Many alleged “
Lesbian experts” (who are neither Lesbian nor expert) claim that being Stone Butch is simply a preference, like some people like to be tickled while others don’t, or like some people like chocolate while others prefer vanilla.
These alleged “
Lesbian experts” make the situation seem like it’s just another fun and fabulous way to be in a relationship: they incorrectly paint a rosy, sexy picture of a totally and mutually satisfied Stone Butch with a Straightbian Pillow Princess (while incorrectly calling her a Femme)**.
**Just to be crystal clear, since many (uninformed) people mistakenly associate Femme Lesbians with Straightbians, the difference is clear and quite simple: Femmes are LESBIAN and Straightbians are STRAIGHT.
And in regard to today’s topic of Stone Butch, only Straightbians would prefer to be a Pillow Princess. Why? Because Lesbian is a sexual orientation. While being Lesbian is NOT all about sex, sexual attraction/interest is definitely a component.
Here’s the thing that confuses people, because sometimes Femmes will remain in relationships with “Stone” Butches (in other words, Butches who fear, and are ashamed of, being sexually touched):
True Femmes may settle for the inequity of a relationship with a Butch who feels she cannot allow intimate touch. We may try to convince ourselves not to feel rejected, unwanted, and lonely. We may tamp down our true desires in order to make our (Stone) Butch lover feel less threatened and for the sake of harmony.
But, over the long haul, Femmes who do so typically end up feeling sad, lonely, and unfulfilled.
The main factor to consider here is that Femmes are Lesbians. As Lesbians, we desire reciprocal intimacy with our Lesbian partners. We aren’t vending machines who just accept the change without dispensing the chips (so to speak, LOL). We WANT to dispense the chips. And we feel progressively guilty and uneasy over time when we are relegated to always being the receiver and never the giver.
So, what is a Femme to do? It truly seems like we are stuck between a rock and a hard place when faced with a Butch (who is Stone) who we want true intimacy with.
On one hand, if Femmes settle for the status quo of one-sided sexual relations, over time, we will likely start feeling rejected, unwanted, and lonely, as mentioned above.
On the other hand, though, if Femmes push the issue, we are likely to encounter resistance, rejection of our advances, and outright anger from the Butch (who is Stone). If we push too far, too fast, we risk even losing the relationship altogether.
The elephant in the room here is that true intimacy requires vulnerability from both partners. In the unequal, one-sided sexual encounters of a Butch (who is Stone), the Femme is expected to allow herself to be vulnerable, to allow herself to be touched intimately, to be “naked” (perhaps literally, perhaps figuratively). But: the Butch (who is Stone) doesn’t have to allow herself to be vulnerable. The Butch (who is Stone) remains in control, covered, distant, safe. This inequity is incompatible with true intimacy.
The good news is that being “Stone” is NOT set in stone.
I have come up with the following very general suggestions for Femmes who desire more intimacy, but are dealing with the complexities involved in a relationship with a Butch (who is Stone). Obviously, each situation is different, so not every suggestion will apply. Each Femme knows her own situation and her own lover best, and each Femme will need to decide for herself how best to proceed. Also, the following list only scratches the surface of this complicated topic, so this list is therefore NOT intended to be a comprehensive guide by any means.
1). First, before you say/do anything concrete at all, take time to figure out yourself, your motivations, and what you want from the relationship. What, exactly, is going on and what, exactly, do you desire to happen, with you and your partner, both separately and together?
2). You may want to take time to write in a private journal (which is kept in a safe, private place), and/or to talk to a trusted friend who understands (preferably another actual Femme).
3). Make time to take care of yourself before (and during) approaching the situation, particularly if you are feeling insecure. I don’t mean take care of yourself sexually (although that is fine too, of course, LOL!), but rather, I am referring to general self-care. Do whatever nurtures you: take walks, take baths, get massages…whatever. Why? By taking care of yourself, you will be better able to clarify and ask for what you need, and better able to approach your partner from a calm, centered place rather than from a state of anger, hurt, or frustration. Plus, those “small” self-care techniques are not really so small after all, because they symbolize valuing ourselves and our own needs, which is really what addressing this issue is all about.
4). Once you are clear about what you want for yourself and in the relationship, communicate your thoughts/desires to your partner, preferably at a time when your partner is fully dressed and calm and not feeling vulnerable.
5). It is very likely that your partner will immediately pull out phrases from the Universal Official Stone Butch Code Book (written/influenced by Straightbians): “This is just the way I am!”; “I get my pleasure from pleasing you”; “I am perfectly happy with the way things are”; “I am wired this way!”; “It turns me on watching you”; “What’s the matter, you had fun last night, didn’t you?”; “My sex organ is my brain!”, etc. She might even quote the alleged “
Lesbian ” like Shar Rednour (who are neither Lesbian nor expert) to back up her claim that Stone is a perfectly normal sexual expression. experts
6). When #5 happens, it’s important to try to refrain from becoming annoyed, angry, or defensive. Listen to your partner’s statements and concerns, and then ask questions to try to clarify, then listen again. Rinse and repeat.
7). Realize that we’ve all been brainwashed. Most “
Lesbian” advice has been written by non-Lesbians. Most people, including most Lesbians, have never met an actual Butch/Femme couple in real life (we are THAT rare). Therefore, Butch/Femme is misunderstood, misrepresented, and maligned. It will take more than a few conversations and certainly a lot more than one post to undo decades of false information. Part of that false information is “The Legend Of The Stone Butch”: strong, silent, and untouchable. It is time to start dismantling ALL the lies we’ve been spoon-fed.
8). Start reading the truth about Butch/Femme and issues regarding Stone Butch, preferable reading together with your partner. And: yes (because I know some smarty-pants will ask), I am telling you that Dirt and I know the truth. I know that probably sounds arrogant, but I don’t care. Why do I say we know the truth? Because we actually are Butch and Femme. Dirt and I are not just talking about these issues…we have faced, and successfully dealt with, these issues ourselves.
9). Related to numbers 7 and 8: Immediately stop reading nonsense about Stone Butch, such as the drivel that Shar Rednour spouts, as discussed here. The attitudes such as those listed in the link, and in most other places, are detrimental to both Butches and Femmes, and encourage a very unhealthy dynamic. Let the brainwashing stop.
11). Realize that you cannot, and should not, change anyone else. You know that saying “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make her drink”? That saying applies here. Your partner may, or may not, be amenable to discussing these issues with you and/or open to changing her pattern. If she is not open, explain clearly why the issue is important to you and delineate the possible consequences from your perspective if no changes occur (e.g., your loneliness, frustration, etc.). Please note that I do NOT mean this as in a “threat” to your partner to “shape up”, but rather as an honest, frank communication of what the situation means to you.
12). Make sure to not blame nor shame your partner, but instead, focus on your own feelings, thoughts, and needs.
13). Realize that the issues driving your partner’s Stoneness are complex and are rooted in Butch Shame. Your partner is not trying to hurt, frustrate, or deny you, and her hesitation to let you reciprocate in love-making is not a sign of a lack of love or caring.
14). If you are a currently single Femme, it is important to have these conversations BEFORE the relationship progresses to sex.
In summary, there are no easy answers for Femmes who are seeking greater intimacy with their Butch partners (who are Stone). Healing and hope are definitely possible, but, truthfully, the road there will likely be fraught with pitfalls.
Stay tuned for more on this important topic, and as always, please feel free to ask questions and/or give your thoughts here in the Comment section; and you are always welcome to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Important Usual Disclaimer: This blog is NOT intended to be professional advice, nor to substitute for the advice of a licensed professional. The reader should consult with an appropriate professional regarding any/all mental health needs.