Essay, Writing

What Stone Butch Means To Me

I identify as a Stone Butch. Stone Butch, like everything, can mean different things to different people. Wikipedia defines Stone Butch as:

“A butch lesbian who tops their partner sexually and is averse to sexual contact with their genitalia. Instead, sexual satisfaction is often derived from giving rather than receiving sexual pleasure. Unlike many variations of butch lesbians, the gender presentation of a stone butch is masculine. Stone butches may or may not consider themselves transgender.”

So what does Butch mean to me? Ultimately, it’s complicated. To me, Butch is a white, working class masculinity. In the mid twentieth century, white, Butch lesbians, regardless of their class origins, were relegated to working class or poor jobs because of their gender presentations. Butch masculinity became intertwined with the masculinities of the white, working class and poor men with whom they worked. I’ve never had a butch lesbian role model, and I haven’t even had many butch friends. My role model is my dad. He taught me to fix things, to protect anyone I could reasonably protect, and to honor my commitments. He taught me to use and to depend on my body, to build and to fight, and to always stand up for the underdog. And he taught me stoicism and self-sacrifice, which don’t serve me well, but are nonetheless, part of who I am.

I don’t identify with the modifier “old-school”, yet I recognize that I practice it in many ways. When I can, I open doors, pay the tab, and carry things. I walk on the outside of the sidewalk when it’s not too obnoxious, give women my jacket, and ensure that they order before me at a restaurant or bar. I am always hyper-aware of these things, but they are tempered by my respect for whether or not women are comfortable with them.

I identify as having a transgender experience but don’t identify as a transgender man. I support all persons’ efforts to self-actualize their genders. I am extremely dysphoric, and share much of my gender experience with trans men. For me personally however, identifying as a female is as politically important as identifying as a woman feels incorrect. I use she/her pronouns.

So what does Stone mean to me? It means that I don’t take my boxer briefs off, and I don’t get touched anywhere that’s covered by my boxer briefs. I don’t orgasm with other people. Those things feel horrible, and sexually violating to me. My sexual boundaries are open for discussion, but they’re non-negotiable. It doesn’t matter who you are, or how much I love you. I don’t do that. Sex for me is not an unequal trade. Rather, it’s an exchange of currencies. What I give to you, and what I take from you are different, but they are of equal worth.

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