Lesbian Sex (and Visibility)


Sex. Lesbian sex. Did your ears perk up? Yeah, I thought so.

We speak about sex during an entire Alicia Menendez show, but from whose perspective?

Seeing two feminine women–kiss (or go further), is a foolproof way to attract male attention. Tara Lombardo from the Institute for Human Identity said it best:

"A lot of femininity is based on the male gaze. If you remove the male perspective, you have to figure out the female gaze and at this point we still don’t know what exactly that is in the gay community."


Yes, the straight male population–in general, tends to go crazy when they see two women–feminine–kiss and touch. That's why it's TV and film writers go-to strategy when they want to spice up a storyline: Just throw in some girl-on-girl action. Lesbians in entertainment are like a really tasty garnish for a bland meal.

While the thought of having that kind of power makes this lesbian feel like a boss, it's also a problem. Instead of being read as a legitimate couple when I'm out with my girlfriend, we're seen as a tease–even an invitation–for straight men.

I was once cuddled up with a girl, standing on a train platform. We were sleepy and just wanted to go home, when we heard kissing noises. It was an on-duty police officer. He asked if he could join! And this stuff isn't rare.

As a feminine lesbian, I'm seen as being ready and waiting for a man. Especially when I'm with another woman. This is a real issue.


Women around the world are sexually assaulted because of their disinterest in men. Some men feel so intimidated when a woman has no interest in them, that they resort to violence in speech or in action.

So, where does this come from? I think it's because of our narrow definition of sex–what it is and who can have it. It's off. Think about it: The phrase "losing your virginity" implies vaginal penetration by a penis. That's why former president Bill Clinton thought he could get away with saying, "I did not have sexual relations with that woman." Because oral sex doesn't count…right?


This idea invalidates sex between two women entirely. Despite the fact that lesbians have sex in all types of ways. In an article published on Slate, "Is Lesbian Sex Real Sex?," the authors say: "In this hierarchy of sexual acts, heterosexual genital intercourse sits at the top. Other body parts and other sexual acts…may be extremely pleasurable, but are seen only as warm-ups to the real thing."

But, if I were to ask a straight couple how they have sex, odds are it wouldn't just be good old 'missionary.' And, it might involve some accessories as well. So, shouldn't we expand this limited definition?


Maybe you've never heard this perspective before. Maybe you've thought girls-who-kiss-girls do it for the attention. And, maybe that's true sometimes, for some girls. (I'm not judging.) But, for some of us, we're tired of being told we haven't been with you yet. So, thanks…but no thanks.

In a piece for Alternet, Anna Pulley lists "10 Things Not to Say to a Lesbian"…but ain't nobody got time for that. So, here's my threesome:


To men-who-like-women: No, you can't watch and you certainly can't come home with us. If I wanted you to join us, don't you think I'd ask? I'm obviously not shy. I mean, I am talking about lesbian sex on national TV. (Hi, Mom.)



To women-who-don't-like-women: Don't worry, we're not all trying to convert you. I speak for many lesbians when I say that I prefer getting down with a woman who doesn't make me feel like an experiment.



To everyone: Feminine women can be gold star lesbians, too. Some of us love the box and would prefer to leave the hot dogs at the ballpark, if you know what I mean. Okay, I'm finally done.


*Fact: We tend to go longer than men.

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