Chapstick Chapstick

Thursday, January 25, 2018

When did I Become a Creep?

I got a gym membership. I lift weights now. I know, you’re in awe and beyond impressed. I won’t flex for you, because 1) I don’t want to ruin this shirt, and 2) I don’t want to care for you after you pass out.

Anyway, yesterday at the gym this weird thing happened. I was running on my treadmill, minding my business, when this super gorgeous butch woman jumped on the treadmill directly in front of me… And this is what happened in my head:

Maybe, just maybe, I stayed on the treadmill for longer than my usual time (don’t judge me). Then I went to lift some weights, but I made sure to use the bench and machines with a direct shot of her treadmill. So, I’m doing some lat pulldowns, listening to Fetty (because I’m super cool and butch), enjoying my view, then I had this moment… I was like, “Oh my God, am I being a skeevey dude right now?” I remember working out as an undergrad and feeling creepy man eyes watching me on the elliptical from the weight area. I’m the creepy eyes in the weight area! When did I become a creep?! Am I objectifying her? If a dude did this to me, how would I feel?

I texted one of my lesbian gurus who assured me that I was, in fact, a TOTAL creep. Well, she said I was “kinda a horn dog,” but encouraged me to drop my digits to the cute butch woman. I’m a total wuss, so there was NO chance I was going to talk to this woman. I just wanted to enjoy watching her work out (oh my gosh, 100% creep).

I had never felt creepy like this before, because I rarely checked out men, and I wouldn’t have worried about objectifying men. After all, women are objectified everywhere we turn, so a dude being objectified for a brief moment just didn’t seem like a huge problem. Now that I’m checking out women—nay, now that I’m consciously checking out women, I need to be better about my wandering creeper eyes. To the cute butch woman at the gym: I’m sorry I eye fucked you on the treadmill. Let me buy you a drink as an apology?

Friday, January 19, 2018

Attraction: Are You My Type, Am I Yours?

I’ve been in love with two women: one femme and one butch. When I was in love with a femme, I always thought, “Gosh, femme women are my cup of tea.” But then my first girlfriend was butch and it totally flipped. I thought, “Wow, butch women are gorgeous. I’ll definitely marry a butch woman.” Well, here we are again, and I’m just as confused as ever.

My favorite character on the L word was Bette, by FAR. She’s a gorgeous femme and a total heartthrob:

But then there’s Rachel Maddow:

*swoons even harder*

Obviously, personality matters WAY more than physical appearance. I truly believe that I could be physically attracted to anyone if she had the right personality. But, I would find comfort in having a “type.” This probably stems from my love of categories and labels. I know, I know, labels put people into boxes and erase individuality. However, categories make me feel understood and less alone. If I’m a femme who loves butch women, I can bond with other butch-lovers about our butch-lovin’ (*trademarks butch-lovin’*). If I’m a femme-loving-femme, I can find other femme-femme couples who understand me. It’s really about finding people who get me, which is hard since I don’t even get me.

My lesbian gurus think this is absurd. I should just date the whole spectrum of women and allow myself to fall for whoever is kind, funny, smart, thoughtful, and loves BeyoncĂ© (duh). But, I can’t help but wish I had more clarity in what/who I’m looking for.

When I dated men, I always dated the same type of guy. They were all tall, skinny, and super nerdy. Usually they wore glasses; the glasses weren’t mandatory, just strongly recommended. Now I’m dating women, and the plethora of women who interest me blows my mind! Are lipstick lesbians cute? Sometimes. Could I picture myself in a relationship with a lipstick lesbian? I can’t, but I also couldn’t picture myself with a butch woman a year ago and that felt right. It’s confusion all around. 

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Gay by Association

I recently had a breakup. Don’t worry, I’ve transitioned from the Celine Dion playlist to the Kelly Clarkson playlist of the post-breakup. This was my first lesbian breakup. Did I unlock some sort of lesbian achievement? No? Let’s just take a moment to imagine what a lesbian achievement would look like… Probably something like this:

Anyway, aside from the obvious heartbreak and disappointment, I had one feeling of loss that I hadn’t expected. I went from being a visible lesbian back to an invisible lesbian. You see, my ex was super butch. Once I was complaining that no one knew I was gay, and she jokingly said that when I was with her, I was “gay by association.” All jokes aside, this was totally true. When we went out together, I became a lesbian in other people’s eyes. Oh boy, did I love it! People would look at us as a couple and know I was gay. It was fun and validating and liberating (and sometimes scary), but mostly it felt like I was really out.

After we broke up, I found myself missing that visibility. I felt like I took a step back into the closet. Obviously, my gayness is not dependent on another person, but having a butch girlfriend certainly helps when you look the way I do. *rolls eyes at my straight aesthetic*

In addition to the visibility, I missed her network of lesbian friends. I wasn’t close to any of them, but I loved hanging out in a room full of lesbians. When we went out, it was either all lesbians, or the lesbians outnumbered the straight people. Don’t get me wrong, my lesbian gurus are my rocks, but I only have five. My resolution for 2018 is to find more lesbians… for friends, for dating, for UHauling?? Who knows what 2018 has in store for this little chapstick femme?! But seriously, I want to surround myself with lesbian friends so I can access that “gay by association” space that feels so cozy.

Monday, January 15, 2018

You’re a Lesbian?! Can I Ask You Some (Deeply Personal) Questions?

Sometimes when I’m out with friends, they introduce me to their sheltered friends. The ones who grew up in rural townslike my hometownwho have never met a real, living, breathing LESBIAN! When they find out I’m gay, it usually goes down the same way: (1) they look at me astonished thinking to themselves, “But she looks just like us?! How could she be gay?” (2) They ask if they can ask me questions, to which I always say yes. I went out to have fun, didn’t I? (3) When I tell them they can ask anything, I see that little twinkle in their eyes. We’ve barely had our first drink and they start laying on the questions hard. Here is a list of REAL questions I’ve been asked in these situations, along with my favorite responses:

1). Is sex better with women?

It is if you’re a… lezzzzbian!

2). Have you ever had sex with men, though?

Been there, done that. Have YOU ever had sex with the same sex? Sounds like you can't rule it out then?

3). How did you know you were gay?

How did you know you were straight? Oh, you wanted to have sex with men, you say? It’s sort of like that, except replace men with women.

4). How did you not know you were gay until 22?

Heterosexuality is pretty pervasive. Though I always wanted to sleep with women, I never considered that I might be gay. I thought all straight girls liked women the way I did, because obviously I was straight. It wasn’t until my friend suggested, “Maybe you aren’t straight?” that I actually entertained my interest in women. (This story will be explained in another post.)     

5). If you like dating butch women, why don’t you just date men?

Ahh, my favorite question. I’m so glad you asked. My dear straight male friend, you like feminine women, right? So, you could just date feminine men then? Oh, you don’t want to do that?!

6). So, you’re gay, but you don’t go down on women, right?

Are you, my straight male friend, into anal? Oh, I’m sorry, did that question make you uncomfortable? Perhaps that's because it’s none of my business? Hmm. But also, yes... because I'm gay.

7). How do you decide what to do during sex?

Queer people have this secret weapon, but don’t worry, you can use it, too! It’s called communication! You ask your partner what they want to do, you tell them what you want to do, you provide each other feedback, and that’s how you decide what you do. 

Straight people, please start using this. If you asked this question, I feel bad for anyone who has ever been intimate with you.

8). Who wears the strap-on?

SEX DOES NOT REQUIRE A PENIS! But, if we do decide to use something, we use that crazy communication tool again.

Also, I want to add that ONLY straight men ask #6. This is a real head-scratcher for me. First, why can’t straight men wrap their heads around women being intimate with each other? Second, what’s with the vagina phobia?! I’m so sick of men acting like women’s vaginas are gross or smelly or whatever. Whenever this happens, I always insinuate that the man may be gay if he doesn’t like vaginas. I know, I know, this is not the PC response, but these guys get so offended when you question their sexualities! They melt down! They defend, “No, no, no. I’m definitely into women.” Then I skeptically inquire, “But are you, because it sounds like you think vaginas are gross... doesn’t seem super straight to me. Maybe you and I are playing for the same team! Eh?” I’ve learned that this will result in a very angry straight man, and a very awkward rest of the night, but that won't stop me. So straight men, if you ask me this ridiculous question, buckle up, because I’m going to assault your fragile heterosexual masculinity.

Another side note: Straight men are always the ones asking the logistical questions about lesbian sex. Men, if you’re really this confused about how to have sex with a woman without using a penis, your poor girlfriend is enduring some REALLY bad sex. You better just give her my number. *winks while shooting finger guns*