What Your Mother Never Told You
Advice from Uncle Bill & Auntie Andrea
Dear Aunt Andrea:
I'm a 22-year-old Libra male, about a Kinsey 2 (I like women more than men). The weird thing is, I like women to be very butch! Does this make any sense at all? If I like women better, why do I want them to act like men and why do I find that sexy?
-- Weirded Out in Seattle
Dear Weirded Out:
You say that you like women more than men, and I assume that we're just talking about it as a choice of sexual partner. So what's weird about liking butch women, too? Butch is, after all, just another flavor of womanhood. To find it attractive only makes perfect sense, if you ask me (which you did).
I can come up with plenty of great reasons for liking butch, masculine women. Let's start with Marlene Dietrich in a tuxedo, then work up to k.d. lang, and then to the delicious examples that I see around San Francisco, with their flat-top haircuts and motorcycle jackets and tank tops... sweat glistening over tattoos inked onto well-muscled arms... and that swagger!
Yummmm... um, now, where were we?
Oh yes, we were talking about the attractiveness of butch women. You also mentioned women who act like men, which aren't necessarily the same women as the butch ones. It's a commonly held myth that butch women all act like men, all the time. It's also a commonly held myth that all men act like men all the time, but that's not what we're here to talk about right now!
Perhaps you like butch women because it allows you to explore a more "masculine" sexual energy with your partner, while still remaining on the more comfortable, familiar ground of her female body. If that's the case, then what's to worry? Gender play is fair game, and there are plenty of women out there who would love to slick their hair back, put on a suit, and use their masculine energy to role-play themselves into some really hot boy-nookie!
Only you really know why you find butch women attractive, but whatever the reason, more power to you.
-- Aunt Andrea
Dear Uncle Bill:
The situation with the President and Monica Lewinsky potentially casts the non-monogamy and polyamory communities in a bad light. Short of an admission by either Bill or Hillary Clinton that they have a nonmonogamous relationship, I think that his affair was not consensual and therefore immoral.
Am I right, as someone who supports nonmonogamy and polyamory, to want to distance the community from these events? What can we do to contain the fallout of this PR disaster? Where's our spin doctor?
-- Ethical Enquirer
At this point, it's obvious that the majority of the electorate doesn't give a rodent's rectum where the President puts his pee-pee. Or at least, that's what we claim when asked by the pollsters.
The truth is perhaps less flattering to us. I've been wondering a lot whether the public is furtively fascinated by the Clinton scandal, or whether we're just being force-fed by the media. Honestly, I'm not certain anymore.
I've heard two opposing schools of thought on this matter. The optimists think it's fantastic that the Prez has been outed as a non-monogamist because it's opening up a national dialogue on the topic. The pessimists think it's awful because, as you believe, it makes us ethical non-monogamists look bad.
As for myself, I'm bored with the media's sensationalizing of the event, and of Ken Starr's ruthless sanctimony. I'm also appalled, though not surprised, at the mainstream media's hypocrisy in spending so much time and attention on this matter and then ignoring that Henry Hyde, the Republican chair of the Judiciary Committee (who basically decide whether to impeach), had an affair 30 years ago which broke up a marriage. The Republicans accused the White House of planting the story, but to me it's a clear case of reaping what you sow. The GOP is just fine with the media when it slams Clinton for what he does with his penis. They're just getting some of the same now. (By the way, Salon online magazine broke that story when all the papers were ignoring it.)
I think the key word in this discussion is ethical. It was unethical and short-sighted on the President's part to lie under oath regarding his involvement with Lewinsky.
It's also unethical that Linda Tripp taped her phone conversations with Lewinsky without her consent, and that they were then accepted as evidence.
I don't care about the distinctions between civil and criminal proceedings; submitting nonconsensually recorded tapes as evidence is unethical.
In these times, the media have the power to reduce even the president to an ignoble beast, yet willfully ignore the heroic in our daily lives. We've overlooked the real cultural heroes: those rare lawyers, intellectuals, and others who have fought steadily for the past several decades to preserve our vanishing personal freedoms. Yet where are the media on the topic of non-monogamy? When they acknowledge it at all, it's in a negative light. Look at the daytime talk shows that are still dishing up the most unsavory polygamists and spouse-cheaters they can rake up out of the muck. I don't think any spin doctor is going to change that much.
I think our best strategy is to become our own spin doctors. We can become more public, and thereby more articulate, about our sexual choices. The way to change the public's opinion of us is one person at a time. It was heartening to see how the Governor of Colorado and his wife handled their "outing" a while back [as polyamorous; see ATM Issue 16, p. 52 for news brief] -- with great dignity. Speaking and writing about our lives is very important -- as self affirmation, as a way of networking with like-minded folks, and as a tool to educate others so that they don't harbor ignorant notions about who we are and how we love.
Most people choose to be ignorant about these matters. It's up to us to do what we can to ensure that what is said and printed about us is as close as possible to the truth.
-- Uncle Bill
Auntie Andrea, in her own words, is "a pervy, horny bisexual chick who is having way too much fun living in San Francisco. In her spare time, she collects labels."
Uncle Bill (a.k.a Bill Brent) edits and publishes two sex-oriented publications. Black Sheets is a bi-oriented zine for kinky, queer, intelligent, and irreverent folk. The Black Book is an illustrated resource guide for the erotic explorer. Both are available at the ATM order line, (800) 818-8823.
What your mother probably never told you was that Uncle Bill & Auntie Andrea are available to answer all your questions on sex, love, relationships, et cetera. Send them c/o Anything That Moves, 2261 Market St., #496, San Francisco, CA 94114-1600, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. We'll only use your initials or a pen name, so don't worry, your mother won't find out...
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