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Falling into the Lesbi WorldDesire and Difference in Indonesia$
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Evelyn Blackwood

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780824834425

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824834425.001.0001

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Desire and Difference

Desire and Difference

(p.119) Chapter Five Desire and Difference
Falling into the Lesbi World

Evelyn Blackwood

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter explores how tombois and femmes come to understand their sexual desires by focusing on their emerging sexuality during their youth and their relationships in the lesbian world. It suggests that tombois' sexual desires come to align with their feelings of being boys and their understanding of what masculinity entails. It shows that tombois view their sexual privileges differently than their girlfriends, a perception that is consistent with the ideology of sexual difference and underscores tombois' masculinity. At the same time tombois and girlfriends' sexual relationships are fraught with tensions and contradictions because of their tenuous connections to normative sex/gender. This chapter considers how femmes deal with the tensions between heteronormative categories of sex/gender, in which bodies and genders must be the same, and their perceptions of their partners. It also discusses the efforts of tombois and their girlfriends to maintain their relationships, whether by physically living together, postponing marriage, or, in the case of girlfriends, marrying in order to return to their partners.

Keywords:   tombois, femmes, desire, sexuality, lesbians, masculinity, sexual difference, sexual relationships, gender, girlfriends

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