9 Myths About Lesbian Sex, Debunked

by Meg Kehoe

Between the inability for some to recognize that there is a sexual spectrum outside of the heteronormative world and the tendency to believe what's portrayed on television, it's no surprise that there are plenty of myths about lesbian sex. But the myths are just that — false beliefs and ideas held about something a large percentage of the population doesn't quite understand.

Since I identify as a straight, cisgender woman, I decided to take a handful of common lesbian sex myths to two women who have firsthand experience with these myths. Emily, 36, has been openly gay since she was 19, and is currently single. Lisa, 27, recently came out to friends and family, and has been in a relationship for two years. Both Emily and Lisa expressed the same concern, that neither of them can speak on behalf of their entire community, and that their experiences by no means cover the entire spectrum of myths and misconceptions that queer women face, or find themselves debunking on a daily basis.

"Lesbians don't know everything about other lesbians," Emily says. "That would be like assuming all heterosexual couples like to have sex the same way." Together, Emily and Lisa are knocking down the myths you might have heard about lesbian sex, so read on to crush a few lesbian sex stereotypes and broaden your world view.

Myth #1: Lesbians Don't Like Penetration

"Not being attracted to men doesn't mean we're not into penetration," says Lisa. "Women can enjoy penetration even if there's no man involved." Fingers, vibrators, strap-ons, there are plenty of ways to stimulate a woman involving penetration that feel nothing like a penis, she said.

Myth #2: Lesbians Are Great At Oral Sex

Just because lesbians are portrayed as being amazing at oral sex simply because they're lesbians, doesn't mean that's always the case. Emily describes her introduction to lesbian sex as just that, an introduction. "There's a learning curve," she says. Nobody is automatically good at any sexual act, just because of their sexual preference.

Myth #3: Lesbians Love To Scissor

"Some women love scissoring, some women prefer their sex sans scissoring," says Emily. "It's all about personal preference." Though scissoring, or tribadism, is prevalent in media's portrayal of lesbian sex, it's not the end-all be-all.

Myth #4: Lesbian Sex Is A Lot Like Lesbian Porn

Most lesbian porn is written and directed from the eye of straight men, meaning that most lesbian porn is what straight men think lesbian sex is like. "How much of your sex looks like what you see in porn?" Lisa asks. "Lesbian porn provides just as much unrealistic expectation as any other kind of porn." Don't believe everything you see, folks.

Myth #5: Lesbians Don't Have To Worry About STIs

Queer sex is still sex, and carries all the same risks as any other form of sex where you exchange fluids and make contact with someone else's genitals. The Office of Women's Health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services goes in depth on sex risk and prevention.

Myth #6: Lesbians Adhere To The Top/Bottom Philosophy

"I think there's a lot of stereotypes when it comes to lesbians, with the way we identify," says Lisa. "Not all butch lesbians are tops, not all femme lesbians are bottoms, not all lesbians fit into a cookie cutter stereotype or identity."

Myth #7: Lesbian Sex Isn't 'Real' Because It Doesn't Involve A Penis

"Lesbian sex is very real," Emily says. "Just because we don't engage in society's traditional idea of sex between a man and a woman doesn't mean it's not sex." Not all heteronormative sex requires penetration, or a penis, to be considered sex.

Myth #8: Lesbians Automatically Know How To Please One Another

"There's this weird misconception that women know how to please women just because they have the same body parts," Emily says. "But as a woman, you know that there's not one specific way to please a woman." Emily explains that just like you have to explore your own body when discovering your sexuality, it takes some time and practice to become a pro at pleasing your partner — regardless of their sex or orientation.

Myth #9: Lesbian Bed Death Is Inevitable

There's a notion that long-term lesbian relationships experience an enormous decrease in sexual behavior, referred to as lesbian bed death. Of course, if you ask any couple in a long-term relationship, a dramatic decrease in their sex life is a concern. The term comes from sociologist Pepper Schwartz, who used it to describe sexless lesbian relationships in her 1983 book American Couples. “Lesbian Bed Death is the greatest disservice we ever did to our community. We really screwed ourselves with that one, but not in a good way,” Felice Newman, author of The Whole Lesbian Sex Book, said in an interview with the Daily Dot. “Because in fact the statistics don’t vary that much. If you’re straight or you’re gay, long term relationships can be challenging when it comes to sex.” Though in the past there hasn't been much solid data about the habits of lesbians when it comes to sex, Autostraddle published a study in 2015 that debunked the myth of lesbian bed death, easing the minds of lesbians everywhere.