If you're like me, you adore butches. Maybe as buddies, maybe as lovers, or maybe as the friends best-equipped to help you on moving day. But you may be unaware of the sheer breadth of butch sub-species. For this reason, I've created a Field Guide to Butches to help you identify some of the butches around you. Remember, butches can be found everywhere, maybe even in your very own neighborhood!
via Campfire Collective
_The Geeky/Intellectual Butch
Example: DeAnne Smith
Pros: Smart as hell; acerbic wit; may make a good living if she ever gets out of graduate school.
Cons: May insist on lecturing you about the literary implications of her favorite author's latest work; may be unable to cook or to fix anything.
Looks especially good: Sprawled on your couch in her reading glasses.
Care instructions: Requires only basic maintenance. Feeding should include a steady diet of used books from independent bookstores. Keep away from popular fiction--John Grisham, etc. May be vegetarian, so exercise caution before feeding beef, pork, chicken, or other meats. Looks dashing in plaid and corduroy. Try to get her some exercise, though she may be reluctant.
The Sporty Butch
Example: Natasha Kai
Pros: In incredibly good shape; easy-going and laid back (except when it comes to her own training); knows how to have fun.
Cons: May spend more time with teammates than with you.
Looks especially good: In motion.
Care instructions: Limit her time in the gym to a max of 2-3 hours daily. Twice weekly, rub her sore muscles with Icy Hot. Like the Geeky Butch, the Sporty Butch is relatively low-maintenance. Make sure she gets enough protein. Also, she is more likely than other varieties of butches to wear her hair long, usually in a ponytail.
via the Fab Femme
The Hipster Butch
Example: Sam McGinn
Pros: Wonderful city guide, knows the best bars and music venues; possibly a good cook.
Cons: May expend a ridiculous amount of effort trying to make things look effortless; may suddenly abandon music and fashion tastes if she believes her favorites have become too popular.
Looks especially good: sipping a macchiato in SF's Mission District (west coast subspecies, pictured left) or in Williamsburg, Brooklyn (east coast subspecies, not pictured).
Care instructions: Replace chain wallet every 1-2 years. Requires $60-$80 haircut once per month. Alcohol and caffeine consumption require balance, so be vigilant, yet liberal with both. Not to be confused with Bieber Butch (see below).
via Back Seat Cuddler
The Bieber Butch
Example: Dani Campbell
Pros: Never stops smiling.
Cons: Never stops smiling.
Looks especially good: At parties; on the beach; in photos.
Care instructions: Often recognizable from her front or side-swept bangs, this butch looks great in everything from skinny ties to polo shirts. Will eat you out of house and home but never gain weight. Fragile ego, so proceed with caution. May not mix well with Geeky Butches, who may find Bieber Butches "tiresome." Do not take her to venues frequented by school field trips, or she may be swept onto the bus by a well-intentioned chaperone.
via The Tyee
The Artisan Butch
Example: Alison Bechdel
Pros: Sensitive, intelligent, multitalented; may cook, garden, fix things, etc.
Cons: May resist dressing up; cash flow likely questionable.
Looks especially good: Splattered with paint.
Care instructions: Plays well with Geeky Butch. Probably vegan, so keep away from cheese, leather, and other animal products. Natural environs include Northampton and other small cities with liberal arts universities in them. Don't let the Artisan Butch fool you with her sensitivity; she can be fierce, too. If you'd like to see this side of her, start talking politics.
There you have it, friends--Part I of the Field Guide to Butches. What other kinds of butches are out there that should be catalogued? Classic Soft Butch? Badass Butch? Handy Butch? Dandy Butch? Stay tuned for Part II!