It was a typical Friday night hanging out with close friends at our favourite bar, Club 95, along Club Street. Drowning in the endless river of alcohol, inhaling long drags of mentholated cigarettes, feasting in the usual lesbian gossips, our conversation moved on to a friend’s label.
Label (ley-buh) – noun
- A word or phrase indicating that what follows belongs in a particular category or classification: The following definition has the label “Archit.”
Source: Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1), Based on the Random House Unabridge Dictionary, Random House, Inc. 2006.
The discussion we had was on her label as a lesbian. With delicately waxed short locks and understated casual wear on most days, we were surprised to hear of her declaration as a Femme and not Andro. If you’re confused of the lesbian labels I’m spewing by now, I don’t blame you. About 5 years ago, when I was this unthawed lesbian-in-making, I was running in circles trying to figure out the definitions of this lesbian menu of labels thrown upon me. I even wrote about it on my old blog (yes, I was blogging way before blogging was even considered a proper word in the dictionary!). Considering how marinated I am in the lesbian scene by now, I suppose the practice of labeling doesn’t faze me anymore.
Lesbian labeling felt like grocery shopping in a supermarket where every product is systematically categorized and sometimes, even on special offer. It’s still the same. Chances are, it will stay this way for as long as humans (straight or gay) recognize the convenience of classification. As a young, immature and arrogant teenager (ok fine, I’m still arrogant), I used to get pretty agitated when someone asks, “What’s your label?”. Often, I’d slap them back with a nonchalant “I don’t do labels, I’m not a supermarket product like most girls.”. The truth is, I never felt it mattered at all. If I fall in love with someone, it just happens. I don’t need a reason; I don’t need a list of criterion at all. Be it a guy or a girl, Butch or Femme, fat or skinny, I honestly don’t care. And I still feel strongly about that today. If Cupid hits me, Cupid hits me. Too bad.
These days, I’m a little bit kinder to people who ask for my label. It’s either “I’m like the US economy. Free trade for all.” or “Yohji Yamamoto.”, depending if I’m feeling cheeky or not.
Just for my beloved heterosexual readers, here’s our lesbian menu of labels often used in Singapore.
1. Pure Lesbian (often referred as PL or Femme)
While the origins of the ridiculous term “Pure” remains unknown, Pure Lesbian generally refers to a feminine-looking woman who prefers another feminine-looking one. Sexual responsibilities are equally distributed. You fuck me, I fuck you back.
2. Passive Lesbian
You know those dainty sweet chicks you see on the train with their arms wrapped around their fat, butchy girlfriends? There, those are Passive Lesbians. They are attracted to Actives, Andros and Butches (see definition below) and often look like they should belong to a Taiwanese girl band considering their high-pitch voices. How do you differentiate between a Pure Lesbian and a Passive Lesbian? Check their fingernails. Passive Lesbians have well-manicured nails. Assuming that the Pure Lesbian has an active sex life, she would probably have nicely trimmed short nails. Fucking with long nails is a federal offence. Passive Lesbians are mostly involved in a one-way sexual relationship where the other half does all the work. Not that they’re lazy though, its usually a preference imposed by the Active, Andro, or Butch.
3. Active (often referred as Andro; an extraction from the description, “Androgynous)
The big brother you wish you had that comes with a pair of tits. The greatest obsession most Actives have would be their crowning glory. Their hair (on their heads, just to be clear) is their thing, so don’t even go near. It’s a little unfortunate that being Singaporeans, the lack of originality in hairstyles has caused most Actives to look alike. The David Beckham Mohawk hairdo is a classic example. And oh, Actives do not bind. And are willing to work on a two-way street sexually with their Passive Lesbian girlfriends, unlike Butches.
Some of the Butches are so masculine-looking, they get slapped across the face when they visit the little girl’s room. Butches generally bind their boobs by means of using tummy tuckers. Yes, the same one your mum uses to conceal that lumpy I-have-4-kids physical evidence. Granted the tropical weather in Singapore, I wonder how they survive under all that heat. Hmm. I’m not sure if I’m being over judgmental here, but I find the specie of Butches depleting pretty fast in Singapore. They’re almost close to extinction. Which seriously, I’m not complaining. Binding your boobs are plain unhealthy. You may shoot me for this following statement, but I have no patience to deal with the insecurities of a Butch (i.e. Why are you meeting that guy for coffee? Who is that person texting you? Oh I have so many girls who adore me!). More importantly, I cannot imagine a one-way sexual relationship lastly longer than 24 hours. Then again, I don’t know if I want to see a Butch naked at all. Urgh. It’s like seeing Roseanne Barr naked.
The curious virgin lesbian I was, I ended up trying out all 4 lesbian products available in the supermarket. While I have officially developed an allergy for Butches, I don’t mind the remaining 3. If you have free samples to offer, please do let me know. Haha.
Angela, this article is dedicated to you. Be positive always.