Last week, I had an orgasm on my kitchen counter.
It was in the midst of one of those pointless arguments you have when you’re both tired and stressed. My girlfriend was unloading the dishwasher, muttering expletives under her breath, when the frustration bubbled over into hot sex.
We realised early on in the relationship that, if we’re fighting – especially over a frivolous issue – it’s usually because we haven’t had sex in a couple of days.
Watch: Madison Missina on lesbian sex versus hetero sex. Post continues after video.
Perhaps that sounds like a lot, given we live together, lead busy lives, and are well and truly domesticated at this point, but the idea that women are less sexual than men and that, by default, lesbian relationships are bereft of sex, is about as big a myth as they come (pun unintended).
Of course, we aren’t taught women can get off without men. How would that even work anyway, right???
I’ve only been out for a few years, and I’ve already lost count of the amount of times a guy has scoffed, “You know you wish you had the real thing” (the insinuation presumably being that a): Unless there’s a penis involved, you’re not having “real” sex, and b): lesbians are just women who can’t seem to find a d**k for the life of us, because, you know, straight men are so discerning about where they put their penises.)
And yet, despite the fact lesbian sex is still treated as less legitimate, and confusion persists around what two women could possibly do together to have a good time (braid each other’s hair?? Cross-stitch???) it’s lesbians – not straight couples – who are having the most orgasms.
The most extensive study ever conducted into sexuality and pleasure revealed that, while straight men unshockingly climax 95 per cent of the time during partnered sex, their female partners are only getting to the big oh 65 per cent of the time. Lesbian women, however, were found to experience orgasm 86 per cent of the time – nearly as often as straight men.
It’s almost as if the “real thing” isn’t all it’s cracked up to be?
(Also, if your entire bedroom repertoire consists of putting your d**k in and out of someone a bunch of times, you might want to consider the possibility you’re s**t at sex. Especially if your definition of “real sex” includes both parties coming.)
Still, sexual intimacy between women is routinely labelled “lesbian sex” as opposed to what it actually is: “sex”. Because – spoiler alert – lesbians don’t do anything in bed straight people can’t do.
In spite of what porn would have us believe, gay women aren’t out here slamming our pelvises together in a scissor-like formation, intermittently jamming razor-sharp claws into each other's vaginas. (There are only two types of lesbians with long nails: Pillow Princesses – aka, women who prefer to exclusively “receive” pleasure – and women whose manicurists think they always need the same two acrylics filed down because they’re really into bowling.)
According to a survey of more than 13,000 sexually active lesbians conducted by Autostraddle, the top three most popular bedroom practices among gay women are clitoral stimulation, fingering and oral sex. Note that not one of them involves penetration.
Earlier this year, I guest-hosted a few subscriber-only episodes on Sophie Cachia’s HER podcast, where I described “the hook”, a fingering technique I garnered through my sexual experiences with other women.
Shortly after it went to air, a straight colleague pulled me into a meeting room to make a private exclamation.
“I hope it’s not weird to share this,” she began excitedly in a low voice.
“But my boyfriend used your move on me last night and I had the best orgasm of my life. I just wanted to say thank you!”
Though the episode was about “lesbian sex tips”, none of the advice I shared wasn’t also applicable to hetero couples.
Research published in the Journal Of Sex & Marital Therapy shows that despite what we’ve been conditioned to believe about “real sex” (the hetero-normative penis-in-vagina model), merely 18 per cent of people with vulvas can reach climax via penetration alone. The most effective way to get someone with a vagina to orgasm is via clitoral stimulation – incidentally, the top sexual practice among lesbians.
This isn’t to say lesbians can’t and don’t, enjoy penetration. But the idea women require a stand-in for a penis to experience pleasure without a man is pure farce.
For starters, strap-on use isn’t as common in the real world as it is in porn (it didn’t even make the top five in Autostraddle’s Lesbian Sex Survey), and second, until penises come in every colour of the rainbow including neon pink, and offer over a dozen different vibrational patterns, comparing the two is a false equivalency.
I’m sorry to disappoint you if you came here hoping to uncover salacious “secrets” about the mysterious world of “lesbian sex”, but lesbians aren’t a porn category. We’re not doing anything straight men couldn’t be doing if they accepted the fact that the route to most women’s orgasms isn’t through a penis.
Stereotypes about what queer people do in bed are just that – stereotypes, not reliable indicators of what individual people enjoy. I know lesbians who hate oral and others who can’t get enough of it. There are lesbians who wouldn’t dream of sleeping over at their girlfriend’s house without packing the strap-on, and some who get off by grinding alone with zero penetration.
My personal sexual preference is resolving arguments by banging it out on the kitchen bench. Who’s to judge?
Nadia Bokody is a queer sex columnist, YouTuber and professional over-sharer who occasionally picks fights for the makeup sex. Follow her on Instagram @nadiabokody for more.
Feature Image: Getty.