The Lipstick Lesbian

Let’s start with a story, shall we?

I grew up in a small beach town that had  a strange population dichotomy consisting of a large LGBT community coinciding and coexisting with a suburban, conservative mentality. My family, unfortunately for me, belonged to the latter camp. Because of the large gay population, we were used to seeing LGBT folks around, which is why this particular tale sticks out in my mind.

One day when I was in about the sixth grade, my sister came home from the boardwalk with an interesting announcement. “Oh my gosh Julie, you won’t believe what I saw today!”

“What? What is it?”

“There were these two girls holding hands.. and they were both in skirts! One of them had red high heels on and they were carrying purses. They were… together.”

“Together together?” I asked, my curiosity piqued.

“Mmhmm,” she nodded, her eyes wide with some combination of confusion and disgust. I, on the other hand, was fascinated.

I’m sure my sister doesn’t remember this conversation, but I never forgot. This was my first introduction to the “lipstick lesbian.”

My poor sister was scandalized

In popular jargon, “lipstick lesbian” is often used interchangeably with “femme.” However, the term more specifically refers to feminine women who date other feminine women. A reader asked for my thoughts on the subject, so here goes!

First of all, I think it is wonderful for people to be confident in their identities and to know who they are attracted to. While identifying as a femme lesbian who only dates other femme lesbians could be construed as limiting, I think more power to them for knowing what they want.

The term “lipstick lesbian” is one I have never really been comfortable with. Not that I have anything against the identity; rather, the words just feel strange in my mouth. I think it’s probably due to the fact that I’ve never actually known anyone who identifies with the term, even if they are femmes interested in other femmes.

Not for male amusement

Additionally, the concept of the “lipstick lesbian” is so often embroiled with ideas of male sexual fantasy. Honestly, I’ve never understood this. Why are men so drawn to two women who have no interest in them? Is it the extra challenge? The boost in masculinity and machismo that they would feel were they successful in”turning” the ladies? (Quotation marks to convey sarcasm; I know turning someone gay or straight is not possible!)

Whatever the reason, two femme lesbians together are a staple of male sexual desire. They appear in porn, on the television, and in movies. Just type “lesbians” into youtube and you will see what I mean. Actually – don’t. That is, unless you want to see clips of likely-straight women kissing for the camera. While the topic of straight girls kissing each other Katy-Perry-style for attention is something I’d like to explore in more detail later, I do think it is relevant to today’s post. The industry that creates and perpetuates male sexual fantasies of feminine women together serves to undermine the legitimate identities and relationships of real femme lesbians – particularly those who date other femmes. Frustrating.

Also, two femmes in a relationship face other challenges in their very blatant rejection of traditional gender roles in the family or couple. Two feminine-presenting women together is enough to cause some homophobes’ heads to explode. When confronted with a lesbian couple, uninformed straight folks will often try to understand the relationship in a heterosexual context, (ignorantly and incorrectly) deciding one member is “the man” while the other is “the woman.” But in the case of two femmes, with no more masculine member of the couple, these people don’t know how to even go about comprehending the relationship.

Personally, I think that part of the reason femme-femme relationships are often not taken seriously is because they so clearly undermine patriarchal family structures. When those who are so deeply invested in the patriarchy see a “lipstick lesbian” couple, it is clear evidence that the structure based on masculine dominance and hierarchy is fallible and not the only way to live, work, succeed, and be happy.

So tell me, dear reader, do you or any of your friends identify as a lipstick lesbian? And why do you think that men are so sexually attracted to the idea of two feminine lesbians together? Let me know in the comments!

Related Articles

Return to homepage

About these ads

Tags: , , ,

Categories: Femme Theory, The Archives

43 Comments on “The Lipstick Lesbian”

  1. April 14, 2011 at 10:29 pm #

    Great post, thank you, I appreciate your insight. It is true that people often have a hard time understanding. They often don’t think the two of you are together. It is nice, though, that when you want to hang out with a group of girls you can and it the dynamics of a bunch of girls hanging out change. And yet you can also act more ‘coupley’ when you wish. Although honestly I think my parents would have been much, much less accepting if I had brought home someone who wasn’t a femme. People just aren’t willing to tolerate different gender expression as much as we may hope.

    Although I agree I am limiting myself, I suppose my perspective on this one is that because I’m bi, if I wanted to date someone with more masculine characteristics, I would date a man. So the women I date typically are uber-femmes.

    • April 14, 2011 at 10:53 pm #

      Yikes! You realize that you’re implying that butch women are the same as men, right? And that that is super offensive right? And that even as a femme dyke I still get asked (with regards to my butch girlfriend) ‘Why don’t you just date a man?’ Female masculinity is NOT the same as male masculinity.

      • April 15, 2011 at 2:03 pm #

        Sorry, I should have clarified. Yes that would be super offensive. I meant in terms of aesthetics only. I’m interested to hear more, though, on how male and female ‘masculinity’ are different though. Does masculinity not refer to a set of traits, usually instrumental, that are stereotypically associated with the male sex? Is that definition different based on the sex of the person it is applied to? I would have thought it would be the same for both.

        • April 15, 2011 at 7:54 pm #

          Even if you’re only speaking in terms of aesthetics that is still super offensive. You’re basically saying that only “real” masculinity belongs to cisgender men, which is bullshit. Stereotypically, yes people see masculinity as male but that doesn’t make it right. Masculinity has absolutely NOTHING to do with sex, though it is relevant to gender, and gender is fluid, not binary.

          • April 15, 2011 at 10:23 pm #

            Okay, let me clarify. I see I’ve confused you because I didn’t distinguish the various terminology associated with sex and gender. Actually, masculinity has everything to do sex when you get into the science of it (see Rowland et al. 2006 http://www.amazon.ca/Intimate-Relationships-Rowland-Miller/dp/0072938013). These terms have long been a problem in the literature so they’ve hammered them out. From what I’ve read, I take ‘masculine’ to mean having the physical traits associated predominantly with men and ‘instrumental’ to be skills, emotional states, and other non-physical traits stereotypically associated with men. Whereas the opposite are ‘feminine’ and ‘expressive’.

            I agree, there is no binary, both in physical sex and gender expression (though gender expression is much more fluid). However the stereotypes exist for a reason. Men are more masculine, whereby women tend to be more feminine. Remember, this is physical. There are exceptions to the rule, but few . So I am saying if I want someone masculine, ie: physically male, that leaves me with either cisgender or transgender males. Whereas a woman who is emulating being physically male can do that through clothing, hair, etc., but without transitioning she can’t come as close to ‘true’ physical masculinity as someone whose sex (born or current) is male.

            I can see where the confusion comes, though, because in colloquial use (as expressed by your dictionary searches), these terms are confused with cultural constructions of gender, which they are not.

            So I’m saying when I seek someone who is masculine, they are physically a man, and it makes a lot more sense to go for someone who is physically a man rather than a woman who is emulating the physical appearance of a man. Now, there are a lot of lesbian women who have no interest in men but exclusively like women who emulate masculinity in this way. But because they are not attracted to the physical male form, I presume that they attracted to the instrumental traits these women tend to have. Of course they aren’t ‘real’ men. Physical masculinity only belongs to males. Unless they transition, they are women. But that doesn’t mean they can’t be a butch woman and have a fantastic array of instrumental traits typically associated with male gender expression.

            So I guess I’m shallow. I’m attracted to physical masculinity and femininity only, and I could really care less whether they have more expressive or instrumental traits. That’s just me.

            For a really good

            • April 15, 2011 at 10:58 pm #

              Thanks but I’m not confused at all. You can paint it any way you like, but your statement came off as offensive and now you’re just trying to backtrack and use psychobabble to make it sound prettier. You can quote all the definitions and studies you like, but I maintain that in this day and age, masculinity belongs to no gender or sex, nor does femininity. The assertion the masculinity cannot be female is absurd and as my butch dyke friend Becca said, “Fuck that shit.”

              • April 15, 2011 at 11:16 pm #

                We actually just agreed on the same thing. We just used different terms. I would say that instrumentality belongs to no gender or sex, nor does expressiveness. If it’s relevant, I have blogged on the issues of gender expression and sexuality, as well as published in 8 newspapers on the fluidity of gender expression, and said pretty much the same thing you do. I think that the terms need to be distinguished so we don’t run into these kinds of problems, but if you’re cool with the way they are used colloquially, go for it. But I’m glad we agree!

                • April 15, 2011 at 11:24 pm #

                  If you prefer to think we agree, then have at it. However, your statement offended my partner and friends and I don’t care how many papers you’ve been published in. You still haven’t apologized for your harsh judgement in the other post, BTW (which also offends myself and people I love).

                  • April 15, 2011 at 11:38 pm #

                    I’m sorry I offended you, I didn’t mean to. That isn’t my intention, we’re all in the fight for equality together. Which post are you referring to? The one on this thread? I agree that according to your definition/concept of masculine traits (which I take to include skills, physical appearance, and perhaps emotional characteristics traditionally associated with males… I’m not really sure what your categories include), a woman can certainly have/embody masculine traits. Anyway, there is lots of scientific evidence that the more ‘androgenous’ a person is (not physical, but in terms of balance between expressiveness/instrumentalism, or in your terms, masculinity/feminity), the happier they are in life and the better relationships they form. Which is awesome. My point is that I think the word needs to be defined/used more scientifically. I’m not out to belittle butch women, that would offend me and my butch friends. I’m just saying that I like ‘femmes’ and men because I’m attracted to physical attributes that clearly denote sex, not expressions of gender. Is that more clear?

                    • April 15, 2011 at 11:39 pm #

                      I had no intention of starting a flame war. I’m sorry I was ambiguous to begin with. I really do believe we are on the same side here.

                    • April 16, 2011 at 7:17 am #

                      I completely disagree. I see no reason why the words masculinity and femininity need to be used more scientifically. Obviously you do but I will warn you that continuing to use them in that manner in public forums will continue to offend people because the majority of other folks are not using them in that way. I’m just trying to get you to think about context. This isn’t a scientific blog. And the comment I’m referring to is the one calling identifying as top or bottom stupid, in the post about definitions. You offended nearly the entire BDSM community by saying that.

                  • Annoyed
                    January 23, 2012 at 4:07 am #

                    Westwood just stated her opinion that she liked her women feminine. I don’t see how that implies butch women with masculine characteristics are the same as men. I know a lot of bisexual women who would go with a man if they wanted a partner that had masculine characteristics. I also know bisexual and femme lesbians who like only masculine women and wouldn’t date anyone femme.

                    Personally I believe lesbians & bisexuals of the above-mentioned variety are hung up on patriarchal gender roles. So to me, femmes who like femmes seem secure with their identity as feminine women and know clearly what they like – women, who are traditionally associated with feminine expressions & characteristics. In any case, It’s just westwood’s opinion, you don’t have to start acting childishly by hurling insults. I think Westwood’s argument is not too far off in anyway, it’s testosterone that gives men their masculine characteristics as do butch women.

                    I feel that femme-on-femme relationships are discriminated against even amongst the lesbian community because the majority of them are butch-femme and it seems inconceivable to them that a relationship would not have a party with a clear and permanent dominant role and the other the permanent passive role.

                    • January 23, 2012 at 12:21 pm #

                      You are so ridiculously off-base and offensive that I can’t even begin to reply. Congrats.

                    • November 21, 2013 at 6:18 pm #

                      ^^ what Annoyed said. Oddly enough, I am right there with the user name haha :)

              • Belle
                March 27, 2014 at 2:40 pm #

                I am never surprised by the kind of myopic and childish anger manifested online..

          • Belle
            March 27, 2014 at 8:00 am #

            I don’t see this as super offensive. I think it is refreshing to be able to discuss our perceptions and views so openly without being castigated for expressing them… just ‘my opinion…

  2. April 14, 2011 at 10:50 pm #

    Excellent piece. I’ve always hated the term “lipstick lesbian.” It just doesn’t feel as broad as femme. It feels like something the hetero community created to help them understand lesbians. I think it bothers me most because to me, it regards a particular lesbian identity as based solely on outward appearance while femme is so much more.

  3. April 15, 2011 at 12:39 am #

    I agree with your thoughts on the term lipstick lesbians. Me & My gf are both considered Femmes. When we go out to a regular club guys always think we’re lying about dating. We’ll get told hot girls only date each other in TV shows or porn. It’s quite insulting. I’ve just always preferred dating someone that has very feminine qualities. I always hate the term “who’s the man in the relationship?” Whether the women is feminine or masculine they’re still female. Even in a straight relationship some guys might like a femme woman and other might like a more masculine one. We’ll us lesbians think the same way.
    Anyway great post!! Kara XOXO

  4. fia
    April 24, 2011 at 1:00 am #

    Hi!
    As to your question about why men find lesbians kissing so attractive, I think I can explain. I myself, when viewing erotica, prefer to read or view stories about two people of the same gender. My boyfriend and I (we’re really not that heteronormative but the terms make it seem that way), have discussed this, because he feels the same way. The way he put it is that when he’s viewing porn with another man having sex with a woman, he is turned on by the woman but turned off by the man (for he is primarily straight). He also says he does not like “point of view” porn because he doesn’t like the feeling that he’s having sex with a screen. Rather, he more often watches lesbian and transgender porn, because that way he can feel like more of an observer, and not have to ascribe a “primary” role to either party.
    I agreed with him emphatically on the latter case, in that I, too, feel like watching lesbian, gay, and transgender porn is more palatable, because there is no immediate identification of one or the other party with dominance or with a particular gender. My boyfriend and I are both into BDSM, but we’re the kind that like to switch being dom/sub – neither of us like to stay as one or the other too long.
    Lastly, I’m also pretty sure my boyfriend is just straightforwardly attracted to more femme women, and butch lesbian porn wouldn’t really fit the bill for him in that sense. I think I can say a similar thing goes for me – but in my case, I just like femme stuff generally. I prefer femme lesbians and effeminate men (sorry, that sounds odd, but it’s true), so I just favor the effeminate aesthetic. *shrug*

    So I think that’s a couple of reasons why “lipstick lesbians” are in some ways more ‘acceptable’ or ‘attractive’ to society. To some people, having a femme with a more butch lesbian tends to immediately smack of hetero-like gender roles, even if that is not the case. So, for a woman watching pornography, for example, it might undermine the effort to find material where one does not have to assign heteronormative roles to the couple.

    The other side of the coin is, of course, that it means that people very quickly ascribe dominance to a person with comparatively butch traits, be it male or female. THAT bothers me a lot.

  5. fia
    April 24, 2011 at 1:07 am #

    Ah, to elaborate on the first paragraph, because I didn’t clarify too well — straight men who like “lipstick lesbian” porn *mostly*, I think I can say, like it because they want to watch the target of their affections (namely, the femme lesbian or effeminate woman) enjoy having sex, but they do not want to watch her enjoying having sex with another *man*, because that would feel like they were being substituted. Men who watch lesbian porn are generally at least a little jealous. They don’t want to watch a girl they find attractive making out with some other dude. However, two girls they find attractive *can* make out with each other, because then they can release the anxiety about being substituted by another man, and also get to watch not one but *two* attractive women enjoying a sexual act.

    • April 24, 2011 at 2:03 am #

      I agree with you re: men not wanting to watch a woman have sex with another man, but I think it goes deeper than jealousy. I think there is a degree to which men feel their masculinity and/or heterosexuality must constantly be demonstrated, and they don’t want to have to deal with the fact that they can be turned on by watching a man engage in a sexual act – even if it is with a woman. By watching girl-on-girl porn, men can avoid the whole issue and not feel like their heterosexuality is in any way challenged.

      • fia
        April 24, 2011 at 9:13 am #

        I am sure that is the case with most men, yes. But I think that speaks less to the particular attraction of “lipstick lesbianism” and more to the general heteronormative pathologizing of straight male behavior. IE, then you get into issues with cis men and their views on their own masculinity, and less into issues about the objectification of women (except insofar as that seems to be the way in which men feel more masculine).

        The trouble is, of course, that both genders tend to do that. You express your own gender superiority by showing “empowerment”, by raising your behavior above the other gender’s perception of it, by focusing on it as a subject and not an object. Sometimes this involves objectifying a particular Other individual sexually, e.g., “empowering” so-called “porn for women” tends to show strong, muscular, but totally receptive male figures. That is, they are attractive as men and in that sense exude their masculinity (their sex), but they are still ‘subordinate’, in some sense, to the particular desires of the woman watching it. The women get to stop concerning themselves with their partner’s pleasure and focus on pleasuring themselves (note the prevalence of massages and caressing in women’s porn, and the prevalence of “penis-worship” in men’s porn – it is either what we really want or what has been embedded in us through socialization, but either way, it’s what we each find satisfying: to have our desires fulfilled, to be treated as something important and even sacred, even at the expense of the other’s pride or selfish desires).
        I mean that’s totally legit, especially in the sense that there’s not a lot of excuses out there for women to focus on themselves rather than their partner, but we fall into the same kinds of power structures. Porn is one of those things that has to feel “safe” to watch in some sense. There can’t be an overwhelming feeling of loss of control (unless you’re into that), and having a more subordinate Other is the quick route towards that.

        Now, is that right? No, not necessarily; but then again, when you get into stuff like this, is there a “right”?

        Sex and gender are crazy tangled-up messes of things. Sometimes I sincerely wish I was just born gender-neutral and could like what I like and love what I love without all the labeling and structured power tomfoolery. I just want to be an equal to my partner. I want there to be mutual attention. I want us to take turns pleasing each other. The fact is, that only happens in pornography when there are two people of the same gender on a screen (except maybe in couple’s porn? I don’t know I haven’t seen couple’s porn).
        That’s just frustrating to me, that straight pornography can’t or rarely exhibits that.

  6. Zaz Girlzz
    July 21, 2011 at 10:28 pm #

    sorta off topic. I like wish my bff was a lezbo because I like “love” her. but I have a big crush on this guy. Ugg i wish I could just decide :(

  7. macaroni2627
    September 11, 2011 at 4:13 pm #

    Men are attracted to two feminine women together because to them, it’s simply just physically arousing to see two women being together. They think it’s twice the fun..!

  8. September 27, 2011 at 11:07 pm #

    I’m a butch identified woman. My partner is also butch identified.
    I find a lot of the 30+ crowd lesbians don’t seem to recognize our relationship as a valid one purely because it doesn’t fit within the constraints of heteronormativity.
    Which is fine, honestly. I don’t need others to prove the validity of my relationship, but the queer community is supposed to be about acceptance, and it becomes rather frustrating when butches who date butches or femmes who date femmes are invisible.

  9. October 19, 2011 at 4:50 am #

    is that amber heard on the pics? so yummy, like her. wish her gf is more feminine. im into extremely feminine girls. not a butch though. haha

  10. LaceyTaylor
    November 2, 2011 at 2:09 am #

    Lipstick lesbians are not attention-seekers when it comes to men. Lipstick lesbians are in fact lesbians. We are only interested in turning eachother on. Not men. Altho, I do have guy friends who are always eager to have us around because my girlfriend and I aren’t the typical lesbian type ( butch nor dyke) We are full on lipstick and it’s true they become aroused.

  11. Karen
    November 5, 2011 at 8:25 am #

    As a transsexual woman who identifies as a ‘recently out’ lesbian, I am feeling doubly invisible. Previously I was living in the country so there really was no particular place to go to meet other lesbians anyway.

    I absolutely pass 100% as a woman, all the time, and having moved to a new city to start afresh thought that people would welcome a fresh face. Unfortunately the stereotype seems to be all that women register. I Had to put up with wearing male attire for far too many years so I am not going back to it, just to meet someone elses expectation.

    I have been looking for rainbow jewellery locally but have concluded that the Internet looks like the only option. It’s a good thing that the one male attribute I have not been able to rid myself of is persistence!

  12. lyle_kenny
    December 12, 2011 at 6:22 pm #

    Good insight.

    Let me explain why men might feel attracted to To femme lesbians.

    Let’s look at it this way, hetrosexual men are attracted to females, right? Most of the time they like feminine females of course.

    Now, they don’t just like lesbian porn for the so called *challange* but instead, to them, 2 heads are better than 1. Meaning, the attractiveness, sexually, is doubled when they are two hot girls in the picture and not just one. That’s why it’s been proven that hetrosexual men are more attracted to lesbian porn than Hetrosexual porn.

    Just a thought.

  13. jess
    April 16, 2012 at 7:56 pm #

    I’m in the process of trying to figure myself out. I don’t know if you have gone through the “I wonder if I’m a lesbian? No, I can’t be..I like guys… But I hate kissing them…and I want to kiss a girl instead, ahh idk!!!!,” thing (which is literally what went through my head not too long ago), but I’m seriously confused. I definitely have been wanting a girlfriend for a very long time. I love dresses, and I am wayy attracted to other “femmes” as you call them, but from what I’ve been able to find, no one talks about sex. It’s “femme, butch, lipstick, chapstick” and I definitely would classify myself femme. I would also be interested in femmes. But wouldn’t two femmes both want the “receiving” if you know what I mean? Is there really such thing as a femme who is also a “butch” in bed? Sorry if I sound clueless…but seriously, with no one to talk to about this stuff, I really AM clueless. Someone please respond!!

    • Fia
      September 6, 2012 at 11:12 am #

      Jess:

      I don’t think that heteronormativity has to extend into the bedroom. No one has to be the “butch” in bed. Obviously there are moments when one will be more active and the other more passive, but giving and taking are both fun – no reason why someone should *always* be the giver or *always* be the taker, and no reason why a style of dress should necessarily communicate your sexual preferences in a bed. Of course if you like expressing yourself that way, and do identify that way, that’s great! I just mean that the point of being free of heteronormativity is that YOU get to make up the rules (with your partner).
      If you find a girl you like who likes you, and she’s also femme, then I’m sure you guys will figure it out. Besides, when you’re hot and bothered and in bed, things just tend to happen on their own if you let them.
      I say this being a heterosexual queer whose partner is a guy who sometimes likes me to use a strap-on. I’m femenine (I guess “femme” isn’t the right term) most of the time, and he likes to be the dominant one sometimes too; but sometimes I can be boyish, and for me switching is a lot of fun. He seems to enjoy it as well.
      Just because we’re a boy and a girl doesn’t mean we always have to “be” the boy and the girl in bed. Ergo, just because you’re a femme and a femme doesn’t mean you both always have to “be” the “receiving” girl.

      Let me know if you need any tips or have other questions (:

  14. April 26, 2012 at 9:56 pm #

    My husband explains it this way: Feminine women are beautiful and sexy in a way that a man could never be, and the sensuality, eroticism, and softness between two of them is almost like something of a spiritual holy grail for men, something so beautiful (and not just in a visual way) but so unattainable, a chance to see divinity. And of course a man can’t word it like that, because that’s pansy talk and would threaten his manhood… maybe that explanation isn’t true of all men, but I believe it is of him. So much so, in fact, that he claims that it would be perfectly alright if I had a female lover, and made love with her IN HIS ABSENCE on a frequent basis, even if it meant that he and I never had sex. He says he would continue to love me and want to be married to me under those circumstances, and I believe him. I don’t think I ever will get a girlfriend, by the way, but I do like to think about it from time to time.

  15. Lauren
    May 22, 2012 at 8:33 pm #

    I am a lipstick lesbian and I am attracted to that “male fantasy.” It’s just so hot to look at, your getting to beautiful women at a time who are attracted to one another. (And we all know kissing leads to sex , eventually) Men as well as I can only imagine how steamy that would be. And as of that point I would go to redtube. But being a lipstick lesbian is troubling, I want a feminine woman as well but most of the quote “femmes” I have met are just posing to get some attention from the men and end up breaking my heart. Not to mention the fact that I have to continuously come out to people because of the way I dress causes them to think I take cock like a little porn star. Not quite. (;

  16. Pat
    July 9, 2012 at 7:07 pm #

    Your kidding right? If a man finds one woman arousing, what do you think two will do? Four breasts or two? Two vaginas or one? Hello. But, it is also the acceptance factor. Having one woman want you is good, but two.

    And as for porn showing two people giving. Not going to happen because lust is what they film. Love doesn’t pose.

  17. August 11, 2012 at 2:38 pm #

    I usually use a variety of terms for femme-femme dynamics. I use lipstick dyke because I do associate the term “lipstick lesbian” with the media. I some times use the term femme dyke or lipstick dyke, but don’t use femme queer. Femme queer usually has a butch-femme or transman-femme association.

  18. September 21, 2012 at 11:57 pm #

    well, i just found you’re blog. i know this post is old, i really enjoyed this topic being commented. first of all, ignore my bad grammar, i’m brazilian and it has been a while since my english writing was extraordinary. haha.
    i’m a femme, or lipstick lesbian. i heard about this term not long ago, because in brasil we use more the term “lady”. i’m a feminine girl who dates another feminine girls, and yeah i’ve heard alot “so, well, tell me the truth, who’s the man?” (this is the most annoying question ever)
    I think guys usually love to see lipstick lesbians because they don’t really take it seriously. I think that in their ‘macho minds’ two girls who look like, dress like, make up like and bla bla bla like any other girls are straight. I talked about it with a friend and he confirmed. So, it has this idea of “turning” the ladies, and also the thought “ah, they’re not gays, they just want to have fun and two is better than one” you know?
    I might be wrong, but this is my opinion.
    But at the time, i get another kind of questions, almost everytime someone knows i’m lesbian. and it comes mostly from girls “are you? i couldn’t tell. I don’t know why lesbians dresses manly, if a woman wants a girl, she wants a girl not a girl dressed up like man”
    i brought this up, because it’s another good topic to explore. And almost very hard to explain to people who asks, that it’s not how the girl dresses that makes her more or less lesbian, or more or less man, or more or less girl. Well, anyway….

  19. lovelipgloss
    February 8, 2013 at 6:43 pm #

    I am an Über lipstick lesbian who is only attracted to other lipstick lesbians. I don’t mind the term because I love lipstick, makeup and long hair, sexy heels and boots, accessories and all of the fun things that come with being a girlie girl. I LOVE being a girl and I LOVE sharing that hyper femininity with someone else. I was fortunate enough to finally find another match… It was a needle in a haystack though as most women who I have met that are feminine enough for my personal taste, are either bi or married wanting a third… The elusive Unicorn I am not!

    I feel like lately so many people are put off or offended by “stereotypes” or “labels”. But they exist for a reason. If they suit you, great! If not, move on… People who fish from very small ponds such as lipsticks in search of other lipsticks need some form of labeling just to weed out obvious mismatches… (for both side’s sake.) And I have the right to be attracted to whomever I am attracted to. Just as straight people and gay men and other lesbians have the right to be. I know some people are attracted to “the person” and don’t care about the package, but I am personally attracted to a particular type and that is okay for me. The label is very helpful for this.

    I love being out with my gorgeous, sexy partner and I am never ashamed or care who sees us shower PDA all over eachother… If men happen to appreciate it, I can’t really blame them for that as it is exactly what turns me on… That would be awfully hypocritical of me to fault them for that which is a part of my nature as well… And I am not really concerned about what other people think any more anyways… I had to get that skill dialed in to even have the courage to come out a little bit later in life than most…

    I am now proud to be a card carrying lipstick who loves other lipsticks and appreciate the clarification in this blog. I have been frustrated in the past when I was searching for other Lipstick lesbians. It was surprising how many women identified as being in that category but never got further than chapstick… Not that there is anything wrong with that.. just my personal preference…

    At any rate, great read… (My lovely partner actually sent me the link.)

  20. Stephan
    February 18, 2013 at 10:32 pm #

    Hi

    I hope I’m allowed to contribute as well even if I ain’t neither a homo/bisexual or a girl.
    – and I promise I am not here to explain why some men find two attractive women sexually pleasing, as I’d like to not count myself amongst their numbers.

    In my own experience what labels a person is largely also up to themselves. I do not know if there might be a barrier between culture or language, but I have never as such come across “very specific” terms within my own circle of friends such as this “lipstick lesbian.”

    I have a few friends who are openly bisexual and homosexual and I mean few, but I do not have an exact count as it matter little to me personally.
    None of those I know are open- and in relationship currently with one of the same gender -idenitifies themselves specifically as “the man/the girl” or opposite.
    Certainly a few could be judged either way based on their looks, but the only time I ever enquired on the subject they told be that It was none of their concern what other people thought of them.

    My younger sister just got married last summer to her girlfriend of five years, and by the definition of this post I would very much say that they are both “lipstick lesbians” even though one of them identifies herself as a bisexual girl.
    Even so, none of them has ever identified with either the “lipstick” or the “femme” term before me. (I will have to ask my sister if she know’s of these labels)

    When it comes down to it I think labels are only used extensively when you yourself wish to identify with other people who are similar to you. Everyone craves companionship (well most do) just as much as the ability yo rest within one self. I suspect that these labels are created on the highway of translation between being yourself and being you compared to others.

    If that makes any sense.

    Suffice it to say, I have never crossed paths with this label before I stumbled upon this post, and I am of a mind that the label put upon “you” only applies if you accept it.

  21. February 20, 2013 at 8:34 pm #

    Reblogged this on Mary's Silence.

  22. Mrw87
    May 14, 2013 at 10:10 am #

    Hello! As a femme lesbian (with a femme partner), I thought this was wonderful. My girlfriend has her MA in Sociology as well Women and Gender Studies and I have my MA in Clinical Psychology. We have both studied gender issues in an academic setting and neither of us found this offensive. It sounds like you hit the nail on the head. Good work!

  23. Madeleine
    June 3, 2013 at 10:00 pm #

    Hi!

    I just wanted to mention, about the femme on femme porn thing, that we forget that women are hyper sexualized in our culture. When feminine women are seen as sexual objects, it no longer becomes two people into each other, it’s two objects existing for the sake of the sexualized male gaze. This could also be why hetero men or women or queer men and women have a harder time accepting femme/femme relationships – societal norms have creative the narrative that femme/femme relations is solely for the sexualized cismale gaze. And for anyone who lives in a society where the main culture sees that as reality, or at least the representation of reality that is available WIDELY, it is very difficult to get outside of that mindset. Plus, it is true that straight girls that are getting hit on by guys they aren’t into use the “I’m with her” excuse a lot, making it even harder for women who really are in these relationships.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. The Lipstick Lesbian | femme on a mission | Facial cleanser|best facial cleanser|natural facial cleanser|best facial cleansers:Florid facial cleanser - April 14, 2011

    [...] The rest is here: The Lipstick Lesbian | femme on a mission [...]

  2. Reasonably Angry Links 20 July 2011 | Reasonably Angry - July 20, 2011

    [...] A post on the challenges femme lesbians face in gay and straight culture. [...]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 192 other followers

%d bloggers like this: