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Labels and Their Place in the Dating Dynamic

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Ok so I got into this huge debate, and when I say huge I mean huge. My friends and I were out at a lesbian bar in Philly. My friends are lesbians like myself who identify as femme and who only date/have relationships with femme women. A few women who indentify as Butch approached us, wanted to buy us drinks, dance, exchange numbers, possibly take one of us home that night. My friend responded that we dn't mind having Butch women as friends but nothing more as her attraction is to other femme women. Well lets just say Pandora's Box was opened because they started telling us that "it's femmes like you who ruin the whole lesbians dating dynamic. Everyone knows that Butch and Femme women go together and that two Femmes together or two Butchs together is unheard of an a joke." So I guess I'm wondering what others think. Do you think the two must be together in order to maintain a dynamic in the lesbian community?

Personally, I think lesbians can date and have relationships with whomever they like whether she indeitify as Butch or Femme. One of the women even said that two Femme women together is like seeing two bisexual women experimenting together, which I took great offense to. But let me know what you think ladies or if things are different in your town.

Sometimes you stand on the edge of a cliff and you jump. You jump because you're tired of being scared. Sometimes you jump just to feel the fall


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:shock: OK, here's my own take on what happened to you and your girlfriends. For one thing, they were rejected and their reaction was one way to save face. Sometimes people react by taking an offense stance to cover their own embarassment/hurt ego. Secondly, I find it ironic that they are trying to put labels on relationships, when you think about it. That is ridiculous. It's almost like a hetero saying homosexuality ruins the hetero dating dynamic. Sexuality is a spectrum with many shades of gray and everyone has their own preferences or what does it for them. You have as much right as anyone else to feel attracted to whomever you want and frankly, I have wondered what's up with all of that "butch must be with femme" thing also. And, I tend to prefer femmes myself :)

PS: Isn't it interesting that even within a subculture with a history of rejection from the mainstream, there are supposed "norms" and "rules."


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I have been ruminating on this for the past few days. I even asked a few friends what they thought of me and they had agreed "soft butch" (one was straight). Then I asked my 21 year old daughter and just about fainted when I heard her say "you are more on the femme-side, mom." The neat, tidy label I had given myself was torn to shreds! Then I started thinking, who in the hell ever defined these labels and do I want to subscribe to them? I believe that they ultimately originate from the sex roles we learned from straight society. Is there a dictionary definition in Webster's for these terms? I am too tired and lazy right now to look. I believe, however, that I am safer speaking from who I am in the small details, rather than assigning myself a global label, which may or may not fit someone else's definition (i.e. daughters, friends, love interests). For example, I like wearing lipstick, but I hate purses. I thought I was supposed to be a boy when I was 10 years old, but I do not feel the need to have a sex change operation. I have passed for male (that was fun!), I can pass for a sexy "femmy" woman, or I can be androgynous, simply because I CAN. However, I find myself attracted more to the latter (both), rather than the former...but then again, maybe the right gender-bending woman has not crossed my path yet. At worst, the Butch-Femme continuum can limit, box, and hamper; at best it can be a fucking BLAST to PLAy with! :D

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