Yes, lesbians really can have sex

19 February 2018
Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Last year some friends and I were asked by a close friend if “you ever have an overwhelming desire to have your vagina like, really filled?” Before anyone had a chance to answer, she turned to me: “Well actually, I suppose you never have, so you can’t”. She then proceeded to explain to me why my girlfriend’s fingers could never live up to her boyfriend’s “girthy” penis. In a desperate attempt to stop being patronised and disregarded in front of my friends, I informed her that I use a strap-on, so that whether she intended to be homophobic or not, I have also experienced sex that takes a very similar form to hers. Maybe, in that case, I’d ‘qualify’. Unfortunately, this was taken as an opportunity to mock my sexuality further: “Oh my God everyone, Nat uses a strap-on!”

Brilliant. I don’t think words can describe how angry I was that the incredibly passionate and thoroughly satisfying sex that I have with my girlfriend had just been tossed up as a joke for a table full of straight girls to giggle at. Instead of fighting my case, I took myself and my non-confrontational personality to the bathroom to calm down, which I thoroughly regret. However, it is the job of straight people to educate themselves on what is and isn’t homophobic, and never a requirement of an oppressed person to explain themselves to their oppressor.

This wasn’t the first time my sexuality had been questioned: “Lesbian sex isn’t real sex as there’s no penis”; “So really, you only do foreplay”; “You’ll always will be a virgin then”. Why people think they have the right to bother me with their belittling, homophobic comments is beyond me, and it needs to stop.

The immature argument used ever more frequently by people having lesbian sex that at least both(/all) parties orgasm is equally unnecessary. In actual fact, it is hypocritical. Why hit back at comments that invalidate homosexuality with ones that invalidate heterosexuality? Such defensive arguments are entirely unnecessary, especially considering that the reality of lesbian sex (and all sex for that matter) can be so exceptional that it speaks for itself.

Recently, I saw a very refreshing take on the definition of sex on the Clue period tracker app: ‘Sex is an act of doing something a person feels is sexual’. Here, breadth is key. This encompasses any number of people with any gender and any genitals, doing anything that they wish to define as sexual. Invalidity imposed by a definition no doubt written by heterosexual people, set to alienate anyone but them, is abolished. Perhaps celebrating sex in all the incredible forms it comes in (pun intended), is the way to go.