I am honored to have been selected as one of the Stylish 100 by DapperQ. What a great compliment! Check out the list here (http://www.dapperq.com/2015/06/100-most-stylish-dapperqs-2015/).
It’s Butch to be recognized for being yourself. Be Butch.
I am honored to have been selected as one of the Stylish 100 by DapperQ. What a great compliment! Check out the list here (http://www.dapperq.com/2015/06/100-most-stylish-dapperqs-2015/).
It’s Butch to be recognized for being yourself. Be Butch.
This is an updated version of a post that first ran 2 years ago. It is as applicable today as it was then.
Attention butches! This is a public service announcement for Valentine’s Day. What’s that, you say? It’s almost two weeks away? A whole 9 days? No need to worry about that yet. You have plenty of time. WRONG!
Please allow me to give you some advice. Let me offer some tidbits I have learned while loving a femme. You need to get ready. NOW. Not 8 days from now, because your girl will know. How will she know? I don’t know, but trust me they ALWAYS know. And you will feel the full wrath of your girl if you do not prepare.
A special note for you married butches: Do not assume Valentines Day does not apply to you anymore. Sure, you aren’t doing a full court press as you were when you were dating, but you still love her, right? You still want her to feel special, right? This applies to you, too.
Ok, first do not tell me that she is the kind of woman who doesn’t care about Valentine’s Day. Its simply not true. Even if you have heard her say one or more of the following:
1. I don’t care about Valentine’s Day
3. I don’t want you to go to any trouble
4. I don’t want you to spend too much money
5. It’s just a stupid Hallmark holiday
6. Flowers are a waste of money; they just die
7. I don’t need any more jewelry
8. Who needs chocolate and teddy bears
These are lies. All lies. Every single one of them. Do not believe her! Why does she say these things if she doesn’t mean them? Well, apart from her being a femme, you mean? I don’t know. Why do femmes say most of what they say? It could be that she is trying to convince herself of any one of these statements. Perhaps she knows from past experience that you will let her down and she is preparing herself to lessen the blow when another Valentine’s Day comes and goes and she is left with a meaningless card and a lame little teddy bear from 7-11. Whatever the reason, ignore her.
Hopefully, I have convinced you that you must do something – that you must decide on a plan of action and put it in play now. If so, you may be thinking, “Butch, what should I do?” Read on.
The bad news is that there is not one size that fits all women. The good news is there are lots of great options and they can be divided into 7 easy-to-understand categories. Fit it into one of these, and you will be golden. Note that only a couple are expensive; at least four of these can be affordable, so not being loaded is no excuse to neglect your femme on Valentine’s Day. Unless you want to be neglected, that is.
1. Thoughtful. Think mushy. Put together a collage of ticket stubs from shows you’ve been to together, throw in a matchbook from a place you ate at that she loved. What’s that you say? It looks like crap? Doesn’t matter. Gather a bunch of papers and little mementos from your life together this past year, glue it on construction paper around a picture of the two of you and she will positively swoon. You’ll see. You can also add the high value presentation gifts here from places like Shutterfly and Moonpig. These websites let you upload your photos, type your message, add as much flash as you like, and presto! They will create a customized card, poster, t-shirt, you name it for you. You’ll need to expedite shipping now – so hurry.
2. Hard. Intricate or detailed works, too. Create a scavenger hunt to take her to all of your favorite couple’s spots around town. Recreate the first date you had. Take her to the same restaurant with the same walk on the beach. Or, order in the same food, and rent the movie you saw on that first date or the day you asked her to marry you. Take the time to set the table. It is crazy how much women love a set table. If you drop a few candy hearts or flower petals on the table, watch out! Find that special kind of cookie/champagne/cheese/liverwurst (if she loves it, who cares what it is?) that you had on your honeymoon/first date/trip to Scotland, and order it online. You need time for this to be delivered. This will tell her: a) you pay attention enough to know she likes ____, b) you took the time to order it especially for her, and c) you love her enough to plan ahead. Yes, planning = love. Do not try to make too much sense out of it, just trust me.
3. Expensive. Buy her something amazing – something she wants. Diamonds. Silver. Pearls. Think Nicole Kidman from Moulin Rouge and you will be on the right track. Please, please, please do NOT buy her expensive lingerie from La Perla – unless she has asked for this. That is a gift for you. How happy would you be if your girl gave you sexy lingerie that she would wear for you? Right? So that’s not your gift to her. Think jewelry, a trip somewhere, perfume, shoes, a nice bag – all good choices. Clothes: do not buy clothes. Unless she tells you EXACTLY what to get, you run the risk of buying something she hates, or buying her the wrong size. You really cannot win here. Too small? “What the hell makes you think I can fit into that? If you’re looking for a woman this skinny, why are you with me?” Too big? “Just exactly how fat do you think I am?” Or for either, the worst is, “You don’t know me at all!” No, no clothes.
4. Flashy or Showy. This is where flowers fall – at least if you have them sent to her work. Remember that one of the best things about Valentine’s Day is being able to show off your butch or guy. Flowers at work say to all of her coworkers, “I have someone who loves me enough to send me flowers.” Translation, my butch is better than yours. Send a giant bouquet of flowers to her office so she can show you off. Roses are great if she likes them, but they are really expensive this time of year, so if she loves another flower, send those. It will look creative and save you some cash. Do not leave the card up to the college kid at the flower shop. Put something on there that will make her smile or show her you love her. Don’t worry about the college kid writing it down. He isn’t trying to keep your woman happy, so who cares what he thinks?
5. The Event. Drinks. Dinner. A club (even dancing, gasp!). A movie at the fancy theater, museum, or exhibit that she has been looking forward to seeing. Note that you can earn extra points and make her feel extra special by doing something that you do not want to do. Think indie film, chick flick, an exhibit on purses throughout the ages, a flower show … you get the idea. Or, by getting you into somewhere that is difficult – the “it” restaurant or club. Plan ahead and get a table. Remember, planning = love.
6. Manual Labor. Yes, that’s right. Along the lines of “The Event” category, do some things for her that you hate to do. Do the dishes, put away the laundry, clean the house – all before she gets home from work. Tell her that you are taking her car that morning and go have it serviced and detailed for her. There are probably a slew of things that your woman would be ecstatic about if you did them for her. This does not mean that you can do something dude-like that you should already have been doing and call it a Valentine’s Day present. Do not unload the dishwasher or clear the table, or for guys, put down the toilet seat, and announce that as your gift. Poof! Now you’re single.
7. Pampering. Think manicures, pedicures and massages. Give her a gift certificate to the spa for the day. Or… paint her toenails yourself. I promise that if you rub her feet and then do this for her, she will melt. Also, a massage is fool-proof. Tell her that her gift is a massage, and that you do not expect one in return. Then go all out. Light candles, turn on music, and give the massage. Extra touches are key. Remember, she needs to feel special. The harder it is for you and the more awkward that you feel doing it, the better!
So pick one of these 7 categories – at least one. More than one is platinum. You have to make her feel special. Girls need to know that you thought hard, planned carefully, or spent a lot of time or money on them. No matter which of the above options you choose, you MUST write a card. Do not rely on the pre-printed text alone, even if you think it says exactly what you want to say, only better than you would say it. Sure, the card itself is important, so choose wisely. Stick with romantic or cute – make sure it’s not for your grandmother. But add your own spin to it. Love her eyes? Great, tell her. Love her body? Only tell her that if you add stuff about her heart and mind, too. She doesn’t think purely physical, so neither should you.
Ignore me at your peril. Butches and straight guys: take care of your woman if you want her, and therefore you, to be happy. She might want totally different things than you do, but that’s part of why you love her. A card and little teddy bear from 7-11 says exactly what you do not want to say — I did not have time/love you enough/care enough to do something special for you. Get your act together and show her how much you love her! And, if your woman sent you this post, you better take note, get busy and use this as a checklist.
Prove how butch you are by showing her how much you love her. Want to make sure that you do not end up alone on Valentine’s Day? It’s up to you.
It’s butch to make your femme feel really special on Valentine’s Day. Be butch.
What did you get for Christmas or Hanukkah? I’ve started a new hashtag over on Twitter and Facebook sharing one rad Butch gift I got this year a day for twelve days. Just a little post-holiday fun, or possibly a nice list for the Butch in your life for any gifting occasion.
I will post all twelve of the Butch gifts here afterwards. In the meantime, I thought it would be fun to see what your coolest gifts were this year. Note that I am only focusing on things – rather than homemade or experience gifts. We all know those are the very best gifts to receive, but they are also personal and hard to replicate.
I’ll gather the twelve I like best and share them in a new post.
If you’d like to share with me and the BOTs, comment below, email me (ButchOnTap@gmail.com), tweet it to me (@ButchOnTap), or post it to me over on Facebook. If you send it to me, you are giving me permission to share.
I hope you had an awesome Christmas or Hanukkah. It’s Butch to celebrate. Be Butch!
Recovering from painful surgery is tough. Needing help with everything is so hard. My wife is amazing, my kids are thoughtful and my family and friends are fantastic. But, it’s still really, really hard to be in pain and need so much.
Plus, pain meds make me contemplative (when not knocking me out). So I’m lying here overthinking things…
Think about how hard it is to ask for help on a good day. Do you yell out to ask someone to hold the elevator? Accept the grocery clerk’s offer of help to your car? Let someone know you really do need help putting up that ceiling fan? If you are like most Americans, I doubt it.
I add “Americans” here not because I think this is in anyway a unique American experience. I add it here simply because I’ve no idea how the rest of the world works in this regard and I wouldn’t want to assume that people of all nations are as awful as Americans are about asking for, and accepting, help. Also, note I said asking for and accepting help. Not offering. I think most of us are genuine and sincere in our offers to help. There are lots of offers. So, why do we have so much trouble accepting those offers?
I’m not new to needing more help than I’d like. But since Friday, it’s a fresh round of full time need. I had foot surgery (to fuse a very painful, arthritic joint in my foot), and cannot put any weight on my left foot. I have a big splint on it just now to allow the swelling to go down before getting my cast. Then it’s 6 weeks non-weight bearing, followed by another long chunk of time in a walking boot.
That means I am hobbling around on crutches, with a giant lump of a splint making me unbalanced. Add to that the constant pain meds to manage the pain and I’m like a teetering top. I need help with everything. Dressing, eating, maneuvering, you name it. Yes, getting to the toilet. Plus, my legs are bad in general so it’s a little hard for me to drop down to sitting using only my right leg and to launch myself back up. Sigh.
My wife is ever ready and present with strong, warm arms to help me. She arranged her life just so she could come home from many months away to be here for the surgery and to help me. So, why is it so hard to accept her help? When she breathes a deep sigh, why do I worry I’m too much for her, instead of gathering that’s she’s tired, or has many things on her mind?
I don’t know.
Yesterday, my wife took my son out for some special birthday time. We knew I wasn’t ready to be alone yet for an afternoon and so I asked my best friend if she would come and hang out with me and my daughter while my wife and son went out. “Glad you reached out,” she said first, and yes, of course she was available. Perfect answer to prove my theory here. We need help; we need to ask for it; and those who love us will be happy to give the help we need.
My mom says it’s really hard for her clients to ask for help. [I know my mom would have totally made herself available, but I knew she had client meetings all afternoon.] She also says that it is really important for us to ask. Why? Because we all have family and friends ready to help us with whatever need we have, but we don’t let them in. When we ask for help, we give the people we ask the chance to Do Something. To care for us. To make it better in some small or big way. Those things make people feel better. So, instead of saying: “Kind of you to offer, but now, we don’t need anything,” consider saying: “Yes, please bring us a casserole.” Maybe you’ll get 7 casseroles, but, can you really ever have to many?
Doing things – big or small – for someone you love makes you feel good. Does this mean it’s magically easy for me to ask my wife to walk me to the toilet? No. But, I try hard to remember she wants to help. Helping me probably makes her feel good. I love it when a friend or family member asks me for help with something and I can give it. I need to remember that when someone offers a hand to help me up.
In honor of Sinclair Sexsmith’s new book, Sweet & Rough, I got the opportunity to talk with Sinclair. We also asked BOT fans to submit questions that they wanted me to ask Sinclair. The three that we choose to ask Sinclair will win their creators a copy of the book. I’ll go first (cause it’s my blog).
Tell me about yourself.
I’m 35 and currently living in the Bay Area after leaving home (southeast Alaska) at 16 and living in Colorado, Seattle, and Brooklyn. I’m still looking for a place that I really love and want to settle in, I haven’t quite found it yet. I might have to move to a cabin in the woods to find what I’m looking for, but not the creepy kind. I am really lucky to have found/created a career and calling for myself that I love, writing and teaching and coaching about sexualities, genders, and relationships. I live with a cat and a boy and a dog (in that pecking order). Since I work from my home office, I cook a lot, and I aspire to garden and grow more food, but that’s still a work in progress.
I love the way you present yourself to the world, attitude, stance, style. There aren’t as many Butch role models as one would like. How do you get the strength to be so very you?
It’s been a long, slow road to this version of me. It’s taken a long time and a LOT of experiments, a lot of wardrobe changes, a lot of trial and error. And I’m still changing all the time, still seeking ways to become the most “me” I can be. I had really excellent teachers who inspired me while I was coming out and coming into butchness and queerness, which really helped. I have very supportive parents and siblings, and I’ve always been very stubborn about doing my own thing and expressing my own way, since I was young. I’ve leaned on the many communities I’ve been a part of, and have felt so supported and lifted up by the generosity — I’ve learned so much by being part of communities and groups.
To the heart of it… What is special about Sweet & Rough?
It’s a sixteen story collection of sexy butch/femme smut, so just that is pretty special. It’s got conversations about gender interspersed, plus all sorts of kink, like handcuffs, rope bondage, flogging, anal sex, rough sex, sex in public … just lots of sex in general. I think it gives readers and lovers of butch/femme culture a great introduction to the huge body of work I have on sugarbutch.net and I hope it’ll be a good starting point! They are some of my favorite stories that I’ve ever written, and some of them are in book anthologies that were published many years ago (some published under my legal name, even, before I had this nom de plume) so many of them will be new reads.
Do you do casual clothes as well, or are you always so suited up?
I love casual clothes, but I’m always very polished. I’ve worked in offices and had to wear button downs and slacks, but I’m much more of a jeans and jersey polo style these days. I’ve turned the black tee-shirt into my signature of sorts, so while I wear a tee-shirt and jeans four days a week, it’s still within a signature ‘look’ and style. I have a variety of fashion rules for myself, though—like always wear a belt with jeans, always wear a collared shirt if I’m going out or teaching or going on a date, always wear good shoes (never sneakers, unless working out).
Here are our three winning questions from BOT fans:
How do you manage all your different enterprises…i.e. Your writing, your web classes, your personal appearances? [Kara]
I focus on one at a time, and I have a variety of goals for myself that I juggle. I think of my business as three-prong: writing, teaching, and coaching. So at any time I have some little projects for each of those. This summer I moved Sugarbutch to being updated once a week, so that’s changed my writing schedule a bit, and it’s been great because it gave me time to do other writing projects, like compiling Sweet & Rough!
Do you ever feel pressure to stick to binary gender roles i.e. butch = male/top/dominant/do-er and femme = female/bottom/submissive/receptive? In other words, do you feel pressure to write butch characters as NEVER being on the receiving end of sexual pleasuring? And if so, how do you choose to deal with that pressure? [Deborah]
Yes, I think there is pressure to remain in those roles, and rewards when I stay in them. I’m more likely to get a story published if I write characters into those roles, I believe. Most of the pieces I’ve written that are hard to find “homes” for, by which I mean keep getting rejected from anthology submissions, have somewhat unusual character pairings that don’t fit those binary modes.
The thing is, though, that while there is pressure to conform to that, there’s also huge celebration and praise from the queer worlds when you break out of it, and sometimes big critique from queer community for reproducing anything that looks too normative or following a trope. Just go check out some of the reviews for my last anthology, Say Please: Lesbian BDSM Erotica, on Amazon—most of the ones that are less than five stars are comments about how “the butches are all tops and the femmes are all bottoms, yawn” (I’m paraphrasing, but that’s often the gist).
So I think while there is pressure to conform, there is also a lot of reward when one doesn’t conform—and the folks who often get the most attention and status in the queer worlds are the ones making their own way. Honestly, I have felt more pressure in person to conform with the butch/femme roles than I do with my erotica—in some ways I think erotica (or the way I write it, anyway) has more leeway than the in-person stuff.
I hold vulnerability as an incredibly deep value, in my work and in my personal life, and the transparent vulnerability that I show through my work is really important to me. It’s the heart of my business, I would argue, and the heart of my style as a writer. So while sometimes I do write stories where the butch character is the top and the dom and the one doing all the action, I also write stories where the butch character is getting off or receiving vulnerable touch, and I think it’s important to talk about the gender role restrictions as a piece of the erotic discussion. I do still identify as stone, so there is a piece of me that is very challenged with receiving intimate touch, but I believe in sharing it as part.
What motivated you to begin publishing your work? Was it difficult to find support at first? [Meghan, Tina]
I’ve always been a writer, and always wanted to publish work and write books. In college, I started obsessively reading lesbian erotica and writing dirty poetry, and I started learning about submitting to anthologies, and started dreaming of one day having one of my stories in a real book – and then I was shocked when one of my stories was finally accepted (to Best Lesbian Erotica 2006 — that was my first official erotica publication)! I have an undergraduate degree in writing, and studied at the Bent Writing Institute for queers in Seattle, so I have been in writing groups longer than I’ve been publishing writing—so the support came first. I don’t know if I would have started publishing if I hadn’t had support around me, like writing group colleagues who were egging me on and reading my submission letters and comforting me when I got rejected and supporting me to keep trying.
Writing groups and community are so important when trying to get your work out there. It’s hard to find writing groups who will take erotica seriously, I’ve found — so at times, over the years, I’ve made my own writing group, specifically so we could talk seriously about the erotica writing, not just the dirty actions in the story that were titillating.
My big long-term goal has always been to write books, plural. Many of them. Most of what I do aside from write is me trying to find a way to fund my writing, since writers — especially genderqueer trans butch/femme sexy kinky dirty erotica writing — rarely get paid very much.
Now back to my questions. What is something people don’t know about you?
I do write about it and talk about it, but I still find that it’s a surprise when I tell people I was born and raised in southeast Alaska, and that I left home at sixteen. I had a rough time as a teenager, and was really searching for something, though I didn’t know what. In retrospect it was always about being a queer butch, but it took me a few cities and partners and mustering a lot of courage to come out in order for me to find those identities, and then another five or so years to really be comfortable claiming, living in, and expanding the definitions of them.
Also, I’m a really big introvert, and need lots of time alone to do the deep thinking that I see as instrumental to my work. It’s not always obvious because I love leading workshops and performing, too—it’s a bit of a contradiction, but that’s just how it is.
I am really surprised to hear you are an introvert! What would you like to tackle that you’ve not yet done?
I’d like to do a podcast, I’ve thought about it for years. But I just don’t have the time, with my current schedule and number of projects I take on. Personally? I’d like to have a vegetable garden. After years of living in little apartments in big cities, I have a yard right now, and a few little things growing, and it’s so thrilling.
Are you ready for the Lightning Round? These are just A or B answers, ok? No need to explain.
Bow tie or straight?
Motorcycles or race cars?
Herringbone or plaid?
Hmmm, tough one. I’m inclined to say plaid because I’m a kid of the 90s, but really that was more like flannel. I rarely if ever wear patterns. I think I have a herringbone tie, though, so I’ll go with that.
Soup or salad?
Salad forever! Breakfast salad, dessert salad. All the salad.
I almost spit out my soda. All the salad. Heh.
Roses or daisies?
Daisies, especially Gerberas, they’re my favorite. But I am a pretty classic romantic, I believe in roses too.
Well, we have that in common. Gerberas are my very favorite, too. And I am definitely a romantic.
Beer or whisky?
Whiskey! But with an -ey, because bourbon.
Curves or muscles?
Mmmmmm, curves definitely curves.
There are so many more questions that I want to ask you, but let’s wait and do another interview some time soon, OK? Maybe around your next book. As for that book, you can buy it from Amazon here.
I was so pleased to talk with Sinclair. I am inspired by Sinclair’s authenticity, success, and talent. It is Butch to be authentic, sexy, and talented – not to mention kinky and dirty. Be Butch.
(Notice the clever, but oh-so-subtle use of “Holidays” instead of any particular December religiously-identified festivity.)
Alright, so you just realized that your daughter is a butch. Or you have finally realized that your mom, who you always knew was a lesbian, is a butch. Maybe your co-worker or boss is a butch and you want to give her a little something. Or, perhaps most worrisome, you are newly dating a butch – be you butch, femme, or otherwise… What to buy your butch for the holidays? Well, fear not dear readers. I am here to serve. In that vein, let me give you a list of the best gifts for a butch. Really, of course, it’s just a list of gifts that I think are super rad and worth giving to someone like me. Your butch may hate all of these things. Generalizations are only as useful as humor and light reading (i.e., my goal).
Note to my wife, kids, and parents: This is not for you! We’ve already covered our holidays. :o)
Now, given that I am not sponsored, I will not be referring you to any items that anyone has “paid” me to suggest – though I might happily create such a list next year, if any of the lovely people who make these items and items like these want to ask. This post is all me.
1. Bow ties. Yes, the proverbial tie might be lame for your father (Right, Dad?), but butches (at least my kind of butches) love ties – bow ties specifically. The crazier the pattern, the better. Something I wouldn’t have picked out for myself. Something that reflects you, so that when I wear it, I will think of you. Maybe your butch doesn’t know how to tie a bow tie? Never fear, send her this link (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OoUre0ugkmI), tell her how hot you think she’ll look, and give her a cool bow tie. She will be motivated to learn how to tie it.
2. Multi-tool. A fancy Leatherman or Swiss Army one is great, but you can also do any multi-tool you find in any bin at any hardware store or market. Because, let’s face it, what butch doesn’t want/need/have to have a pliers, pocket knife, and awl in her pocket/bag/car/desk at all times?
3. Alcohol. I’m going to say craft beer or scotch/whiskey. (I realize it’s a stretch). Minis are cool. If you do minis, get some weird stuff your butch may not have tried, or a full-size sampler of Belgian beers. There is always a Beers of the World box this time of year, and many of the butches I know would appreciate such a box.
4. Craft Beer Tour. I love experience gifts, as long as the giver comes with me. Send your butch on a craft beer tour. San Diego, Portland, San Francisco, Denver and other brew cities will have lots of these to choose from. Substitute historic homes or flower gardens if that’s better for your butch. It’s about the experience.
5. Anything from REI. For my non-US readers, REI is an outdoor adventure outfitter company and pretty much everything they have there is rad. Carabiners, D-rings, knifes, multi-tools, biking/kayaking/spelunking/climbing stuff, compasses, cool flashlights, solar-powered chargers for all your electronics. I mean, the list goes on and on. Any trip to REI will result in many lesbian sightings, even for non-lesbian flooded cities. I find things there each trip that I suddenly cannot live without, even though I never knew I needed them!
6. Video Games. Whatever her gaming system is (PS3/4, Wii U, iPad, etc.), take a look at her games and get her the newest one that is like those other ones she has. If she is into Call of Duty, she might not like Ratchet and Clank, for example. (It’s like the difference between a violent shooting game and a Mario Bros. game). Any of the people at a good gaming store (GameStop, Best Buy) will be able to make suggestions based on what your butch already owns and plays.
7. Lingerie. If you happen to be reading this as a femme in love with/married to/or dating a butch, consider giving your butch a lovely box of unmentionables that you will wear. I promise, your butch will think of this as a very special gift – even though you will be the one wearing it. Or get her lingerie for herself if she likes lacey things.
8. Kid Stuff. Kids take note, if you are of the age that you might need a ride to pick out a gift for your mom, think about making her something. Who doesn’t love a handcrafted gift from the kiddos? I, for one, absolutely cherish the painted cards, ironed crafts, and even the pottery gifts my angels have made for me. If you are old enough that you can drive to buy a gift yourself (but don’t want to make anything), think about getting your mum a gift card. If you know that your butch mom likes movies, music, or a particular store, you can get her a gift card for said store. No problem with that. Personally, I prefer that you struggle to choose something for me that you think I will like. But lots of people, butches included, love a gift card. If your mom loves going to Home Depot, then that might be a great gift card for her.
9. Her Favorite Dress Shirt. Parents, this is a great one for you. Think about getting your butch daughter her favorite designer shirt. Maybe it’s a little out of her price range (like my new favorite, Robert Graham), or maybe you found it on sale. Whatever the situation, one of the coolest things my mom and dad have given me in the past few years is dress shirts from my favorite designers. This falls into the category of things I might not have bought myself, and makes me feel very special. a) They paid attention to what shirts I like, and b) They took the time to go buy me something that they know I will wear and will make me feel great.
So there you have it, 9 ideas for gifts for the butch in your this holiday season. There are gobs of others, of course. Books, movies, food, tickets to a musical, concert, or ballet, candles, plants, tools, crochet kits. You get the idea!
Those of you who love a butch (mom, partner, friend, co-worker), It’s your turn to be butch. It’s very butch to give her a gift that shows you’ve been paying attention to what she likes and enjoys. Be Butch.
As promised in my last post, I am going to share some things about the whole getting married process. Here goes.
The first wedding-y thing that She and I did was go to a bridal bazaar. Fun, right? Yes, you are probably imaging right now that I signed us up gleefully and dragged her to this cornucopia of wedding planners, photographers, dress shops, tux purveyors, caterers, dish renters (did you know people do that?), and florists. There was even a fashion show! No, of course, I did not drag Her there. But neither did She have to drag me. I asked Her to marry me. She said yes! So, a wedding was going to happen, and if a wedding was going to happen, we needed things. From people, you know, who handle those things. A bridal bazaar is a pretty efficient way to see a lot of these vendors all in one place. So there. We went.
The first thing that happens, in case you’ve not been, is that we walk in the door and they ask us “Bride or Groom?” They have stickers, you see, pre-printed in pink and blue (surprise!) that say exactly that. You are to wear one of these stickers as you peruse the tables and exhibits, and they instantly mark you as a potential customer. She happily dons a sticker that says “Bride,” as if there was ever any question, and then looks at me anxiously.
We had talked about language not long after we got engaged (it is not just semantics), but hadn’t come to any conclusions. I didn’t like referring to myself as the “Bride” because that has very girly/feminine connotations to it for me. Plus, if ever there was a “Bride” it was my love. “Groom” isn’t right either. I identify as a woman and as female, so I don’t refer to myself with male pronouns. Neither fit and we left it at that.
Back to the sticker passer-outer and my beautiful Bride gazing at me expectantly at the first wedding-y thing we did. Will I pass on a sticker? Will I chose one? Well, without thinking, I took one of each, ripped them each down the middle (basically), put them back together, and formed a new word “Broom.” I was able to do it pretty well, actually, so that the “Br” and the “oom” lined up nicely.
I stuck that on my chest – to the delight of my Bride and the sticker passer-outer. You would have thought I was the funniest person in the world judging by her reaction. The sticker passer-outer almost died. She loved it. I smiled at my Bride and we walked on. That initial reaction was repeated throughout the bazaar more times than I can count. It seems no one had ever heard of a “Broom” and everyone loved it.
It was pretty amazing to feel the kind of acceptance that this allowed people to show us. “Broom? I love it!” “Make way for the Bride and the Broom (now let me sell you something, of course)!” “That is the cutest thing I have ever seen!” “I have never heard of a Broom, it’s perfect!”
We scoured every inch of that bazaar, holding hands, heads held high, and had a blast.
We found our photographer there, by the way. Not directly, but through a referral of someone we liked who turned out to be unavailable. So, not only was it relationship and language-affirming, it was fruitful. (I will talk about our photographer and the process in another post.)
Butches, go to a bridal bazaar with your fiancée. Maybe you can even score some butch points by researching one and suggesting it first! If you are marrying a femme, I promise that she has already thought about going to one. I know my Bride was happy the day before, during, and after. I made sure that I didn’t look like the other partners of brides there – miserable and dragged against their wills. And, I was rewarded for it.
It’s very butch to find your own language… and to attend a wedding-y thing. Be Butch.
A couple of days ago, I posted a short excerpt from this piece. It went up at Huffington Post yesterday. You can read part of it below, and the full article at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/tristan-higgins/lifting-myself_b_3752947.html.
I have been lifting as part of my fitness routine for over a year, but in the past six months I realized how much I like it and started toying with the idea of doing a competition. A competition would make my training more real and give me motivation — you know, in the same way that training for a half or full marathon motivates runners. It gives them a goal, something to work toward rather than just running “another five miles today.” I cannot imagine anything worse than that, by the way. I am not a runner.
But I think I could be a lifter. At least, I want to try.
So for the past five weeks I have been committed to a special training routine and program to help get me ready for a powerlifting meet in September.
Powerlifting means lifting as much weight as you can. There are three events: chest press, dead lift and the dreaded squat. I am doing powerlifting, not physique (the really, really pretty, lean bodies) or bodybuilding (also pretty but beefy bodies). I joke that powerlifting is the one that allows me to still drink my beloved craft beer. But even that I am doing in restricted moderation since I started training for the competition. See? Focus. A target.
Though I still have a ton to learn about lifting (pun intended), I have learned a few things already:
1. This is a very supportive community. There aren’t that many women who lift, at least not at my gym, and the one other woman who competes has become my hero and a little bit of a mentor (though I am not sure she knows either of those things). All the other lifting coaches in my gym call out to me during my workouts, supporting and offering encouragement. Before and after workouts, they stop me and my trainer to offer a tip here and there. It seems to take a village to lift that bar.
2. This is hard. If you think it looks hard to lift a lot of weight, you are right. All the equipment is hard. It hurts when you bump into it. It especially hurts when you bump into your limitations. I’ve learned that you can press through them — slowly — but knowing when to press through and when to listen to your body and stop? That’s hard too. My trainer, Janet, is amazing at knowing this. And there are strains, and pulls, and aches, and bruises.
3. The next point aside, femmes dig it. I am told that lifting is very sexy. Muscles, sweat and calloused hands, all a plus. I don’t have to agree to appreciate this.
This is where it really gets good! Hop over to http://www.huffingtonpost.com/tristan-higgins/lifting-myself_b_3752947.html to read the rest. Thanks!
This is my newest piece submitted to the Huffington Post today. It should be up in a couple of days. In the meantime, I wanted to post an excerpt here…
I have been lifting as part of my fitness routine for over a year, but in the past 6 months I realized how much I like it, and started toying with the idea of doing a competition. A competition would make my training more real, give me motivation. You know, in the same way runners decide to do a half or full marathon. It gives them a goal, something to work towards rather than just running “another 5 miles today.” I cannot imagine anything worse than that, by the way. I am not a runner.
But I think I could be a lifter. At least, I want to try. So for the past 5 weeks I have been committed to a special training routine and program to help get me ready for a powerlifting meet in September.
Powerlifting means lifting as much weight as you can. There are three events – chest press, dead lift and the dreaded squat. I am doing powerlifting – not physique (the really, really pretty lean bodies) or bodybuilding also pretty, but beefy bodies). I joke that powerlifting is the one that allows me to still drink my beloved craft beer. But even that I am doing in restricted moderation since I started training for the competition. See? Focus. A target.
It’s butch to stay tuned for the rest. Be Butch.
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