identity politics

What do you call your butch?

Specifically, when she’s a top, what do you call her in bed? Sir? Daddy? Master? Boi? If she’s a bottom, what do you call her?

What do you call your butch in more casual flirtation? Slick? Handsome? Cowboy?

If you are butch: what do you like to be called? What greeting makes your knees weak, or makes you feel like king of the world?

I’m sure there are others, but these spring to mind. There are so many cute pet names for a romantic partner, but when playing intentionally with gender in a relationship, sometimes “baby” or “honey” or “sweetie” or “darling” are too feminine.

So: how do you address someone masculine in a pet-name kind of way? And why?

Published by Sinclair Sexsmith

Sinclair Sexsmith (they/them) is "the best-known butch erotica writer whose kinky, groundbreaking stories have turned on countless queers" (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 a Lambda Literary Award, and they are the current editor of the Best Lesbian Erotica series. They identify as a white non-binary butch dominant, a survivor, and an introvert, and they live outside Seattle as an uninvited settler on traditional, ancestral, & unceded Snoqualmie land.

37 thoughts on “What do you call your butch?”

  1. Scarlet says:


    But I call many people of all genders that. Good lookin', sometimes.

  2. 'Sir' in the bedroom and handsome, husbutch and 'H' out of it :-) fimg x

  3. Holden says:

    And I like to be called ‘Sir’ in the bedroom and handsome, husbutch and ‘H’ out of it. (I am particularly fond of husbutch – that gives me the "king of the world" feeling)

  4. Jess says:

    I like it when she calls me baby. I know plenty of straight guys who are called baby by their wives. :)

    My favorite is when she calls me Papa, and of course Daddy and Handsome.

    My heart melts.

  5. leo says:

    I'm fine with baby & sweetie. I don't really like honey or darling (for myself! Honey Darling the blogger is lovely!) but not for gendered reasons, I think.

    We don't have bedroom-specific names though we joke that she calls me God there (as in Oh! my! God!).

    Recently she's started calling me the Big Bossman. I'm really getting to like that one, I have to admit. It might not even be a joke anymore. ;)

  6. Frau Zee says:

    I admit, I like having somebody's name to scream when I come so that's usually what I do.

    I use a lot more pet names in flirting. I think my favourites to use are handsome, cowboy, stranger – such as "Hey stranger" – but I seem to use mister a lot. "Hey mister" "Watch your hands, mister." "You've got a great dick, mister." I think I like it because I feel respectful but not submissive. I'm not good at submitting, in spite of how much I love to bottom.

  7. Casey says:

    I call my partner sweetie, honey, baby, and sometimes other mushy stuff like that. I call my top Sir or Mister most of the time, but sometimes I call him sweetie or baby in tender moments. I use male pronouns with both of them.

  8. Casey says:

    Also, I call my partner Daddy sometimes… but usually not in bed.

  9. she's a top & she said she likes when I call her Stud, Handsome, Slick and when I actually call her "Butch".. she also likes when I use "boi" because I've told her when I say it, there's an "I". :) I also call her "Grump", so she likes that, too.

    in bed, she likes her name..

    "or anything.. I like anything."

    easy to please.. ;)

  10. rm says:

    Well, "sir," just rocks my world and not even in a kink context. Less in a kink context, really, that's just so expected.

    Mostly it's various iterations of baby though. Sometimes it's "handsome baby" when that's the appropriate context and sometimes it's really silly nicknames that are very 12-year-old boy-ish — i.e., I am her carnivorous dinosaur.

  11. Kissiah says:

    Sir or Daddy, depending on the situation ;)


  12. Joliesse says:

    I use pet names and affectionate diminutives for almost everyone; it's a regional/cultural thing.

    In my butch context, though, I've used almost everything already listed here.

    Sir in bed. Good-lookin', handsome, big boi are more casual (although have also occurred in bed).

  13. Sir, handsome, My Boi, beautiful, cutie……but Sir is beyond my favorite to say to hym.

  14. lauren says:

    I call my wonderful butch Handsome, out of bed. In bed, it's his name. When we're feeling tender, we call each other Love/Lovey (gross, I know) and he calls me Sweetness. (That one makes me absolutely melt.)

  15. @leo: hahaha baby you spelled it wrong! it's 'big boss-man' not 'big bossman'. but who's quibbling… oh yeah, me.

    sorry ;)

    i've also been known to refer to the 'big boss man' as 'handsome', but more in a descriptive/complimentary way than as an actual address. oh yeah and 'stud' makes an occasional appearance…

  16. Amber says:

    I call M "Sir" in the bedroom/when I'm feeling bottomy. Otherwise typically it's "M," "Emmett" or "dear."

  17. BCS317 says:

    Usually Baby….Cowboy when I'm feeling playful but a well timed "Daddy" during sex has a wonderful affect every time.

    I'll never forget the reaction it got the first time I said it to her.

  18. Lana says:

    I use "sweet boy" a lot, in various tones of voice depending on whether I'm topping him, teasing him or comforting him. Sometimes he can get me to call him Sir, but I like to make him work for it.

  19. i don't suppose i'm particularly creative on this count: love, baby (i'm not much of a name-caller, that's what i usually use in bed), handsome…

  20. Gold says:

    I call her 'babe,' 'beautiful,' 'handsome' or 'gorgeous,' (or 'kid' or 'pretty thing' if I want to piss her off). Usually, though, I just call her by the name she goes by. It's not her full name, so it's already a nickname, thus it feels intimate to say it.

    I've tried 'boi' and 'sir' on her a few times to see what her reaction would be, but I couldn't tell if she liked it or not. Gender queering is something we don't actually talk about often– you would think we would, wouldn't you?– and when we have she's been vague about what she prefers to be called. I know she doesn't like being called 'miss' or 'lady,' but I wouldn't call her that anyway, so…

    She usually just calls me 'gorgeous' or 'babe.' She called me 'peach tree' once… no idea what's up with that. I wish she'd do more of the boi/handsome/sir stuff, but I think, well, she's the more masculine of the two of us, maybe she just prefers to call me by more feminine terms? I don't know. Maybe I'll ask her later.

  21. riotfemme says:

    Sir, always sir, she expects it, it's not negotiable and I like it that way. Outside of play, I like to call her handsome, baby, occasionally honey or sweetie, dependent on the circumstance and what I think I can (or maybe can't) get away with.

  22. queerboi says:

    not much of a name-caller. 'boi,' 'sexy,' or hir first name.

    Gold, this part of your post interests me as I'm in a similar situation:

    "I wish she’d do more of the boi/handsome/sir stuff, but I think, well, she’s the more masculine of the two of us, maybe she just prefers to call me by more feminine terms?"

  23. Kyle says:

    I get hot over male pronouns, mister, boy, bad boy, Sir… handsome is the most likely to completly melt my butter.. I love it when Roxy calls me Mr. Jones.. >;-)

  24. Roxy says:

    Kyle’s all about roguish southern charm, so I love darlin’. Handsome, love, lover, baby and the aforementioned Mr. Jones are all very nice.

    But when he’s getting uppity? Only one thing will do – boy – said in a particularly condescending voice. I love the way it gets him going, hardens his face and sharpens his stare – suddenly he becomes a dangerous man…

    and I like it. ;)

  25. Elizabeth says:

    My beautiful butch gf loves it when I call her "Daddy" in the bedroom. It took a little getting used to on my part. That's when she is topping. When we switch it up it's a different set of pet names.

    Outside of the bedroom, babe, sweetie, honey, any of those will do. She does NOT like to be called by male pronouns, and she hates it when she is mistaken for a man. She is a very complicated butch!

  26. Lipstick says:

    I usually call her daddy…she loves it.

  27. jumping over the moo says:

    oh god! i've been having this conversation forever with my loverboi. i want to call her daddy (i DO call her daddy in my head, or when i'm alone, or during the few occasions she feels like treating me), but she hates it! i guess she actually associates it with the man who gave her half her DNA, but i've only ever really heard it used as a sort of kink 'cue' word. kind of like 'panties', a disgusting word if used by middle-aged men in public, but totally acceptable when used by your lover in bed (i.e. 'pull your panties down and bend over').

    i've asked her what i could call her, but she doesn't really like anything and her name is a bit awkward (b/c of it's sounds and number of syllables) and 'baby' just isn't quite right.

    'daddy' is just perfect: strong and in charge, but loving.

    she will call me her 'little girl', but i'm not sure there will come a day when 'daddy' doesn't make her go soft.


  28. zoe says:

    i call my butch babe, stud, or goodlookin' (which is less gendered than handsome or beautiful). she doesn't do male pronouns or like being called Butch or Daddy. I think it would talk some adjusting for me to call a lover Daddy because of the Sylvia Plath association.

  29. J.M. O'Malley says:

    She likes both Poppa and Momma, as well as stud and handsome. After reading a story titled 'My Woman Poppa', I think that one has become my favorite.

  30. Lamb says:

    In my opinion, Master is a sort of reverent title… it's a specific relationship, and i would feel sort of blasphemous to use it outside of a Master/slave relationship.

    "Sir" is much more versatile, less committal. I wouldn't hesitate to use it with someone I'd just met who was clearly taking charge.

    What really makes me wet, though, is Daddy… every time. If I'm not careful, I'll squeal it out, and I'm not sure what the reaction would be.

  31. Eli says:

    i love being called handsome.

  32. robie says:

    little late to this topic…i'm single and fine with that (usually) but not gonna lie – after reading all these comments, what i wouldn't give to hear someone call me cowboy, handsome, stranger, mister…

    the playful/flirtatious ones get me every time. although since they always make me grin (try as i might to keep a studly butch straight face), maybe their very utterance makes me less of a handsome stranger cowboy mister.

    or not.

  33. mod wolf says:

    Sir is fine anywhere.

    Between us its Studly or Stud, Handsome, Killer (which kills me), Boi (pronounced Bwah) and Wolf (obviously).

    For the more personal moments, but not too often to make them less special, its Daddy or Baby.

    And the cream of the crop – anytime, anywhere, just to flip the tables – its "My Wolf"

  34. cookie says:

    I call my butch "handsome", "good lookin", "mister" but the one that gets her goin is "baby boy".


  35. BkToFemme says:

    Sir is a good one…. but i generally dont get a too busy saying 'please' ;-)

  36. anon says:

    non-sexually we both call each other baby, love, lover, sweetie. I call him pumpkin a lot too. he calls me pretty a lot.

    my calling him lover gets him going a little bit sometimes, mostly I only use it in text/IM thought… hmmm, ideas…

    after reading the comments I think I’m going to start using stud and/or stud-muffin in flirting. I like the idea of calling him cowboy but pretty sure I can’t do it earnestly, being a serious city girl myself.

    when I am annoyed I call him Dude sometimes, and I have always noticed his seemingly self-satisfied half-hidden smirk at this.

    in sex, i say him name most often. i can’t think of anything he calls me. . . but that could easily be cause I’m usually too far gone and/or making too much noise ;-)

    oh I melt when he calls me beautiful, like instead of my name is the best, but instead of sweetie or similar is also very good.

Leave a Reply