And even worse if I was broke would you want me

As I’ve not shied away from calling out bad butch behavior, I won’t keep the agita caused by the following subject locked up either. Something that’s kind of been bothering me lately is this weird assumption (and I don’t only hear this type of talk from butches but honestly, in my world they are the main perpetrators) or belief that femme = high maintenance.  This type of thinking is so beyond negative and wrong that it kind of makes me just get all prickly – not just because I’M likely more high maintenance than most femmes (or anyone, really) but because of how offensive that type of statement really is.

I’d like to dissect the statement a little bit, if you’ll just give me a day to be kind of on edge and all angry.  Turns out, those two words, that descriptor, is something I WANT in a partner. I want someone (and also to BE that person with someone) who is high maintenance. To me that means we’re both going to have to work hard to keep the relationship that we have working. Yes, it’s a two sided street and both/all partners need to be dedicated to this thinking in order for things to progress, but for me (and I’m guessing lots others) this type of high maintenance interplay is what keeps things going!

Additionally, when this term is used in reference to a partner of mine well – it makes me smile.  Because generally, the type of brand of high maintenance I’m talking about means that she’s taking the time, effort, and care to present herself to me in a way that we BOTH find appealing and pleasing. If this type of high maintenance is for my benefit? Well keep on keepin’ on.

Somewhere along the way the term was applied, in a sexist and misogynist way, to femme identified/feminine (this term runs rampant through het culture as well but with a different spin, I think) people because of what? Because they have a different standard for their own appearance and way that they express themselves?  I wonder why we take these GOOD qualities and associate that to what I think most people see as a character flaw that means you’re one who is overly obsessed with appearance and focused on only the highest quality and most expensive life possible, and that you expect someone else to be providing that living for you, AND that you turn into hell on wheels if you’re NOT living a life that you deserve to be living – even if you’re not doing anything to bring yourself to that level.

My personal hell would be getting myself into a relationship with any of the personality types seen mostly in such venues like “Real Housewives of….” If you need to be with someone who buys you tons of expensive stuff and takes you out to expensive places and always foots the bill you are NOT high maintenance. You’re just a using slug. Really.

If that’s you? Go listen to some Destiny’s Child/Beyonce and get back to me.

*addendum. My friend Beelisty went this route today too.


19 Responses to “And even worse if I was broke would you want me”

  1. Aw, love you, lesbro. 😀

  2. simonesmom Says:

    I’ve been wondering about something in the same vein. I’ve noticed since I’ve been dating my current (butch) girlfriend I’m suddenly subject to an increased amount of the kind of sexism I seemed to suffer more of when I dated men. Everyone from the waiter to salespeople to my veterinarian looks to her first when a decision is to be made or a bill to be paid. I call this being “womaned.” If I voice the decision for us, she sometimes gets a look of sympathy or even an eye roll in my direction. It’s as if Tara’s part of the boy’s club because she’s butch and I’m just the (to be tolerated, not necessarily respected) “little woman” because I’m feminine. Tara defends my competence if she notices this happening, but she’s so used to being treated like one of the guys that a lot of the time it passes her by.

  3. I like relationships to be a lot of mutually desired work, and I like your reusing the term high maintenance for relationships. I wrote a post about this a couple of months ago. I believe everyone is high maintenance in their own ways, it’s just whether or not they are compatibly high maintenance that is the question. Just like baggage–everyone’s got it but can yours coordinate? And who carries the train case?

    And I always prefer when gifts/dates are high on thought and low on price tag.

  4. Oh and p.s. nice touch with the poly inclusive language! I read it to my BFF Rachael & she appreciated it.

  5. ladyfemme Says:

    Yay! I’m so excited to hear two butches talk about this phrase. I’ve been exasperatedly called high maintenance by some of the most high maintenance butches i’ve ever met. and it made me angry until a femme friend said “yah, damn right we’re high maintenance. We expect to be treated well, spoken to with respect, and have our gender honored the way we honor our butch’s gender. Yup. That takes some work.” and i thought “Riiiight” it’s true- why does high maintenance have to be a bad thing? I am reclaiming it.

    AND. if you love my high femme glory, don’t belittle it.

    and one more: the sweetest thing a partner has ever said to me : You aren’t high maintenance or needy. You have no more needs than anyone else, you just know what they are and are honest about them.

    I’ll take that. Thanks.

  6. Nice work. Everyone requires maintenance and the people that say they are “low” maintenance are often sublimating and/or denying their actual needs. I’m glad you and some of your friends who commented are at a place in your lives where you can be honest about who you are and what you need. Now if everyone else would do the same….

  7. I love high maintenance…it’s so worth it!!!

  8. I read bee listy’s post first, and was all like “damn right I’m not high-maintenance!” and now I read yours and I’m all “damn right I’m high-maintenance!” ha. I actually *don’t* mind being high-maintenance or being called high-maintenance as long as it’s meant as a compliment — because, yes, all of my preening and grooming and body rituals and details that I pay attention to ARE intentional, I DO do it on purpose, and you can take it or leave it, honey. So if you notice that I’m “high-maintenance” and mean it as an insult? Sayonara. But if you notice and use it as a compliment? Hellooooooo good-lookin’! 😉

    My gf tells me I’m high-maintenance a lot and I used to dislike it until I realized she meant it in the best of all possible ways. Now I totally own it.

  9. Amen and Praise Dolly.

    I’m sick of butch / femme and / or high maintenance femme being bad words (technically phrases, but you know what I mean). I also can’t be bothered to give two shits about what anybody thinks, but I’m…salty like that.

    When M & I first started dating, she invited me to a big camping trip with friends of hers. (I love camping.) Having only seen the dressed-to-the-nines in sky high heels and make-up version of me, her friends truly expected the worst and dreaded my / our arrival.

    Of course, I showed up in 4″ leather boots, lip gloss and mascara (there’s just no excuse to let oneself go, after all), but I also schooled them with my insane fire building and keeping skills, shocked them by yanking a hunting knife out of my boot (for whittling spears to protect us against nature’s predators, what else?) and being the only person remotely interested in exploring the wilderness (I had sensible-yet-stylish boots for that part). I even jumped downstream to rescue the tomboy’s wayward flip flop.

    And now? They LOVE telling that story about me, and how badly they misjudged me as some pretty little princess who couldn’t tough it for a weekend without pitching a hissyfit and making everyone else suffer.

    High maintenance? Fine, but I do my fair share of the maintaining, so step off. Hardcore? You bet your ass I am!

    • Thank you for this response for two reasons.

      1) You praised Dolly. I love Dolly with the passion of the heat from a thousand suns.

      2) I hate (am deathly afraid) of camping. The sartoriallove and Ladyfemme (from above comment) have vowed to take me and the Ladyfemme’s butch camping this summer to show us how fun it can be. I’m seriously doubtful. Seriously. I’m from NJ. I like viewing my nature through glass from the comfort of my house/hotel room/airplane window.

      One more femme singing the praises of camping can’t be bad.

      • I heart Dolly so.

        You can do it. Get a fancy tent, bring an air mattress, a shit ton of booze, a knife (durr), an axe and bug spray. You’ll be golden. Oh, and extra-stompy boots for killing bugs (sorry, PETA & co., Skinny doesn’t DO insects).

        LAST BUT NOT LEAST: Don’t listen to anyone who tells you to wear fleece because you’re camping. They tell lies. Vicious, ugly, unfortunate lies.

      • The sartorialbutch does not kill bugs. Have learned long ago that this is what femmes do. Grin.

  10. Artfemme Says:

    YES! I will now own being high maintenance. I do dress up, tweeze and style my hairs just for the butches. I am tough as nails, can camp, build my own walls, and lift 5 gallon buckets of paint. I also enjoy going home and dressing up for you and our hot date. Yes, I want to be treated well like I am worth it, that you admire me and my effort.
    So, thank you sartorialbutch and everyone else for your posts! You all rock and have made my day. 🙂

  11. Shit. I read Bee Listy’s post first and commented along the lines of what you said here, so I’ll sum up.

    My bar is set high, so high-maintenance butch + high-maintenance femme = win.

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