Unraveling Butch

Upon first coming out, my first reaction (besides relief) was to find out everything I could about lesbianism. Considering this was 25 years ago, long before Wiki or Google (thank god as both are filled with misinfo), I sought out my local library and read everything I could find written by lesbians. I also delved into "Women's Music" learning about that as well and learning all about Michfest too in the process.

Much of what I read rang true with my own long held feelings, but where confusion entered in was in the few books specifically dealing with Butch/Femme. Clearly I was Butch, no confusion there. Clearly I was attracted to Femmes, no confusion there. But where I was confused was in the coupling portrayed in these books of Butch/Femme, especially the sexual coupling of the two. The Butch was again and again placed in a scene of what could only be sexual frustration while the Femme had the time of her life. The Butch I learned gained all their sexual pleasure from pleasuring their Femme, while the Femme received theirs from being pleasured alone.

Now being one who has always questioned beyond the surface, this whole Butch/Femme scenario seemed hopelessly a pale version of heterosexuality to me only with the Butch not getting hers. But again, always going beyond the surface, I too thought, thinking about what I desired to do to another woman (being lesbian and all) surely the Femme lesbian would have similar desires. I later learned not only did Femme lesbians have similar desires, those books claiming to be experts on Butch/Femme were written by women who later went back to men and now identified as straight!

Realizing that Femme lesbians desired my body as much as I desired theirs, while in the beginning was terrifying due to many Butch Shame issues, it was ultimately their desire that helped to unpack and put away some of that shame. In discussing and trying to dismantle dysphoria here I cannot fail to thank Femme lesbians, lovers as well as friends in helping me to work through the worst of my own dysphoria and the myriad of ways that body shame had negatively affected me and hurt some of the Femmes who loved me.

Regardless of whether or not you are a Butch who desires Femmes, if dealing with dysphoric issues, putting yourself into the hands of your lover can and will do wonders. Let yourself be loved and let go of the shame imprisoning your body. You may just wake up with a smile on your face.


Unpacking Butch Video
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  1. This is a wonderful post. Thank you, Dirt.

  2. You are welcome Alioth.


  3. Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful. Mmmmmm love the butch grrrls. Love them.


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