Lesbian FAQs

Because I so often find myself answering the same questions over and over (both in real life and online), I decided I start a Lesbian FAQs list.

If you have anything else you’d like me to add in a future post, please just comment here (Noteonly polite & serious comments will be published), or please email me at sayebennett@gmail.com.

So, without further ado, welcome to the Lesbian FAQ’s:


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FAQ #1:  “Can any woman become a Lesbian?”

Answer: Nope.  See Magical Thinking.

FAQ #2:  “Which one of you (in a Lesbian relationship) is the ‘man one’?”

Answer: Neither.  We are Lesbians, therefore we are both female.

FAQ #3: “Are all Lesbians either Butch or Femme?”

Answer: No.  In fact, very few Lesbians are either, although many incorrectly label themselves as such (particularly as Butch). See: Deciphering Butch/Femme.

FAQ #4: “What do you do in bed?”

Answer: None of your business.

FAQ #5: “Do all Lesbians like oral sex? That’s all you ever do in bed, right?”

Answer:  No to both, but refer to FAQ #4.

FAQ #6:  “Are all Lesbians into BDSM and/or Daddy/little girl play?”

Answer: No and Oh Hell No. (But whatever legal activity that consenting adults do is not any of our business anyway, so stop worrying about it.  See FAQ #4).

FAQ #7:  “Do Lesbians secretly like to have sex with men like some experts claim?”

Answer:  Are you serious? What have you been smoking? Of course not. Lesbians are females who are solely oriented to other females. It’s a male/penis-free zone. Simple.

FAQ #8: “How can someone really know she is a Lesbian unless she’s tried sex with a man?”

Answer: How do you know you wouldn’t like to have a colonoscopy without any sort of anesthesia unless you’ve done it? Answer: You just freaking know.

FAQ #9: “You must really hate men to be a Lesbian, right?”

Answer: Nope. I don’t hate men, and most true Lesbians I know don’t hate men either. My straight friends and acquaintances are much more likely to have derogatory things to say about men than I do.  Why? Because they’ve had to deal with men on an intimate level and I don’t, so I remain separate from all the het drama.  (I do detest perverts and rapists of course, as everyone should…but do most Lesbians typically hate general males who leave us alone? No, not usually).

FAQ #10: “Why do so many Lesbians dress/act/walk/etc. like men?”

Answer: We don’t. Lesbians are female. It is society’s perceptions of how a woman “should” dress/act/walk/etc. that’s the problem here. Start questioning your assumptions if you actually have to ask this question.

FAQ #11:  “Why don’t you have short hair?”**

Answer:  You don’t have to have short hair to be a Lesbian. Being a Lesbian is not about what you DO, what you WEAR, etc. It is who you ARE.

**UPDATE: I now have short hair, but guess what? It didn’t change anything — I was a Lesbian before I cut my hair, and am still a Lesbian now that it’s short. Are you sensing a theme? I HOPE SO!  Yes, the theme is that Lesbians are ALWAYS Lesbians, regardless of hair, clothes, etc. and regardless of whether we are single or in a relationship — from birth to death.

FAQ #12:  “If you are attracted to Butches, why don’t you just get a real man?”

Answer: (Sighing loudly after banging my head on a brick wall for five minutes).  Because I am a Lesbian. I do not want a man. I am attracted to females, and BUTCHES ARE FEMALES. FFS.

FAQ #13:  “Do you want to have a threesome with me and my husband?”

Answer: Never, no, non, nein ~ in summary: no in every language.

FAQ #14: “You must be excited about all the progress that the LBGTQQIA+ community has made lately, right?”

Answer: A). Huh? How many more letters do they plan to add?  B). It’s not really a community.  C). “L” is the only part of that acronym that I am or that I will address. D). Other than the right to legally marry in the U.S., Lesbians’ needs are typically ignored and/or steamrolled over by most of the other letters in that acronym. E). So…no, not so much.

FAQ #15: “What books/resources by experts can I consult to learn everything there is to know about Lesbians?”

Answer:  Many so-called lesbian “experts” are neither lesbian nor expert. There is no one book or resource that I know of that correctly and/or adequately covers the topic.  An easier question to answer would be what NOT to read (and that list is so long it would be an entire dissertation by itself).

FAQ #16: “Why do you insist on using the word ‘Lesbian’ even though some find it outdated/offensive? Why not just say you are ‘queer’ or ‘LBGTQQIA+’?”

Answer: Because words matter, and Lesbian is the correct word for me.  The word “Lesbian” has become unpopular and is often misused for a number of reasons, but I refuse to allow others to dictate what I can say, nor what being a lesbian means. I am not going to dilute it or confuse the meaning with alphabet-soup, politically-correct BS. I am proud to be a Lesbian, and if someone doesn’t like it, that’s their problem, not mine.

That’s it for now, but there might be more in the future.  As always, feel free to contact me anytime with questions or comments…

Edited to add this additional FAQ and answer, based on a comment below (thanks!):

Additional FAQ:  “If you are a Lesbian, you must have been sexually abused by a male, right?”

Answer: No…HELL FREAKING NO. This is a very common, yet daft, misconception, which is sadly reinforced by Straightbians like Dorothy Allison. Being a Lesbian has NOTHING WHATSOEVER TO DO WITH SEXUAL ABUSE. There are plenty of straight women who have been sexually abused, and plenty of Lesbians who have NOT been sexually abused. And vice versa. There is no correlation between abuse and orientation. Lesbians are born Lesbian. Being a Lesbian is NOT something someone can “become” for any reason. You either are a Lesbian, or you are not. Period. So get this idiotic thought right out of your head, please. You’ll feel much better when you aren’t making yourself look stupid. You’re welcome.

37 thoughts on “Lesbian FAQs

    • I’ve actually heard some lesbians say that they don’t like the word “lesbian” and would rather be called gay or queer or sapphic or woman-loving-woman or woman-oriented or whatever the heck sounds better to them…

      Liked by 1 person

      • My honey and I use “Lesbian” at every opportunity. What exactly is “queer” anyway? You are calling yourself ‘odd’ ‘strange’ ‘bizarre’ ‘weird’? Well, I’m a bit that at times but I am a Lesbian ALL the time.

        Liked by 2 people

        • “Queer” is apparently the popular term right now, with people like Lea Delaria saying we should all use “queer” because she does not want to be “divisive”. What she doesn’t understand (or perhaps she just doesn’t care) is that her own people, lesbians, who are the primary people who have supported her career, are now being swallowed, chewed up, and spit out by the monstrous mandate to be politically correct and all-inclusive. F**k that. And a Big Boo to Lea Delaria (pun intended).

          Liked by 3 people

      • I do know lesbian women who call themselves queer. I don’t like it because queer can mean absolutely anything, and when you call yourself that it’s like you’re refusing to define yourself as exclusively attracted to women. Women have the right to be exclusive about who we invite into our beds.

        Liked by 3 people

    • I was a bit taken aback by that too. I suppose if you live long enough you see everything. When I came out (1970s) the word ‘lesbian’ was so popular that hordes of straight women, gay men and even a few heterosexual men used it of themselves.
      I like Saye’s good humour in replying to these FAQs. Are they genuinely all real questions that have been put to you? Plus ça change…

      Liked by 2 people

      • That is interesting. Sounds like I missed that era of the word “lesbian” being popular…darn it!

        By the time I was old enough to come out (I always knew I was a lesbian but didn’t act on it until I was a freshman in college), the word was already uncool.

        (Lesbians did become briefly cool in the 90’s, but that obviously didn’t last, sadly).

        So the popularity of the word “lesbian” that you speak of has not been my experience.

        You are the first person I have ever heard say that, so I wonder if it is perhaps a geographical thing or something?

        I am honestly surprised that you have not run into the “the-lesbian-word-is-not-cool” phenomenon.

        Here is just one of the many threads on this topic (the link may not work in comments, so copy and paste it if necessary): https://www.reddit.com/r/actuallesbians/comments/2omc1p/i_dont_like_being_called_a_lesbian/

        So, no, I am not making this crap up; and yes, I have experienced all of these questions (and more).

        Liked by 1 person

        • Yes, I guess it could be a geographical as well as a time thing. I was at university in Oxford and York at the time. It was the heyday of political lesbianism, and it was quite common for feminists who refused sex with men (or pretended to) but weren’t particularly interested in sex with women to describe themselves as “non-practising lesbians”. We faggots got scolded for making quips like “practice makes perfect”. In those days, ‘native’ and ‘political’ lesbians still managed to rub along pretty well together, if you’ll excuse the expression. It was in the following decade that a really vicious conflict broke out between the two groups over who had the right to call herself a lesbian, and the very meaning of the word.

          As applied to gay men, it was initially levelled as an insult against gay men whose primary political allies were lesbian feminists or feminist lesbians, and who were critical of the misogyny in gay culture etc., also against two ‘femme’ or ‘femme-appearing’ gay men who dated each other. More positively, there were the ‘honorary lesbians’, gay men who were trusted enough to have conditional access to what was normally women-only space. Of course that arrangement quickly broke down for reasons too familiar and depressing to delve into again.

          An interesting group of ‘male lesbians’, though they would have been WAY too respectful to use the term of themselves, were the boyfriends of het members of the Women’s Liberation Group. Somehow those chicks managed to ‘pull’ the tastiest and cutest (and nicest) men on campus, all the gentle, thoughtful, caring ones that straight feminists SAY they want as partners, but do they really?? I would have snapped up any one of them, given the opportunity; apart from anything else, they did at least twice as much housework as any lesbian or gay man I have ever known.

          That was the decade in which it became very uncool for a woman to describe herself as ‘gay’, and in which all our organizations became “Lesbian and Gay…” rather than just “Gay…” ‘Gay’ was always meant to be inclusive, and there had always been women members, and no more joined as a result of the change in nomenclature. But it was felt to be very important symbolically. If a woman described herself as ‘gay’, you automatically suspected her of voting Conservative/Republican. I see from the link you gave us that the term ‘gay’ is becoming popular again. Ah well, what goes around…

          My memory may be distorted for all kinds of reasons: it was 40 years ago, so there’s the rose-tinted spectacles phenomenon. I was a university undergraduate, so in a kind of ‘bubble’ apart from the ‘real world’. And we were all kinda semi-separatist back then. I rarely had any contact with people who weren’t either gay, or lesbian and/or feminist. And it’s likely that historically we were about a decade behind what was going on the USA.

          Nevertheless, I would have worn my LESBIAN badge with pride, had I been entitled to. In fact, I did wear a badge bearing the slogan “Support Lesbian Mums” till I was accosted in the library by a woman who demanded to know exactly what I was doing to support lesbian mothers. Since the sum total of my engagement was the wearing of the badge, I found myself at a disadvantage, and before I knew it was roped in to babysit her children – two lovely lovely twin girls, so it was a fortunate encounter really – but how rash and trusting we all were in those days, it frightens me to think about it.

          Liked by 2 people

  1. “If you have sex with women, you must have been abused by a male authority figure, right?”

    Answer: Numerous women have been abused by men, there are more hets than lesbians, so what’s your point? If THAT was true, MOST women would be lesbians, right?

    *Dr Bennett, please add to this answer, your expertise is far beyond my verbal dexterity.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Good one! Yes, that is another frequent question/assumption. And your wording & answer are perfect! 🙂 So true, if all women who had been abused by men turned into lesbians, there would be a heck of a lot of lesbians. Conversely, many lesbians (including both myself and Dirt) have never been abused by males.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Great work, as always 🙂 At this moment I’m particularly fed up with people trying to dictate what language I can use and what words actually mean. Yes, looking at you, trans activists.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. “You are so attractive, you could have any man you wanted.”

    *Said numerous times to my honey. We are unable to go anywhere without men behaving like dicks around her. They follow us around at the stores even. I really need to invent my ‘vanishing ray gun.’

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I get a lot of the same questions as to why I don’t have that “special man” in my life. I also get accused of being a prude and get asked about The Children a lot. Don’t I want to get pregnant? Shouldn’t my children know their “real dad?” Don’t they need a male role model? Nooooo.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Pingback: Personal (and Dirt-Related) FAQs | Saye Bennett

  6. I love some of these answers… it makes me wish I could go back in time and use the ‘colonoscopy’ one! As a feminine girl I get asked ALL the time how I can be so positive i am gay. SIGH.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, I get that one too: “Are you positive you’re a lesbian?” Argh! 😦

      I just reply, “Well, are YOU positive you are (whatever he/she is: straight/gay/lesbian)?”

      Then when they answer “Of course!”, I just say “Bingo!” 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I like all of them, but #7, #8, and #16 are my favorites. I don’t care about political correctness or if me being a lesbian offends anyone. I’m not “gay” because I’m not a male homosexual, I’m not a ridiculous acronym that I didn’t agree to be a part of, and I’m not queer either. Nowadays, queer might as well mean “straight, but prefers X and wants sympathy points for allegedly being oppressed.” (X typically refers to a personality trait.) It’s a meaningless, “big umbrella” term and lesbians are pressured to use it because of erasure! The same people who claim to represent us think that being exclusively homosexual (especially if female) is bigoted and regressive, so that’s why lesbians are pressured to use a meaningless term that implies they’re available to males (particularly MtFs) so their fragile egos aren’t hurt.

    If someone doesn’t like that I’m “excluding” them from my dating pool, then too bad. Everyone has the right to set boundaries, especially when it comes to sex/romance. It isn’t a coincidence that “be nice, be inclusive, take care of everyone else, including people who hate you” is almost always directed at lesbians and other females. It’s the same old bs where we get guilt-tripped for caring about our own needs and not being a doormat.

    I view the overall trend in mainstream liberalism/social justice movements of ignoring/disregarding people’s boundaries in the name of “equality” with nothing but contempt and disgust. It’s exactly like the rape culture they claim to hate. And before I get too off-topic, I just want to say that I think boundary-violating identity politics are a contributing factor to why Democrats lost so many elections.

    Liked by 1 person

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