It's a question I heard many times as a femme lesbian dating another feminine woman. Yet, when I was with a woman who dressed and acted more butch, not a single person ever asked who "wore the pants."
It's not that I somehow encountered fewer straight people (mostly men) who had the gall to ask such an invasive and ignorant question, it's that anyone who might have asked before most likely just assumed that my butch partner was the dominant person in bed.
And believe it or not, this is a stereotype even some queer women subscribe to. Plenty of femmes assume their butch partners want to be the one on top, or the one who always dons the strap-on — if strap-ons are part of their sex life.
"What would [people] be surprised to know about you specifically?" she asked the women.
"I can only really orgasm vaginally," one said.
"That I'm versatile," said another. "I'm usually the one to initiate and take care of her first, but then it's my turn."
When asked why they think people assume butch women are dominant in bed, these ladies had the perfect (if not surprising) answer: Men's masculinity is a fragile, fragile thing.
"If you do enjoy receiving penetration, that takes away from your masculinity," one of the women explained.
It's important to note that not all butch women date femme women. Femme women date femme women, butch women date butch women, and some queer women date people who do not identify as masculine or feminine.
And any person in any iteration of queer (or straight!) relationships may like penetration or being dominated. So, please, stop asking.