Mi’lady isn’t butch. (If she were, there’s no way in hell I would call her mi’lady.)
She’s not femme, either. Not particularly. Not the way I am. She doesn’t really fit into any sort of butch<–>femme spectrum at all. Maybe she’s androgynous, though somehow I’m uncomfortable with that word too to describe her. We talked about it a bit on Sunday, and didn’t really come up with a label that fit her precisely. But what she definitely is is a dyke.
I guess her gender energy is somewhat akin to Shane from The L Word. (Though I know Shane was commonly referred to as butch, I really don’t think she was, or at least not in the way that I understand butch.) Mi’lady isn’t quite the same sort of aloof player that Shane was portrayed as, and she’s much more outgoing and free with her emotions. Allows herself to be more vulnerable than Shane’s character. But she has a similar posture, a similar sort of slightly disheveled look, a similar style. Another stylistic reference would be Tegan & Sara — she’s got a sort of punkish female androgyny–tattoo, skinny jeans, chucks, indie t-shirts, black eyeliner.
And I wouldn’t say our relationship feels particularly butch-femme, either. It’s not that clearly defined. In some ways it does feel very butch-femme. I’m very much a nurturer, in that I’m constantly doing little domestic things. Cooking, tidying, grooming, both for me and for her. I’m a multi-tasker and I’m very attentive to detail. I like things just so. In that regard I can be a care-taker of her. Because she’s disorganized and rumpled and a bit chaotic and kind of messy. Not at all detail-oriented. She’s fantastically creative, and I help keep her grounded. In a femme way.
She is a nurturer too, in a different sense, maybe in more of a (dare I say?) butch sense. She’s always “big spoon,” and we almost always fall asleep that way, with her enfolding me in her arms. She’s very affirmative with words, telling me often how sexy or beautiful I am or how much she likes what I cook or how hot those heels look, in a way that affirms and strengthens my femininity. She was the one who pursued me from the get-go, bold and a risk-taker to my subtle flirting.
But in otherways, we’re not very butch-femme. Sexually, for example, we have great sex in which she’s more dominant and I’m submissive, and great sex in which I’m more dominant and she’s submissive, and great sex that doesn’t have bottom/top roles at all. I love strapping on and fucking her with a cock (she loves it too), and don’t particularly care for the reverse (she’s open to it if I want it but isn’t insistent on it). And aside from the ways I articulated above, there isn’t really any other way that our relationship feels gendered. We’re both women.
I wonder, in a way, whether I’m most suited to a butch, considering the extent to which I think I’m really femme. For example, mi’lady doesn’t really have (or at least hasn’t at any point articulated, to me or to herself) a matching and inverted fantasy of being a “protector” and having a “wife,” the way I’ve got this fantasy of having a protector and being a wife. But… I love her. She makes me laugh, she helps me move beyond details and be flexible, she motivates me to break out of my comfort zone a little bit and then gives me room to go back in, she challenges me. And really, I don’t think it’s necessary for our fantasies to match up. I think as long as we’re willing and able to work out the kinks and figure out our dynamics and make sure we’re both giving what we’re able to getting what we need, then we should be ok.
And, you know, she really does love it when I cook for her :)