What Is a Pillow Princess? Everything You Need to Know About Queer Stone Identities

A couple years ago, I made an Instagram post about the term “pillow princess.” We’re talking pretty general — and what I thought were very common — sentiments. Think phrases like “pillow princesses are hot” and “pillow princesses deserve pleasure” on a frilly pink background. My followers — mostly lesbians, queer, and trans folks — are usually receptive and engaged, often responding to stories and posts with thoughtful comments or questions.

So you can imagine my surprise when I saw not just a few but many comments disparaging pillow princesses as lazy, good-for-nothing lovers who were not in fact hot or deserving of pleasure. I was floored. But then, actually, I wasn’t at all.

I am a pillow princess. I am a lesbian who receives sexual touch but does not give it, at least in the traditional or transactional sense. My gifts lie in discovery, talk, and timing — think the atmospherics of sex rather than the mechanics. Though I know pillow princesses (and stone femmes as we’re sometimes called) are active, desirable partners in sex, it’s not always seen that way.

As I looked at the comments flooding into my Instagram, memories came back, too. I remembered a close friend making fun of a new partner. “She just lays there,” they’d said, laughing in a sharp sort of way. At the time, I was embarrassed, but also angry. Why shame someone you want to be with? When my friend and I became lovers many years later, I was more than a little haunted by their laughter, second guessing the sex we shared and feeling pressured to perform. We didn’t work out. Even now, there’s a second where I hold my breath after telling someone new that I’m a pillow princess, wondering how they will react.

Clearly, talking openly about non-normative sexual preferences is still fraught territory, even within lesbian, queer, and trans communities. Those on the other end of the pillow princess spectrum — namely stone butches, stone tops, and touch me nots — are similarly met with confusion and stigma. With so many misconceptions, here’s a breakdown of the full spectrum of stone sexualities, what they mean, and how to embrace your identity.

What are stone tops, stone butches, and touch me nots?

There are a handful of terms used to express the identities and preferences of those who prefer to give sexual touch — specifically genital touch — but not receive it. Often, but not always, these words are tied to expressions of masculine lesbian identity.