Our Bodies, Our Binders: An Introduction to Chest Minimizing Magic

Hey, team! Remember how last week I promised I would keep you all posted about my Quest for the Holy Binder? Well, I think I’ve finally completed my mission – or, at the very least, I am satisfied enough with current results to rest on my laurels for a while.

Originally, I was just going to write about my own experiences with the magical “order, try on, get super frustrated, mail back/exchange, repeat” process known as binder shopping. In a fit of altruism, however, I decided that I should do what I can to help other butches/trans guys/gender-fuckers have a less stressful experience. As my version of “doing what I can” usually translates into “writing something for the internet,” I came up with a sort of Binding 101 post for my Diffuse 5 fashion column this week. Open your college ruled notebooks, kids, because class is in session:

Diffuse 5 Presents: Binding for Beginners

The Beaver Whisperer and the Red Hot Repartee

A: How can I get more dirty talk from my femme?

B: There is really only one answer to this question: ask her. Be aware, though, that there are a multitude of reasons why some people aren’t able to produce dirty talk during sex. If you’re lucky, though, all your femme needs is a little desire and some permission. Once she knows you want it, she’ll be all over it, and you.

If your femme is of the more reluctant persuasion, you can try to model the dirty talk that you want to hear from her. At first, just try to get her to answer in the affirmative to dirty questions that you can give her.  You can progress to getting her to repeat things that you say. From there, you can give her more open-ended dirty questions and hope to hear the dirty responses that you crave. After all of this, if it’s in her to do it, your femme will be better prepared to talk dirty for you all night long. Good luck!

The Beaver Whisperer and the Back Door Discussion

Q: How can a butch approach a femme about anal sex?

A: Anal sex is one of those things that usually has people at either extreme. Girls love it or they hate it, but almost no one is ambivalent about it.

Like all situations involving a new sexual activity, the easiest way to find out if you can try something new is to ask. You could just ask her if she wants to try anal with you. If you fear a look of shock and disgust in response, you could try a slower and more nonverbal method. Next time you and your femme are naked and happy together, touch her ass more than usual. Be very conscious as you do this and gauge her response. If she likes what you’re doing, go closer to her anus. As long as she’s enjoying what’s happening, you can bring yourself all the way to touching but not entering her anus. Make sure she knows how hot you think this is. Tell her exactly how hot you think this is. Feel free to even express your desires about further anal activity.

One possibility is that this is exactly what she’s been waiting to hear and she’ll encourage you right away. Another possibility is that she’s going to enjoy what is happening while trying to pretend that she didn’t hear that. In the case of the latter, don’t push it. After you’ve both enjoyed your orgasms and are calm and relaxed, you can bring it up again. This is a less threatening scenario, because no one is trying to get off. You can tell her again how hot you thought playing with her ass was and how much you would like to try anal sex with her. Listen to what she has to say. If she has fears, listen to her, acknowledge her fears, and address them if you can. Hopefully, the combination of liking what was done so far and knowing how much you want it will lead your lady to enter the well-lubed world of anal sex with you. Good luck!

The Beaver Whisperer and the Oral Obstacle

Q: I am not able to orgasm from receiving head.  I enjoy it immensely, but am unable to cum from tongue action alone. My partners in the past become frustrated with this inability of mine and have put the deed on the “never again list.” I tell them I really enjoy it, but because of the lack of a explosive ending I get denied. What can I say or do to have cunnilingus back in my sex life?

A: I am so sorry for the way that you’ve been treated by your not-quite-up-to-standard butches! You have my sympathy. Any butch worth the title (any dyke, or really, even any sexually active human) ought to realize that we don’t all get off the same way. In fact, sometimes our favorite acts never lead directly to orgasm.

Most women need direct clitoral stimulation in order to reach orgasm, but just because we’ve had this drilled into our heads by every venue from MTV’s Loveline (am I dating myself?) and its corresponding radio show to the longstanding sex advice columnist extraordinaire (of both print and podcast fame) Dan Savage, doesn’t mean that every woman will get off through clitoral stimulation or through clitoral stimulation alone.

Here are a few different cunnilinguistic scenarios to share with your butches if they haven’t tried them in the past. (And I invite all of our readers to add ideas of your own in the comments!)

Oral Sex Tips

1. Tongue Fucking: Instead of focusing solely on the clitoris, fuck the vaginal canal with your tongue, literally. Push your tongue inside as far as it will go and repeat, indefinitely. For many people, this is actually more psychological than it is much of a physical sensation, but you’ll often need your mind in the right place in order to reach orgasm.

2. Suck Her Cock, er, Clit: Instead of just flicking or circling your tongue against or around the clitoris, suck the whole thing into your mouth and go at it the same way you want your femme to suck your cock. Butches tend to love this, BTW, but a lot of femmes get off on it, too.

3. Combo Clit Vaginal Moan, er, Orgasm: Fuck your femme with your fingers (as many as she likes) while you are enthusiastically licking, flicking, circling, or sucking her clitoris with your tongue. Find the tongue motion that she likes, then add finger fucking.

What does make you orgasm? Choose any of those activities and then have your butch do them while going down on you. You’ll orgasm while getting head, which is what she seems to want, and you’ll get head and an orgasm, even though the head is not directly causing the orgasm.

If you’re stuck in the position where your butch has already put cunnilingus on the “never again” list and thus don’t know how to get her to try any of my (and hopefully our) helpful suggestions, stick to your guns. There is no excuse for not going down on your girl, whether she cums from it or not. Tell your butch I said so. Tell her what you want in bed, and expect to get it. You can also offer a trade. Choose an act that she wants that you’re not that into, and offer her a swap. If there aren’t any that you’re not into (you fantastic femme, you!), choose her favorite and offer her the trade. I can’t imagine a butch (who is worth your time) who wouldn’t comply.

I wish you many happy orgasms and much luck on your cunnilinguistic journey!

The Beaver Whisperer

Ask Your BFFs: Where My Butches At?

Where do the boyish girls like to hang out? Where do they shop? What kind of stores would I want to pretend I need to buy something in?

I’m pretty sure they are not out shopping at the shopping districts or malls. I guess butch girls are not into shopping unless they are being forced to hold bags by their femme?

If a girl wants to meet butch girls just in everyday life, where does she go? Are you all sitting at home on the couch playing Xbox?

Obviously there are the clubs and bars which are fine, but I am not talking places like that, where the intention is to meet someone under the influence of alcohol. I want to know where I might meet a cool chick just doing what she likes to do – which is…?

Bren: You’ve made a couple of false assumptions here – which is totally fine and understandable! Nobody is perfect, not even queer bloggers. First off, you’re assuming that all butches are interested in the same stuff and all hang out together in some tree house that they built with their own work-worn hands and filled with beer and footballs and flannel. Sadly, such is not the case. I’m afraid there’s no Butch Elks Lodge or Butch Skull and Bones (if there actually is and I haven’t been invited, I’ll be very hurt). We butches are unique and special snowflakes, each with our own hopes, dreams, and favorite place to buy khakis.

Speaking of buying khakis, let’s discuss your second false assumption: that butches hate to shop. I’m always surprised when people think that my femme has dragged me, kicking and screaming, to the mall just because I’m masculine-presenting (it’s actually quite the opposite; my GF has very limited patience for shopping). I imagine that this assumption comes from the whole “men hate shop, like kill buffalo, eat meat, grunt grunt” stereotype that you see in hetero entertainment. Whether we like to admit it or not, we queers internalize many of the gender roles that we see in the mainstream media; one result of this is the idea that masculine people and feminine people all act a certain way (femmes be shoppin’, butches be, uh, holdin’ bags).

The truth of the matter is that the majority of the butches I know fucking love shopping – clothes shopping, specifically. Think about it this way: if you spent much of your life being forced to wear things that you hated and made you feel so incredibly not yourself (in this case, feminine clothing), wouldn’t you be stoked to get out there and finally build a kickass wardrobe that reflected who you really are? The answer, for me at least, has been a resounding “hell yes.”

Now that we’ve cleared that up, let’s get back to your original quandary: where can you meet butches? Here’s my maddeningly vague answer: everywhere. No, seriously, we’re all over the place. We are legion. The trick really is just paying attention when you’re out and about. As Mad-Eye Moody would say, “Constant vigilance!” I’m always spotting other butches, but that’s because I’m always looking for other butches. Here’s a list of just a few of the places where I frequently have sightings:

  • The grocery store – There are tons of queers at Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods (not surprising), and, for some reason, Stop ‘n Shop
  • Independent bookstores – If it’s a used bookstore or, even better, a queer and/or feminist bookstore, your chances of a spotting a butch skyrocket. Cafes – There are just as many butch caffeine addicts out there as there are femme.
  • Thrift stores/consignment stores – Maybe we’re all broke, or maybe we just like vintage clothing, but you’ll often find us MOC peeps poking around the racks at Buffalo Exchange or Goodwill.
  • Open mic nights/indie rock shows – Everybody likes music and slam poetry and cheap crappy booze, right?

Those are a few places to start your Butch Hunt 2012, but remember: butches are just people, and people are everywhere. Keep your eyes peeled and your lashes reading for batting, and I’m sure you’ll spot one of us before you know it. Good luck!

Maddie: I really couldn’t agree more with Bren, here. Well, except on one item: I perhaps have a wee bit more sympathy for our dear questioner’s BUT WHERE ARE THEY ALL THEY MUST BE HIDING feeling. Not that Bren is incorrect that butchies are plentiful, just that sometimes you go longer than you would like without crossing paths with such a person. And then when you finally do, it’s while you’re hurtling down a lane of traffic on your bike and you can’t even put your well-honed eye-contact technique to use without endangering lives and then she’s gone and probably didn’t even see your cute alternative lifestyle haircut under your helmet. ARGH.

But, well, that brings me to an important point: dear questioner, I have some bad news. Running into someone cute does not, with reliable frequency, turn into meeting someone cute. Even if you find the perfect retail establishment that 90% of area MOCs frequent (already impossible for Bren’s our-demography-is-not-a-monolith reasons given above!) and lurk around hopefully, your odds of having prolonged conversations with the cuties you encounter are still just so much lower than if you were to encounter the same people in a specifically social setting.

SO. With that in mind, let’s consider where people who want to meet people go to meet people! You say the reason you’re looking for something other than bars and clubs is you aren’t interested in places where “the intention is to meet people under the influence of alcohol.” Well, plenty of people in bars aren’t there with that intent, exactly, but it’s true: somewhere in between the dim lights, the conversation-drowning/lust- generating dance music, and, yes, the availability of alcohol, perceptions can get altered. If that’s not what you’re into, that is quite fair.

Bars/clubs come with two big advantages, though, which are important in your search: 1. people who want to meet people go there to meet people, and 2. they can get a bunch of gays into the same place at the same time. IF YOU WANT TO FIND AND MEET COOL GIRLS OF YOUR TYPE, START WITH THESE TWO THINGS! I suggest getting social, but gaily so. Look for activities and meetups with a gay/queer focus. There are gay/queer sports leagues, book clubs, language groups, bike gangs, hiking clubs, knitting circles, vegan locavore picnic societies… you get the idea. You’ve read this blog, so I can safely assume you’re already past Step 1, which is: Find the Internet. Step 2 is Use it to Find and Attend Awesome Local Shit. There’s another advanced step that you should know about, for when you’re ready: Use the Internet to Start and Hype Awesome Local Shit. You can always add to your local queer offerings, don’t forget.

But for now – go google where the gays go and get thyself to some nice gatherings. Find the gays, then find the cute gays, then find the cute gays who think you’re cute. It can be a long process, since only persistence over time will make up for the factors beyond your control… but luckily, the process is a lot of fun, too. Good luck!

The Beaver Whisperer and the Dyke Bar Blues

Q: What’s the best way to approach a lady in a bar setting? I’m lucky enough to live in a town with an awesome dyke bar (The Lexington in San Francisco), but don’t have the nerve/courage/confidence to make the first move. What are some techniques?

A: Truth be told, I have never been approached in a bar setting. I’m not that sure that it actually happens with any regularity in reality. Most people tend to go to the bar with their friends, and not as much intermingling happens as you might think. However, I do know what I’d like, so here you go.

When it comes to nerve, courage, and confidence, you have to take a deep breath and suck it up, buttercup.

If you see a girl who strikes your fancy, just walk up to her. Say “hi.” Ask her to dance (if it’s a club and not just a bar). Feel free to tell her what it was that attracted you to her – just be wary of saying anything that resembles a cheesy pick up line. It is OK to ask her if you can buy her a drink, but just don’t let that be the first thing out of your mouth. Let her finish the one she has first, or if you’re dancing, ask if you can buy her a drink after dancing and then find a quieter spot to actually talk to her. Pay attention to her, focus your attention on her. Make her feel happy that you’re there. Spend the rest of the night hanging out with her (do not focus on several girls at once!). If you leave first, ask for her number. If she leaves first, offer to wait for her cab with her or walk her to her car (make sure she’s sober!) or public transit stop. Be a gentlebutch! If you get her number, do call her the next day. Do ask her out to dinner. Do at least attempt to pay for dinner.

Good luck and happy hunting!

The Beaver Whisperer and the Down South Dilemma

Q: I’ve never gone down on a girl. I want to. How can I get my partner to open up to the idea of it? I’d start heading south, and she’d make me detour north. I tried talking to her about it, and she just said she didn’t want to. I, of course, respected her wishes because consent is sexy…but I feel like I’m missing out.

Lori

A: Dear Lori,

Going down on a girl is a joy that no dyke should be left out of. However, there is the rare girl that doesn’t want it for one reason or another. In truth, you kind of have to respect your girl’s wishes. That said, there are alternative tactics depending on your situation.

  • Is your girl as inexperienced as you are? She may just be nervous and need more time before she’s ready to try that particular activity. Does she go down on you? If not, she might be nervous or scared about what will be expected of her if she lets you go down on her. She may not be ready to reciprocate, or she may be afraid that she won’t know what to do once she’s presented with your cunt in front of her face.
  • Is your girl a victim of sexual abuse or assault? This may be a triggering activity for her and not something that she’ll ever allow you to do.
  • Does your girl allow you to touch her cunt with your fingers? If not, she may be stone or mostly stone and simply not want contact there at all.
  • Some girls far prefer “giving” over “receiving.” I put those words in quotes because really, giving is receiving in this case. It’s what you want! Sometimes, a little twist on words in that way can be all someone needs in order to allow you to do what you want. If she’s the type that just wants to make you happy, she might feel like she’s being selfish by having you go down on her. Explain that it’s your desire and this type of girl might let you go for it. She needs to know that by spreading her legs, she’s doing what you want and actively doing something to make you happy.
  • She may have negative associations. During the course of my research, I discovered a girl who feels that “a big wet thing down there messing around” feels like a cat’s tongue licking her finger. Since she’s not into bestiality, she’s also not into cunnilingus. She feels it is some sort of phobia*. I agree.
  • She might feel dirty. If she’s had a hard day at work and it’s been 16 hours since her last shower, she might be embarrassed to have you down there. Try asking her to take a shower with you, and then try it either in the shower or just after.
  • Shocking, I know, but some girls just don’t like it. My theory is that such girls have only ever had it done badly and thus just think that they don’t like it, but they’d probably disagree. There are also some girls who have even had the best (moi, of course) and still don’t like it. Sensations feel different to different bodies, and some of us are wired a little funny.
  • Does your girl have body issues? She might think that she doesn’t look good “down there” or that her thighs are fat or some other such nonsense. Lots of “You’re so hot, you make me so wet. I want you to come all over my face.” dirty talk might solve this problem.
  • There exists the notion, amongst some lesbians, that cunnilingus is a particularly intimate activity and should thus be reserved for after really getting to know someone or falling in love, as opposed to, you know, fucking on the first date (which apparently doesn’t always include oral sex). If your girl is one of these, you just have to wait it out until she feels the feelings that she needs to feel (and maybe until you’ve expressed the endearments that she needs to hear) to allow you to go down on her.

My best advice, however, is to keep talking. You won’t have to do so much guessing if you can get her to tell you what’s up. If all else fails, in vino veritas. Get her tipsy and then talk about it. She might open up a bit more than she otherwise would. You don’t need to remind her of the things that she’s said later. She may have just been too embarrassed to talk about it the whole time, but at least you’ll know what’s going on and what tactics, if any, will work for your situation.

Good luck and best wishes for your journey south!

The Beaver Whisperer

* a phobia being an irrational aversion or fear