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And that's just a small slice. Given that there's so much interest out there about butch-butch relationships, I thought I'd better take them up again.
As regular readers know, I am attracted almost exclusively to other butchy types myself. My partner is more typically "butch" than I am, although she doesn't like labels. When I first came out, I knew instinctively that I was attracted to more conventionally masculine-looking than feminine-looking women, but I also thought there must be something a little wrong with me, because all the other butchy-looking women I knew were interested in feminine women. Even if they didn't date "femmes," they certainly weren't interested in other women who were mistakenly called "sir" at the grocery store.
But I was.
Since my attractions seemed so unusual, I figured I must be in some kind of denial. Once I was "comfortable" being gay, I'd be interested in femmes... right? So I tried dating feminine women. But for me, there was no zing there. No allure. It was fine, but not exciting. Dating other butchy or androgynous or soft butch types, on the other hand, was awesome. I loved it. I could relate to these women, we could understand each other, and most importantly, it had that magic tension and mystery and excitement that romance is supposed to have.
Sometimes I say that being a butch-loving butch is like being gay within the lesbian community. I've had other butches tell me that they think it's "gross" to date other butches. (I just smile and tell them that dating butches makes me extra, super, mega-gay.) And it can be really hard to find butch or androgynous types who date other butch or androgynous types. But trust me... if it's what you're into, it's the best.
Here's my advice for butches looking for other butch types to date:
- Make sure your friends know what you're into. That way, they can be on the lookout.
- If anyone tells you you're weird, or says you should date femmes instead, ignore them. In fact, minimize the time you spend with them. You've already gone through coming out--why do you need their judgment on top of it?
- When you meet a butch you're interested in, don't assume she's not into you! She might not show it at first. Many of us have been socially conditioned not to flirt with other butches, so sometimes it takes a while to realize that there's a mutual attraction.
- Your butch buddies may mistakenly think that you're attracted to them, just because you're into butches. You may need to reassure them (and/or their femme girlfriends) that this is not so, and/or to explain that being attracted to butches doesn't mean attraction to all butches, any more than being attracted to women means being attracted to all women. (That said, if you are pining over your butch buddy and you know she's not into you, make sure your motivation for hanging out with her is really friendship.)
- Don't date someone just because she's butch. You may be tempted to leap at the first butch who makes eyes at you just because OMG FINALLY. But you're still allowed to be picky.
- Be prepared for a little jockeying for position. You might both be accustomed to being the one who opens the door for your girlfriend, kills the spiders, etc. Have fun with your mutual butchness, take turns, and enjoy not having set roles.
- Don't assume that "butch" means the same thing to everyone, or that just because someone doesn't self-identify as butch, she must not be what you're looking for. Plenty of people reject the term because they think it has negative connotations.
- If someone tells you that butches don't date each other, or says that "real" butches date femmes, ignore them. They're insecure. (After all, what would you think of a straight man who told a gay man that he wasn't a "real" man because he was gay? It's ridiculous.)
In sum: yes, butch lesbians date each other, have sex with each other, break each others' hearts, and have awesome relationships. Just like butch-femme couples, femme-femme couples, straight couples, gay male couples, and everyone else. You may not hear about it all the time, but there's plenty of butch-butch love out there.