STUD FOR STUD (S4S)
Stud for Stud (s4s) are Masculine Identified Women (MIW) who date/have sex with other MIW’s. There are varying degrees of masculinity, from stone butches to switches/versatile, to feminine bois. There are studs who not only date other studs but femmes as well and there are a few like me who ONLY date studs or trans men, so we come in ALL flavors/styles/combinations. There is no set “mold” for an s4s relationship. We are all unique. Although the term s4s is a relatively new term, let me clarify for the record that butch on butch love has been around FOREVER, it just hasn’t been as visible in lesbian communities of color (black & latino). With that being said I’m gonna write about s4s from the perspective of a MIW of color.
STUD FOR STUD & DATING
Dating can be difficult and overwhelming in general, but imagine trying to do it under a microscope of negativity, scrutiny and uncertainty. Imagine trying to date a specific type of person but not having any idea how to find them OR even how to identify that they’re down. These are some of the challenges s4s face in trying to find love. Because s4s is such a taboo topic in communities of color, many date in secret or on the down low. The strong s4s who are out and open sometimes are challenged with finding or identifying others like them so it makes for a very frustrating task of hooking up. The internet has made it a little easier to network and locate s4s in your area. Many form groups or cliques within their communities so they have support and fellowship. Through my many conversations with fellow s4s, they find this to be the easiest and less stressful way of finding a mate but a lot of times these internet relationships are long distance and most do not work out. The least favorite way of hooking up is in person, because it’s very difficult to identify studs who date other studs unless you just happen to know how that they are. Even if a person thinks they know, they are less inclined to approach that individual for fear of rejection and sometimes even violence. Because of these circumstances longevity in s4s relationships are not common.
STUD FOR STUD & RACE
Race plays a huge role in s4s relationships. There is a fundamental difference between black and white s4s relationships and that’s ACCEPTANCE and TOLERANCE! Black people are bogged down with appearances and what their peers think whereas white people not only encourage, but cherish being different. The black lesbian community is heavily steeped in male/female, stud/femme roles as patterned after our straight counterparts. If there are clearly defined roles then that’s easier for the masses to understand and therefore accept. So, if two black doms do make it to the point that they want to be together, the odds of them staying and lasting are slim because of the cultural pressures to conform. White people generally don’t have problems with subculture as they tend to thrive in such communities. There have been butch/butch relationships for as long as lesbianism has been around. As a matter of fact, that pairing is the MOST common image/perception of lesbians by the general public. White s4s couples have a higher success rate because they have a reference and they’re less likely to encounter as much hostility from their peers/community.
STUD FOR STUD & HOW WE ARE PERCEIVED IN THE LGBTQ COMMUNITY
Stud for stud has had a rough time within our own gay community, ESPECIALLY by the lesbians. We’ve been shunned, excluded, made fun of, and disrespected. The main weapon of choice by lesbians (stud and femme) but more so by the femmes, is emasculation! There is nothing more hurtful to a stud than to challenge their masculinity and much like straight society does to gay men, studs are demonized for being weak because they may enjoy penetration or the act of submission from another stud. Its my opinion that femmes do this because they feel slighted that they were overlooked or passed over for the love and affection of a stud similarly the way some straight women feel when dealing with gay men. Non s4s studs terrorize s4s studs because their masculinity is threatened and they fear others will perceive them as s4s as well. There have been some instances of overt violence, hence the reason studs RARELY approach other studs in person.
Its been my experience that gay men and gender queers are the most accepting of stud for stud. Many s4s relationships are patterned after gay male relationships so there is a recognizable fluidity and similarity between the two groups. Gender queers and transgendered people, to include trans men who sometimes date s4s, are also very understanding and accepting for obvious reasons. Bisexuals are more accepting of us too because they are shunned by the mainstream gay community as well.
STUD FOR STUD VISIBILITY & ACCEPTANCE WITHIN THE GAY COMMUNITY
As with any subculture the LGBTQ community is a direct representation of mainstream society. There is racism, sexism, misogyny and hate. Lesbians, gays, blacks, and whites rarely, if ever party or fellowship together. Our community is separated by the haves and have-nots as well. The only way stud for stud will be accepted within our communities is if we continue to come out and be proud about who we love to date. We need to open our minds and get out of these archaic rules about sexuality and gender identity. The world is clearly not black and white and neither is sexual preferences/desires/identities. Despite how we’ve been treated, stud for stud is a growing subset that has yet to bust on the scene in a major way. At the end of the day no matter who wears what clothing its still 2 women.