Dating & Relationships

What Does It Mean To Be A Pillow Princess?

What is a pillow princess, and how to tell if you might be one...
by Angela Thoma
27 Jul 2022

UPDATED: 15 Nov 2022


Image Source: Photo by Acton Crawford on Unsplash

Welcome to the magical world of pillow princesses! If you’re unfamiliar with the term, don’t worry, that’s why you have us. We are going to walk you through what it means to be a pillow princess – or pillow queen – and examine how it can be both a damaging stereotype, and a label some like to wear proudly. So, let us take the lead. We’ll be your guide on this spellbinding journey.

Lay back, relax, and let’s get into it.

What Is A Pillow Princess or Pillow Queen?

Pillow Princess Meaning

What does pillow princess mean? At its core, a pillow princess is someone who prefers to receive touch, or sexual stimulation, rather than giving it. Pillow queen is a variation on the same theme, although maybe with the added connotation of imperious mastery over partners. 

Where “Pillow Princess” Came From 

The term pillow princess first popped up in queer media during the 90s – the decade that also gave us ​​Tamagotchis, the Spice Girls and the Macarena (in case you forgot). The phrase pillow princess originated in the LGBTQIA+ community to describe women (queer or not) who were keen on receiving, but not giving, oral sex.

Today the term is more broadly used and may refer to a person of any gender or sexuality. It is also not limited to oral sex. Pillow princess can refer to a partner who takes pleasure in being fingered or penetrated with a strap-on, but who may not enjoy or want to penetrate their partner. Pillow queen is another term that some may use to describe this dynamic. The two are often used interchangeably. 

You may also encounter the phrase “pillow-biter”. This is not the same thing as a pillow princess or pillow queen. “Pillow-biter” is a derogatory way to refer to someone, often a homosexual man, who receives anal sex. It’s a homophobic term, so leave it out of your sexual vocabulary. 

Pillow princess vs starfish

“Being a starfish” is another phrase you may hear that is also associated or used interchangeably with pillow princess. As the name suggests, it describes a partner who lays unmoving, arms and legs sprawled, during a sexual encounter. Generally this term is considered pejorative, which brings us to our next question: is being called a pillow princess an insult or a compliment? Should I feel empowered or offended by the label?

Pillow princess: insult or compliment?

Here is where things get tricky. Pillow princess is nuanced and has both negative and positive connotations. Some people use the moniker to put-down their partner(s), or others. The term may insinuate that those who prioritize their own pleasure during a sexual encounter are lazy, or a bad partner. Calling someone a pillow princess in this case is seen as insulting or even derogatory. 

Using the term as an insult may reinforce the stereotype that to enjoy receiving pleasure is selfish. Some sex educators argue this negative connotation stems from our culture’s tendency to prioritize the pleasure of cisgender, heterosexual men. Villainizing pillow princesses could discourage some individuals from exploring their own desires and discovering what works best for them. If you are always focused on giving rather than receiving, it may be more difficult to suss out what you want from a sexual encounter.

Looking for a pillow princess?

In contrast, positive connotations of pillow princess may apply to kink, dominant/submissive relationships, or BDSM. Some people favor partners who want to be on the receiving side during their sexual rendezvous. This has led to some dating apps, like HER, adding pillow princess as an optional tag to include on your profile. 

Let’s explore the pillow princess kink and pillow princess BDSM a bit more deeply.

Pillow princess kink

For those seeking someone submissive, or who enjoy watching their partners be pleasured, a pillow princess may be a perfect fit. A pillow princess may also pair well with those who identify as a “stone”, or a “stone top,” someone who prefers to give during sexual pleasure rather than to receive, or a “touch-me-not” (TMN), someone who prefers not to be stimulated, or touched, during a sexual encounter. It is sometimes said that a “stone top” is the opposite in some ways to a pillow princess. Like pillow princesses, people who identify as stone or TMN can be equally stigmatized on the opposite side of the so-called “giving” spectrum in sexual experiences, all the while fighting to be proud of their identities, and understood as sought-after partners. As with pillow princesses, it’s important to create space and understanding for what different people enjoy in their sexual lives without judgement or stigmatization, and if you, your friend or partner(s) identifies as a stone, or TMN, we’re here to celebrate that as a unique and valid identity.  

Being open and honest about your sexual preferences with your partner(s) is key. For example, if you need to receive oral to feel sexually satisfied, then you may want to discuss that with your partner(s). Open communication about your preferences is the first step towards more fulfilling sexual experiences – and who doesn’t want that?! 

We should all learn to respect the pillow princess identity the way that many in the queer, BDSM and kink community have. If this label describes you: get out there, and own it!

Pillow princess test

Do some of these sound familiar? Curious to know if pillow princess is a term you might want to claim as your own? Here are some signs you may identify as a pillow princess:

  1. You may receive more than you give and prefer it that way.
  2. Your favorite positions may be the ones where you’re laying down—think missionary or spooning.
  3. You may prefer to use sex toys when you masturbate rather than your hands.
  4. You may enjoy dirty talk.
  5. Your primary kink may be bondage.

How to not be a pillow princess: the opposite of pillow princess

All or some of these points may apply to you, but it is your decision whether or not you want to claim the pillow princess title. If, after reading this, you conclude the pillow princess crown is not for you, let it adorn another’s head. Never go against what feels right for you, or act out of fear of being labeled a pillow princess. 

Remember, how you experience and feel pleasure is personal. What works for some might not work for others. What some enjoy, others may not—including being active or passive during a sexual encounter. It is important we discuss our needs with our partners, and we don’t shame others for their sexual preferences. 

Where can I learn more?

So, you’ve made it to the end of the article. Congrats! We hope we’ve fulfilled your desires and have given you what you were looking for: an introduction to the bewitching world of the pillow princess. But, after all this, are you eager to learn more? Don’t worry. We’ll make it easy for you. 

Check out our upcoming workshops and masterclasses. You can also download our Killing Kittens app, the fastest growing adult social network. Our app provides a great forum for you to meet people, whether you’re looking for friendship, romance, or anything in between. Join the conversation on official KK chat groups, or start your own private chats with new friends. This is your space to explore, uninhibited, and to express your full, sexual self. Come on in! Our door is always open.