I have written about what my stone butch identity means to me. In general, I try to not police other people’s identities*. I believe that queerness benefits from inclusivity of all sexuality and gender non-normative persons. Although I have both personal beliefs about various identities and sociological analyses of various identities, I try to save those discussions for close friends, because I am invested in not challenging anyone’s identity. I don’t believe that any good comes of that. On a community level, all queers are my people.
There is an exception. Stone sexuality means something to me, something important, that is related to having my sexual boundaries repeatedly violated. As such, it matters to me, in the most pragmatic of ways.
The only real cultural reference for stone sexuality is the novel, Stone Butch Blues, by Leslie (later Les) Feinberg. In the novel, Jess, the protagonist, is a stone butch who doesn’t allow her femme partners to touch her ‘no-zone,’ that is, her bathing suit area, as we called it as kids. But in the novel, our only readily available cultural reference for stone sexuality, Jess allows her partner to touch that part of her body when she falls in love. She calls it ‘melting the stone.’
It’s tempting to say that ‘it’s just a novel.’ But in my life, the idea of ‘melting the stone,’ which comes directly from that novel, has been a common problem. I am very upfront about my stone sexuality, and what that entails in terms of boundaries, when I start dating a woman. They typically accept it until we become emotionally intimate. Then, with a few exceptions, they expect the ‘stone’ to melt. I am not okay being sexually violated by anyone, even people whom I love. It’s not a measure of my love. It doesn’t matter how much I love you; I won’t let you violate me sexually.
As a result of these experiences, I am always on guard when I have sex. I am always waiting for that moment, when she tries to ‘melt the stone.’ It’s one reason (not the only reason, because they’re also awesome in their own right) that I like handcuffs; they make me safe.
I suspect that many people have boundaries with casual partners that they don’t have with partners whom they love. There’s nothing wrong with that. But in terms of stone identities, I feel that it affects me. My sexual boundaries are for literally every partner, every time. I see things online by people who call themselves ‘mostly’ stone, ‘usually’ stone, ‘pretty much’ stone.
I’m going to police this identity, and I’m going to be very clear: Stone is a metaphor. It is impermeable, impenetrable, and inflexible. It is stone. It can only be violated by force. It is neither temporary nor context dependent. The boundaries of stone sexuality are not flexible. They are not permeable based on emotional relationships. They are not penetrable, ever, by anyone.
So, you are not stone if you let people lick your junk, touch your junk, or penetrate your junk. Full stop. And if you call yourself stone, knowing that you want to let anyone do those things, you are contributing to the constant battle that those of us who are actually stone have to face, every time we have sex. The battle to not be violated despite explicit discussions of our boundaries.
It sounds harsh. It feels harsh to type it. I want to let people have their identities, no matter how irrational. But… I am constantly defending my body against sexual assault. It’s often unintentional sexual assault, by people who really do love me. And yet, when you call yourself stone, but let people fuck you, you contribute to the general perception that I can be fucked. And I will. not. be. fucked. Ever. By anyone. No matter how much I love her.
*I am not claiming to be perfect in this regard. I succeed more than I fail. It’s a work in progress.