Tag Archives: lesbiantainment

How to Date with Kids


Ah, the maternal looking femme. A model mother.

Dare I talk about this? I feel like a bit of a pariah in my community. I have … two kids. The death knell, I think, for dating. Sure, I know there are lots of lesbians with kids. But, these are mostly married or seriously committed partners who had kids together. That is no longer me – hasn’t been for a while.

It would be bad enough if I was a lovely, maternal looking femme. All soft and fluffy. Perhaps even driving a mini-van (shudder) or some sort of giant Tahoe and wearing a pink cashmere sweater. You know the kind of woman I am talking about? She is a perfect mother. Always has gum, never forgets water for the kid’s practices, can do a perfect French braid. Nurturing. You see her and it’s easy to see her as a mom.

But that’s not me. Nope. I am, in case you haven’t read anything else I have written, a big butch. A proud butch. I’ve got a Mohawk – check that little avatar over there. That’s me. People are ALWAYS surprised that I have kids. So, here I am, a big butch. I get it. I don’t really even talk that much here about having kids. There are several reasons for that. First, it’s not sexy. Second, it’s not always funny (sometimes, sure). And, third, I want to protect them. I am the writer opening myself up to scrutiny, not them.

Speaking of writers, a couple of months ago, my idol Butch Wonders *butch swoon* posted a great piece about dating a woman with kids. I’d like to talk about it from the other side. Here I am starting to date. Out and about. Ready to be suave and charming (don’t laugh, I’ll try hard and try hard not to look like I am trying hard!). And, I have all these questions about my kids and Her – that’s what I’ve nicknamed any woman I might approach or date. Pretty clever, I know.

1. When Do I Tell Her?

Oh, yes. Very, very smooth.

Oh, yes. Very suave and charming.

First and foremost, when is the right time to tell Her that I’ve got kids? Do I walk up, buy Her a drink, and as I am handing Her the Cosmo say, “I’ve got kids!” No. Clearly not. Turn off. What? Am I asking Her to marry me? But, how long do I wait? If She comes home with me, She will immediately see evidence of children. If not, it could be kept a bit. Not much more than a few days though, practically, because of my kid obligations. “Butch, let’s go to a movie this weekend.” Oh, I’m sorry, but… I, uh, can’t.” Why? Do I bust out the T-ball/martial arts/chorus practice reason?

I joke, and obviously I need to tell Her relatively quickly, but when? I don’t want Her to think that I am thinking so long-term that She has to be on board with kids now. What if we are just having a bit of fun?

2. When Do I Introduce Her?

My instinct here is pretty strongly that this doesn’t happen until I am very serious about Her. My kids have been through a divorce (from their mom) and the loss of my now-ex gorgeous fiancé. The kids love them both. I don’t think it’s fair to introduce a new Her every couple of months. Kids fall for people pretty quickly, and I don’t want Hers coming in and out of their lives too much.

The problem is that I can see this being a real sticking point with Her. “Don’t you love me?” Yes, I do (at some point, right?). “Well, why can’t I meet your kids?” I want to wait until the time is right. “When will that be?” Gosh, I just don’t know.

3. How Involved Is She Supposed To Be?

Assuming I haven’t scared every Her away, and we’ve moved on to being in love and introductions, what is Her role? My belief is that, although kids can never have too many adults in their lives who love them, they only need so many parents. As I said in Wanted: Femme for Butch, my kids don’t need another mother – they already have 3.

I want Her to be a good role model. I want Her to be kind. I want Her to be happy to see them and spend time with them. But, I don’t want Her so attached that She wants to take over my role. I will handle the care and feeding of my munchkins. She gets to be a happy bystander for the hard stuff, and hopefully, a willing participant in the good stuff.

4. Is It Alright If My Kids Know I am Sleeping With Her, or a Variety of Hers?


Would that I dated often enough to actually have one of these…

Being a shy and proper butch, I am very concerned about my kids knowing that I am committing cardinal sins with Her (or a variety of Hers). Cough. Anyway, religion out of it, I don’t really want my kids thinking about this. We haven’t had the birds and the bees talk yet, so I think I am safe for a while. My point really is that if I date, I don’t want my kids to see a revolving door – regardless of how frequently that door actually revolves. Anyone have any WD-40?

Interestingly enough, my kids gave me the perfect opening to discuss this with them recently. Both of them are pressuring me to get a girlfriend – which if you think about it is adorable and kind of hilarious. Why, guys? “We just want you to have one.” Anyway, when they said this a week or so ago, I jumped at the chance to talk about dating. I said that I was ready to date, and indeed was out and about having fun. I told them that I was going to keep them from the details, that I might start seeing someone and not introduce Her. My daughter was shocked and said, “You are going to date behind our backs?”

I laughed and said, “No, I am going to date right in front of you. I’m just not going to introduce you to anyone for a while.” Why? I explained that I didn’t know when I might find the Her that would be in my life (and, thus, their lives) for a period of time, and I didn’t think it fair to introduce them to a bunch of women. Now, I realize that I might be making myself out to be a real ladies man here, and sadly, this is really not the case. But, hopefully, you get the point. The kids seemed to accept this, although they didn’t like it.

I wish I had a crystal ball the moment I meet Her. One where I could gaze at it and peer into the future. If I could see that She will be in my life a year later, two years later, of course I would introduce Her to the kids. But, how do I know?

One Her to Rule them All

One Her to Rule them All

As lucky as I would be to find the One True Her (the one to rule them all) right out of the gate, I think that is unrealistic. Of course, if the Universe sends me the Femme from my Want Ad, I suppose all bets are off. But still, when do I introduce Her to my kids? Help me out, friends.

It’s butch to protect your kids, isn’t it? Be Butch.

How Butch Are You?

Plenty of readers have asked me a variety of this question: How do I know if I am butch? How do I know if someone else is butch? Why don’t people know I am butch? Or, what about lesbians that look butch, but don’t identify as butch? “Well, she is wearing a vest, after all!” And, what about lesbians that identify as butch, but no one sees them as such? “You can’t be butch, you have a purse!”

As I am now clearly the worldwide expert on this (NOT!), I do feel compelled to try to answer. And, frankly, I am honoured (trying to appeal to my newly broadened audience with a more international spelling) that any of you would ask for my opinion. My hope is that this blog will start a lively conversation and that a LOT of you will comment on this post, adding your view and opinions to what I have to say. As I have said before, there are many ways to be butch, and there is no right way. And, it is definitely more than the clothes. That is just the wrapper on the yummy butchness inside.

It comes down to two things, IMHO

It comes down to two things, IMHO

Being butch, in my opinion, is about two things. How you see yourself and how others see you. Of course the first one is the only one that matters; but the second is important if you want to appear to the world in a way that is congruent with your view of yourself.

1.  How You See Yourself

Michelle Pfeiffer isn't butch just because you put her in a suit.

Michelle Pfeiffer isn’t butch just because you put her in a suit. And, meow!

So, how do you see yourself? Do you feel butch? Do you like the label, tag, or identification of butch? Does it feel like it fits you? That’s the crux. If you feel like a butch, but you wear dresses, good for you. If you feel like a femme, but wear only men’s suits and fantastic vests, good for you. You alone define yourself.

I spend a lot of time on my blog “defining” what it means to be butch, but this is always tongue in cheek. You can read some of these, like How to Be Butch* (http://wp.me/p27vDp-3W) and I am a Butch (http://wp.me/p27vDp-3W). I am simply defining what it means to me, and of course, trying to do it in a way that is amusing for all of you (or maybe most of you? Some of you?). For example, I don’t wear lipstick or makeup (except for eyeliner, which I call “guyliner”). I wear all men’s clothes. I have super short hair (a Mohawk, to be precise). I am bigger and taller than most of my friends, many men included. I like to be strong and want muscles. But that is just me. There are a tremendous variety of lesbians who are butch that would take exception to much of that. Again, it only matters how you see yourself. Do you feel butch?

2.  How Others See You

kd lang didn't become a femme when she put this dress on - my favorite song of hers, btw.

kd lang didn’t become a femme when she put this dress on – my favorite song of hers, btw.

As humans, we have a need to label and categorize ourselves and others. Yes, labels are bad. No one fits precisely into any one category, but don’t hate. You know it’s true. You walk down the street and you see someone, anyone, and you assess them in a split second. Safe, dangerous, attractive, ugly, straight, gay, athlete, lazy, rich, poor, smart, dumb. Translation: desirable or undesirable. Of course, the classifications are much more complex – a handsome, straight, well-educated, well-off, married man. And, so on. While you’re doing it, so is everyone else. Making judgments about you based solely on how you dress, walk, look, and talk. Most people probably see me and think, “There is a big, butch dyke.” [Note: To our ally readers, don’t use the word “dyke” unless your lesbian friend told you it was ok to use it, and then, only use it with her. It’s hate speech and with a butch, it might get you punched in the face.] I’d rather it was, “There is a handsome, dashing, well-educated, charming single butch.” We can all dream. How do people see you? Do your friends think you are butch? What does your mom think? Side note here, my 9-year old recently told a lady at Nordstrom that her mom is butch. I am lucky because the way I see myself lines up with the way others see me – as Über Butch. Whew.

The vast majority of lesbians that I know define themselves as neither butch nor femme. It is much more common to simply consider oneself a lesbian. There is a spectrum of lesbians. On one end of the spectrum are the most masculine lesbians who identify as butch – maybe 15% of the lesbian population. On the other far end of the spectrum are the most feminine lesbians – maybe 15%. But the vast majority of lesbians (70%) would fall somewhere in the middle. I am just picking numbers based on my experiences, no research or anything. This article needs citations!

I have no idea how Jillian Michaels defines herself. She might not look butch in those dresses, but her attitude and poise are hella butch. Hey girl!

I have no idea how Jillian Michaels defines herself. She might not look butch in those dresses, but her attitude and poise are hella butch. Hey girl!

3. But, Who Cares?

The bottom line is that there is no one way to be butch. For me, being butch means that I want to take care of the woman I love – to protect her. I want to be bigger and stronger. Sometimes when I am lifting, I want to pound my chest and roar (Jillian would probably approve). As dumb as that is, I want a woman who thinks it’s cute – or maybe even hot. I want to open the doors. I want her to wear heels, lipstick, dresses. But that’s just me! How about you? What makes you butch?

I would like to add that there are gobs of lesbians that are more butch than me, and I am good with that. Butches, we are good. No need to track me down in a bar, or (gulp) side street and challenge my butchness. You win! Please don’t come looking for me unless you want to grab a beer. If you are butcher than me, I will buy…

Some random blogger's shirt. Heh!

Some random blogger’s shirt. Heh!

I would also like to add that if any of you think you might be a femme, but aren’t sure and would like help figuring it out, come looking for me! I am available for consultations, including door opening, and roaring. We will get you through this – together.

It’s butch to define yourself. Be Butch.

Just Me

My gorgeous fiancée is no longer my fiancée. We decided to split up about 3 months ago. Now, I am just me (and my kids, and my family, and my friends, but you get what I mean).

I am trying to take a light (but broken) hearted approach to sharing this with you. After all, I write a blog that is usually funny and light. Sometimes sarcastic, but not gut-wrenching. Y’all don’t come see me to read about how miserable I am and how hard life is, right? I get it and I like that. It’s hard to be light and funny though, when your heart is healing. Hence the long delay in sharing this with you, and honestly, fewer posts. I try to be honest in what I write about and I didn’t want to share this, so I just shared less. I am in a much better place now, so it’s a bit easier to disclose. Still, I’m afraid that I don’t have much funny to say on the topic of my healing heart.

I won’t share any of the details – except to say that we love each other a lot and are committed to being friends. So far, so good. For my tips on how to handle a yourself in times like these, see A Butch’s Guide to Remaining Sane During a Break Up. I wrote that smack in the middle of it all. Some of you may have guessed, but were too kind to ask…

So, now it’s just me. I am “single.” My goodness that word entails a lot, doesn’t it? It’s even a little scary. Will I be an outcast from my coupled-friends? Does it make me pathetic and sad? Will I have to carry around a little sign that says “Please be nice to me, I am single?” I certainly hope not. And, it has been a very long time since I was single – 22 years. Wow, that makes me feel old.

The bottom line is that my gorgeous fiancée is still gorgeous, but she is no longer my fiancée.  Indeed, she is no longer “mine” – as much as anyone can ever be someone else’s. I’m still here, though. Sifting through the feelings that I have. Being reminded that life includes sadness and hurt, and that one should embrace these parts of life, learn from them, and then move through them in time.

You won’t hear any macho rhetoric from me about how tough I am, how it didn’t (and doesn’t still) hurt, how I am better off without her, or any of those feeling-denying statements. My heart and I are healing. Time being required – and whatever other slogan you can think of that is supposed to make one feel better. I felt that you needed to know because she has all but disappeared from my posts and sooner or later someone would notice and ask me.

I am a butch without a femme. Superman without Lois Lane. Batman without Robin. James Bond without whichever hot actress stars in each movie. Wow, I must think a lot of myself to compare myself to superheroes and Bond. I wish! How about, peanut butter without the jelly? Chips without the salsa? Salt without the Peppa? (What a loss that was to music.) As many of you know, she inspired many a post. I hope I can still think of funny things to write about now that it is just me…

It’s butch to be single. Right? Be butch.

One Sick Butch

Hi all. I am a butch down with a cold. What an irritating inconvenience. I am sick, and have been for almost a week, but I cannot find a hot nurse nearby! Woe is me. It got me to thinking… how do you handle yourself when you are sick? Do we butches get sick any differently than non-butches?

Butches, do you dissolve into a baby when you are sick?

For example, there is a stereotype that men are total babies when they are sick – relying on their partners for everything. “Honey, I think I am going to die!” “No dear, you just have a cold.” Right? Well, this is certainly not true for me.

I’m sick. I feel sorry for myself, but I am taking care of things. Picked up a bunch of DayQuil, NyQuil, cough drops, and those soft lotion tissues (don’t judge!). Went to work until I didn’t feel like I should anymore. Hit the gym the first two days, but then was smart enough to take a break the next two. Yesterday’s work out was modified, but I did it.  Today, I took myself to the doctor. Got my prescription and came home to rest. I am about to go to the store and get myself some chicken tortilla soup (I’m too irritated to make my famous, heal-you-when-you-are-sick chicken noodle soup for myself). Tonight, I will pair that with a lovely Ginger Ale, bad TV, and an early bed time.

I pick up all my tissues, put away the thermometer, still handle the laundry and normal chores, and basically take care of stuff. Of course, I would not turn down an offer of help if given, but I don’t really need it. Plus, it would limit my ability to feel sorry for myself…

How about you, dear readers? How do you handle yourself when you are sick? Can we butches claim to be superior in the getting sick department?

Its butch to take care of yourself and get better. Be butch.

Finding Butch

I was inspired by my blog idol, Butch Wonders, to do a regular post about some of the funniest search terms that land people at my blog. After checking in with Butch Wonders, I am proud to proceed with my first edition of this. So, here are the top 10 oddest or most interesting search terms that lead folks to ButchOnTap last month:

  1. monopoly game on iphone wont let me resume my game what do i do – Turn off your phone. Look around you. The world is beautiful. Or, find a friend to play Monopoly with. Wouldn’t it be great if you could play Butchopoly?
  2. Can a fat butch be sexy?– Yes. Anyone can be sexy. The same rules apply to butches as to non-butches. Big or

    Image courtesy of heidihat.com

    small you can be hotter than hell, but not if you are wearing sweatpants … probably. There are always exceptions.

  3. do skinny jeans go with Mohawk – Everything goes with a Mohawk. Next?
  4. i look around and wonder and stare unknowingly how to stop – Oh my. I had no idea that “What are you looking at?” would pull in a lost soul like this. Step One: Go to the doctor. Step Two: Go see a therapist. Step Three: Perhaps stop playing Monopoly on your iphone? It might be reducing your attention span.
  5. i’m so ugly, should i become a big, butch lesbian? – NO! We don’t want you. Please pick another career or pursuit. Butch lesbians are hot.
  6. what does a kiss mean to a butch lesbian advice – The same thing that it means to a femme, a lesbian, a gay man, a straight woman, or a straight man. Depends on the kiss, of course, but doesn’t it usually mean, “Let’s go”? You are all free to come and kiss me and we can experiment to see if that is the correct interpretation… unless you are the person who asked the question in number 5.
  7. lesbian bow ties – Great! I didn’t know there were lesbian bow ties. I need to get some of those. So far, I just have a whole bunch of non-sexually identified bow ties.
  8. she is very big and strong – Why, thank you!
  9. makeup for butch – I don’t speak for every butch, but I think it is pretty safe to say on behalf of most of us, “Butch doesn’t care for any make up, unless it’s on a femme.” Oh, is that what you meant? Then, yes, please.
  10. i dont care what you say yes we are both lesbians butch but i do love her – Butches can be attracted to femmes, lesbians who are not identified as femmes, bois, and even other butches. Attraction isn’t about roles and correctness. It is about what you want and what feels good. So to the two “lesbians butch,” mazel tov.

How to Be Butch*

*Author’s Note: This blog is mostly meant to be tongue-in cheek, a funny take on my life and observations. I never mean to imply that I am the sole “authority” on being butch (or even any authority at all), or that my way of being butch or my style of being butch – or even a lesbian, for that matter – is the only way to be. I will write more about the amazing diversity in the lesbian community, and the relative paucity of butch-femme relationships soon. Suffice it to say now that I mostly want to make you laugh, intrigue you, or perhaps give you insight into another point of view. I do not mean to pass judgment on whoever you are, whatever your style may be (except for you over there in the ratty t-shirt and cargo shorts), or however you live your life.  Now, that said, let me tell you how to be butch.

I know, dear readers that you may be so delighted, so intrigued with my life experiences that you want to know how you, too, can be butch. You must have the secrets – and, stat! If only…if only there were an instruction manual. Wait just a tick; I have found such a manual, dear readers, which I have written. Read on for a step-by-step guide to being a proper butch.

1.  Clothing. Go to your closet. Find every piece of women’s clothing. Throw it out. Well, ok, donate it, but it has got to go. You can’t look butch in a blouse for chrissakes. Shoes, too. Straps are out. Heels are ok if stacked or on a cowboy boot. Otherwise, not so much. Ok, jeans are good, always. Buy some vests. That will get you started. There are lots of more advanced rules, but I could write blogs and blogs about just lesbian fashion. Actually, I already have – see Tipping the Velvet (http://butchontap.com/2012/03/08/tipping-the-velvet/), Out of Pocket (http://butchontap.com/2012/03/05/out-of-pocket/), and Tie One On (http://butchontap.com/2012/01/20/tie-one-on/). And there will be more.  Fashion is fun to write about.

2.  Jewelry. I am pro-jewelry as long as it’s the right kind. Nothing you would buy for your girl.  No hearts. No unicorns or rainbows. Fleur de lis, shamrocks, skulls – all acceptable. Silver is golden. Gold is a bit too New Jersey Shore. Jewels are your own call. Just remember, less is more.

3.  Sports. You can’t go wrong with a team sport:  football, basketball, hockey (extra butch), volleyball (high quotient of attractive sporty spice lesbians here – neither femme nor butch, but displays qualities of both), softball (where you will find many femmes and loads of sturdy, but not quite butch, lesbians). Shooting sports like archery and marksmanship are obviously butch, although obscure and inaccessible. Hard to imagine your femme coming out to watch your archery match. Country club sports are tricky and can go either way – largely depending on what you wear. There is kind of a spectrum starting with tennis (no tennis skirts or ladies wear) being less butch, moving to racquetball which is more butch, and then handball which is super butch.  Hitting something that hard with just your hand? Wow. Scary butch activities would include things like boxing, kick boxing, hunting, sport fishing, and cage fighting. Do one of these and you are sending out a very scary vibe. Badminton (hitting a “shuttlecock”?) is out. Golf is the holy grail of butch sports in my opinion. Hitting a small ball hundreds of yards with a metal club, stylish, wonderful clothing options, lots of drinking while you play. Great opportunities for being charming (not out of breath), lifting heavy things for your femme (golf bag), offering to clean off her spikes, smoking cigars (without it being odd). Of course, as an avid golfer, I am biased.  Plus, lots of lesbians play golf and straight men seem to embrace this – a bonus.

4.  Drinks. Alcohol? If not, nothing wrong with that at all. Drink whatever you like, but no fruit or cherries in the glass. If you do drink alcohol, don’t order a cream-based drink if you want to be butch – think Bailey’s. Drink that at home (yum). Stick to beer and you can’t go wrong. The hard stuff (whiskey, bourbon, scotch) are super butch – as long as you don’t get sick. If you can’t hold your liquor, don’t drink it. If you do drink it, nothing with an umbrella. In my opinion, nothing even with juice. The down side to beer is gas…not too sexy. Drink slowly!

5.  Jobs.  Let’s see, what is the butchest job? Unless you are one of those Deadliest Catch fishers, you probably don’t need to think about having a butch job. I will go so far as to say ANY job is a good job. Pay your bills. Handle your business. Be secure. If you decorate cakes for a living, that is plenty butch if it allows you to meet your needs and take your date out for dinner and a show. I don’t care if its floral design, or painting nails. Being employed and responsible is very butch.

6.  Hair. The shorter the better. I would like to try and change the butch world a little bit here.  It doesn’t have to be shapeless. Style is sexy. Style is cool. Yes, style is butch. If you’ve had the same do for a couple of years, it is time for a change. The Bieber is cute and fairly butch now, but probably not so much in two years. Even my mohawk – which my fiancé and I think is uber-butch – won’t be around two years from now, at least not on me. But, no matter what hair you rock, no mullets, please. Represent, butches!

7.  Makeup.  You should not have any. Your sole collection of makeup should be the high-end chapstick or lip balm you carry. My current favorite, by the way, is the Jack Black men’s skin care line – not that Jack Black. Anyway, the lip balm is fantastic, and it gives me something to look for at Sephora when my girl is busy looking at mascara and nail polish – or whatever. Black guyliner is awesome on occasion, but you will use your girl’s makeup for this. You should not own any yourself. Unless you are single; then guyliner is a must.

8.  Nails. Keep them very short and clean. You don’t have to just hack them off yourself with clippers, though, there is nothing wrong with a nice manicure. I always choose “buff” rather than any polish. Recently, though, my girl painted my nails black and put some silver crackle stuff on top. To my surprise, it looks very, very butch! Plus, there is nothing wrong with giving your girl a reason to stare at your hands.Think outside the box, I guess is the lesson here.

9.  Pets. Dogs, lions (or any other big cat), turtles, sharks, yes. Seriously? Come see my pet shark? Hella butch. Cats, birds, and fish, not so much. Not all dogs, though. The bigger the better. St. Bernard, Mastiff, Dane, Sheepdog, Lab – you are rocking the butch pet. Terriers, Poodles, Schnauzers, and anything miniature or teacup, forget about it. But it’s okay if your girl has one and you happen to be seen walking it for her on occasion. 😉

10.  Bowties. Learn to tie them. And fast. I mean learn how to tie a bowtie fast, not quickly learn how to do it. This is very sexy to femmes. Plus, other butches, straight guys, and your gay brethren will be envious at the end of the evening when you untie your bowtie and leave it gallantly hanging around your neck – James Bond style, thereby proving it’s not a clip-on.  Clip-ons are for 5 year olds. Seriously, my 5-year-old son has one. But tie it yourself? Oh, yes. It’s hot. But Butch, I don’t know how! No problem. Here’s a link to the drawing I used for a couple of months until it clicked for me (http://www.folds.net/bowtie/). No shame in asking a friend or the lady at Nordstrom’s for help. As for regular ties, if you want a real tie knot go with the Windsor. My dad showed me how to tie a good old-fashioned Windsor knot. Thanks, Dad! Now, I’m set on both fronts.

11.  Books. This is a wide open category. It doesn’t matter much unless you are on vacation. You don’t want to be seen by the pool with anything by Danielle Steel or Mary Higgins Clark. Any kind of fantasy, sci-fi, spy, or thriller is ok. Romantic novels are right out! Michael Crichton, Stephen King, Tolkien, yes. Stephanie Meyer, no.

12.  Music. This is a tough one for me because I am a music fanatic. I can’t get enough: classical, easy listening, dance, adult contemporary, electronic, big band, and house – questionable choices for a butch, but that’s not very evolved. Metal, rock, country, hip hop – obviously safe, but who wants to be safe when it comes to music? If you play an instrument,  lead guitar (acoustic or electric), check. Drums, yes. Bass guitar, of course. Sax, maybe. Piano, this is a tough one. I say yes. It’s not super butch, but certainly passable butch. Flute/violin/clarinet/harp/viola/tambourine…you play one of these and you can leave your butch card at the door.

13.  Movies. No chick flicks. Terms of Endearment, Steel Magnolias, Something’s Gotta Give, The Notebook (I’d rather stick my face in a notebook and slam the rings closed than see this movie), and all romantic comedies (anything by Nora Ephron or starring Meg Ryan) are out. If it makes your girl cry, it’s not a butch movie. Contrast this with the typical action movie – Terminator, Star Wars, Bad Boys, Lethal Weapon – and any bromance movie – I Love You Man, 21 Jump Street, Dumb and Dumber, The Hangover. These are butch movies. Notice that the inclusion of a love story does not contradict the butchness of the movie. Violence, spies, sex, explosions, and car chases make a movie butch. A romance thrown in is just fine, especially if the woman is hot. Over the top violence is not butch; that’s just a waste. Hollywood showing off. Look what we can do! Look how realistic this death and gore is! No, thank you. Even butches don’t have to sit for that. Saving Private Ryan, and Braveheart are out in my book. Super hero movies are platinum – even bad ones – and fantasy flicks like Lord of the Rings. Oh, and comedies are always butch – Ace Ventura, Bridesmaids, Coming to America, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Art films are not technically butch, but can be great for getting laid. Sadly, if it won an Oscar, it’s probably not butch. Notable exceptions: The Godfather, No Country for Old Men, Casablanca, and anything directed by Scorsese or starring Clint Eastwood. You have carte blanche to see these. Relationship note: There are deals to be made here. My fiancé likes art house flicks and plenty of chick flicks (although she hates romantic comedies), so we trade off. A real life example: I saw Black Swan for her (WTH!?), and she came to see Thor with me. Plus, if you go see an indie or chick flick with your girl, bring tissues and provide that shoulder for her to cry on.

Alrighty then. Now that you know everything that the “how to” guide says about being butch, you are all set.

Better yet, it is very butch to be yourself. You define whether or not you are butch. So throw out this guide and just be yourself – as long as you lose the mullet! Be butch.

Butch Fails

I want to talk about an important issue for you butches out there. A little issue I have affectionately dubbed, “Butch Fails.” Straight men, pay attention. I am sure that you’ve had plenty of Butch Fails as well. If you don’t think so, read this then ask your wife or girlfriend.  She will confirm, I guarantee. Alright, now that I have your attention, let me explain the Butch Fail.

A Butch Fail occurs when you, the butch, mess up something for your femme. I don’t mean something big, like a birthday or Valentine’s Day. I mean small, every day stuff, such as not holding the door open for your femme. Butch Fail. You fail to be gallant, to care for her, to show her in those little ways that you are a gentleman (for lack of a better word, I choose that one). I always want to be a gentleman. My mother will tell you that I have been a gentleman my whole life. Even as a child, I took pride in caring for her – opening the door as soon as I could, being protective, and the like. That was probably a sign that I would grow up to be a butch.

So, let me take you through some sample Butch Fails. All of these are fails I have personally committed. Sacre bleu! I try hard, but it’s a wonder that I am not single. Thank you, honey!

1.  The Tiny Sweater. You pull your weight in the laundry area (you’d better!), but do not remember, even when reminded, to remove the sweater from the wash and lay it out to dry instead of putting it in the dryer. The resulting tiny sweater that your girl now calls a belly shirt is a painful reminder to her that you are sometimes an idiot. How could you dry a sweater? Bras not placed into lingerie bags and thrown in with the rest of the clothes also fall into this same category. Butch Fail.

2.  Something’s Different? This occurs when your femme sports a new color or technique of makeup, and you do not notice. Just who do you think she is doing all that work and makeup for anyway? Same thing would apply to a haircut, but that is not one that I have stumbled on. Butch Fail.

3.  Closed Doors. This one is obvious. Hold the door open for her. You can’t have her trailing behind you wondering why the hell you had to go in first. Allow her to pass through first. Every time, no exceptions. Duh. So basic. And yet, I have messed this one up on occasion. Butch Fail.

4.  Shiver Me Femme. This is how it goes in our house. I gently suggest to my fiancé that she needs a jacket as we are readying to leave the house. I bring a jacket because I’m a prepared butch. She does not – she doesn’t have one that goes with her outfit, I am told. So there we are at whatever event and she is shivering. Over time, I have become irritated with this, I admit. Once, I did not give her my jacket. She wouldn’t ask for it, because she knows that she should have brought one, and so she was freezing. I felt awful, but was trying to hold my ground. This is wrong. I am the butch, so I get to be cold. Butch Fail.

5.  Beer Blurt. At a gastropub (translation, hella cool beer list), the waiter comes to take our food order and I am so excited that, as my fiancé is placing her order, I blurt out my beer order.  Not only did I not show any concern for my fiancé – say, asking her what she wanted, or even better, preparing to order for her – I interrupted her. That’s right. I actually cut her off mid-iced tea ordering and gave the waiter my beer choice. Even the waiter rolled his eyes. Like, dude, relax, you’ll get your beer, but you won’t be getting anything else tonight! The Beer Blurt is an epic Butch Fail.

6.  Nordstrom No-No. We went to Nordies to pick up her pants that had been hemmed. We didn’t have time to shop, so she was just going to run in. Trying to be a gentleman, I dropped her off right at the door and said I would circle and come back to pick her up. So far, so good, right butches? Then, after she gets out of the car, and is right near the front of the car about to pass in front, I start to drive off, almost running her foot over! What a dumb ass thing to do. She knocks on the car hood rapidly and looks at me in disbelief. Butch Fail.

7.  I Don’t Care. This one can occur in many scenarios. Here is mine. My fiancé is very up-to-date on the hot topics (gossip) in the entertainment world. I am not, even though I am in that business. She reads People and keeps up with Perez; I do not. It happened once or twice in the early stages of our courtship that she shared a fact with me or a tidbit that she found interesting.  Think, a pic of Angelina and Brad’s little Shiloh (such a cute little butch!), J Lo’s dress from the Oscars, Jonah Hill’s weight loss efforts, or how much Meryl Streep’s daughter looks like her.  These things are less than interesting. I do not care about little Shiloh (although it bears repeating, such a cute little butch!), dresses from the Oscars, weight loss tips from the stars, or celebrity offspring. And I told her as much. Let’s recap. She shares something that she thinks is interesting. I say “I don’t care about that.” She feels disrespected and disregarded. Butch Fail.

Everything she says is important and worthy of your attention. Listen to me…it does not matter what it is, you had better care, or at least don’t actually say that you don’t. If you don’t care, pretend. And you better be a damn good pretender. Trust me, everything she says is important. “But, Butch,” you ask, “even when it’s not?” Yes! Even when it’s not.

8.  Butch Gaze. Caught staring at another woman. No explanation needed. Butch Fail.

9.  Auto Pilot. One time, and only one time, I made the mistake of zoning out at a gas station in the passenger seat, while my girl pumped the gas. I wasn’t sick. I wasn’t hung over or exhausted. My legs weren’t broken. I was just a lazy, zoned out idiot. I am not saying that a butch has to pump the gas every single time. If your girl offers or insists, fine. What are we, cavemen? No, of course not. But the default is that butches pump the gas. Sitting in the passenger seat without any excuse and letting your girl get the gas while you zone out or look at Facebook? Butch Fail.

These are all things that I have been guilty of. Thank goodness my fiancé allows for me to mess up. We usually have a good laugh about it. One of the good things about us butches is that we are trainable. We do what we are told. If I do something wrong, tell me, and I will try to do it right the next time.

What are some of your Butch Fails?

It’s butch to fail, as long as you fix it. Be butch.

Size Matters

It’s time to discuss something big…me. I’m big. Not giant, but big. I’m going to round up and down slightly (so that people who know me won’t have my exact measurements), but you will get the point.  Let’s say, hypothetically, that I am 5’11 feet tall and 210 pounds.  That will give you a good idea of my size.  [Of course, I am really taller and lighter than that.]

At 5’11, I am way taller than the average woman (5’4″), and a little taller than the average man (5’9 1/2″).  Tall.  I’m not much heavier than the average male with an average weight of 194, but I’ve got 40 pounds on the average woman.  I am not meant to be small.  I wear a size 10-11 men’s shoe for goodness sake.  My finance and I joke that when I hold a regular beer (12 oz.), I look like a giant – as opposed to the 22 oz. craft beers that I am so fond of.

Yes, yes, Butch, but so what?

Well, I have been on a quest for about 4 years now to get smaller, healthier, and more fit.  I have been successful because I have given up on my old way of doing things.  You know, eating whatever I want and only doing activities that I enjoy (sitting on the couch watching football while eating Wings N’ Things).  Perhaps you’ve been there?  Now lots of gym time and no more Wings & Things for me, which makes my fiancé very happy because even the sight of the glowing orange wings gives her a stomach ache.  <Sigh>

So, I am about 60 pounds down from my all-time high (woot woot!).  Then, I was huge.  Now I am big.  Then I was a XXL or XXXL.  Now I am an L in most things.  Then, it was all about special clothing stores. Now, not so much. Point to it and I can shop there. Unless it’s AF.  Nothing fits me there, but then, I’m not sure anything fits anyone there who does not resemble a frantic, desperate (skinny) 14-year old.  But, I digress.

The thing is I like being big.  I like being bigger than my fiancé.  A lot.  I like feeling like the big butch, the protective type.  You know, the one who can scare away anyone who would harm her.  The bigger, tougher one.  Grrrrrr.

So, I have to wonder – am I keeping myself big to be more butch?  I can logically think how dumb that is.  I can logically work out that it’s better for me and my fiancé if I were a touch smaller than I am.  Just a couple of sizes lighter.

Less weight on me = more healthy in every way.  I want to be healthy.  Wouldn’t I still be butch 30 pounds from now, leaner and more muscled?  I mean, Rachel Maddow is butch-ish and she is lean!  I think that I am finally getting this through my skull.  Even if I lose all the rest of the weight that I intellectually know I need (and from the health charts am supposed) to lose, I will still be much bigger than my fiancé.  She is tiny.  So, I can be healthy and still be the big, strong, protective one.

It’s butch to be big and strong…and healthy and fit.  Be butch.

What are you lookin’ at?

Miriam-Webster:  Stare (\ ster \)

Etymology: Middle English, from Old English starian; akin to Old High German starēn to stare, Greek stereos solid, Lithuanian starinti to stiffen.  Date: before 12th century

1 : to look fixedly often with wide-open eyes

— star·er noun

My aunt came to visit for my mom’s 65th birthday and I had the pleasure of picking her up from the airport and then showing her around my office. On the way to my office, my Aunt says, slightly exasperated, “Why is everyone staring at us?!?”

I answer – without hesitation – “it’s because I have a Mohawk.”  My Aunt, probably because she loves and accepts me, cannot even fathom this for a moment.  So I explain.

“This is a very conservative part of town. Everyone is rich (more or less) and there are lots of churches. It’s only this year that my daughter even has a kid in her class whose parents are divorced.  It’s like Stepford.”

“Sure,” she says, “but I’m from the Bible belt… Oh, yes I guess people would stare at you there, too.”  Yes, yes they would.

This exchange got me thinking about how my appearance affects those around me whom I love. You see, it’s not just me – being a butch. It’s also those I love, being with and around a butch. It isn’t who they are; it’s who I am. It’s probably pretty hard for them a lot of the time.  They don’t have the reassurance of knowing they are being true to themselves when people stare.  I do.  They don’t have the certainty of knowing that I look much, much better in my butch skin – rather than the stereotypical trappings of femininity.  I do.

[Note: this is not a bash against stereotypical feminine trappings. I am all for those on the right person … My fiancé, for example.]

My family is amazing.  All of them.  I don’t know the exact red or blueness of each of them, but it doesn’t matter.  They all accept me and my fiancé.  [If they don’t, they’ve done a great job of hiding it.]  I am very thankful for them.  Even my grandmother who started with, “isn’t it just a phase, until she meets the right gentleman?” grew to fully accept me. She’s been gone for some time, but I knew that she accepted me more than a decade ago (and she was old!).

My family – other than my parents who live in the same town as we do – live all across the country, but we stay connected with Facebook in between visits every couple of years.  It’s so wonderful to spend time with family.  I forget how neat it is to hear stories about when my mom was young, and equally how neat it is to get to know other relatives that I do not know very well, or even more distant relatives that I have never even met before.  I have family in Long Beach, San Francisco, and St. Louis and I didn’t even know it!

I guess this is a love note to my family.  Thank you for accepting me.  Thank you for either: a) not noticing the Mohawk, my obvious butchness, and general lack of blending in, or b) for accepting me anyway.  Thank you for welcoming and loving my fiancé, too.  I do know that it’s hard sometimes (not her, she’s easy to love).  And, I appreciate all of you.

And, to those who stare unrelentingly… Fuck off. What the hell are you looking at?  Especially you ugly people.  Didn’t your mother ever teach you not to stare?  Really.  Seriously.  If I looked like you I would never leave the house – let alone stare at anyone.

Just because I am Zen with it – undoubtedly because I am a more evolved being (ha!) – does not mean it is ok.  What makes you think it is ok?  I guess I should say “them.” I am sure that none of you, dear readers, would stare at me. What makes them think it is ok to stare?

This has been really hard for my fiancé to get used to.  She feels, correctly, that it is incredibly rude for people to stare.  She has adopted several different strategies to cope:

1. Yelling or commenting to the starer (depending on the extent of their rudeness).  This is very effective at calling the starer out, but it never makes either her or me feel much better.  Some of her favorites are – “Stare much?” and “What are you looking at?”

2.  Staring back.  This one is immensely satisfying and frequently results in the starer’s quiet embarrassment at being caught staring and being stared at him or herself.  A definite bonus.  I use this one a fair amount.  It falls into the “teaching them a lesson” category.  So there!

3.  Ignoring it.  This is the least satisfying option, but it also takes the least amount of energy.  It happens (a lot) and so we just move on.  No need to let it disrupt our day.

I used to tell myself that people stared at me because the starer thought I was hot – clearly a delusional self-defense mechanism.  But, that doesn’t work anymore.  Besides being ridiculously conceited and unjustifiably arrogant, it’s most certainly not true.  So, a new defense mechanism is needed.

How about blogging?  Starers of the world beware, lest you end up the topic of my blog, without the cover of anonymity.  Just think how everyone would stare at you then…

It’s butch to blog.  Be butch.

Tipping the Velvet

Butches are different. We know this. Obviously. Here is a great example of just how different.  A few days ago, I wrote about the pockets in my new velvet suit coat. I bought that well-pocketed suit coat to wear to a black tie event, a lawyers’ ball.

[Side note (or maybe sidebar): there are many jokes here about lawyers, how can anything involving lawyers be a ball, hitting lawyers with balls, etc., but as a lawyer myself, I will not indulge in such jokes. You, dear readers, however, should feel free to do so.]

Yes, a ball. Like Cinderella. I would be happy to be Prince Charming and sweep my own lovely Cinderella off her feet. I’m not that charming, but one can always dream… Anyway, I digress.

So, my gorgeous fiancé and I prepared for the ball. She put together her lovely outfit. I pieced together mine. Tux shirt – tick, snazzy new bow tie – tick. I thought I would rent a tux, but changed my mind when I learned how expensive anything other than the basic tux rental is (upwards of $200). I ended up renting tux pants, shoes, and suspenders, and committed to finding and buying a jacket – that did not need to be altered and that was cheaper than the rental option. No small task.

How weird is it , by the way, that men and butches can rent clothes for a formal evening? I don’t like going to second-hand clothing stores, because the clothes were worn by someone else. But, a tux? It’s probably been worn by hundreds of men and the occasional butch. Seems gross when you really think about it. Think of all the things these rented clothes touch and do. At least you

don’t return the socks. Even bowling shoes give me a moment’s pause. Does that spray really clean them? Yuck. So why is formal wear rental acceptable?

For me, I get through it. It’s practicality. I don’t have five, six, seven or eight hundred dollars to buy a tux. So, I deal with it. I’m practical. But not stupid, so off I went to hunt and gather me a suit jacket worthy of a ball and a wannabe Prince Charming.

I found what I was looking for at Macy’s. A black, two-button velvet jacket with a faint pinstripe in it (very subtle). It was on a ridiculous sale and exactly what I was hunting and hoping to gather. I snatched it up.  At the ball, I stood out like a sunbather on a ski slope. All the men, and I do mean all, had on black tuxedos. Some much more stylish than others, but still. There was one gentleman rocking an ivory dinner jacket. That was a look I considered until GQ informed me that I couldn’t wear ivory until the summer – unless I was on an island. Plus, he was 80 if he was a day. I was the only one in velvet … And the Mohawk was also unique.That is, until we ran into good friends of ours. A super cool couple, very pretty and very butch. A stylish, lovely pair. Well, I’ll be damned if my butch friend wasn’t wearing a black velvet jacket. She looked awesome. We complimented each other on the velvet and had a nice exchange about it.

Ok, so here is the kicker – the thing that is different about a butch. I was GLAD to see my cool and stylish friend wearing the same or similar jacket as mine. I felt my style choice had been confirmed, validated. Yup. Velvet is in. Perhaps she felt the same.  If this has happened to my fiancé, I think she would have been very upset. “How could we have on the same thing?”“How embarrassing!”

“Who looked better in it?”

I can only imagine the questions. A lady or a femme would feel her outfit was directly diminished by the fact that someone else wore it too. As a butch, I felt happy to see my stylish friend in the same thing.

I know it’s butch to stand out, but it’s also butch to fit in. Be butch.


Be Butch.


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