Butch Fails

I want to talk about an important issue for you butches out there. A little issue I have affectionately dubbed, “Butch Fails.” Straight men, pay attention. I am sure that you’ve had plenty of Butch Fails as well. If you don’t think so, read this then ask your wife or girlfriend.  She will confirm, I guarantee. Alright, now that I have your attention, let me explain the Butch Fail.

A Butch Fail occurs when you, the butch, mess up something for your femme. I don’t mean something big, like a birthday or Valentine’s Day. I mean small, every day stuff, such as not holding the door open for your femme. Butch Fail. You fail to be gallant, to care for her, to show her in those little ways that you are a gentleman (for lack of a better word, I choose that one). I always want to be a gentleman. My mother will tell you that I have been a gentleman my whole life. Even as a child, I took pride in caring for her – opening the door as soon as I could, being protective, and the like. That was probably a sign that I would grow up to be a butch.

So, let me take you through some sample Butch Fails. All of these are fails I have personally committed. Sacre bleu! I try hard, but it’s a wonder that I am not single. Thank you, honey!

1.  The Tiny Sweater. You pull your weight in the laundry area (you’d better!), but do not remember, even when reminded, to remove the sweater from the wash and lay it out to dry instead of putting it in the dryer. The resulting tiny sweater that your girl now calls a belly shirt is a painful reminder to her that you are sometimes an idiot. How could you dry a sweater? Bras not placed into lingerie bags and thrown in with the rest of the clothes also fall into this same category. Butch Fail.

2.  Something’s Different? This occurs when your femme sports a new color or technique of makeup, and you do not notice. Just who do you think she is doing all that work and makeup for anyway? Same thing would apply to a haircut, but that is not one that I have stumbled on. Butch Fail.

3.  Closed Doors. This one is obvious. Hold the door open for her. You can’t have her trailing behind you wondering why the hell you had to go in first. Allow her to pass through first. Every time, no exceptions. Duh. So basic. And yet, I have messed this one up on occasion. Butch Fail.

4.  Shiver Me Femme. This is how it goes in our house. I gently suggest to my fiancé that she needs a jacket as we are readying to leave the house. I bring a jacket because I’m a prepared butch. She does not – she doesn’t have one that goes with her outfit, I am told. So there we are at whatever event and she is shivering. Over time, I have become irritated with this, I admit. Once, I did not give her my jacket. She wouldn’t ask for it, because she knows that she should have brought one, and so she was freezing. I felt awful, but was trying to hold my ground. This is wrong. I am the butch, so I get to be cold. Butch Fail.

5.  Beer Blurt. At a gastropub (translation, hella cool beer list), the waiter comes to take our food order and I am so excited that, as my fiancé is placing her order, I blurt out my beer order.  Not only did I not show any concern for my fiancé – say, asking her what she wanted, or even better, preparing to order for her – I interrupted her. That’s right. I actually cut her off mid-iced tea ordering and gave the waiter my beer choice. Even the waiter rolled his eyes. Like, dude, relax, you’ll get your beer, but you won’t be getting anything else tonight! The Beer Blurt is an epic Butch Fail.

6.  Nordstrom No-No. We went to Nordies to pick up her pants that had been hemmed. We didn’t have time to shop, so she was just going to run in. Trying to be a gentleman, I dropped her off right at the door and said I would circle and come back to pick her up. So far, so good, right butches? Then, after she gets out of the car, and is right near the front of the car about to pass in front, I start to drive off, almost running her foot over! What a dumb ass thing to do. She knocks on the car hood rapidly and looks at me in disbelief. Butch Fail.

7.  I Don’t Care. This one can occur in many scenarios. Here is mine. My fiancé is very up-to-date on the hot topics (gossip) in the entertainment world. I am not, even though I am in that business. She reads People and keeps up with Perez; I do not. It happened once or twice in the early stages of our courtship that she shared a fact with me or a tidbit that she found interesting.  Think, a pic of Angelina and Brad’s little Shiloh (such a cute little butch!), J Lo’s dress from the Oscars, Jonah Hill’s weight loss efforts, or how much Meryl Streep’s daughter looks like her.  These things are less than interesting. I do not care about little Shiloh (although it bears repeating, such a cute little butch!), dresses from the Oscars, weight loss tips from the stars, or celebrity offspring. And I told her as much. Let’s recap. She shares something that she thinks is interesting. I say “I don’t care about that.” She feels disrespected and disregarded. Butch Fail.

Everything she says is important and worthy of your attention. Listen to me…it does not matter what it is, you had better care, or at least don’t actually say that you don’t. If you don’t care, pretend. And you better be a damn good pretender. Trust me, everything she says is important. “But, Butch,” you ask, “even when it’s not?” Yes! Even when it’s not.

8.  Butch Gaze. Caught staring at another woman. No explanation needed. Butch Fail.

9.  Auto Pilot. One time, and only one time, I made the mistake of zoning out at a gas station in the passenger seat, while my girl pumped the gas. I wasn’t sick. I wasn’t hung over or exhausted. My legs weren’t broken. I was just a lazy, zoned out idiot. I am not saying that a butch has to pump the gas every single time. If your girl offers or insists, fine. What are we, cavemen? No, of course not. But the default is that butches pump the gas. Sitting in the passenger seat without any excuse and letting your girl get the gas while you zone out or look at Facebook? Butch Fail.

These are all things that I have been guilty of. Thank goodness my fiancé allows for me to mess up. We usually have a good laugh about it. One of the good things about us butches is that we are trainable. We do what we are told. If I do something wrong, tell me, and I will try to do it right the next time.

What are some of your Butch Fails?

It’s butch to fail, as long as you fix it. Be butch.

17 thoughts on “Butch Fails

  1. Such a great read. It seems like being a gentleman is viewed as outdated or should revoke your man card these days. I can’t lay the blame totally on the boyfriends and husbands, though. I see the fairer half saying things like “I don’t need anyone opening my door. I can do it myself!” You go on with your bad self, mama. We can all do it ourselves; so true. As for me, I kinda like to be pampered and taken care of now and then. Just remember gals – turn about is fair play. Take care of your protectors as well.

    • Gosh Kenda, thank you for the compliment. That means a lot to me coming from such a talented blogger! I agree that the whole “equality” thing has messed with the gentleman/lady paradigm. Our challenge is to find ways to make our partner feel special (from either perspective) without making them feel infantilized. Hopefully, you share your desire to be pampered every not and then with your husband so he can get it right. And, I sure hope I get it right with my love. Thank you for commenting!

    • I don’t like the whole “protectors” thing. I’m sick of people thinking women are weak little princesses who can’t take care of themselves. Sexism seems to affect everyone, including lesbians. If you’re butch, you consider yourself tough just because you’re “masculine” (I hate saying that word. Gender roles are so ridiculous). If a woman is “girly,” she’s submissive, soft and completely unable to be anything other than a damsel in distress. I also don’t like the idea of me being pampered but not my husband. A guy deserves pampering too every now and again. The whole “equality” thing isn’t a thing. It’s a crucial way of life for minorities everywhere and it’s ridiculous that it isn’t taken seriously. Usually, the “gentleman” thing comes from a place inside of people where the feeling that women need to be taken care of as if they can’t do it themselves reigns supreme. If it’s just about serving her and making her feel special, just make sure to tell her so and that it doesn’t come from a desire to “protect” her as if she can’t protect herself. Also, remember to pamper your guys. They need it too.

      • Perhaps the dynamic is a bit different between two women rather than a woman and a man. For me, my wife and others in the butch femme community, the balance is wonderful. It’s up to each couple to adjust and tweak who does what based on their own likes, dislikes and needs. As long as people choose for themselves, I am all for it.

    • Scotch, I am so delighted that you chose to share this with your readers. I have always thought that straight men and lesbians (at least butch lesbians) have a lot in common. The more I write about how unique I think my perspective is, the more I learn how much we have in common. Thank you.

  2. I got one. Not offering to clean up the dishes after she makes a special dinner, or worse, not saying thank-you!


  3. HI There,
    Just anted to let you know that I have nominated you for the TMI Awards, I figured that as a writer that it is my duty to share the spotlight with someone else. LOL!

    The TMI Blog Award honors those blogs that discuss everything in detail and do it well. These bloggers aren’t afraid to discuss their most awkward, embarrassing and intimate experiences with honesty, humor and little to no filter.

    Here are the rules

    Thank the person who presented you with the award.
    Link back to the blogger who presented the award to you.
    Share an awkward, embarrassing and intimate story in 250 words or less.
    Copy and paste the blog award on your blog.
    Present the TMI Blog Award to 5 – 10 deserving blogs.
    Let them know they have been chosen by leaving a comment at their blog.

  4. My friends tell me I’m a little bit of a princess, because I am all for chivalry (I like this term more than ‘gentleman’) because I love having the door opened for me, and when my ex used to (out of pure habit) steady me with her arm when I was walking in heels, or pour a glass for me first. I in no way expect this type of behaviour, but do feel awfully loved and special when I find someone that does it so naturally.

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