On 4/20 Friday, The Guardian posted ‘Why Chasing Straight Women Still Thrills Me’, an opinion piece written by celebrated poet and artist, Staceyann Chin. (If you’re unfamiliar with her go here, read this and watch that .) A link for it landed on my Twitter feed and there was no hesitation, just an immediate click. See I’ve got so much admiration and respect for Staceyann Chin. Her poetry is eviscerating — so politically on point — and there is no one on this planet with a voice like hers. She is so fully herself on stage that her whole life becomes palpable. It’s like she is sitting on your tongue wedging the importance of her voice into the wrinkles of your brain so that you never ever forget her or her words. She is a fucking movement and I highly encourage all of you to dive into her work. So that being said and fully meant, it’s time to discuss all the “what the fuck” moments that occurred while reading her article on the allure of seducing straight women.
As a lesbian, bisexual or queer woman, it’s almost inevitable that you will crush on, fuck and/or be emotionally tormented by a straight chick. One, they’re EVERYWHERE. They’re eating ice cream in Central Park with their perfectly glossed lips. They’re helping you study for your chemistry final in that miniskirt that kills you the higher it slips up her thighs. Oh and they’re also walking down the street holding hands with their boyfriends. Boyfriends that they are most likely actually in love with because they’re not just “straight chicks”, they’re also Women with actual FEELINGS. Did Chin happen to maybe forget that somewhere along the road to lesbianism? Like that straight women are people? According to Chin, the best time to lay down the dyke moves is when this straight woman has been crushed by her dude, which leads us to WTF Moment #1:
…wait until there is a crack in the lack of respect her boyfriend has for her…mention you would never treat a woman like that…then wait for him to mess up big…
What in the name of creeper hell kind of advice is that for one woman to be giving out to other women? Are you serious? So now lesbians who like non-lesbian women should wait for their boyfriends to hurt them in order to begin some sort of subtle manipulation into their hearts? That is the most underhanded shit I’ve ever read. When one enters into a platonic relationship with a woman, also known as a “friendship,” it should be respected, cherished and not used as an in for you to be the first woman to snatch her snatch.
*Note to straight chicks: If a lesbian uses/abuses your trust and friendship solely to get at your goodies, you have my permission to punch that bitch in the face.
Now I’m no fool. I understand that our bodies want what they want, especially when a hot chick is involved. I also am fully aware that friendships between women of varying sexual orientations can be ultra complicated. We’ve got mad feelings, y’all. But this is about intent. Your intentions should always be as pure and honorable as possible. Comfort your straight homegirl because you care that she is hurting. Put your feelings, God complex and horniness aside and be a fucking friend.
And about that God complex. Enter WTF Moment #2 — Chin says she gets off on being “the chosen one, the Messiah, the mandate that pulls her… toward her most hidden desire…” Really, Papi?! Chin’s descriptions of wanting to be the first woman to deflower a straight woman borders on pervy next door neighbor. I get it, many lesbians, myself included, get a little kick out of being someone’s first girl. We are delighted when that toaster comes in the mail from the ‘You Bagged a Straight Chick’ Department of Lesbian Affairs. But Chin’s reasoning is a major turn off; being someone’s first should be a bonus that happens to exist within the parameters of the relationship, not the crux of your advance. This is where the ‘chasing’ of heterosexual chicas becomes problematic: people shouldn’t be chased. They should reach out for you of their own accord. Are we really not all on the same page yet about women not being conquests?
*Note to lesbians: Chase paper, dreams and butterflies. Do Not Chase Women, gay, straight or otherwise.
Be around, be yourself and be aware. Here’s the thing: when people are chased and pulled even in a non-obvious ways, they are sometimes stripped of the space and time needed to make the best decision for themselves. Chin notes that straight girls almost always go back to their boyfriends. Well, uh duh. What else do is going to happen when you prey on someone who is emotionally distraught and hasn’t had any time to process their shit? Maybe if that same women was given some time to choose with clarity and peace of mind and let it be a decision she makes without you lurking in the shadows, perhaps the desired healthy relationship would manifest. Maybe said woman wouldn’t wake up startled by another set of breasts in her bed and woman in her life. Maybe.
It cannot be denied that Chin’s level of honesty throughout this article is refreshing. The best moments in this piece are when Chin drops the creeper status and discusses her experience as a Jamaican lesbian who came out in her hometown and had to navigate homophobia to decipher which women were down for some loving and which were not. Unfortunately, these positives don’t outweigh the fact that the majority of her essay reaffirms the stereotype of the lesbian as a predator, and is totally dismissive of the agency of women — because yeah, straight women are still women. I am so over that. Aren’t you? Isn’t she?
Straight women are awesome but entanglements with them, specifically of the nature Chin describes, are damaging on so many levels, both to the straight and the queer woman involved. For the queer woman, it means a relationship in which attraction isn’t reciprocal, where you’re resigned to never being the object of desire. It places the heterosexual woman on this pedestal of sexual conquest that no one deserves to be on, and simultaneously denies her sexual orientation validity. And if the relationship comes into being the way that Chin describes, it’s something based on manipulation and deceit, and nothing good comes of that. Besides, straight-girl chasing is nothing compared to the explosion of awesome that happens when two out and proud lesbosexy women find love, sex and all the good things that come with them together. It’s only mutual, non-predatory and non-manipulative interactions that affirm who we are as as queer women, as people worthy of dignity and respect.
Chasing straight girls is for amateurs and drunken co-eds which, BTW, Chin admits to doing more of when she was younger. Macking on and loving actual gay and bisexual women is for Pro Ballers, H.B.I.C.s and all the women who value respect, honesty and integrity in their lusty pursuits. No one should ever be chased. Could you maybe meet me halfway? You choose me just cuz. I choose you just cuz. Then we both get the lovin’ we need, desire and deserve. Can I get an amen?
Special Note: Autostraddle’s “First Person” personal essays do not necessarily reflect the ideals of Autostraddle or its editors, nor do any First Person writers intend to speak on behalf of anyone other than themselves. First Person writers are simply speaking honestly from their own hearts.
Good to have some validation, Gabby. I didn’t punch her in the face, but she’s def had her toxic little narcissistic ass handed to her. Closeted freak. Was my best friend that ambushed my straight self. Kissed plenty of girls when a drunken teen.
What little trust I had in others is gone. Trouble getting over what I thought was best person ever. Warning to those who like this game, and I know a few who did: Watch out for that straight chick you’ve groomed. Oh my but we can turn ugly. We don’t expect or appreciate being mind fucked by a sister. What, we’re not wise to this shit? Oh but we are.
Lol maybe Chin is exercising her right as a human to be a sexually motivated douchebag? Guys have been doing it forever. If we take out the fact that she’s a woman, all she’s doing is exploiting someone else to get what she wants. And that happens to be in this case. A hott piece of a__.
It’s wrong. But does it always have to be about being a woman and this duty to the XX? She’s just being a ribald asshole. It happens.
*ducks back in corner*
Totally agree, James. Chin’s sexist attitude toward straight women (or maybe all women?) is just straight up objectification. To deny an individual’s agency through manipulating them when they’re vulnerable is one of the most reprehensible things someone can do.
That’s the sort of shit that Nice Guys(TM) pull. Give me an enthusiastically consenting partner any day over the duplicity Chin invokes.
Precisely. I wouldn’t look at her being a “bad” representation of the queer community. She’s just being bad period.
Objectification is objectification. It’s not healthy.
But even sometimes I’m guilty of indulging it. I DVR’d the Victoria’s Secret Fashion show two years in a row. And it wasn’t because of the Katy Perry performances.
I can see a line between Victoria’s Secret, though, and scamming on a straight chick with a broken heart.
VS is hopefully a bit more empowering of the models who are working there and allows them their own agency. I know the fashion industry can be really bad in some respects, but there are also really empowering parts of it for women, too.
Thank you, Nice Guy (TM) is exactly what I would have said if not for the time difference.
Yeah, Nice Guy™ was exactly what I was thinking.
It was actually a little reassuring for me. See, when I first became aware of the Nice Guy™ phenomenon, I could see some of that in myself, and I was all worried — what if I were a lesbian Nice Guy?
After reading this, I am reassured. I have had the occasional Nice Guy thought, but I have not acted on them. I am not a lesbian Nice Guy. But Chin is.
(Besides, my universal Nice Guy whine of “Woe is me, I’m a decent person, why can’t I find a girlfriend???” does not get very far when the answer is as obvious as “Because you live in the fucking Florida Panhandle, you idiot.”)
To ride the coattails of your possibly unpopular opinion, I’ve got an unasked question- Why didn’t Tegan, who wrote The Con, bragged and brags about chasing and getting a straight girl, Lindsey, get any heat (at least, heat that I’ve seen ’cause I haven’t seen ANY)??? I got the same amount of hubris and such from Tegan even though she didn’t take any opportunities to expound as far as Chin has here.
I think the difference is that Tegan didn’t write a how-to guide on how to steal a straight girl away from her boyfriend, make her vulnerable, and then use her for your own selfish needs. Tegan was/is in love with Lindsey; she wasn’t just trying to fuck her.
“nothing compared to the explosion of awesome that happens when two out and proud lesbosexy women find love, sex and all the good things that come with”
Amen! I have more feelings about this but I don’t have the time right now. I have to give my straight girlfriend a ride to fill out a job application because I like her and care about her, not ’cause I want in her pants.
I hope she gets the job, she needs a self-esteem boost right now.
nice! your friend is a lucky girl, I hope she gets the job.
I totally agree with all the points made here. This is definitely a piece that deserves to be shared far and wide.
While I totally agree with your points, I also have this adolescent feeling of understanding for Chin. There’s something really cathartic about imagining taking up an (almost) predatory, heretofore typically masculine role. I am not defending it, but doesn’t some deep-seated part of you long to be a lesbian Don Draper for a day?
Believe me, I am all about respecting people, and I would never actually behave in that way, but there is this part of me that fantasizes about being able to seduce any woman just for sex, leave her in bed, and go have a cocktail while ignoring all the work on my desk and brooding about how I am the master of the universe. I recognize this as sheer self-indulgent, adolescent fantasy, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have power over me.
On the other hand, that is just my fantasy life, and nothing at all like my real life.
So yeah, my point is, you are right! And also, fantasy is fantasy, but in real life, being a good friend and respecting people is the way to go.
see i’m super down with that too. you can be a sex crazed asshole or super suave lady-chaser BUT do you have to do it in an emotionally manipulative way?
the answer to me is no.
sex is sex.
get sex in a way that doesn’t use a person’s sadness to your advantage.
get your don draper on, leave’em waiting and wanting more but like don’t pick them up when they’re crying about someone else…
Yeah, I think Don Draper would be one of those things I’d rather role-play with an enthusiastically-consenting les or bi girl. Also, cowboy and school teacher… aviatrix and high-society debutante… Secretary of State and First Lady…
1920’s auto mechanic and rural farm girl… Independent deep-space smuggler and ice-cold Imperial police woman…
the extra annoying/upsetting thing about this whole thing is that the origional article is part of a major brit newspapers `gay issue’ this past weekend and this preditory lesbian article is just about the only lesbian content in it, therefore adding to the whole misconception of lesbians as normal people wanting normal loving relationships. grrrrrr
From Staceyann Chin’s facebook, in the comments:
Staceyann Chin: these tales are from when I was 22. These days I prefer women who are more abe to articulate a more honest intent with regard to sexuality.
`not’ wanting…oh hell…you know what i meant!
Agree with everything you say, e-ve-ry-thing, I mean, TOTALLY!
I’m not so much annoyed that Chin wrote this– people have feelings, write things and who knows, maybe she was being a bit tongue in cheek. I’m annoyed the Guardian posted it. That shows poor oversight in my opinion.
This. She’s entitled to her feelings & thoughts but what I thought was the weirdest was the fact The Guardian agreed to publish it.
I feel you grrrl. But at the same time I felt empowered by her article. It was kind of like fuck it I’m not in a queer friendly space… Imma make the best of it… Then let you finish with your boy.
I did like this piece a lot too! But like autostraddle has a disclaimer for first person pieces, this doesn’t represent the views of the guardian… It’s just a ladys story. you know?
Wow, amen all around! This piece is fierce, Gabby, and its a subject that doesn’t get dealt with enough in my opinion. I must admit I did my fair share of chasing straight women in college, but that shit is tired and it never ever ends well! Sometimes you just end up with a “straight chick” but if it happens that way she’s probably a genuinely open and interested woman who’d like to spend some time with you. Mutual respect, attraction, and desire are key elements in connecting with another woman of any sexuality…unless you’re looking for really defunct interaction or one night stand followed by a very awkward cup of coffee! Thanks for sticking up for women who adore and appreciate women without being megacreeps!
A f***ing -men!
I think Bridget MacManus said it best:
Having sex with straight girls is like giving someone a piggyback ride. They’re all like “weee!” and your back just hurts.
Chasing straight women is definitely for amateurs. Thats why I use booby traps.
Here’s the thing..I don’t “chase”..Anyone..Ever..I see you there..You want me bad enough, you’ll catch up..As for straight girls..Does it count if they just..Like..Show up in your bed?
SG: Let’s spoon!
GG: I only fork.
SG: How do you feel about sporking?
GG: I am open to that.
That right there, is my life with straight women.
Enough whiskey and no one should be held responsible for the straight girls that just show up her bed ;)
Whiskey: It really is the great equalizer..I have a tendency to attract the “liquid lesbians” Curse? Blessing? Or just another Saturday night?
I’d say a little bit of all three. There’s just something about women and whiskey that goes beautifully together…plus it’s always nice to have someone to share your hangover and eggs with in the morning.
You are a very wise woman..Or I am incredibly drunk..Or most likely..Both
Thanks, doll. Whiskey and I go waaay back.
there is a special place in my heart for drunk AS commenters
I have so much lol for you right now, Digger.
Really? That’s so interesting. Here, let me pour you a glass of whiskey, and you can come sit on my bed and tell me all about it.
I had the best drinks today. It was my mum’s birthday so I had a cosmo and then I had a double black label johnny walker… then I had a beer, which isn’t whisky.
Nobody sits on a bed. NOBODY. wait. sorry.
Ohhhh..I see you’ve started without me..We can use that to our advantage
WhaaaT? If it is a race I will not win. Then I had a spot of champagne.
Amen. This came across my facebook and I had exactly the same WTF reaction. Cool person, shitty opinion (though a person is entitled to an opinion I don’t share), shittier that it was printed in The Guardian (fail.).
“First you become her friend, second you wait until her boyfriend is a dick to her, then you confuse her a bit more and you get a bit more closer and just when she’s at the lowest you dive right in and BAM! Lesbian cake!”
If I don’t like guys who do that, I don’t like girls who do it either.
The original article is terrible and gross so all I can say about this piece, Gabrielle, is a big fat AMEN!
Thank-you! When my gf linked me to this extra special guardian gay special I expected it not to be amazing, but this was above and beyond horrific. The guardian can be good: How the fuck did this get past the editor?
I was so mad when I read that piece a few days ago. A few of my closest friends are “straight girls” and i didn’t like how the article treated them like objects and encouraged manipulation, etc. ‘Straight’ girls are girls just like you and I… I mean, come on people!
That said, I admit that sometimes I do get feelings for straight identified girls and I don’t feel shame over that, or as though I’m an ‘amateur’ or bad lesbian. And sometimes these girls actually return the feelings, so… I don’t really stress over it. I don’t really like that reverse “eww why would you want to sleep with a girl who likes BOYS?” thing.
Speaking from personal experience as someone who isn’t really in to straight girls, it’s not an “ewww” reaction so much as it is about wanting to be with someone who wants to be with me. I mean, maybe I’m a huge narcissist, but I don’t want to have to convince someone to sleep with me, you know? I want her to be enthusiastic about it!
Yeah, I totally get what you mean. But I think… once you’re at a certain point, then everything should be enthusiastic consent, absolutely. But if there is a lot of time leading up to a hook-up, if you’re ‘friends’ first, then sometimes it would take a while for a straight identified person to realize attraction and give themselves permission to go for it, considering what is working against us here: society’s profound heteronormativity and homophobia. But no, there should be no coercion or manipulation to get someone into bed, ever.
Yeah, doing this looks good on no one.
To paraphrase…”a woman is not a vending machine you put kindness coins in to until sex falls out.”
I am. And I’m RICH. (jk y’all, jk)
why did this vending machine comment make me think of the robot prostitutes in that NSFW sunday article? ROBOT PROSTITUTES!
Bernard..Bernard..Bernard, look- I’m a prostitute robot from the future!
forever & ever AMEN!
“What in the name of creeper hell kind of advice is that for one woman to be giving out to other women?”
i just re-read this sentence and am laughing like a crazy person… but also i am probably a crazy person at this particular juncture in spacetime
When I read the original article I couldn’t help but thinking to one of my least favorite aspects of society women face: being preyed on by men who claim to be their “friends,” who treat them nicely and wonderfully simply with the underlying intention of getting into the girl’s pants or heart. A lot of what I’ve seen posted on Facebook by male colleagues complains about how awful women are for “friend zoning” them and what cold-hearted bitches they are. So, as a lady with male friends, you get to second-guess, “Oh, he’s being so nice! Is he really just trying to get me into bed?”
I’m not a straight girl, but wow, do I feel bad for them. Now they’re getting it from both sides! Their male friends are exploiting kindness and trust to get into their pants, and now they’re getting it from their female friends too? Wonderful. Can’t a girl just have friends who love her and support her anymore without wanting to screw her?
Both situations completely disregard the woman as a thinking, feeling person and instead see her as purely a sex object, a conquest, a princess in a castle. And it’s wrong. I want straight girls to be able to be friends with me without having to worry that my support of her is underhanded and insincere.
I agree with Gabrielle 110%. Great article. Hope to see more of your writing here!!!!
Um so is this Department of Lesbian Affairs thing just a US thing or is my toaster in customs somewhere?
Yeah, I’d like to know where my damn toaster is.
I’m personally fed up of falling for straight girls, I would in no way choose to chase one, too much potential heartache.
I see as the same as if a guy hits on me and persists even though I have made it clear I’m a lesbian. It is not a nice position to be in. Why chase a straight girl, is it not the same thing?
I admire Chins openess about the matter, but I happen to not agree to adopting her straight-chasing strategy.
yup thats basically how i felt reading this article. if we subbed in guy for girl being predatorial it’d be an instant “ew” shitstorm up in here. though it seems to be a general concensus of non-approval anyways.
StaceyAnn Chin’s Facebook wall post: “Looking again at my “Lesbian Chasing Straight” article in the Guardian. Is it predatory to have a plan? And is it not clear these women already have a desire for women? Or that I was 22?”
In her piece, she says “[…] I am the last to fess up to the rapturous, but futile years I spent chasing women who identified as straight. My excuse is that I was in my 20s in college, in Jamaica (arguably one of the most homophobic places in the world) and just coming out.”
“Twenty years later, I still flirt with these straight-but-not-so-straight women. Only now I know the limitations of such insanities. The trick to surviving the chase is not to take yourself, or the interaction, too seriously.”
“If you really want a shot at getting close to this woman, you have to wait until there is a crack in the lack of respect her boyfriend has for her. Watch for when he is late, or disrespectful, or inconsiderate.”
The order of these paragraphs, to me, indicate that this predatory plan is not that of the 22-yr-old speaking but rather of the 40-x-yr-old. I sense that she’s backpedalling through her Facebook post.
In any case, I believe in ‘getting your Don Draper on’. I do not, however, believe in the need for manipulation (on any level) to do so. That’s just complete selfishness and a big lack of maturity.
I buy into her excuse (22 yrs old, finding herself in a homophobic environment) as an understanding of her way of surviving. Knowing what she knows today, that no longer applies. If this is the way she thinks today, I feel sorry for her.
I totally agree. Lots of backtracking and contradictions. It seems like a lot of false bravado, to be honest.
love it that you came back at this with so many quotes from her piece. you just presented a thesis paper in less than 300 words. #clapclapbravo
Hell. Yes. You provide an excellent response to Chin’s predatory essay, while also plugging one of the healthiest relationship beginning mentalities I have ever seen. Thank you for writing this and writing it well!
My very best friend is a straight girl. When we first met, 8 years ago or so, I didn’t know at first what her orientation was and I had a lil crush on her. (Okay, kind of a major crush.) But pretty early on in our friendship she made it clear she wasn’t interested in women that way. She’d made out with a few girls in college, but that was as far as it would ever go for her. And while I was disappointed, I valued our friendship too much to ever try anything with her, no matter what my own feelings were or whether or not I could’ve, like, gotten her really drunk so she’d make out with me. It was a little difficult for me emotionally at first, because we got very close very quickly and spent a lot of time together, but eventually I got over whatever crush-type feelings I had for her. And now it’s 8 years later and I’m married-ish and she might as well be married (to a man) and we’re still best friends. If I’d tried to make a move on her all those years ago, even after she’d made it clear she wasn’t interested, I doubt we’d still be friends.
So basically what I’m saying is pretty much what you said, that what Chin is advocating is gross. We should all have more respect for our fellow women than that, no matter their orientation.
Yeah no, this article is giving me supremely creepy sexist vibes. The last thing I want to do is act like the kind of straight dude I loathe (and am so so so glad to be away from). Despite having the tendency to crush on straight girls, I also respect their sexuality as much as they respect mine.
“For the queer woman, it means a relationship in which attraction isn’t reciprocal, where you’re resigned to never being the object of desire. It places the heterosexual woman on this pedestal of sexual conquest that no one deserves to be on, and simultaneously denies her sexual orientation validity”
Omg. I am rather ashamed to admit this but I used to think I was bi/straight… Vergining on straight. I used to joke with my ex (when we were sleeping together not dating) that I was a straight girl shed bagged. I really LIKED being on this pedestal of sexual conquest. I felt like it validated my beauty and you know, I just liked being fucked? And not having to fuck her back as much.
I wonder why I felt that way… Probs botp. I would so appreciate some input! Thanks for this… You got me thinking, grrl!
I don’t think you should feel ashamed. Pretty much all women are conditioned by Western society to think that the pedestal of sexual conquest is the ultimate plane we should aspire to. No different if it happens to be another woman putting you on that pedestal rather than a man. It would also seem, in your case, that this was a way for you to indulge in some repressed urges of your own, without having to give up your safe label. You’re certainly not the first nor the last to go through something similar.
The important thing now is that you are able to look back and recognize it for what it was, and hopefully aspire to healthier relationships in the future. So well done, you!
Hmmm. I don’t think I am over it though. That’s what sex is to me, I think. I’m not so into fucking women. Possibly I have a problem. I am sure sex can be much more though. How embarrassing to be 22 and to be faced with this predicament. L’hmmm. Glad Im not in a relationship right now because that shit would be complicated.
Wow her essay is definitely pissing a lot of people off. I don’t know why, but I don’t have strong feelings about this. I may not agree with what Staceyann Chin does in her essay, but I thought it was interesting read about her mindset as a young woman.
I agree, but I can totally see why people would find it offensive at the same time. Bizarre. Even my opinions appear to be pansexual these days ;)
I initially thought that she was trying to write about being 22 and into the wrong kind of people, but I think the way she frames her story totally misses that point (if that’s what she was going for). What bothers me most about it is the way she assumes that women who have dated men will always end up “back” with a man. As if a girl can’t be without a man and, even though her feelings for her female partner might be very real and she might be very committed to her female partner, eventually she’ll “always” go back to a guy. She completely perpetuates the myth that certain women just aren’t gay enough and will bring nothing but heartbreak to women who meet the gay threshold (whatever that is). I once had a potential partner tell me that she “just can’t date bi girls” – even though we had a lot in common and it’s been years since I’ve dated men (and I don’t identify as bi, but that’s another story). The fact that I had dated and loved men made her immediately suspicious. She assumed, like Chen, that at some point – no matter how much I loved her – I’d wake up and decide that I needed a dude. It’s just so misguided and patronizing to think that way, and irresponsible of Chen to give voice to that sort of nonsense.
This women-objectifying-women thing. I mean, I know queer women obviously do it to a certain extent, but hopefully usually within a more respectful framework (if “respectful objectification” isn’t an oxymoron?). But lately I’ve been noticing a trend, especially amongst teen-to-early-twentysomethings, of girls adopting this frat-boy type of disrespectful, lecherous, judgemental, downright sexist objectification of other girls. Has anyone else noticed this? Is this maybe not a new thing at all, but something I’m just noticing?
Don’t know how new it is, but I noticed it getting really obnoxious about six or seven years ago. Most of them seem to grow out of it after a year or two. Thinking it might be a generational thing. See straight girls doing it to guys as well.
the behavior of girls who behave like disgusting fratboys are roleplaying the logical conclusion of objectification. they’ve seen their lesbian forebears play gentlemanly (which is a “dignified” front for all kinds of lecherous and disgusting behavior) and they’re digging deeper, taking the next step, showing each other what heterosexuality is all about and getting into the minds of males who did it to them. it’s all a big mind game and they are taking off the kid gloves. it’s all very raw right now.
RE playing gentlemanly: they’ve seen lesbian females AND straight males do it.
Her article: her truth
This article: confused and shouldy
this article: a truth for many of us
It reads like a ‘Pick-up Artist’ lesson plan.
Chandra, I don’t know if it’s a new thing or not, but I have noticed a bit of this too. I can’t stand when people refer to women by saying “I’d tap that.”. She’s a person, not a thing. It’s totally possible to say that somebody is really attractive without reducing her to an object, I do believe.
Bois who act like teenage bois have such a soft place in my heart though. Like they’re so lovely past their whole I’m a frat boy front. I kind of like that in a girl. I think I might be bad for feminism but I just see it as another appropriation of masculinity.
This is creepy as rat balls. I’m sad she wrote it, and extra sad the Guardian posted it. A friendship based on waiting until she’s in a bad emotional place so you can ram it in there is fucked up as all hell. Have more respect for both yourself, and for her.
These have been my tipsy feelings, over and out.
I LOVED Chin’s piece. I agree with Gabrielle that HONESTY was the best part of it, but unlike Gabrielle, I found that honesty in the very things that she and other readers have taken issue with.
I wonder…if we (lesbians, queers) weren’t afraid of being pegged as predators, would we be so righteously critical of Chin’s piece?
She’s a literary author — she’s not writing a how-to; she’s exploring the intricate and often sordidly motivated acts of love and sex. (I’d say that the language of “how-to” in her piece is a literary device, actually.)
What if the article were about the less-than-pure aspects of relationships in general (i.e., queer and straight relationships both)? Like the sneakiness/dishonesty of pretending to run into a crush when you really planned it, or making yourself wait a day to text back to play hard to get, or — haven’t lots of us felt this way? — having a secret happy moment when a crush-in-a-relationship-with-someone-else lets you know that the relationship isn’t going so well.
Chin is fierce! She’s opening up the less idealizable parts of ourselves for examination. I hope we can celebrate the artistic courage to do so, instead of being shocked that she “revealed” that humans (which should include us queers, remember!) have both pure and impure impulses.
your comment would make a great article in and of itself. i like the way you flipped her piece a little bit for me. my one thing though is if the less than honorable acts of finding love/sex is what’s being presented: own it. own the sneakiness like as boldly as you own the act, the waiting for the boyfriend to mess up. lay claim that your approach is for creepers lol.
i’ve totally creeped, cheated, been a dirt bag, been a straight girl chaser and i’m learning to own my shit. but even when i’ve done my dirtiest, i don’t feel like i’ve ever made anyone my prey or used their insecurities or misfortune to my advantage. that’s what really soured me, you know?
all of the things you mention sound so sweet…
asaf, I think you nailed it when you said ‘(I’d say that the language of “how-to” in her piece is a literary device, actually.)’ When reading, I detected that too. If this is the case, I feel like it had no place in a publication like The Guardian under the Life & Style > Relationships section. It’s a little bit like selling a Fiction book as Non-Fiction, you know? Editors have the responsibility to decipher the two and I think they failed this time around. (I accidentally replied to the thread as opposed to this post, sorry about the double-post guys!)
ah, this sorta let me down.
As a young queer, i’m still trying to navigate coming out to all my straight girl friends, and making sure they know i’m haven’t been trying to get into their pants/ wasn’t creeping that time they changed in front of me or wtv, and trying to salvage everything i can from those relationships as well as struggling straight girls who maybe a little too comfortable with me. and Chin has been a huge gigantic role model me pretty much since the start of my blossoming as a young dyke. and i just, feel kinda let down to see someone i’ve always looked up to so so much publish something that’s discounting everything i’ve been trying to do?
i don’t know, i mean, i understand no one’s perfect and she has no obligation to be a perfect role model this just feels like it’s made everything i’m trying to do even more hard.
tl;dr, thank you thank you thank you for the article.
its cool ag, we still got hannah hart.
Well: I’m an amateur and it’s incredibly awful, but anyways I did my best not to be a douchebag, but even right now I’m kind of stressed for my relationship with her. Sometimes you can’t handle a friendship, it’s not that simple at the time you’re feeling a bunch of diffrent kind of feelings (desire,impotence,sadness, pride, like you wanna be a good friend, like you don’t wanna see her again…) Anyways I’ll get over it, I don’t need Chin’s techniques and I don’t want them.
I think my sister-in-law would really appreciate all of these comments. She’s a straight girl who, due to her sister (my wife) being queer, and due to being an awesome ally, spends a lot of time in predominantly-queer circles. She has had to fend off some seriously creepy comments from women in those circles over the years. Everything from the classic “But are you sure?” to “You haven’t tried? I could convince you.” to “Oh, I’m so sorry.” It really is just as skeevy to her when a woman hits on her and doesn’t want to take no for an answer as when a guy does it.
(Not even to mention the woman we met who assumed, upon meeting the three of us, that we must be a romantic triad (since we had arrived together at a dance class). When she was informed that my wife and her sister were, y’know, sisters, this still didn’t disabuse this woman of this notion.)
On the flip-side, we have a friend who I’m fairly certain is still crushing on my sister-in-law, but utterly respects her sexual orientation, and has made this abundantly clear enough that they are able to jokingly flirt with no hard feelings.
This piece let me really think about my life and decisions since coming out of the closet. Like Chin, I’m coming out in the midst of a relatively homophobic environment where very few people are openly gay. Sometimes it seems like other queers are fairy tale creatures I tell my young queer heart about to make it through the day.
In the meantime: about 75% to 80% of the girls I’ve been with (in any physical sense) identify as straight. There was one girl I legitimately acted like a creep towards… and I regret that. It definitely destroyed the friendship. But the other girls came onto ME, especially before I identified as queer. One time it was a girl I really liked and I was going through all the crazy emotions of coming out for the very first time. When she came onto me, I actually thought it was because she also had feelings for me. Turned out, no, she was straight the whole time and I was completely traumatized.
So even though I know it’s wrong… I sympathize with Chin a little bit. But at the same time I know I have to work harder to find queer girls and not fall for straight ones.
If queer women behaved this way, we’d just be taking on the same patriarchal paradigm that’s messed with our world for centuries. What, the “feminine” has to be taken with force or trickery?
Way to call her out, because that is not okay for young queer girls to learn to treat other women this way.
I did some catch-and-release fishing in the straight-girl seas when I was younger, to no ill effects to me or them. It was fun and we’re all still friends.
I think it’s important not to feel like Chin’s attitude, or any other lesbian’s, can discount anything that you are trying to do. Sometimes I think that when we empower these queer “representatives” like Chin who seem to speak for us, it can feel like they can also “let us down,” but they don’t necessarily.
Your relationships with your friends are your own and only you are accountable for them. I feel like your true friends will not pass you through a trial by fire to prove that you’ve never creeped on them or viewed them sexually in any way. Hopefully they would just let your actions speak for themselves, love you because you are their friend, and move forward from there?
Sorry if this sounds preachy–I just don’t want it to feel like we all shoulder the burdens of all the lesbians but rather that we actually get to be ourselves and have people that love us for who that is.
This makes me feel like a douchebag for now having chased after a girl for a year(just got in the friend zone) even after she had a boyfriend. I made sure not to go after her directly which is why were friends and keep my feelings to myself but I really souldn’t be going after someone who doesn’t want me or doesn’t know I’m a lesbian.
Its not creepy stalker way though. Its in a lesbian,non-sexual(sometimes),I wanna be your Everything for a extended period of time and not just for sex but I won’t say I love you because that requires alot of commitment and leads to future heartbreak.
JUST BE A DECENT PERSON
“Te Amo” by Rihanna should be totally be designated as the official musical element for this article. It came onto my iPod as I was reading this and it was a strange how much they coincided.
“What in the name of creeper hell kind of advice…” That phrase really made me laugh. So true.
It seems to me like Chin’s piece was written for all the comments it would produce more than anything else. It seems beneath an accomplished writer. If this is her life, that’s great for her, but the how to guide feel of the article was unnecessary…
My goal in life is not to be an asshole, so I would rather not use the tactics of douchey frat boys or Nice Guy’s TM. And really, I would hate myself if I tried to manipulate a friend like that while she’s feeling vulnerable.
Yeah, I love her poetry, and her honesty, but think what was infuriating about this article was not her writing (which was fascinating) but its inclusion in the ‘weekend gay issue’ speaking as (someone pointed out) the lone ‘lesbian’ voice (I’m sure I’ve heard Chin identify as bi too…). It’s hard when there’s only one person representing a whole diverse group, so she is never going to please everyone, and that’s not her fault, but that difficulty is echoed in the tone of the opening paragraphs of the article “lesbians love the thrill of a straight girl” “the phenomenon excites us”- not me, sister!
Don’t forget, there was also the interview with a lesbian MP! Which took nothing at all seriously.
Still i’m pretty sure they managed to almost entirely disregard bisexuality in there and the closest thing to a trans* article was 5 questions to a nigerian drag act.
So much emphasis on gay men…
Actually you know what (personally) would have been really nice, an article somewhere, on gay trans* people and how that’s totally not weird. Would also be especially helpful for my gran, who reads the guardian.
I really did expect better from that paper…
Yeh, they’ve been not too bad on trans things over the last couple of years, much better than most of the mainstream press.
I disagreed with Staceyann on twitter and she retweeted me. It was awesome.
Excellent Mean Girls reference. Excellent.
gaby this is so good
I don’t know, I understand where both parties are coming from, but I think what gets me is the whole turning myth. You can’t really turn a straight girl not straight and vice versa. I don’t believe in the whole you just up and decide one day you’re a lesbian. Sexuality is more complicated than arbitrary labels so with the falling for straight girls/pursuing a relationship with them surely it’s not their orientation you fall for, but them as a person? I mean you fall for people not their genitalia (or at least I do). But yeah waiting for someone to be emotional vulnerable just so you can get them in bed is a big no. But so is the bullshit gameplaying in general.
My first thought in reading this was that, ‘Great, now straight girls are going to think we want to get in their pants…EVEN MORE than they did before.’ I appreciate the ‘honesty’ but I hate how people will read this as something one lesbian does=something all lesbians do. So
“Note to straight chicks: If a lesbian uses/abuses your trust and friendship solely to get at your goodies, you have my permission to punch that bitch in the face.” L.M.A.O.!!! this is why i love reading your shit. what kind of manipulative, grade school shit is that in the first place? if i was friends with ANYONE who pretended to be my friend and the whole time they were just trying to get in my pants, i’d want to punch them in the face too.
second, i haven’t chased after a straight girl since i was 14. i don’t have time to waste and if a girl wants to figure out their sexual orientation, someone else needs to be their experiment, not me.
thrid, i can’t believe staceyann chin of all people wrote this kind of drivel. it promotes the stereotype of the predatory lesbian and the toxic idea that gay people are morally bankrupt with no boundaries and are sexually insatiable.
Wait, so if you’re friends with a girl and realize you’re attracted to her, are you morally obligated to end the friendship? Disclose your attraction? Or do you just avoid becoming friends with attractive straight girls in the first place?
Just what is the protocol here?
well if a straight male friend of yours had feelings for you, how would you want him to navigate those waters? knowing you’re a lesbian (you as in the general you not you specifically as i don’t know how you identify) and still having all these feeeeelings for you? or anyone you like that you might not know if they like you back…cuz u could have the mega hots for a friend of yours that also digs chicks, doesn’t mean you’re necessarily gonna have those feelings reciprocated.
you just gotta feel it out. see if they dig you back, are cute with you, make their own advances your way or is it just you putting out all the effort…u know?
well i didn’t say people can’t be friends with people they are attracted to, but i do think it’s manipulative and immature when someone has no intention of being your platonic friend and has an ulterior motive to get into your pants. how can you trust a person like that? what if you are telling them about your relationship problems and they use it as an opportunity to advise you to break up with your partner? what if every time you go out with them they cock block and get weirdly jealous?
as for protocol, i’m not going to tell you what to do, but i know myself, and i know that i cannot be platonic friends with people who i am extremely attracted to. it would be kind of phony for me to even try to pretend that all i want to do is be their friend. so either we become romantically involved or we stay acquaintances if i sense or know they don’t feel the same way about me. i don’t need or want to put myself in an uncomfortable and impossible situation.
I agree with what autolurker is saying. Are you saying that we cannot have attractive friends? Avoid people we may find ourselves romantically inclined toward? Because if we do not, we may risk acting on our emotions and comforting a friend when their relationship is not going so well because we want them to feel closer to us? Sometimes it’s not purely to get into their pants. Human nature can be erroneous, I agree with what one commenter said upthread about Chin writing about the things we all do at some point in our lives but do not speak about openly.
okay, i’ll repeat for the THIRD time that at no point did i say that it was wrong to be be friends with people that you are attracted to. i DO think that if a person pretends that they want to be someone’s platonic friend but in fact has NO INTENTION of actually being someone’s platonic friend and has an ulterior motive from the start it’s disingenuous, manipulative, and immature.
i currently have friends that i think are attractive. yet, i also added that i have come across people who i am so attracted to and romantically inclined towards that knowing myself, i can’t even pretend that i just want to be friends with them. i DID NOT suggest anyone else follow my example, i simply explained that is how i handle that type of situation. sometimes they are great and nice people but if we can’t be involved then i keep them as acquaintances. you don’t have to be buddy buddy and best friends with everyone you come across. i have enough friends so that i don’t have to hang around waiting to pounce on someone who i’m biding my time with until their partner fucks up. sometimes the best solution in life is to keep your distance so that you don’t put yourself in an uncomfortable situation where you are pining over your unobtainable “friend”.
I totally get this fantasy, it’s a hot fantasy, but actually treating actual women as prey instead of someone who is choosing you as much as you are choosing them is uncool. No queer lady is or should be required to live their life as a representation of all queer ladies, no. But that’s never stopped people before from confirming stupid ideas about entire marginalized groups based on one member’s actions (http://xkcd.com/385/ – “Wow, you suck at math” vs. “Wow, women suck at math”) and I doubt it’ll stop them now.
That said, I totally had a dream last night after reading this article that I was a straight girl getting seduced by another lady after my made-up dream boyfriend was a jerk for me, and also we were all on vacation on a tropical island, so that was all super great for me.
As a self-proclaimed nerd, I love that you brought in xkcd as sample :)
Great article, Gabrielle. Thanks!
asaf, I think you nailed it when you said ‘(I’d say that the language of “how-to” in her piece is a literary device, actually.)’ When reading, I detected that too. If this is the case, I feel like it had no place in a publication like The Guardian under the Life & Style > Relationships section. It’s a little bit like selling a Fiction book as Non-Fiction, you know? Editors have the responsibility to decipher the two and I think they failed this time around.
Gabrielle, this is excellent.
Lesbians, dykes, gays however you call yourself.. sometimes if you’re just a great person and amazing friend.. a straight woman will actually fall in your lap. I had never in my 37 years of life been with a woman. Then I met her. Been with her for the past 4 years. It’s clear if we don’t make it, I go back to men. Will never be with another woman again. Nothing against it, just my personal choice.
hear hear. i personally avoid straight women like the plague, they follow me around and assault me and it’s become unpleasant. i want to be wanted for *all* of me, not just the parts that happen to remind women of an attractive man.
Straight girls are way too femme. And they have no idea what to do in bed. Give me a nice boichick with some experience in the more subtle and outre arts any day!
Poetry is boring.
Nice to know she’s trying her best to portray lesbians in a good light… Obviously I know that isn’t every lesbians mindset, but most people who will have read it will have done before and will do even more now! I don’t get the thing with poetry either (not saying she’s not talented just not my thing).
Well, to each her own. I do not agree at all with Chin, but I have respect for her honesty. Straight girls make me gag!!!! UGhh they are so gross, easy to boss around, needy, and often lack a sizable brain – but they have been taught this all their life (the socialization of women is a cultural production via garbage made by retarded men in film, on paper, to communicate messages what women should do and look like etc.) Not all straight ladies are this dull, but just listen to some talk and you will see the gag reflex kick in. Some married ladies seem like indentured servants to me – they can’t seem to make any decisions for themselves and do what they are told like mindless rats. Why they put up with it I will never ever agree. If I was straight – the second that fool tried to boss me around HIT THE GAS PEDAL IM GONE.
Amazing. If possible, this is even more disgusting than taking advantage of someone’s emotional distress to get laid. Fascinating—well, repugnant, actually—is how you blame men for your anti–straight women bigotry. As a man, I accept no responsibility for your attitudes. As you have so forthrightly demonstrated, it isn’t only straight women who lack a sizable brain. Angels and ministers of grace defend us…
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I know society views gay women as predators, but the only people who have ever harassed me (a femme lesbian) were: 1. men (duh) 2. straight women trying to get me to do a threesome (not my thing). I have never been bothered by another gay woman, in any inappropriate manner.
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Good on you, Gabrielle – you’re a kind and caring human who is smart enough to call scum on their games. Vultures of both sexes prey on the vulnerable, and it’s WRONG. It’s not just a fuckable body, it’s a HUMAN BEING. Their feelings matter, too.
This post is why I love Autostraddle.
Also, was anyone else pissed off with the bi-erasure in Chin’s article?
Well, I was. The whole issue’s full of it, actually. Im pissed off at the bi-hatred a lot more than anything, actually. I’m bi, only realized it at about 30, and didn’t really fall in love with a woman until years later. I don’t have actual stats, but I think Not Knowing can happen to bi people even easier than to gay people, what with the entirely possible fulfilling different-sex relationships for years and years. The whole “gay/ straight”(ahem, “almost gay”?!)-binary in that thing’s wrong.
So, to (maybe) complicate things: I think it’s completely ok for queer people to try and connect to someone of their gender who’s straight-identified, same as it would for any hetero person. For every non-consciously queer person, someone can be the first one that makes them realize they’re not hetero, after all.
BUT: If she’s not interested (including stating “I’m hetero” as a way of making that clear), then she’s not interested, and *accepting that* is the whole point. What’s wrong is to be *predatory* about it – the whole Nice Guy thing.
That it’s not about playing and hunting and “prey” and “conquest” is even more important as there’s a chance it actually CAN make the other person realize they’re e.g. bi (BI, for god’s sake – it’s possible! You don’t have to hunt and *cheat* us into wanting sex with women, even if we didn’t know about that before. If we’re interested, then we’re interested!), and THEN they’ll really have a whole new world of feelings and issues – – and the chaser’s running off in search of a new toy. Because they had it pre-determined from the start that unless “real lesbians”, everyone else will be Going Back To Their Boyfriends, anyway, so no need to care about THEM. Nice.
So anyway, thanks for the article! Made me happy :)
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I think some may be missing the point of Chin’s article. It’s more of a painfully honest monologue in which she admits to having made and experienced questionable decisions and behaviours, as we all have. The overall feeling I get is of regret and confession–there’s a lot of bravery in admitting to being that creeper. But I don’t ever feel that she’s advocating it. She concludes on the feeling of loss she was inevitably left with, all the more bitter because she went into these experiences with open eyes. Who hasn’t had experiences exactly like this? One beats oneself about them. This piece conveys a kind of self-digsusted embrace of ill-judged behaviour. The instructional tone of the piece is merely an (effective) literary device.
Another thing I don’t get about this obsession with straight women is that many of the lesbians I meet who talk this way are totally biphobic. They’re thrilled at the idea of ‘converting’ a straight woman but would never dream of pursuing an out bi woman.
I also think there’s some internalized homophobia going on here. If you live in a city where you could meet openly queer women but you repeatedly chase straight women, maybe you subconsciously privilege heterosexuals.
I’m really disappointed with Stacey Ann Chin. That’s such a predatory way of thinking. I agree with Donna Martin, it smacks of internalized homophobia. There are plenty of smart, beautiful, amazing queer woman out there. No need for her to prey on str8 women with crappy boyfriends. Ms. Chin can eff off with that noise.
I recently had a friend (now former friend) do this to me, only she pretended she was straight and then tried to make that move when I was in a really bad spot. She got absolutely no where but I wish I had permission to ‘punch that bitch in the face’ beforehand! Now I find myself in a hard spot because I’ve always been accepting of others regardless of their sexuality but now I find myself staying away from lesbian women. I don’t want to be this way and I’m hoping I can find a way not to but I don’t want to be betrayed like this ever again =(
This is an awesome article. I had one such friend who was a creeper. We are not friends now because the minute I had a serious affair with a man I really liked (as well as loved) she got very angry. It was awful. Women like that give gay people a bad name.
Very common nowadays which it is no surprise to me at all.
I found this page because I am/have been creeped on by a lesbian friend at an apartment complex. The lesbian knows I am heterosexual and that I have a boyfriend but does not care. She has pursued me like a sex-obsessed, perverted man by following me, hiding in her car while I walk into my unit and then bolting out to “accidentally” bump into me. She has waited for me to do my laundry and then when I return to collect it, see her having organized, folded my underwear with a shit eating grin on her face. She has tried to hug me and then rubbed her hands all over my body as a sexually interested man would. I could go on and on with this woman’s disgusting behavior. Don’t get me wrong — I’d be as disgusted if a man did this. We started off as friends, but as soon as she began acting inappropriately, I cut off the friendship cold turkey and she has stalked me relentlessly in a manner bordering on psychosis. She also lacks any sense of boundaries. I believe she thought she could convert me as I am an empath and am very sensitive while she is an aggressive, tough feminist, somehow got sexually aroused by me by virtue of my friendship, and decided to aggressively act on it, as if to impose her will, thinking I would succumb. I would think twice now of ever befriending a lesbian again.
on the one hand, i’m real sorry that person is acting like a creeper. on the other hand, ffs that’s the dumbest thing i’ve ever heard. creepy people are creepy people. you can’t just decide that because one person from whatever category of people is terrible that the entire category is terrible. fucking honestly.