Sunday, May 15, 2011

Busy Hands Are Happy Hands

[by Sam]
Ohhhhh shit.  


I hope you're sitting down.


I hope you're sitting down and you're having a nice afternoon and work isn't pissing you off and you have an iced latte and at least two Excedrin Migraines, 'cause...

Um, Kelly Has A Question.
Let's just jump right in, shall we?

Kelly, The Straightest Girl in the World, recently called me.

At 2:32 a.m.


She's getting married in Seattle soon.


I am to be one of her bridesmaids, and I'm fairly certain that in Kelly's head this means that I am "on call", 24/7, until the wedding in July.


Which would be fine if she didn't have boundless energy and four fat binders of wedding ideas and magazine clippings she's been collecting since she was 7 years old. 


So...sometimes Kelly calls me at midnight with color theme concerns.


Sometimes she calls me during work meetings to discuss the pros and cons of adding a particular Taylor Swift song to the reception dance party playlist.


But this time, Kelly called me with this little gem:


Q:  Ok, Krissie, so Jason and I were walking at Greenlake tonight and I was holding Jason's hand, and all these lesbian couples were walking by, and Krissie, I am not kidding you, they all were like, seriously touching - like, way more than hands.


And I started to think about all the gay girls I know, and how they're always touching one another, and then I was just like, are their relationships just really passionate? Did they just finish fucking? Why do lesbians always hang all over each other? 
What's with all the PDA?
[via themostcake]
A: Oh god, why me? 


Kelly, sweetmarybabyjesusinawoolyjumper, my first and instant gut reaction answer for you is:  


Lesbians do not fucking touch one another more than straight people.  
[via raspberrytart]
You just told me that you and Jason were holding hands. 


You were touching your boyfriend! 


Agggh my head hurts.


Kelly, straight people are the norm, and therefore their behavior is mostly invisible to other members of the norm. 


You just notice lesbians touching "more than" straight people because we're very fucking visible when we touch.
[via studnation]
Because there are less of us and our very coupled existence goes against societal norms, you. see. us. and you notice us touching each other like normal people in a relationship and your heterocentric brain translates that into "God, lesbians touch each other a lot."



Every time you see us, we're fucking touching, right?

Right?
[via findingcharlie]

Maybe you only register us as a couple at all because we're touching. 


Before you saw us touch, we could be friends.  


Nice, neutral, non-threatening, never-ever-have-sex friends and wouldn't that be lovely if all the queers would just kind of be more discreet and not touch each other in public and I'm not against gay rights but why do they have to be so obvious why can't the queers just go the fuck away and shut up??!!?!


*pant pant*


Ok, Kells.  I know you're not the enemy. 
Let me calm down a minute.


Even though I don't think gay girls in relationship participate in more public displays of affection than straight girls in relationships, I'm willing to give you the benefit of the doubt. 
[via lesfemmes]
It's quite possible we are, as a people, majorly more into it, and I just never noticed.


I've seen some serious dyke PDA, I'll give you that.  
[via purehearts]
But I'm not sure it's A Thing.  
Not yet.


But sluts, then I started thinking about Gay Idol.
The other night, because Alma and her girlfriend are working on doing more lesbionic things, they talked me into going to watch the kickoff of Gay Idol at T's Bar. 


Gay Idol is like American Idol, but for queer barflies.
Because singing Broadway songs in a spangly outfit and doing dramatic hand motions on national television isn't nearly gay enough.


Convincing me to go took some doing, as:


1) We had an early meeting at work the next day.


2)  I was picturing queens belting out ballads (Aynd IIIIIIIIII-eeee-IIIIIIIII! Whiiih-eell alllllllways LOOOOOOVE youuuuuuu-ooooo!).  And sequins be damned, nobody likes a ballad at the karaoke bar.  


3) Am I the only person in America who hates Glee?  


Anyway! When I got to the bar, I was sulking.  
Certain it was going to suck.


But...there were tons of dykes in there! 
[by toniilouise]
Scads! Legions of lesbians!  


I should have known.
Never underestimate the power of the phrase "karaoke and beer specials" when it comes to roving packs of gayelles.

It's just starting to get warm in Chicago.  
This is when the dykes come out.  
[viahmrichar]
And they all looked so hungry.


I was thrilled. 
[via hellogirls]
As the night wore on, and the crowd got more inebriated, the songs started sounding better and better. 


When I found myself, cider in hand, hollering along to 4 Non Blondes' What's Going On, I knew I was drunk.  


I looked happily around. 
[via pinktacolovers]
With my new, tipsy eyes, I was looking for evidence to back up Kelly's claims.


Lesbian couples touch each other more than straight couples.


Bah.
I'd...I'd schhhow her.
[via hungoverowls]
Hmm.


This crowd wasn't helping my case.


A woman was sitting in her girlfriend's lap. They were making out.  Copious amounts of tongue.
[by tragik]


Two girls were deep in a heavy-sounding conversation at the table to our left.


It appeared the conversation could not be conducted without intense eye contact and arms thoroughly entwined.
[via hellogirls]


A skinny older dyke's hand was making endless, tiny circles on her (very young and very pretty) girlfriend's back, possibly due to the close proximity of about seven sporty dykes at the next table.


A femme reached casually into her butch's back pocket, fishing out ones to tip the bartender. 
[via ohcardigan]


Two girls stood up, walked to the door, and proceeded to hug the longest, most drawn-out, extra-meaningful goodbye hug ever.  Eyes closed.


You guys, there was neck nuzzling.
[via fuckyeahboyskissingboys]
Shit.  Well, maybe it was just these lesbians. 

Or maybe it wasn't.



The next day, in a panic, I called Tawnya with my findings. 


Was it possible? Are lesbians incredibly PDA-y and we had never noticed?
[via internalmonsters]
She snorted, "Whatever.  Don't listen to Kelly.  She's just seeing yellow cars everywhere, ignore her."

Me: Okay.  
(pause)  What?



Tawnya: It's like when you buy a yellow car - suddenly you start seeing them everywhere.  They were always there, but you're only now registering them.  You're Kelly's yellow car - her lesbian friend. She's learning about dykes through you.  Now she sees them everywhere.  Totally notices them. 


Yellow car theory! Of course!


I don't know how credible Tawnya is as a source on PDA, though, as I once saw her lick the sweat running down a boi's shoulder blades on the dance floor before introducing herself.
[via unsolvedmysteries]
I was slowly coming around to Kelly's side of the argument.


Maybe dykes do touch each other a lot.

But why?



Is it a territory thing?  
Like a "back-off-males-and-other-ladyfuckers, this-is-my-girl-and-isn't-she-hot-and-I-can-touch-her-anywhere-I-want-and-look-I'm-touching-her-right-now" kind of thing?
[by ysamarie]
Is it because lesbian relationships can change around often, especially when we're young, and we're reassuring ourselves that we find each other exclusively wildly sexually attractive through touch?
[via newskinn]
Maybe we only do it a lot when we're in a gay-friendly place.  


Lots of mo's aren't into PDA at all, but for the ones that are...you really have to watch it.  


Be out in the wrong place, you can get your head bashed in.  
[Matthew Shepherd. 1976  - 1998.]
Even hand-holding can be tricky for us. 

Dan Savage has something interesting to say about this: 



For same-sex couples, taking a lover's hand is almost never an unself-conscious choice.  You have to think about where you are, whether you're safe, and you have to look.  By the time you determine you're safe, you're not even sure you want to hold hands anymore. The genuine moment has passed, but you've invested so much energy and angst that now you can't not take your lover's hand. You wind up holding and the only reason you take your lover's hand is to prove that you can.
[hellofromwhereyouwanttobe]
Maybe we're only extra PDA-y in safe places, where straight people are the minority for once.  


Maybe it's such a fucking relief to be in a gay bar with other gays that we...go a little overboard.


Or maybe this is all purely personal preference.  
[via eaternalstrengthwisdom]


I don't know if y'allfags noticed, but Blogger has been down - completely out of commission - nearly all week. 

Typing furiously to finish this post up, I called CJ, who's in Minneapolis for a few days, to see if she had any thoughts about lesbian PDA.


Ready for her exact words?

"Ha! We're totally more touch-y! Dykes are handsy, what more can you say?"

[via lezbhonest]
Mmm...I can't tell.
I'm on the fence. 
Maybe lesbians touch each other more.  Maybe we don't. 


This clearly is going to require years of intensive studying.
[via curveappeal]
Mmkay, Kelly?

99 comments:

  1. Girls have a lot of feelings, y'know?

    They have to come out somehow.

    ReplyDelete
  2. My ex was completely against PDA because she grew up in a part of town that was practically the ghettos

    But then my current girl-thing lives in Louisiana and she's all for PDA

    Me, I just don't care either way

    And I never see lesbains touching in public

    ...ever

    ReplyDelete
  3. I have dated both men and women and I hate PDA, I hate it, hate it, hate it. I don't know why but I need my own personal space most of the time. Hand holding does not work for me when walking down the street. I talk with my hands, I'm holding a million things, ugh, PDA, no.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Women are more affectionate in general. Even straight girls are more affectionate with their friends than boys. to lesbians affection does not equal sex, which is where Kelly is confused. We touch each other to say "i like ya", as well as when we want to do the nasty.

    ReplyDelete
  5. 1. i hate glee too!
    2. nothin wrong with some good ole pda.

    t t t t t t touch me
    i wanna feel your boodddyyyyyy

    ReplyDelete
  6. Krista, you're my fucking life coach.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I've always noticed the opposite in public -- lesbian couples will very deliberately NOT touch. I realised a PE teacher from my school was queer as anything when I saw her girlfriend not touch her as she left for a field trip from the airport. Any friend close enough to spend an hour and a half wishing someone goodbye would at least give them a hug, but they made do with stoic nods.

    ReplyDelete
  8. From what I've noticed, I think lesbians (and this is a big, big generalization, I'm aware of it) might be more touchy-feely, but not necessarily as public displays of affections. One of my gay-as-fuck friend is very, very inclined to touch people of all sexes all the time (but wouldn't ever, EVEr go out with a guy).

    I think my ex-girlfriend is also a very touchy-person (and so am I).

    I really was looking forward to an answer, though.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I haven't seen a lot of lesbian couples in public (I can't tell if they're a couple or simply friends) but the ones I've seen don't aggressively show PDAs. They act as much as hetero couples in public I suppose.

    I went through the yellow car theory effect when I bought my first iPod. The first day I used the white earphones, I started noticing them in public. I told my sister "hey lots of people have iPods!" and she said "no duh".
    I didn't know!

    "Dykes are handsy". Hehe CJ must be a laugh!

    ReplyDelete
  10. I used to weep -literally- when I would see a dyke couple holding hands...because I longed to be with a woman so badly.

    When I left my marriage and got a girlfriend, I could not/would not alter my PDA just because I was with a woman instead of a man.

    Living in Seattle, it's easy to be gay. Gays everywhere.

    (Oh, and I hate Glee.)

    ReplyDelete
  11. Speaking of Matthew Shepard, I live in Wyoming. But recently, I dated this girl who was really into PDA, and the fact that we got stared at everywhere we went did not stop me from being a willing participant. I almost decked a guy in a bar because he made a lewd comment when he saw us holding hands and after I kissed her on the cheek. Another guy offered to buy us a drink because we had made his night after making out by the jukebox. But I never thought about why we were doing it- it just felt nice. Maybe I wanted to show the girl how much I liked her. Maybe I liked to show her off, and liked it when people knew I was with her. It was a very affectionate non-relationship, though. Maybe it's because girls in general are more affectionate? So when you get two girls together it's just an explosion of PDA cuteness?

    ReplyDelete
  12. As far as in the general public... if I'm going to get stares no matter what, I might as well go all out. Also, it helps to consume myself in the moment shared w/ my partner, then less of my attention is focused on the stares/looks from others.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Can not stand glee either! Horrible show.

    I've had girlfriends who were totally touchy feely but I've never been the type. And I live in the 3rd gayest city in the country (so they say) and I never see lesbians doing this. It's not like I don't want to see them!
    I think it's the yellow car theory all the way.

    ReplyDelete
  14. This dyke is only touchy in gay havens: Pride parades, gay bars, etc. I don't really like pda anywhere else because of the physical and emotional risks it brings in a small town. The only time I get touchy outside of gay havens is when no-one is around...then it's almost like forbidden super hot and sexy pda.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I've had relationships with both men and women and I find that I act the same way regardless of their bits. I only like PDA when it's subtle gestures; holding hands for a little while, when my partner brushes my hair over one ear, occasional touches on arms or shoulders, and BRIEF kisses. If I wouldn't be comfortable doing it in front of my grandmother, then I don't take it outside the house.

    ....but inside the house? Thats a whooooole different story. :)

    ReplyDelete
  16. Maybe the PDA argument is in a similar vein with the emotion behind dyke drama argument?

    I, myself, am super grabby with everything. However, when I was in public places with my now ex I would get super paranoid and freak out about PDA, so that quote really hits home. I just couldn't get into it because I was so self conscious. We would be in Borders and she'd hug me from behind and I would just make excruciatingly awkward eye contact with some middle-aged woman filing through CDs...

    ReplyDelete
  17. I think you're totally right about the context. My gf and I go to a super liberal school in NYC, where gay couples are very visible and very accepted. That being said, we're young, and both we in the closet all throughout high school (she still is to her family and friends back home).

    When we're at a party or around exclusively our friends, we're the most affectionate couple you could meet, but when we're in public we act totally platonic.

    I hope this changes as we grow more comfortable being seen by strangers as gay and as a couple, but we're not there yet. Neither of us have ever been targeted for our sexuality, but the internalized prejudice and fear runs deep. The idea of being perceived as gay by people who will know us only as that (if only for the 30 seconds we're in their lives) is still unsettling. But we're getting better. It's getting better.

    ReplyDelete
  18. In Seattle I notice a fair bit of friendly touching between straight girls, it's usually a pretty contact-friendly place.

    ReplyDelete
  19. I hate Glee. With a fiery burning passion. I don't think dykes are more touchy...I think that we are often in spaces where we feel more comfortable being touchy. If you get your straight friends in a new and awkward situation they might not be as touchy,but when we're all sitting around in someone's apartment drinking wine and watching movies, I think the ratio of straight:queer touchiness is pretty equal.

    ReplyDelete
  20. I hate Glee and Gleeks with a passion. Musicals can be fun, but they build and END before they wear out their welcome!

    2,970 hours of musical is WAY too much. Even Frank-N-Furter would say "Alright, enough fucking singing, let's start the orgy."

    ReplyDelete
  21. I hate watching straight couples flat out dry hump each other at the gay bar but when I walk in the straight bar with my fedora and tie on I get the stink eye.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Mostly I see PDA from the LGBT communities in areas that are really open minded. Or especially at queer events like gay night, but never as much on the other nights.
    Also, personally I feel more comfortable touching 'family' or girls that already know that I'm gay so maybe that is why.

    ReplyDelete
  23. I don't think lesbian couples are any more PDA-y than straight couples. I think it all has to do with context (like your Dan Savage quote).

    Picture a young straight couple hanging out on the quad. They're in a safe space, but it's not a particularly sexually-charged one. They might touch a bit—cuddle or hold hands—but they'd probably feel uncomfortable being over the top because it wouldn't make sense in that environment. But if they went to a party or a bar, they'd let loose and show more PDA, because that's what the context calls for.

    Now picture a young lesbian or gay couple. They might suppress urges to show even the most basic PDA (cuddling and/or holding hands) in casual environments for fear of receiving angry stares or negative comments from peers. However, once they get to the party/bar, not only are they in a SAFE environment (like the first environment was for the straight couple) but it ALSO makes sense in that context for the couple to show affection.

    Therefore, it makes sense that one might see elevated levels of "PDA" in gay couples, particularly in "safe" spaces.

    ReplyDelete
  24. I fucking love your blog. Please post more often!!!
    I remember holding hands with my ex walking home from (straight) bar night and some dudes outside of a bar yelled 'dykes' down the street at us. Ignorant shitheads. So PDA isn't my favourite thing. I've noticed the explosion of handsy-ness at gay bars. I get touches and kisses from gals I don't even say one word to lol. We're set free in these settings :)

    ReplyDelete
  25. YELLOW CAR! YES!

    Okay, in CHICAGO, I was dating this (almost) straight girl. The two of us together looked like...Audrey Hepburn babysitting Ellen Page.

    Suddenly, I would have these overwhelming/confusing urges to scream at strangers--"I have SEX with this woman!" And so there was some PDA. Some PDA all the time. It was the only time I've ever been into it; and I think it was totally this I'M YOUNG I'M GAY I'M TERRITORIAL thing. Otherwise? I don't know the answer.

    ReplyDelete
  26. I fuggen LOVE you, Krista! (That's weird to type cause we have the same name). Thanks for takin' one for the team with that question. I would have cringed too.

    It makes sense to me that 2 girls would be more touchy with each other in a relationship than a guy and a girl would be. But I can't really tell the difference. Like you said, it would take years of study. Plus every relationship is different.

    ReplyDelete
  27. I really felt what Dan Savage had to say. Just today, I was trying to discreetly kiss my girlfriend goodbye in a nook of a bus shelter and some dude straight up blocked the opening asking if he could get in on it. He backed off after we politely declined but goddamnit! Can't I just peck my girlfriend without a scene?

    ReplyDelete
  28. rest easy- Jeff Winger and I also hate Glee

    ReplyDelete
  29. I've found that a lot of lesbians have a huge problem with PDAs in straight crowds (like on the bus, or subway, places where you see a surprising amount of gratuitous heterosexual affection) but the second they get into a lezzy club, they're all over each other. Maybe its because when we finally have a space in which we don't have to worry about reactions, we start making up for lost time.

    ReplyDelete
  30. the first half of this post had me rolling on the ground laughing... your comic timing with the images is SO GOOD. Funniest post in a while.

    ReplyDelete
  31. I also hate Glee. Want to like it because there's fags in it, especially the delightful Jane Lynch, but it is just so. bad.

    ReplyDelete
  32. I dry-hump my girlfriend in public. HAH!

    ReplyDelete
  33. I love that you've started using images from The Most Cake! I know (American) dyke photographer Krista Holka. London lesbian style represent!

    ReplyDelete
  34. Disclosure: I'm straight, but have had lots of LGBTQ friends (I'm a prototypical lesbro).

    I don't think lesbians/fem-bis/fem-queers do MORE PDA's than anyone else, people just notice it more.

    I mean, really... have you ever watched a straight bar filled with horny breeders? They are all OVER each other! Hanging, groping, kissing, grabbing... the works.

    Back in my heavy metal band days, I had a good number of bandmates who regularly got "serviced", as in orally, by groupies beneath tables in bars quite often. An extremely "P" in the "PDA" realm, no? I was too much of a romantic to bed-hop, but I was always known as a "wierdo" in the scene. I did observe quite a bit, though...

    I still dig doing PDA's with my wife, but now there's just the added fun of pissing off my kids. ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  35. Oh haha. You are F ing Hilarious. I haven't even finished reading this but I just had to stop and tell you how much you make me laugh...thanks! Those Chihuahuas say it so well. Hehe.

    Cat from Australia

    ReplyDelete
  36. Glee can just fuck right off as far as I'm concerned. If I wanted to listen to autotuned covers of Fleetwood Mac, I'd...well, I'd probably jump off a cliff because that would mean I'd lost all sense of decency. Some things should be left the way they are, and not twisted into lame-ass high school drama plotlines.

    And I'm with you on the theory that we dykes overcompensate in queer-friendly places. When I was with my girlfriend, I was scared to hold her hand in public, but invite us to a shindig with other queers and we'd be all over each other.

    ReplyDelete
  37. I reckon women in general are more touchy-feely than guys. In a straight relationship, you get a woman who craves touch, and a guy who doesn't touch enough for her. You get two chicks together and it's a all-holds-barred touch-fest! mmmmmmmmmmmmm

    ReplyDelete
  38. I'm a high school teacher. This year, my wife and I chaperoned prom. I've been out to my kids since day one, they've met my wife, I wear rainbow chucks to school.

    A straight teacher and his wife were vaguely affectionate while chatting over the din of teenagers dancing / hormonally groping. My wife touched my hand...and I drew my hand away.

    I think I might burn in hell for that move, even if she barely registered it.

    ReplyDelete
  39. 2 things:
    1) Oh My God! I hate glee too. I thought I was alone in this world.
    2) I'm not into PDA. I came out late-21-and, in my relationships, I've noticed equal amounts of PDA. BUT maybe, we are are bit more touchy. I feel like more often then not girls are the ones to initiate PDA so...2 girls automatically = more PDA? Or maybe I'm just traumatized by the last girl I went on a few dates with. Now I'm curious.

    ReplyDelete
  40. i really like your writing style you're funny. when i first came to america, as a heterosexual i didn't understand what all the gay fuss was about (im from amsterdam, where being gay is normal. you should visit). I think power to you even if you wanna be more touchy, because your rights are getting owned in other respects, might as well make up for that with some copping. Plus, it's probably fun to provoke homophobes, and maybe it can cure them. not.

    ReplyDelete
  41. hahahaa okay here´s a thought, guys cannot be as touchy and all like us in public, because they would get a hard on and they don't want that in public, we got nothing to worry bout so touchy all the waaay ;)

    ReplyDelete
  42. Alright, we totally touch more in general. Hands down (ha). Women are touchy. Put two together, and...
    I'm not sure if lesbians have more PDA, but we definitely touch more in general.
    Another point I wanna make, is that hands mean more for us than for men. They have something else to fuck with, and for a lot of us, hands do the job.....

    ReplyDelete
  43. For me its territorial. Saying, yes, this girl is a lesbian, and I get to enjoy that. I also hate glee. It's overdone and I kind of hate the normalization of gay culture. I prefer the outskirts where its weirder, less "please accept us" and there is not as much noise.

    ReplyDelete
  44. Lezzers are way touchy. In safe places, like you said, it's way more because you can and it's easy and everyone wants to do it too, you know? And I think that being a bit more touchy with other gay ladies shows that you're...gay. RIGHT?! Because otherwise people would think you're friends. And you're not. You want to show the world you're gay, so it make it super fucking obvious. No ambiguity.

    Granted, not everyone's like that, because it's fucking scary.

    ReplyDelete
  45. Alcohol plays a big roll in these environments. Like you said, beer was cheap and you were feeling pretty good yourself. lol. Throw alcohol into the equation and everyone gets more touchy feely....no matter their sexual orientation. I've seen straights have sex with clothes on at clubs. For queers, as mentioned, the world isn't one big safe space, so it makes sense that we'll be more "handsy" in safe spaces. Especially ones with booze. :)

    ReplyDelete
  46. You're definitely not alone in hating Glee, Krista.

    ReplyDelete
  47. Back when I was straight (ha ha), I never made out with guys in bars or cuddled with dates in restaurants. Now that I'm kinda queer, my GF and I are all cozy, romantic and touch-y in gay-friendly restaurants. And in gay bars, we're all over each other! As in, the proprietress of the lesbian bar asked us to take our makeout session away from the bar area and into the lounge area. LOL On the couch of the lesbian bar, we continued making out, GF straddled me and I uh, touched her in places before we finally decided to leave and get a room already. OTOH, when we're in an airport saying goodbye, we're pretty self-conscious and just hug and kiss on the cheek. Then we kick ourselves later for how our internalized homophobia made us miss our last chance to embrace. :-(

    ReplyDelete
  48. Girls are naturally more affectionate than guys.So when you get two of 'em together... O.O

    Personally, being a 17 year old baby dyke in a town which frowns on kids like me, I don't see a lot of lesbian PDA. BUT, the girl I like (best friend with benefits) and I are pretty touchy-feely in public. I've had no problem kissing her in public and even kind of wanna get noticed. For me, I think it's a "look at me, I'm one of the new generation! I'm queer, I fucking love being queer, and if you don't like it then you can just fuck off!" I think I'd like to have people like me recognised more, and I love to touch my girl... I wouldn't restrain myself just because we're surrounded by stuff people who are horrified by the sight of- shock, horror- two girls kissing.

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  49. honestly I think I'm pretty high-PDA cause I'm a babydyke and there are just SO MANY FEELINGS. also, i tend to show affection much better than i verbalize it. i live in a very conservative place and so far we haven't gotten anything more than stares for it, but i do enjoy the subversive aspect of it too, knowing that 70% of the people around us at any given time probably think we're going to hell.

    ReplyDelete
  50. I think we are more touchy feely in placeswhere we CAN be touchy feely....I am not out in my house/neighborhood so when i dated my ex...I was more touchy feely by her place because I could be. She lived far enough away that I didnt have to worry and I got to live out my dreams of holding my girlfriends hand/ holding her close as I walked down the street and I was able to kiss her in public. I think as a whole though, we arent any more into PDA then the average straight couple, we just only get to do it in "safe areas"

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  51. I typically am not super into PDA, but with my ex it was impossible because she was in the closet. That lasted about a year. In my next relationship (almost two years later) I swung way WAY in the other direction. It was refreshing. Still, Savage is right-- I never hold hands without thinking about it first, and a lot of times am fearful when I do. I will never let "them" dictate my life though, including how I choose to express my feelings to my girlfriend. The second we change our behavior, they win.

    ReplyDelete
  52. DYKES ARE TOTALLY WAY TOO MUCH PDA but only in the right setting.....my gf loves that stuff!! I live in a 3rd world country where doing that could cause serious issues and I live under constant fear that people will see and judge. It sucks. But when we're in a place where we know we're not gonna get ridiculed...we kind of take it a little too far. I feel guilty about it....only after I've committed my acts.

    ReplyDelete
  53. i live in minneapolis and i date boys and girls, and girls are waaay more in to pda in my experience... defs more handsy... and i would never make out with a boy in the middle of a bar, but i do it with girls pretty often.

    ReplyDelete
  54. I live in central Canada, and it's a common sight to see girls holding girl's hands. I always smile (cuz you should, really), but with the whole other PDA thing, yeah, if you can (and we do) go for it. I despise the straights thinking they have the market cornered. No way!

    So, um, yeah, kinda passionate about this. And fully supporting the PDAs.

    ReplyDelete
  55. i think those karaoke dykes were just drunk?

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  56. also yes glee is totally embarrassing and i don't understand why anyone can stand to watch it

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  57. I think that (as with the general public, of which I daresay queer chicks are part of) it depends entirely on the people. Everyone's different in their relationships, it's the same thing with lesbians. Also, I do not enjoy Glee, despite being a theatre nerd.

    On a completely different note, I just discovered your blog and I wanted to say how much I love it! I pretty much just spent an entire day off reading old posts. Hopefully that doesn't make me sound like a creeper.

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  58. Wait does that mean you are going to be in Seattle in July? I live in Seattle! Can we please hang out?

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  59. I think it's a mixture of yellow car theory and comfort level. Put any couple in an awkward or unsettling environment and they'll be less touchy. For queers those environments are just more common. So, when we get a chance it's nice to let loose and show a little affection. Besides, you'll get people with all sorts of different PDA tolerance levels regardless of sexual orientation. Kelly makes me laugh.

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  60. My girlfriend and I are always big on PDA. it's weird though. I'm fine with it if we are around town, at the mall or whatever, even though we always get a handful of dirty looks. She usually goes along with whatever i'm doing.

    BUT we were in Provincetown a few weeks ago and she was all over me way more than normal. but this time i was a bit uncomfortable. it was so weird. i had no idea what was going on or what i was scared of.

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  61. Thank you. Seriously. Glee is such a fucking terrible, terrible joke. As much as I worship Jane Lynch, I just cannot bear to watch that great steaming pile of dreck... It's like they've taken everything I hold dear and just tied it down and shit all over it. I swear to god, a part of me dies every time they take something that is the least bit cool, edgy, non-mainstream and FUN and then proceed to Disney-fy it to the point where tweens can feel comfortable singing along, and OMG, feel, like, SOOOOOOOO subversive!!!11! Puke. :/

    [Sorry for the tirade, but I've been sitting on that for a loooooooooooooong time, because it seems like the entire world is in love with that fucking rubbish for some reason.]

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  62. I dunno. I'm a touchy-feely kind of person in general, but when I'm in public with my girlfriend, I tone everything down. I touch her less than I would a straight friend.

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  63. (technology comment ahead, sorry)

    Krista, we have a big problem: I read your blog thru FeedDemon (it's a software to read rss feeds), and every now and then, your feed signal that there's a new item, and I get all excited... and then, it turns out to read "(title unknown)", and there's no actual new post... Happened today at 7:12 for example. Any idea what causes that? How to get rid of it? Cos it's such a letdown every time... Thanks! Keep up the good work!

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  64. I just got very very happy when I saw there was a brand new post and I grabbed my computer and my leftover Chipotle and then sat out in the hallway outside my lab to read it. :)

    And then I was like "oops tits" and got more careful with the computer.

    OKAY. ANYWAY. I think most of the things that everyone else has said earlier are valid thoughts, will summarize what I agree with:

    yellow car theory
    girls + girls = extra snuggly
    when you're in a safe space you go for it

    I feel like there was another thing, but I can't remember it.

    My reason for excessive PDA with my first gf was that I was sooooooooooo into her and it was so new. Not just new relationship/sleeping with someone new, but new gayness. It's like a whole new world opening up to you (hold your breath it gets better! /disney) So I think an important portion of this is that especially babygays are forming a new portion of their identity, and since it's new, it's going to be at the forefront.

    So when you're with a lady for the first few times, you are WITH that LADY if you know what I mean.

    I hope this makes sense. I have bronchitis for the 9015648651 time this year (hyperbole but it feels like that) so I'm on a lot of DRUGS.

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  65. Kat and lexi have the explanation!

    see, it's a three-pronged phenomenon

    part 1; girls touch. girls hug, we kiss on the cheek, we hold hands, we touch someone's leg or arm to get their attention, we cuddle watching movies. we touch.

    part 2; it's often hard to identify a lesbian couple unless they're touching. ipso facto they always seem to be touching. when we see a guy and a girl together, no matter their actual relationship, couple crosses our mind. not so much with gayelles.

    part 3; identifying as bi or lesbian requires identity work. we have to think much harder about our sexuality, our bodies, other people's bodies, our sex, then a straight person might. we learn to be awestruck by the body, and accept them as beautiful instead of forbidden.

    yep. we think we got this :)

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  66. I've missed Krista and her questions! Has Jason been overly interested lately? Do tell!

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  67. This post makes me want to touch my girlfriend.

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  68. I have another theory - that dykes are just more likely to show PDA because they've already gotten used to breaking one social norm - namely that of being gay.


    Coming out leads to so much introspection and, for me at least, part of that was realizing how silly it is to be scared of talking about sex openly and loudly, etc and kissing a lot in public ;)

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  69. I honestly think that when we're in a safe place, we're the same as straights in terms of PDA. There are many places where we simply can't show affection but I don't think when we're in a safe area we go overboard.

    I'm from an uber conservative area (to the point where I don't let anyone know I'm gay for my own safety) and being gay is this whispered, scandalous thing you get looked down on for. No affection is shown.
    However, I go to school in one of the gay meccas and it's just everyday life. Hand holding, pecks on the cheeks, walking the dog, kids and all that jazz. None of the queermos seem as overly affectionate compared to the straights living here, it's the same.

    So yeah, Kelly has Yellow Car Syndrome.

    Oh and I totes hate Glee too (except Chris Colfer).

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  70. "You can get your head bashed in." [Picture of Matthew Shepherd]

    That made my stomach drop.

    I do think lesbians touch more in gay-friendly environments, but otherwise it's no more than straight couples. It's just noticed.

    Dear god, at my school opposite-sex kids can make out between lockers, but as soon as my sister (bisexual) leans on another girl at lunch she's sitting in detention. There' a definite double standard present.

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  71. Krista, thank you, the Dan Savage quote puts it so well, I've been sharing it with everyone this week. :)
    I'm gonna tell a little story in relation to this.
    I just moved from my cozy little queer neighborhood in Brooklyn to my much less queer (but many more fabulous hairstyles) neighborhood in Harlem.
    Sunday midday in the light incessant drizzle, I was walking a lovely woman to the train, we did the look around, hold fingers, look around, hold hands, etc etc.
    Get to the train and I say "fuck it" I've been hiding my whole life, from a small midwestern town to a Uganda (another story for another day), I'm gonna be out, even in Harlem, damn it!
    So I kissed her, full mouth, hands, etc.
    Just then, this weathered, drunk small older man shuffles past out of the drizzle.
    "Very nice, very nice, but you kids stay out of trouble" he says. Definitely approving, not sexual, just nice.
    What validation, what relief!
    OK, I realize this is unnecessary and probably dangerous on some level, but it kind of gives me encouragement and hope! Hooray for Harlem!

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  72. Ok I LOVVVEEE PDA and I loved it when I dated men and I love it more now that I date women.

    I have been one of those people forever, and not everyone is like that. My Boifriend is not as PDA when it come's to certain places because she doesn't want to get gay bashed (TX). I tell her all the time that when I lived in Chicago I got more gay bashed there than I do hear, but it's her thing.

    I read all these comments and obviously some people care and some don't. It's a person thing not a homo/hetero thing :)

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  73. Lesbians totally do touch more!

    Or, at least, Australian lesbian do. Go out to dinner with a bunch of straight couples and the only time there's touching is when one of my friends' boyfriends is well aware of the fact that he's scored a woman way out of his league and wants other guys (and girls) to know she's his.

    Go out to dinner with dyke couples? They sit together, hands in each others' laps, whispering in each others' ears and nuzzling necks. WHILE TRYING TO EAT. Frankly it's a little messy.

    But it's yellow car syndrome, too. I spent months bitching about never seeing lesbians on chapel st, and as soon as I saw one... NOW IT'S LIKE HOMOCENTRAL. I was just looking for the wrong kind of lesbians.

    I'm going to see lesbians touching every now.... Awesome.

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  74. ^ where are all these lesbians on chapel street?!!
    I swear to god I think I see gay girls and then they start talking about their boyfriends/drooling over the (male) bartender
    help me!

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  75. My girlfriend loves PDA! I don't mind it, but I'm always a little more worried about us having to be in a safe space than she seems to be.

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  76. My finacee and I (yes, we're a same-sex couple) have no problems holding hands, hugging, brief kissing in public. Aside from the fact that we seem to live in a pretty gay-friendly place (and we're out to everyone that knows us), she's also a cop. So. If anyone wanted to try and cause a scene, she'll flip out her badge, and with her whole unit's support on our gay-ness and engagement, mm yeah.. Not really a good idea :)

    Only time we're "room mates" is when I go with her on her drill weekends for the military.. I'm pretty sure people have probably figured it out, but we're strictly platonic, barely touching, no nicknames.

    So, whether by nature or purely choice, we're a hands-on couple. Sometimes to be "in your face/this is MY girl" or just to show each other affection.

    There is the occasional ass grope in public and I kind of glare at her, because I don't want to make people around us uncomfortable, and that's a bit more PDA than I think is socially acceptable. I think hand-holding and a brief kiss is acceptable though.

    Just my .02

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  77. Oo, on the subject of NOT engaging in PDA when not in safe spaces, and how that effectively makes us invisible (indistinguishable from friends to the ungaydar'd eye), check this out http://wordwildrecords.bandcamp.com/track/tennessee

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  78. PDA. I'm not big on the thing myself but I don't mind it as long as they aren't having sex in public and yelling out dirty words.One time at a school dance it was this gay couple who slowed dance through every fucking song!And caressing each other like it was foreplay!

    PDA like that is not really cool in my books(gay or straight) but I guess it is a free country.I also notice that lesbians seem to be more in the PDA than gay men and heterosexuals..it's just a fact.

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  79. I don't agree with all of those people who say that girls are just naturally more affectionate. It's more of a gender thing. Traditionally femininity was all about showing and giving love, physically or otherwise, but masculinity involved a lot of hiding your feelings. So maybe we're still fighting those legacies. I'm not saying that all butches hate PDF and all femmes love it, and that everyone on whatever gender scale they're working with feels accordingly, it's just it's not so simple as 'all girls like PDA'. Remember us butches!

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  80. definitely yellow car theory. but you know what gay ladies are big on that straight ladies are not? winking at strangers.

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  81. agree with above comment, and might i add: talking and initiating conversations with strangers of any gender and/or sexual orientations.

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  82. kel - YES!!!!!

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  83. I used to be uncomfortable engaging in a little PDA, but now I do it as a political statement. Like 'hey, you straight folks, that's right, I'm holding hands with this girl or kissing her on the cheek, so freakin' what?' I understand why others avoid PDA, but personally I don't want to restrict myself because of what "society" might think.

    It's gotten me harassed a couple times, so I do tend to tone it down in spaces that feel dangerous, but on the whole I consider queer-PDA an educational moment for the hetero-world. Plus it means I get to kiss girls in public ;)

    Addendum: This might also have to do with the fact that I present soft-butch, so people already tend to see me as gay. I'm not really invisible alone, so why try to be invisible with my girl?

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  84. I personally am very tactile. I run my hands over things, I use my teeth, my arms, my cheek, my feet. I've always participated in PDA at different levels, but being aware of the environment is key. Even if I'm just around a lot of (unhappily) single people, then I don't rub it in their face. I know there are a lot of touchy-feely blokes out there, but the generality of women needing more physical contact seems true. "We" can't NOT touch... plus the ladies just look so good stroking or holding or kissing eachother.

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  85. (title unknown) 5:25 am today

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  86. I would like to mention how happy I am that people aren't flameing eachother in the comments. It's so nice being able to read the comments on your (amazing and wonderful) blog without having to put up with people arguing with eachother, especialy after a post like this one where you were dissing glee; for instance the people who don't like it agree with you and state their own personal reasons for hating it. On the other hand those who do like it don't yell at you or other commenters about why it's so great and tell you you suck for hating it and blablabla like you see everywhere else on the internet.
    I love you guys! :)

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  87. 1.Glee SUCKS

    2. I think theres a bit of truth in each of the theories mentioned. Kinda depends on where the girls are, who they are, how horny they are, how comfortable they are, etc

    3. or.....maybe we just have/want to have awesome sex with our lady lovers and cant keep out paws off

    maybe im wrong
    who knows.......

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  88. I hate Glee. I think it depends on the person as to how touchy feely they are with their partner pda-wise - no matter the orientation.

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  89. Just go hang out in a straight bar and watch our touchy-feely drunk straight people are.

    I don't actually think there is a difference - I think kelly notices it more because as you say - if they're not touching she just assumes they're friends.

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  90. @ Krista:

    No, you are not the only person in America that hates Glee. I do too. Also, the chick in the cool ass glasses with the lollipops pic that is reminiscent of the new Doctor Who is freaking awesome. Whoever you are, beautiful person in the white glasses, you are teh hawt, as the kids say.

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  91. I used to hate seeing PDA of any kind. Then I got a gf. A really fucking sexy gf. I just wanted to touch her everywhere all the time. BUT I was still really uncomfortable, so mostly I just fought the urge, not out of embarrassment or modesty, but because I wasn't out.

    Now I love PDA, to a certain extant. I love to see two people sharing a moment of love/intimacy. Warms my heart. I'm not talking about hands under garments and tongues down throats, but a person melting into another person type of moments. like at the end of the notebook. you all know what I'm talking about. It makes me happy to see, so I want to share it with everyone too.

    Sidenote: I just started a blog about my successful (and many unsuccessful) attempts at conversing/picking up lesbians. As a new member of the club and living in LA, it should be a funny adventure. here's the link: http://devolvingdialogue.blogspot.com/
    (sorry for the mini ad)

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  92. i think we're totally into PDA , more than we notice !
    and it shows even more in gay-friendly places

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  93. I have one theory. Gay or straight, girls are usually more touchy and into PDA than boys. It's simple math: 1+1=2. 1 touchy lady with another touchy lady make a really touching couple.
    Doesn't it make sense?

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  94. I've been gay bashed on more than one occasion, so the Dan Savage quote sums it up perfectly re: how I handle PDA. I have no desire to repeat those beatings. I am pretty obviously gay, but girl on girl or boy on boy PDA tends to make the rage of the haters go to a whole other level- the level where they'll kill you for it vs just harassing you for looking gay. So yeah, that's my take. I'd be more publicly affectionate with other women(when I am actually fortunate enough to be dating someone) if I weren't afraid. But I AM afraid, and rightly so.

    And I heart your blog, so I will overlook your disdain for Glee. :)

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  95. I feel a profound need to do anthropology at this question.

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  96. When my girl and I are in the bathroom all is game but as soon as we leave we're back to no-go.
    So it really does depend on where you are and who you're with.

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  97. Hmmm, yet to be at a gay bar, but I notice highschoolers tend to be like hyper sex obsessed rabbits and just, like, Mamie out constantly and give eachother hickes while freshies (like me) have got to get through the freaking halls while the teens nearly hump. Yeshhh.... I remember walking down state street and seeing these two girls hold hands, they were just so happy, and so smiley, and when they looked at eachother, there was just a air of love and goodness, they made me want to skip. I also remember my first(ish) older gay friend being with her GF in public, but not really needing to snot senselessly, they both just smiled at eachother, and were happy. And in the end when one got all tired, she just looked at the other who gentlely explained that they had driven sepreately and enveloping her in a warm hug, a mutual understanding of comfort and respect, if that isn't love, I don't know what is. I think the younger we are, the more insecure we feel, and the more territorial we get, and the more pressure we feel to 'display/prove' our love. I'm just a lezzy freshi, what would I know?

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