Sex Questions from the Twittersphere: Have Stone Butches Changed?

Dr. Carol Queen replies to a question from our social networking sphere:

“is “stone butch” with us today? if so, has this sexuality changed, remained the same, both?”

I’d say yes to that, although many of the people who would have been identified as stone butch in the old days are now viewed as genderqueer or some variation thereof; whether or not she/ze/he’s a very butch woman or a transman, some such masculine folks are more comfortable being the “do-er” (top, active partner) sexually (as if you can’t be active as the “receptive” partner… oh, words fail us). But the notion of “stone” is two-sided: on the one hand, it means “very very”; on the other, it refers to an unwillingness (or orientation away from) being the receptive partner during sex. And yes, I think there are still butches for whom that is true. I don’t think it’s the norm, though, and way back when it’s possible it was more expected than it is now. There’s been a *lot* of discourse about it over the past twenty-plus years, and you know how dykes are about discourse.

Have you seen Sinclair Sexsmith’s (“Sugarbutch Chronicles“) list of the 100 hottest butches? I think it exemplifies really beautifully (though I can think of a few hot butches I didn’t see on the list… I think Sinclair maybe needs to hang out in SF just a *little* more) the way butchness has evolved.

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Dr. Carol Queen

Carol Queen has a PhD in sexology; she calls herself a "cultural sexologist" because her earlier academic degree is in sociology: while she addresses individual issues and couple's sexual concerns, her overarching interest is in cultural issues (gender, shame, access to education, etc.). Queen has worked at Good Vibrations, the woman-founded sexuality company based in San Francisco that turned 35 years old in 2012, since 1990. Her current position is Staff Sexologist and Good Vibrations Historian; her roles include representing the company to the press and the public; overseeing educational programming for staff and others; and scripting/hosting a line of sex education videos, the Pleasure-Ed series, for GV’s sister company Good Releasing. She also curates the company's Antique Vibrator Museum. She is also the founding director of the Center for Sex & Culture, a non-profit sex ed and arts center San Francisco, and is a frequent lecturer at colleges, universities, and community-based organizations. Her dozen books include a Lambda Literary Award winner, PoMoSexuals, and Real Live Nude Girl: Chronicles of Sex-Positive Culture, which are used as texts in some college classes. She blogs at the Good Vibes Magazine and at SFGate's City Brights bloggers page and contributes to the Boston Dig. For more about her at carolqueen.com.

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