I'm Embracing My Femininity in a Masc4Masc World
Jun 2021 - 5 Min read

I'm Embracing My Femininity in a Masc4Masc World

Vesper Writer, Artist Socialist Millennial

Desire is complicated when you don't want to fit the gender binary.

I hop in the car, tear off my sweater and slide the window down, letting in the fresh Florida air. The cab drives us away from Miami International Airport and I’m greeted by the driver in a thick Spanish accent. He’s a giant of a man, filling up his entire seat. A tribal tattoo straddles his heaving bicep. A huge hand with two gold rings grips the steering wheel. His mouth is hidden behind a mask. Masks are like underwear now, concealing my favorite part of a man’s face: his lips. 

I greet him back and he looks at me in the rearview mirror, sitting in the backseat with my dark, curly hair hidden beneath a bucket hat, wearing a tight, thin-strap tank, with accents of gold adorning my ears and neck. He looks away quickly and drives in silence for the rest of our 20-minute ride. Is he repulsed by me, or afraid that he’s not?

Later, the tropical sun beats down my neck as I trail along South Beach. I make eyes with a chiseled jogger in tiny purple shorts. In his round eyes and raspberry lips, I see the teenage boys I once knew. Not the white boys who danced around me in the locker room like rabid baboons chanting "faggot," but the Black, Latino and mixed boys I met during quinceañera practices. The boys I taught how to dance, and in doing so, raised their stock with the girls.

They didn’t avoid me the way grown men did, or look at me with deficiency like my peers. Instead, they warmed to me, offering me respect and a vague sense of protection. I saw another side of masculinity, one that wasn’t tyrannical. After the quinces ended, I fantasized for years about the men they would become. I look for them in the men I’m intimate with. They must all have this compassion living inside of them, I thought. It’s just a matter of finding how it’s triggered and seducing it.

Usually, the sex is rough and empty.
Not being allowed to be your authentic self can result in empty romantic partnerships.

I Want to Have the Effect on Men That My Mother Did

I first saw the power of seduction as a child at Mami’s side during our errands. As a young, curvaceous woman with long, dark curls, Mami stopped men in their tracks. They would open doors for her, give her discounts at the register, offer to help with her bags as if I wasn’t there. Her playfully flirtatious nature and girlish laugh got her out of more than a few speeding tickets. I saw the world blossom for her. I thought if I carried myself the way Mami did, then the world would open up for me too. 

In Miami, all my dating app engagements confirm “no fems.” Some guys will suggest that I not wear earrings or wear masculine clothing. That doesn’t work for me. In adulthood I’ve enjoyed cultivating a feminine atmosphere: form-fitting tops, floral body oils and a physique I maintain through dancing. The desired effect: to feel pleasure just by having it sit across from me. 

The reactions from men are mixed. Back in New York, I’m met with a bit more grace. I feel much freer in expression, and more desirable, even if the man hiding behind a faceless Grindr profile considers himself straight. I’ve played the game of cat and mouse in the past, being the passive mouse who strips away the feminine, takes off all my jewelry, “butch up” my clothing and is happy to consider men a shiny piece of cheese. Usually, the sex is rough and empty. 

I’m most comfortable playing the cat. I command their attention without demanding it. I question no part of myself especially if I’ve invited you into my home; you’ll take me as I come with the promise of satisfaction. One six-foot-two Georgian man from Tinder meets my warm, wistful demeanor with confusion, trying to convince manhood into me by wrestling. I meet him back with force, grabbing him by the shirt and pulling his lips to mine. His muscles relax as he eased into me before finally surrendering—the sex that followed felt deserved. 

Months go by before he reaches out again, this time coming over with chocolates—something he’s never done before. He embraces me and we very quickly make our way to bed, with him having me in every position I knew of, and some I didn’t. The Georgian claims to come for sex, but stays much longer for pillow-talk.

He doesn’t have to say he missed me for me to feel it. As I rest on his chest, he vents to me about a jealous friend, tells me a bit about Georgian history and, as he’s done in the past, brings up the conversation of gender, as if I’m the American authority on the subject.

I taught him about the concept of androgyny, a word he’d never heard before. He asks if I would grow out my beard, I keep from telling him I get it lasered. He mentions he’s not been in love before but wants to marry a woman to procreate. “If daddy ever needs a babysitter, you know who to call,” I joke. He swats my cheek with a smile and kisses me. We have sex again. Each time he’s persistent in making sure all the curtains and doors are closed.

I feel untouchable.

Men Fear Femininity, but They Also Desire It

Men fear femininity, but they also desire it.

One night a torsoed profile reaches out. After exchanging photos I realize his profile reads “masc4masc.” Disappointed but stern, I tell him that I don’t regulate myself on the basis of masculinity, so best of luck. He insists on coming anyway. When he gets to my apartment I’m lounging in baggy, hip-hugging sweatpants and a tight tank top, freshly bathed, my skin slathered in coconut oil. I feel untouchable. 

He’s six-four, Colombian, with prominent lips and bedroom eyes. We exchange a few words before he kisses me, ferociously, as if he’s been bottling up the urge for a while. I grab him by the balls to calm him down and give him an indulgent blowjob. Once it comes to sex, he enters me hard and fast, until I stop him. “Be nice to my body,” I tell him.

We kiss again, only this time without pretense. So I lay him down and start riding slow, then fast, and on again. After climaxing, we lay side by side, looking up at my ceiling, and to my surprise he initiates pillow-talk. He goes from gym talk to him admitting he’d never been in love before. He grows silent but looks like he has more to say. As he dresses I ask for his number, he tells me he doesn’t do that.

Sliding my underwear on, I give him a quick hug before letting him out. It would be nice to see him again but the chances are unlikely. Oh well. As I look in the mirror to wash my face, I find all my jewelry intact and my lips swollen from kissing. I make a bowl of cereal, light incense and sleep like a kitten that night.

Vesper Writer, Artist Socialist Millennial

Discover Themes


This should be fun. We’re talking NSFW fun, okay?


Head Space

Chances are you’ve been on your own rollercoaster ride with mental health recently. The Doe is here for you. 

Mental Health

Common Ground

The environment is a constant in the news, but even more so of late. Climate change, the Australian wildfires and, of course, the spread of a global, animal-borne disease have most of us thinking about our planet in unfamiliar ways.


Game On

While the sporting world has been rocked by the pandemic, it looks for a major rebound this spring: March madness, indeed.



Some folks have family trees that go back generations, others don’t know who their birth mothers are. No matter what, the human desire to know where one came from runs deep.


Hi, Society

Okay, so how many movies did you see in the theater last year? And live concerts? Yeah, that’s what we figured. And yet!

Pop Culture

And Beyond

The year is 2020. Science and technology influence everything from day-to-day tasks to our health and longevity. And yet an ocean of advancement still awaits. The question is, how do we dive in?

Science and Tech

What's Good

To say this year has sucked would be an understatement. But amidst the hot dumpster fire that is 2020, we're looking for a silver lining.

Acts of Kindness

State of the Union

It’s perhaps the most contentious and consequential election in modern American history: As Biden and Trump square off, The Doe jumps into the debate.


The System

George Floyd. Breonna Taylor. Portland. Chicago. Lafayette Square. As cities across the United States grapple with protests, unrest and rebellion, The Doe takes a deep dive into justice and the system.


Subject Matters

Reading, writing and arithmetic ain’t what it used to be a decade ago—or even a few months ago.


What She Said

It’s difficult to articulate what it's like being a woman. Hell, even the spelling of the word is cause for discussion (we see you, womxn).


Four Letter Word

Love: A lot of songs, poems and multi-volume treatises have been devoted to the subject. So, in these strange days when we could use it the most, what’s left to say about the strongest of human emotions?  Plenty.


On the Record

We’re very proud of our particular and deliberate themes at The Doe. They cover a broad range of topics, ones that we feel are crucial to discourse in the world today. But still!