Tag Archive | Stone Butch

Revisiting The Topic Of Stone Butch

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 “femme“.

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.

Being Stone Butch is created by dysphoria. And shame. Not trauma. Not shyness. Not abuse. Not simply “having a preference”. Etc.

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:

To be a Stone Butch, you actually have to be a BUTCH. There are a plethora of screwed-up Straightbian alleged “butches” out there who claim to be “stone” as a mask for their own trauma/abuse/issues.

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-actinglesbian“/”butch“.

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.

In summary, Straightbians, take your hetsplanations elsewhere.

Stone Butch, From A Femme Perspective

On the off-chance that there’s anyone out there who doesn’t know what the term “Stone Butch” means, here is how Dirt described it in a previous post:

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Dirt further explained the confusion involved in and origins of Stone Butch in a later post:

image-4Many 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 experts” like Shar Rednour (who are neither Lesbian nor expert) to back up her claim that Stone is a perfectly normal sexual expression.

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.

10). Connect with other real Lesbians. Most so-called Lesbian sites are cesspools.

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.

Read what Dirt wrote here and here (Please read the entire posts at the links…not just the blurb below):

image-1

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 sayebennett@gmail.com.

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.