gender is a sex toy

August 17, 2007  |  dirty stories

My favorite part of last night was the way she said please. Please, please, like a whisper, or a prayer. At the bar, she told me was disappointed I hadn’t emailed her back.

“Ah,” I said. I didn’t have a good excuse. But when I discovered she’d be at this party I made note, and made sure to be there.

“I kind of want to go talk to her,” I told my friend, who I’d arrived with.

“Do it, chickenshit,” she said, “just go do it, no big deal … ” and proceeded to say something else supportive, made to boost me up, but I got distracted: she walked up to me, put her hand on my arm, and said, “Sorry to interrupt …” Oh no, no problem. We were only talking about how I should go talk to you, anyway.

I told her I’d Googled her after we met. She was embarrassed. She had Googled me as well, made a reference to the video of my spoken word she’d found.

I told her I’d been up to my knees in gender theory this week, trying to uncover and then articulate the reasons why butch and femme were subversive. I asked if she identified as femme – I would put her in that vague category, red strappy sandals, silver hoop earrings, but I know some people hate being categorized.

“I suppose I look femme,” she said, “but I don’t think I really act femme, and I certainly don’t fuck like a femme.”

We got interrupted, but I wanted to ask her what she meant. Or rather, I didn’t want her to tell me, I wanted to find out. I took it to mean that she’s not a “pillow queen,” which most would say derogatorily when referencing a femme in the bedroom. And that is a moment where butch/femme is operating under the assumption as a reproduction of the heteronormative paradigm, and not necessarily a re-visioning of the compulsory gender hierarchy.

And this also reminds me of another point I haven’t yet discussed during this gender conversation – what I believe gender is and what kind of role it should play in my life. (More on both of these soon. There’s so much to say and explore about gender.)

Another friend of hers said she wasn’t so into gender. “I hate it when it takes girls like three hours to get ready,” she said. “I’d rather spend two and a half hours enjoying your company, and half an hour getting ready.”

“I can get that,” I said, “but I also want to acknowledge how much fucking effort it takes to be femme. It isn’t just roll-outta-bed, tussle-the-hair-with-product like it is for us” – I indicated myself and the friend – “it takes a lot more work. And I gatta say, I love what that work creates. It’s an art form, a creative expression. And, not to sound egotistical, but I also kind of see it as for me, something to get my attention, get me going, and I love that – love that I’m worth that effort.”

“Plus,” I added, “I can enjoy her company while she’s getting ready, can’t I?”

Clearly, this was the foreplay.

“So,” she said later, after we’d been sharing life stories, still drinking pints at the bar, “when are you going to kiss me?”

Then my hand on her cheek. Soft lips, and oh she tasted fantastic.

I felt oh so rude, having pretty much completely ditched my very good friend and a gaggle of other queer girls (some of whom I knew, and others of which seemed fantastic! I wanted to meet them, hand out, socialize! So easily distracted by the hot girl … ), but I didn’t let that stop me, and we took a cab to my house.

We were both tipsy. She looked at my bookcases, went through my iTunes (Animaniacs, Gretchen Wilson, Dolly Parton, Garrison Starr … and I discovered that my sexmix is seriously outdated. Seriously. I should’ve just put on Morphine. It was laughable, honestly). And then we were naked, in my bed.

“Lube?” she asked.

“I’ll get it … ”

“No, let me. Where?”

“In the toolbox, under the bed.”

“The toolbox. Of course.”

I leaned over to pull it out. She fisted me easily, though it was too much to sustain for very long. But oh it is sometimes so lovely to be filled, stretched.

Later, fingers not enough, I said: “Can I get my cock out yet?”

“Oh god yes. Please.” That please again. The way she whispers it. Makes my stomach contract as if punched.

I like the way she moved. The way her body curved, the way she wasn’t shy but would put herself where she wanted to be. I would probably call her more of a top, though we didn’t discuss those identities. And it made me realize – or perhaps remember – that I don’t really surrender well. My impulse is to take, to overpower, to do the throw-down. I have a harder time as the one being thrown down. Not sure why. There are certainly times that I can let go, give in, get fucked – but honestly, if I hadn’t made her come yet, I feel distracted by the want of that, the desire to do so.

Given the option of me getting off and not her, or her getting off and not me, I would be much more satisfied with the latter. I get such satisfaction out of making girls come.

It was hard to get her off. “We’ve learned a valuable lesson about alcohol,” she said. “Four beers is too many?” I asked. “Four beers was what it took for me to ask you to take me home,” she answered, “so it was necessary.”

[Another tangent: I actually find that I rarely get off - or get her off - the first time I'm with a girl. There's a learning curve to discovering her body and what she likes. Which is yet another reason why I'm not so good at one-night stands, I like to build that understanding, that communication, between our bodies.]

Pillow talk consisted of our favorite books. The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russel, Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger, and Crush by Richard Siken, I said. I talked about sci-fi and fantasy, her genres. What I liked and disliked. She said she had one in particular I needed to read. This means I just may see her again.

I walked her to the subway at two am to wait with her because I knew it’d be a while before the train came. As we walked, I switched sides with her so her heels wouldn’t get caught in the sidewalk subway grate, and it was a beautiful little gender dance, gender connection, my brief protection of the ways she presents her sexuality and desire through her gender.

I really love those moments. Gender is such a sex toy.

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9 Comments


  1. Beautifully written. Yay for femmes who don't *quite* identify as such (myself included) and for exciting sex, and apparently now, for fisting (one of my more recent posts).Sounds like a wonderful time, and a wonderful lady, and that you played it quite well. Keep us updated!

  2. 1.) Did you know they are going to turn "The Time Traveler's Wife" into a movie? Usually when I hear that a favorite book of mine is going to be made into a movie (Girl Interrupted, Lord of the Rings, Tipping the Velvet, Fingersmith) I'm a little worried that a lot will get lost in the translation from words to actions. But for some reason, I didn't get that sensation at all this time, perhaps because Rachel MacAdams will be playing Clare. I am excited to see what the producers do with the text. And even if they end up butchering the movie nothing they can do will ever ruin the book.2.) Synchronicity: I started writing something last night on the same topic you're talking about here, about how I try not to get too hung up on labels but at the same time I don't really identify as femme. Because although I am absolutely all girl, and I crave the gentleman to complement my feminine, I've somehow wound up with this idea that femme means diva, pillow princess, high maintainence, etc. And that is just not me. Also, I know you're femme if you spend hours getting ready and emerge looking great, but are you still femme if you spend twenty minutes getting ready and still come out flawless?3.) I'm jealous.4.) I think it's brilliant when someone can feel complete and utter satisfaction without physically orgasming. A friend of mine has been dating a new girl for nearly three months now, and the girl has yet to make her come. And while three months is about eighty days too long, in my opinion, it's important to recognize all the other ways a woman can get off mentally, emotionally, spiritually and psychologically.

  3. Jake – 1 – Rachel MacAdams will be playing Clare? hmm. good match actually. I'm pissed they're making it a movie, for the record. The Sparrow is being made into a film too.2 – yeah, from what I know of you, you seem absolutely femme. I think it's really important not to let lables get in the way of your personality (I've got a post in the works about that). femme does NOT mean diva, pillow princess, high maintance, etc. reclaim it, use it for yourself. take twenty minutes, take ZERO minutes to get ready and you'll still be femme, whether you're in sweatpants and a tee shirt or a fancy party dress…4 – sex for me is really about getting someone else off … I guess that's why I'm a top? I like the focus on *their* pleasure.3 – no need to be … :)

  4. I will say right now that the only book that was better as a movie was "Aimee & Jaguar". Have you seen it/read it? But even though it sometimes works out, and I can sometimes get on board with it if I feel the actors are worthy of playing the parts they've been assigned, traditionally I don't think books should be converted to film. There is just no way for a film to capture every single detail expressed in the book. No way. Doesn't mean the movie isn't enjoyable in it's own right but like I said, too much gets lost in the translation from novel to script to silver screen. What is The Sparrow about? What are your other favorite books? Feel free to email me if this is too off topic for a sex blog, although literature and lust tend do to go hand in hand for me. Words and wanting, you know how it goes.

  5. You have Animaniacs on your iTunes? That's fabulous!(I know, I know…that wasn't really the point of this post, but I love that little detail.)Oh, and I'm going to be in your fair city in the morning. Any suggestions for the best coffee in Midtown?

  6. In response to Jake and Sinclair;being relatively new to the queer community (well, to being considered part of it. as a bi/pansexual person, I was always seen as an ally in college, rather than actually queer…although I really am fairly queer if you ask me), I never had connected femme with pillow princess…or even heard the term until this slightly butch woman teaching my sexual minorities class used the term. I don't understand why it's associate with femmes – hell, I know straight men that are pillow princesses with the idea of "let me lie back, and you can do all the work" being a good night in bed.I never thought of myself as femme until I was at Dinah Shore for work this year…I don't wear much make up, and I'm not really feminine per se (I've just discovered foundation, and i don't wear heels often due to my knees and hips)…but the people at Dinah helped me realize the difference between Femme and feminine. I identify as a Femme at times because I enjoy dressing up for my partner (though it would never take 3 hours!) and to have them appreciate me. I wear garter belts and stockings, and red lipstick…but not all the time. Does one need to be a Femme all the time, or just occasionally to "truly" (whatever that means) be a Femme?I hate the phrase "a butch in the streets, femme in the sheets" because it places value on each…is there something wrong with being a Femme in the sheets? (I believe J would argue not…)And now I'm just babbling…blame the theraflu…

  7. I don't like the saying "butch in the streets, femme in the sheets"… because it implies that butch always means top, and that femmes always means bottom… thus that masculinity means top, and femininity means bottom. Without that assumption the saying wouldn't really imply anything.

  8. "I get such satisfaction out of making girls come."amen, sister!

  9. I love the line and plan to shamelessly borrow it for some opporune or possibly inappropriate time. "Gender is a sextoy".

    New to understanding anything about gender much less queer issues from a lesbian perspective, I would have said that both my wife and a friend of ours were clearly femmes even without knowing what the term meant at all. Interestingly both my wife and our friend for whom she has such an affinity with, were seen as tomboys and dressed very much the part. Although they have both learned to apply the make-up and do the hair, their inner beauty doesn't require it of them, but they do anyway. Humans in general are a lot more complicated than any cursory look at appearances.

    As I came out first to myself then my wife of 15 years recently that I was a crossdresser (of sorts, pretty tentative and shame ridden about it) I worried a bit as I met others in the gender queer community that have serious societal and internal struggles with gender expression that the delight my wife and I had in bed with it at times, was insensitive if some of our transgendered friends were to see it. Its good to see that others can enjoy it as a playful extension of ourselves.

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