What Is A Stone Top & Where Does The Term Come From?
The term ‘stone top’ comes from queer women’s communities (although it is used by other groups of people, such as trans men), and refers to somebody who is not only a top, but doesn’t like to ‘receive’ from a partner at all. Some people also use the term ‘touch me nots’ (or ‘TMNs’) to refer to the same or similar experiences.
While the term ‘stone top’ comes from the term ‘stone butch’ (think Leslie Feinburg’s 1993 novel Stone Butch Blues), stone tops can have varied and diverse gender presentations.
Different stone tops may define ‘receiving’ in different ways, with some people defining it as not wanting direct interaction with their genitals, others as any interaction with their unclothed body, and some as interacting with other parts of their body even while clothed, such as their breasts or chest.
Why Are People Stone?
There’s a common idea that all stone tops are stone because of trauma from sexual violence. While this is the case for some stone tops (and is a valid reason to want to be stone), the reasons that somebody might be stone are as diverse as stone tops themselves!
Some people who experience gender dysphoria find being stone helps them navigate sex without being triggered. Others may find direct touch to their genitals may feel too intense and take them out of the moment. And others still simply don’t have a desire for genital touching during partnered sex.
How Do Stone Tops Have Sex?
While stone tops don’t enjoy receiving touch or penetration, there are plenty of other ways to have sex! While somebody saying they are a stone top gives you some idea of their preferences and boundaries, negotiation shouldn’t end there, especially as particular boundaries around touch, sex acts, and nakedness can vary between people who identify that way.
Many (although not all) stone tops enjoy wearing strap-ons. They may also enjoy grinding on their partner’s body or genitals, giving their partner oral sex, or fingering or fisting their partner.
Some stone tops can sometimes find they orgasm just from giving their partner pleasure, while others find they can orgasm from the pressure of a strap-on toy’s base on their genitals or from grinding. Others still are ambivalent about their own orgasm when it comes to partnered sex.
It’s worth noting that while stone tops are tops in terms of more conventional sex acts, they may not be tops or D-types when it comes to BDSM. Not wanting their genitals interacted with doesn’t mean that somebody won’t enjoy flogging!
Being A Good Partner To A Stone Top
To be a good partner to a stone top, the first thing to accept is that your partner’s stone identity is not something to be ‘fixed’ or a challenge to be overcome. Sexuality can be fluid, and some people may experience more or less of a drawn to stone identity over time, but the idea of ‘turning’ somebody’s sexual preferences to suit your own desires is rooted in disrespect for their sexual boundaries. Do not pressure or coerce your stone top partner into bottoming or receiving during sex, or somehow being less stone.
Secondly, as with all sexual partners, have a discussion to clarify what ‘stone’ means to them. In addition, communication can shine light on what they’d like from you in terms of reactions, response, and feedback.
Being a stone top with a non vocal partner can lead some people to feel like ‘sex dispensers’. Non sexual forms of intimacy and appreciation can really help with this, such as complimenting them or cuddling after sex.
Kelvin Sparks is a trans man and pervert who writes about sex toys on the internet. You can find him at KelvinSparks.com, or at @Kelvinsparks_ on both Twitter and Instagram. His first book, Trans Sex: A Guide For Adults, was released in November 2022.