Misconceptions About Lesbians 14

The Frisky has a pretty good list of 11 Girl on Girl Misconceptions, including the oft-aggravating “it’s just a phase” line and the fact that no one quite knows how scissoring got picked up as a lezzie sex move in porn.

Though I could’ve done without all the “Puhleases!”and “Roars!” from the obviously exasperated writer. Also, I take issue with this:

Being gay is easier than being straight because you’re dating someone who is the same gender as you. I wish this were true, but it isn’t. Guys complain that girls are impossible to figure out and I agree. I don’t understand my own emotions and feelings half the time, let alone another woman’s. Oh yeah, and if you think having sex with someone who has the same parts as you is easier, you’re wrong there too. You know how it’s easy to put mascara on yourself but not on someone else? Yeah, it’s kind of like that.

I take issue, not because I don’t know how to put mascara on myself or because she doesn’t know the difference between sex and gender, but because in refuting one stereotype, she’s buying into a DIFFERENT stereotype, namely that women are flighty, emotional wrecks, who “don’t understand their own emotions, let alone someone else’s.” Also, it IS easier to have sex with someone who has your same plumbing. Continue with me on this shitty metaphor for a moment (see what I did there?): Who would you rather fix your toilet, someone who uses a toilet every day or someone who lives in post-Communist Poland? (Okay, fine, they have toilets, but not toilet PAPER!). The point is, I’ve been familiar with vaginas for some time now and I use them often, almost as much as I watch episodes of 30 Rock, so I’m familiar with how they work, what different sensations feel like and how long it takes to marinate a pot roast inside one. Ask me what a blow job feels like, however, and I will most likely turn the conversation to Taylor Lautner’s abs, something I am much more intimately knowledgeable about. P.S. Look at his ninja moves!


Then there was this misconception: “Lesbians get committed really fast.” Sure, the U-Haul on the second date joke is an exaggeration, but out of all the lesbian stereotypes, this one hits home the most. You could blame socialization, as Pop Matters did: “Women are socialized to establish emotional bonds with other women and often crave a nurturing relationship, meaning they have a greater propensity to set up a home together quickly.” I think it has more to do with the fact that lesbians don’t have to follow a prescribed mating timeline like heteros do (dating, commitment, cohabitation, marriage, kids, etc), and can make it up as they go along. Or, if you’re me, you cohabitate to double your wardrobe.

What do y’all think of this list of misconceptions? What would you add or take away? Here’s one to start: Lesbians love sports. Puhlease! Unless darts is a sport!

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14 thoughts on “Misconceptions About Lesbians

  • Anonymous

    The lesbian misconception I hate most is the idea and use of the term "lesbian bed death". Oh and that one plays the role of man while the other is the woman.

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  • pulley-whipped

    yes! bed death, of course. how could they forget that?

    my gf and i STILL get the "who's the man?" question, which is just embarrassing, for them.

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  • Sarah from Chicago

    Yeah, I just wanted to mention the "who's the man?" misconception, although it looks like I've been pre-empted.

    Nonetheless, even when the straights don't ask, you can tell they're trying to figure it out in their heads, even subconsciously.

    Not that there is anything wrong with butch-femme couplings, or tomboy-femme, or boi-femme (interesting to note that we seem to have many variations on descriptors for masculinity in queer women, but yet really only one for femininity queer women … hmm, this may use some pondering on), especially if that's what you're into as a queer woman … but it does marginalise those of us that are interested in presentations of gender that are closer to our own … ie femmes with femmes, butches with butches, tomboys with tomboys, etc, etc, etc.

    One additional thing is that whole femme invisibility and/or marginalisation, where one gets one's sexuality questioned because one presents according to conventional 'heterosexual' presentations of femininity … both from straights and within the queer community. I know that's not strictly a 'misconception', but in a way, it is, because there comes the idea that you can tell a lesbian by looking at her … I have a theory that the far majority of us beaver-munchers out there aren't distinguishable from the general morass unless we are holding our girlfriend's hand.

    I mean, I know where it comes from, in terms of femininity as a gender presentation being about male sexual access, and so hence, when one genders oneself such, one is bringing along for the ride the cultural positioning of heterosexuality, which is then noticed by both the queer community and straights alike. But still, it annoys the shit out of me!

    And apparently I can't write a comment without it turning into a treatise …

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  • pulley-whipped

    a lesbian misconception from WITHIN our community – way to take it one step further, sarah! and post as long a comment as you want. the internet has endless space, so i'm told.

    it is interesting that femme only has one categorization. unless you count "fatale" – in which case, 2. though i often consider sporty dykes to fall into the femmey arena and hipster dykes. those are more fashion-oriented than gender presentations, however.

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  • Sarah in Chicago

    Well, you know me Anna, I'm all about the post-modern deconstruction 😉

    But yeah, as I typed that list, I did come up with some modifiers for 'femme'; low-femme, high-femme, uber-femme, hipster-femme, etc … but like you say, they're really fashioned-based and not really directly about gender like they are for masculine women, moreover they're modifiers, rather than strictly new terms.

    The closest I've heard is "straight-appearing" … but I think that's more of a term used on gay men that has migrated to lesbian women, rather than it's own term per sae.

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  • kellypanic

    Hehe! My word verify says "fackyr". Ah, fack yer lesbian misconceptions, ya scurvy basterd!

    Now I'm confused about what kind of femme I am. Thanks, Sarah.

    I'm also anti-"it's easier to date girls because you are one". Although that's somewhat true in the sense that every dude I've been in a relationship with, when I said, "I just want casual sex, okay?," flipped his ever-loving shit and thought I was playing a "game".

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  • Sarah from Chicago

    Kelly, I do believe that's "frak", as in "frak you, you lesbian toaster!!!!"

    And trust me, I've wondered what kinda of femme I am for years now … I've come to the conclusion that I think it depends on how unshaven my legs are on any one day.

    Either that or I'll just go with "straight-appearing" …

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  • Sarah from Chicago

    Anna –

    It just hit me that I didn't mention the biggest "misconception" I've ever heard … it was from my father.

    My dad's explanation for gay people was that we were scared of the amount of hard work it took to make a relationship function with someone as different from oneself as a person of the opposite sex. So, they would take the "easier" option of what was basically a deep friendship with someone of the same sex, as they were so similar to oneself, and then add in sex to that friendship.

    This he was quite secure in this theory, and felt quite pleased in telling me, as he had obviously thought this through quite solidly. Except, though, for the relatively minor flaw of never having actually, you know, talked to anyone gay, mind you.

    So there you have it, we're queer because it's "easier".

    Aren't you glad that's settled then?

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  • Krankiboy

    Just to focus on the statue for a minute. What’s with the hooker shoes? Does anybody really get completely naked and nub rub but leave the heels on?

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  • ToughCookie

    This doesn’t prove or disprove the stereotype about lesbians and sports, but I find it a hilarious anecdote. My (now ex) wife and I were in P-Town years ago, and the Red Sox and Yankees were in the world series. We were trying to watch a drag king show but the ladies watching baseball at the bar got so loud and feisty the show had to be stopped until the game was over. Quite a scene.

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