Hello Femmes!

I’m sitting in a lesbian bar having a beer. I am alone. I only came out to retrieve my Visa that I unceremoniously abandoned here the night before. I was, as you might imagine, having a very good time. I was drinking with a friend and chatting with a lovely femme. (A gentleman won’t share any more than that.) I knew she was a femme because she was here at this lesbian bar. Not out at a hip restaurant or bar in town. Not here with a posse of gay boys. Her presence here, combined with her eye makeup, clothing and generally pleasing girly appearance signaled me. This is a femme, and I knew she was interested in butches because she was “talking” with me.

But what about when I’m not here? What if I’d seen this lovely woman at a conference? At the airport? At Jimbo’s? Shopping at Nordstrom? Rock climbing at the gym? Would I have known she was an option, as it were? Maybe not.  And, what a predicament that is. What a pickle.

Geography Makes It Easy
Geography Makes It Easy

How are we butches supposed to identify our beloved femmes when we are out and about? Obviously, this isn’t an issue when you are introduced by friends, know her as a colleague, or when the geography sends the signal. Like here at this bar.

Outside of those cocoons, though, I think it’s clear that we butches need your help. Femmes, make yourselves known. Reach out. Make eye contact a little longer than is generally considered to be polite. Touch us on the bicep and make a face that signals you are impressed with the massive (cough) muscle you find there. Lean into us a little when chatting. Flip your hair. Touch your face.

In short, you the much fairer species need to make the first move. I and my butch bros will drive from there. But you’ve gotta send up a flare. Throw us a bone. If you’re as pretty and girly as I’m imagining (and you are), I might look at you longingly and then dismiss you as a non-option. I’m sorry, but I might think you are, umm, straight. Not that there’s anything wrong with being straight, mind you. Some of my best friends are straight! But it does limit (although not entirely exclude) my ability to … take you somewhere more quiet.

You might even say, “Oh Butch, I can tell you work out. I bet you could press me easily.” No straight women would ever say such a thing to me, so we’ll be off to the races. [Note: Certainly, there are some straight women that like to flirt with butches, in particular, even though these women think they’re straight. I’ll leave it to you to decide whether you agree with them.]

femmevisibilityThis is not a post about femme invisibility. I’ve read plenty about how that’s crap. I see you. And so do the rest of my butch friends. You are not invisible. But, this is a cry for help. We don’t like being rejected (who does?). So, bat your eyelashes at me. I will take it from there.

It’s butch to make sure she is actually a femme (as opposed to a lovely straight woman) before turning on the charm. Be Butch.

65 thoughts on “Hello Femmes!

  1. this post made me smile because whenever I see a boi and im not somewhere necessarily “gay”…let’s just say for example…the grocery store at 9pm last night, haha. I make it known that im interested because what if I never see her again? CHances are she would walk right by me and not think for a second that i’m gay but I hold my gaze a little bit longer and hope she knows what i’m trying to say with my eyes. In my head im screaming, YES IM GAY AND I WANT TO TALK TO YOU, DONT WALK AWAY! haha, love this.

  2. Yesterday in Wal-mart I did a full head turn to look back at a butch. My entire body nearly turned. But she was looking into the deep freezer. And she was with (with-with?) another woman. I kept rollin’.

  3. I agree – it’s hard for a butch boi to know a femme in really gay a non-gay place to know, but at the same time we don’t like to get rejected either. There used to be a butch boil that worked at my local Walmart in the produce section. I wore every gay shirt I could find to let her know I was gay & she wouldn’t look twice. 🙁

  4. It’s frustrating when you’re giving a sweet looking boi or butch the flirty eyes and it seems like they see right through you! I could only imagine what it’s like from their perspective.

  5. Uggh, I totally need to edit that comment for content & extra letters, please do not take offense, but in my defense – I’m laying in bed on pillows with a spine that is being disagreeable & moving to type is hard.

    • Just a Femme,

      No worries, boo. I got you. I’m sorry about your spine. I hope you heal quickly. Thank you for reading and taking the time to comment – even laying back on pillows!


  6. Oh Butch! There are plenty of us out there who think we’re being soooo obvious and get nothin’!
    I’m that femme LOL! I’ve been crushing on Boss for sooo long and only recently did she realize I’ve liked her! Seriously, we’re friends! I give her every damn signal possible to let her know I want her! Then she’s shocked to hear from my own damn mouth that I want her!
    You bois are quite oblivious sometimes!!! *Giggles*

      • LOL! Hmm…it just kinda happens with me. Depending on the butch. I usually watch from afar for a bit. If she/hy should look my way. I’ll do the looking down thing. Ya know! If she/hy looks my way again I’ll hold the stare and smile. If she/hy STILL hasn’t gotten the hint I’ll go say, “Hi.” Give some comment about their shirt. You mentioned touching biceps. YES! OF COURSE!! Little touches here and there are a HUGE give away!!!

          • *waves* Hellooo!! LOL!
            Online, it does seem a bit easier. For one thing, there’s a huge box that says “Lesbian.” No femme invisibility there 😉
            Real life…even in the girl bars. Honey, I don’t get the time of day or night. Just found out that I can be a bit intimidating?!?!?! Moi?!?! Ta hell you say! LOL!!

  7. being an “undercover” lesbian while pregnant drove me nuts. I hated how everyone just assumed that I had a husband. All the women I met were either online, at a girl bar, or in one case had a tattoo of interlinking female symbols (which I only noticed after she had slipped her hands up my corset). My fIrst ever experIence (It sure wasnt a relatIonshIp) was wIth a woman I worked wIth. Having done the femme on femme thing I can commiserate with your difficulties in sorting the femme from the straight but my experience was that if you look in the right places and advertise your availability the femme you’re searching for will find you.

  8. I always struggle with this because I’m a taken femme. Yes, I like to flirt, I like the social solidarity that comes with letting a fellow gaymo know I’m in the know and “one of those” but I worry about leading people on!
    Unrelated, I once went out with my step dad and a good male friend and after dinner my stepdad informed me that I was causing the poor boy to go through hell because I was touching his arm socially etc, but had absolutely no romantic feelings towards him. Talk about sending the wrong message! I wouldn’t want to do that to a dapper butch!

  9. while my wife and I were camping in Botswana she went to the loo. I was waiting outside for her. Coincidentally a tour group of about 10 dykes were there at the same time. I know they were dykes because as they passed DW someone noticed she was wearing a “who’s your daddy?” t-shirt and they erupted like a group of chickens with a weasel in the henhouse. DW of course was oblivious while I was in fits of laughter.

    Butches can be very very very dense sometimes.

  10. Sometimes it’s hard for us to know whose femme and whose friendly.

    I do femmes an injustice as my partners have all been straight girls who’ve gone for me for me for well ME !! So I unwittingly add to femme invisibility .. I’ve been too chicken to get involved with a femme as my lack of self confidence has been a big part of never hooking up with a femme and I was always scared they would be with me and still be looking over her shoulder at some other Butch who walked past.

    It’s hard as the dynamic is in me and lack of contact with the community sometimes isolates me.

    I’ve derailed no ..

  11. I am a butch who gets “sparkled” at by Femmes. I notice but I am very happily in love with My FemmeMermaid so my only response is a polite smile back. I love seeing ‘family’ out & about, especially in non gay areas and I to want to high five every gay person I see. I don’t. Friendliness is misread as flirting sometimes. My Femme gets alot of attention also by other butches and she too wishes we had a sign or code for ‘ hey it’s so cool to get seen and I’m taken but rock on for showing your gayness! ‘

    I appreciate the attention I get from Femmes and that is the energy I send to them for making the extra effort to say Hi.

  12. My favorite line: “Oh Butch, I can tell you work out. I bet you could press me easily.” That has bumper-sticker written all over it… or at least, a t-shirt.. one that is worn tightly to display aforementioned bi’s and tri’s… OH, in this context, Biceps and Triceps.. no Bisexuals and Trisexuals…

  13. I made an extra effort to obviously notice butches, back when I was single. It’s easier when I’m out with my partner because there is no mistaking her dyke-ness. However, in the small city where I used to live in Michigan, I frequently got the “what are you looking at straight girl?” look. Sigh. Oblivious? Yeah, but I understand that hesitancy. I used to say I needed a big sparkly tattoo that said “Femme” on my forehead. 🙂

  14. In my area you cannot tell if a woman is gay or straight period. This has nothing to do with femme either. There are a lot of butch straight women! That’s just the style when you live in the country, women everywhere in short hair, muddy boots, and camouflage :P. They swagger too, but then their husband pops up next to them and your left scratching your head in confusion…

    • I’ve lived in the country & seen this phenomenon – more than a few times. Sometimes I just want to look at them & say “you know you’re gay right?” – of course I never did. There was one woman that used to come in my job though & I would just *twinkle* when I saw her. Then I saw her bf & thought “no way!” It took about 5 years I’d say, but she was finally starting to come out – not sure what finally triggered it, but now that I’ve moved away – I hope she finds herself a cute femme to share her life with.

      • Just a Femme,

        First of all, what a misnomer! “Just” a femme? Being a femme is everything.

        Ok, now to your comment. “you know you’re gay right?” LOL! Thanks for commenting.


  15. Lmao…@ the press me line… a butch once told me she could bench press me… I never thought to use it as a line myself! Sadly, we have to make the first move. After my new singledom I got an inconspicuous woven rainbow pride bracelet and leave it on because otherwise I’m overlooked as straight. I saw another femme do this immediately elbowed my friend and exchanged glances. I figured if it worked for her it was worth a try. I will occasionally make it a point to tuck my hair with that hand or touch said butch with that hand. I also go with longer than needed eye contact and leaning in during conversation.

  16. I enjoyed this post. A lot. I find that even in gay bars I am over looked, dismissed frequently as straight. I try the lingering eye contact, I try the touching of the arm (or leg if sitting) but nothing, no response. I’ll even go up and say hi if there’s someone who has really caught my attention but usually all it results in is a nice short exchange and thats it. It’s very confusing! I’m not sure what else I have to do to make it clear that I am gay and I am interested! Maybe a nice large forehead tattoo would do the trick…

  17. Reblogged this on MainelyButch and commented:
    This is a fantastic piece of writing. Butch Jaxon brings it full-on here. I too struggle with the “approach” – always not quite positive if she’s looking at me cuz she’s interested or if she’s looking at me cuz she’s straight and curious about my Butch appearance! So, yes, Femmes, please send out those blunt signals, touch my arm, wink at me…let me know you are interested! I can take it from there – as Butch Jaxon says!

    • Well hello A Spare Mind!

      Welcome, beautiful. Your batting eyelashes and other femme tactics are welcome here. Oh, and touching my bicep? That will always be right on. Thanks for commenting and I hope you’ll stick around.


  18. You make me smile. I didnt even think abou it like that. Most of the time I sit there and think “How can she not know Im gay?!” and now I look at myself and think hmmm…. the femme factor may be sending mixed signals. I will definitely look at you with a lingering flirtatious look and a smile 🙂

  19. Great post! It reminds me of when I approached my lady. We had been working together for about a year (she was once my supervisor) when we hung out with a mutual friend outside of work. Afterwards, we started talking and after about a week of texting all day and night about everything and anything she finally asked me what i wanted, and not in the context of what i wanted from her, just from life. i bucked up and said, “Would it be to bold to say you?” and then hid under my covers like a little kid until she answered.

    Sometimes it takes a bold action to get noticed but it is usually worth the risk, even if you hide under your covers afraid of rejection!

  20. I walk the streets with my mother 0.0
    And she knows I like girls but won’t let me date anyone yet so, of course as I walk with her I find the most good looking butch’s and Idk what to do but I want to be like ” HEY CAN I JUST HAVE YOUR NUMBER REAL QUICK I THINK I MIGHT LIKE YOU LATER ” XD
    I tried to signal one with my eyes today but she was about to head to the bus, but from afar she glanced , I did too we got close *still walking with my mother* and she turned her head back and I looked at her and her face up close was sooo fine D: </3 broke my heart to see her go !

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