Let me queer up a few things for you.
I recently read an essay by Iain Morland on Intersex. What caught my attention about the essay and became a snowballs roll down a large hill was the point made on the difference and intersections of being touched and what Morland refers to as “tactility” (the act of touching). This brought up a whole plethora of questions for me, none of them about Intersex (Sorry). Namely of which was: is liking to touch not standard? Apparently it's not supposed to be.
It seems that the cultural expectation of heterosexual sex is that the female is passive and enjoys the active touch of the male. [i.e. vaginal penetration] (in this scenario there is an equal exchange of touch and tactility among the partners, both genitals touch and are touched alike.)
The separation between the enjoyment of touch and tactility becomes more apparent when we look at the cultural conceptions surrounding women giving blow jobs. Women, it would seem are not supposed to enjoy the act of giving a blow job. Though it does afford the woman more agency than she is typically given in the stereotypical vanilla hetero pairing. I’m not sure why they’re not thought to enjoy it, perhaps the lack of genital contact, tied up in the myth of the vaginal orgasm, who knows.
But the blow Job affords us an example of tactility in the extreme, if a woman were to get off on she is deriving pleasure from the pleasure of her lover and that physical body alone, instead of the stimulation of her own body.
The woman getting off from giving a blow job is seen as an atypical display of eroticism in the heterosexual couple. Pleasure derived from tactility alone, especially from women is seen as kinky and even abhorrent. This could be because of the shift in agency, in the scenario of the blow job obviously the woman controls the pleasure of the man instead of the man controlling the pleasure the woman receives- because of this active agency the man seems to play the more tactile role in heterosexual intercourse as cultural norms would have us believe it exists. But let us not forget that in this act, despite agency, a dick gets touched, and that’s what pleasure is derived from. Though the cultural mentality is that the dick touches the vagina, that’s a big difference; though it may seem semantic, it’s a detail of agency and reveals the way tactility and touch appear to be intertwined with it.
But enough about straight people. Enter the stone butch a lesbian who refuses to be touched and instead derives sexual pleasure from the act of touching her partner.
Excuse me while I take a sledge hammer to everything society thought about how pleasure is derived. While obviously varying from person to person, the idea of the stone butch suggests that pleasure can be found not in agency, because lets face it, for many power isn’t all that appealing and if it were just the agency wouldn’t domination come into play? Stereotypically the role of the stone butch is that of care-taker, not necessarily a dominant position. The femme will make clear her needs to the butch and the butch will execute. From where I stand, that seems pretty damn submissive.
She kind of kicks normative sex in the balls, no? It’s not about power, it’s not about getting touched, it’s about really liking your partner and their parts, I can’t make it any more sensible than that. So what is this act of touching? And how does giving pleasure to another and perhaps more paramount experiencing their body non-genitally transmit into an orgasm? I do not fucking know, but I encourage you to try it with a willing participant.