#DatingBetweenTheLines: Do's and Dont's of Dating A Stem


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This past Pride month we educated our readers on all of the important queer terms they should know. And just like the English dictionary, there are urban and slang terms that can be derived from this queer glossy. Terms and labels like “stud”, “fem”, “masc”, “butch” and “dyke” have all dominated queer sub-cultures and dating scenes for years. But not all of these labels are equally accepted or respected. Queer individuals who identify as “stem”, defined as a person who is neither masc nor fem presenting but a balance of both, are often left out of the conversation and subsequently the dating pool.


While most have found confidence in how they balance their masc and fem energies, both emotionally and through their physical appearances, their potential partners do not. Which often leads them into empty relationships riddled with judgment and forced change.

But considering the queer community is suppose to champion equality and acceptance, dating for those who are too masculine for masculine womxn & too feminine for feminine womxn should not be so difficult. So if you find yourself attracted to a stem, don’t be held back from pursuing them. How they identify is just as valid as your own, and their chances at love should be just as great.


To help our readers better navigate those romantic waters with those who identify between the fine lines we are all used to, LBH suggest the following do’s and don’ts:


DO’S when dating a stem:

  • Be confident in who you are so that you can equally be confident in them

  • Accept that they land in the middle and that they are not one or the other

  • Be loving and open to exactly who they are

  • Be sensitive to the struggle that comes with how they identify. The public will judge them, they don’t need you to as well

DONT’S when dating a stem:

  • Don’t try to shape them into what you’re comfortable with or who you want them to be ... you knew what it was when you signed up

  • Don’t address them as if they are some sort of anomaly .. they are who they are

  • Don’t ask nor tell them to wear a certain thing because the style you prefer

  • Don’t assume that they are super masculine or feminine based solely on how they dress, get to know them first


Specials thanks to Lauren Dreher for contributing to this article.