6 Struggles Of Having Lesbian Sex I Wish Someone Had Warned Me About

by Zara Barrie

Two weeks ago, I wrote an article delicately titled, "9 Struggles Of Being A Lesbian I Wish Someone Had Warned Me About."

Because, lez face it: When you finally come out of the dusty, dark, repressive closet, there is no tour guide who magically appears in the bright light of your bedroom. She isn't greeting you in her lesbian, steel-toe boots, waving a shiny rainbow flag and clutching a welcome packet, eager to help you navigate the Isle of Lesbos.

If you're one of the lucky ones, maybe you'll find an older lesbian to take you under her big, protective, dyke wing, but most of us aren't. Most of us (me) had to learn the ropes the hard way.

And you better believe we came out the other side with battle wounds and nasty-looking scars (some of which will never heal, babes).

This is the kind of person a bitter, neglected lesbian (me) turns into after a decade of trail and error lesbianism.

Celine Rahman

I often wistfully look back at my youth and think about this:

When I was a kid, I went to an all-girls sleepaway camp in the Berkshires. The camp had this mandatory big-sister/little-sister program for new campers.

The big sister was a camper who was a few years older and knew exactly how the camp underworld worked — not just in the obvious, "wear sunscreen" ways, but in the subtle, sneaky ways, too.

My camp big sister schooled me over the phone one month prior to the first day, low-key explaining to me the intricacies of "color war" and how to smuggle candy into your bunk without getting caught. ("Have your parents stuff it inside the head of a decapitated teddy bear.")

Without my trusty big sister, there is no way I would have survived my first summer at Camp Lolliwood* For Girls.

And this, my queer kittens, is exactly what the lesbian community needs.

We need an older lesbian big sis assigned to us by The National League of Lesbians several months before we come out. We need a seasoned gay woman who will dutifully warn us we will PMS at the same time as our girlfriend, and while it will be a week of sheer hell, we'll survive, honey.

We need an older lesbian big sis assigned to us several months before we come out.

But no such program exists.

When I first came out, I was a rookie, nervously puffing on my cigarette and blinking cluelessly at the cool lesbian in the flannel and Doc Martens boots who asked me if I was a "top" or a "bottom."

I couldn't even bullshit my way into answering that question because I didn't even know that WAS A THING. I took a taxi home with my designer purse between my legs as I shamefully Googled, "What is a top?"

And that's just one of the many embarrassing things I had to Google during my first year playing on Team Girl. But it seems no one has really schooled Google on lesbian culture, either. Nothing could prepare me for this life... especially the sex life.

So, here are six more struggles I wish someone had warned me about having lesbian sex:

1. There is no clear definition of lesbian sex

"What's lesbian sex?" my posh English mother delicately asked me over a cold glass of Champagne when I came out to her. (She has boundary issues, a genetic trait every woman in my family possesses.)

While I was obviously repulsed by the idea of discussing sex with my mother, the sad truth was, I had no fucking idea how to answer her question.

Most new queer babies don't. They don't teach a course in lesbian sexuality in health class, no matter how liberal your school.

So yeah, "What is lesbian sex?" is something I had been typing into Google since the seventh grade, and all I got was lousy links to porn sites and underground internet forums where the community argued the issue themselves.

I was wildly confused. It wasn't like I was going to dive into the gay bar and ask the badass lesbian what the hell lesbian sex was. I was new to the scene, and I was treading very, very lightly in those gay bars.

But all that stressing over lesbian sex — all the times I wondered if maybe I had, indeed, had lesbian sex — was a big waste of my time.

Because here's what I eventually learned: The definition of lesbian sex is in the eye of the lesbian beholder.

My girl Layla* considers it oral. Another girl I know says it's penetration, strap-on or multiple fingers.

Personally, I think it's sex whenever an orgasm happens. (I recently told someone this, and she was was very relieved by my definition as it cut her number of partners in half.)

Bottom line: There are no hard and fast rules as to what the EXACT DEFINITION OF LESBIAN SEX is, so you get to define it for yourself, ladies.

Remember you've now entered the glittery gay world, which is not like the basic straight world. Straight world is black and white, all hard lines and archaic rules. Gay world, on the other hand, has a whole rainbow of colors and options and ideas and identities.

Gay world has a whole rainbow of colors and options and ideas and identities.

Oh, how gorgeously liberating!

2. Strap-ons are a delicate subject matter.

Oh girl, when I first came out, I knew what strap-ons were, and I knew they were "a thing."

I don't know how I knew this, as I didn't have lesbian friends, but what can I say? I intrinsically knew strap-ons would be a part of my future.

But what I didn't know was they were a loaded subject matter for some of my Sapphic Sisters.

Some girls are vehemently against strap-ons and are almost offended by the mere suggestion of them.

"I don't need a strap-on to PLEASE MY GIRL!" Talia*, a rowdy lesbian with a booming voice defensively snorted at me, giving me the eye-roll of a lifetime.

And that's just scratching the strap-on surface.

For other girls, strap-ons are the very foundation of their sex lives. Other girls only use them on ~special occasions~. Some girls wear them out to the club, tucked beneath their jeans, ready to whip 'em out and have sex with you at any time.

Other girls like to use the same strap-on with multiple sexual partners because they feel like it's a part of them. While other girls (me) are wildly offended at the idea of using the same strap-on in a new relationship, even if it's been thrown into boiling water and fully cleaned (an expensive habit, as the whole unit, harness included, can cost a girl $500 plus).

Honestly, I could write a whole article dissecting the modern politics of strap-ons. (Would you like that? Message me on Facebook.)

But my main point here is this: Strap-ons are a far more delicate issue than I ever could have dreamed of while locked in the closet.

3. Straight people will ask you dumb question like, "If you use a strap-on, why wouldn't you just use a real dick?"

Look, I'm not easily offended. I'm pretty into answering questions, as long as they aren't from the chapped lips of a 'roid raging frat boy.

But no one warned me that after three martinis on a night out with my heterosexuals creatures, I would be recklessly bombarded with questions such as this.

"What's the point of a strap-on? If you want to use a strap-on, why don't you just use a real dick?"


"Why do so many girls sleep with girls who look like boys? Why don't they just fuck a real dude?"

Um, maybe because a masculine-presenting woman ISN'T THE SAME THING AS A MAN, YOU DUMB FUCK.

I had no idea straight men would find it so impossible to wrap their brains around the idea that not one tiny, piece of us wants you or your dick.

4. It's hard to make a girl orgasm.

From my experience, making a boy cum (while traumatic) was pretty easy (as long as you can get through it without vomiting).

Girls, on the other hand, are challenging entities when it comes to the art of the orgasm. I smugly thought to myself, "Oh, this will be easy! We have the same body parts. Of course I'll know what the hell I'm doing."

Yeah, well, I was as stupid as I was delusional. Every woman has a vastly different vagina with very different trigger points. Some girls like to get down and dirty inside the apartment, while other girls would rather hang out on the outside stoop, if you catch my drift.

Some girls like to slug back vodka hard, while others like to sip their wine ~slowly~.

5. Just because it looks butch in the streets doesn't mean it's butch in the sheets.

They say "butch" and "femme" are dated words, but what can I say? I'm old-school, and since I don't consider either identity to be negative, I embrace the terms.

But alas, I'm not a hip Millennial lesbian. I'm sort of bizarrely stuck in the '90s. I would have slayed at Lilith Fair.

Look, just because a girl wears ripped denim and chain wallets and has a half sleeve of tattoos cascading down her ample toned arms doesn't necessarily mean she's a strict top who wants to do all the work and dominate you in the sack.

On the contrary, the girl in the mini dress and the kitten heels and the winged liner (me) isn't necessarily a pillow princess who just wants to lie flat and let things happen to her.

There might be a freaky dom beneath that Dolce & Gabbana bodycon dress.

So, don't make assumptions.

What's tough on the outside might be ~soft~ and ~submissive~ on the inside. What's sparkly and long-lashed on the outside might actually be a total top strap-on enthusiast dominatrix on the inside.

6. Some women are worse than men.

I know that was a sweeping, man-hating generalization. And for the record, I don't hate heterosexual men at all. (I actually find them cute. Irrelevant, maybe, but that's very different than hate.)

What I mean is this: When I first came out, I thought there would surely be a fervent girl code in the lesbian community.

I never thought girls could actually be wildly disrespectful — misogynistic, even — to other girls. I mean, we're women, so how can you objectify your own kind?

Babes, I was WRONG.

Some lesbians will take you back to their West Village studio apartments, screw you until the sun bleeds through the curtains, tell you they "feel deeply connected to you" and then never call you again. (I've been on both sides of this carousel.)

Some lesbians cheat.

Some lesbians have no boundaries and will swoop in and hit on your girlfriend like sexually charged predators who can't keep it in their pants.

Some lesbians will think of you as nothing but another notch to add on to their expensive Italian leather belts.

In short, anything shitty you've seen a man do to a woman, another woman can do to another woman.

This shocked me at first. I thought I was safe from the atrocities of straight culture, now that I was in girl world.

I was blown away when I first overheard two women at West Hollywood club argue about who was going to fuck the pretty manic pixie dream girl in the corner of the bar first.

However, while there are lesbians trolling the bars in every city and small town across the great state of America, recklessly breaking hearts and shattering lesbian dreams every second, they're few and far in between.

The average lesbian isn't going to disrespect her own kind. Invest your energy into the lesbians who fiercely love and respect women as much as you do.

And I can't help but sort of feel comforted by the fact we have some ruthless players roaming the scene. I mean, navigating hook-up culture, getting my heart broken, getting lied to and dealing with relationship drama was something I secretly didn't want to be held back from just because I'm gay.

Hell hath no fury like dyke sex drama.

I wanted to the same melodramatic, mascara-streaked, crying in the streets youth the girls on "90210" got to experience.

And girl, I got it. Only, it was more intense.

Because hell hath no fury like dyke sex drama. So don't worry, babes. You'll still have to deal with douchebags, only the douchebags will be girls, and at least they'll be hotter and have more swag and better game than greasy fuckboys.