4 Things to Know Before Talking a Lesbian About Her Sexual Orientation (or Her Sex Life)

4 Things to Know Before Talking a Lesbian About Her Sexual Orientation (or Her Sex Life)

So, you’ve met a lesbian or your friend just came out to you as a lesbian or you think maybe (or definitely) you are a lesbian or you are just generally curious about women who love other women…and you have all of these questions, but don’t know the right way to ask them.

We’ve all either been on the receiving or asking end of these situations, so in an effort to make the next exchange easier here are some tips.

 

1. Google First

You can also look up the lesbian tag on tumblr, or read “Not Your Mother’s Meatloaf.” The internet is your friend when you have any questions — I recommend looking at Autostraddle, AfterEllen, and all my articles on HelloFlo (shameless self-plug). Educate yourself as much as possible before asking further questions.

And please don’t believe anything you see in porn. Lesbian porn is primarily made for straight men starring straight women and usually everyone’s nails are too long and there is far too much unrealistic scissoring (when two women rub their clitorises together and is often perceived as how two women have sex. Update: it’s not).

 

2. Be Respectful and Ask for Consent

So you’ve done some googling and you’re still curious. Before you ask any questions, check in with whomever you’ll be asking. Ask if it’s okay to ask them questions. Ask them their preferred pronouns. Ask them their partner’s preferred pronouns.

Once they’ve consented, check your privilege. You are not entitled to any information about another person’s sex life or body or romantic choices. Read that again. And again. If you ask a queer person a question about their sex lives (or anything in general) and they do not want to answer, apologize for violating their boundaries and move on.

 

3. Don’t Ask Anything You Wouldn’t Ask a Straight Person

I know you’re curious about lesbians, but would you ask a straight woman how they wear their pubic hair, if they’re sure they’re into men, or how often they have sex? Think before you ask.

 

4. Don’t Ask Who the Man in the Relationship Is

Look, men are great, they are, but lesbians are lesbians for a reason; they are women who are attracted to women. Wearing a strap-on does not put a man in the relationship. Butch/masculine-presenting women are not men. There is no man in the relationship and there doesn’t have to be.

And finally, I’m going to spare every other lesbian/bi/pan woman and answer The Big “What is Lesbian Sex” Question. First of all, not all women have vaginas and not all vagina-owners are women. That being said, I am going to focus my answer on how two vagina-owners have sex.

We live in a misogynist patriarchy so most likely you’ve been taught that sex exclusively refers to penis-vagina intercourse. This is an incorrect heteronormative assumption. Lesbians can use their fingers/tongue/toys to pleasure the clitoris/anus/g spot. Sometimes this results in orgasm; sometimes it does not. Sometimes lesbians strap on a dildo and penetrate their partner(s); some lesbians prefer clitoral stimulation and no penetration. Lesbian sex comes in all shapes and sizes, but the one thing it does not have is a man.

 

Do you still have questions? Leave them in the comments below or shoot us an email at [email protected] and we’ll answer them next time!

 

Cover image courtesy of Shutterstock.