weathered older dykes outside the gay dance club. I asked if there was a cover and they said no and convinced me to go in. Someone I cancelled a date with was supposed to be in there, but I figured I don’t even know her so what’s the big deal. I walked all the way to the furthest back corner of the bar, sat down and ordered a seltzer. A sad drunk man sitting alone at the next corner of the bar came over to me because he thought I needed a pat on the shoulder. Apparently sitting there in the corner of a gay bar broken hearted and drinking seltzer I looked sad enough for the drunk man to come care about me. As soon as he left me alone, a large black woman who referred to herself as Big Mama came over and wanted to do shots. I quit drinking a decade ago and somehow this didn’t make me break my resolve. She started telling me about her diet and her vacation and how her sister wanted her to be skinnier. The whole time she was rubbing parts of her body all over my thigh because her midsection would touch me as soon as she leaned in to talk to me. She started hitting on me a little harder and I got less and less interested in what she had to say until she left. Then the drunk man came back over. By the third seltzer, I was ready to get out of there, and I felt a little better, because I didn’t have the same life or problems as these two people, and I got to watch some dykes rub up against each other a bit. I had wished the dance floor was more hopping so I could get lost in it and dance, but it wasn’t, so I took a piss and left.
Instead of heading home I walked down towards the strip of bars and wandered into a happening dance club. There wasn’t a cover anywhere! The DJ and the lights were pretty good, but all of the people were so fucking straight except for one really young butch. All the women were in sparkles and dresses and showing a lot of skin, while all the men were dressed more like me, in shirts and hoodies, and jeans. I closed my eyes and danced a bit but then I had to pee again. This should be interesting, I thought. Every single woman I passed on the way into the bathroom stall kind of whipped her head out of a drunken stupor and then settled back down when they realized I was female, except on the way out of the bathroom, as a few drunk shorter women were heading in. As I opened the women’s room door to leave one actually put her hand right on my chest. She pressed into me to turn herself around until she realized she could feel breasts through my shirt. She looked up at me and drunkenly apologized while sliding past me into the women’s room after all. I left soon after.
I was still not ready to go home, so I cruised the strip to see if any other clubs were happening, but there didn’t seem to be any more with enough people in them where I could lose myself to the dance music. Then I came up around a corner and remembered the blues club that sometimes had some hippie bands that I used to like when I was younger and stoned all the time. Sure enough a Dead cover band was playing and I got into yet another bar with no cover. They played a lot of songs I knew and I stripped off my wet hoodie and my plaid shirt and danced around in my tank top, letting my armpit hair loose among the hippies. There was even a hula hoop that I danced with all through “Eyes of the World.” During “I Know You Rider” I got into my old groove and was really spinning around with centripetal force. It felt good and familiar even though in took a while to get into because the floor was so sticky. I wanted to get high. I somehow made it through all of the other bars without drinking to drown out my broken heart. I didn’t want to end up all droopy and bitter like the man who felt sorry for me at the gay club, or all crazy and stumbling like the guy that got asked to leave the floor at the punk band. Even still all this dancing to the hippy music made me want to smoke a bowl. Incidentally, this was the last club I ever drank at over ten years ago, before I went and smoked a bunch of pot and puked all the way home. A few straight hippy dudes tried to dance with me, but I still had my oblivious-just-keep-spinning-around-in-the-groove trick going, so they were calmly deflected. Straight people again. I think if any of them had magically whisked me away to a carpeted tapestry laden candle lit room for bong hits I would have gotten, but I guess that wasn’t in the cards for me. Thank you higher power for keeping me safe I guess. And for helping me to get through the first day in a while that I haven’t cried over my ex girlfriend.
It was a more than eclectic evening out on the town. What is a broken hearted straight edge dyke to do?
I keep “short term dating.” I don’t mean to, but it’s what seems to happen. I did, after all, put it as one of the options I was looking for on a dating site. So I shouldn’t be so shocked then after all, right?
In any case, all of this dating keeps teaching me a few things. Mostly about what I want and don’t want. But also about how to fine tune my online presentation to be as honest as I can so that I really am who I am when I show up for a date. That’s what I want everyone else to do, right?
I don’t want to be someone else’s experiment. Unless they are really hot and I am horny and we’re both clear about what’s going on. Quite frankly the cl ads near me either don’t attract me or are creepily young.
I thought I had more to say here. I guess the honest truth is that I am heartbroken, and I have started dating again.
Here’s what has happened so far:
I’ve responded to a few casual cl ads, but I find few to respond to because I am either so appalled by grammar errors, or they are severely, offensively, anti-butch. The responses I have received I am not attracted to. Is this fair for me to say? I feel uncomfortable having this conversation with too many people.
Physical attraction is important, to me, both in casual encounters and longer relationships. I don’t think this is wrong. I’ve found that my gut reaction even to an online presentation or profile is usually quite close to the truth.
Take my date today for example. I met up with a friendly woman who seemed to have a lot I wanted to talk to her about, was pleasant enough looking, but really didn’t flick my clit to look at, you know? And that’s exactly how I felt in person. As our conversation kept getting more and more interesting, I kept looking at her and thinking, can I make attraction grow here? And I don’t think I can. Maybe that’s the way it’s supposed to be.
And smell, that’s another thing. I didn’t like her smell. It was kind of grandmotherly-ish. I’m not sure what it was, if it was a fragrance, or a beauty product…it was kind of sharp and strong like a potpourri dish. I feel bad having thoughts like this, but what I am to do? Isn’t this gut reaction at it’s most basic?
When I am attracted, I really get all warm in the loins. I flex. Sometimes this confirms I’m gay. I was walking with today’s date, and at one point this hetero couple was walking in front of us in bathing suits. Watching the bikini bottom and ass curves move with every step the woman took really made me flex. A few times. My date and I had exchanged coming out stories (how often do you have this conversation on a first date?) and she was talking about how she knew she was gay. I so badly wanted to point out this difference in my attraction to the couple walking in front of us. Would this have been wrong? Indecent? Inappropriate? Rude?
Which brings up another question. What is the best way to be clear with someone on a first date that you are not romantically attracted but do indeed want to be friends?
I started this blog a few years ago, in order to have an anonymous outlet as well as a conversation forum for some of my thoughts as I explored a butcher identity.
I had come out a decade earlier, but still certainly had layers of “the real me” to uncover. (and still always will to some extent I’m sure!)
I was born into a white homogenous heterosexist suburb of Boston. I didn’t know anyone gay until I went away to boarding school, and even then my mother had been so critical of any aberration from any norm in my appearance that I think it really stunted my self esteem and self expression. I didn’t join the Gay Straight Alliance in boarding school (this was in the early 90’s) because I was too afraid that someone would think I was gay.
Though I saw girls kissing at a rugby social my freshman year of college, I drank too much and smoked too much pot to come to any sort of terms with my sexuality for many years. I sucked a lot of dick and had a lot of meaningless sex with men. I was actually too stoned to notice that there may have been some queer women or at least some cool feminist things happening around me. I spent most of my time with stoner boys. They didn’t mind my hairy armpits, were harmless compared to some of the men that had taken advantage of me, and thought I was pretty cool. And feeling pretty cool was a big deal for me back then, after growing up feeling very not cool. I guess I wasn’t ready to rock the boat just yet.
It wasn’t until after college that I finally had a close lesbian friend. She was a cool artist and I spent a lot of time hanging out with her and friends in my early 20’s. It was during this time that I broke up with my stoner boyfriend and started exploring my sexuality. I had absolutely no idea how to date women. I came out as bi, and wanted so badly to date women, but ended up continuing to date men on and off for years because they would hit on me, and I really didn’t know how in the world to ask a girl out.
It’s funny looking back on myself during my early years of coming out. I shaved my head and wore pretty big men’s clothes. I don’t think I was trying to look queer and had not much concept at the time of the word “butch.” I was doing a lot of drugs, pretty miserable, and a lot of the sexual assault I had experienced thus far in life was really hitting me hard. I was consciously trying to hide the female curves of my body from predatory men, and baggy men’s clothes did this quite well. Walking home to my first solo apartment in big pants, combat boots, and a big hoodie made me feel much safer. No one bothered me at night when I looked like a boy.
It was around that time that I hit a bottom with drugs. I overdosed, was pretty crazy for a while, but eventually ended up cleaning up my act and staying clean. Finally getting off of drugs certainly allowed me to come to whole new levels of exploring who I was that I had thus far missed in my life.
This was about a decade ago. I would say that it was during the past decade that I in a long roundabout way came much closer to getting back to the core of me (threads of which have certainly been consistent through all my tumultuous phases of life).
The key layers of this involved exploring what bisexuality meant to me, as well as to other people (who often had quite different ideas of who I was precisely because of my bisexual label). It was fascinating to see how differently the world saw me (and treated me) according to who I was dating. I was offended by the term “heterosexual privilege” at the time, because I was still going through a lot of emotional turmoil and didn’t feel the least bit privileged. I felt a lot of prejudice from within queer community at the time, and felt like I fit in no where (too straight to be gay, too gay to be straight).
When I finally had a long term relationship with a woman I came to a new level of understanding about my sexuality. Questioning my sexuality and starting to have sex with women was much different than being in a relationship for 3 years. I experienced a lot more homophobia than ever before, and yet as I was growing up emotionally (staying clean from drugs and alcohol allowed me to do this), I was really beginning to feel more myself than ever before as well. To come out in a heterosexist society takes a lot of guts. It took me a long time to fully come out. I could give a number of reasons: fear, heterosexism, homophobia, pressure from my mother to fit in and be straight, etc., etc. I’m not sure I can clearly put my finger on any one reason. I just knew so much more about myself after that long term relationship. By the time we broke up, I was already in my 30’s. As I started getting ready to date again, I was quite clearly only interested in women. In fact, when I was having sex during that relationship I remember thinking about how much better sex with women is. I know I had had a lot of sex with men, and some of it was certainly fun, but this was a whole new level of good, of satisfying, of exciting, of pleasurable. I know that I often thought “How did I have so much hetero sex before this?” “Oh my god, I am so gay.”
So to wrap it up a bit, it took me into my 30’s to really come out as gay, after about a decade of identifying as bisexual. In that long term relationship, and really before that too, I had never been interested in butch/femme identity, I guess in much the same way that I wasn’t interested in being gay before I came out. It was something I had preconceived notions and judgments about and I didn’t think it had anything to do with me. I’ve thought that about many things throughout my life, until some sort of experience and open-mindedness pushes me beyond some edge and gets me to see things in a new way and then suddenly I feel like I came home at last, to a place I never thought was mine. This process could describe so many aspects of my sexuality and gender identity (which I am just getting to). I thought I was straight, I thought I was bi, I didn’t think I would like to spank anybody or be fisted. Time and time again I got to new levels of comfort with myself and the world around me and would finally let myself be a new layer of who I was.
This is what has been happening in the past few years with my butch identity.
This is what I wrote when I started this blog:
“Ok. So I’m going through some changes. Self awareness, fashion, sex, gender, sexuality, presentation. Not sure I even have the words for all of this. Kind of scared to do this publically. But then I know how helpful it is for me to read the thoughts of others going through uncomfortable and beautiful metamorphoses. And how much it helps to share what is in my head, heart, brain and skin.
Allowing myself to tell myself the exact opposite of what I might have told myself growing up, or yesterday, or last year. Like, in my fantasies, sometimes I am a man, but I don’t want to be one in real life…or maybe I do? or not? or just a little…and what is female masculinity? who am I attracted to? am I attracted to you because I want to be you? or do you? or both?
And allowing all of that to just be beautiful, ok, honest, and fluid.
Whew…I like opening this fountain…of genderqueer butchdom…or something.
As I read these words today I thought it was time to change them, because I’ve come quite a long way in the past few years. I was scared to identify as butch, but I’ve heard myself say the word out loud more than once. I was scared to shift my appearance. I was scared to cut my hair short again, after years of positive reinforcement from my family and the professional world for my long beautiful hair. I was scared to change my dress for many of the same reasons. I was scared to change my underwear choices lest my lovers laugh at me or reject me when they got my pants off. I was scared of trying to claim an identity that might mean something different to somebody else. I was scared to claim an identity and have someone tell me I wasn’t enough of something to claim that identity.
I’m sure I still have a long way to go in life in getting to know me, and fully being me. (I certainly stumble with job interview outfits, new clothes for fancy occasions, and that sort of thing). And I still wonder whether my lovers will like my hairy armpits, my sports bras, and my men’s underwear. I hesitate to think that I need acceptance of these aspects of my presentation from other people in order to feel comfortable in my identity. I will say that my current lover finding me sexy not despite these things but precisely because of these things certainly helps.
In any case. I feel clearer about my identity (sexuality and gender) than I did when I first started this blog. I want to update my profile blurb, but before I did that I wanted to reflect on what has gone on it the past few years. Thank you to all of you who have liked, commented, or reblogged my posts. It has done numbers for my self esteem as I continue to explore who I am and how I express me.
Whether it’s cuz I’m gay, butch, andro, genderqueer or trans, when I listen to country music, I identify w/ the male singers crooning over the pretty girls they want.
How can I take this long to wonder something so clearly today? And if I am wondering today will I feel differently another day?
I feel that the older I get the more I peel back the layers of the real me and become truly who I am.
I was watching a movie tonight. “Country Strong” if you must know. I enjoyed the drama, the love, the clothes, the music. I have been attracted to men and women in my life. I more recently identify as gay. Queer. Lesbian. Depending upon the moment. Genderqueer. Androgynous. I know I am mixing up sexual attraction and identity here. I know those two are different. They are still related to my identity. My presentation. My sexuality presentation. My gender presentation. The more I wear mens’ clothes, buy mens’ clothes, feel sexy in mens’ clothes, and feel confident in mens’ underwear even in the womens’ room at the gym, the more comfortable and sexy I feel just being me.
Tonight watching the movie I thought about how much I really want to be the hot guy that gets the girl. That’s who I want to be in the movie. That’s who I want to dress like, feel like, act like, experience reality like. I know movies aren’t reality. But we see ourselves in characters on the screen. In seeing what I identify with up on the screen in front of me I see myself a little more at the same time.
After the movie I asked my friend, “I know I probably won’t do it, but would you still be my friend if I transitioned to be a man?”
She said, “Of course.” Then she asked me about it. I replied, “I feel like it is up ahead of me in the future, like the way being gay seemed before I let myself realize consciously that I was.”
Does that make any sense? I feel like I have said no to so many things that I later embraced fully. Like I was so scared to identify with something unknown that didn’t seem possible or was just so scary. Like bisexuality, or just gayness. Fisting, spanking. Butchness. Androgyny.
That’s as far as I am ready to talk about it tonight. Please share your thoughts with me. Thank you.
I am settling into me. Some days I dress a little butch, while other days I femme it up a bit. Always I wear men’s underwear, except of course when I wear no underwear at all, which is what happens when I wear workout clothes. I remember when I started wearing men’s underwear. I experimented with different styles. I struggled a bit with boxer briefs riding up under loose pants. A few things have changed since then. My body size has changed. Actually I have lost about 40 pounds so my shape in general is different. Besides that, the more I am who I am, the more I shop for what I want to shop for, the more I wear what I want to wear, the more I change at the gym, etc., the more comfortable I am with myself in general.
I have found that when I am wearing loose men’s jeans, or any loose jeans for that matter, I prefer loose knit boxers. It feels like soft pajama clothes lining the crotch of my pants. When I’m wearing tighter jeans, I like to wear boxer briefs. I found that I prefer the longest leg boxer briefs I can find. I find the longer the leg the less they ride up my inner thighs. Sometimes I still wear women’s jeans. I wear boxer briefs with these too. Sometimes for job interviews I might even wear women’s office pants. I wear boxer briefs with these too.
I have always derived a secret satisfaction from feeling sexy in my underwear even if nobody else is going to see them. I dressed like a straight woman for a few years. I’m not sure how else to describe it. There was a while when I wore men’s clothes mostly because I was larger and they didn’t feel so tight on my belly. At some point I lost some weight and could wear women’s clothes that were smaller than the plus size section and I felt sexier. Suddenly I wanted to wear jeans that fit my body more closely and I didn’t feel as much like hiding my belly. At the time I was noticing more attention from men. I let this attention prop up my self-esteem a bit. I was actually going through a stage in my sexuality where I was reclaiming control over my body in sexual experiences with men. I was casually dating multiple men concurrently with full disclosure, playing the field, if you will. At the time I identified as bisexual, but was still very new to dating women. It was easier to keep dating the men that continued to pay attention to me. I wore thongs. Tiny little gauzy string bikinis. Sometimes these would be seen by various lovers. Or not. Even thinking about the panties I wore turns me on a little bit right now. Those tiny little gauzy things tight around my girl parts. It makes me flex a little. Whenever I found myself in an individual public bathroom I would check myself out in the mirror, undoing my pants to show my panties. These days I feel similarly sexy in my boxer briefs. I like being seen in them. I also like seeing myself in them. I like seeing myself in the bathroom mirror at work unzipping my women’s jeans to reveal my Express boxer briefs.