Posted by: alphafemme | October 22, 2009

I am Femme: A Postscript

Reading the comments to my previous post helped me clarify my thoughts about this femme fantasy. So I thought I’d do it “out loud” here, too.

I don’t think the fantasy I described of being perfectly domestic, perfectly sexy, perfectly exactly for my lover is the only way I conceive of myself as a femme. I certainly have my own goals and ambitions and social life and tastes and enjoyments, and I certainly want to keep nurturing those and developing myself as a person. (As greg said in the comments, I absolutely need those days of knotting the hair back, donning the cracked boots and jumping in the jeep. Well, I don’t have long hair or a jeep, but that’s the general idea!) Writing here is one of the ways I do that; doing the rape counseling work is another; keeping in touch with my friends, applying for graduate school, playing piano, doing yoga… all of that is stuff I do to continually round myself out and build myself up. And it’s absolutely necessary for me to keep doing that, always. Always.

But the fantasy is there, and I want to explore it. Until now, I’ve been angrily pushing it away, thinking “no! that’s co-dependency! get out!” For example: I feel like baking. What do I bake? Into my head pops the thought: “mi’lady’s favorite is strawberry rhubarb pie…” and I get all warm and tingly and excited at the thought of surprising her with a warm homemade pie when I see her in the evening. But before I get too excited, I cut myself off. “Why do you always want to do what she likes? You don’t even like pie! Bake something you like!” And so I’ll probably end up compromising, I’ll bake something I know she’ll like but that I like too, and I make sure to bake it not with her specifically in mind. So when I see her, it’s “look! I baked cookies today! Have one, they’re yummy!” rather than “look! I baked your favorite pie today, just for you!”

It sounds so selfish. But I guess I’ve thought it to be necessary, as a way of coaching myself to pay attention to my own wants and needs, rather than always catering to other people’s. I think it has a lot to do with vulnerability for me, too. I get angry with myself for giving too much of myself away to someone else. I get afraid that the more I give away, the more I’m allowing her to hurt me. I’m giving her power. And maybe I’ve thought of it too as a zero-sum game — that if I give her the power to hurt me, I’m somehow lessening my own power to heal from hurt.

So, to continue with the previous example, when I bake mi’lady’s favorite pie, just because I know she likes it, I’m making myself vulnerable to her by doing something for her. It’s saying, “you matter so much to me that I’m going to bake you your favorite pie, just because.” And what if it’s not reciprocated? What if she doesn’t like it? Or doesn’t really notice? Or just says, “oh thanks baby, that’s so sweet” absent-mindedly. Clearly if I spend my afternoon baking her favorite kind of pie, then my afternoon was about her. But what if her afternoon wasn’t even remotely about me? What if I think about her more often than she thinks about me? What if what if what if. So stopping myself from baking that pie is a way of holding back, keeping things level.

And that’s what it is, it’s holding back. Because really? I want to bake that pie. I guess I have to throw those what-ifs to the wind. Because she does matter to me that much. And I want her to know it. I want her to feel it. That’s not co-dependent. That’s so far from c0-dependent. What it is is trust.

Love is not a zero-sum game. I need to practice believing that in how I go about loving. There’s plenty to go around. There’s enough for us both. And the main thing I am now slowly coming to realize is, if I do something for her, I’m not necessarily losing myself, or giving myself away. I could be, for sure, depending on the context. But I could also actually just be reaffirming myself. So the next step I guess? Working all of this into my relationship with mi’lady in a way that feels right. Stay tuned, this could be a wild ride.



  1. Man, you’re a smart lady. And a brave one! I have that internal discourse/fantasy as well and I embrace it for all that it’s worth…I am ALSO as independent as it comes. For me, those two things don’t run contradictory.

    And yeah, yoga helps!

    P.S. you’re post about mirror sex – SO HOT!

    • thanks!

      also, I’d be really interested in hearing how you manage both the independent streak and the fantasy of nurturing/being “for” your lover. if you’re up for it :)

  2. Hm….let me see…I am a Women’s Studies major so your “fantasy” was taught to me as being the white man’s enslavement of women….

    Here is the deal, if a woman CHOOSES to take part in her fantasy because she cares about the person so much that she just wants to do that, than by all means do it!!! It is a different story when women THINK they HAVE TO BE LIKE THAT just because that is the way they were socialized….

    I love my autonomy , I like my independence, I like knowing that I am in charge….but I will tell you that your fantasy is part of my ultimate goal in life! LOL….I have this amazing woman I love and I want to do all those things for her because I WANT to….I want her to know how much she means to me and how much I want everything to be wonderful for us and I do not mind doing all those things for her because I want to to them…

    I am really femme, and it is something she loves about me…she is has more of the masculine energy going on and I think is is sexy as hell….

    I can change my own tires, caulk a tub, replace the roofing with no problem….I have no problem with getting a little dirty…it can be LOADS of fun…but I know that she likes to do things like that and I will ask her to do things like that even though I am fully capable of doing them….like you said it is trust and why not trust yourself and the one you are with, why not trust who YOU are and share that with the one you love….it is about leading a healthy, balanced life, and there sure as hell is NO shame in being a domestic queen in four inch heels because you want to be….

    PS the Mirror post….HAWT DAMN! My girlfriend and I will installing mirrored closet doors…or bed faces them..I am looking forward to some good times!

    • Yep, exactly, that’s part of why I was so uncomfortable with that fantasy for so long. It seemed like somehow enacting that fantasy would be giving up my autonomy, and isn’t that what feminism fights for? Women’s autonomy? (Among other things.)

      But yes, if it’s a real desire of mine, then why the hell not submit to it? If it’s consensual and based on trust and communication, there can’t be anything wrong with it, and if something happens that feels wrong, well then, the trust and communication part should clear that up.

      Thanks for commenting!

  3. I had the same thought as Esmeralda, but I’m sure she expressed it one hundred times better than I could have done. There’s a huge difference between wanting this fantasy for your own and feeling like you have to go through the motions for someone else’s expectation.

    Again, I feel like you’ve written a post from my heart, but just from the femme perspective. As a butch, I want to meet someone who has this fantasy, because it’s mine, too – to have my girl meet me at the door when I get home from work with a drink for me and my favorite dinner in the oven.

    But I feel selfish for wanting that, and I’ve felt self-conscious about the ramifications. Am I being selfish for wanting that? Am I doing something that is undercutting her individuality and strength? And am I somehow creating co-dependent situation – for her OR me – by wanting that? I don’t want to come off as too stereotypically 1950s, as that seems to be a sore spot in terms of women’s rights. I try to offset it by reminding myself that that’s not ALL I want; I want her to be independent, sharp, and spontaneous – in every way my match. Which isn’t at all the domestic drone.

    And your line – “I get afraid that the more I give away, the more I’m allowing her to hurt me” – hit home for me, because I feel the same way about receiving. I have a fear that receiving too much leaves me too vulnerable. So we’re all just trying to sort it out the best we can, eh?

    Wow, and now I’ll end my temporary commandeering of your blog comments. Thanks for this great piece of writing.

  4. Well G, I do not think you are being selfish for wanting this a woman who has that fantasy at all! I think it is safe to say that everyone who wants a partner in life (straight or gay) wants someone is going to WANT to take of them in those ways….

    Every woman is a unique, lovely, crazy individual…we have intricate parts that make us these amazing beings right….this fantasy is only a small part of the whole, just like being gay is a small part of the whole….

    I think that when you find the right person it is inevitable for you not to want that from the person or want to be that person for them…

    I know I want to do these things for my love because she means that much to me that I am willing to show her all my intricate little parts, and I trust her enough to know that she will not take advantage of me for opening myself like that to her…

    …just like she loves me enough to understand that these things I do for her do not solely define me in our relationship and that what she does for me or who she is for me does not defines who she is in the relationship or who she is as a person…they are just smaller parts of the larger whole…

    It is a give and take, I give to her in different ways, just like she does to me and we both take in different ways….

    Like Alphafemme said it is about trust and trusting your partner enough to do this for them and knowing that you are opening a huge door of vulnerabilities in the process….but I would like to add that it also has a lot to do with respect for yourself, for the relationship and for your partner…if you respect yourself enough to embrace who you and what you want, what you do..then having this fantasy unfold should not be a problem, just like knowing and having your partner respect who you are and what you want is important and having your partner respect you and KNOW that what you do comes from a place of love and that they are incredibly lucky for having someone care so much to do these things for them and having enough respect for the relationship and for the other person to not take advantage of the situation….

    I think I just rambled my ass of here LOL…

  5. […] the meantime, see this reaction to my posts on growing into my identity as femme (see here and here), and my response to it in the comments. (As of this posting, my comment hasn’t yet been […]

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