Boss Up with Bevin Your dream life is at the end of your comfort zone

2012-05-25

Femme Flagging

One of the things I love to do with my blog is help my dear readers learn how to see Femmes in the wild. I also like to help folks communicate desire. I also hope everyone reading this blog gets as laid as they want to, and if that is very laid it is helpful to know how to communicate desire. There’s this trend happening amongst Femmes that I want to hip y’all to. In order to encourage you to follow it if that is your calling and, more importantly, look out for so you can see what is being subtly communicated to you!

IMG_1818.JPG
Solid red, flagged on both hands. Switch.

Okay, first of all, let’s review the hanky code for those of you who are living under a gay rock and have not been peeking out from behind it. The hanky code is a way of visually indicating sexual and/or kink desires to other folks without having to introduce yourself. Like, “Hi, I’m Bevin. I like biting.” Way less smooth than just saying, “Hi, I’m Bevin,” while throwing a 2-3 second lingering eye contact the way I try to do when I am being my most Femme predator self. A houndstooth hanky delicately slipped into the back left pocket tells all without having to put words to it, leaving your words to do other things.

Here’s a great synopsis of the very vast hanky code from the awesome blog Flagging Opinicus Rampant. I also highly recommend a read of that blog’s about page for a more feminist read on the hanky code, and I am highlighting this quote from their about page for the good basic reminders of what flagging does and does not do:

Basic Rules of Flagging
Flagging is not consent.
Flagging means being cool with being propositioned, being rejected, and having the capacity to reject.
Flagging is pan gender (you can’t assume someone’s junk from a flag).
There are no anti-flags.
Flagging is slut pride.

IMG_1852.JPG
What does it mean when you flag hot pink satin coat?

Flagging is great because it’s a pro-active “this is what I like.” It keeps things positive. Also, it’s hard to communicate from a hanky that you’re into doing a certain act only under certain circumstances, like I’m houndstooth often but I really have to be super attracted to someone in order to bite. But since biting is only some people’s thing it is nice to know when that compatibility exists.

Untitled
Me, flagging wild heart: switch (on both hands).

Anyway, onto the trend. Flagging with nailpolish!! Usually an accent finger on the corresponding hand. I love it!

Hankies are a great accessory and the fact that they can communicate desire is wonderful. I know some masculine spectrum folks who flag literally every day.

As a Femme it can be really hard to play the hanky game. I used to use my bra strap sometimes, like tuck a hot pink hanky in the back so it flapped around, letting everyone know I was both into a certain activity and also prepared in case someone needed a hanky.

I gave up flagging on my bra strap or purse strap awhile ago, but I still carry a vintage hanky with me wherever I go because they are endlessly useful. Summertime when you get a little sweaty (I mean “glowing”) after walking somewhere in the humidity. At the beach when I inevitably get sunscreen in my eyes. At the movies when I cry. On the subway when I accidentally listen to the saddest Lucinda Williams song and cry. When a friend tells a story and I cry. When another friend starts crying and I have a way to be chivalrous and nurturing.

543704_3140677325324_1516675402_32160357_72120258_n.jpeg
Crying at a wedding a couple of weeks ago.

As a Femme alternative I’ve seen this awesome accessory floating around, handmade hanky rosettes.
houndstooth.jpg
You custom order the rosette and leaf in whatever colors you want to flag with, pin it to your lapel or boot or clip it into your hair on the correct side and voila. Great for dandies and Femmes or Femme Dandies. But it’s twenty bucks and not as endlessly versatile as nail polish.

If you are a nail polish oriented Femme, as I am, it is likely you have a pretty big pile of nail polish in your fleet. Sinful nail polishes are cheap at Target and basically span the rainbow. I also really like Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear (that color is mint green, great on the left for Mommy tops). Also Nail Strips make complicated patterns possible, like houndstooth.

There is a whole Tumblr dedicated to Femme Flagging, with a forum for fleshing out new additions to the hanky code. Lots of folks have been doing one finger on one hand for the flag, but others have been doing two (or three) “fucking fingers” as the flag.

IMG_20120513_101826.jpg
Flagging “glitter fist” which is basically my sexuality in a nutshell.

Cruise that tumblr! You’ll see so many different flags and femmespiration for it. I think the best part of the Femme diaspora is that there are truly millions of ways to do Femme, so because of that, there are infinite creative ways to use nail polish to flag. Also learning how to see Femmes is a practice, get some training in on seeing what Femmes have to communicate in their own words.

Some creative flags:

Daddy top into other POCs.

Kink & Sex Magic.

Extremely filthy thoughts.

tumblr_m48czhr0j81qjlpumo1_500.jpg
Kyla McFaterson flagging S&M and consent (black with tiny stoplights!!!!).

I have been a fan of the accent finger for a long time, mostly because I love glitter polish but find the removal a hassle so it’s easier when it’s only on one finger. Thus, I tend to do an accent finger with glitter. But ever since Femme Flagging with nail polish has been trending my flags have been called out multiple places, including instagram and at parties, by other Femmes. It’s always really nice to be seen.

You may be wondering what’s the best way to call someone out on their flag? Here are a few guidelines:

1. Carry a hanky code around so you can decode what it might be. I think there are apps for this. A truly geeky ex-lover of mine had it laminated and gave me a copy. She was geeky in the hottest ways. Being geeky is sexy and it’s nice to say “Are you flagging red on the right?” knowing what the answer to that flag is.

2. Ask the Femme. “Hey. Are you Femme flagging with that manicure? What does that say?”

3. Ask the Femme. “Hey, I haven’t seen that color in awhile, what does that mean?”

IMG_2300.JPG
Flagging dashed hopes.

4. Don’t yuck someone’s yum. If you determine the answer to not be your thing, it’s cool. Just say, “Wow, that’s interesting/cool/it looks pretty.” And remember, just because someone is flagging it doesn’t mean they’re trying to get it in with you.

5. Be open to conversation. The best part about flagging is the conversation starter it can be. It’s really sexy to be able to flirt through some flags you’re into. “I’m generally into light blue but always into light pink and grey flannel,” is a hot text.

So, anyway, keep your eyes peeled! Get creative! Express your desires!

2010-05-23

Butch Fashion

When I talk about fashion it is generally with an eye towards Femmes for obvious reasons. Butch fashion has been a topic of conversation recently as the Re/Dress Shop Girls & The Femme Family are prepping for the upcoming Sartorial Summer: A Butch Fashion Show*.

ButchFashionShowFlier

I titled the event after one of my favorite new fashion blogs, The Sartorial Butch. What a much-needed concept. After hearing about the event The Sartorial Butch decided to drive down from Maine and let me personal shop for her and the Sartorial Love.

In celebration of Butch Fashion Week in Brooklyn**, I present unto you, gentle readers of all gender presentations, the fashion items of the more masculine flavor that I enjoy a great deal. Both in a purely platonic allies-in-fashion-greatness way and also in a subtle lay down for any future suitors doing research.

TWO-TONED COWBOY BOOTS

I love cowboys and cowboy boots. I also like flamboyance. Two-toned cowboy boots are the perfect storm of flamboyance and rugged cowboy magic.

twotonedboots

L-R, Ariat International Men’s Cobalt XL, Ariat International Men’s Legend Full Quill Ostrich, Justin Boots Peanut Brittle Iquana Lizard, Wilson Handmade Custom Two Toned Boots. For hard to fit sizes, they can customize just about every part of the boot but they are pricey!

As a bargain shopper, I encourage people to shop thrift, vintage, ebay and etsy for boots on the cheap. But as feet are a nonrenewable resource, I also believe in investing in a good pair of boots that will last forever.

My friend Mackenzi called two-toned cowboy boots my sweet spot. She’s not wrong.

DIP ME IN HONEY AND THROW ME TO THE BUTCHES WITH BOW TIES
Thanks to K. Ulanday Barrett for that quote. (Follow Browntranslaments on Tumblr! So so so good.)

I think bow ties are one of my very favorite things. Both nerdy and dapper.

24753_389540386508_803461508_3819766_7080284_n.jpg
DJ Sirlinda, who is djing the butch fashion show & dance party portion, wearing a bow tie at Hey Queen. Photo by Scout.

A bow tie can dress up virtually any outfit. They come pre-tied, clip on or the old-fashioned do it yourself kind.

IMG_5744.JPG
See? Virtually any outfit. This is Ariel Speedwagon, one of our models, at Hey Queen.

GENTLEMANLY ACCESSORIES

I was on a date with someone and he gave a ride to a friend of mine between parties. Because I’m the Queer Oprah, suddenly my friend was unintentionally crying and talking about a break-up. He whipped out a handkerchief and handed it to her. As a souvenir from the date he left another handkerchief in my purse, which I found the next day. Both were sweet gestures and spoke to preparedness.

Hankies can do a lot, including let people know your desires.

I also enjoy the full range of old-fashioned accouterments. A nice flask, a pocket watch, a sexy knife. I smelled something sweet in the air at a party once and immediately had a reason to talk to this fine gentleman, Justin Credible.

Kris is fancy. Flavored tobacco smoke.

But it doesn’t stop with flavored tobacco smoke. No no. Then suddenly a pocket watch comes out.

And lots of fancy accessories in pockets.

Good accessories are a huge conversation starter for me. I have stopped people on the street because of their extraordinary fashion and flare.

Of course, my very favorite butch fashion accessory is integrity! Living with intention and ethics are really important to me, especially as regards the feelings of their friends and romantic partners. All the intention towards your fashion doesn’t matter one iota if you intentionally, knowingly or recklessly treat other people poorly.

COLLARED SHIRTS

32123_438857388153_543828153_5599671_5049740_n.jpg
Photo by Quito Ziegler.
Here is Elisha Lim, after a Sister Spit show in Manhattan. Looking dapper but not trying too hard on a hot and humid night. Also pictured is Silas Howard in the sparkly suspenders (!) and collared shirt, who is probably one of the most consistently well-dressed butches I know. Check out the info on his new movie “Cooler” The Movie. (Also they are still looking for investors and it sounds like a great investment. Message Silas through the fan page!)

il_430xN.122194148

Again, I like flamboyance and cowboys, and often those have a perfect marriage in a good cowboy shirt. This one is available from Old Man Pants Vintage, which is an etsy store run by a friend of mine from Oakland.

FLUEVOGS

Clearly I love fancy footwear, but I lust after Fluevogs in a major way. Sometimes, when I am window shopping on the internet, I coordinate his & hers Fluevogs. As in, “I want to go on a date and I want to wear these shoes and I want my date to wear those shoes.” It’s a fun game.

fluevog1
fluevog2

L-R Snyder in Blue Cairo, Resist Creeper, Rusnak, Wessex.
Women’s Row: Truth: Pilgrim , Wish, Arabica, Buffy (I like these both for what they’re named for and their appropriateness.

Fluevog shopping money saving tips–shop resale! We get Fluevogs in at Re/Dress and tweet about it. Fluevog stores have a 15% off sale every year for John Fluevog’s birthday. Very rarely, but sometimes, they have huge vintage Fluevog sales. I got a pair for $30 once.

I will say this for Fluevog heels: they are the most comfortable heels I’ve ever worn.

BEING WELL-PUT TOGETHER & PERSONAL EXPRESSION

I love sweater vests, ascots and other items that make an outfit and outfit, but individual personal style matters most to me in terms of turning my fashion head. Someone just today confessed to almost exclusively wearing knee socks, always mismatched. It’s hot! It’s goofy! It’s an expression of personal style.

Both of these outfits show a lot of personal expression:

alix edited folsom poster
Alix Izen of the Inverted Eye, from the flier for the Folsom Street Fair. A specimen of the put together butch. His fashion is always swoon-worthy.

101962143
I am always impressed by my friend Jesse’s fashion. Check out his tips on courtship on Episode 10 of FemmeCast!!

*And just a note from our preparations for the event–three of the models said that they would be willing to wear just underwear.
**We’re talking Butch in the same totally open-ended self-identification ways I use Femme. And check out the second event, the Original Plumbing Release Party on Friday night! SO MUCH GOOD FASHION AT THOSE. And hot queers of all presentations.

2009-12-19

The Procrastinator’s Guide to Queer Holiday Gifting

Hey, how did it get to be 6 shopping days left until Christmas?

Last night on a phone call with Damien Luxe, we talked about one of the biggest skills we gained in higher education–the ability to execute big results despite procrastination flawlessly. This is how I approach holiday shopping, too. Honestly, I always have good intentions but I just don’t usually get around to having everything together for big things under the tree on time.

So, what I like to do is print a picture of what the thing is I bought or ordered or have in the pipeline and putting it in a thoughtful card. (I’ve actually done this a lot with crafts I haven’t finished.)

It is in the spirit of celebrating and supporting my procrastinating blog readers that I present unto you this nice list of some possible last minute shopping ideas. These will work for your sweetie (Femme or otherwise), your BFF, your ultra liberal mom, your boss, whatever, from some of my favorite shops and queer artists out there. Way more interesting, thoughtful and pro-small business/artist/supporting the community gifts than something you grabbed at Target at the last minute. And they can usually be shipped right to your intended recipient!

PRETTY THINGS

Buy your dapper dandy or pretty princess or sparkly queen something shiny from Looks Good From The Front! Her hair pieces are elaborate and gorgeous and her price points went down after my last blog post about her!
sarahhair

On looks alone The Inverted Eye is my favorite online retailer. Such a gorgeous online shop. But there’s so much more to it than “subtly kinky items and discreet fetish antiques”–there are amazing costume pieces and decorative items that need to be in a burlesque performer or retro lover’s home.
SouthernButchHairDressingHolderwithFrame
Perfect gift for the Butch or Southern Rose in your life! This charming barber’s hair dressing display would look great hung on the wall.

Art By Mags has some amazing stencil work. If I were still the employee of a republican with a sense of humor, I would totally get him a Rachel Maddow Truth-Teller wall-hanging. I would also get any roller derby girl the really hot roller skate clock.
truthteller

Fat Men’s Vintage Clothing! At last there is a store just for butch vintage style! Online even! So amazing. Old Man Pants vintage is run by a really hot queer. The stuff is amazing! My dream retro king boyfriend or girlfriend would shop at this store. I have no further words, just go check it out.

CUSTOM ART!

Nothing says “Honey I know you love glitter” like buying a customized glitter painting! Glitterbombe Portraits by Cherry Poppins. Custom artwork for you or someone you adore. You can get a portrait of yourself or a favorite idol! Email ms.bombe [at] gmail [dot] com to start discussing your custom piece. Coming soon: www.glitterbombe.com.
Glitterbombe

V Kingsley makes custom quilts that are so gorgeous I can’t even really talk about it. I’ve seen her work in person and it is absolutely stunning. It’s also made by one of my Femme heroes, someone who walks the walk of living a life of service, being whole, loving and gorgeous. Her free spirit fashion helped me to break out of my shell when I was a baby Femme and saw her for the first time. So anyway, look at her quilt gallery and decide to get a keepsake made with love and magic!

CALENDARS!

I love a good calendar. This year I am most excited about the Adipositivity Calendar. I’m not in it but a lot of the hot naked fat bodies in it are friends of mine. Part of what helped me come into acceptance and love of my fat body (how it is versus how society tells me it should look) was seeing the actual diversity in women’s bodies, fat or otherwise. You can get it through Cafe Press, the proceeds go to the artist so she can keep making really important fat art!

(If you’re in NYC you can come into Re/Dress NYC where we have them on consignment.)

REGIONAL GIFTS–PHOTOGRAPHY

I think one of the best things I ever did for my self-esteem was to get comfortable in front of a camera. Working with the right photographer can do wonders to make you feel like a sex pot, pin-up or just more at home in your skin. So is creating keepsakes for you, a loved one, history.

A great Seattle gift is a full or partial gift certificate for a session with Fat Bottom Boudoir. I was shot by Molly recently and she is really easy to be with, understands the special needs of people who don’t meet the mainstream societal standards of beauty and can make people really comfortable. Her portrait eye is really amazing–I have never seen someone in one of her pictures that doesn’t seem more like themselves and also really good looking. Molly sometimes travels to do marathon sessions.

My friend Kelly at Closed Circle Photography specializes in weddings (her shoots are amazing!) but also does some really lively portrait work in Boston or thereabouts. She’s also a big traveler. A great gift for a mom-to-be, recent parents or anyone who wants to document growth and development is a package that includes a few sessions–I’ve seen some of the year-to-year work Kelly has done and it is really endearing.

In NYC my friend Sophie started a pin-up photography business called Shameless Photography. She does full pin-up vintage makeovers and glamour shots at really reasonable prices or for barter/trade.

REGIONAL GIFTS–PERFORMANCE

Ms. Cherry Gallette has offered the following: bay area patrons can purchase the gift of cherry for their friends and/or themselves. this means that on an agreed upon date, i’ll come perform for their event or party and/or get down and dirty in the kitchen and make them a sugary treat in full costume. how sweet does that sound? Email chachacherry [at] gmail.com for more info!

You can also give tickets to a big upcoming queer performance, design a fancy night out and detail it in a card, and get creative.

I will also give a plug to my employer, you can call Re/Dress NYC and order a gift certificate on the phone and we’ll send you a cutesy email to print out and give to your intended. We have some amazing clothing, accessories, jewelry, shoes, purses, neon leg warmers… Love knows no size limit. (P.S. All of our vintage coats just got reduced to $99 or less.)

There are a lot more ideas I was given than I have time or space to blog about, but these were some of the most sparkly and unusual. I encourage everyone to not let your procrastination hinder your thoughtfulness and resourcefulness–last minute gifts can be both and support your community!

Powered by WordPress