From Not Stone to Stone-ish

I’m finally getting around to the Ask Me Anything questions from Sugarbutch’s 4th anniversary. I hope to get through them all, though it might take a little bit of time!

My question: How do you relate or not relate to stone identity? To what extent do you ID/not ID as stone and how do you feel about that? Maybe you’ve written about this here before and I missed it … I’ve had a big process going from not stone to stone-ish to stone, and I’m curious about how other butches feel. —Bond

I haven’t written much about this, I don’t think. I don’t identify as stone, but I do identify as stone-ish. I’ve never been all the way stone, but I do remember on my first date with Kristen I said, “I’m basically stone,” as I was trying to describe the ways that I was a top and wanted to be in charge perhaps ninety percent of the time. I’d told this to other lovers on other first dates, but it didn’t always make sense to the other person, and I was trying to put it out there stronger and more specifically this time, lay everything out clearly as early as possible in hopes that she’d get it.

(She did, she does.)

But that is really new in my history—I’ve dated girls even in the past four years that I’ve been running Sugarbutch that were tops, or toppy, and to whom I bottomed. My first long-term relationship with my ex-boyfriend of five years was kinky, in a kind of entry-level kink way (light bondage, light percussion) and we experimented with some switching, but mostly I was bottoming to him. As our relationship drew on, we started taking some classes on kinky sex (at places like Babeland) and I started learning more and more about topping. It wasn’t until I got out of that relationship entirely and had a series of revelations that I started realizing I was more of a top than bottom, and that perhaps I’d never really been submissive as much as bottoming.

I’m mentioning all this because stone is tied to topping, for me, because I’m not stone so much as I’m a top. I’m not opposed to being touched or penetrated, and I don’t have strong emotional reactions to those things, as I know some other stone folks that I’ve talked to do. (I don’t think that’s the only way to be stone, but in my experience stone often goes along with a gender dysphoria and a disagreement of gender between body and mind.) As I’ve been dating (and chronicling my dating here), I started getting more and more specific about who it was I wanted to date, especially in terms of identity keywords like bottom and submissive, and I did start describing myself as stone or stone-ish to girls I was flirting with or on first dates. I wanted to see what their reaction was, what their relationship to stone was, and whether or not they knew what to do with that. More than one girl seemed to understand and then behaved differently in bed, which was not what I wanted.

There is a relief that comes along with not being touched (very much), though. It means I don’t have to try so hard, I don’t have to worry about whether or not I’m going to get off ‘that way’, whatever way she’s touching me, it means I don’t have to be in that particular position of surrender when I often (at least nine times out of ten) do not want to be. I much prefer getting off while strapped on and fucking … and yes, I suppose that does have something to do with gender, that I prefer my orgasms to be related to my cock and not necessarily while being penetrated.

I don’t always prefer to get off that way—I was just writing about masturbation and My Ultimate Masturbation Toys, one of which is that genius Pure Wand, which is just the right size and shape for me. And sometimes, especially it seems right before I start my period, I crave getting fucked, sometimes hard. That tends to be when I ask to be fisted. I don’t do that often, maybe three times in the last year and a half relationship with Kristen, but when I have, I think they have all been around that time of my cycle.

But generally, when I’m with someone else, when I’m with Kristen, I want to get off through fucking, through my cock. I want to be dominant, in some way, using some sort of physical strength that tightens my muscles and makes the getting off all the more intense. I want to be using my gender fetish, which I don’t ever fuck without, anymore. I want there to be a gender component and a power component, with me in particular places on those spectrums, and usually, that involves me strapped on, on top.

That doesn’t quite make me stone, at least not the way I understand it. But there’s something useful in the language of stone that helps get across that top identity, that dominant identity, and that butch identity, so I have relied on stone in the past to help me make all those identities come together.

What about you? Do you identify as stone? Stone-ish? Not stone? Why or why not? What’s your relationship to the identity of stone? What do you define it as, what do you think it means?

Published by Sinclair Sexsmith

Sinclair Sexsmith (they/them) is "the best-known butch erotica writer whose kinky, groundbreaking stories have turned on countless queers" (AfterEllen), who "is in all the books, wins all the awards, speaks at all the panels and readings, knows all the stuff, and writes for all the places" (Autostraddle). ​Their short story collection, Sweet & Rough: Queer Kink Erotica, was a 2016 finalist for a Lambda Literary Award, and they are the current editor of the Best Lesbian Erotica series. They identify as a white non-binary butch dominant, a survivor, and an introvert, and they live outside Seattle as an uninvited settler on traditional, ancestral, & unceded Snoqualmie land.

10 thoughts on “From Not Stone to Stone-ish”

  1. Al says:

    I'm definately not stone. I like being touched. Didn't know there even was a stone until I read your article, then on Urban Dictionary. According to UD, it is someone who doesn't like being touched during sex. I think sex is a two way street, and though you can share things without touch, I think intimate touch is important to intimacy in relationships. I can see how stone could be used in casual relationships where the emphasis is on getting one or more parties off, but I'm still dubious.

    Isn't it another level of not accepting how your body gets off?

  2. Kyle says:

    I'm with Al on my understanding of Stone, but it's not my perspective, so it's a definition I don't know through my own life. I love being touched, everywhere.

    I'm not stone, however I can relate to a lot of what you're saying about the gender component in how I get off. When fucking with a cock, I am most often fucking from my masculine gender identity. When I'm being penetrated, it can go both ways. There are times when I'm Casey and I want to open up and fuck from my female perspective. I love anal sex and, most of the time, when I'm being fucked in the ass, it's my Kyle/male identity getting off on it. I definitely feel energy differences depending on how my gender is being expressed during sex, and I know my partner can feel it as well. I can also relate to using my physical power, the clenching of muscles, increases the strength of my orgasms.

    So I'm not stone in either my masculine or feminine identities, but there is definitely a difference in the way sex feels in my body and mind depending on which gender I'm feeling more strongly. I've never seen stone as an essential part butch identity, rather I've seen it as a different shading of identity, butch or other.

    As for the use of stone concepts in finding one's dominant, top side, I can understand that to some degree. When I'm topping, I'm in control of who and what gets touched, when and for how long. I'm newish to truly topping Roxy, and now that I think about it, sexual touch from her has been limited to blowjobs when we're playing that side of our switching D/s relationship. Opening up, accepting her penetration, those are actions I associate more with my sub side, or with non D/s sex. I do know that accepting penetration makes it impossible for me to remain in control of a scene, because of what it does to my body and mind.

    Interesting, Sin, because I've never considered myself stone, yet, in some situations it appears I do operate from that perspective.

  3. As long as I have been out as a bottom-sub-femme, I have felt more comfortable -in general and in sexual situations- around top-butch-dom-stone energy. Some have accused me of being a pillow princes who does not reciprocate all the energy a top puts into giving her pleasure. But I don't think that really accounts for all I do in bed. My facial expressions, speech, moans and sometimes, even screams can all contribute to the pleasure and satisfaction a top receives from an interaction with me. It doesn't necessarily mean that I do not touch them, I might. But the point is for me to do what they say, to touch them the way they want me to, not the way -I- want to touch them, as long as I am comfortable with what they ask of me. For people who place a high value on touch alone, and not necessarily the comprehensive experience, it might be a struggle for them to adjust their expectations about the interaction. All this sorta brings us back to being G-G-G (as Dan Savage of Savage Love podcasts describes it), Good, giving and Game. Learn all you can so you can be good at what you do, be a generous giver and be adventurous, willing to try just about anything at least once (with respect to hard limits). That way, everyone has a positive experience and gets treated the way they want to be treated. I'm always excited to be with someone stone or stone-ish because it means I get to let my talent for beautiful obedience shine!

  4. lescook says:

    Stone makes sense to me in a way that other id's have not.

    I am more butch than I had ever suspected but I don't have gender dsyphoria. Topping and power play gets me off but I'll still allow some touching at my direction but not penetration, I prefer to fuck strapped on and be the dominant partner. Even when I did allow penetration I had to be on top for things to work.

    I've been struggling with this issue over the last couple of years and would have to say I'm probably stone-ish at this point. The stone part of me is more about locking down my emotional side and not letting anyone close. It feels safer for me.

    1. Bill says:

      I'm Stone-ish: I identify myself as gender-queer, dont like being touch on my breasts but on my ongoing relationship I discovered that I really appreciate being fucked. But thats just possible because I know and feel my girlfriend has not a top (or bottom) identification. I dont really know how to explain but to perceive that when shes fucking me she does not want or feel herself in a position of control is crucial to "calm down" and relax and …come. In the beginning it was very hard to admit that penetration was something that my body enjoyed so much. kinda still is…

  5. I use stone-ish with new partners pretty often because it seems the only way to REALLY get across that genital touch with me can be confusing without making it sound like I don't like sex. I also like using it because it sets the bar pretty low as far as success when touching me goes, then when it does work it's a "Eureka!" moment instead of a "I finally got it to work" moment.

    It is really frustrating to me that people feel SO BAD when they can't get me off with manual stimulation. all this social baggage around not being good enough in bed comes up and, for me, getting stimulated like that isn't a big priority. it's easier for me to initially identify as stone so I can skip the whole mess and focus on what I really like.

    I've also found that the label "stone" is better received than "it feels weird sometimes because of my gender dysphoria". it feels like sometimes people feel entitled to push past my limits if it's the dysphoria (because, clearly I just don't know how good it can be, or haven't had it done right, et.) but they respect stone identity. I've had a few people (not my partners, thank god) who will try to tell me that I'm wrong and unhealthy to deny my cunt happy touching just because I like it better on my cock.

  6. H says:

    I'm a femme top and have only been in sexual relationships with butches/ trans/masculine folks, a couple of whom may have identified as stone. Well, I realized that didn't work for me because after years of suffocating and at times traumatic sex with males who read my femininity as submissiveness, I didn't want to be penetrated either- or touched in any way that would eventually lead to orgasm. Recently I've been meeting people who I feel I should offer some preliminary explanation to- some people see a small femme and assume she'll want to be fucked. My feminine presentation and thus perception are the very reasons I don't want to be fucked- knowing that I can be read as vulnerable and submissive makes me feel more panicked and out of control whenever someone gets on top of me than I imagine I might be if I knew it was up to me to communicate my desire for that role.

    Anyone else feel like they id with stone femme? I've read that stone femme can be associated with femmes who date stone butches and also as femmes who are themselves stone- I gotta say the latter makes more sense to me, I don't know how I feel about the heteronormative practice of identifying feminine characters in relation to their masculine counterparts!

    1. A says:

      I think of all the posts I've read, yours rings the most true for me. I'm a petite femme but having someone inside me sends me into a panic. I don't know why, and I wish I did. It always feels like a problem I've yet to work through. But reading that other people feel the same is a relief.

      I love topping, & my gender identity in bed is probably a mix of butch & femme, but it's only when I'm butching or topping that I can handle penetration.

  7. ElegantElephant says:

    (I’ve been coming here for years, but lately I’m re-reading some of your posts and this one in particular makes me want to comment. Sorry for the length, i have trouble cutting it down.)
    I find it interesting that your “stone-ish-ness” derives from being a top/dominant, because to me it’s kind of the opposite. Also i’m thinking a lot about what you call “identity alignment assumptions” (if i recall correctly).
    I’ve always been completely stone because of my gender dysphoria (i’m a trans guy), but i’m also a masochist and in part submissive (with tons of limits because of my dysphoria, again). All that has always been instinctively obvious to me, many years before being able to put them into words or do anything about it.
    These past couple of years i also realized, in part thanks to your website (thanks a lot!), that i really like wearing a silicone (or packing) cock, because it feels like my own (before that i always figured i had a (mental) “blank space” instead of genitals).
    I sometimes feel very unusual because of my combination of identity “alignments” (trans-masculine / stone / cock wearer / service top) and “contradictions” (all that mixed with masochism / submissiveness). It feels weird to never find representations of people (especially masculine of center) who share all of those traits. It seems to me all the other stone people with strap-ons are also dominant, and all the other sub/masochist people are bottoms / not stone at all.
    When i “top” someone sexually, i feel like i’m submitting to her because it’s entirely about her pleasure (and i really love being guided/directed through what she wants). But my masochism is more about my own pleasure, which is also why i have trouble asking for pain play : i feel like i’m selfishly “requiring” too much, even though to me it’s actually pleasure reciprocity. (I’m very shy and inexperienced when it comes to flirting/dating, too, so that doesn’t help.)
    So i wonder what you think of identity “dis-alignments”, and how to express them to other people. Also, how to find compatible people to date? And i guess (once that is settled), how to ask for reciprocity that isn’t the regular “i-do-you-you-do-me-the-same-way”?

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