Zip It!

illustration by Mark A. Hicks, illustrator

As a butch in a butch-femme relationship (not all butches are, of course), one must be aware of one’s role in the relationship. We are the strong ones. The helpful, gallant ones. We are obedient and faithful. As such, there are a variety of things that should not escape our lips when we are addressing our femme. Remember, not everything needs to be said out loud. The statements below are butch fails in a variety of categories: stupidity, weakness, laziness, your ex, and just plain “guying out,” when you act like a dude in all the wrong ways.


“Baby, wow – you really need to do your roots.” So dumb. You may as well tell her that she looks like crap. She is beautiful all the time. You cannot point this out, or if you do, you had better do it in a nice & easy kind of way. Femmes like us to think that they are magically gorgeous all the time. Calling out her roots is a reminder that things are done behind the scenes to pretty her up, and then you’ve got her worrying that her hair looks horrible.

“Your lipstick is gone. Shouldn’t you reapply? You just told her that she needs lipstick to look good. If her lipstick wears off, from kissing you(!) or otherwise, leave it. She looks just fine without any on. Plus, she probably knows that she needs to reapply and just hasn’t gotten to it yet. Keep your mouth closed, and chances are she will get to it on her own in time. And, you are likely to keep the kisses coming.

“You are just like your mother” or, the related “Your mother is right.” No one likes to hear that they are like their mother – especially since it’s usually used in a negative way. Her mother, and your mother too, are probably right, but you cannot use her mother against her. [Butch note: I would be lucky if I were like my mother, Hi Mom!]

“Your friend is pretty.” Now all she can think of is whether you are preoccupied with her friend. Her friend might be gorgeous, but this is an inside thought.

“Are you ready yet?” No, she isn’t and you need to wait. Have a beer, do some dishes, clean the fireplace, hit something with a hammer. Whatever. She isn’t ready yet because she is beautifying for your benefit. Better to wait it out patiently.


“Can you kill that spider for me?” You are the butch. You are the spider killer. No one likes to kill spiders, snakes, or any other creepy crawlies, but you are the butch, so this is your job. Plus, you get to look tough, an opportunity that should never be ignored.

“I don’t want to go downstairs and check out that sound you just heard. Just take the bat with you.” Butch up, now. You can be scared. You don’t have to like that you have to get out of bed and go downstairs in the middle of the night because your girl thinks she heard something. But, you know what? Do it anyway. If you are really scared, it’s ok to have her come with you – behind you, of course.


“Honey, please carry my suitcase, it is so heavy.” This is not ok. Ever. I have a cast on my leg right now. My gorgeous finance wanted to schlep our suitcases during a recent trip and I still wouldn’t let her. We have too many bags for me to carry alone, so of course she pulls her weight, but not with the big bags. What kind of a tool bag would I look like if I let her lift the big bags off the belt or carry them out of the airport?

“I’m too tired to take out the trash [or do whatever she is asking you to do].” This won’t go well. Butches, take out the trash, change the light bulb, pick up your shit. Whatever she asks you to do, you do it. And, smile! Why? Because she is pretty…and she smells good.

“Can you get me a beer?” Is it wonderful when your girl brings you a beer? Absolutely. Can she do that for you? Certainly. My gorgeous fiancé likes to bring me a beer – but she has to offer.


“She made killer chicken.” This is a mistake. If you say something like this, you don’t know women. I never do this (holy crap, I know better) but I know some women who have to put up with it. As a butch, you think it’s just about chicken. And to you, it probably is. But your girl will take this as an insult to the chicken she cooked for you, and will assume you just told her that your ex is across the board superior to her. You are likely to end up with her undoubtedly delicious chicken in your lap and, if you’re lucky enough that she cooks chicken for you ever again, a reminder each time that you said something so stupid.

Bottom line, she doesn’t want to hear about your ex unless it’s about how fat or whatever she is, so zip it – tightly.


“Wow, that woman is hot.” Now, I am sure that I do not have to explain this to any of you butches in a relationship. If you aren’t in a relationship, perhaps this is why. Don’t say anyone else is hot, unless maybe it’s about J-Lo, because your girl thinks she’s hot too. Unless you’re talking about an unobtainable movie star, keep your comments and your eyes – to yourself. You only have eyes for her. But if you don’t, don’t be fool enough to be so obvious.

“Dude…” Femmes do not like to be referred to as “Dude” or “Man” or “Brah” or any other affectionate tough term that butches might use with dudes or other butches. I said this to my gorgeous fiancé not that long ago and she said, “Don’t call me dude.” Message received.

“Oh, ok, if everything is ‘fine’ then great.” Butches, when a woman says that everything is “fine,” nothing is “fine.” Bear down because you probably have a long conversation ahead of you. Best to gently push and ask what she is thinking. Second best, hightail it out of there and give her some space.

I am sure that there are lots of other things that us butches have said to our femmes and then wished we hadn’t. Anyone want to share?

It’s butch to zip it. Be butch.

About Tristan Higgins, aka Butch Jaxon

I am a butch. This blog is about what I think. If you do not know what butch means, you are probably on the wrong blog. In the interests of inclusion, though, I can tell you that “butch” means a lesbian that is big, strong, tough, more macho, less girly. Of course, there are no hard and fast rules – which is an ongoing theme in my blog (and in the comments), but those are the basics. A butch will most likely not wear makeup. A butch is often referred to as “sir” by someone who is not paying attention. What else? I am, after all, not just a butch. I am happily married to the most amazing woman ever, and the mother of two fantastic kids. I am also a lover of, in no particular order, beer, bow ties, breasts, movies, hiking, bookstores, travel, dogs, geocaching, polar bears, the gym, music, gadgets, and more. By day, I am an intrepid corporate entertainment lawyer. Although I try hard not to be labeled as such – sporting a bleached Mohawk, for example. Think more entertainment and less corporate. By night, bring it all on! In my blog, I talk about things from a butch perspective, but this is not just for butches. We all love our femmes. Please do not let me offend femmes, mine in particular! If you like what you read here, I hope you will comment and let me know what you think. If you do not like what you read, well, what the hell do I care? Start your own blog. Be Butch. View all posts by Tristan Higgins, aka Butch Jaxon

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