butch · butch/femme · femme · lesbian · sex

Sex Education for Lesbians and How This Kinda Sorta Relates to Heteronormative Feminist Prudes.

I didn’t received a sex education. Not in school, not at home, not from teen magazines or library books. This might be surprising to hear from a female who grew up in the nineties and not the fifties, but there it is. Don’t get me wrong, I learned about reproduction and the mechanics of heterosexual sex, but I didn’t receive any sex education that was useful for a lesbian. It was both an alienating experience and one which could easily have been so much more helpful!! Ideally, what I needed as a lesbian teen was sex education from an actual lesbian, preferably one who could discuss butch/femme sexual dynamics. But alas, that wasn’t in the curriculum, or in teen magazines, or even in the few lesbian magazines I could find. I didn’t read my first Diva until I was 18 and even then it was pretty useless. Nevertheless, before I hit my twenties, I was having sex with my butch girlfriend.

Where did I find out about sex? Fanfiction on the internet which I read on the family computer in secret when my parents weren’t home. That was it. But that was more than most lesbians, I was lucky to have access to the internet and parents who both worked so I had home alone time. I got some good info and some bad info, but enough to know that the sex that I wanted to have was sex with another female. That it is what turned me on, what I thought about at night under the covers, what I dreamed of being able to experience in real life. I had that knowledge at a relatively young age. Sexual desire for lesbians, even before we are old enough to have consensual sex, is so far removed from what we are taught at school, home and in the media, that we are left feeling rather bewildered. As a teen, I had questions I wanted answered. Firstly, if heterosexual sex driven by biological reproductive urges is what sex is, then do lesbians even have sex? If I have homosexual rather than heterosexual desires, which are “normal” and “natural”, then “What the hell am I?” “Why am I?” “What do these very non-heterosexual feelings mean?”. I didn’t ask, for how could I? I only had straight people to talk to.

What has led me to think on the topic of lesbian sex education, or lack thereof, is a
recent brouhaha on twitter that started with the publication in Teen Vogue of an article about anal sex. This upset many of the feminists (mostly radfems) on twitter and their ire found its way into my feed. Now, I agree with them that the article was poorly done. It kowtowed to trans activists’ insistence that genitals be disconnected from the terms “male” and “female”, which is completely idiotic; and it also left the clitoris, my all time favourite body part, out of its diagram of the female (sorry, non-prostate havers) anatomy. However, it wasn’t JUST that which was at issue. A number of feminists argued that it was inappropriate to educate teenage girls about anal sex. Now, I firstly want to state that this conversation was not about underage sex, it was assumed that anybody actually engaging in sex is of a legal age to consent. We all come from the position that the article was crap, I was very clear on my opinion regarding that. But, as soon as I said that I believed that teens should have a sex education that included anal sex, I was hit with a barrage of comments and linked articles pointing to a porn fed culture of coercion and the potential health risks of having anal sex. My response was to point out that if teen males are coercing teen females into having anal sex, wouldn’t that make anal sex education even more vital? I also argued that anal sex education would enable a young woman to know exactly what she was or wasn’t consenting to in advance of the act, and if she does consent, it would enable her to know how to do it safely.
Surely that would be a good thing, right?

However, they argued that education “legitimises” and “normalises” anal sex, which is a “new thing” (WHAT??) perpetuated by porn culture, and that no woman would want to consent to anal sex anyway because it is not at all pleasurable for females.
I explained that humans have been having anal sex for millenia, that anal sex/play can be enjoyed in many and varied ways that don’t involve penile penetration, and that it can be very pleasurable for females as well as males (perhaps they need some education as well as the teens!!). That didn’t go down well, and I was told that females don’t need to have anal sex because they have a vagina designed for penile penetration i.e. that vagina/penis is the only way people should be having sex. It was then that I realised that I was conversing with people who had a very narrow view of what exactly sex is and how it should/shouldn’t be done. It confirmed my suspicions that they had a blatantly heteronormative view of what constitutes legitimate sex. it also led me to believe I was right in thinking there was homophobia lurking not too far under the surface. While this was firmly denied on their part, it was clear that the cultural association of anal sex with gay men equated the activity in their minds with perversion i.e. abnormal and illegitimate sexual behaviour.

How does this connect to Lesbians you may ask? Well, I’m not saying that all lesbians like anal sex; some do, some don’t. What I am saying is that the heteronormative and yes, homophobic, thinking behind these people’s abhorrence at anal sex education is the same thinking that led, and still leads to, the lack of comprehensive sex education that includes both heterosexual and homosexual sex. Heteronormative sex education; whether it be in schools, magazines, tv, literature, or within our own family units, leads homosexual teens to experience feeling of confusion, alienation, self loathing (ie seeing ones self as being a freak/perv/deviant/abnormal) and “gender” dysphoria.

You want to be a good ally? Support comprehensive sex education for ALL teens.

 

lesbian

More appropriation of lesbian identity

Disgusting Appropriation of OUR name.

Purple Sage

Although a lesbian is a female homosexual, it’s also a fashionable label for people who aren’t female or homosexual to steal for their own use. This is not okay. When non-lesbians call themselves lesbians, not only is it lying, but I’d say it’s homophobic too—it’s blatant disrespect and erasure of actual lesbians.

Today’s example is celebrity opposite-sex couple Nico Tortorella and Bethany Meyers. 

Both of them are bisexual, but for some reason, Meyers identifies as gay.

It’s interesting that the queer/trans movement makes it compulsory for all women to be bisexual and outlaws homosexuality, and yet at the same time it’s fashionable for bisexuals to take “lesbian” on as an identity. They’re okay with a “lesbian” identity as long as it doesn’t mean being actually lesbian. If you’re actually a lesbian, then you’re a bigoted exclusionary TERF. (Words don’t mean anything, unless women attempt to use words to set a boundary that excludes…

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chronic pain · disability

Broken bodies, broken minds.

I haven’t yet written about chronic pain and illness on the is blog, or anywhere else really. It’s difficult to put the experience into words. We live in a society in which we are encouraged to measure our self worth by out productivity. We are told to work hard, climb the ladder, be the best, make the money, buy all the things. That’s how capitalism functions. But, what happens when one of us, the proverbial cogs in the machine, breaks down? Or didn’t function “properly” in the first place? What are we when we stop being part of the machine and how do we then see ourselves? How do we understand our own identity and place in this world when we don’t function the way we are told we are supposed to?

Bodies break, minds fracture, pain can be a constant companion that gnaws away at your sanity.  Yet, the worst is the story that our minds tel us, the guilt, the shame, the constant self questioning. We live a life we weren’t trained for and we feel it. That little voice telling us that we are a waste of space, that we should try harder, that we are a drain on resources. That little voice that constantly questions whether we really are sick enough or in enough pain to justify our lack of productivity. It is a constant battle for self acceptance, to find self compassion. We are our own worst critic. We put expectations on ourselves we would never dream of putting on somebody else. Our minds are broken.

butch · butch/femme · erotica · femme · lesbian · sex

Butch/Femme Fiction vs. Reality

I write fiction and I spend a lot of time in the fictional worlds of books, tv, and my own inner world of make-believe. However, I am very aware of what is fiction and what is reality.

The distinction is very important, especially because the way in which butch/femme lesbians are understood by many is based, falsely, on fictitious representation.

Fictional depictions of sex, whether erotica or visual pornography, are just that, FICTIONAL!!! But this becomes a problem when people don’t recognise that fiction doesn’t actually represent reality.

The fiction I write is mostly short story erotica that involves role play, mostly D/s (dominance/submission), and it’s a hot read if you’re into it. But it is fictional!!! It does not represent in any way, shape, or form the nature of my own sex life or the nature of my relationship or any other butch/femme relationship. Erotica is not real life, fantasy role-playing (whether in fictional writing or acted out in real life) is just that, role-playing. See, here’s the thing, most of the butch/femme erotica available has some degree of BDSM content. Some of it written by us, but usually not. Does it represent our lived realities? NO! Is it what all butch/femme couples are into? No! Are our lives just an extension of a fictionalised role-play? NO!!

Here is a list of FALSE myths about Butch/Femme relationships:

Myth: The Butch is the “man” and the Femme is the “woman” in the relationship.

Myth: The Butch makes the rules in the relationship.

Myth: Femmes are side-kicks to their dominant butch partner.

Myth: All Butch/Femme relationships are D/s.

Myth: Butch/Femme is full time sexual role-play.

All of the above are FALSE!!!!

What is the reality??? Real, functional butch/femme relationships are an equal partnership between two lesbians. We live normal lives in normal dwellings, doing normal things. Sounds terribly dull I know (sorry to disappoint). While there are some things that are unique to butch/femme relationships, both sexually and in the way we be/act/live in the world; it has nothing to do with role-playing or mimicking heterosexual relationship dynamics. First and foremost we are both LESBIANS and our relationships reflect that. The truth is far from most fictitious representations, whether sexual or otherwise, but, in truth, it is SOOOO much better. ❤

 

butch · butch/femme · femme · lesbian · Uncategorized

Is Butch/Butch Butch??

I was asked on another post a question along the lines of:

Is a butch who is attracted to other butches really a butch?

We (butch/femme lesbians) see butch/femme as a whole, i.e. one goes with the other. It is a defining characteristic of who we are, but also a descriptor of the nature of our desire and our relationship dynamics. Without that what are we? There are lesbians who are read as being “feminine’ who desire other “feminine” lesbians (not as many as TV shows would suggest), but they are NOT femmes. Being half of butch/femme, having that particular desire, that roaring blaze, is what we are.
For example:  In theory, if I wasn’t partnered with my soul mate (the only lesbian I want) and I was looking for a potential partner or even a one night stand, I would always preference butches over dykes; and there would literally have to be no butches or dykes left on earth before I’d consider having sex with a “feminine” lesbian. Like I said in my post, think of it as a scale of attraction from a small match to raging bushfire (no pun intended. It’s the Australian word for “forest fire’).
So, what do I think about lesbians identifying as “butch” even though they’re primarily attracted to lesbians who they perceive as being “butch”?
Well, if you replace “butch” in the above sentence with “femme”, I’d say HELL NO!
It just seems that if a defining characteristic of “femme” is primarily being attracted to butches; shouldn’t a defining characteristic of “butch” be primarily being attracted to femmes? My partner is butch. She doesn’t find dykes or butches attractive in the slightest. Seriously, for her it’s only marginally less horrifying than the prospect of having sex with a man!! That is because she is butch and butches are attracted to “feminine” females, more specifically lesbians, and even more specifically, FEMMES!!! Again, match -> bushfire. We only ever experience a roaring blaze with each other. Gosh I hope that makes sense!!!

Why do we have these distinctions? Well, why does any culture have it’s own terminology? It’s a way of describing who/what we are to ourselves and those around us. These terms make sense to us and using them is both self recognition and part of healing feelings of shame/isolation/dysphoria. To lose the objective definition of these terms is to lose an ability to be able to self recognise and self describe what we are. Take meaning away from a word and it no longer holds any power.

butch · butch/femme · femme · lesbian

Butch/Femme Sex

This post is prompted by a conversation I had this morning about Stone “identity”.

Firstly, it’s not an identity and should never be considered an identity.  The idea that being stone is a badge of honour or something to take pride in, is nonsense. Conversely, it also isn’t something to be ashamed of or to feel bad about!!! That would be feeling shame about feeling shame!!! Rather, being stone is a form of sexual dysfunction that is an aspect of butch dysphoria.

For a real butch perspective I recommend reading this post written by a butch friend of mine who knows what she is talking about. I can only give you the femme perspective.

For us, it can mean years of confusion, frustration and guilt. It can, and many times has, torn butch/femme relationships apart. One of the most frustrating aspects is that there are no butch/femme relationship councillors. We (my partner and I) become lovers when we were 19. We had ZERO sexual experience and had nobody to talk to and saw no reflection of ourselves in any media. I went looking and what I found was worse than having no information. I found “stone pride” and fucked up erotica written by straight women. NOT helpful.

What I really want to address in this post is guilt. That constant self questioning and self criticism. For femmes it goes like this: Is it me? Did I do something wrong? Does she think I don’t find her attractive? Did I hurt her? Did I say/do the wrong thing? Why is our sex life not like it is in the lesbian books/films/fanfiction? Why does she freeze? What did I do wrong? Am I “pulling my weight” in the bedroom? Should I have touched her more? Should I have touched her less? Should I be more insistent? Should I be less insistent?How do I let her know that I desire her without putting pressure on her? On and on it goes. We see the guilt mirrored in our butches’ eyes. We want something that they feel they can’t give us, and they know it.

Communication is key, but it’s not always possible. It’s fucking hard. Especially for young couples.

See, I can understand why stone as an identity is easy for butches and femmes. It implies that nothing is wrong, it means that there is no problem in the bedroom that needs to be fixed. It means that a butch doesn’t have to challenge her comfort zone and a femme doesn’t have to worry about it being her fault, something she did wrong etc. However, like all problems, ignoring it is the easy option and it won’t go away. Trust me, it’s a problem worth addressing and it can be manage. I don’t say overcome, because that would mean that there is an easy fix, some kind of “cure”. There isn’t, but with communication, time and patience on both sides, it’s worth the effort. Why? Better sex, more intimacy, and a healthy and stronger relationship!!!

There are no magic solutions. Be kind to yourself and your partner, and don’t give up.

 

 

 

friendship · lesbian

Toxic Lesbian Friendships

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Despite being part of a happy couple since I was 19, I have explored the world of lesbian friendships pretty much on my own. My love is not one for socialising, and I respect that. I’m not much of a social butterfly either, but I do like to go out for a meal or chat online etc and I enjoy the mutual support I gain in friendships and being able to talk about life, the universe, and everything with lesbians I enjoy spending time with.

But, here’s the thing, some lesbian friendships can be really TOXIC in a way that is unique to lesbians (well, it probably applies to gay men too but I don’t know many).

Lesbian friendships can be tricky. For a start, we all have a lot of emotional baggage, it comes with the territory.  We, well at least I do and I have observed this in others, put a lot of emotional stock in friendships and this can be particularly tricky in a lesbian situation. The question is, when does a close friendship cross the line? Our friendships can become very deep, which is one thing I love about being a lesbian. BUT, where is the line drawn? Some might think that’s easy, draw the line at sex, simple. But sex isn’t the only component of a relationship. When does the emotional dependency of a deep friendship cross that line? Can you cheat without having sex? Okay, so the boundary might be that you should love a friend, but be “in love” with a partner. And yes, that’s true, but again, where is the line? If we are, for whatever reason, getting emotional support from a friend rather a lover, is that cheating? In a heterosexual relationship it is pretty common for the woman to get emotional support from her girlfriends and to rely on them heavily. How does that work for lesbians? Like I said, it’s not straightforward. I’ve learned the hard way that BOUNDARIES are key. If you are in a relationship, DO NOT become somebody else’s pseudo girlfriend!!!!! Do not allow yourself to be manipulated in that way, and never allow her under your skin so much that you start to measure your own self-worth by her judgement rather than your own. Like I said, lesbian friendships can be toxic.

I have, as a result of a particularly bad experience, set myself some rules of thumb for forming and maintaining friendships with other lesbians.

No 1. Don’t befriend a lesbian who is both single and who may potentially be attracted to me or I to her. NO, NOPE, NEVER AGAIN. I never have had and never will have any intention of cheating on my partner and sexual tension in a friendships just makes it too complicated. Yes we are all adults, but boundaries can be easily broken and it’s not worth it.

No 2. If she starts lecturing me on how I should be living my life. RUN AWAY.

No 3. If she starts giving me unsolicited relationship advice. RUN AWAY.

No 4. If she crosses any personal boundaries that I have deemed necessary. RUN AWAY.

No 5. If she starts using me as a date to social events. RUN AWAY.

No 5. If she EVER deliberately tries to make me feel bad about myself in an effort to manipulate me. RUN AWAY.

No 6. Online friendships stay online unless boundaries are in place. Especially if the potential friend is single.

Okay, that’s all I can think of for now. I am interested in how other lesbians have fared in balancing friendships and relationships, so please do comment if you feel like sharing. I’d love to read about your story 🙂