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Friday, July 22, 2011

127

Bisexuals, Clingy Exes, and the Return of the Heart/Vagina

I'm a woman in my mid-thirties. I consider myself bisexual and have for many years, though my sexual experience is limited and I've never had a relationship a woman. It's not because I didn't want to, it was simply a matter of not meeting an available woman I was interested in. I've had sex with two women and both were straight (the first was the adventurous type who will try anything once; the second was trying to spice up her marriage). I've kissed/made out with several women, but for most of them it was typical college experimentation and/or male attention-getting. I enjoyed those experiences, but it wasn't the same for me as it was for them. I always wanted something deeper.

I'm divorced. When I was married, I regretted not dating women when I'd had the chance. After we split up, I was happy to have the chance again, but ended up falling in love with a man a year later. I'm still with him and have the same regrets (I know it's my own fault). Things are rocky now, so there's a possibility this relationship will end. If that happens, I'm determined to make a greater effort to meet dateable ladies.

There are a lot of stigmas about bisexuals: that they can't be monogamous, that they're confused, promiscuous, indiscriminating, or attention-seeking. Many people don't believe there is even a gray area, that you're gay or straight and there's no in between. It's something that worries me about entering the broader dating pool. I know that I'm not bi-curious or frivolous or unsure of who I am. I know that I won't allow a woman to fall in love with me only to leave her for a man once the thrill wears off. I know this isn't just experimental for me. In fact, I'm more attracted to women than men, and I suspect that I might lean much more toward the lesbian end of the spectrum than I thought. The truth is, there's no way to know for sure without actual relationship experience, because sex is great but it's just sex, and there's so much more to it than that.

I know I'm asking you to make broad generalizations here, but generally how do most lesbians feel about dating someone like me? Would they run screaming or would they give me a chance? Is it less of an issue because I'm more mature and not a college girl? What would it take for me to convince them that I'm for real? Would they always be afraid in the back of their mind that I would "switch back"? How paranoid am I? (That last one was purely rhetorical.)

Well, most lesbians I know would have serious qualms about dating someone who is currently in a relationship with a man. You kind of glossed over that part, but it's not entirely insignificant. Assuming your impending dude-ectomy is successful, however, I don't see any reason why you shouldn't be up to your neck in ladies in no time.

You're right that some lesbians harbor misinformed, small-minded stereotypes about bisexual women, and for some of them those stereotypes are going to be a barrier to sexy naked times with you. But you know what? That's their loss. You're not looking to date all the dykes, anyway. (If you did, it would only end in drama, exhaustion, and chafing.) You're just looking for that special concoction of hot/funny/smart/knows what to do with your nipple piercings. Right? There are lots of reasons you already write people off as potential mates — she doesn't shower, she has a tattoo of Sarah Palin, she says “for all intensive purposes” — so all you need to do is add “she doesn't like bi chicks” to your list of dealbreakers and move on.

It's not gonna narrow your playing field all that much. Most queers these days understand that sexuality is a continuum, not an either/or. If you come on like a grown-ass woman asking for a date, instead of a college girl saying “My boyfriend thinks it would be hot if we made out,” no lady worthy of your attentions is going to write you off because of the men in your past. And you don't need to make a big deal about your lack of lesbian experience — you're far from the only person who got a late start on the same-sex side of things. Just be attentive and communicative, and your girl won't care that you're not quite ready to turn pro.

Also, bear in mind that dyed-in-the-wool gold-star lesbians are not your only avenue to hot Sapphic sex. There are tons of other women out there like you — bisexual, pansexual, and queer women who don't care that you also dig men because so do they. Perhaps you should seek them out!

Hello. I have been in a gay relationship for a few years now. I am very, very happy. I am completely in love, and have never felt this way about anyone before. I can’t label myself and say that I’m gay, straight, bi, or whatever. I just happened to fall in love with a beautiful person. That being said, I have one problem that just does not seem to go away! My girlfriend's ex has always been and still is around. We have mutual friends, and I’m all for being friendly and cordial when she’s around, but I’m SOOO not OK with her thinking she can be real friends with my girlfriend still.

Now I know that I have NO right to tell my girlfriend what to do, but I can’t help the way that I get really uncomfortable and annoyed with this situation. The ex sometimes texts my girlfriend that she misses her and still buys her and her family gifts (including me) which in turn makes us have to get her gifts to be nice. And just UGH! I cannot understand this way of thinking! I am in no contact with any of my exes, and I’m perfectly happy about that.

So my question is: Is this common in gay relationships? I do see other gays who seem to stay friends with their exes, and they can act like one big gay happy family. But it’s just not me to be completely fake in these situations. So am I doomed to feel this way forever? Or should I be able to pull my complete bitch out of myself to deal with this? Because that’s what I’m leaning toward.

Some people — and not all of them are gay — have this mysterious ability to remain friends with their exes. When you think about it, it makes sense. Why do you date someone in the first place? Because you're dying to see them naked, obviously, but also because you enjoy their company. They make you laugh, or you have awesome debates about the minor works of Ke$ha, or you both like Ethiopian food, or whatever — there's something about them that makes you want to spend time together. When the relationship goes south, if they haven't stolen your credit cards or slept with your sister, sometimes after enough time has passed you realize that even though they're not girlfriend material, you still want to hang out with them.

This, I'm sorry to tell you, is not only totally normal, it is a sign of a healthy, non-grudge-holding emotional life. And it's something you're going to have to come to terms with. If you don't want to keep in touch with your exes, that's fine, but it's important that you respect your girlfriend's right to be friends with whomever she wants. You say that you can't help getting uncomfortable, which is sort of true, but there's a difference between feeling awkward and pulling your “complete bitch” out. So my advice to you, effective immediately, is put the bitch away.

That said, I see two problems here, and only one of them is you. Your lady's ex is also behaving inappropriately. Being friends — even close friends — with someone you used to boink is a valid lifestyle choice; however, in that situation, it's crucial to make sure that your friendship is not threatening your ex's current boink-friend. And this girl is definitely crossing some lines. Telling your girlfriend that she misses her? Giving you gifts? Um, who does that? People with boundary issues, that's who. And I would be freaked out too if my partner's no-boundary-having ex was always around.

There is absolutely no way that you can confront the ex about this situation without coming off like a psycho, so don't even try it. Instead, talk to your girlfriend. Say something like: “Sweetie, I'm glad that you and Amber [all crazy exes are named Amber] have managed to stay friends, and I would never ask you to stop hanging with someone you care about, but sometimes her behavior makes it seem like she still has romantic feelings for you. Can you please talk to her and make it very clear that you're with me now, and you're only interested in spending time with her platonically?” Emphasize that you're not asking her to give up her friend, but that the gift-giving and I-miss-you-ing has got to stop.

At this point, one of a few things will happen: Your girlfriend will say “Oh my God, why are you so mean, you're not the boss of me,” in which case she is 15 and you should not be dating her anyway. Or she'll say “Totally, I'll bring that up the next time we hang out,” but then she won't do it because come on, that would be super awkward. In this scenario, she will at least stop sharing her ex's weirdly needy texts with you, which would be a little bit of an improvement. Or she'll actually confront this girl, who will vehemently deny having done any such intrusive, irritating thing, and they'll have a big fight and then they won't hang out for a while. That's pretty much the best-case scenario for you. Good luck!

Last July I got into a very heavy LDR with a much older woman (I'm in college, she has three kids, an ex-wife, a mostly-paid mortgage and a job that consumes tons of her time). We've gone fast; as a rule I'm a cynic, but I'm a year into this, regularly promising to civil union up/carry some more sperm donor children, and really truly meaning it. She feels completely right for me. No, she's not my first girlfriend (kind of makes it worse, doesn't it). The sex blows my queer little mind.

I'm clinically depressed. It got bad enough this year that I dropped out of school indefinitely to mope.

I'm basically writing because I don't trust myself, at all, to be even a tiny bit objective about being so thoroughly in love. It's probably worth mentioning that my college, while not hostile to homos in the least, is a fucking desert when it comes to ladygays, so it's not like I'm missing out. Am I just an emotional lesbian doing emotionally lesbian things with another lesbian? Will we all be happy, childbearing lesbians in the end, or is my relationship (one of the few sources of unmitigated joy in my life) a deeply questionable pursuit for someone in poor mental health? (Yes, I've started therapy.)

Thanks for what you do — my heart/vagina loves your column dearly.

First order of business: WOO SOMEONE ELSE SAID HEART/VAGINA! I knew it was going to catch on.

Second order of business: Since this is “Ask a Queer Chick,” not “Ask a Magic 8 Ball,” I cannot tell you for sure whether your relationship is going to work out. I think that's what you're asking, right? I mean, obviously you didn't think I was going to be like, “You're depressed? Well then no girlfriend for you, crazypants!” Depressed people get to have relationships too. Your condition, while it sucks and I'm sorry you have it, does not magically render you unworthy of having an awesome lady in your life.

So your brain chemistry is actually kind of tangential to the real matter at hand, which is: You're in love, but she's a lot older than you, and you want to know if it's going to last or if you're going to end up heartbroken. And I can't really answer that for you. Statistically speaking, a relationship you enter into while you're still college-aged is unlikely to last the rest of your life, but I can think of tons of people who are happy, thriving exceptions to that rule and I'm sure you can too. Statistics don't actually mean dick in terms of what you should do with your own personal heart/vagina.

Basically, you want to know if you should break up with your girlfriend, who makes you happy now, on the grounds that she might one day make you unhappy. And I just don't see any reason why you should do that — not your age, not your depression, not stereotypes about emotionally dependent lesbians. Everyone who has ever been in a relationship has spent at least a little time wondering, “Is this person going to break my heart?” Sometimes they do and sometimes they don't. But the only way you're ever going to live happily ever after in a mostly-paid-for house with dozens of adorable sperm-donor babies is to accept the risk and go for it anyway.

However, given your age and that you've only been together a year, I would caution you to move slowly and not do anything irrevocable for a while. That means back away from the turkey baster, please — preferably until you've found yourself a career and, hopefully, some sort of functional treatment for your depression, whether that means therapy or medication or both. Your girlfriend has had a lot more time than you have to figure out what she wants out of life. She shouldn't push you for a major commitment until you've had a chance to do the same.

I have always been attracted to people regardless of what's in their pants. I tend to say that I am bi for simplicity's sake, but since I am also attracted to people who are on all shades of the gender spectrum, I really identify as queer.

Here's my problem:

I have been in relationships with men before, and when I was, I got a lot of "you say you're bi to get him hot" bullshit. And now that I have been in a long term relationship and am engaged to a woman who is the world to me, I get a lot of, "oh, well you're a lesbian." Never mind that my partner identifies as bi/queer, too. Never mind that we have both dated and fucked guys (and liked it). Never mind that anytime someone refers to us as lesbians, we respond in unison, "we're not lesbians!"

It's not as if I am offended to be called a lesbian. I am just not a lesbian. And I want to make it clear how I identify.

But even when I do, people don't accept it. If I am a woman who is in a monogamous relationship with a woman, I have to be a lesbian, they reason. And it is driving me nuts.

Will I have to correct people my whole life? Do I need to just accept it and move on? What to do, O Queer Chick?

What I'd like to do is put huge billboards in every major city in America, saying, “Not everyone is gay or straight! Stop being such a douchebag!” No, wait, I want to hire George Takei to say that over loudspeakers in every building in the world. Because, for real, anyone who claims to know more than you about your sexual orientation is indeed a total douchebag. But there's not a lot you can do about it, because there are more of them than there are of us. It's a douchebag's world; we just live in it.

I mean, definitely for people you are close to, you should continue to tell them “I'm not a lesbian. Lesbians are awesome, but I am not one, and it drives me insane when you refuse to believe what I tell you about my own identity.” Make this speech frequently enough, with optional screaming and wine-glass-throwing, and they will stop referring to you as a lesbian, at least to your face.

But for people who are just passing through your life, yeah, I'm sorry, but all you can really do is accept it, write them off as douchebags, and move on. Anyone who doesn't respect your right to self-definition is not worth your time and energy. Besides, if you go around all the time insisting that you and your hot girlfriend both totally love the cock, you are going to be the recipient of a lot of unappealing offers. And you don't need to deal with that.

(P.S. If anyone comments just to say “Why do you care so much about what other people think?” you have my permission to find out where they live and poison their house plants.)

Previously: Man-Haters, Infatuations, and the Lesbian Litmus Test.

A Queer Chick is a queer chick who knows everything. Do you have a question for A Queer Chick?



127 Comments / Post A Comment

sarahf

I haven't even read this yet but I just wanted to say, 'WELCOME BACK, QUEER CHICK!!!' We've missed you like WOAH.

joie

@sarahf SO MUCH! I'll take A Queer Chick over A Dude any day.

sarah girl

@sarahf Fellow Sarah, came here to say this, too; I saw the little yellow chick at the top of the page and went "Aww, Queer Chick!!!" out loud.

Napoleon

@sarahf Whenever I visit the Hairpin I search the top bar hopefully for that little yellow puffball.

Kelsey McLaughlin@facebook

@sarahf Same!!! So excited that our lovely Queer Chick is back! Thought she disappeared..

palliata

I take great joy in those who claim there's no such thing as "true" bisexuals when ALL research shows between 30-85% of mankind is bisexual to some degree, depending on your definition (30% being the Kinsey definition which requires sexual activity, 85+ being a looser "finds certain members of both genders attractive"). It's like someone showing up and telling us there are no latinos - you're either black or caucasian and you need to pick a side and quit being so brown.

melis

@palliata "You're just Latina to get white people hot."

Rock and Roll Ken Doll

@palliata It's seeming increasingly to me that the reason there's so little understanding in modern U.S. culture for individuals being something other than gay or straight is because the gay rights movement has gone to great lengths to establish (and has to a large part succeeded in establishing) gay identity as a cultural concept so as to be able to take advantage of identity politics, since identity politics is an effective strategy for obtaining political change. Perhaps the benefits (gay marriage, sexual orientation non-discrimination laws, getting beat up less often, etc.) are worth the costs (artificially limiting how we think about the nature of same-sex desire)--I'm still thinking about that balance.

bb
bb

@josiah go back further - medical diagnosis usually suggests/suggested you are or you aren't. Plus things like military discharges (started WWII). which is not to say you aren't right too, just that those contributed too.

IceHouseLizzie

@palliata Also, we live in a culture that expresses itself in binaries....girl/boy, gay/straight, black/white....and have a lot of difficulties thinking in terms of infinite variation.

Rock and Roll Ken Doll

@palliata I think there's maybe a nuanced relationship here. Theory: American society enforced a clear race divide to make race-based slavery, and later Jim Crow, function (contrast Latin American societies?). That led to identity-based resistance, which succeeded and, by virtue of being successful, served as a model for gay-identity based political activity. Discuss!

Napoleon

@josiah Whoa! That is really thought-provoking! Can someone please write an essay on this for me because I bet there's a lot of interesting stuff you could write about it! [But not me.]

pyrrhic

@palliata josiah is right! read "queering the color line" by siobhan somerville for a very convincing argument thereof

fiiierce

@palliata I second that emotion! That book blew my mind apart and then put it back together--smarter! :)

shenannies

Lady #1, do not stress about this, if some women are not going to date you because you are bi they are probably annoying in many other areas and not worth your time. There are plenty of queer chicks that would happily date you, don't enter the dating pool thinking you're already unwanted!

wee_ramekin

@shenannies Yeah. I find that the gays who feel this way are the gays who I fear will start voting Republican once we queers have obtained a measurable degree of civil rights. So really, don't worry about them. You don't want to date them anyway.

@wee_ramekin... I wrote this whole big thing about how it might be complicated and stuff, and then was like "wait, I don't think I've really dated anybody whose sexuality wasn't bi/fluid/all over in YEARS." And I'm one of those gold star dyke people who hasn't ever kissed a cis-dude.

Just have lots of hot sex and be a good kisser and enjoy yourself and be awesome. And remember that if you're doing this with a woman who has ID'd as queer/whatever for a while, she's probably not thinking "oooh this is gay!" but "this is damn fine sexytime we're having!"

As an aside, lots of queer women had het sex before they came out. Unless they came out super SUPER early or were prudes (I was a prude...), it's fairly standard. So I don't see why banging dudes for a while would be any hindrance unless you're making a huge effing deal about it or you're not actually as into the ladies as you think you are.

Napoleon

@S. Elizabeth Hey, trans dudes are still dudes!

*gold star revoked by order of THE LESBIAN POLICE* weeeeeooooweeeeeeeoooooooweeeeeeooooo

@Napoleon P-in-V = it doesn't happen

fondue with cheddar

Thank you #shenannies, #wee_ramekin, #S. Elizabeth and of course A Queer Chick! You've all made me feel better. I'm lady #1. I guess I was just overthinking and getting myself all freaked out.

Quite a bit of time has passed since I wrote that letter to A Queer Chick. I wanted to take a little break from the dating scene and I wasn't "looking" yet, but just happened to meet someone who just happens to be a dude. So it's disappointing that I won't be dating any ladies anytime soon, but he's a great guy and I didn't want to pass up the opportunity to date someone I really like just because he's got a penis. We'll see what happens. If I end up back out on the ladyscene, I will remember what you all said. Thanks!

mission

Advice for all letters: Write more concisely! Hit "Enter" less!

wee_ramekin

@mission Disagree, on both counts! I like reading the entire situation when people write in asking for advice, and I LOVE that these LWs have used the 'Enter' key where appropriate. I hate wading through an 8-inch long chunk of bolded, italicized text - I start getting afraid I'm going to miss something while I slog my way through the multiple ideas that make up one ginormous paragraph. Brava, queer letter writers of this column. Brava, I say!

ennaenirehtac

@wee_ramekin Agree. The more gossipy details the better!

dracula's ghost

@ennaenirehtac ALSO AGREE!!!!! Gossipy details!

ponymalta

How affirming to learn that I'm not the only person whose skin crawls when I hear "intensive purposes" instead of "intents and purposes."

Pound of Salt

@ponymalta This is so embarrassing but I said "intensive purposes" all my life until a few months ago, when my sister yelled at me: "THINK ABOUT WHAT YOU'RE SAYING. THAT IS NOT A REAL PHRASE!" Ugh it makes me cringe.

Titania

@ponymalta I try not to correct people's various grammar/diction errors in public, but that is one that I truly cannot tolerate.

atipofthehat

@ponymalta

It's a doggy dog world. You can't take anything for granite.

shenannies

@Titania What about 'supposably'? That one hurts, yet I know it'd hurt someone's feelings to correct it so my ears just bleed a little on a not infrequent basis.

atipofthehat

@shenannies

Personably, I could care less.

Nicole Cliffe

@ponymalta It really bothers me...all of the sudden.

bb
bb

@Nicole Cliffe OMG my bf uses that and apparently doesn't get my "hinty" emails that say "all of A sudden." Irregardless, I love him.

jstar

@shenannies how about "phased" instead of "fazed?" ie, "i'm not phased" as opposed to the correct "i'm not fazed"...

shenannies

@bb Irregardless is actually a real word.

atipofthehat

@jstar

I know, it just doesn't jive!

melis

Guys, I think it's really a mute point and you're just looking for an escape goat.

Ophelia

@melis You're all going to have to reign it in over here.

ProfessorBen

I find "intensive purposes" totally charming! I think it's mean to be against it; not everyone learns phrases by reading...many by hearing, and don't you probably say something incorrectly?

dracula's ghost

Oh god, all of these make my stomach turn. Supposably! All of the sudden! Also a weird one that I am surprised how many people use is "I should of" instead of "I should have." What?!

bb
bb

@shenannies just cause it's a word doesn't make it right. The cursory research I have done on it (i.e. google/dictionary.com) says it is considered a word only because people have used it for a long time, which doesn't make it right IMO. (right and wrong being social constructs anyway, I guess)

Judith Slutler

@melis escape goat lol

ditriana

@dracula's ghost it's from the contraction. "should of" = mis-heard "should've". it kind of makes sense?

FoxyRoxy

@ponymalta I saw someone somewhere else today trying to 'correct' someone about something and they used "intensive purposes" and I thought, really? This drives me crazy. Intents and purposes. Three words. Not two.

theharpoon

This went on way too long, it's too bad I wasn't around to nip it in the butt.

beatrixkiddo1

You guys cease to amaze me. Thats a Lil' Mama compliment for you all.

Gnatalby

@ProfessorBen What would that mean, though? For all really important purposes? You don't have to learn by reading to realize that doesn't make sense.

Lily Rowan

@theharpoon This thread is exactly why I love it here! I mean, this and the actual column.

Now my confession: I have said "supposably" ironically for so long, now I find it hard to stop.

femme cassidy

@Lily Rowan I have a serious problem with saying Internet acronyms in real-life conversation, like "brb." It started as a joke and now it's an actual thing that I actually say. I'm so ashamed of what I've become.

theharpoon

@femme cassidy It's ok if I say them in an overly cheery/obviously joky way, right? The way that I say "TTYL!!!!!!" with all those exclamation marks?

Lily Rowan

@femme cassidy Ell oh ell.

femme cassidy

@theharpoon Do you pronounce the exclamation marks?

theharpoon

@femme cassidy Yeah like "Tee Tee Why Ell Exclamation Mark Exclamation Mark Exclamation Mark Exclamation Mark Exclamation Mark Exclamation Mark Exclamation Mark." What, you don't do that?

amirite

@Nicole Cliffe YOU GUYS. I say "all of the sudden," and I pride myself on getting these things right. How can this be? All of the sudden. All of a sudden. I'm saying them both and neither seem to mean anything...?

bridgerrr

@Pound of Salt I used "alot" until about a year ago. Had no clue. So embarrassed.

theharpoon

@bridgerrr Maybe the Alot will make you feel better.

wee_ramekin

@femme cassidy @theharpoon You guys call them exclamation marks? I thought they were 'exclamation points'. Meta-commentary FTW!

femme cassidy

@wee_ramekin I think I use both those phrases interchangeably, now that you mention it. I'd never given it much thought before.

Mrs. Brown's Lovely Daughter

@theharpoon All those exclamations make it seem as though you drink alot of expresso. I could care less about all this stuff, so I'm gonna go eat my chipoltay in peace.

*sits in a corner and cringes at the horrors she just wrote*

inbed

@Leah I'm just mad because I don't know what LDR means.

Moping now (MN),
jill
http://inbedwithmarriedwomen.blogspot.com

Mrs. Brown's Lovely Daughter

@inbed Long Distance Relationship

Dunemi

@ponymalta supposably makes me laugh because i use it on purpose all. the. time. i also use "prolly", but only because i shortened it from "probly". some of us know the rules but like to play around a little - don't be a hater!

Ophelia

For the last LW, I think Queer Chick is right on with her advice - for those people who are close to you, it's totally fair/reasonable/right for you to demand (and get) the respect from them of having them identify you the way you identify yourself.

For the rest of society - from friendly acquaintances down to nosy people on the subway - I'd guess that at least half of them aren't trying to label you in a negative way or undermine your personal history, they're just making a "navigate society in a neutral way" kind of assumption that helps them keep track of who's related to who how. And, hate to say it, if some of these minor players in your life are from your parents' generation, they probably don't have really clear definitions in their head as to what it means to identify as a lesbian, bi, queer, etc. I don't want to suggest that them being well-meaning cancels out the fact that they're wrong, but I do think that it might be a battle you don't want to spend emotional energy fighting.

For the nosies and the other half...well, then you probably have an opportunity to have some fun with them, eh?

Titania

@Ophelia Well said. I'm not going to say "Why does she care about what other people think?" because I have an amaryllis in my window that I'm very attached to, but I will say: it's up to you how graphically you want to describe the details of your sex life, but if you're in an exclusive relationship and someone calls you a lesbian, smiling and letting it go might be the best course of action--people make assumptions, sure, but it's not usually from a negative place. I'm a straight woman in a relationship with a man, and when people say "Oh, you two are such a sweet couple!" we just say, "Thanks," not "Actually, we're together but not sexually exclusive and periodically we have nasty BDSM sex with strangers at parties." I understand that queer identity is much more fraught than someone who is able to keep their particular sexual preferences a bedroom-only secret, and maybe WE should be open about not being monogamous, but it really isn't anyone's business unless it's important to you to make it their business for whatever reason. 20 years from now when you and your wife meet someone do, are you really going to say, "Thanks but we're not, because 25 years ago I gave REALLY good blowjobs"?

dracula's ghost

@Titania ha ha ha ha ha!!!!!

SarahDances

@Ophelia Yeah, I concur that the correction is probably only really appropriate/going to stick with people you're actually *friends* with, not just random folks you meet at parties or whatever. I get where it grates, I do, but people who Don't Get It probably won't be much fazed by your protests.

As a straight chick with many queer friends, I try to be well-versed in the finer points of what is and isn't cool to say, and generally just stick to "queer" as my adjective of choice, since it covers a wide range.

Amber

OH COME ON. We Ambers already have to go through life with "white trash name," "stripper name," "porny name," hell, Mr. Hanky on South Park had a little turdlet named Amber. Now we also have to be "crazy ex name"? AHHHHH I CAN'T.

melis

To be fair, your avatar is not helping your 'not-a-crazy-ex' argument.

ProfessorBen

but this has to be the best response to anything, ever!

Amber

@melis I even LOOK crazy? I guess I can't fight that one. Might as well cut loose and embrace the nut I was born to be.

melis

It's a hell of a thousand-yard stare, let's put it that way. And the sneer says "I secretly killed your cat but I'm never going to tell you where it is."

Your hair looks terrific, though.

Judith Slutler

Dear Lady #3, I have been in a position similar to yours except heterosexual and not long-distance. All I can say is take things nice and slow, and focus on actually getting the upper hand over your depression. Thoughts like, "Should I destroy the only thing in my life that makes me happy, because one day it could end?" are not logical or realistic, they are the result of your neurons doing their level best to come up with things - any things - to think about, despite the fact that they are being bathed in the wrong chemical cocktail to facilitate any kind of level-headed thinking. As I said, I have been there, and my brain was not really the most helpful organ at that time. It was kinda falling down on the job, you know what I mean?

Anyway, just think about tomorrow, and then tomorrow you can think about the next day, and just keep doing that for a while. Then at some point in the future you can think about civil unions and babies. But right now... one day at a time.

Good luck.

kimburly

@Emmanuelle Cunt Hear, hear! From an MDD in/out/back in to college again lez, Be kind to yourself Lady number 3. You can do it.

di
di

I remember when my ex-coworkers would talk extensively over lunch about how it was absolutely inappropriate and unacceptable for their boyfriend/husband to have female friends or acquaintances. They were a few years older than me, so perhaps it's a generation difference, but as someone who had as many guy friends as girl friends growing up, that sort of attitude is ridiculous to me. I respect it, but I'd never put up with it.

I'm Not Rufus

Last LW, those kind of comments would piss me off too. "Your husband is white, so obviously you're not attracted to black men, amirite??"

Question for posters: How common are the "you must be [sexual orientation]" comments, and who do you typically get them from?

bb
bb

@I'm Not Rufus eh, I feel kinda torn on that one.. I am bi but tend to fall into the assumption that same sex relatilesbian" and "gay" don't DEFINITELY have to mean "not bi" but I realize that isn't how everyone sees it.

RK Fire

@I'm Not Rufus: I hadn't thought about this while reading these letters, but as someone in an interracial relationship, I have gotten those kind of questions. It seems that with some people*, the kind of person you are currently dating (whether by gender or race or whatever) is clearly indicative of ALL of the people you've ever dated, EVER.

*not very thoughtful people?

DrFeelGood

OK I love this column, but can we also have an "Ask an 8 Ball" column? Preferably with David Putty as the 8 ball?

Ophelia

@DrFeelGood It is decidedly so.

melis

Ask again later.

LW #2, the queer lady population is small, and kind of incestuous. You will figure this out if/when you and your lady friend break up and you date one of her exes/friends/softball buddies/protesting friends and within a few years someone will mention something about "oh there's that girl, and she lives in [city] and she's studying to be a [really cool profession] and she has this amazing politic and you should meet--" at which point you jump in and say "Oh, Kate? Kate XYZ? Yeah, we meet when she was hooking up with Amber while I was dating Alex, but before she moved in with Maria!" to a total stranger. And then you realize that the stranger is that girl that they kept talking about how much they missed because she moved halfway across the country for graduate school, and how kickass she is.

We are talking about 2% of the population, and if you make a bunch of queer friends with similar interests, you will know the same people. You will friend people on facebook that you meet at a coffee place halfway across the country and have 3 mutual friends. So it's pretty fucking inevitable that Amber will be gone forever.

I'm sure there are queer people without that experience, and I'm definitely not saying all queer people know each other. But really, if you fall in with a group of queers in a major metropolitan area, you will meet their friends and you will run into them/their work/their exes everywhere, and it's going to be okay and cool.

FMoss3

@S. Elizabeth Awesome lesbian rap duo Team Gina has a fantastic song about just this small incestuous nature of queer lady circles:
Wife Swapping

wee_ramekin

@S. Elizabeth Chiming in to say that yes, this is so true. It even extends to celebrity.

Case in point: I am connected in some small, queer way to Alice from The L-Word because she hit on my ex who she met because my ex fostered a dog for some of her friends here in Austin. How tiny is this world?!

wee_ramekin

@S. Elizabeth Also, the 2% statistic makes me so, so sad. I feel like it means that I will never find a lady to love me. 2% is such a tiny number, you know? #Feelings

melis

@wee_ramekin I know, and when you realize that butches can't possibly constitute more than half of that demographic, you start drinking heavily.

@wee_ramekin No! It's okay!

Here's the deal: think about straight chicks in NYC. They have the opposite issue -- so many men, so many options, so many juiceboxes. So straight ladies in Manhattan who are young professionals or grad students who want someone liberal, nice, funny, educated, and not a juicebox? Eliminate the 50% that is conservative. Then eliminate the people who are juiceboxes. Then eliminate the people who are intimidated by your degree/education/family/kickass attitude. Then eliminate people with sexual kinks you don't want to touch. See? Narrowing down the population.

Queer chicks have the pool narrowed for them.

wee_ramekin

@melis **sobs while drinking Qream out of doll-head wineglass**

@melis True Fucking Story. This is why you move to San Francisco.

@FMoss3 Team Gina's "Queer Femme" s

melis

Or if you're really lucky you get to move to San Jose, where there are exactly three gay bars. So close to San Francisco and all the bike-fixing, collective-residing-in, strong-shoulder-having butch lesbians, but in reality...so very, very far.

wee_ramekin

@melis @S. Elizabeth

Wait. There exists a land where "butch" does not equal Kate Moennig?! Because as throbbing as my lady-boner is for Shane/Kate, she is just the *very* beginning of what I would consider butch. Is San Francisco really crawling with butch ladies? Should I move there?

Also, I am going to get vulnerable here and admit that I am really really scared I will never find someone as butch as my ex was ever again and that I will die surrounded by the biggest, awesomest circle of femme friends who I totally love but am in no way attracted to. Holy shit, guys. This is a fucking Feelings Friday for me. I think I'll just go listen to The Con while I drown myself in a bathtub of sadness.

melis

Add Oakland to San Francisco and yeah, pretty much. Lots of T-boys up here too, if your propensity for butch women leads in you that direction.

Alternately, you could just start sleeping with real men. That's basically the same thing, you know? Like, why date a woman who thinks she's a man when you could just have a real man, with realness, whose manness is more real than her fake manness.

femme cassidy

@melis ...because a woman who acts like a man still has better tits than a man?

femme cassidy

@wee_ramekin Oh, girl! I'm so sorry that you are stranded in a sea of femmes. If I had a spare hot butch lying around I would totally send her your way.

Maybe you could try sitting by the side of the road with the hood of your car open, wearing something cleavagey and looking distressed, and see who stops to ask if you need help?

wee_ramekin

@melis Being bisexual, I definitely have that option. I guess I just feel that I'm going to have to search hard to find the extremely special dude who is okay with having the more dominant/"traditionally masculine" role in our relationship but at the same time is totally supportive of feminism, queer rights and smart, loud ladies.

I find that it's not as much of a struggle to find someone in the queer community who is willing to let me be brash, loud, witty and smart AND who will also make me feel cherished and protected and all that other mushy stuff; someone with whom I can be the more passive/receptive partner in the relationship without having to give up that which makes me independent and sassy. I think it takes a really special man to get that balancing act right, whereas I think it's more standard with the gay ladies.

@femme cassidy Aw, thanks lady! I will totally show any hot butches you send my way a good time. And maybe I'll put your suggestion to the test this weekend...

melis

@wee_ramekin Oh yeah, and I was mostly just repeating that delightful canard one hears so frequently from strange dudes at bars who want to give you relationship advice when you're with a butch beau. 'Why are you with this [person I'm choosing to read as aping masculinity unsuccessfully] when you could be with [me, a jerk but with a biological penis]?' As opposed to telling you to switch to dudes. Because no man could match someone like, say, Sugarbutch.

femme cassidy

@melis Plus, you know what's nice? Being able to pick the penis size depending on your mood. (I have a friend who, when she felt ready to take on the world, would say "It's a blue cock kind of day!")

wee_ramekin

@melis Oh thank God. I figured you were joking, but then I wasn't sure because I'm having Feelings today, so then I was just like "Do I have to go through this world now thinking melis is an asshole? Should I just end it all now?". It was going to be the Saddest Thing.

@wee_ramekin Okay, I'm in SF for the summer and there are big, swaggery, butch dykes with big leather jackets and high & tights and hair product and stompy boots and nice sinewy hands here. THEY ARE HERE. I found them, they are in SF and Oakland and they are hot and they have Butch/Femme meet ups that aren't patriarchal douchetard "Femmes stay home and cook and wear makeup and are dumb!" weirdo fests. Like, legit butch dykes who like their women smart. EPIC WIN.

Also, I'm one of those poly people (but I don't look like a Ren Faire freak, I promise I'm normal and in law school and am interning at a really neat firm here and stuff), and this really works for me. It helps, but is not mandatory. Femme ladies, move your asses to San Francisco, get on some queer email lists, and be awesome.

Femme solidarity. I, too, am a sassy assertive career oriented Hairpin-reading femme dyke who likes butches and masculine queer types and feelings. I'm sitting in my office feeling an overwhelming amount of love and solidarity toward you all, because it's nice to know that people have the same struggles and feelings that I do, but that you all seem so normal and well-adjusted.

I'm sitting underneath a painting by a local artist. It's a dark canvas and painted on it are the words "At the Very Deepest Level All Our Secrets are the Same."

thebestjasmine

@wee_ramekin Like melis said down there, move to Oakland instead of San Francisco. That's were all of the butch lesbians live. Well, and other lesbians.

theharpoon

@wee_ramekin And the other day I was all, "I date dudes!," assuming that you did not. Damn straight people making assumptions and wanting to categorize everybody! I am the worst.

@theharpoon No you're not the worst. You know why? Because you realized that you made an assumption and then thought about it.

wee_ramekin

@theharpoon You are only the worst because you have been consistently absent on The Hairpin Dot Com this week.

I don't mind your assumption. I think I've only ever talked at / to you about ladies, so it wasn't a baseless assumption. Do not worry! We can still go and make eyes at El Chilito Gay together!

theharpoon

@wee_ramekin I have a thing happening! I'm sorry. I'll be back around more soon. I hope.

melis

@thebestjasmine @S. Elizabeth Okay, I am this close to driving north and FINDING BOTH OF YOU. Buuuuut in a fun way!

Napoleon

@melis Um, that's kind of offensive in a bunch of different ways

a) It's not okay to call trans men T-boys, unless that's specifically how the individual guy identifies.
b) Trans men *ARE* "real men". They're just trans. I think you meant "cis men" i.e. "men born with penises."
c)Butch women don't "think they're men" (unless you were actually referring to trans guys, in which case yiiiiiiiiiikes look at your life look at your choices) they're just women with a masculine-looking gender expression. Voila.

I know you were mostly joking, but you still said a lot of fucked up things and that makes me :(((((((

thebestjasmine

@melis Please do! When are we having a Hairpin Bay Area poster event thing? (PS: I'm not a lesbian, but I went to a womens' college)

theinvisiblecunt

@melis, w-o-w @ your ignorance, your homophobia, your hatred. It's like you don't even care about how much pain you cause with your internet bullying

melis

@theinvisiblecunt Wow, man. Lesson? Learned. I'm getting hit with so many (heavily instructive and tone-deaf) feminist hammers this week I'm feeling like a Whac-a-Mole.

Mrs. Brown's Lovely Daughter

@melis Looks like a couple people forgot to take a dose of their internet salt or recharge their sarcasm detectors or something. Yikes.

km1312

"It's a douchebag's world; we just live in it."

...and never a truer word was spoken.

dracula's ghost

@km1312 seriously, lets make a bumper sticker.

Amber Denison@facebook

As an Amber I can say I am rarely a crazy ex (ex's are ex's for a reason and they can stay out of my life) but I am always the crazy bitch girlfriend. and I am definitely the crazy bitch girlfriend that says 'Dearest, I'm glad your so well balanced and you can handle having ex's in your life and still be friends with them but I am not that well adjusted and if i ever see that bitch near you again I will call the cops on her!"

melis

"Hello, this is 911; what is your emergency?"

"Yes, my girlfriend's ex-girlfriend is next to my current girlfriend."

"Please stay calm, ma'am. Without getting closer to them yourself, what would you estimate is the distance separating them just now?"

"Oh, gosh, um....maybe the distance of six or seven knives? I'd say about seven knives."

"Ma'am, we're on our way. Please remain on the line."

melis

I guess what I'm trying to say is will you go out with me sometime?

Amber

@Amber Denison@facebook Crazy Ambers unite.

mmwm

Particularly excellent advice in this column, esp. for LW #3. I like how you cover all the bases, A Queer Chick.

xine

Lady #2: I'm in a hetero relationship in which i'm the one who's friends with my exes and my man doesn't like it. It's tricky for me (actually i'll probably write into hairpin soon about it). Just know that those of us who stay friends are probably not keeping exes on the bench. We just like the people we dated as PEOPLE. And we'll happily mock them for all the stupid shit they did when we dated for your amusement/reassurance.

I'll just echo the queer chick's advice that calmly telling your loved one that being friends is one thing, but the constant texting and gift giving weirds you out is the way to go. Ask her to give a call to said ex and say something like, "hey. You're great, love being friends, etc... I'm in a really happy place with my pookie-face and the texting lovey stuff/gift giving is making me feel uncomfortable. Let's just send the infrequent 'you're my bud' texts, and don't give gifts. We're cool, it's just friends don't do these things. Friends buy me and my gf beers occasionally and are happy that i'm so in love."

She should be more than happy to do that. Don't freak out, storm out of cars at red lights, call her a slut, etc... (personal rant, sorry).

fiiierce

@xine This is good advice! And unsolicited reaction: anybody who is storming out of the car at red lights and calling you a slut deserves for you to be making fun of his hissy fits with a new lovahhh who treats you so very nicely and always keeps all their limbs in the vehicle. :)

telling_everyone

I know I'm late to the party but HALLELUJAH, and WELCOME BACK QUEER CHICK. also I'm having some similar queer problems/feelings just like some of these letter writers so yayayay advice that I didn't even have to ask for.

telling_everyone

@telling_everyone I'm also apparently so excited that I can't make a coherent sentence.

Snowy

Ahhh, the response to LW#2 makes me anxious about my own BFF-ship with an ex. :( I don't want to destroy their dating life!

Snowy

@OK Chickadee Oh wait, nvm, I don't give gifts or send weird, clingy texts. WHEW.

MissT123

Was that a Hyperbole and a Half reference, A Queer Chick, or just a coincidence? Because I'm really enjoying the mental image of a sadfaced little stick-figure girl asking herself, "Date all the dykes?"

Regardless, I like this column a lot.

MissT123

(Or is the enthusiastic girl declaring that she will "Date all the dykes!" even better? I just can't decide!)

pingguoas

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