ask me anything: the answers

April 29, 2008  |  essays

I offered up answering any question that was asked today – you can still ask a question until, oh, let’s say, midnight tonight. These are some of the answers, posted as they’re coming in.

1. muse asks: what is your archetypical, eroticized gender-performance-y, fuckable femme outfit, from head to toe, outside in?

First: nothing too tight, I prefer movement in the fabric. Especially in skirts. Something form-fitting can be lovely and fun, yes, but I so prefer the hint of thigh that comes from the swing in the fabric.

So, this is a bit fancy, the dressed-up going-out showing-off outfit. Funny how much I feel hesitant to get super specific, because I love oh-so-much the display of femme in its many forms. But if we’re talking about archetypical, eroticized, most fuckable gender performance, (gulp) here it is:

Hair – up. I don’t care how, but pulled up off the neck. For one, I love to see the lines of the neck and jaw (very sexy), but also, I want to be the one who rips your hair down, later. I remember watching Ally McBeal as a teenager and being so overwhelmed by Nelle Porter (Portia De Rossi) and the way she wore her hair – she only ever wore it up in the office, but she would sometimes take it down when she was out in the bar after hours. It was so, so powerful and sexy. I also remember reading an erotica story (S Bear Bergman’s piece called “Silver Dollar Afternoon” Best Lesbian Erotica 2006): “I fall in love with her when anyone asks her why she doesn’t wear her beautiful long hair all the way down and she says, with just a hint of coolness: “A woman’s hair is for her husband,” which makes me remember every time she has unpinned her hair for my delighted eyes and even if I’m not quite a husband I still shiver in my blue jeans without fail.” I know there are deep problems with this idea of a husband owning a wife’s hair, but I love the idea of it being so sexual, such a turn on, when a femme lets her hair down, that it’s private, saved for me and me alone.

Dress – or skirt, but something like this flirty hourglass dress from White House Black Market – not necessarily this exact dress (I’m not crazy about the bold pattern, though I can see how it’d work) but this type of shape of skirt, maybe even a little longer, below the knee, not necessarily above. Not necessarily strapless either, I just couldn’t find a good example of what I’m trying to describe other than this one. (Anyone know if there’s a particular name for this kind of skirt?) Layers of skirt are pretty fantastic, too – muse keeps making fun of me for a comment I made, something like, “but oh, it’s nice to be buried in crinoline.”

Shoes – You already know this one: the ribbons around the ankle fucken kill me. They don’t have to be too slutty, as some have told me that shoes like these are – the shoes Missy beautifully modeled are much more subtle and tasteful. (I’ve seen a few girls wearing this type of shoe around lately, but I cannot find them online – any help with links?) Strappy sandals work too. I prefer a couple inches of heels, though honestly, it’s more about how the sole of the shoe – the heel – fits in my hand.

Underneath – bare legs with some of those soft, thin thin thin panties that practically feel like skin, or a garter belt & stockings of any damn variety (preferably without undies). Those panties Belle modeled with the lacing up the back was also particularly impressive, but to tell the truth, aside from a thigh-high stockings of any sort, a garter belt, or freshly shaved bare legs, the details of the lingerie are often lost on me. I prefer simple lines, things that show off the curves of the body. I’m not crazy about bows or lace, but hey, anything can be fun – and everything is so pleasing, by the time we’re at the point where my hands have removed the rest of this lovely outfit.

2. green-eyed girl asks: Is there something that you have really wanted to do sexually but haven’t yet? What is it?

Two things come to mind – tantra, and some of the heavier topping skills. For example, I’d like to learn how to throw a singletail, I’d like to learn how to do play-piercing, I’d like to play (more than I have) with knives.

Both of these things require a longer-term lover who I deeply trust, and honestly, I’ve never actually had someone I could do that with.

3. saintchick asks: Can you please list a new & improved sex music mix? I know that you are dying to update it. Also what perfume is to be worn with above said outfit?

I’ll have to tell you about my updated sexmix from home later, but I off the top of my head: I’ve distinguished between a “sexmix,” which is usually really damn hot songs about sex or which sound like sex (Sexual Animals by Sarah Fimm, that techno French Kiss song, Sexyback – yeah, I said it) and a mix of songs that I want to fuck to, which are often much more subtle, and about crooning voices and excellent rhythm. Right now, my fucking mix technique is a shuffled playlist of many different albums, including Me’Shell N’degeOcello’s Bitter, as much Morphine as I have on my hard drive, and Chris Isaak’s album Heart Shaped World.

I’ll show you my revised sexmix later.

Perfume – I don’t have a specific preference to one scent. Everybody is so distinct, and even the same perfume smells different on two different people. But I do love a signature scent, so whatever you find and like, wear it – every day, continuously, for a long period, like a year at least. Then, eventually, even if you no longer wear that perfume, if I smell that perfume again, it’ll remind me of that time period. I love that creation of sense memory.

I’m not crazy about getting a mouthful of perfume while kissing your neck; not sure if there’s a better place to apply it (behind the ear?) or not – we should ask a perfume expert about this. Some girls do tend to do this more than others – or perhaps their perfume just tastes worse. Sometimes it unfortunately can be quite the buzzkill.

4. leo asked: i have a question about butch identity. you’ve written so eloquently about the concerns you faced in reconciling feminism and your gender identity, and especially about rejecting misogyny as a necessary element of masculinity. but you’ve also written that you wanted to throw up (i think?) when someone first called you butch. was that all about feminism? if not, what other feelings (positive or negative) and concerns have been central to the development of your sense of butch identity/female masculinity? did it frighten you at all, apart from the feminism issue, or was it love at first sight, or some combination?

See ask me anything: about butch identity.

5. Mm asks: How does one (or more appropriately two) keep passion from waning in a long term monogamous relationship? It’s been done, but how?

6. Dosia asks: What would you say is the best way for a girl to approach a hot butch in a bar/at a dyke march/behind the counter in a cafe/in class? How do we make those connections — not just for sex, but for friendship? Hell, it doesn’t have to be specific to butch/femme dynamics, how does it work, this meeting other queer women?

7. Cyn asks: Do you have a day job and what is it? Yes – sadly, Sugarbutch doesn’t support me (yet). I work as a graphic designer at a finance firm in Midtown Manhattan, so I commute into the city with the nine-to-five office crowd, in my almost-blending-in business casual.

Who is your fav band/musical artist? I am a very big Tori Amos fan (at perhaps some points in my past the word “fanatic” may’ve been more appropriate). My top artists (according to Last.fm) are Tori Amos, PJ Harvey, Patty Griffin, Ani Difranco, Morphine, KD Lang, Ingrid Michaelson, Jack Johnson, Joshua Radin, Melissa Ferrick, Imogen Heap, Kinnie Starr, Regina Spektor, Holly Williams, Erin McKeown, the Beatles – and that about covers it. I’m a bit of a music collector, though, and in fact have over 10,000 tracks in my iTunes library recently.

What is your fave dyke/queer blog? I’ve been reading Pure as the Driven Slush by Heather Corinna for years, and have had a crush on her for at least as long. She’s femme, partnered with a guy for the past few years, and completely brilliant. She doesn’t update much anymore but she’s still one of my top queer blogs ever. I aspire to write like Mark Morford’s column (he’s queer, isn’t he? I’m pretty sure. If he’s not, he’s an honorary queer). Those are blogs I’ve been reading for years – more recently, I particularly enjoy Dorothy Surrenders and Lesbian Dad. I don’t read many good gay boy blogs – any recommendations?

Why, as a butch, do you … post butch eye candy on your site? Do you know/believe most of your readers to want/desire butch eye candy? The butch eye candy is, at least in part, about my own ego, because femme readers fawn over the lovely butches, and I breathe a sigh of relief in the validation and desirability of displays female masculinity. Yes, the majority of my readers (or, at least, the majority of the readers who are in contact with me) are femme-identified in some way (perhaps I’ll do a survey one of these days), and they do seem to appreciate the eye candy.

The reasons I started featuring eye candy, though, are specific: there was a particularly nasty thread on New York Craigslist a while back bashing butches – and all masculine-leaning lesbians – and so, posting photos of the butch aesthetic started as a way to celebrate the displays of masculinity. Eye candy got such great feedback, though, that I pursued it, turning it into a regular feature. I especially liked when my straight female audience started emailing me all hot-&-bothered under the collar, saying how hot the eye candy photos are … my response is twofold: “Yes! That’s right!” and also, “Hey wait! There’s not enough butch to go around, we’re for the femmes, dammit.”

8. Duck asks: Could you explain how the remaking of femininity has been “successful?”

Man, these are good questions! I’ll keep working on the answers, didn’t have time to do any writing tonight. Will post these tomorrow.

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6 Comments


  1. i love your thought on hair – i hadn’t thought of it that way, and it’s absolutely sexy.

    also, it’s an A-line skirt (and i think that’s the same thing as a princess skirt)

  2. I am rather hoping you answer number 6.

  3. I recommend Mattilda's blog for a fag blog -

    nobodypasses.blogspot.com

  4. Oh yes, please ‘save yourselves’ for the femmes…we appreciate it.

    In regards to the skirt, A-line is definitely what’s in the picture; the term ‘princess’ is used generally to refer to bodice seaming that goes over the breasts. (A princess bodice frequently goes with an A-line skirt.) Sometimes a skirt will continue these lines, becoming a gored or paneled skirt, which could have the same shape as an A-line but doesn’t have to; it could be a mermaid skirt or a straight, knee-hugging skirt as well. My gf says “oh yes, that’s the ‘dress’ dress, the one that’s imprinted on our psyches as the ultimate in femininity.” Good choice!

  5. Yep A-line it is. Anthropologie.com is where I get my skirts and dresses with an A-Line cut.

    I spray a little perfume on my hair, underneath, right by my neck. This way my gf is not licking perfume when she's kissing my neck but always getting a hint of it. When I briefly switched scents recently, she was not happy, she said, "you don't smell like you." Yep, I went right back. Ralph Lauren Blue is my scent. Clean and subtle but sexy as hell.

  6. I'm with Dosia on you butch womyn saving yourselves for femmes :)

    Thank for your response about butch eye candy, that's really a superb reason for your commitment to keeping us femmes going… and really a great disclosure/response about butch identity.

    Thanks for answering my questions! you're the best, cyn.

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