Excerpted from an email I posted to the transensual fem list and other related lists.
Femme is who I am, not what I do. It is at the core of my self.
Here is me: I am a femme and a bottom and I know how to be with a stone butch. These are all deep essential parts of me. These aspects of my identity are not neatly divided. These things do not function apart from my femmeness.
I am a femme on an essential level *and* a behavioral level. My personal experience of the butch-femme dynamic is as a unique and essential dynamic independent of other sexual behaviors or needs or identities. *And* it is, for me, also inextricably tied into stone and part of it is also about top-bottom stuff. I know femmes who are tops, butches who are bottoms, TG butches who don't have a stone sexuality, femmes who don't want to or just don't get into being with a stone lover, but for me, these things are part of my sense of butch-femme.
When I think about what turns me on in a lover, much of it is about his butchness, his stone, his skill as a top, his masculinity and his femaleness, too. (Yes, one of the things I love about FTMs is the female that they have been, even if that was incredibly painful for them... it figures into why they attract me, but bio boys don't.)
My physical preference tends more to very masculine-bodied non-transitioning stone TG butches. But you know, they are pretty few and far between.
In the end, though, it is his essence that I love, that turns me on.
We are the pioneers. We are DISCOVERING what a femme transguy dynamic means. Where is it written about? Where are our mentors? There aren't really many resources for us to draw upon.
Thus far, for me it has mostly felt like a mothering role. In many ways I'm acknowledging, encouraging, fulfilling and validating my partner's adolescent urges. I'm nurturing his maleness. I'm sexually initiating him, if you will. I feel older than him in many ways. I feel like the experienced one in bed.
It is a discovery process... how much can he take? What does he want? Who is he? How does his body react now? How does his mind work? What about him is the same? What has changed?
And it is also a discovery for me... Where are my boundaries now? How is this queer? Who am I with him? What can I expect from him? What do I want?
I am finding I have to TELL him what I want from him more than I did in the past.
I think the "discovery" aspect of our sexual dynamic and the mothering/older experienced woman role I have felt will give way to another dynamic as his transition progresses. 10 years from now, I'm sure our sexual dynamic will be very different indeed. What the future holds, I can only speculate...
For now, so much of my identity of "Femme" was linked to bottoming and to caring for my lover's stone... there is a great deal of loss I feel on a really essential level.
I find I have to really look at the femme I am now. To try to see myself more as an independent person, not an extension of my lover. This is not to say that I was thinking of myself as an extension before, but having a lover who is transitioning has a way of making you REALLY look at who you are outside of any relationship - much the way that finding yourself single after being partnered for a while can do the same thing.
And yet, I don't live in a vaccuum. Who my lover is and how we interact are hugely influential on who I am and how I experience myself.
When I listen to my gut, my intuitive sense is that I "fit" with a TG butch.