10 Things That Lesbians Hate To Hear

singles 3Written by Marissa Higgins, originally published on thoughtcatalog.com

1. “Are you really a lesbian? You don’t look like one.”

Interesting question, but one rooted in a lot of confusion. Two major stereotypes regarding the appearance of lesbians exist: that of the “butch” masculine lesbian who decidedly rejects society’s vision of women by wearing short hair, plaid shirts, and loose-fitting clothing, and that of the highly sexualized, feminine lesbian common in pornography and advertising. In reality, lesbians are as diverse as any other group, and that’s reflected in their appearances and mannerisms. No group of people fits into a particular mold or has the same exact comforts or expressions through appearance as everyone else.

2. “When did you become a lesbian?”

Hmm, when did you become straight? A sexual identity isn’t something anyone really becomes; it’s something people are. Sexuality isn’t a choice. Even if your friends from middle school swear up and down that you had a crush on Timmy in the eighth grade, it doesn’t mean you weren’t a lesbian at the time.

3. “Why didn’t you tell me?”

Tell you what? About my sexuality? For most members of the LGBTQ community, there are a lot of reasons that we don’t explicitly talk about our sexuality, the most common one being that we are not yet comfortable being out. The coming-out process is a difficult one and operates on many levels: It entails the risk of being fired from our jobs, disrupting our family units, or subjecting us to prejudice in our neighborhoods.

4. “Who’s the guy in your relationship?”

Ouch. Some aspects of the patriarchy and heteronormative strains of society simply don’t apply in same-sex relationships, and someone having to be “the guy” in a lesbian relationship is one of them. Women can coexist without a male figure or influence, just as male same-sex couples don’t require someone to be “the woman” in the relationship.

5. “I don’t know how you two can deal with each other’s emotional mood swings. I drive my boyfriend crazy enough!”

While no relationship is perfect, the idea that lesbian relationships are more volatile or turbulent because women are inherently moody and clingy is offensive on multiple levels. Straight or gay, not all women are not flighty, emotional creatures begging to commit on the second date, and the outdated idea that all women are indecisive and overdramatic does not apply to lesbians (or straight women) across the board.

6. “Did something, you know, happen to you to make you afraid of men?”

No. In spite of people claiming that there is a correlation between lesbianism and sexual abuse, nothing happened to “turn” anyone into a lesbian. Lesbians are not afraid of men or penises, just as gay men are not afraid of women or vaginas or were all abused by straight women in their childhood. Homosexuality isn’t something that happens as a result of a bad, scary thing.

7. “At least you don’t have to worry about STIs or getting pregnant, right?”

Actually, lesbians can spread STIs like anyone else; that’s why female condoms and dental dams exist. Also, when it comes time for same-sex couples to have children (if they make that decision), it can be a time-consuming, frustrating, expensive and exhausting process. Being reminded that they can’t get pregnant on their own isn’t always a welcomed relief.

8. “So how do you actually have sex?”

Some of my sassier same-sex friends would tell people who ask this question to just Google it, but I disagree. Although there is some pornography made for “real” lesbians, I disagree with the idea that anything in the media defines or represents the real sexual nature of any coupling, straight or gay. All people have different comforts, likes and dislikes in sexual activity, and not all lesbians enjoy the same things. If some lesbians enjoy using sex toys, this doesn’t mean they’re emulating the penis. If others enjoy oral sex, it doesn’t mean they’re feeding into the male fantasy of lesbian pornography. And just because a particular act — such as fisting — rarely makes it onto the screen in commercial pornography, that alone does not make it any less of a “real” sex act than any other intimate activity in which two women might engage. How lesbians have sex is often treated as a great wonder because of the lack of a penis, but that wonder has more to do with a patriarchal society and gender norms than an actual need for anyone to know about anyone else’s sex life.

9. “So have you ever thought of having a threesome?”

This question comes from straight men, straight women and other women in the LGBTQ community. My personal answer is this: No. My wife and I are strict monogamists and aren’t interested in experimenting with others in the bedroom. However, some members of the LGBTQ community like to have threesomes, and that’s OK, and lesbians who enjoy them aren’t sex-hungry animals desperate to turn straight women gay or put on a show for straight men. Straight or gay, people have different sexual comforts, and the sexualization of the LGBTQ community, especially lesbians and women who have sex with women, is not accurate or acceptable.

10. “Well, I’m not a lesbian, but I’ve always wondered what it would be like.”

If you want to experiment, experiment! Only you can determine what your sexuality is. No matter how much you hint or flirt, you shouldn’t expect a lesbian to lean over and whisper that they can just tell you’re truly a lesbian or ask if you want to hook up and find out. Lesbians aren’t here for you to experiment with if you’re curious about your sexuality. No women are sex objects here for someone else’s pleasure or experimentation, and that includes lesbians and women who have sex with other women. Whether you’re a male or a female, don’t expect lesbians — or anyone you’re attracted to — to be one-dimensional beings without feelings or comforts outside their sexuality.

23 thoughts on “10 Things That Lesbians Hate To Hear

  1. A lot of preaching on a Saturday morning, Pinky! Anyway, I like this. For a lot of straight guys, homophobic as they are, lesbians are some sort of fantasy or whatever. So you hear a guy say, “How can a guy fuck another guy? Nonsense! But girls, hmm, I’ll like to watch two girls kiss while I have sex with them.” A friend of mine once told me that he loved lesbian porn so much, but for a long time couldn’t understand why a dude would want to touch another dude, the hard body, no breast, no yansh (I told him I hate soft things anyway), until he told himself to stop being hypocritical.

    And yes, this who’s the guy or girl ish? There are times when I think it’s just a normal reaction, you know, people trying to make sense of something new to them by using a model that is familiar. But there are also other times it gets irritating (between, I get bored and irritated when a guy goes all ‘babe, okay sorry, babe,’ on me, you know, the same patronizing stuff they do to women.

    Oh, so many stuff to say. But since I’ve not been ordained (mind you I have my PhD in Gay Life, says my gay-but-running friend, so) I’ll just quit the preaching. Blame Pinky for all the sermons this Saturday morning.

  2. Dear writer, I notice your use of “lesbians and women that has sex with women” severally. Pls kindly educate me. Whats the the difference with lesbians and women that has sex with women. Forgive my illiteracy pls

    • Dear Gad, a man who isn’t gay (sexually attracted to a member of the same-sex) can still have sex with a gay person for many reasons, could be for cash, for curiosity and under alcoholic influence etc. In such cases such men are called MSM (MEN who have SEX with MEN).. Apply that to the women folk.

      • Thanks for the lecture. My grand mum used to say that lies are better told in English. Gay is gay. Lesbian is Lesbian. Any other is mere semantics.

      • Life isn’t always that straightforward no matter how much you try to simplify it. If life was straightforward, sex would be the way religion preaches it to be. Man and women. But here you n I are, an aberration of what is obtainable. Gay may be gay and lesbian lesbian, but there are all sorts of shades in between.

      • Bros, u forgot to add nonsense and inbetween.lol. I’m not a fan of the west and their categorisations.we may not know it but it is causing us a lot. In Africa then,all we use to have was father and mother,brothers and sisters but oyibo came and introduced us to step fathers and step mothers,cousins,aunts,uncles,1st cousins,2nd cousins etc and we began to regard our relations like distant ones.if we start today to filter western ideologies on a screen of truth,taking only the truth and living things that confuses and tears us apart,we will be the better for it.

      • The west is not all about negativity.all I’m advocating is objectivity and caution in embracing some of their fashion.

    • i find that most bottoms easily assume the role of the female. call themselves sistas, and have an uber-fab-look-at-me-am-pretty approach in a relationship.
      am not saying its bad. but i think gay men shld be behave like gay men, not women.

      btw vaginas totally rock (if u dnt count
      the odour, slime and loads of folds)! lol

      • But Ken Dats the crux of d koko…excuse my queens!!! I mean if the bottoms don’t assume the role of d female how would they feel attractive ….. i mean they just gat to assume how they feel on d inside and dats so very important to them I guess…..

      • I disagree! Anyone can feel beautiful…. But what psyche are you channeling your beauty? A man’s or woman’s? That’s where the trick lies. If you’re a man who has accepted that he’s with another man……oh damn! Lost my train of thought.

        Anyway bottom line, you can be in a wonderful relationship without assuming roles, no matter the sexual roles.

      • A wonderful relationship without assuming roles?to what extent is this realistic? Except d guys involved are verse but I don’t see the sense in this.

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