journal entries

a couple things to clarify

Re: why we need to examine our lives:I do not think that heterosexual relationships are bad. All I’m trying to get at is that in this culture, in this time and geographic location, we have culturally dictated gender roles for men and women, males and females, masculine-types and feminine-types. And any or all of us can buy into these gender roles, reproduce them, and limit ourselves and our loved ones by forcing us all into positions of responsibility that detract from our Selves, our unique beings, our authenticity, our integrity. This happens for everyone, because of the ways that gender is so extraordinarily prevalent in every single aspect of our culture.

In that examination of gender dynamics in the queer (specifically, lesbian) communities as a reproduction of male/female gender roles, the point I’m trying to make is that just because one is butch or femme doesn’t mean that one is not reproducing these roles. Sometimes we are. There is a lot of nasty garbage that comes along with compulsory gender, for heteros or queers or anyone in between, and if we don’t examine how gender works and functions and interacts, I don’t believe we will get to the place where gender is liberatory, as opposed to limiting.

Re: top 10 things I love about femmes:

One of the things I wrote is: “The struggles with not being visibly out, which also brings the privilege of hearing what people say when they don’t know someone queer is listening.”

Here’s what I am getting at: the bottom line is, as a butch, as a visible queer, I don’t have this ability. I don’t hear what people say when they don’t know somebody gay is listening to them, and that has made for some fascinating conversations with my (femme & passing) lovers & friends. I find it interesting. It’s a place where butches and femmes differ greatly, and that’s all I was trying to acknowledge – unique pieces of a femme identity. By writing that post, I tried to say, hey, I see you, I notice you doing this, I actively witness you: I validate your identity.

I got a bit of grief for this statement. I used words like envy and privilege, which I definitely understand are loaded. I do not want to glamorize this aspect of femme identity, which I do absolutely understand is very complicated, and which is the source of pain and sorrow and frustration.

Okay, that’s all for now. Just a few clarifications. I hate being misunderstood. It is one of the biggest reasons I am a writer: to make myself clear.

Published by Sinclair Sexsmith

Sinclair Sexsmith (they/them) is "the best-known butch erotica writer whose kinky, groundbreaking stories have turned on countless queers" (AfterEllen), who "is in all the books, wins all the awards, speaks at all the panels and readings, knows all the stuff, and writes for all the places" (Autostraddle). ​Their short story collection, Sweet & Rough: Queer Kink Erotica, was a 2016 finalist for a Lambda Literary Award, and they are the current editor of the Best Lesbian Erotica series. They identify as a white non-binary butch dominant, a survivor, and an introvert, and they live outside Seattle as an uninvited settler on traditional, ancestral, & unceded Snoqualmie land.

2 thoughts on “a couple things to clarify”

  1. tongue-tied says:

    i've been ruminating along the lines that not all hetero-norm is misogynist, not all that is butch or femme or sissy or top or bottom or flaming or whatever is a caricature or mimicry. when we slap words around things, sometimes it's a disservice more than a revelation. compartmentalization is useful, yes, but not the answer. the map is not the territory.

  2. Jennifer says:

    RE: Top 10 things I love about Femmes:One of the things *I* love about being a femme is connected to number 10 on that list, in that yes, I too love it that I can see a hot man and an unassuming butch in the same vicinity and my tuning fork of attraction vibrates for that butch woman every time! What I *hate* is that she is often not tuned to *me* and therefore misses out completely on that "she wants me moment" which is so good for one's ego. You know Sin, when you said that you love it that we femmes get dressed up, playing with our gender in a way that specifically compliments your gender expression in a subversive way? Well, I feel that part of being femme is being a reward to butch women for having the courage to self actualize. Both "camps" can and often do "tone it down" but by being my high femme self and recognizing and appreciating a fine butch woman as her authentic self it feels like a reward of sorts. Does this make sense? We're both rewarded, but I guess I feel like yea, if you're going to go that far out there and slick back your hair like that or not be afraid to adopt that style of being that is uniquely, gloriously butch, you're going to attract the attention of the women who have resisted the pressure to cover their femininity with the more visible types of lesbian presentation. The women who love their girly hair accessories, lip gloss and skirts, almost as much as they love their hot, studly lovers. A reward. A truly compatable coupling. A "SHE wants me" moment if you're paying attention and not dismissing us as straight like the majority of our fellow lesbians.

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