Touch-Me-Not

Yesterday, I spent the evening with a friend of mine and her mother; we grilled shrimp, lobsters, vegetable kebabs, corn on the cob, and sweet potatoes. It was a good time. My friend and I had been talking about recent dating updates, when she shared that she had gone on a date with someone who identified as a “femme touch-me-not.” This was news to me…and maybe not for the reasons you’d think.

I’ve been with women who identified as “stemmes” who, on occasion, would prefer not to be touched. However, they never said they identified as “touch-me-not stemmes.” The whole concept of touch-me-not is something that, as I understand it, means that the person who identifies as such prefers to do all of the sexual touching. Stereotypically, this isn’t the case for “femme” lesbians. So, I came home and did some research and thought, I want to blog about this. I saw that today’s prompt was “layers,” and I thought, how appropriate!

I am really intrigued by this identity, so I’ve been looking on the web at various people who identify as a T-M-N. I found this blog post (reading NSFW) this am. I appreciate her honesty and transparency with this aspect of her identity. I like to think that I’m fairly well-versed in various sexual orientations/identities, but I’m always open to learning new things.

In an attempt not to objectify sexuality, I feel like various identities can be understood through this metaphor of layers. No matter with whom we’re interacting or where, we always see a surface layer of others. Granted, with time, the layers begin to fall away and we are able to see the true person underneath, but hearing about this identity has made me curious about how many people are hiding behind their layers because they are a “rare breed.” It should also be noted that those who identify as “touch-me-nots” aren’t only lesbians. This identity can definitely extend to all other orientations and relationships, as well. I’ve always maintained that asking questions about someone’s sexuality is invasive unless 1) the person explicitly said it was okay, or 2) you’re dating that person. Similar to a lot of my other perspectives, I feel like it’s up to us to do our own research on these things.

I wasn’t aware (at least not until yesterday/today) that there was an identity for those who didn’t want to be touched sexually because they received the most pleasure from pleasing their partner  OR weren’t okay with their sexual organs (not the case for all touch-me-nots). It was helpful, though, to be able to conceptualize my experiences with exes in this way. I can’t say with certainty that they would claim that identity until I speak with them about it, but I feel like these are the types of conversations that we should be more comfortable having with the people we care about. If there is a solid and forthcoming relatability to your relationship with someone, why not talk about things that may be considered “taboo,” but that could be essential to their identities? I think in creating spaces to do this, we remove some of the stigma of various orientations and empower others to speak their truths.

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