Posts Tagged ‘ideneity’

gender identity vs sexual identity

October 31, 2007  |  essays  |  5 Comments

Within a larger post about the Tila Tequila reality dating show on MTV discussing butch identity, a reader on After Ellen mentioned Sugarbutch:

[F]or some, “butch” is a gender identity, and for others it is a sexual kink (for more on this idea, check out the totally awesome sugarbutch.blogspot.com. but probably only if you’re a grownup as it has some erotica alongside the political/language stuff). So being butch could be interpreted as being overtly sexual.

And, wow! I am flattered to be mentioned! But, I’m confused. Do I explain butch as a “sexual identity” here, as opposed to a gender identity? This is definitely a sex blog – when it boils down to it – my ‘sex, gender, and relationship’ chronicles. And yes, butch is a huge piece of that, and yes, butch is a huge piece of how I communicate physically, and sex is the primary place in my life where I practice that physical communication overtly.

But: butch is a gender identity. Always, I think. I’m not even sure what it would mean to have butch as a “sexual identity” without the gender identity. That even reminds me of that horrible phrase “butch in the streets, femme in the sheets” (which I’ve written about in a post called what gender is).

I’m also not sure how all my elaborate discussions of gender expression and the identity development proces would lead someone to conclude this about me … is it because I talk about sex and gender together, often interwoven? Because being butch is part of my sex life?

I so appreciate the shout-out. I think it’s part of that James Dean complex of being misunderstood – I don’t think I agree – or, perhaps more accurately, I’m not sure I understand – so it’s weird to hear someone else describing me that way.