Top Hot Butches of 2009: Help!

The 2009 AfterEllen Hot 100 list was announced on May 11th – it’s “the sexiest women according to women” (as opposed to other hot lists, which are picked by men). I kinda enjoy this list, I’ve followed AE’s lists in the past few years, but this year especially I looked through it thinking, where are all the butches?

Seriously, in this, 2009, The Year Of Dr. Rachel Maddow’s Serious Badassness, there are only … what, 6? (at best) genderqueer, andro, or masculine women included in the list of 100 hot women.

This year, unlike other years, AE also put out some supplemental lists of Out Women, Women of Color, and Women Over 40. Aw, isn’t that nice – they’re at least recognizing that this Hot 100 Chosen By Women List is completely lacking in women who are publically out, not white, and not young. And yet … still no acknowledgment that, according to this list, sexy women are feminine.

If there’s anything I’ve learned from running Sugarbutch for three years, it’s that there are a whole lot of y’all out there who think butches and genderqueerness and masculinity on women is hot.

So, let me introduce to you: the 2009 Sugarbutch Top Hot Butches list.

Here’s how it’s going to work:

  1. Leave a comment nominating a genderqueer, andro, masculine, or butch woman who did something awesome in 2009 (or late 2008). Like the other top hot lists, this list will lean more toward celebrities and folks who are somehow in the public sphere. Linking to a hot photo of her or to an article about her would be a bonus. NOTE: these women do not have to identify as butch, but should be at least somewhat masculine, androgynous, or genderqueer in appearance. It would be best if she was out, but that won’t ban her from the list.
  2. A panel of judges will determine the order of hotness. (I know, other hot lists are chosen by voting, but I am not able to compile and coordinate and count votes, so this is the best way to do it.) The panel will include a couple self-identified butches, some femmes who love butches, and a few genderqueer folks who love butches too. I’ll announce the judges soon.  The list will be judged by sexiness primarily, but other factors include: impact on society, major accomplishments, queer community work, etc. If you’ve got other suggestions for how we should determine a) who should be on this list or b) how we should determine the order, leave that in the comments too.
  3. The list will be posted on Sugarbutch in June for all your swooning butch-love attention.

So, tell me – who are the hottest butches in 2009?

Published by Sinclair Sexsmith

Sinclair Sexsmith is "the best-known butch erotica writer whose kinky, groundbreaking stories have turned on countless queer women" (AfterEllen), who "is in all the books, wins all the awards, speaks at all the panels and readings, knows all the stuff, and writes for all the places" (Autostraddle). ​Their short story collection, Sweet & Rough: Queer Kink Erotica, was a 2016 finalist for the Lambda Literary Award. They identify as a white non-binary butch dominant, a survivor, and an introvert, and use the pronouns they, them, theirs, themself. Follow all their personal writings and all the updates through

53 thoughts on “Top Hot Butches of 2009: Help!”

  1. royaroo says:

    Julie Goldman.

    Also, THANK YOU for doing this list. I've been thinking the same thing for the past couple of Hot 100 lists

  2. undercover punk says:

    MARY BONAUTO rocks my world. She's butch enough, right? I think so. She argued the Goodrich case in Massachusetts (gay marriage) and the Baker case in Vermont that granted civil unions back in 99.

    Can't WAIT for the results in June! Thanks, Sugarbutch!

    On March 3, 2009, GLAD, with Mary Bonauto acting as lead attorney, opened the first salvo in the battle to overturn the federal Defense of Marriage Act. In particular, GLAD is challenging Section 3 of the law, which denies federal benefits to married same-sex couples. []


  3. Shereen Samuels says:

    Dani Campbell, good god. Don't know if she fits the timeframe requirements, since I don't have a tv, but so. hot.

    As is this site, btw.

  4. Shereen Samuels says:

    Ooh. And Meshell NdegeOcello. More andro than full-on butch, but my butch-lovin' wife goes absolutely weak at the knees for her.

    Also – I'm Canadian – Chantal Hebert is a bit like the Canadian version of Rachel Maddow, only way more butch. And Francophone. She's on the Canadian version of PBS, which is CBC, on a weekly political roundup. My wife also hearts her; this is my acid test for butch hotness.

  5. Becky says:

    Um, probably goes without saying, but Dr. Maddow HAS to be on this list. Also I'd nominate Ellen, but I dunno how much she counts as butch. Also definitely going to second Dani Campbell. Adding Michelle Wolff (Mango Kiss, Dante's Cove, etc.)

  6. Jess says:

    How about some women of size? Fat butches are just as sexy as Fat femmes!!!

    [ Hell yeah! Got any to suggest? – ss ]

  7. Miss Ida says:


    I have 2 votes. One for Lea Delaria & one for Julie Goldman. In 2009 they were both very funny and very attractive ;)

  8. Katerina says:

    Was definitely going to nominate Chris Pureka, but was beaten to it! She is so hot.

    Lyndell Montgomery, who plays fiddle & recently toured with Chris Pureka. It was a swoon worthy moment for me.

  9. Omster says:

    How about Janel McCarville? Ok, all you non-East Coast or non-WNBA-fan folks may not know who she is, and she may not be out, but I present the following hotness as evidence of why I think she should be nominated:

    I've been following her since her NCAA days, and she has gotten only more deliciously short-haired, visibly-tattooed, and ripped. Yum.

  10. jnbklyn says:

    and i meant to add, what a great (and clearly needed) idea sinclair!

  11. miss chatelaine says:

    I don't usually post, but I had to this time! I'll nominate Maddow obviously, but also k.d. lang and Amy Ray. I saw the latter two live, and my knees went wobbly and I didn't stop smiling for about a week. and I have to add Judith Halberstam, my huge academic crush.

    And what, no nomination for our one and only Sugarbutch?

  12. alisha says:




    oh goodness, yes.

  13. black and blue says:

    Christine Marinoni for being publicly scrutinized
    of course Rachel Maddow
    and I have to vote for Chantal Hebert now that I know about her..

  14. MsF says:

    Ok, I’m an academic nerd, so how about some academic nerds? Most are Anthropologists, which is super hot, write?
    Gayle Rubin:
    This picture is …. wow…..
    She wrote “Traffic in Women” and “Thinking Sex,” which totally changed the lives of nerds like me.
    Lochlann Jain
    Out, hot, wrote a fabulous article about Butchness and breast cancer called “Cancer Butch”
    Oh, and non-academic stuff:
    Rapper katastrophe (Rocco Kayiatos)
    More coming…….So much to think about!

  15. Gold says:

    So, I didn't read the comments or the list so I don't know if they've already been mentioned, sorry…

    Deak Evgenikos. An actor who was the only redeeming thing about Itty Bitty Titty Committee (sorry, Babbit, I still love you). I think she's also in one of the She Likes Girls movies. As to whether she personally identifies as butch or not, I don't know, but goddamn is she hot.

    Speaking of Jamie Babbit, how about Andrea Sperling? She's Babbit's partner, and a film producer who's been involved in most of the more mainstream lesbian films produced in the last ten years.

    Alison Bechdel. Of course. You might know she's a brilliant writer, but what you might not know is that she has the most stunning blue eyes ever. I tried to talk to her at a signing once and just couldn't even manage to speak coherent English.

    Last but not least, all the butches involved with the porn industry. Nan Kinney for a classic, and maybe Shine Louise Houston (who knows how she identifies, but she's hardly femme). Jiz Lee and all of her playmates as well…

  16. Jo says:

    well, Maddow and Pureka were my first thoughts

    but I also want to add Ellis. Folk singer-songwriter, and look at those gorgeous eyes:
    Her website (which that picture is from):

    My pretty-sure-she's-straight best friend introduced me to her, describing her as the one woman she'd go queer for (Angelina Jolie? Nuh-uh).

  17. lady brett says:

    i absolutely second toshi regan and chris pureka (not that almost all of these aren't great nominations)

    and on the subject of music nerd – i nominate mary gauthier! hell, i'd nominate just her voice for top hot butch, but there's also, y'know, everything else =)

    and tracy chapman

    also, jane lynch

    i'm a bit out of the culture loop, so i've no idea if the last two are gay, but i'd certainly call them butch (oh, and hot)!

  18. riotfemme says:

    Oh yay! So glad you're doing this, Sinclair. Every year i vote in the AfterEllen Hot 100 and every year I am frustrated by the results. So, my nominations would be:

    * Rachel Maddow

    * kd lang

    * Ivan Coyote

    * Lucas Silveira (ok, transman and not butch, but god, how could I not include him?)

    * Cindy Wonderful –
    * Hannah Blilie –
    * Amy Ray

    * Cheryl Dunye

    * JD Samson

    * Kate Moennig (oh yes)

    I also have two furiously hot but totally unknown butches in my life and they always top my list.

  19. runningawaywiththesp says:

    My M, the Maddow, you Sinclair, and Pureka. Pureka is really hot in an understated academic way (I met her once when she worked in a lab), nice to see her getting votes…I am also crushed out on Dana Owen and Donna Brazile, I don't know that they count as out butches, but damn, they are both have intense sexy butch attitude.

  20. Alexandra says:

    Deak Evgenikos!!! She was SO incredibly hot in 'Itty Bitty Titty Committee'… And apparently has a bit part in the upcoming Taking of Pelham 123. :)

  21. fran says:

    JD Samson

    Julie Goldman

  22. Catherine says:

    Lianna Carrera

  23. Jenny says:

    Alison Bechdel and Rachel Maddow for sure. JD Sampson, yes, but where has she been lately?

  24. Sunny says:

    Tracy Chapman is 100% gay – and gorgeously butch – but I'm not sure if she's out.

  25. Robin Gordon says:

    Dyke radio host Deb Pearce works the microphone on Toronto's ProudFM lgbt radio station, and has been a local hot and funny butch about town for over a decade. Always out, proud and cute as a button she's done standup, drag king, and hosted almost every local queer event at some point.

    Since humour is always sexy, and a slightly older butch is too, I also suggest Kate Clinton.

    Although I wish she would tone down the glam sometimes and embrace a look that better suits that delicious growly butch voice and face, Melissa Etheridge is endlessly sexy to me and just inherently butch.

    Big claps for previous canadian nominees as well, Ivan Coyote and Chantal Hebert (sources tell me she's straight but I don't want to believe it and she is so stubborn not made up on television and articulate with a great accent so I agree we are adopting her).

    And finally, awkwardly, how can we forget you Sinclair? What list would be complete without the original Sugarbutch. :)

  26. Amy says:

    GREAT idea – I totally agree that the list was definitely lacking in butch women.

    I nominated ANDREA GIBSON! She's an extremely talented, sexy, intelligent slam poet. Search her on YouTube and you will instantly fall in love with her.

  27. Cand86 says:

    I'm not sure where the line gets drawn between mainstream media and pornographic media, but heck, the former is so saturated with the latter that there's really a lot of grey area, so I'm totally nominating Jiz Lee and Syd Blakovich (their noms de porno, as it were).

    They both have been incredibly active in their queer communities where queer intersects with porn and sex education, and I think they should get a vote simply because they have had a HUGE impact on society by bringing butch into mainstream erotica- this year, both starred with mainstream performer Belladonna, and have made appearances at the fairly mainstream (Jiz stirring up quite a ruckus over her hairy legs and pits, which she chose not to shave, so as to not "femme it up" for the cameras). And they continue to work on and expand the amount of lesbian porn for lesbians (with butches/bois/genderqueers!) that is available. I just think people- queer and non-queer alike- are starting to take notice of genderqueers because of them, and that's really awesome to me. Not to mention how fucking hot they are!

    And as for someone a bit more well-known, I'd also nominate AJ of Youtube "Tuna Talk" fame- she's like the lesbian Chris Crocker, only with less eyeliner and drama :) But seriously- she's made tons of videos discussing things of a GLBT nature, especially those that deal with butch issues, and she does it in a way that's humorous, intelligent, and professional- real great representation for butches on Youtube, which doesn't have many at all. Plus she's a little hottie! I don't know if she'll qualify, since she hasn't been all that active in 2009, but I hope she can get some recognition!

  28. Justyn Ashley says:

    Kate Moennig:

    "When asked if playing a lesbian might change people's perceptions of homosexuality, Kate Moennig replied in Girlfriends Magazine: 'I certainly hope so, I mean, considering the day and age that we're in, and all the crap that we deal with. Even if people aren't initially open to it, i would hope this would give them some insight, help them to realize that love is love, you know?'"

  29. Cand86 says:

    Oh yeah, and most definitely Samantha Ronson- an eensy bit for speaking out against hate crimes, but mostly for simply bringing a little butch visibility to the media for dating Lindsay- showing that butches can be and are sexy and desirable, and also perhaps for giving us a taste of butch fashion, the realization that boyish girls don't have to be sloppy dressers but can really rock the look. Sam has definitely been in the public eye lately, so I think that wins her some points for getting people talking.

    Same goes for Christine Marioni, for bringing butch desirability (and the reality of butch/femme) into the public eye via her relationship with Cynthia Nixon- Lord knows I've seen enough ridiculous articles and threads along the lines of "WTF? She's dating her?", so it's definitely gotten into the mainstream and made people talk.

  30. Thanks! says:

    Thank-you, thank-you, thank-you!! When I read so many queer sites, such as afterellen, I feel so invisible!! Every post seems to be in lusty praise of a feminine celebrity, who are beautiful and sexy, but the focus is so redundant with straight focused websites (with the exception of perhaps a greater inclusion of older femme women and femme women of color). As a femme who who mostly dates gender queer/butch lesbians, I already feel invisible in lesbian bars, where based on the attention I receive, I feel as though I am "lesser" or not as "good as" than androgynous ladies. Ironically in the gay community I often hear the traditionally masculine men are the most prized/respected,with feminine men being "less desirable" (this is based on anecdotes from friends, so feel free to completely contradict this), but within the lesbian community it seems likewise–that more "masculine" women are more respected compared with "feminine" women (likewise ONLY anecdotally based on my femme friends' and I's observations), with the exception of the media where it the opposite, including many queer websites, where almost exclusively traditionally beautiful women are discussed and objectified. Anyways, that's my main contribution, since the women I have to nominate already have been: Chris Pureka, Jenny Shimizu, Clea DuVall (in But I'm a Cheerleader), Michelle Rodriguez, Pink (these last two however, are self-identified straight but are always accused of being gay because of their lack of complete gender compliance, so I would almost feel bad putting them on such a list and perpetuating these gender expectations), Daniela Sea, Shane from the L-Word (blanking on her real name), the trans character in Itty Bitty Titty Committee (sorry again for the lack of real name)…and sadly that's all I can think of off the top of my head…Thanks again however!!

  31. Thanks! says:

    Oh of course, Samantha Ronson!

  32. zoe says:

    oh man, I didn't read the "something significant in 2009" part until after I posted. ignore my two dead nominations :)

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