Whole Lesbian Sex
What Do Butches Want?

Felice Newman,

Butches, bois, stone butches. A sexy brew of masculinity in a female body. Do they, well, you know, get fucked? Heels in the air or on their knees, do butches give it up? And if they don't, what do they like?

That was the question a femme, newly smitten with her first butch partner, asked me recently: "What do butches want?"

Many butches like strap-on sex. Some like clitoral stimulation and some like cunnilingus. Others like rimming and anal penetration. And yes, some butches like getting fucked vaginally.

If getting a partner off is central to lesbian sex, it's paramount to butch sex. Often what a butch wants most is to drive a silicone dildo – or fingers or a hand – into the place that will please a partner most – cunt, asshole, or mouth. When your butch is bringing you to orgasm, her body becomes a conduit for sexual energy.

Of course, let's not assume your butch requires direct genital stimulation to get off.

Just the visuals of that dildo thrusting in and out of you may be enough to push your butch over the edge. The base of the dildo rubbing against her clit (perhaps with the help of a well-placed egg vibe) may provide the stimulation she needs. Many butches slip a hand under their harness and take care of themselves.

The real question is this: Is there something wrong with a partner who doesn't want you paying attention to her genitals. Is that a hurdle to be overcome or a preference, thank you very much?

Don't assume that every stone needs to be melted. That butch's sexuality is her business. For some, it is indeed a preference. Others may go to great lengths to explore the source of their disinclination to receiving touch, much less vaginal penetration. They may examine all the nooks and crannies of their histories and turn every rock in their psychic gardens. They can work through past trauma and come to terms with gender dysphoria. And then decide – you know what? – it was a preference all along. Not everyone wants to get fucked.

But some do. Some butches want to explore receptive sex. It's an individual choice. If a butch decides she wants to explore receptivity, there are many ways to go about that. (For starters, it helps to have a partner who accepts her exactly as she is.) Here are some suggestions:

Femmes, don't run out and buy a sparkly red patent leather strap-on. Take it slow.

Butches, bust your own myths. Many butches believe that "real" butches don't get penetrated. ("Well, maybe in the ass. But if you eroticize your female genitals, you're not really butch.") Not true.

By opening up the subject with your partner, you, as the butch, are not agreeing to give up your identity or your lifelong sexual practices. It's just a conversation. You don't have to change a thing.

Don't conflate receptivity with "bottoming." If you're into power play, you can construe a scene where the butch "orders" the femme to "service" her.

In any case, the butch directs the action, deciding how far to go and when to quit – no judgments.

Receptivity is an energetic quality that can be cultivated – it isn't necessarily about who's doing what to whom. In fact, you can be stone through and through and be receptive. How? Well, you can be open and inviting of the pleasures of the senses rather than closed or defended.

So what do butches want? Well, a lot of things – a classic hand job or blow job. Your butch may put her heels in the air in her own rendition of Bend Over Boyfriend. She may even invite your fingers, hand, or mouth to explore her body inside and out. When she's packing for you, dear femme, she wants you spread before her, your body wrapped around her sex. However that butch likes to get off is good – because that truly is what she wants.

Felice Newman is a founding publisher of Cleis Press and the author of The Whole Lesbian Sex Book: A Passionate Guide for All of Us. She can be reached at Visit her at

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