Lesbianing with AE! Bondage, Femmes, & Beauty Standards

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Alright, Lez get right to the first question.

I’ve been single for over a year now. So far I’ve dated 2 girls who both turned out to be straight-ish and who now have boyfriends.  What did they have in common? Both were extremely femme and gorgeous, sophisticated, had good taste and shared the same views as me. Yeah, as inappropriate as it sounds they were “too good to be gay” and I am stuck with very high expectations, which makes dating very difficult and even exhausting as I keep comparing every new girl to my exes.  I also happen to live in a country with a relatively small LGBT community. Should I just keep waiting for my Bette Porter to come around or work on lowering my expectations? If that’s even emotionally possible… Why does it have to be so difficult to find other femmes?

-Desperate Lipstick

A general note to all the femmes who have written me letters bemoaning the fact that they cannot, for the life of them, find a decent-looking femme to date. THIS IS FOR YOU. If you’re wondering whether it applies to you because you haven’t seen your question in the column yet, YES, IT DOES.

Without failure, you chronicle a litany of romantic failures with women who masqueraded as femmes but turned out to be bi or straight or (maybe the truth, which you don’t acknowledge) just not that into you.

Why could this be? How could this be? You do not understand what keeps happening.

I’ve read all your letters and you ALL claim you’re looking for a woman who is:

  • Attractive
  • Thin/fit/not fat BECAUSE YOU WOULD NEVER DATE A FATTY
  • Wears makeup/dresses/skirts/high heels
  • Not a tomboy
  • Not a butch
  • Did I say pretty? and thin? Because it’s important to you – you tend to restate it when you write to me as if these two words together define the concept of femme, and they do not.

I get a little sick of femmes acting like they can’t find femmes to date and expecting me to solve their lesbian dating problems, when a lot of the problem is that there are literally 5 women in their town who fit their stringent criteria of who is femme enough, and 4 of them are exes already. THAT IS IMPOSSIBLE MATH LADIES. YOU WILL NEVER WIN.

A relationship takes two and if yours keep failing, you gotta take a step back and work on yourself. Your expectations are unrealistic.

And honestly, they’re kinda toxic.

There’s enough cutting down in the queer community. Why do you need to police who is femme enough or authentically lesbian? Does it matter if that gorgeous gal in the club sleeps with guys too? Are you unwilling to find love with a bisexual woman? Okay, your choice, but you’ve possibly just ruled out that last acceptable lady – better get thee to a nunnery now.

Look, all you want is Bette Porter. There may be variations swarming all over your town, but you would never consider dating them — which is just as well, because they deserve someone who can love them without wanting to change them.

Femmes come in ALL shapes and ALL sizes. Not all femmes are so feminine-looking they could be misread as straight. Not all femmes go everywhere in makeup, or have long hair, or are allergic to pants. Not all femmes are super hot. Some femmes are plain average looking.

Here’s the thing I KNOW YOU KNOW, femmes who can’t find a “real lesbian.” Looks fade, barring some sort of pricey plastic surgery – or, you know, injecting yourself with the blood of the young.

Here’s the thing I KNOW YOU KNOW, femmes who can’t find a “real lesbian.” Looks fade, barring some sort of pricey plastic surgery – or, you know, injecting yourself with the blood of the young.

That size two femme you scoop up could become the fat lesbian you fear. She could get a short haircut or stop wearing makeup when she quits her job to take care of the kids you had using IVF, and then what? Will you automatically lose interest because she doesn’t conform to your beauty standards?

Now, Desperate Lipstick,

We all get to determine what we will and won’t stand in relationships. If you are not attracted to masculine women, no amount of pretending otherwise will make you connect romantically with a butch. But let me challenge you not to “lower your expectations” but broaden your horizons.

Your physical attraction to feminine women may be hardwired, but your preference for only the femmiest of femmes, those 6-foot tall sparkly goddesses with long blonde tresses, dewy skin, and a toned body – that’s not innate. You’ve put yourself in a box, maybe unwittingly, maybe because a box feels safer. But you’ve already dated the three women in your country who meet your stringent requirements, so if you want to find love, it’s time to do some growing.

Your physical attraction to feminine women may be hardwired, but your preference for only the femmiest of femmes, those 6-foot tall sparkly goddesses with long blonde tresses, dewy skin, and a toned body – that’s not innate. You’ve put yourself in a box, maybe unwittingly, maybe because a box feels safer. But you’ve already dated the three women in your country who meet your stringent requirements, so if you want to find love, it’s time to do some growing.

Are there more lesbians out there who fit your physical type, but aren’t sophisticated in the way you want? Maybe you’re after someone who is passionate about modern dance and will go to shows with you. Introducing a new partner to a passion of yours can be an exciting journey that brings you closer together.

Conversely, there’s something to be said for maintaining your own interests in a long-term relationship — for ducking out with your pals to see a dance show while your partner does something else, so you can still be interesting to one another. Rather than view her differing interests as a challenge, consider this an opportunity to share and grow together.

People who aren’t model pretty have had to rely on something else to find love – such as their charm, humor, warmth, and intelligence. Broadening your horizons may be surprisingly refreshing.

You aren’t happy with your life right now. You’re writing to me “desperate” and “exhausted” wondering how to pick the lock of the box you’ve put yourself in. Well, you can either change your circumstances — i.e., move somewhere with more lesbians — or change your mindset. It’s a lot less expensive to change the latter.

You aren’t happy with your life right now. You’re writing to me “desperate” and “exhausted” wondering how to pick the lock of the box you’ve put yourself in. Well, you can either change your circumstances — i.e., move somewhere with more lesbians — or change your mindset. It’s a lot less expensive to change the latter.

Perhaps find a Dana Fairbanks. Someone who is femme in the sheets but a little sportier in the streets. Someone whose personal style isn’t what you’re most attracted to, but whose winning personality and overall attractiveness round up the package to a good-enough girlfriend. Or look outside your age range – older and younger.

Maybe you’ll be surprised at how much easier it is to date someone who has a lot of what you seek in a partner, but who is a fully rounded human with their own quirks and flaws, and who doesn’t try to hold you to impossible standards.

Finally, I understand how lonely it is when you want a relationship but cannot find someone to date. I am sorry that you are struggling and feel disconnected from the potential pool of available lesbians. It sucks when you can’t get an ex out of your head, when you compare every possible partner to her, and when you feel like you will be alone forever if things don’t change. These are dark thoughts, and if you’re like me, they can get in your head on auto repeat and make it difficult for you to even try dating with an open mind.

I encourage you to broaden your horizons because I suspect, no matter who you next find love with, you will benefit from being less critical of others – because you are probably equally hard on yourself.

None of us are perfect. We do the best we can. Try to see others more generously, and open yourself up to receive love in the many forms in which it flows to you.

Smiling friends hugging at beach

NEXT PAGE: All Tied Up (literally)

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