Femme Friday – Literary Femmes: Celia Roberts in Final Take by Jackie Manthorne

I’ve been bathing in 90s lesbian mysteries lately, just reveling in them. It’s like eating comfort food that’s actually good for you because you’re seen and loved and someone spent her precious, queer creative energy writing a whole book JUST FOR YOU! I love it. Shout out to lesbo mystery writers everywhere, past and present and future! I am your femme fan girl!!!

Deep gratitude to Jackie Manthorne for Celia Roberts, who makes her appearance in the fourth Harriet Hubbley mystery, the one set in San Francisco, where Celia not only shows the young lipstick lesbians what it means to be a hot, mature femme in her 50s, living a full and sexy life, but also proves her mettle as a true blue friend– fuck yeah!!! Sounds like a femme to me!

Celia might be a bother at times and she was certainly audacious, but she also knew how to be a friend. There was solidity about her which came to the fore when someone she knew was in trouble or needed emotional support. Harry wondered where that steadfastness went the rest of the time, and why Celia chose to act so tempestuous. She must ask her some day. Not that she’d get a reasonable answer.

Final Take by Jackie Manthorne, gynergy books, Charlottetown, Canada, 1996

Every Friday, I showcase a queer femme goddess. I want to feature you! Write to me at thetotalfemme@gmail.com and let me shine a spotlight on your beautiful, unique, femme story!

At the Total Femme, my intention is to post three times a week: Meditations for Queer Femmes on Monday, Pingy-Dingy Wednesday on Wednesday and Femme Friday on Friday. Rather than play catch-up in a stressful fashion on those weeks when life prevents posting, I have decided to just move gaily forward: if I miss a Monday, the next post will be on Wednesday, and so on. Thank you, little bottle of antibiotics for inspiring me in this! (“…if it’s almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Don’t take a double dose to make up for a missed one.”)


Femme Friday – Literary Femmes: Yvonne from D. Alexandria’s short story, “When She’s Mad”

D. Alexandria is the deviant storyteller…

the revolutionary someone should have warned you about…the woman whose words will conjure images that make you shake your head and squeeze your thighs together…

Jamaican descendant, D. Alexandria, is the author of the Lambda Literary Award finalist “This Is How We Do It: A Raw Mix of Lesbian Erotica” (2010). A Gemini-born native of Cambridge, Massachusetts, her work first appeared on Kuma2.net, a nationally recognized site for lesbian erotica featuring women of color. Her stories have also been published in Tristan Taormino’s “Best Lesbian Erotica” series from 2005-2009 and “Sometimes She Lets Me: Best Butch Femme Erotica”, Nicole Foster’s “Ultimate Lesbian Erotica 2006” and Laura Antoniou’s “No Safewords: A Marketplace Fan Anthology”.

from http://www.dalexandria.com/home.html

“Always Unapologetic” is how D. Alexandria signed my copy of This is How We Do It: A Raw Mix of Lesbian Erotica, but the butch in the story “When She’s Mad” has got a lot of apologizing to do for having openly flirted with another femme when out dancing with her femme, Yvonne.

Deep gratitude to D. Alexandria for the gift of strong, sexy Yvonne – do not fuck with her!

            Yvonne turned in her seat but I kept my eyes on the road, not needing to look at her to know she was scowling.

            “You’re gonna tell me you weren’t watching that skank-ass blonde bitch while we were dancing? I caught your ass when I turned around.”

            “What blond bitch?” I asked, inwardly kicking myself because I knew exactly what blonde bitch she was talking about. While Yvonne was in my arms, behind her another couple was dancing just as heatedly as we were. The stud’s back was to me, but her girlfriend clearly had me in her sights, eyeing me up and down appreciatively. She had blondish dreads that fell around her shoulders, at times masking her face and hiding the motions she was making towards me with her lips and what apparently was a very skillful tongue. I hadn’t realized I had been so obvious in noticing. Normally I’m much better than that, ‘cause I knew that as confident Yvonne was in her status as my girl, no woman wanted to catch her stud checking out another chick. It was my fuck up.

            “You know exactly what blonde bitch I’m talking about, Lee, don’t play dumb. I’m surprised her ass wasn’t on some pole. Sure ‘nuff know yours would be there, dollar ready.” She added.

            I sighed, “Baby—,”

            “Don’t ‘baby’ me. I would never disrespect you like that and you know it. You’d be ready to get in a fight if you caught me doing what you did with another stud.”

            And, of course, she was right. We both knew I was hot-headed and more than a few times I’ve had words with other studs who weren’t respecting my place. And a couple of incidents came to blows. “But Yvonne–,”

            “But what?” She interrupted.


            “What? What do you have to say?”

            “But I’m sayin’–,”


            “Yo, let me talk!” I snapped, taking my eyes off the road for a moment to glare at her. “How you gonna come at me like that and not give me time to say anything?”

            She sucked her teeth, crossing her arms and stared ahead, “Talk.”

            I rolled my eyes and tried to relax, my mind racing for words that could soothe the situation, because truth be told, I was getting aroused. Call me insensitive if you want, but whenever Yvonne got heated I got excited. I can’t explain it, but when she gets angry there’s this energy that surrounds her and all I want to do is bend her over and tap into it the best way I know how. This, of course, is hard to do when we’re in the middle of an argument and the last thing she probably wants to do is look at me, let alone be intimate. But with every passing minute as her voice gets louder, her words become rawer, and her eyes are blazing the most intense heat, all I can think about is subduing her with the lash of my tongue.

            And right at this moment, as the animosity in the air grew thick, I was thinking of how good it would feel to have her thighs around my head as I pressed my face into her.

            “I thought you had to talk.” She said suddenly, jarring me back to reality.

            “Listen,” I began, trying to keep focus. “I’m sorry. I wasn’t even really paying attention to what I was doing. But for real, it was nothing. You know she don’t got shit on you. You ain’t got nothing to worry about, boo.”

            As soon as the words left my lips, I knew I had made a mistake. What a fucking rookie move. Never ever assume your woman felt insecure, because even if she didn’t, the fact that you mentioned it will make her think there’s a reason she should be. Worse it just makes your ass look conceited as all hell. If I could, I would have physically kicked myself.

            “Let me out,” She said.

–D. Alexandria, “When She’s Mad” in This is How We Do It: A Raw Mix of Lesbian Erotica


 Every Friday, I showcase a queer femme goddess. Suggestions welcome!

Femme Friday – Literary Femmes: Bridget the Apothecary in Moll Cutpurse: Her True History by Ellen Galford

It’s sometime in Elizabethan England, and Bridget the Apothecary is basically running her father’s shop when Moll comes in, demanding to be changed into a man. Although Bridget is wary, her father orders her to start giving Moll various powders and potions in order to make money. After a misadventure that leaves Moll sodden with river water and deathly cold, she stumbles to the apothecary and Bridget puts her to bed. In the morning, Moll is back to demanding that she be made into a man. Bridget will have none of it.

Deep gratitude to Ellen Galford for loving Bridget into the femme literary canon!

           “Carry out your commission, and turn me into a man!”

            “I’ve never heard such stupidity in all my days. I’ve heard your story, and I begin to know you a little, and yet for the life of me I cannot understand why you should wish to change your sex.”

            “Mark me well, apothecary, I dislike certain lectures first thing in the morning. And I do not pay you for your opinions, but for your skill. So double the dose, or whatever will make your elixir do is work, but do it fast, for I have no more time to waste.”

            “And what if I gave you all the drugs of Arabia and the poisons of Italy and the horns of unicorns powdered and the bones of dragons? I would grow fat and rich at your expense. I could try out new elixirs till doomsday.”

            “I will make myself a man! And if you do not change me with your powders I shall find another pill-merchant who will.”

            “You won’t, Moll. Mother Nature made you a woman, and a woman you must be.”

            “Mother Nature made a mistake.”

            “What sort of mistake?”

            “Anyone as brave and strong as I am ought to e a man. Not a silly petticoated woman who bleeds and breeds and whimpers.”

            “For all your bold bravado, Moll, you’re a silly child who knows nothing of life.” I was so angry I almost struck her, then remembered in time that she could easily knock me senseless, so forebore, and simply drew her down into the bed again, for she shivered with cold and vexation. Such anger as she felt did not prevent her from clinging to me closely, for the chamber was freezing. Such anger as I felt did not prevent me from rubbing her back and shoulders, to make her warm again.

            “They say alchemists know how to transform base metal into gold. Surely changing female to male is not so different.”

            I stopped rubbing. “Are you implying that woman is base metal, and man is gold?”

            She grabbed my wrist, and then put my hand back on her back and made me rub again. “Indeed, the order of the world has made it so. Women are slaves and men are masters. And I, mighty Moll, the terror of Cheapside, the scourge of Southwark, am meant to be among them.”

            “You are as blind as you are foolish, Moll. What of Her Majesty? She’s no slave, but the bravest, wisest, most glorious of princes – and still a woman. When she was young, you know, she bled every month as you and I do.”

            “Foul treason!” cried Moll. “Her Majesty never…”

            “You’ve been mixing too much with men. The world is full of brave, strong women. If you’re too stupid to see them, it’s your loss, not mine.”

            I sat upright, and pulled the covers up around me.

            She pulled the covers down again, and pulled me with them. “Even women think I’m a freak. They treat me like a two-headed calf. They’ll have nothing to do with me.”

            “What about me?”

            “You’re an exception.”

            “Just another two-headed calf like you are, Moll. Well, if you looked farther than the end of your nose, you’d find a lot of us about. I promise you, Moll, you can be as bold and strong and free as you are now, and still be a woman, and the wisest of your sisters will love you for it.”

            “Love,” she sighed, “is also part of the problem. For when I love, and when I lust, it’s woman who’s my object. Cruel Meg of the kitchen was not the only one who smote me so. There have been two or three others since, that have tempted me. They offer friendship, but I want something more. And when I have made this known to them, they shun my company, or laugh at me for a mad, moonstruck fool. Because I’m nothing to them without a stiff bull’s pizzle and a pair of wobbling balls.”

            “The more fools they,” I said, stroking her arm. “I think perhaps you have been unlucky in your choice of women. For there are those of us who know that such machinery but gets in the way of a woman’s true pleasure.”

            “I’ve never hungered after such toys myself,” she answered, letting her hand wander over my thigh. “But they seem to be needful.” Her voice shook slightly. “I’ve never met a woman who wanted me without them.”

            “Now that proves it, Moll. You are a fool.” I kissed her over and over again, then drew her close and taught her otherwise.

 Moll Cutpurse: Her True History by Ellen Galford, Firebrand Books, 1985

Every Friday, I showcase a queer femme goddess. Suggestions welcome!

Published in: on March 10, 2017 at 3:25 PM  Leave a Comment  
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