Can You Guess How Much Butt This Town Will Let You Show?

Everett, Washington, continues to wage war against scantily clad "bikini baristas."


Hillbilly Espresso
Hillbilly Espresso/Facebook

So, what part of the butt is the ass crack, really? As a legal matter.

You see, a fight over scantily clad baristas in one Washington State community hinges partly on whether the average person can objectively tell which part of the bottom counts as the "anal cleft" and whether police could (or would) objectively be able to measure whether one is exposed or not.

The city of Everett, Washington, is trying to get rid of its "bikini barista" stands with an ordinance that forces the ladies there to wear more coverage. The city claims that these tiny stands where scantily clad women serve coffee are incubators of prostitution, public lewdness, and crime. They're trying to shut them down by forcing the women to button up.

The stands are fighting back and won an initial injunction against the ordinance's enforcement in December. A U.S. district judge determined that Everett's ordinance was too vague in its description of what needed to be covered and thereby risked arbitrary enforcement issues. And the judge further determined that the law likely violated the First Amendment free expression rights of the women who worked there.

Everett is now fighting back itself against the injunction, submitting a legal brief arguing that the judge erred on both counts. Its appeal calls for the judge to be overruled and the injunction dissolved.

You'll never read a more boring 66-page document about butts. It includes four pages listing all the federal court cases used to bolster its claim that there's no real confusion about what counts as an "anal cleft" and that there's no evidence that the women are actually expressing anything in particular in their clothing choices.

Below the fold, butts:

Lady butt
Peter Klashorst

The Everett brief says anybody who is confused about the anal cleft can just consult a dictionary on what the two words mean. Wikipedia and Wiktionary both have pages for the gluteal cleft and intergluteal cleft. Embedded are what somebody apparently thinks are helpful pictures. To the right is the image included for the Wiktionary article. As you'll note, it's really just a picture of a naked butt. A perfectly lovely one. But how much of it counts as the cleft? Where does the asscrack end and the butt cheek begin?

As for the evidence in the brief itself, Everett does provide examples of other court rulings upholding ordinances and laws that control how much butt or butt crack a person can expose in public, including others that use the term "anal cleft." Let it not be said that Everett skimped on the amount of time, effort, and probably money to justify to the court why it wanted to ban butts.

In the end … But … However, it's worth examining more closely why the city is so determined to hide the rear cleavage. The lawsuit insists that the city has been unsuccessful in stopping other criminal activity happening around the coffee stands—prostitution, lewd conduct, drug abuse, and sexual assault—so a new ordinance was necessary. Even though these other laws were already on the books, the sight of a woman's butt crack apparently deprived customers of all capacity to decide for themselves whether to follow the law.

More butts
Lanak /

I'm not even kidding here. At one point, the brief accuses one stand owner of corrupting "Snohomish County Deputy Darrell O'Neill by trading sexual favors in return for law enforcement information." He apparently was helpless to resist in the face of all that sweet lady butt.

While I'm not blind to complaints by the neighbors about all the public lewdness happening (these are frequently walk-up stands, not indoor locations) and any actual victimization that may have occurred, the city here has focused on bans as a solution, which just makes a black market for butts. And that's just silly. All the time and money Everett has spent here could have been used to figure out a way for customers to get their coffee with a side order of booty while minimizing exposure for those who don't want to see it.

So here's a challenge for readers: Which of the ladies below would pass muster in an "objective" analysis that the bottom half of the "anal cleft" must be covered? Would either of them?

Iofoto /
Woman in thong
Alphaspirit /

Based on the "objective" description of the anal cleft, I would assume that the first bikini is acceptable, but the second is not. But then again, I'm not the one facing police fines and government threats if I'm wrong.

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  1. Gonna have to swing buy and get a double macchiato with room before they shut this down.

    1. But that means you have to go all the way up to Everett.

      1. I’m making over $7k a month working part time. I kept hearing other people tell me how much money they can make online so I decided to look into it. Well, it was all true and has totally changed my life.

        This is what I do…

    2. Everett, WA is probably one of the best places to live in the country. Due to the fact that it is in Washington you pay no income tax, but it is also close enough to Portland, OR that you can shop in OR and pay no sales tax. If you are diligent you can avoid having to pay and income tax and sales tax.

      And now they have baristas in bikinis.

      1. It’s pretty far from OR. It’s north of Seattle. I don’t know what your definition of close is though, since that varies per person.

        1. Oh, son-of-a-bitch, I was thinking Vancouver, WA. God damn it. I always confuse the two.

          1. Everett, WA sucks

            1. You’re not trying to be rude, you’re just say’n.

          2. I was kind of wondering if that’s what you meant, but didn’t want to presume. Vancouver does seem nice. Honestly, I think I just hate living in King county.

      2. Outside of Everett is one of the best places to live. Taxes are lower in SnoCo, but you’re still close enough to Seattle if you need something from there like an $18 martini served with sneering hipster attitude, or some shit from a “pop-up” store or restaurant. Life is good and cheap in SnoCo.

        Sno County is far more centrist, they have a mix of elected representatives, and no commie bicycle-obsessed moonbats like those on the Seattle City Council. SnoCo people value privacy, low density, and property rights. There’s still a lot of farmland in SnoCo so you’ve got a good mix of white collar (like Boeing) and blue collar (farmers & contractors).

        Everett proper is nicknamed Tweakerville, and it’s a well-deserved moniker. Which is one of the funniest things about this story, actually: Everett LE giving a soft shit about bikini baristas when the entire city is basically 50 sq miles of drug lab. Yeah, I’m sure it’s the baristas killing your rep, uh-huh.

        1. Fucking this. The problem isn’t the bikinis but that you can pretty much get meth or heroin anywhere in the sticks. Drove past a go-cart track that got shut down last year. Asked around as to why it was for sale, “they were selling meth and heroin out the back.” Yeah, that’ll do it. If you want control of the selling of sex and drugs? Legalize and regulate em.

      3. Back when I lived in Everett (early 70’s) coffee stands like these would have been more at risk of being burned down.

    3. So what about the plumbers and builders – male or female – how much butt crack are they allowed.

      I have seen more butt crack from male ‘contractors’ than I have female anywhere other than ‘The Y’.

      Is the next step that all contractors must wear overalls and all YM(W)CA customers one-piece costumes??

  2. Scott, thank you for the pictures. They are appreciated… even though you almost ruined it with the ‘equal time’ insert.

    1. Since Scott is gay, be glad he made more than equal time for the rest of us.

      Is that the fabled 55 gallon drum of lube you can buy from Amazon in the picture?

      1. I was looking for that quote from the British actor who said, huffily, “I’m not gay, I’m a homosexual!”

        Now my search feed is filled with support articles for men “fearing they might be gay”.

      2. They aren’t particularly good dude butts either. I wasn’t kidding with the alt text. They keep showing up whenever I’m looking for stock art for police abuse stories and I figured I could finally find a use for them.

        1. Good Dude Butt was your nickname in college?

            1. Ok, serious question is the first butt a dude’s butt or a lady’s butt? I’m feeling confused right now

              1. The first one is a lady butt. i wasn’t sure myself until I linked back to the original art.

                1. You seriously couldn’t tell the first one was of a woman? Man.

                  1. No, woman.

        2. They keep showing up whenever I’m looking for stock art for police abuse stories

          Weird. Maybe it’s intended for stories about police abusing some ass?

        3. I wasn’t kidding with the alt text. They keep showing up whenever I’m looking for stock art for police abuse stories

          Something tells me that’s a contextual result based on your search history. But I could be wrong.

    2. Scott, please insert more pictures of men’s butts so Paul doesn’t feel left out.

  3. As I pointed out in the morning whatever-it-is-now, “anal-cleft” is not the same thing as butt crack. I’m not sure what exactly it is, but I’m pretty sure it’s not something I want to see in a coffee shop. Would it kill legislators to take a quick look for appropriate anatomical terms when making stupid, pointless laws like this?

    1. Knowledge is anathema to effective legislatin’. If a legislator were to go around looking for information before legislating, why, they might encounter challenging information and be paralyzed by nuances and implications, and not get any lawmaking done a’tall!

      1. Sadly, the best humanity can hope for at this point is total gridlock and dysfunction in DC. If only they would disagree on amassing huge debts and spending like drunken Indians.

        1. As an Oklahoman I can tell you our drunken Indians are a lot more fiscally responsible.

          1. Yeah. Drunken Indians spend their OWN money.

            1. Not the ones on welfare.

  4. Now I can just read Reason for the pictures!

    1. Reason should go there anyway. Not that many people are getting re-educated by Reason.

      1. Enforcers are required.

    1. Shameful lack of giant black or Hispanic asses.

      1. Now that’s some equal time I can get behind.

        1. get behind

          Get behind… giant black or Hispanic asses. What you did there? I saw it.

          1. They filed a brief

          2. Most of the time when I see white girl’s butts I just get embarrassed for everyone involved.

            1. Send your white girl butts my way, then you don’t have to be embarrassed.

        2. I see what you did there.

      2. Times like these, i really miss Heroic Mulatto. Do you know how many twerking videos he would have posted in this thread by now?

          1. All of them. He would have posted all of the twerking videos.

        1. Quick, someone run over to and see if he’s there and if he’s willing to grace this thread with a guest appearance.

        2. Sounds like an awesome guy

  5. 1) Although I can see the theoretical justification for requiring restaurant workers to cover their anal clefts on food safety grounds, the customers know what they are getting into. Caveat emptor The town’s desire to limit women’s expression and secondary crimes associate with the coffee shops further discredit the law.

    2) In related news, I swung by the drug den in Paterson on my way home from work, because I was feeling down. There’s a fence around it now with a construction sign. It looks like the building might get torn down soon. Perhaps the drug dealers read my earlier comment on Reason about my planned summer project and decided to leave before it started.

    1. 1) You’re much more likely to have a sanitation problem from the food prep people not washing their hands after a massive dump or picking their nose to rid themselves of a particularly grody booger than a half naked girl serving coffee.

  6. It it blog sweeps week again?

  7. This stuff is fun and all but the stopping point is unclear.

    Basically, unless public nudity is allowed — and I’m sure there are some around here who think that — there will be some not that clear lines drawn in some cases. There will be cases — including where fines are involved — where the edges are complicated. But, not all of them give people a chance to talk butts.

    1. The stopping point is actually very clear. There is no public safety justification for laws against public nudity.

      1. Hugh Akton is posting nude in a Starbucks RIGHT NOW.

      2. There still would be questions including proper dress for courthouses or whatever.

        Then, there will be questions regarding actions of those nude, including near schools or whatever.

        We will then have debates over if we need to allow people having sex on the side of the road is necessary because the alternative is kissing will be cause for arrest.

        Anyway, I already said people will find it “actually very clear” — darn though that is not readily accepted, especially outside of limited areas like parks, beaches or the like.

    2. The thing is, I don’t think that making public nudity not-illegal would change anything very much. The vast majority of people have no interest in going around naked in public. If the occasional weirdo or hot bikini chick wants to be nude or semi-nude in public, what’s the damage?

      Some people might say something about health and safety and spreading disease. But if that’s what you are worried about, it would be a lot more productive to require people to wash their hands more or wear face masks or something. The world is a dirty place. A few people without pants on isn’t going to make it significantly worse.

      1. Exactly. Public decency laws are not the thin line separating civilization from a chaotic dystopia of skidmarked bus seats.

      2. Some people might say something about health and safety and spreading disease. But if that’s what you are worried about, it would be a lot more productive to require people to wash their hands more or wear face masks or something. The world is a dirty place. A few people without pants on isn’t going to make it significantly worse.

        Health and safety aside, can you imagine how absolutely floored people on both sides would be if one of these Title IX cases ended with “She invited him back to her place and took her own clothes off.”? At the very least, usual metaphors about leaving your doors unlocked for a burglar would have to be replaced with inviting the burglar over and leaving the blinds open to make sure the drapes matched the curtains.

        I definitely fall into the ‘health and safety and spreading disease’ or, say, pro-hygiene status quo, but there’s plenty of reason for libertarian-libertarians and civil libertarians to be behind (or at least not vociferously opposed to) these laws. Especially considering that most of them include specific language about being in public, offensive intent, and without consent of the ‘victim(s)’.

        Not to say that the bikini baristas should be put out of business, the name and advertising alone should make it clear how they differ from Starbucks but may Libertarian God (if he exists) be with you if you roll up to your local Starbucks or McD’s and the barista is wearing only a thong.

        1. drapes matched the curtains.

          Dammit! Confused myself with blinds, curtains, and drapes logic and butchered the metaphor.

          1. Some days you beat the Elephants, some days the Elephants beat you.
            – Tarzan

        2. I just default to not wanting to punish people for innocent behavior that harms no one. Public nudity laws criminalize a lot of innocent, harmless behavior. I say try not having them and see if there is really a problem that needs to be solved there. I very much doubt there is. You could still punish lewd behavior. You’d just need to actually prove that the behavior was in fact lewd.

          1. I say try not having them and see if there is really a problem that needs to be solved there. I very much doubt there is. You could still punish lewd behavior. You’d just need to actually prove that the behavior was in fact lewd.

            I think, in this case, there’s a better case for the principles of privately-owned businesses, women’s agency in those businesses, and a general stance against public property, tempered by an understanding that since it exists, there are, should (or at least could) be standard codes of conduct.

            Otherwise, I think pitting libertarian principles in favor of anti-lewdness under the guise of anti-nudity is going to get swept up in the lack of nuance of the #metoo and Title IX movements like it kinda already is. Men already do get arrested for masturbating to women in public, I don’t see how you could reasonably or broadly separate and defend public indecency from lewdness in such a situation and not come off looking like something worse than a Nazi Grand Wizard.

      3. NY allows toplessness & sadly women do not seem to wish to do so.

        I have no big fear of public nudity though if it is allowed, you will have people who do it & people will be concerned about it especially if there is children around. They very well might be wrong to think so, but so it goes.

        Anyway, I’m aware of the libertarian mind-set here, but was not aware the author felt that should be the rule. If not, there is going to be some line drawing along the edges. If not here, regarding something else related to nudity, sex or something in public. And, it won’t come up that much, but there will be cases.

  8. Best. Post. Evar! Especially the alt-text. Seriously, this made my day.

  9. These city bureaucrats want to legislate against baristas showing anal clefts but not against plumbers’ cracks? Why, just because plumber’s crack is a time-tested tradition among overweight repair people? That’s misogyny, pure and simple!

    I don’t see how bikini baristas hurt anyone. And they can raise people’s spirits, among other things.

    1. If you see enough of the TV news stories about bikini-barista busts (heh, no pun intended), you start to see a pattern in who’s doing the snitching. Hint: not the happy customers. It’s the homely housewives and fattened soccer moms in LuLaRoe sweatpants and minivans feigning concern about “teh childwen.” Not kidding. It’s all mombies approaching middle age. They’re jealous. That’s the whole driver of these barista raids.

      1. And now they have one of their own as mayor.

  10. Good going, Shacklefart. I like the pics.

    Although, I must confess, I initially thought this article was going to have an ENB byline.

  11. Seriously, just out of curiosity, are actual hookers taking jobs as baristas?

  12. A reminder, also, that Sno County loves investigating bikini baristas. Looooves it.

    Also, these repeated “sting investigations” of bikini baristas seem to go on for months at a time. Hmm.

  13. No buts about it, I like the way this article ends.

  14. Thank you for bringing this critical case to our attention. However, it’s extremely difficult to understand the issue without more example pictures (of course of the sort that are relevant to this case – presumably young, well formed, and female).

  15. They both look fine. Americans are such Puritans and such hypocrites.

  16. I figured it out: #1 is OK because her bottom is covered — with sand!

  17. I used to read Playboy for the articles, and now I read Reason for the Butt pics.

  18. My barista is 5’2″ and goes 225. Please ban her butt!

  19. I am making $85/hour telecommuting. I never imagined that it was honest to goodness yet my closest companion is acquiring $10 thousand a month by working on the web, that was truly shocking for me, she prescribed me to attempt it. simply give it a shot on the accompanying site.


  20. Between what I think is photoshopping which may not just be limited to the green screen in the second picture and the angle, it may or may not qualify.

  21. “The city claims that these tiny stands where scantily clad women serve coffee are incubators of prostitution, public lewdness, and crime.”

    I’ve never been much of a coffee drinker, but given that ringing endorsement, I might have to give it a try.

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