Butch-Femme 101

Dear Darcy: I'm a butch with an undying attraction to feminine women which despite what one might imagine has not included straight women; until now. I met my current 25 year old girlfriend last month and until then she had never been with a woman. I've thoroughly enjoyed showing her the ways of lesbian love-making and judging by her recent renouncement of men, the enjoyment is mutual. To date, our sexual encounters have not included any phallic-type toys and my girlfriend has referenced how nice it's been to have sex without penetration. Here's my concern: I'm not an L-Word butch. I don't wear makeup, I don't wear women's clothes and I often pass as male. I'm an old-school butch who likes to have sex with a strap-on, but I'm concerned that given her inexperience with women, she'll get creeped out if I show her this other part of me. As everyone's favorite Femme, can you tell me if there's a proper way of making this introduction so that I don't send my femme running?

ANSWER

Are you looking for strap-on etiquette or the revised edition of The Joys of Toys? Relax. I don't think you need either. It's normal to be concerned that your recently-straight girlfriend might get spooked in her lesbian relationship. If she does, it will more likely result from queer fear then from strap-on fear. Your woman's 25 years old and 4 weeks ago she identified as playing for the other team. She's met the penis and it didn't send her running. Women renounce men for many reasons, and it's usually deeper than penis-avoidance. Regardless of whether she's enjoyed penetration in the past, sex with a woman (even with a strap-on) isn't the same as hetero sex with a man, and I caution you against seeing the two as analogous.

Maybe I'm over simplifying the issue. Is it possible that your concern isn't about creeping her out, rather, about you becoming freaked out? This could be your way of processing conflicting feelings about becoming serious with her. After all, it sort of conjures up images of castration anxiety. Or maybe it's just about sex.

Here's the bottom line: You've got the girl. She wants you. And if her reaction to your sexuality is negative, let her step aside and make room for a more deserving femme.

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