Here's the third installment of A Field Guide to Butches. Remember: while some butch species are elusive, with patience and determination you can seek out and find them all.
The Rocker Butch
Example: Chris Pureka
Pros: Romantic. Not clingy. Will write you a song for Valentine's Day.
Cons: Lots of time on the road.
Looks especially good: With her hands on her favorite instrument.
Care instructions: Rocker butches tend to be nocturnal, so you'll need to adjust your schedule accordingly. Wash her sweatshirts regularly; she may not do this on her own. When she's on tour, email her some Yelp links to vegetarian restaurants in the podunk town she's playing in to let her know you're thinking of her. Oh--and unless you're on tour with her, make sure her roadie's not too cute.
The Granola Butch (not pictured)
Commonly found: At womyn's music concerts, Burning Man, miscellaneous small towns in rural western Oregon and rural western Massachusetts.
Pros: Amazing vegan baker, great listener, might have a trust fund.
Cons: Liable to change her name to "Melodious Crystal Windchime" or "Earthchild Womyn Rainbowrock."
Looks especially good: At dusk, around the campfire.
Care instructions: It may be necessary to press certain realities upon her--e.g., Tom's of Maine doesn't actually work; white people look stupid in dreds. And since she's going to insist on playing acoustic guitar anyway, it's probably worth it to invest in some lessons for her.
The Activist Butch
Example: Rea Carey
Pros: Righteous passion is hot.
Cons: A political defeat can make for a sullen couple of weeks.
Looks especially good: In front of a microphone, speaking to a crowd.
Care instructions: If she's like Rea, she'll look stellar in a suit. But not all activist butches keep professional duds in their closet, so make sure to help her stock her wardrobe for all occasions. And keep plenty of poster board and markers on hand.
The Butch Sophisticate (aka The Silver Fox)
Example: Kate Clinton
Pros: Has plenty of practice, knows what she likes.
Cons: Already knowing what she likes can make her stubborn as hell.
Looks especially good: In expensive fabrics; in European cafes; stepping out of a cab.
Care instructions: She's been there and done that, so you'll have to work to keep her interested. Music tastes may require updating. She has a lot to teach you, so get ready to learn.
Butch Don Juan (not pictured)
Commonly Found: In your local lesbian bar (even on weeknights).
Pros: If you want to have some no-strings fun, she's your butch.
Cons: Has slept with half the people in the bar; may wear excessive amounts of cologne; somewhat arrogant.
Looks Especially Good: After you've had a few drinks.
Care Instructions: Not suitable for long-term use, the Butch Don Juan will woo you for a few days, then drop you abruptly for the next shiny new femme who struts into town. That said, it may be a great few days. The trick is spotting this butch early, so you don't get duped into thinking she's going to stick around.
The Slick Butch
Example: SHukura (budding actor, pictured left)
Pros: Can say "Hey baby" without it sounding cheesy or ironic.
Cons: Knows how good she looks.
Looks Especially Good: In leather; in gold.
Care Instructions: Not to be confused with the Butch Don Juan, although the two species are closely related. The Slick Butch can be distinguished by the fact that instead of trying to pick you up, she'll hand you her number and leave the club early with a wink and a grin.
Butch in Uniform (not pictured)
Commonly Found: Police stations; fire departments; the military.
Pros: She's a butch in uniform--what more do you need?
Cons: Gets deployed to do various dangerous things on a regular basis.
Looks Especially Good: In a white T-shirt and her uniform pants and boots.
Care Instructions: Make sure her uniform is neatly pressed. Don't keep her up too late; she needs to get up in the morning. At night, her muscles may be sore, a problem you can easily solve by giving them a nice rub-down.
The Teddy Bear Butch
Example: Julie Goldman
Pros: Amazing cuddler; makes excellent scrambled eggs.
Cons: May not get out of her PJs till noon if she can help it.
Looks Especially Good: In boxers and a T-shirt.
Care Instructions: The Teddy Bear Butch is closely related to the Classic Soft Butch; indeed, the subspecies sometimes overlap. If the Teddy Bear Butch has trouble getting out of bed, get an eyedropper full of coffee, place it between her lips, and gently release the coffee into her mouth. Repeat until her body is vertical.
Some butches are easily identified as one of the species I've discussed here, but some are a mixture of multiple species. This can make things confusing, but also fun. For example, here's one Butch Cocktail recipe:
2 parts Activist Butch +
3 parts Geeky/Intellectual Butch +
a dash of Teddy Bear Butch +
a tiny pinch of Hipster Butch
= Rachel Maddow
What's your butch cocktail of choice?
Or: what butch cocktail are you?