Ask a Femme: Dear Butches, Ask Her Out Already!

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Scene one: You’re butch. A pretty femme works in the office two floors down from yours. You see her every day. In the elevator. At the Starbucks in the lobby. On the balcony off the fourth floor where everyone goes to smoke or get out of their respective offices for a minute. She always smiles at you. You always smile back. You’ve said hello, talked about the weather, even mentioned a must-see list for Netflix and Hulu. You want to ask her out. But…

Scene two: Still butch. A pretty femme catches your eye from across the bar. It’s not your first time at this bar or the first time you’ve caught her looking your way. You’ve managed to say hello. She even commented on your dart game one weekend. You always see her in a gaggle of femmes. She doesn’t seem to be attached to anyone. It seems she starts as many conversations and as much eye contact as you. You want to ask her out. But…

Scene three: Butch again. A pretty femme walks past your house. She’s always walking that grumpy looking French bulldog. You’re always cutting the grass or fixing the gutters. You always say hello or she says hello and you nod and smile. Sometimes she asks about the flowers in the yard or how many trick-or-treaters you had. She never has anyone with her other than Oscar, that grumpy French bulldog. You want to ask her out. But…

Question – In which of these scenes is it appropriate to ask her out?

Answer – All of them.

I can’t speak for all femmes. But I’m going to anyway. Butches, we want you to ask us out. I’m not saying every femme is going to say yes to every butch every time. But, I am saying, that, speaking in general terms, femmes want butches to ask us out. Yes, there are femmes who like femmes. But that doesn’t mean those femmes are going to be upset if you ask them out. Doing the asking has nothing to do with what that answer might be. It’s just about asking.

I’m not saying every femme is going to say yes to every butch every time. But, I am saying, that, speaking in general terms, femmes want butches to ask us out.

Now, you need to be polite and respectful and read the signs. If we’re with another woman or wearing a wedding ring, don’t bother. If we don’t return your smile or we look away, don’t waste your time. If you see us flirt with other women and not one of them is butch or even close, forget about it. But in every one of the scenes above, you should take a chance. The worst thing she can say is no.

If she does, you need to respect her answer and bid her a nice day. Nothing ventured, nothing gained, you know. And a graceful exit is as vital as a valiant ask.

Many of us femmes, a sweeping majority of us I would venture to guess, are no less in search of a fairy tale romance than our straight counterparts. For better or for worse – no pun intended – we still cling to some of those heteronormative models with which so many of us are raised. I’m not saying that’s a good thing. I’m just saying it is a thing. In some ways, femmes want to be asked out by butches just like butches want to ask femmes out. 

It’s simply Cinderella 2.0. 

Now, before you get your panties – or your boxers all in a wad – I am a Feminist. I know I can ask a girl out any old time I like even though I’m a femme. (Or rather I could before I got married.) But I’m not talking about what I’m able to do. I’m talking about what I want. And asking a girl out simply wasn’t something I wanted to do. Plus, quite frankly, the majority of girls with whom I wanted to go out wouldn’t have been so keen on my taking that particular bull by the horns.

Now, before you get your panties – or your boxers all in a wad – I am a Feminist. I know I can ask a girl out any old time I like even though I’m a femme. (Or rather I could before I got married.) But I’m not talking about what I’m able to do. I’m talking about what I want.

Here’s the thing. There are no hard and fast rules. There’s nothing keeping you from asking. There’s nothing saying you have to ask either. But just like you’re wanting to ask, she’s wanting you to ask. If you do decide to ask, I have a few little warnings/tips for you.

  1. Be prepared for the answer whatever it might be. Hearing no is not the end of the world. It may feel like a little ding to the ego at first. But instead of feeling badly about her answer, why not feel great for taking the risk and asking her in the first place?
  2. Ask nicely. I know that might seem obvious or maybe even a little silly or offensive. But when you’re nervous, it can be easy to come off too brusquely. Make it easy for her to say yes or no. Then you can be sure you’re getting an authentic answer.
  3. Read the signs. Are you her boss? Don’t ask her out. Is she in a gaggle of her friends? Don’t ask her out. Does she seem uncomfortable the longer you’re talking to her? Don’t ask her out. When we dig someone, it can be easy to ignore the signs that are right in front of us. But don’t.
  4. Be authentic. There’s nothing worse than someone who acts like who they think you want them to be in order to get you to agree to a date. The thing is, as soon as they find out that you actually hate the opera or that you love red meat, the jig will be up. So go in true and you never have to worry about whether or not she likes the real you.
  5. Ask. I guess that’s not a warning. It’s more of a push in the right direction. Most femmes are flattered by the ask. So, as long as you’re paying attention and doing it right, you can’t go wrong by at least giving it a shot.

Let me make this simple, femmes want butches to ask them out. When they don’t want to go, they simply decline and a well-heeled butch will simply bid her adieu. And to all of you femmes, be kind. It’s not easy to ask a girl out. Take the compliment and whether your response is yes or no, deliver it with kindness and gentility. You can never go wrong with a little kindness and gentility.

Remember, just because we don’t have to fill certain gender stereotypes, doesn’t mean we can’t play the dating game any way we like, even if it does look an awful lot like your favorite rom-com.

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