It has suprised me a couple of times in hetero relationships when a partner who has much more experience than me, and is generally an outspoken dominant sort of person places me in a position of authority or control in a sexual situation, or another relationship aspect. And then I'm suddenly taken-aback when I realise the sole reason for this is that I'm male and they're female and this is how they feel such relationships as ours should be structured.
In same-sex relationships can trad gender roles have as much of an impact?
Does it make a great difference that people can often chose for themselves what position they want to take in a relationship?
Is it ever more about the way they act to those roles after that?
Not speaking from personal experience, but i imagine traditional gender roles wouldnt matter much in gay relationships.
Like you wouldnt need to worry about how a good wife or good husband would behave.
In a lesbian relationship you could choose to be femme or butch or something else entirely. And those are not traditional male/ female gender roles anyway.
Do you think that in every relationship, one person needs to be dominant and the other one more passive? I think not necessarily. I think that each could be a mixture of both.
Posts: 1326 | Registered: Nov 2007
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I don't think you need a dominant / submissive dynamic for a relationship, you just need communication. But to a lot of people dom/sub is important, so to be in a relationship with them it's incredibly difficult not to.
Queer men and women have already broken gender norms by, well being queer! So they're already prepared to break rules. But that could also mean they build different gender norms.
Butch and fem; are those as difficult to deal with? Or does being forced to be outside the gender norms make things difficult too?
(Hey Jacob - dom and sub are terms used more commonly in the context of BDSM relationship, which I know you're not talking about here. Be careful not to confuse these things. )
I've found that, with the same-sex relationships I've been in, some of those dynamics did come into play, but not consistently. With my first girlfriend, I was the one who'd been out far longer and thus felt more comfortable being gay, and thus I took the lead in a lot of sexual matters. But she was far more social and outgoing, so as soon as we were outside, she'd be the one taking the lead.
At the same time, I've also had those dynamics in my straight relationships (the person feeling more comfortable and at ease taking the other by the hand, so to speak), so I'd be inclined to say that this sort of thing is dependent more on the individuals having the relationship than it is on their gender or sex.
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"The question is not who will let me, but who is going to stop me." -Ayn Rand Posts: 9192 | From: Cologne, Germany | Registered: Sep 2005
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Well, I'm straight, but I have a friend that is in same-sex relationships.. both my relationship and my friends seems to work the same way though.
In both of our relationships, neither partner is dominant or submissive. In my relationship, my boyfriend and I share control, but one of us doe occasionally take control in certain situations if the other person doesnt feel comfortable about being in control. And like I said earlier, it works the same with my friend and his partner.
At the same time, keep in mind that every relationship is different and so are the people in the relationship. Some people, whether it's a homo- or hetero- relationship, may want there to be a dom. and sub. partner in the relationship. It's really just what works best for you and your significant other.
-------------------- Young and Dumb. "Life is a balance of holding on and letting go." - Keith Urban Posts: 243 | From: USA | Registered: Mar 2008
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ah yeah, I'm not talking about BDSM here, just so anyone reading knows. I'm talking about the notion that one partner may take a lot more responsibility in a relationship and exert a lot more control than the other. Maybe eryn's "dominant and passive" are a bit better?
(Sounds like you're got some pretty good communication in your relationships by the way. Young and Dumb, you probably ain't).
I don't really speak from a wide range of experience, but in my current relationship (with a another girl), I do experience some... difficulties as far as gender roles are concerned.
On the whole, I tend to be fairly feminine. Yes, I wear my hair short, and oftentimes I'd rather wear a suit than a dress, but I do enjoy my femininity. My girlfriend is less traditionally feminine than I am, in mannerisms if not in appearance, but not by a whole lot. I view us as being more or less on equal ground in that respect, and I think she feels the same, but I know there are other people who think differently. As a friend of mine puts it, "you (meaning me) want the parasol and she wants the top hat". She is older, more experienced, and more outgoing than I am, so she does kind of take the leading role in our relationship. But that doesn't mean she's in charge. I resent other people thinking that I'm the passive one, just because I like pretty dresses and I can be quiet in group settings. Neither I nor my girlfriend is passive by a long shot.
Posts: 406 | From: California | Registered: Jun 2005
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I like that you can behave how you like, and be happy despite it, but it's unfortunate that assumptions of having to fit straight gender roles in your same sex relationship are something you have to deal with.
It's interesting that from what you say the annoyance it causes is entirely external.
I think it can be difficult to define in terms of gender once having broken the mould into a same-sex format. It's as though everything else might have to be re-assessed too, and can be pretty confusing.
In a way also in a same sex context there are many other sets of gender roles, like femme and butch as an example, which can also be restrictive.
Also when u mention mannerisms that's another thing... masculinity/femininity also assumes mannerisms, but the rhythm of someones speech or how they walk or dress, really have nothing to do with dominance in a relationship. But even so a lot of external people seem to think that they do.
I'm sure I know a few couples for whom there are issues within their relationship.
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