ImageAs the internet is insecure, you should write nothing on it you would not write on a postcard. So says a guide to net use written in the 90s, shared on a yahoo group this year. That was never my way.

I like the lesbian blog Nothing Nice, Nothing Sweet. Some of her pictures I find bizarre, but this entry I find a complete turn on. Since seeing it I have returned to one website source of her photos, and been overwhelmed, and wept with the shame of it more than once. There’s another truth of the internet, it assuages the most recondite tastes.

ImageThough not particularly unusual in my case. It is recognised in lesbian culture in the words “butch” and “femme”, and generally with heterosexual couples in the phrase “she wears the trousers in that relationship”. When I was seeing C we referred more than once to the relationship of George Sand and Frederic Chopin.

ImageIn the conservative circles I come from, it is not admired. It is a guilty secret spoken of in mocking whispers. I have imbibed that, and so it is only now, aged 46, that I say, this is who I am. This is what I desire. This I know.

I thought myself asexual for a time, and now believe I was in denial rather than asexual. My shame was so strong that I repressed my sexuality. I experience no sense of choice in the matter, if I could change it I would, and being unable to change it and only suffering pain in the attempt to deny it I now try admitting it, which can hardly be worse. If my sexuality is not innate it is created by unconscious forces on which my conscious resistance has had no effect. I find ridiculous the new age reincarnation theory that we, as angels, choose the life experiences we will learn from in this particular journey in a body, but it has the value that it helps one to accept what must be accepted.

A gay friend who died years ago told me that he had been both masculine and feminine in his semi-permanent relationships- I am not sure which words he used- and he found that moving from one role in one relationship to the Imageother in another, he felt changes in his personality, and in the location and effect of erogenous zones on his body. Anyone who has experienced that or knows how common it is please leave a comment. I do not think that is my inner self. My attempts at expressing conventional male heterosexuality might have worked better if it were.

I am 46, and making the kind of realisation that a lesbian brought up in a conservative Evangelical household in Texas might make in her early 20s. I don’t know what to do with it, apart from that resistance does no good. I come out to myself.

I have had two cuddles in the past month- cuddles rather than hugs, with friends- where I have just dissociated and stiffened. Just possibly, acceptance might make a cuddle a pleasant thing. You might just see a Truffaut gamine in that last picture, but I don’t.

4 thoughts on “Butches

  1. Well typed, well said, well done.
    Much applause and a great honor to be mentioned by you.
    You find my photos bizarre with an occasional turn on, as it should be, that’s healthy.

    Consider getting to know DE Butch the photographer/creator of It’s All Butch Calendars.
    She’s a great BUtch Womyn.


  2. Shame we have such shame, we waste time with it. Is the shame over sex anything much? Not really, compared with the real shame of hurting others, causing war, leaving behind broken-ness and hurt. Again, as in so many areas of life, whose business is it, after all, except ours and maybe, one or two significant others?

    I have never really got along well with that very British shame, the one about sex, which means that entire novels, plays, books and series of books are predicated on one shameful – sexual – secret. She is butch. She is not really my sister, she is my daughter and no, you can’t fall in love with her, or have sex with her, because you are my son/she is your half sister etc. It is the kind of stuff that Libby Purves writes about, and which leaves me vaguely unimpressed. So what, I think? There is very little hurt here, very little physical abuse……so I say, we just are as we are.

    And yes, roles can shift, in the bedroom, as well as anywhere else. Man and Woman is always a mix of both, and how we feel about that can vary enormously. The lines which are drawn around our spirits to house our bodies are exact, precise, but also shifting, because our emotions, and our needs shift all the time. That’s my take on it, anyway.

    Lots of love, any way you like it.

    xxxx 🙂


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