I have written a book called "M/s for the Rest of Us" it is available for purchase here: http://www.lulu.com/shop/k-e-enzweiler/ms-for-the-rest-of-us/paperback/product-22151343.html
Or on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Rest-Us-K-E-Enzweiler/dp/1329062213/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1432825657&sr=1-2&keywords=m%2Fs+for+the+rest+of+us
I am the founder of the Albuquerque Masters Group. We meet once every other month. The group is open to all who wish to explore their Mastery, slavery, or Dominance and submission. Please contact me here or at my email : Bigdykebear@yahoo.com for more information! The meetings are free to all who wish to attend!
If you are interested in power munches, skills workshops or play parties in the Albuquerque area please contact the 20 year organization of AEL at:
If you are interested in active online community please find:
Group names for the Albuquerque Community Include:
Land Of Enchantment Fetlifers
Albuquerque Master/slave forum
New Mexico Leather League: Leather/Kink/Fetish and More
Friday, February 8, 2013
Butch femme History in the 1950's
My slave and I were honored to speak at AEL in January- here is an excerpt!
There is mention in ancient Greek passages about the hetaerae . The hetaerae were female courtesans that served high lead male nobility. In their off time however, these female courtesans were known to have masculine female lovers who they doted their time, attention and money on.
Within the ancient African warrior kingdom of Dahomey, it was not unheard of for high ranking female Amazon generals to take on multiple wives.
A final example would be the red light district of 18th century Tokyo. There was a special section of butch female sex workers that only catered to female clients.
So to start talking about the North American history we are going to start in the 1940’s in New York specifically. At that time more local bars started catering to openly gay crowds. The available jobs in the industrial areas meant that there were a greater number of pants wearing women going to and from work at all hours. What this meant in terms of safety was that it was no longer unusual to see women in masculine attire on the street This mean that butches were less likely to stand out and it created a safety not experienced before for butches who now had economic means and were not forced into traditional women’s attire.
As far as the femmes the economic power meant that you were less likely to have to answer for yourself on your off hours as to why you didn’t live with your parents, or have a traditional husband and child household.
It was the beginning to not be an aberration for a femme not to be married right away, or seen as a spinster burden on her family.
These two segments of the community started to become economically viable independent an visible. Which also meant that they were finally able to meet each other in more social areas that catered to them. Now know that we are only talking about working class lesbians here. Not upper to high class people who had other means to have more privileges’. We are focusing on working and lower to middle class butches and femmes.
So just like all sorts of communities, butches and femmes were held to a certain standard of behavior. These standards were just as rigid for butches and femmes as they were for the male and female mainstream partners in heterosexual society.
For example femmes were to be seen in makeup, dresses, and heels at all times, and they were expected to be sexually passive.
Butches especially in the bar culture were expected to be in pants and starched shirts and were expected to be sexually aggressive. To be accepted into the working class social lesbian community butches had to have femme partners and femmes had to have butch partners. The partnering of butch to butch and femme to femme meant that the couple would not be welcome and therefore ostracized from their very small social out lets.
Sexually speaking, femmes were to only receive sexual gratification, and butches were only allowed to give sexual gratification. Not to say that people didn’t deviate from those strict sexual expectations, but it was never publicly spoke of for fear of losing face, loosing sexual desirability, loosing potential sexual partners, or loosing social status.
In the 1950’s the butches and femme community started picking up some steam. There were more social venues more jobs and there was now a slowly growing selection of literature for example the Bebo Brinker series it was a lesbian pulp fiction that actually had lesbians that were not tragic characters and surprise surprise lived at the end. Even though there was all of this good stuff, unfortunately in the mainstream community the McCarthy area lead to more police raids and greater witch hunts to ferret out anyone that was not compliant with the strict expected conformity of the day.
The butch femme community was just as influenced by this concept of conformity and regimented role as the mainstream worlds and in response became even more unbendable regarding its social and sexual rules.
Another change at the time was that butch identity had more emphasis physical strength. So there was a change from the dapper butch to am more aggressive one. With increased visibility came increased violence and danger. So part of the butch make up became the art of being physically imposing and intimidating. The new stance of being physically imposing came with encouraging people to keep a distance but it also came at the price of being viewed as angry and hostile. So as the butches embraced their ability to be more socially visible, they sometimes embraced the unspoken expectation of being angry and hostile. Good for staying safe, not so good for making a relationship last. This also led to butches becoming more hostile towards each other, being protective became being possessive. This wasn’t always the case, but these lines became easily blurred through social pressure. Another form of social policing came in the way of defining who was a true lesbian. For butch to be considered a true lesbian, and a "butch's butch", they had to meet a few stringent requirements. They can’t have had any sexual history with men. Be exclusively attracted to femmes. Be butch in appearance 24/7, which meant no changing into feminine garb for work.
For femmes the requirements’ were just as strict, and it still didn’t mean that you were accepted as a lesbian. Femmes had to be in a relationship with a butch. They had to be submissive to that butch. They had to be completely sexually passive. At this point, was the social beginning of femme invisibility. What that means is that femmes were not acknowledged as a apart of the growing lesbian community. Single femmes were viewed as suspect if they were recognized at all. Because femmes were able to come in and out of the straight world easier than butches, and because many femmes were sex workers’ who serviced male clientele, it was very hard for them to be recognized by a community that was still struggling to define itself and come to terms with its own many complexities.