Butchscaping among the Gorillas

Dian Fossey, courtesy of Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International

I am Dian Fossey, sneaking up to a circle of gorillas. The gorillas are foreign to me, and I seem alien to them, not of their kind. These gorillas are straights, and I’m observing them in their natural habitat, in the midst of where they perform their beauty rituals. A nail salon. Will I be accepted as one of them? Will they share their customs and nail polish with me? Or will they hiss at me from their comfortable, reclined, vibrating chairs, sending me running for my life, without my much-needed pedicure?

Before you get all “But Butch, men and butches do get pedicures,” let me remind you that while of course it is allowed, we aren’t exactly welcomed with open arms. The gorillas were okay with Dian Fossey watching from a distance (i.e., us butches and men waiting by the door to pick up our girls after their nails are done), but they weren’t exactly waving her over to pick nits off of her – not at first anyway. It took them months to let her into their circle and share nail polish. I don’t have that kind of time. My feet and toenails look like crap and I need a pedicure stat.

When I walk in, odd silence. From the ladies who work there: Is he in the wrong place? Looking for his wife? Ohhh, he’s here for a pedicure. Hmmm. Wait, I think that’s a woman (all in Vietnamese, of course). The women in the chairs look up from their magazines and iPhones, the same thoughts going through their minds. But no hissing. No bearing of teeth. Maybe they won’t attack if I stand still by the door for a while and let them acclimate to my presence. Which is exactly what I do until the salon owner says, “What do you want, honey?” I answer boldly – trying not to show fear to the gorillas – “I want a mani/pedi.” I figure, why not? Might as well have my hands done, too. Buff, of course (meaning no polish, just shiny, clean nails). Sometimes, I get my finger nails painted black for a slightly edgy rock star butch look (albeit an older, more  has-been rock star). Not today, though, just buff for the fingers. “Sit down, honey. Tina will be right with you.”

I sit down, wait my turn, and avoid eye contact with the other women waiting. There’s the young hipster who is neither surprised nor interested in me. Excellent. There is the older grandmother who looks at me oddly, but not meanly. Then there is the woman with huge boobs and a Gerber baby. I dig babies and like to make faces at them and make them smile. Make friends with the baby gorilla, and the mom will accept you, right? Straight women don’t expect this from a dude, or from me, so they think I’m cute. Now the grandmother thinks I’m the cat’s pajamas because I’m a dude who likes babies. She has no idea I’m a butch. So far, so good.

After waiting for a few minutes, Tina takes me to my seat. The gorillas are calm and seem unphased, so I make it to my station unscathed, except for a few quick glances. I sit down and because I am so tall I have to move my seat all the way back. I look like a professional basketball player stuffed into a tiny Fiat; my feet are in the water and my knees almost hit me in the face. Very graceful. I’m not exactly blending in.

I spaced like a rookie and forgot to “pick a color” for my toes, so I jump up to grab one. I startle the gorillas with my jerky movement, but I’m still allowed to move freely. I feel confident, so decide to branch out from my comfort zone of butch colors (black and navy) and go all street-walker with “Romeo & Juliet,” a deep, and no doubt tragic, maroon polish. So young. So sad.

See the gross CVS carpet in the background? This is where we fled for new flip-flops.

Here is a picture of my Romeo & Juliet toes. I’m Romeo, of course.

Butches, if you think that manicures and pedicures are for girls, generally you’re right, but get over that. You can’t walk around with huge calluses on your feet and gnarly, long toenails. You can have clean, buffed fingernails and still have outrageously strong, (and in my case, big) hands. Nothing wrong with a pedicure, and a manicure doesn’t take away your butchness.  It makes you more appealing. Think about all the things you do that involve your hands… You don’t actually want to sand your femme’s face, do you?

Clean yourself up. Keep it together. Manscaping isn’t right for us, but how about Butchscaping?  Don’t you want to be the well-groomed butch?  Don’t you want your femme to stare at your hands and imagine you touching her? Femmes, which do you prefer, well-groomed or beastly?

As for my trip today among the gorillas and their beauty rituals, it turns out the gorillas are okay. They accept me into their circle, and my feet look tight. One note on pedicures. Don’t wear your tennis shoes into the salon. If you do, you will be forced to walk out with these stupid little throw away flip-flops that they have for you. This could be ok, or you could end up being given a pink pair, as happened to me today.  Ugh.

Beware the dreaded pink flip-flops & bring your own!

Because we were going out to lunch, we had to fix this. We went straight to CVS to buy a different pair of crappy flip-flops that were more to my butch liking. No self-respecting butch can walk into an establishment, let alone one in the Gayborhood, wearing the shoes in this picture. Plan ahead and this won’t be a problem.

It’s butch to get manicures and pedicures. 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

19 responses to “Butchscaping among the Gorillas

  • Sensi Boutique

    great stuff anfd very true every one needs a little ‘scaping once in a while


  • Fabulous Mommy

    I agree on the benefits of being well groomed but Burch, what the hell were you thinking with that colour? Repeat after me… “Just a clear top coat please” or if you feel adventurous “I’d like a french pedi”.

    Just kidding. (insert some sort of emoticon conveying the irony and teazing nature of the previous paragraph)

    I’m still trying to get Dear Wife to stop attacking her hands and feet with her pocket knife of office scissors. I even went so far as to buy her a very nice (manly) grooming kit. It never got used and she still walks around looking like she tried to trim her nails with a garbage disposal unit. *sigh* thank goodness I find her Neanderthal behaviour endearing. I think she does it to have me tut-tutting and fussing over her mutilated cuticles.


    • Butch Jaxon


      But, I love the color!! I can’t stop laughing at the idea of your Dear Wife using a garbage disposal to cut her nails. Maybe you should read her my post? =;o)



      • Fabulous Mommy

        Butch, I may just drag her kicking and screaming into the century of the fruit bat, and book her an appointment to go with me for a massage and a pedi. Nothing soothes the savage beast like a good rub before setting some poor beautician to the task of cleaning up DW’s feet.

        Ooooo and I do so love a pedi. It is my all time favourite beauty treatment.


      • Fabulous Mommy

        I just read your post to DW. She says if I book her a pedi I have to give her a month advanced notice so that she can lay off the pocket knife and leave enough nail for the beautician to work with. And she wants at least a full hour massage. And a beer afterwards.



      • Butch Jaxon


        I love it. Please tell DW that I think the plan is good and all demands are reasonable! Especially the beer.



  • Bejai Higgins

    As a straight older gal I have never cared much for toe adornment. That changed recently when my BFF and I got toe rings. According to the woman at the Sawdust Festival we were both toe virgins until she fitted us for three stackable toe rings silver/gold/silver. Now evidently we are toe hos. Who knew??? Any form of self-expression is good for nurturing the soul; so good bold, Butch!


  • Stephanie

    I’ve never had a prof mani OR pedi but want one. Only things holding me back are embarrassment at how bad my feet are (sort of the “I’ll go to the gym once I lose weight” thing, I’ll get a pedicure once I get my feet all soft and smooth or something) AND the horrible disease my friend (and several others) got from the disease-infested nail salon…ugh. I mean, I could use some big bucks like they got in the settlement for their trouble but I literally had nightmares about the pustules or whatever they were that were ever so slowly and steadily crawling up her lower leg for weeks. Holy crap, what would have happened if they hadn’t stopped slightly north of the knees? Yikes. anyhow, congrats . . . Don’t like the color of the polish all that much but it beats the hell out of those pink flip flops LOL


    • Butch Jaxon


      Maybe a home manicure kit is right for you? You could get yourself closer, and then hit up the professionals. As for cleanliness, yikes. Yelp! is good for checking stuff out. Now there are places that use a whole plastic disposable liner to make sure all is new for each customer. Bottom line, it’s not a life essential, but if you go to a good place, it can really be a nice experience. Did I mention the massages?

      Thanks for commenting!


  • zen1delgado

    I am a butchly boi, I personally cannot stand anyone clipping, trimming, filing or polishing my fingernails or toenails…Toooo much control to hand over to a someone…. :0)
    However, I do indulge myself in a weekly head buzz by my barber of over 5 yrs( I have standing appt every Thursday @ 1pm) & practice daily facial routine…..
    Kuddos to you for having the courage to “hand over” power in that area! :0)


  • loispercente

    Just love your writing, it is very entertaining. Your words always seem to flow so very nicely, cracking me up in the process! Kudos!!! BTY love the color you chose for your toes, LOL!


  • Maya

    I agree – not a particularly Butchly color – but hey, isn’t this part of what we love about our Butches – the irony, the ever-in-flux-ness of gender, the surprise when the feminine leaks our where we can see it even amidst the beautiful masculinity of Butches?

    I think a Butch doing something she likes simply because she LIKES it is pretty cool. Stay Butch, however you are Butch, Butch!



  • Kelly Casavant

    Hey Butch!
    A fellow Butch here. Just wanted to say Thanks for making me laugh! I’m amused at our similarities & our differences. It is very refreshing to hear another butches point of view. We are a rare breed indeed! Oh and a Hulk sized fist bump to you for the name Butchontap!


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