“I remember when you bent me over the railing,” I whispered with a giggle.
“Do you want me to do that again?” She asked with a seductive smile.
My body was screaming, “Yes!” But that’s not what came out of my mouth. Batting my eyelashes coquettishly, I said slowly, “Maybe.”
She rolled her eyes, sighed in frustration and said, “Ugh there you go again. You femmes and that ‘maybe.’ We just talked about this today!”
It was a Friday night and my sweetie and I were snuggling in bed. The conversation we were having was an extension of the one we had earlier that day. The one in which I shared with her how some femmes in butch-femme relationships tend to follow the gender constructs laid out by society—nice women don’t fuck and by extension nice femmes don’t fuck.
Even though LGBT and queer relationships challenge societal norms in many ways, we as feminine women tend to buy into the tiresome tropes being sold by churches and misogynists alike and that is that a woman’s sexuality does not belong to her. Today I saw this vulgar and offensive meme on Facebook: “No hymen, no ring.” The idea being that a woman’s value is tied to her virginity. So because a woman has sex outside of marriage, she’s not wife material. Ummmm gross! Interestingly, men are not the only ones peddling this foolishness. Many of us femmes are complicit in our own sexual oppression.
What I mean is that those of us who are in relationships with more aggressive or masculine-identified women have sex lives that reflect the same idea that a patriarchal society has peddled for years—nice femmes don’t fuck.
I think we are also playing into heterosexual confusion about what lesbians do in bed together. One of the most frequent questions being, who is the “man” in the relationship? Of course there are no men, that’s the whole point. But the underlying question is who is the more dominant one because in Western society, despite the feminist revolution, we somehow continue to believe that someone has to be “in charge” of the relationship or call all the shots.
How do nice femmes perpetuate that idea in bed? We do that by not voicing what we want in bed, not taking control of our own pleasure, not knowing our own bodies or even being more aggressive in bed. As I look back at my history with more dominant women, I know that has been true for me. I have mostly been a very submissive and non-vocal participant in my own sex life. Even though I tend to be a very progressive thinker who goes against the grain in every way, when I get in bed with a more aggressive woman, I start following the nice femme script.
And it looks a lot like a scene from a bad heterosexual porno: I don’t initiate sex, I immediately get on my back, I don’t vocalize my desires and fantasies, I don’t always reciprocate oral sex and I focus more on her taking her pleasure and use the excuse that it takes too long for me to orgasm so I give up on trying to have one.
Of course my sex life doesn’t look 100 percent like this anymore, but I was shocked to realize that I had this mental carryover from traditional heterosexist society. And how does this impact my partner? My sweetie explained that it was one of the things that she hated about sex with femmes. She shared how uncomfortable it was to always initiate and how it was constantly an opportunity for rejection.
So of course she found it annoying when I brought up how she bent me over the stairs and fucked me senseless then refused to claim my own desire for more of the same. Why? Because I was again playing the coy femme who would not vocalize a simple sexual desire. I brought up her fucking me on the stairs while we were in bed for a reason. And then backed away when she asked me if I wanted more of the same. Why? It’s simple really. The millions of messages we get every day are powerful and if you’ve been hearing those same messages for decades, it’s going to be kind of hard to unlearn some of the most persistent messages.