Butch Characters in Erotica and Romance

It’s hard to find butches in fiction. Many of my favorite books about butches are memoir or personal essay. When I do find butch characters in novels or stories, they are often subjected to substantial violence, especially sexual assault. After putting down yet another example of this sort of novel, I am on the lookout for stories that center butch characters and don’t include sexual assault or violence. I put a call out on twitter, saying that most of the examples I can think of are erotica. So of course, someone asked me to share those books. So, by request, here are some erotica and romance books with butch characters.

Erotica Anthologies

(Caveat: if these don’t say butch in the title, not all of the stories will center butches, but there are some memorable ones that do)

Sometimes She Lets Me: Best Butch Femme Erotica ed. by Tristan Taormino (This is my favorite butch/femme erotica anthology. It’s wonderful.)

The Harder She Comes: Butch/Femme Erotica ed. by D.L. King (This is a close second for me, in butch/femme erotica anthologies. Really good book.)

Back to Basics: A Butch-Femme Anthology ed. by Therese Szymanski (This is the most vanilla of the butch/femme anthologies out there, and thus not really my personal taste.)

Set in Stone: Butch-On-Butch Erotica ed. by Angela Brown (This book was a mixed bag for me, some of the stories were better than others. Note: despite it’s title, this does not include positive stone butch representation.)

Say Please: Lesbian BDSM Erotica ed. by Sinclair Sexsmith (There are quite a few stories in this with butch characters, and many of them float my boat. Full disclosure: I am in this book, and my story “Strong” has a tg butch top character.)

Tough Girls: Down and Dirty Dyke Erotica ed. by Lori Selke (This is an old favorite of mine. There are some stories in this that have stuck with me for close to 15 years.)

Best of the Best Lesbian Erotica ed. by Tristan Taormino (This is one of my favorite collections and has some amazing stories with butch characters, including the very memorable “A Girl Like That” by Toni Amato.)

Hot Lesbian Erotica ed. by Tristan Taormino (This collection fits its name perfectly. Has some of the hottest Daddy/girl smut I’ve ever read.)

Single Author Collections

(Caveat: unless it says butch in the title, not all of the stories include butch characters, but there are memorable ones that do.)

Overflow: Tales of Butch-Femme Love Sex and Desire by Miel Rose (I adore this collection so much.)

Blood and Silver: Erotic Stories by Patrick Califia-Rice (This has some of my favorite Califia stories in it, including many of the ones with butch characters.)

This Is How We Do It by D. Alexandria (I am still in the middle of this one. It has some really hot stories with butch characters.)

Sweet and Rough by Sinclair Sexsmith (This is on my TBR but I have read a bunch of these stories in other anthologies so I can definitely vouch for butchness in this collection. Note: to my knowledge, the butch characters in this collection are all tops.)

Show Yourself To Me by Xan West (Disclosure: I wrote this. There are several butch characters in this book. You can get it half off here with the code Holiday16 through 12/31. Stories with butch characters: The Test, The Tender Sweet Young Thing, My Precious Whore, My Pretty Boy, Alley Obsession, What I Need, Dancing for Daddy, Compersion, The Tale of Tam and Jan, Strong) Also, you can read a couple of my stories with butch characters for free: The Tender Sweet Young Thing. A Werewolf’s Yearning. What I Need. And, my current work in progress is a novel with a central trans stone butch character. You can read a description and excerpts here.


(Note: these are romances with butch central characters and no sexual assault that I would recommend. There are others I’ve read all or part of that include substantial toxic masculinity, femme-hating, cissexism, racism, or dubious consent, and I am not including those. If you want to ask me about a book, feel free to comment or DM me on twitter and I will tell you what I think, if I’ve read it.)

Looking for a Complication by Tamsen Parker (Sweet butch/femme meet-cute romance novella with a bit of D/s. I especially appreciated how dapper the butch character was. Note: this has the trope where the butch assumes the femme character is straight at first.)

Treasure by Rebekah Weatherspoon (I really enjoyed this butch/femme NA romance novella. It has a lot of complexity in it that I really appreciated, particularly the way it grapples with class differences. The femme character is a sex worker and I thought that was handled respectfully. The butch character has mental health issues, trigger warning for past suicide attempt.)

The Belle vs. the BDOC by Amy Jo Cousins (Set in the 90s. Enemies to lovers butch/femme NA romance novella. Another dapper butch! Note: this also has the trope where the butch assumes the femme character is straight at first.)

Fearless by Shira Glassman (Sweet romance short between band mom and butch orchestra director.)

A Selection from My TBR List

(Note: I have not read these, but they were recommended to me for including butch characters.)

The Better to Kiss You With by Michelle Osgood (A butch/femme werewolf romance!)

21 Questions by Mason Dixon (This has a love triangle in it. I generally don’t like those but after reading the first few chapters of this I’m willing to give it a try.)

Get At Me by K. A. Smith (I have heard wonderful things about this romance set at a community center.)

When She Was Good: Best Lesbian Erotica ed. by Tristan Taormino (Includes some of my favorite butch/femme stories, but I haven’t read all of these yet.)

Me and My Boi: Queer Erotic Stories ed. by Sacchi Green (I have heard wonderful things about this collection, and it was specifically recommended for butch representation.)

She Who Must Be Obeyed ed. by D.L. King (This book centers femme tops and was recommended for butch bottom stories especially.)

I made a list on Goodreads for erotica with butch characters.

2 thoughts on “Butch Characters in Erotica and Romance

  1. Pingback: Femme representation (pet peeves & recommendations) | Teile des Ganzen

  2. Pingback: Around the Blogosqueer: Great Rec Posts/Databases | LGBTQ Reads

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