hyper/text: boob noob

Gabrielle d’Estrées et une de ses sœurs (Gabrielle d’Estrées and one of her sisters), c. 1594. Artist unknown. via TheArtGorgeous

Boob Noob asks:

I have dated other folks with boobs before (and I have boobs myself), so I understand they can be fun and nice. However my current girlfriend loves having her boobs touched – and not just in a sexual way. She likes having them casually grabbed anytime we’re somewhere private. She finds it intimate and gender affirming. 

I want to support her, but I don’t quite know how to grab her boobs in a casual way. She doesn’t expect me to ask for consent when touching her boobs, which makes me feel kind of weird? I’m also not sure how to touch her in a non-sexual way that doesn’t make me feel like a 15-year-old touching their first boob. Please help!

As a wise woman once said, “titties titties boob boobs booba bimbo titties boobs breasts bobbo boob titty booby.”

Boob Noob, I identify as a boob guy, so I admit: I envy you. O! to be stricken with melancholy over the frequency with which my girlfriend wants me to touch her boobs. But despite the little green gremlin gnawing at my prefrontal cortex, I am sad to hear this situation has caused stress in your romantic relationship. Having a form of desired touch be somewhat fraught is trying for everyone involved. 

Since your girlfriend doesn’t expect you to ask for consent before groping her bahongazongas, I recommend starting your breastplorations in a natural setting. For example, many couples use snuggling as a precursor to more intimate touch, and copping a cuddle-fueled feel might seem more intuitive than randomly palming her breastflesh. From there, you could eventually extend your reach to cuddling-adjacent scenarios – such as sitting next to each other on the couch – and ask her to guide your hands to an acceptable position. Thus, discovering how she wants to be touched becomes more of a mutual endeavor, with you both expending equal effort to make the experience enjoyable for all. 

With frequent repetition, your nipple grip should integrate into your implicit memory, allowing any confusion around the concept to fade into the distant past. However, if your awkwardness doesn’t fade with time, don’t panic! There are plenty of ways to affirm someone’s gender identity that don’t involve squeezing their secondary sex characteristics. Your comfort should be your priority, and if this ultimately leaves you feeling silly, I’m sure your girlfriend will understand.

HYPER/TEXT is a queer advice column for the digital age: a space for subcultural dilemmas that leave offline friends scratching their heads. Should you block your best friend over lesbian discourse? What on Earth is a “kinnie?” Check in biweekly for answers to these questions and more as we explore the lives of the hyper-online!

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Fox Auslander is a nonbinary poet born, raised, and based in Philadelphia. They are a chapbook editor at LUPERCALIApress, one of three co-lead poetry editors at Alien Magazine, and one of two co-editors at Delicate Friend. Find them on Instagram @circumgender.

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