Butch-Butch Romance

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I’m genderqueer and have a masculine presentation. I’m also predominantly attracted to butch dykes. Butch dykes are the ones that cause me to run into lampposts in hormone-induced confusion, blush maddeningly, and make nervous pompous conversation in hopes that they find me enticing. Of course there’s more to attraction than a sharp haircut, a well-kept manicure, and knowing eyes, but that’s a start. My powerful urge for a butch-butch or tranmasc-butch relationship is not a common desire in the dyke community, and is even surrounded by an foggy miasma of taboo.

I’ve never been adept at analyzing my sexual desires and proclivities, nor have I seen the need to discover their origins. Sexual passion and attraction is primal and intuitive; for me, analyzing my desire would be like charting my creativity or my daydreaming. It would remove some of the magical and transformative powers of sexualty and passion, and replace that energy with something more distant and removed. In some perverse universe, it boils down to whether you want to fuck a spreadsheet or a cheetah, and the answer is obviously a cheetah.

Part of the reason that I wrote Behrouz Gets Lucky was to see my personal desires expressed in fiction. I wanted to read about a masculine dyke/trans/queer couple that was over the age of fifty. I wanted them to be deeply in love, at ease with their bodies, sexually experienced and kinky, witty, and possessing an egalitarian relationship outside of the bedroom. I’d find a rare smutty short story that featured a masculine/dyke/trans/queer couple, but nothing in dyke fiction. There wasn’t even a graceful vocabulary for this attraction.

One of my beta-readers for Behrouz Gets Lucky was an urban middle-aged gay man. Jon did not realize that Behrouz and Lucky’s relationship was unusual, and questioned me about the judgemental attitude they were encountering with some of their friends. There’s a couple of scenes at a potluck; in the living room scene, a leather daddy pal says, “I thought all butches went for high femmes with glossy red manicures, seamed stockings, fuck-me heels, and long black glossy hair. And most of the transdudes I know end up becoming gay men. I’m surprised you two hooked up at all. I mean, how does it work? And who’s the top?“, and in the kitchen scene Poppy says, “…don’t you think it’s a little weird? I mean two masculine-of-center folks dating each other? Butches usually date femmes, you know. I mean, it’s okay for fucking, but not for romance.

Generalization upon generalization is heaped in this rubbish pile until it topples over under the weight of assumptions and expectations. Butch-femme couples are normal. Even if they were dykes pre-transition, transmen become gay after they start taking testosterone. Butches are so horny that they’ll fuck each other in a pinch, but only in a pinch. Butches are all tops. These are all generalizations that I’ve heard repeatedly in the dyke community until they seem factual. Why do we judge one another, and why do we restrict ourselves?

Personally, I’ve only been in one longer term butch-butch relationship, and our relationship ended for the usual reasons, none having to do with our butch gender identity or presentation. She was predominantly attracted to butch dykes and transdudes, but had been attracted to femmes in the past. Later, I dated a sweet butch woman that finally confessed with a great deal of embarrassment and shame that she’d found herself becoming attracted to butches instead of femmes for the first time at age 50. She went on to tell me over french fries and hamburgers that she thought I was hot despite the fact that I wasn’t femme. The word “despite” stung my heart and I stopped seeing her. Butch-butch or tranmasc-butch relationships are not unheard of, however they’re definitely rare, and for me they’re the four-leaf clover in the meadow of love.

Desire is a quagmire; a bog of cultural expectations, traitorous hormones, and mystery. Desire is also a playground; a forest, deep and dark with silvery moonlight shining through the leaves, streams meandering, and mossy beds. Like Popeye says before swigging a can of spinach, “I yam what I yam.” Don’t limit yourselves. Be big. Be badass. Be strong. Come out, butches who adore butches…butches who want to bury their fist in another butch’s cunt, who want to drink morning tea together in a post-coital stupor, who long to share their necktie wardrobe, and walk hand-in-hand through the farmer’s market. Come out, wherever you are.

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About Avery Cassell

Avery Cassell is a genderqueer San Francisco writer, poet, cartoonist, and artist who grew up in Iran. They live with their Maine Coon cat, Lulu, and bake yeasted waffles every Sunday morning. Behrouz Gets Lucky is their first novel. You can find their erotic short stories sprinkled in various anthologies, including Best Lesbian Erotica 2015 and Sex Still Spoken Here. Avery is currently working on a book of more of Behrouz and Lucky's shenanigans, a memoir, and an illustrated early reader children's book about a eight year old transgender boy and his family.
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3 Responses to Butch-Butch Romance

  1. It’s interesting how people outside the community (and I guess in a way that sometimes includes gay men) are surprised that butch-butch dating is considered a bit taboo – and by extension, they’re sort of more accepting of it.

    A few years back I was an extra on an episode of the TV show Looking, and someone directing instructed the two other butch extras to hold hands and walk by in the background of a scene set at Dolores Park. (I don’t think these folks actually ended up being visible in the final cut.) At first I thought, oh, they’re showing a butch-butch couple as if it were nothing, just ordinary, how cutting edge! But I was processing this with a (straight) housemate who commented that probably to many people who are not queer, “a lesbian” is someone who looks butch, so it’s logical to them that a portrayal of “a lesbian couple” would be two butch-ish women.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. myiuki says:

    Love this! Thanks for starting to deconstruct these constructs.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. bone&silver says:

    Yeah, at 50, I’m SO TIRED of all the rules about what we can/can’t/should/shouldn’t do! For fux sake, can’t we just be free to love or fuck who we want? I’m a bit femme, and my girlfriend is def butch, but she has done butches, and *guess what* I’ve even done lovely soft girly men. It’s 2017: time for us all to get out of the categories the hetero world tries to put us in. And we certainly shouldn’t be putting our own community members in it- a couple of my old butch girlfriends loved butches more than femmes, it’s pretty common here in Australia. I never was fond of a uniform : ) Thanks for your honest post, I’m looking forward to following along, cheers G

    Like

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