Archive for August, 2013

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August 30, 2013  |  journal entries  |  Enter your password to view comments.

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Ask Mr. Sexsmith Anything: What words compliment a butch lover?

August 29, 2013  |  advice  |  5 Comments

coaching-buttonDear Mr. Sexsmith,

My butch lover refers to me as gorgeous, luscious, beautiful… [but] I just don’t think those kind of descriptive words work for her. What would you suggest? Thanks!

— Sho

Dear Sho,

My personal favorites?

Handsome.
Strong.
Sexy.
Gorgeous.
Hunky.
Powerful.

Some more ideas?

Striking. Charming. Dazzling. Gentleman. Stud(ly). Rough. Tough. Hero(ic). Attractive. Big.

And, do delve a little deeper:

I don’t think there’s anything wrong with calling someone masculine gorgeous or beautiful or any of those words. (I don’t know if I’d use “luscious” … not sure what it is exactly, maybe it implies curviness to me, and it wouldn’t resonate if someone used that for me. But I can think of some very luscious butches who would probably like that word used to describe them, so don’t take my preference as the norm.) I think we separate complimentary words by gender, and while many people have certain resonances with certain words regardless of their gender identity—and I think those should be respected, and it doesn’t really matter if the words someone likes happen to all fall in one generally gendered category or not—I think it’s good to take a look at why some of them resonate over others, and whether that’s personal preference or cultural habit.

I remember reading somewhere that “men want to be powerful, women want to be beautiful,” and while I think there’s some heteronormative/patriarchal/misogynistic deconstruction that should probably happen around that idea, I also think it is largely true and reproduced in this culture. And, I think we tend to compliment along those lines when we’re talking about complimenting someone feminine verses complimenting someone masculine. So first of all, women are powerful and beautiful, men are beautiful and powerful, genderqueer and trans and butch and femme folks are powerful and beautiful, and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with being both. In fact, I think it’s a radical act a) to recognize that our gender roles operate by trying to keep men striving for power and women striving for beauty, which reinforces the kyriarchy, and b) to intentionally break those gender roles by complimenting people for the incredible, sparkly, dazzling things that we notice them doing, by which we are touched and changed.

I think this topic of complimentary words warrants a fascinating conversation between partners. E.g., “Hey, when I use words like attractive and sexy and beautiful when I describe you, do you like that? What kinds of words do you like to be called? Are there words that I call you that sometimes bug you? Isn’t it interesting that certain words are reserved for femininity and others for masculinity? Would it feel strange if I called you pretty/strong/luscious/my hero?”

Brainstorm. Make a list. Do some google searches. Ask around to your friends next time you’re out and about and see what kind of lists they make of compliments for their girlfriends/boifriends/partners. Go back to your partner and try out some of those words, see what the response is. Maybe they just don’t like their body to be talked about or commented upon, even if you are in awe of their gorgeousness and want to tell them so every day. Maybe they like certain words to be used and they just don’t know why, but it makes more sense and resonates deeper. That’s okay. Listen to each other.

I like to use words that have the intended effect, and if I intend one thing and they take it another way, it isn’t actually effective, even if I intend it to be so. And regardless of gender identity, I like to call people what they want to be called.

Would y’all like to weigh in on other complimentary words for butches (or for anyone, for that matter)? What words do you call your butch lover? What words have you found that butches like to be called? What compliments stick?

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August 29, 2013  |  journal entries  |  Enter your password to view comments.

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August 28, 2013  |  journal entries  |  Enter your password to view comments.

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The end of the great northern road trip (aka the end of last month in photos)

August 27, 2013  |  journal entries  |  3 Comments

This week in pictures
The last thing we packed up: Mom’s rhubarb-raspberry crumble.


The ferry; our early morning departure from Juneau.

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After sleeping on the ferry, we get on the road. Moonscape + roads near Skagway.

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Then we got to the Yukon, and got a flat tire. Camped for the night and headed on to the junction the next morning … | Where we got the tire patched. Nothing around for miles.

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Stopped for some of the sights. This is the signpost forest in mid-BC

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Saw some herds of bison!

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Baby bison! | Scenery. Seriously. The road just went on and on and on.

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Just … beautiful.

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Oh BC.

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Camped at Laird Hot Springs.

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The path to the hot springs | hot springs!

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QUINTESSENTIAL ROAD TRIP PHOTO (it’s a smushed bug, for the record, not bird poop. An epicly big bug.)

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The driving-to-Alaska bible, aka The Milepost | Mile by mile

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Yellow

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Train

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Women/men? Rest stop bathroom in southern British Columbia, Canada

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I took this just to show you, to make that random reference in My Father’s Son make more sense.

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breakfast. every. day.

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We didn’t miss the entire berry season! The boy was sooo happy.

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blueberries (by the handful!) | blackberries | loganberries

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nom nom blueberries | “ohh I don’t feel so good.” | blueberry tummyache!

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Hurricane Ridge in the Olympic National Park

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Olympic National Park campsite in Heart O’the Hills, my favorite campsite on the trip. The trees were so huge.

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Hammocks are the best | Gourmet camp cooking

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Old growth, so beautiful | “Four legged frolic” came up as a word in dirty pictionary (also called Pervartistry). I mean who calls it a four-legged frolic? Well, shit, I’m going to now, that’s for sure. Also, note rife’s drawing skills.

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Best breakfast ever! With my good buddy Dr. G in Sequim before we got on the road to Oregon | Arriving in our Oregon hotel, first thing I did was unpack the toys. A real bed! Luxury!

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Tree in Oregon farmland

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us, somewhere | wine tasting in about four different Oregon vineyards

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Sunset while arriving in the Bay Area | Realizing this was the first time I’ve driven after dark in more than six weeks

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August 27, 2013  |  journal entries  |  Enter your password to view comments.

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August 26, 2013  |  journal entries  |  Enter your password to view comments.

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Late July in photos: Albuquerque & Jemez travels

August 22, 2013  |  journal entries  |  1 Comment

My late July ten-day trip to Albuquerque and the Jemez Valley in order to go on an advanced retreat was fantastic. I could add thousands of words, but I’ll let these photos speak for themselves.

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Review: Jam Body Tank, aka Compression Tank, aka Faux-Binder

August 21, 2013  |  on butches, reviews  |  5 Comments

jamrws01-tank_1Rounderwear contacted me offering products for review, and while their bubble-butt gay boy underwear is pretty cute, I wasn’t sure it was for me exactly. Then, the Body Tank sections caught my eye, and I requested to take a look at the Jam Body Tank.

Glad I did. I’ve worn it frequently since it arrived.

I really don’t like full-on compression shirts. They make it hard for me to breathe. They knock the wind outta me after walking a block or two, or up one flight of stairs. They shove my chest up into my collarbone and sometimes make me feel like my neck isn’t free enough, like I’m suffocating. They make my stomach feel all weird (and some other digestion things you probably don’t want to know about). I don’t like the feeling of wearing one.

I sure do like how my silhouette looks when I do, however.

So, I picked up a “muscle shirt” a while ago, which is basically a regular tee shirt on top and then an elastic band that covers the stomach, and I wear that over my usual binder (aka sports bra—my current pick being Enell) when I want to have a smoother silhouette, or when I want to wear a button-down. It’s not as intense as my compression shirt, but it still makes a difference.

This Jam Body Tank is a lot like that, except instead of being half-shirt half-elastic, it’s all elastic. It’s a lot more comfortable than a compression shirt, but it’s not quite as effective. It doesn’t create the same straight(er) lines that a compression shirt does, but it does still help, AND I can breathe! Yes!

Here’s the description from the Rounderwear site:

Seamless compression tank that provides back support and definition to the muscles. Its detailed design and construction help pull back the shoulders, straighten the back and slim down the waist.

92% Polyamide Sorbtek 8% Elastane

• Improves shape and posture
• Slims down
• Reduces back pain
• Controls body temperature
• Machine wash

I don’t feel it pulling back the shoulders or straightening my back, but maybe I already have good posture? Kind of doubt it, since I’ve got a long history of shoulder trouble. I also haven’t noticed any sort of “body temperature” control, but maybe it knows something I don’t.

What does seem to be true is that it “provides support” and “improves shape” and “slims down.” Basically, it’s Spanx for men. And butches, and whomever might want to slim down their curves into a more linear shape.

I’m very glad to have something other than that compression shirt to wear to “slim down” my shape and make it a bit more masculine, especially for long conference days like I had this past weekend. Wearing the compression shirt for a whole day (or two or four days in a row) is hard on my body. I’m glad for the chance to review it, I didn’t realize products like these are out there and I’m going to keep an eye out for more like this.