four notes, plus a question for the butch gals

I’ve got a rather random collection of notes for you tonight… 

1. Desperately seeking…? You know, it always fascinates me to see the WordPress list of search terms people have used that have led them to this blog. Sometimes they’re completely random, like, say, “sex.” How many Google pages did some poor fucker click through before arriving here? He must have been at it for weeks! Sometimes they’re intriguingly specific, such as yesterday’s “i want to date a dominant bdsm geek.” Wowza. Wonder what else they found. (I’m probably not your gal, but good luck, my friend!) And sometimes I see increased traffic to a specific post, and that’s always interesting. Lately, for example, that post I wrote a couple of weeks back about my leather gloves has been getting lots of hits, and it’s because there seem to be a whackload of people out there doing searches for things like “black leather gloves” or “leather glove sex” or other such things. Who knew there was such an interest?

2. Sex toy snobbery. The Erotica Readers’ and Writers’ Association sends out calls for submissions on a regular basis to the people on their mailing list. Most of the time they’re for erotica anthologies, as you might imagine, but sometimes they post other stuff that’s tangentially related to erotica. Last week it was a call for marketing copywriters for a huge online sex toy boutique. I kept it handy because it occurred to me that hey, I do copywriting and I’m a sex geek, so why the hell not check it out – it’s always nice to get paid for that sort of thing. Especially the “some light research may be required” part. Heh.

Anyway, I finally logged onto the site just now, and… well, it’s confirmed. I’m a true sex toy snob. To the point where I simply cannot stomach the idea of writing copy that would sell somebody a cheaply made, toxic, overpriced jelly toy with some schlocky and embarrassingly misspelled name. Can’t. Do. It. I think I could write perky and effective copy for a sweater I personally thought was ugly, or a car I’d never drive, or (as I did this week) a stack of tourist destinations I’ve got no interest in visiting. But copy that would basically tell someone to spend $79.99 to stick some subpar piece of crap into their orifices and call it pleasure? Gah. It offends my very core. Guess I’m not gonna get rich on dildo descriptions anytime soon. (And don’t even get me started on the horrid pink plastic floggers… I shudder at the thought.)

3. The perfect pairing (or, double the fun). So my honey and I have finally found and signed for an apartment in Toronto. Woohoo! That means I have a move-away date, which is always exciting. New adventures, here I come. The reason I bring this up at all, though, is to mention the most absolutely perfect going-away gift I could ever have hoped for – which my good friend Jacqueline St-Urbain orchestrated and the BOG (Board of Governors) of the Unholy Army of the Night presented to me last weekend just before the last play party I will ever host in my current home. Seriously, folks, it’s a gift that must have been made with me in mind. Drum roll, please… it’s a polka-dot high-heeled shoe made entirely of chocolate. Oh. My. Goodness. It’s not quite big enough for my actual foot, but it is big enough that I can dangle it from my toes while someone’s happy little mouth enjoys the heel. I can’t wait.

4. My word against theirs. How many of you out there play Scrabulous on Facebook? I’ve just caught the bug, and am thoroughly enjoying it. But there’s nothing like a good solid round of online Scrabble to remind me of just how much of my queer vocabulary is not recognized by any mainstream dictionaries. Like, whaddaya mean I can’t use the word “boi”? Or the possessive pronoun “zir”? Come on, now! And I’m not even Pagan, but I know that “magick” is a perfectly acceptable and frequently used spelling of the word, but Scrabulous does not recognize the K. Yeesh. At least they’re okay with the words “dyke” and “queer.” Doubtless they’re thinking of dams (of the water-holding variety, not the dental) and of a synonym for “odd or unusual,” but perhaps that’s just one more argument for appropriating existing vocabulary for our own causes. Too bad it takes the dictionaries decades to catch up.

5. Camp and comfort. A question for the butch or otherwise masculine-identified women out there, and possibly for some trans guys. How do you feel when you’re in social situations with large numbers of gay men? And why do you feel that way?

I found myself in such a situation at a holiday party last weekend, and I realized that I felt perfectly comfortable. But I also realized I had turned my camp crank up to max (and even that isn’t particularly high, relatively speaking) and interacted with all the fabulous fags from a place of flaming femme. Not so much femme in the “I wear lipstick and my strap-on matches my dress” sense, but femme in the “Daahhling, that tie is diviiine! What a great colour for you. Yes, I’m just doing splendidly these days, found a swank little pad, yes, we’re very happy. Do drop me a line when you’re next coming to town. The shoes? Oh, they’re from last year, but yes, aren’t they just scrumptious? How are you and Bruce doing, anyway? I loove the haircut. Is that caramelized onion on the hors d’oeuvres? Hey, is that Bob over there? What a hot new boyfriend he has! Just look at those shoulders.” And so on, and so forth. I do not know why I morph into a drag queen – or perhaps simply a femme fag in my own right? – in such situations. It just happens, and it’s been happening as long as I can remember.

At this particular party, same as every year, I was one of perhaps four women in a sea of well-dressed thirty-plus middle-class gay men – you know, professors, choreographers, therapists, doctors, lawyers. I was simultaneously conscious of the difference and yet completely in my element, and for some reason in the middle of it all, it occurred to me that a lot of the butch women I know would be distinctly uncomfortable there. I couldn’t put my finger on why, and I still can’t, but I’ve now asked three or four such wonderful creatures how they would feel, hypothetically, in such a situation – and every one of them has said that yes, they would be uncomfortable. Interestingly, so far none of them has been able to say why, either. 

So: over to you, gentlewomen. What’s your take on it? Do you love the gay boys when they come in large numbers, or find it hard to connect? Or both? How does that work out for you in practical terms? Does your gender play into it at all, and if so, how? I’m intrigued.

That’s all for now, folks.

Oh, just a quick scheduling note – with the upcoming move, a stupidly heavy workload and visits from both of my bois, it may be hard for me to post regularly, so I may drop off for a while. Hope not.

6 thoughts on “four notes, plus a question for the butch gals

  1. RE: Point 5 – Camp and comfort

    Interesting. The only contexts in which I’ve been outnumbered by gay men were during shows at Mado’s, when I was the only drag king among a bunch of drag queens. It seems I alternate between “sister” mode (helping zip dresses, engaging in gossip) and “leacherous guy” mode (sexually harassing the queens . . . all in jest, of course). I love to flirt with gay men as a guy, even though most of the time, they still don’t perceive me as a guy. Overall, the stereotypically femmey gay guys make me feel more masculine in comparison, which is not a bad feeling at all. I like to treat people like “ladies”, if that’s what they’re expressing.

  2. I’m a passing butch, a drag king who is described as ‘effeminate’ and am frequently surrounded by gay men. Generally when I’m around gay men they cruise me. Especially the older ones. I like it, but it feels a bit dangerous because I’m not the male-bodied twink they think I am, but it feels good to be objectified like that. It make me feel even more butch and validates the old masculinity. Many of the butches I’ve known love to be surrounded by gay men as well. Of course some of them love masculinity exclusively, so I think that may have something to do with it.

    As a side note, many of the visits to your previous post may have been from my blog as I linked to it (to wonderful response.)

  3. Thanks for the responses, guys. Very interesting that you both have such different experiences, and that they’re also both so different from mine and from those the other people I talked to described. Yay for variety!

    Anyone else? I’m thoroughly intrigued.

  4. Well, I’m a little late on this, but I thought I’d add my bits about it. As someone who used to be a Capital L lesbian and a Capital D dyke, it’s a bit funny to now be, for most intents and purposes, a gay man socially with a queer sexuality. There used to be many times when I noodled in my head and realized there were many people in a room and not a Y chromosome to be had. These days, I’m at the same time very aware of my trans status and very happily stealth [god, how I loathe that word.]…It’s not that I make Some Big Thing about my desire for stealthhood. It’s that sometimes my being trans isn’t all that relevant to whatever it is that’s happening and I’ve been thinking lately about time and place sorts of decisions.

    The men around me who are friendly or are friends of mine make an effort to keep me in the herd so to speak when they see me self-isolating. To them, it doesn’t look like I’m the transdude self-isolating in the corner but sometimes that’s how it can be on the inside. Though, truthfully, I think I might be like that at some point with just about anyone, gay male or not.

    I am also very aware of my trans status in times of extra handsy people, when someone thinks I’m hot, or when I find a particular person hot, because there are always limitations and fears that arise.

  5. Just noticed your comment – if you don’t mind, email me and I’ll send a link to my blog. Much obliged!

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