Posts Tagged ‘butch’

Butch women celebrating their Inner Princesses

December 8, 2008  |  miscellany  |  2 Comments

Inner Princess, three butch women celebrating their inner princesses, is playing a show on December 11 at Sugarland in Brooklyn with Bitch and some other folks. myspace.com/innerprincess or innerprincessmusic.com for clips, photos, and more information.

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Eye Candy: Rachel Maddow, again

October 29, 2008  |  miscellany  |  11 Comments

If I do too many more posts about the bromance I’m having with Rachel Maddow, I’m going to have to put it under aspiring stud … or I’m going to have to rename this blog “Maddow Fans.”

But I can’t resist. There are some new photos from the New York Times Magazine interview, A Pundit in the Country, and I’ve done a bit more of my homework.

First! Two things you should know:

  1. Rachel has “doubled the audience for a cable news channel’s 9 p.m. hour in a matter of days.” This is totally amazing.
  2. If you happen to not be a TV person (I’m not), or can’t seem to get home by 9pm to watch the Maddow Show (I can’t), or primarily watch all your TV via Netflix (I do), or never get to a friend’s house to watch their recorded episodes (I’m too busy drinking prosecco with the Muse to watch TV) – NEVER FEAR! As of today, the MSNBC Rachel Maddow Show is now reproducing the ENTIRE RMS via podcast at Rachel.MSNBC.com.

And now: the butchest interview in the history of butch interviews. An excerpt from the recent New York Times Magazine article:

Always on her: A handkerchief. One of my liabilities as a broadcaster is that I am little teary. Having a handkerchief is handy. My partner, Susan Mikula, buys me cute ones.

Always in fridge: Champagne. I always keep a bottle, because you might need to celebrate at any moment, and a bunch of mustard, because I am a mustard person.

Obsolete item she won’t part with: I have a little stockpile of lawn mowers, some of which it has been years since they worked. But it seems wrong to get rid of lawn mowers, so I keep them.

Clothing item a talk-show host needs: For me, it is sneakers, which I can wear 80 percent of the time, secretly behind the desk. That reminds me who I am, even though I am dressed up like an assistant principal in order to meet the minimum dress code for being on television.

She drives: I have a seven-year-old Ford pickup. Remember, I have to go to the dump.

Hobby: I am a hobbyist bartender. I have a liquor cabinet. I research classic drinks from the golden age of American cocktails and I make them for me and Susan.

Favorite obscure liquor: Rhum agricole. It is rum made from sugar-cane juice rather than molasses. It is freaking awesome.

Hat tip to the femme top, who pointed me toward the following story which describes how Maddow met her partner, Susan Mikula.

And I quote:

Maddow walked into her life after Mikula told mutual friends she needed a “yard boy” to help her manage the demands of a creaky old structure that had stood empty for almost a year as well as the 2 acres of vegetation that were threatening to take over.

“Zing went the heartstrings,” according to both of them, when Maddow, 31, a Rhodes Scholar and gay activist, arrived for the job. Maddow had moved to the area to write her doctoral dissertation comparing AIDS policies in the California and British prison systems, but also needed to earn some money. A year-and-a-half later, on Halloween, she moved in.

-from Weekday Bantering is Balanced by Quiet New England Weekends – February 24, 2005 by Eric Goldscheider

“Yard boy,” huh Rachel? Oh you kinky dawg!

eye candy: the gay prom

September 2, 2008  |  miscellany  |  19 Comments

I’m getting a PhD in political science,
and the time I don’t spend actively fucking with gender
I’m usually in a coffeeshop. – lc

LC also included a couple more shots from a recent gay prom celebration, including a hot shot against a brick wall and dancing with a hot redhead femme.

eye candy: that stare

August 26, 2008  |  miscellany  |  13 Comments

This is my sexy eye candy.
She is great at spoiling and loves to make me feel special. 
Who wouldn’t love to get lost in that stare of hers. – Shelly

(I noticed Shelly has more photos from Kristy’s shoot over at flickr, including the famous butch lean and some sexy shots of sunglasses. Tag your photos with “sugarbutch” on flickr to show off your eye candy!)

eye candy: gloves

August 19, 2008  |  miscellany  |  30 Comments

“Debs is incredibly handsome & strong. She is chivalrous, passionate, brave and loving. She loves life, riding her motor bike and pinning me down! Lucky me! What a woman!” – Rose

(Rose sent a second photo, too, with a better shot of the bike. I’ve got serious motorcycle envy here.)

eye candy: standing around

August 12, 2008  |  miscellany  |  10 Comments

I ran into this shot of Jenni from butch.org recently, and she kindly gave permission for me to reprint it here.

The caption read: “What Do I Do at Frameline32? I stand around outside the theater just waiting to see who I will run into (pictured here at the Victoria this past Sunday night before the Transtastic program). Sometimes I even go inside and watch the movies.”

And here’s a bit about Jenni: Jenni Olson is one of the world’s leading experts on LGBT cinema history. Author of The Queer Movie Poster Book (2005, Chronicle Books), Jenni founded PopcornQ at PlanetOut.com back in 1995 and continues to write about and actually make queer film. Her feature debut, The Joy of Life is now available on DVD.

Define: Transmasculine

August 11, 2008  |  essays  |  15 Comments

I’ve been adopting the word “transmasculine” to use to describe, generally, folks who were assigned female at birth who are male-identified, masculine, and/or masculinely presenting, in some way. I tend to stumble over this in these writings here – “butches and other masculine-identified females” or “butches and trans guys and bois and other girls who are boyish,” et cetera – and ugh, it gets messy to describe it that way.

So let’s start using the term “transmasculine,” okay?

I’ve been hearing it knocked around in the gender/queer communities more and more lately, but it’s from the TransMasculine Community Network that I am adopting this definition:

Transmasculine refers to any person who was assigned female at birth but feels this is an incomplete or incorrect description of their gender.

That’s quite broad – considering the “masculine” element in the word, I would probably say it’s more used as in, “an incomplete or incorrect description of their gender and they have some leanings toward the masculinity areas of the gender galaxy,” but in some ways I do like how inclusive their definition is. Regardless, I tend to use it to mean those of us butches, bois, trans guys, faggy femmes, and all sorts of other genderqueers. I’ve found myself using it in a few different articles I’m working on, so I wanted to be sure to introduce a definition.

I imagine the idea of butch as a trans identity is not so hard to grasp, and I’ve written about femme as a trans identity. The inclusion of the word “trans” as part of it feels touchy to me, because while I do agree that “trans” could – and probably should – be used as a great umbrella term for many gender descriptions, it also calls to mind for many an adherence to a strict gender binary – that if you are masculine, and female bodied, that you must be “actually” trans, not butch or masculinely female, as those spaces sometimes feel discounted. But that’s not how I intend to use it here.

Actually, I think I used to use “butch” in this way – as a catch-all phrase for anyone born female who leans toward masculine performance. But as my gender studies have gone on, I’ve come to accept and use a concept like transmasculine (for which I hadn’t had a term until now) as much more accurate, as I see “butch” as actually a very specific sub-set of being transmasculine. For me, butch is very much tied together with chivalry, a classic style of masculinity, feminism, and a sort of romance.

I of course think people should define these terms for themselves, but the more I do get involved in the genderqueer/transmasculine discussions, the more I see commonalities in those of us who identify as butch, and I see why some bois or other transmasculine folks don’t necessarily see that as their identity. I think in the past I’ve been much more inclined to say things like, “there is room for you in ‘butch’!” And it’s not that I take that back – certainly, if your lips tingle a little at the idea of calling yourself butch and claiming a butch identity, there is room for you in that identity and I think you should go for it, try it on, see if you like it, if it fits – but I’m seeing the ways that butch is actually more specific than I used to think it was.

Fascinating, how these things evolve. There’s so much to still create and discover and uncover and remake and expose about how gender works, what it means, our relationship to it. Man, I love this work.

eye candy: Dani

August 6, 2008  |  miscellany  |  17 Comments


(click for the full size)

“Dani loves forensics, hip hop and rock, her animals, coffee, fishing, being choked and boobs. She gets called ‘sir’ at the coffeeshop when she holds the door, looks at me, and throws horns.”

Clockwise from top right:
“1. Reading “Butch Is a Noun” and learning that there are others. 2. Butch dyke with a cigar hanging out of her mouth? Yesplz. But it’s more the eyes. 3. Her son’s name on her hand, holding onto the knife, the boxers, the rainbow. The picture took itself. 4. One of my favourite photos of her.”

- photos by Alisha, she who photographs

eye candy: noir

July 29, 2008  |  miscellany  |  7 Comments

My very own kinky queer butch top, Ferret.
She likes cigars, corsetry (on me), and being called Sir.
- Lemur

telling her what to wear

July 28, 2008  |  essays  |  15 Comments

I have in the past thought it kind of funny that girls would ask me to tell them what to wear. My feminist/analytical brain would pipe in with interpretations of beauty, insecurity, self-worth – but I really don’t see it that way anymore.

I see it as part of the larger conversation of gender as a fetish, as a performance, as a subversive display of sexualized gender presentation. And I see it as a very specific toppy/bottomy play, more specifically butchtop/femmebottom play.

It has also at times made me uncomfortable when girls wear things – or buy things – specifically for my tastes. I do have a couple particular enjoyments when it comes to femme clothes & shoes, and it is quite a gift when girls work to dress up for me.

I’m not sure why it’s hard to accept. Possibly because it’s hard for me to accept gifts in general, that giving is easier for me than receiving (I am resisting the connection here to my top identity, though I’m sure you already went there). Possibly also it is hard for my desires, and for me, to really be seen, heard, witnessed, acknowledged, because if I never let you know what I really want, you can never withhold it from me.

But my heart is more open than that old wound and lesson, generally. I like to practice revealing myself. I like to practice being vulnerable, I do find great strength and connection there.

And lately, I’ve had much better language, palette, for my particular desires. This website has helped that tremendously, as has playing with multiple girls over the past two years. I’ve been actually trying to notice and articulate when I find myself aroused into a state of desire; to be mindful of when my internal butch cock stirs and to ask why, to take note of the answer.

So when a girl asks me what kind of femininity display I like, I try to tell her. I explain – without pressure or expectation – what really does it for me, what gets me going, turns my crank. Underlying this conversation is also both of our acknowledgment that femininity – and indeed masculinity – is performed for the purpose of attracting and turning on your partner/lover/date.

And taking it a step farther by telling her what to wear is a step saying, this is how to turn me on. This is how to drive me wild all night. This is how our clothes are tools for flirting, this is how gender is subtle cues and clues and a language for sexuality.

It is a top/bottom game, if looked at this way, and I see it as very empowering to a bottom (you know, assuming being told what to wear is a game she likes playing, and doesn’t feel like it is controlling or patronizing or condescending behavior).

So, where is a bottom’s power? At least in these two places: 1) in enticing desire, and 2) to (actively) giving her power over to her top. In enticing desire, she turns on her top to the point of excruciation, to the point of bottomless desire and power. And when she gives over of her power, she places her power on a silver platter and presents it to her lover on her knees.

(This is why power play is deliberate: the bottom gives her power to the top, the top does not take it without permission. Unless, you know, that’s part of the scene, in which case there is still some sort of underlying permission, some level of giving freely.)

So: I (as a butch top) tell you (as a femme bottom) what to wear on our date (a short skirt, bare legs, strappy sandals, something white). You give power to me by giving up your own choice in what you wear, by obeying a request of mine (something that always turns me on), and by wearing something enticing that follows an aesthetic I particularly enjoy.

This is perhaps where power and surrender for the top and/or bottom gets blurred. Who has the power here? She does – the bottom – because all night I am uncomfortable and turned on because I got what I wanted, writhing at the sight of her in those lovely clothes, turned on by our gender and power foreplay. And then comes a turning point in the night where I stop feeling so reactive and (have to) surrender to the power she’s giving me, to the power and sexual energy I feel building. I give over to it, let it flow through me, let this be a way to tap into my particular well of it.

I love these kinds of power exchanges. I love the push-pull, giving in, giving back, empowering each other to feel sexy, desired, wanted, powerful, beautiful.

[ What I'm really trying to say here is: I have a blind date with a girl who sent me a wonderful photo of her in strappy sandals, and this was my complicated reaction. ]