The Hook Up: Am I overwhelming my new partner?


I’m a hot femme and have been checking out a hot butchy girl who works as a bouncer for the local gay bar. It took months and countless letdowns of making a time to do something and having her cancel. All her excuses seemed reasonable. After about seven different cancellations,  I was finally able to get her to come out for a coffee after work and after a long couple of months of an occasional coffee, I finally got an invite to her place and we hooked up.  It was the best sex I’ve had in my life, which hasn’t been much, but with her, OMG.

Needless to say, I had to break down and tell her that I’ve fallen for her and had done so months before we even slept together. Now, we often text everyday, but I still find that I have to be the one to initiate conversations, and getting her to talk on the phone is difficult. If I ask her to text me when she gets home, she asks, “Why, lol.” I send her pics all the time, but when I ask her to send me one, it never happens. She also doesn’t want me to be at her work anymore. She doesn’t want anyone finding out about us. I feel like a dirty little secret, yet I cannot stay away from her. Alas I am in love. Does she just need space? Is all the femininity all too much for her? I’m feeling like I’m being a pain in the ass to her.  —Very Confused in Ontario, Canada

FullSizeRenderillustration by Natasha Miren


Bless yer hot femme heart, but even I feel like I need space from you after reading that intense letter. A declaration of love after a first lay? Wanting continual text check-ins when she gets home? Bombarding her for pictures? That would be a lot for anyone to take in, VCIOC, but especially to a girl for whom it took months to agree to a simple coffee date.

Your persistence of this gal is admirable, and it obviously paid off, but now it’s time to scale way the fuck back if you want to continue to enjoy her company.

I know it’s difficult, especially in the first throes of newness and naked times, to not want to communicate constantly. And, in fact, as long as it’s reciprocal, I say, have at it. The key is that it needs to go both ways. If you’ve texted her 17 times for every one time she has texted you, it’s time to put on the brakes. And if she doesn’t want to send you pictures of herself, that’s her prerogative, and you need to respect that. Same with wanting to know her whereabouts. It’s one thing if your lives were so intertwined that you NEEDED to know when she was coming home (to feed your adopted shelter dog, for instance, or if she relied on you to give her a daily dose of insulin, or something), but for a getting-to-know-you type situation, the gesture comes off as stalkerish at best and mom-like at worst.

If you feel like you’re being a “pain in the ass to her,” then do your best to be LESS of one. Respect her “no’s” and her privacy. Communicate with her about the same amount that she communicates with you. If she’d like you to not be at her work when she’s working, find something else to do. It’s not unheard of, especially for those who work in the service industry, to ask for a little space while they’re working, because they might feel obligated to take care of you or entertain you at the expense of doing their job.

That said, I would take a cold, hard look at anyone who says she “doesn’t want anyone finding out” about your relationship. It’s one thing to want distance from a paramour on the job. It’s an entirely different thing to want no one to find out about you at all.

An entirely shitty thing. And one you shouldn’t stand for, no matter how hot the sex is. Unless she has an incredibly compelling reason, such as “This relationship will compromise my status within the Witness Protection Program,” or “I’m actually a secret agent moonlighting as a gay bouncer and no one knows my true identity, except for the Mounties, and a handful of people I’ve killed in the name of protecting Canada!”

What reason did she give you for wanting secrecy, anyway? It can’t be that she’s closeted, if she works in a gay bar. Did she give ANY reason? If she didn’t, consider that, VCOIC. Consider the implications of that.

Also consider that maybe this hot butchy gal is not the right person for you to devote your sweet femmey heart to. Perhaps she’s a terrific lay and casual coffee fling and not the person with whom you will one day split a mortgage. Perhaps you should start looking for another hot butch girl who will send you all the selfies and then some if that is what you’re after. PERHAPS. (You should.)

At the very least, if you do nothing else, take a few steps back from this girl and aim your laser-like attention back on that most thrilling of things—yourself. What would be occupying your heart and time if your life wasn’t consumed with this gal? What non-hot-butch activities make your life Cirque Du Soleil with joy? Refocus on those things, VCOIC. If nothing else, it will take some of your preoccupation with this person and direct it on what you can control, your glorious you.

Good luck! And remember: Clear eyes. Full hearts. Don’t text.


Anna is a freelance writer in Oakland. Get overly personal emails and haiku from her at Or Twitter @annapulley. Send her your Hook Up questions at