I've talked about how you can tell if a butch likes you
, but what about the other way around: what are the best ways to flirt with a butch? I list ten top ways below. They're targeted largely toward femmes, but most are adaptable to anyone who wants to flirt with butches. So read this and get out there!
Via the Lesbian Confessional
Butches, what are your favorite ways to be flirted with?
- A good, old-fashioned wink. Unprovoked, unexpected, in the course of everyday business. Then continue on as if nothing happened and leave us there to melt.
- Goad us a little about our favorite sports team. "Houston lost again, Dee. When's your team gonna make a comeback?"
- Touch us on the arm or shoulder, either while you're making a point or playfully when you're joking around.
- Compliment our hair. We are suckers for hair compliments.
- If we're good at something, ask us to do it for you: fixing your computer, changing your oil, editing your paper, whatever.
- Make a bet with us about something--anything. Bet a cup of coffee or a beer; that way, you're basically setting up some time together no matter who wins.
- Maintain eye contact just a little longer than usual or necessary.
- Ask questions about us. What do we read? What do we do for fun? Keep 'em light. Ask follow-ups.
- Express interests in our interests, particularly the nerdy interests that we're a little shy about.
- Call us out on something: "Oh, sure you can make five three-pointers in a row." Or, "Oh sure you've hybridized a new variety of fern." Keep your tone light and playful--you're inviting us to prove it.
Ah, straight girls... Nearly all of my butch friends have an anecdote or two about dating straight women, trying to date straight women, or straight women trying to date *them*. So when I received the following [edited] email from a BW reader, I decided it was time for an entry about the topic:Hey there. I am really bad at telling if a girl is straight or gay. I've hung out with this girl a few times and I want to ask her out. She doesn't have a boyfriend. Should I try to date her if she's straight?LOTS of complications packed into that email, no? In no particular order, here is my (admittedly scant) wisdom on straight women and butches:
- If she's actually straight, you're not going to "turn" her. If you identify as lesbian, think about this: is a really hot bio-man going to suddenly turn you straight? No. (Okay, except for maybe Jake Gyllenhall, and even then, only for a night.) And wouldn't you think that a guy who presumed that he could turn you was an arrogant arse? See what I mean? Respect straight women's sexuality. That said...
- Sometimes, "straight" women are still figuring things out. After all, I was a "straight" woman once. So was my DGF. So was my buddy C. Just because she's straight now doesn't mean she'll still be straight in six months. And THAT said, tread lightly because:
- It generally sucks to be someone's experiment. You're trying to build a relationship with her and SHE'S still trying to figure out whether she wants to go back to her ex-boyfriend? Yuck. Who needs that kind of pressure? And it doesn't feel particularly good when they go back to guys, either, saying that they decided they think of you as "more of a friend." Do you really want to be someone's coming out confidante, experiment, and lover? (The correct answer is: NO.)
- Straight women flirt with butches. I don't know why it is, but many straight women flirt with butches a LOT. It's like we're "safe" recipients of flirtatious adoration. Then if we ever try to make a move, they can suddenly be like: "Oh no--I'm straight, you know that!" I have a few straight friends who will hug me, hang on me, and tell me I smell good, look hot, etc. But I guarantee that if I ever DID anything, they'd flip. This really, really sucks if you're attracted to any of them. (I, personally, feel lucky that 99% of the time, I am attracted to other butchy types, because they tend to be more obviously "out.")
- There is a difference between bisexual women and straight women who are "experimenting." I know more than one lesbian who says she won't date bisexual women. This strikes me as silly. If someone has a track record of dating men AND women and identifies as bi, she's not "experimenting;" she's genuinely bisexual. (If she's never dated a woman, though... tread lightly.) Yeah, I know it might be a little mind-boggling to those of us who are 0-1's or 5-6's on the Kinsey Scale, but some people truly don't care about their partner's gender. They are not "undecided."
I cannot, however, speak to is how straight women respond to dating trans men. I know a handful of trans men-straight women couples who seem to be dating without incident. If any readers want to speak to this (or anything else I've left out), please comment!
Since March, I've been moonlighting as an adjunct community college English professor. (You'll hear more about this in the next installment of Butch 360
.) Today I was grading "argument" papers in which students take a side on the topic of their choosing and write persuasively (one hopes) about it. One of my students chose, "Should Gay Couples Be Allowed to Adopt Children?"Aside from being hideously
written and citing literally no
sources, the essay was full of inflammatory statements. Highlights include: "If a kid had gay parents, normal people would try to stay away from him," and, "A kid raised by gay parents would grow up with a twisted view of sexual minorities."As a married, straight-presenting woman teaching college English 6-7 years ago, I sometimes received anti-gay essays. But I'm puzzled that a kid would hand this essay in to an obviously gay teacher (especially since he had a choice of literally 125 topics). A few possible explanations spring to mind:
- In a vibrant bout of internalized homophobia, this kid has simply not come to grips with his own homosexuality. (Unlikely.)
- He's somehow trying to goad me. (Very unlikely. Trust me: he isn't sophisticated enough to goad.)
- He's correctly discerned that I'm gay, or could be, but my incredible evenhandedness as a teacher emboldens him to speak his mind. (Unlikely; see aforementioned lack of sophistication.)
- Despite my obviously masculine attire (e.g., ties), this kid has the gaydar of a rock. (Moderately likely.)
In any case, this essay had me seeing red--especially because I suspect that he assumes (but how?!) that he's talking to a straight woman. More than once, I had to put it down, grit my teeth, and sip some coffee for strength. Giving the paper a grade was tough. I wanted to be sure I wasn't docking this kid because of his views. In the end, I think I was fair, but I gave him 10 extra points as a buffer against my own anti-anti-gay bias. He still got a D.