Posts Tagged ‘necktie’
I’ve posted this before, but it was nearly a year ago and I still get a lot of questions about it, so it’s about time to repost.
It’s a full Windsor knot, the instructions on the video below, and perhaps in some ways it’s not so impressive on the table as it is to do on your neck, but I can’t quite get the full Windsor tie on the neck to come apart as smoothly as the tie trick Windsor does. I can’t quite figure out how to explain this other than to say that the two knots, though they appear similar, are slightly different in their construction, and the narrow-tie-end pulls smoothly out of the trick tie, but the knot has to actually be untied in the version on the neck.
So, if my drunken explanations at parties don’t quite teach you how to do the tie trick, here’s the video, which is much easier to learn by. It took me a few days of trying until I could really do this – it’s great, now that I got it, but it’s not all that easy to pick up. That’s exactly why I love online instructional videos, ’cause I can pause and rewind and pause and replay and do it over + over without any teacher getting exasperated.
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
“This is me (with the glasses) and my girlfriend K.
drinking extra dirty martinis at Dances of Vice in New York City.” – Mirabai
I ran across some photos this week of me and jesse james and georgia from almost exactly six years ago – I remember that night vividly. Aside from georgia’s very grabable curly hair, spaghetti strap tank top, and long string of gin+tonics (that I kept drinking for her), my gang of friends – including jesse james, and Maverick – decided we’d go out “in drag” that night, which meant slacks, button-downs, binding our breasts, ties.
(Interesting how men’s business wear is drag for masculinity, and women’s lingerie is drag for femininity – clearly some cultural values coming through there eh?)
I took many photos that night as we got ready to go – even the preparations were significant, the rituals of masculinity, hair slicked back, knotting and re-knotting my tie. It was one of the first times I wore a tie and packed out in public; in the photos I’m wearing a black shirt, black slacks, and red tie. I’m not even sure where I got that tie, now that I think about it. It just seems like I’ve always owned it. A red tie, solid – my favorite.
Interesting how, then, it was drag, it was rare, it was deliberate performance – I was so self-conscious going out like that, I felt stared at, noticed, in a new way. And I was, particularly by georgia’s attention, the clear lust in her eyes and fingertips as I lit her cigarettes and held her drinks and attempted to kiss her (with little luck – she had a girlfriend back then).
Looking at these photographs from six years ago, though, I catch a glimpse of the gender I grew into – I don’t always recognize myself in photos from that time, but in those … yeah, I think, that’s me.
It took such a long time for me to come to comfortably sit in this butch identity, for me to (if we’ll continue the metaphor) navigate the gender galaxy, and find a comfortable orbit around an identity label. Some of us don’t ever settle into that – some of us are radical little spaceships that explore treasures from all sorts of different worlds and words that we orbit. I guess the trick is, in my opinion, to simply find the routes that are the best to navigate (not necessarily the easiest, but the most satisfying), the orbits where there is plenty of oxygen, the alliances that create treaties and share resources and have excellent adventures.
We basically have to make our own gender galaxy maps. And while some gender mapmaking tools – queer theory, gender theory, postmodern theory, queer literature, smut and the language of lesbian desires – while some tools help immensely, I still couldn’t quite escape the praxis, the application of the theory, because of the ways that the social constraints and social policing affected my own process deeply.
The same friends who went out with me on that infamous red tie night – jesse james & Maverick – were very influential, and I had a lot of criticism about how they performed their own flavors of female masculinity. I don’t remember a lot of discussions about the label/term/identity of ‘butch’ specifically, but we definitely knocked the term around sometimes – mostly I remember saying, “I don’t know. If I’m butch, then am I all these other things that come along with compulsory masculinity – like misogyny?”
I remember one particular time when jesse james and Maverick were joking about attending a community class for and about femmes – identity, privilege, passing, visibility. And they kept speaking of it like it was a place to go pick up chicks – I eventually snapped at them: That’s a special place for femmes! That’s not a convenient pick-up ground! You’re like the boys who heh-heh-heh and sign up for women studies.
[I know it says "women studies" and not "women's studies," and that's deliberate. The apostrophe implies that these studies belong to women, that it is women who study them. When it's women studies, singular, then the implication is that it is the study of women. This is how my undergraduate Women Studies department operated & how I still describe that particular academic discipline.]
I’m not sure if they got it; maybe they did. I quickly gained the reputation as the hard-core feminist of the gang, and jesse james especially loved to push my buttons about it, to get a rise out of me, to make me laugh, to frustrate me with a scenario. They used to tease me endlessly.
But looking back at it, it was an integral part of my gender identity development. Because feminism, and deep respect for women, and deep rejection of the “oppressive male gaze” and gendered hierarchy, came first, I was terrified of objectifying women, of disrespecting women – and, most importantly, of adopting misogyny as part of a masculine identity. And I kept wondering, over and over: If I reject misogyny as part of masculinity, part of “butch,” then what’s left? Masculinity is, in so many ways, simply defined as not-woman; what else does that identity hold? And what does it mean for me to adopt it, to become it, to be it?
My solution, at least temporarily, was that I could look butch – hence the ties and button-downs and packing – but that I would maintain my hard-core feminist values, my inner emotional landscapes, my interests and personality traits. I didn’t know how far I could take this new idea of a masculine gender. For years, my friends & peers would say, “well, yeah, but you’re not really butch.” I didn’t like that, but I didn’t know how to only pick and choose the traits that I wanted, intentionally, within masculinity. I didn’t know it would mean to have be butch in other ways - for example, emotionally.
Even still, this puzzles me. There is something inward about gender, a sort of “gender energy,” internal traits that run through displays of female masculinity – but I still struggle with articulating that. It starts to run into the grey areas of where gender overlaps with personality, and I start feeling cautionary, not wanting gender to dictate things like hobbies and interests.
I’d like to figure this out, though. It’s on my list of Things to Explore Further.
Incidentally, jesse james – formerly known as The Closet Musician here on Sugarbutch – was known as Ice (from Iceman) back then; Maverick and Ice even had flight suits for Halloween one year. Then we had Mitchell, who joined our gang on occasion, and there were the femmes, Pepper (Maverick’s girlfriend and, later, wife) and Lola (who I was madly head-over-heels about). Who knew all those nicknames were such fabulous practice for anonymous writing?
I never had a nickname that stuck, I always wanted one. Perhaps that’s part of why I created Sinclair all these years later.
Donate to RAINN & let ‘em know I sent you – add “GBBMC2008: Mr. Sinclair Sexsmith” in the information box. (Why?)
As I’m sure you can see by the countdown clock in the sidebar, Miss DD is landing in New York City in 1 day, 9 hours, 22 minutes.
I’m, uh, getting nervous. Spent last night readying the apartment, washed the sheets, boiled the cocks (again), organized my closet, did laundry, swept the floors. In fact, the apartment is just about ready. Tonight, I have a long list of errands to run, ranging from 1. get my nose stud properly coiled so it stops falling out of my nose to 14. pick up snacks and breakfasty options at the grocery store.
After work, I’m meeting a friend of mine who I will now call “my stylist” for some outfit help.
Because, see, my boy wardrobe is getting kind of boring. I pretty much wear the same outfit when I’m getting dressed up for a date or for a reading of my work: black slacks, black or red button-down, tie. I guess this varies a little. I have a few sweaters that I occasionally wear on top. I like the peep of a tie through a v-neck.
But I need to spice it up a bit. That’s where my stylist comes in.
So we started talking about my “wardrobe,” and I started wondering about a “basic men’s wardrobe guide” or some such book on men’s style, because that’s what I do, right, when I have a question or a dilemma or a problem I go find a book. Well, perhaps first I google it, then I find a book.
I’m in the gathering-data phase of this wardrobe project, but I will certainly let you know what I uncover.
… this is all to say that Miss DD and I are plannng to go dancing on Sunday night, and I don’t have a thing to wear. I will dust off (and polish) the solid black wingtips, but I’d like to wear something fun, peppy. Suspenders? I can’t seem to find my fedora.
… and this is also all to say that I am avoiding the topic of writing about my nerves, and DD’s visit, because though I am 90% excited and thrilled and in awe and beside myself, I am still 10% terrified. I’m already braced for that inevitable heartache that will happen when I have to take her back to the airport, send her back to Seattle. The reality of loss looming behind all our joyous interactions is such a weight to carry between us. Will we weather it? What are we going to do? How will I fall for someone, date someone, explore someone, from such a distance? It can’t possibly be adequate. It can’t possibly be enough. How do I make it enough? How do we approach this, how can we possibly frame this so that it will work, function, like two real hearts intertwining?
She sent me a photo yesterday of a new paddle with “BOY” cut into it, ready to mark. I got out my ropes and flogger and practiced my ties and aim. Felt good to twirl my wrists. I tightened my bedframe.
And now my head is swimming with the practical questions. What do I wear to pick her up from the airport? Do I pack? Must make a car reservation. Must get the apartment prepared. Do I have eggs? What kind of coffee does she like? (She is from Seattle, after all.) See and then I’m back to the distractions of the practicalities, and I feel a little better.
For Datedyke, because she asked me for this story, with thanks for reading the early draft and commenting things like “Make my character more mean,” “Don’t say thank you,” and “Just take me down,” and for providing the details of her outfit, and picking out my tie. “Swift thrust of cock,” one of my very favorite lines, was written by DD, not me; and DD informs me that “Lea” is pronounced “Lee.”*
“Honey!” Lea calls from the bathroom while she’s doing her hair and makeup. “Which tie are you going to wear?”
I’m dressed, plain black slacks and a black button-down, sitting on her bed, fidgeting with three ties in my fist I know will fit her desired houseboy fare. I bring them to her, gaze at her in the mirror as she applies something to her eyes with a fine brush.
“Either this silver, or this dark purple, or the dark blue with the white dots?” I offer.
“No no. This one.” She turns around fast and points, chooses the silver, the one she bought for me over the holidays. I nod and set the other two on the counter, start to tie the silver one. She glances at me in the mirror, aware that I’m watching her, narrowing her eyes a little, then finishes with the brush, tosses it into her makeup case.
She’s a little annoyed. She doesn’t like it when I watch her get ready. “Hand me those earrings, will you?” I see small diamond studs on the counter and hand them over.
“Not those,” she says. She’s beginning to get stressed. Three of her closest friends will be here any minute. It is my first time as her houseboy for a group.
“Those,” she points again and I see favorite pair of gold hoops. Of course. They match the black heels with the gold trim that she has on with her cocktail dress.
I fetch the earrings and she fastens them to her ears. I attempt to kiss her shoulders, neck, slip my hands around her waist, touch the curves of her hips in her sleek black cocktail dress. She shrugs me off, turns around, kisses me swiftly, dismissively. “Darling,” she says, “You look great. Really. I’m excited for the party.” And then she’s gone, running downstairs to check on the kitchen, fuss over food and drinks.
I sigh at my reflection, take a breath. Check my eyebrows, my teeth, my perfectly messy hair. I’m nervous, but ready for this, excited to be shown off, a trophy boy, look at my tricks. I want to please her. I adjust the dimple in my tie and then my cock under my harness strap.
The Oscars start at four and her friends have one of those pools where they’ve all guessed the winners and someone wins the whole pot. Lea gives me significant glances when the doorbell rings and I take coats to the closet, take drink requests, and practice my sweet “hi, hello” submission as they come in the door. Her friends are dressed up: The Cuban Genius, BB, and the Butch Daddy.
BB giggles at my predicament and hugs me, eyes twinkling, flirtatious, amused. The Butch Daddy eyes me like we’re fags and she’s cruising. I feel myself stiffen and try to relax.
Lea shines, says hello, hugs and smiles and laughter and greetings. She is subtly maneuvering this whole interaction, sparkling in her element; her earrings catch the light, glitter, and her makeup is flawless, soft. Her dress flirts around her knees, off her shoulders.
I serve martinis and cosmos, smiling and making myself as unnoticeable as I can be while I watch her. My attention is tuned fully into her body language, her eye contact, her hands. Not only for her cues at service, but to see her, to observe, to take in. I admire her like this. That external expert persona of hers is so appealing, I see her through her friend’s eyes, strong, poised, capable. I am blessed to see the soft parts, too.
Conversation flows, they catch up on jobs, girlfriends, America’s Next Top Model, the weather for upcoming kayaking, hiking. I try to participate, but Lea keeps interrupting me with glances and gestures every time I sit.
“Boy! More wieners!” she calls while I’m in the kitchen fetching a glass of water for the Butch Daddy, and everyone laughs. She’s been waiting to use that command. I bring the next plate of cocktail wieners onto the coffee table with a bow and a smile, as if I’m in on the joke.
Lea brings one up to her lips and leaves it poised. “Mmm, I love wieners,” she says, winking dramatically. Everyone’s still giggling; BB is giving me suggestive glances, the Cuban Genius mimics Lea’s movement of a wiener to her mouth and gives it a mock blow job, eyes low, looking at the Butch Daddy. I blush and try to laugh, adjust my silver tie nervously.
Lea takes inventory of the living room. “Refill BB’s drink,” she whispers loudly, for everyone to hear, and I take BB’s glass. He gives me a smug flirty smile. I mix his martini like he said, three olives, and I am careful careful careful not to spill in the long walk from the kitchen to the couch, and hand it to BB.
“BB likes his martinis dirtier than that,” Lea hisses at me as I resume my perch on the edge of the chair. “Make it right next time.”
I look to Lea in a glance, apologetically and to see her face, to see what’s under these commands, pleasure or embarrassment, gratitude or heat, but she’s already engaged back in her conversation with the Cuban Genius, laughing about something, talking about someone whose name I don’t recognize, who is that, who are these people I don’t know? She feels me looking at her and glances at me briefly, and for just a fraction of a second I see her features soften with deep appreciation, lust, care.
Then it’s gone; her body languages changes and she holds her near-empty cosmo up at me. “You’ve got another one of these ready, right? I shouldn’t have to even be asking you.”
I duck my head, go back to the kitchen.
A few minutes later she’s calling me, but I don’t recognize the call of “boy” fast enough, don’t hear her for a moment too long. Finally she uses my name: “Sinclair!” And I look up, caught off guard.
She inclines her head quickly to mean, come here, with that look on her face of hard exasperation and displeasure. She’s sitting on the arm of her couch, it makes her feel taller, and I approach. “No, here,” she says as I stop, pointing at the space next to her.
“Take your cock out,” she says.
My Butch/Femme Holiday Gift List is getting out of control. I have four pages of notes in my journal, multiple notepad files with links and images. And I just can’t seem to polish it up enough to finish, and fuck, time is running out.
So, I’m going to pick five.
Gifts for the butch-leaning gal in your life:
|Engraved hidden message collar stays
From Red EnvelopeI’m always losing collar stays in the wash, and these are super sweet, with messages like “You’re so handsome.” Awww.
|Men’s accessories box
From Red EnvelopeBecause we still have watches, leather cuffs, chains, collar stays, rings, pocketwatches, cuff links … so of course, we must have somewhere fabulous to hold it all!
Red Envelope has many other excellent gifts, check em out.
|Ties that Don’t Suck – by Cyberoptix TieLab on EtsyThese ties are so badass. Some of them are kinda spendy, but they’re beautiful, and so high quality.
For someone slightly more punk rock, consider Tomcat Threads for some awesome one-of-a-kind vintage silkscreened ties. I have one of these with a microphone on it, and it’s my favorite tie of all.
Look for somewhat slim, skinny, narrow ties, especially for female-bodied folks who are slender. Cyberoptix has many options in the narrow-tie style.
Via AmazonHandblown glass remake of a classic whiskey tumbler. Perfect for other refined liquors, even if she’s not a bourbon/whiskey/scotch kinda guy. Also consider a flask – even better if it’s engraved with some memorable phrase or image she will love. I wouldn’t recommend something like “to my sweetie, love, me” – it’ll be much more timeless with a personal touch, but not a personalization.
|Tiffany Classic Money Clip
From Tiffany & CoEven if she’s more of a wallet kind of guy, a money clip is a good thing to have in the accessory box … and Tiffany’s engraves. Gorgeous, classic.
Also consider Cufflinks from Tiffany, there are some fantastic classic, plain, smooth sets that would be such a great gift.
Gifts for the femme-leaning gal in your life:
|Perfume BottleI wouldn’t really presume to buy her her favorite perfume, or a new perfume, unless she asks for it (or hints at it!) specifically, but antique perfume bottles are so beautiful on a dresser or vanity, and hold the scents that she picks out.||
|LingerieOh, I know. It’s a tough one. You gotta know her size, and have an idea of what she likes – and what you like. Browse around through Princess Tamtam and Agent Provocateur for inspiring ideas.
(Yes, that’s Maggie Gyllanhall over there, modeling Agent Provocateur lingerie. Many other photos of her at the site.)
|Shoes. Oh my god, shoes.Shoes are another tough one. I can recommend some good sites, but probably not specific shoes: the Red Door Store has a fantastic selection, as does Endless (and, as a sidenote, I really geek out on the navigation and interface for Endless. Gorgeous).
The Red Door Store has lingerie, costumes, and bondage gear, too …
|Vintage Brush & Hand Mirror setThese are kinda hard to find; I bought a set on eBay as a gift for the Unholy ex last year (you may remember that, if you’ve been around. I can’t find the post on it) and I thought it was a brilliant suggestion. The beauty of these items alone, even if they are not used or functional, is such a lovely addition to a vanity or dresser top.|
|JewelryMan, I feel like I’m going with very cliche femme gifts. Perfume, jewelry, shoes, lingerie? Really, Sinclair? Somebody help me out here, leave more suggestions in the comments, please. Good thing I don’t have anybody special to buy for this year.
Meanwhile: I adore this necklace from Janet Jewelry. You can customize some text to go onto it, or choose some excellent phrases that Janet has already made, like “The best revenge is living well” or “whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” Super sexy.
|More Jewelry … rings, this timeRings are loaded, I know, but if you can go for it, these rings from Amy Peters Studio are amazing and lovely. I want a set for myself, someday.It’s a ring set, three rings with different words on each one: Believe Dream Hope Wish / In About For For / Peace Magic Love Happiness. So they make a little sentence as they rotate on your finger.||
I got some great comments from femmes about what they wanted for the holidays, so I’ll direct you over there for some more ideas. The iBuzz vibrator for two was suggested, and one last particular mention comes from a reader via email:
I am a submissive, by choice and nature. And though my butch is quite accomodating, there are some things I can’t even imagine her doing unless asked. Brushing my hair, painting my toenails, wearing a sleeveless tee, baggy jeans with a hint of boxers revealed, and Tims, donning toolbelt, hammering and drilling at my command, sweating and…wait, I’m getting ahead of myself. You get my point. In a nutshell, I want a day of servitude from my butch…anything I want for a whole day.
Sounds like a fabulous gift, to me.
Because I was showing off my tie tying skills, not only at the Pervert’s Saloon Tea Party today, but also at my office holiday party on Friday night, here is the video how-to of tying a tie in ten seconds.
I’m battling illness & going out of town again for the holiday, so I’m behind. More soon.