Some time after I wrote Stone Butch, From A Femme Perspective, I received a disgruntled comment that did not get published, because, quite frankly, I was annoyed with the wannabe commenter‘s attitude, plus I didn’t have time at that moment to address her points, but I want to revisit it now.
Here is the annoying comment:
Hi, stone butch here. To be honest your piece made me a little frustrated but I’ll try to be civil in my comment.
My being stone means that during sex, I prefer to give more than I prefer to receive. I receive sometimes but even though I register it as being physically pleasurable, I still prefer giving, and it makes me feel vaguely uncomfortable. It doesn’t have to do with a freakout about me being ‘butch enough’ or anything of the sort – I just enjoy the feeling I get when I’m giving more than the feeling I get when I’m receiving. The whole part about ‘pulling out phrases from the stone butch book’ is condescending and paternalistic. Before I read this article I had no idea that people even said things like that, but I knew that I’d said and thought similar things before of my own accord. How am I being brainwashed when I’d never known anything of stone culture before?
I have always felt this vague sense of emptiness and discomfort when receiving during sex, and it wasn’t until very very recently that I discovered what it was like to be stone, and that the experiences of stone butches very closely matched my own. Assuming that we’re just adopting this label because of external pressure or ‘brainwashing’ is just… wrong.
I’m also uncomfortable with your insisting that femmes should slowly try to work at their butches until they give in to being touched sexually, and that femmes with stone butches will inevitably feel unloved and lonely. As a stone butch I’ve allowed partners to touch me but I’ve never really enjoyed it the way I know I should (not because they weren’t good in bed – they certainly knew what they were doing). To me it just feels like eating something that tastes good or taking a nice nap. I don’t get turned on by the idea of someone touching me sexually. My immediate reaction is discomfort, and it always has been ever since I started having sex (which was when I was like 14, so this isn’t a recent thing).
If femmes are not sexually satisfied by stone butches, then they should find butches who aren’t stone to be with. This is not a dysfunction or fault of the stone butch, it’s just an incompatibility. Believe me, if I could just will myself into not being stone I would have a long time ago, because I realize this makes me undesirable to many femmes and may cause issues in the future. It also makes me enjoy sex less than other butches. But it’s really not a fixable thing for all stone butches.
It also just feels coercive to me. Similar to the rhetoric about how lesbians are just brainwashed and they just need a real man to slowly work at them until they give in and stop being lesbians. If someone doesn’t want to do something sexually, you shouldn’t force it. Period. You shouldn’t use self-pity and ‘boo hoo me I feel lonely and unloved’ to pressure them into giving in to what you want either. If a partner used that on me I’d probably feel like I had no choice but to give in and let them touch me sexually but it’d be completely opposite of what I really wanted. I’d like it, physically, but I’d still feel that sense of discomfort and wrongness. Same thing as a man pressuring a lesbian to sleep with him in my eyes.
That all being said, I think people have different reasons for being stone, so if someone is stone due to past sexual trauma or abuse then they can absolutely become un-stone with therapy and love and trust. Some stone butches may be mildly stone. But many stone people, like me, have had perfectly healthy sex lives and are still stone. I’m assuming your reaction to this will be pity, like ‘oh look another poor brainwashed butch who doesn’t realize that they aren’t stone but actually just have sexual dysfunction,’ but it’s really not necessary. Assuming that you, a femme with no real understanding of what it’s like to be stone, know more about being stone than actual stone people do, is honestly pretty offensive.
That’s my two cents. Kyuo
Here is my belated response:
First of all, and most importantly:
NOTHING…and I repeat, NOTHING…in that post (nor ANYWHERE else on this blog, for that matter) even remotely suggested that anyone should sexually coerce anyone else…FOR ANY REASON, EVER!
But, since that point was apparently unclear to our wannabe commenter, allow me to spell it out more clearly, for the record:
If, at any point, anyone ever says “no”, seems hesitant, seems uncomfortable, and/or otherwise indicates through ANY verbal or nonverbal means that she is uncomfortable with any part of sexual activity…STOP!
To our wannabe commenter: It seems like you really need to go back and actually read the post, because if SEXUAL COERCION is what you came away with, you obviously missed the proverbial boat.
Furthermore, nothing in my post implied that I or any other Femmes are, or ever should be, self-pitying, whiny, or otherwise manipulative in any way. If our wannabe commenter thinks that is how Femmes behave, she clearly is thinking of Straightbians who are pretending to be “
And the fact that our wannabe commenter could read my post and even remotely THINK that it meant that I was implying that Femmes should “use self-pity and boo hoo me I feel lonely and unloved to pressure” Butches into sex shows a complete and utter lack of reading comprehension and cognitive reasoning skills.
This wannabe commenter is clearly knee-jerking and projecting, rather than reading and actually comprehending.
Moving on: A one-sided sexual relationship will always be just that and only that: ONE-SIDED.
I won’t go into great detail on that point, since I already addressed that in the original post, but bottom line:
If your partner is perfectly, 100% satisfied with being a pillow-princess long-term, YOU ARE DEALING WITH A STRAIGHTBIAN.
Furthermore, yes, I agree that a Lesbian always has the right to leave her partner if she is unsatisfied with the relationship for any reason, but our wannabe commenter’s assertion that “If femmes are not sexually satisfied by stone butches, then they should find butches who aren’t stone to be with” is just an overly simplistic cop-out which doesn’t address the true root of the issue, which is:
YES, STONE BUTCH IS A SEXUAL DYSFUNCTION. Being Stone Butch is not simply a “preference”. A Stone Butch becomes acutely dysphoric at the very thought of having a reciprocal sexual relationship with a loving partner.
The fact that our wannabe commenter incorrectly purports that some people might “
become Stone Butch” due to sexual trauma/abuse shows that she doesn’t even understand what Stone Butch really is.
Granted, yes, sexual abuse and trauma can indeed create many issues, including an aversion to sexual contact. But NOBODY “
becomes a Stone Butch” due to sexual abuse and trauma. Aversion to sex due to sexual abuse/trauma is a completely different issue, and for a completely different reason, than being Stone Butch. Theoretically, the 2 issues could indeed coexist and interact to create an even bigger issue, but they are NOT the same thing. At all.
And people aren’t “mildly Stone” ~ Stone means STONE; you either are, or you are not. Of course, general sexual dysfunction does exist on a continuum, but that is not the same thing.
My final point before I let this topic go for now and let our wannabe commenter get back to stewing in her own juices:
Based on the whiny, snarky, put-upon, petulant tone of our wannabe commenter, I strongly suspect that she is NOT a real Butch, nor even a Lesbian at all, but, rather, a Straightbian who is play-acting “
A real Butch wouldn’t “give in” to anything, including sex, if she didn’t want to.
A real Butch would know what it actually means to be Stone Butch.
A real Butch would know that a real Femme does, in fact, have a comprehension of what Stone Butch means. (We may not experience it ourselves personally, but we do recognize it and we also have every right to speak about it. Furthermore, all Lesbians have a certain amount of dysphoria anyway).
A real Butch wouldn’t (deliberately) “
misinterpret” my post to assume I was suggesting coercion or manipulation.
A real Butch wouldn’t passive-aggressively throw around pseudo-“
feminist” terms like “paternalistic” to express herself, nor would it even occur to a real Butch that what a Lesbian wrote could possibly be “paternalistic”. I guess our wannabe commenter thinks I wrote “in the manner of a father”. Well, I don’t know about your Dad, but my Dad never wrote about Lesbian sex, LOL. Seriously, though, the fact that our wannabe commenter took so much offense at my words that she had to use the tired old Straight/bian trope of comparing us to MEN essentially proves her heterosexuality. A real Butch would not assume another Lesbian was communicating, in any way, “like a man.”
Finally, a real Butch would communicate directly and assertively…in other words, like the actual LESBIAN she is.