Most butches and femmes don’t live in the same town. Even in New York, seeing someone in Brooklyn or Staten Island becomes a project. While the internet is great to keep in touch with old friends, it can also kill all the mystery really fast when you have just met someone new. If you start emailing someone instead of spending face-to-face time with them, it’s hard not to disclose the type of information that will move you from the “yummo butch/sexy femme” to the “oh I just made a new friend” category.
Last month, after reading a Bible-length email from a butch I was into, I was left thinking: “well I guess we are just friends.” She is in her 50s, sexy, witty, spunky, and hawt. That we were both seeing other people didn’t stop us from flirting a little bit. Problem was she volunteered the story of her life. If we kept going down that road, there would be nothing left to ask or talk about if we ever went on a date. The other night a friend told me about this woman she likes and how they had been flirting online for a little bit. Things seemed to be going in the right direction but next thing you know they were sharing stories about their nieces and my friend wonders how that happened.
A few things to remember the next time we meet someone we are into:
– If you don’t want to be “just a friend,” stop acting like one. Listening to her and offering love advice, running errands with/for her, doing her grocery shopping, cooking for her, comforting her, nurturing her… won’t get you laid. It will make her think of you as a friend or surrogate mother. I’m not saying you have to be an asshole – I’m just saying: wait until you are together to love and comfort her, cry and laugh together, listen to her as a friend, lover, partner, etc.
– Save your drama for your mama. If your ex is a total psycho and stresses you out, you may want to save that information for the first or second date (date etiquette for such situations: mention it briefly on the 1st and 2nd dates, go into it with more detail after the 3rd date). Same goes for femmes who just got out of a straight relationship, especially when they have kids. While some butches may love the competition against a straight guy, most will think you have unfinished business with your ex and will let you deal with your own shit.
– Don’t send mixed signals. Don’t do your laundry together, invite her over to watch a movie, and then ask if s/he wants to take a nap. Why would you take a butch/femme into your bedroom if you don’t want to have sex? S/he would immediately think you see her as your buddy and assume you are just friends.
– Don’t feed her any bullshit. It’s not cool to tell a butch/femme that you are not looking for a relationship on Monday and that you are in a relationship with someone else on Tuesday. It’s even less cool to have a butch in your house catering to your every wish all weekend, to tell her that you are not ready for sex or a relationship, and to let that butch find out on Tuesday that you are with someone else. Shit happens – we can’t control who we fall in love with. Just be careful how you word your wishes and desires so that you don’t hurt someone else’s feelings.
– Avoid giving TMI. Even freaks like me don’t want to hear about your medical history, why you had a hysterectomy, and the cocktail of hormones or meds you must take daily for whatever reason. Of course you can mention you have MS, cancer, anemia or whatever. But, unless asked to, don’t go into specifics that will let her thinking: “Sex. With you. Is not gonna happen. Ever.”
– Keep the mystery. Avoid long emails telling her the story of your life: exes, parents, college or workplace stories, cars… save something for the first date or for someone who really matters to you.
– Don’t keep her guessing. I know no one likes rejection, and putting our feelings out there is hard. You don’t have to spell it out but make sure s/he knows you are into her. Flirt with her, flirt some more, and hit her with a 2×4 email if necessary.
– Be honest. If you are not comfortable seeing that you two are going down the friendship path, say something. It’s perfectly fine to tell a butch/femme that you want to go back to short emails or Facebooking to keep some degree of mystery so that you have something to talk about when s/he asks you out on a date (no pressure!). If s/he’s seeing someone else, don’t be afraid to speak your mind but drop a “when we are both available” somewhere in your email/conversation – make sure s/he knows s/he can’t have her cake and eat it too. The worst thing that can happen is that s/he tells you s/he is not into you – big deal honey. We are in New York. There’s plenty of fish in the butch femme sea.
– When your cards are on the table, don’t sit by the phone waiting for her to call you. If s/he’s taken, stick to your guns and stay away from her until s/he’s single. If s/he’s single, let her come to you. I repeat: do not sit by the phone waiting for her to call you. Buy a magic wand, date other people, go to the gym, go out with your friends, cultivate some hobby… have your own life. Unless of course you are the butch: then you have to call the femme and ask her out on a proper date.