What are the most common questions lesbians are asked?
Take a look at a few questions that every lesbian will get asked at least once in her lifetime, and some advice on how to respond.
If you’re a lesbian, you’ve probably been asked some pretty personal questions. Sometimes they’re appropriate, but often they’re not – and it’s almost always awkward. The key to dealing with these situations is knowing how to respond in a firm but respectful manner. Below, we’ve outlined some of the most common questions lesbians are asked, and some suggestions on how you should respond.
1. How do you have sex?
Unless the person asking you this is a really, really close friend or family member, it’s not appropriate. You have every right to feel uncomfortable when faced with this inquiry, and you most definitely do not have to respond. That said, some people are completely ignorant when it comes to lesbian sex, and if you’re in the mood to educate, go for it! The only way to normalize gay intimacy is to talk about it, after all.
How to respond: “Lesbian sex is similar to straight sex, but there’s no penis involved — just a lot of foreplay which, let’s face it, is the best part.”
Also effective but not recommended: “How do you have sex? The more details you can offer, the better. Actually, diagrams would be great. I’m a visual learner.”
2. Which one of you is the man?
This question is the epitome of ignorance, but it gets asked more than you might expect. We live in a heteronormative world, which means that people assume all relationships have to include a man (or at least someone who identifies as one). The best way to respond to this question, therefore, is to challenge that norm.
How to respond: “We’re both women. I’m not sure if you’re familiar with lesbianism, but that’s kind of the whole point.”
Also effective but not recommended: *Drop your drawers and flash your vagina.*
3. Do you want to have a threesome?
Lesbianism is largely oversexualized. For this reason, many straight people (often men, but you’d be surprised how many straight women pose this question) assume that lesbians are always interested in sex, no matter who it’s with. This couldn’t be further from the truth, of course, and if you feel inclined to respond to this request, it’ll be difficult to do it politely. Feel free to use either of the following one-liners verbatim:
How to respond: “No, thank you.”
Also effective but not recommended: “Contrary to what you might believe, lesbianism refers to women who are interested in other women, not whatever kinky sex offer comes their way.”
4. Don’t you wish you could have sex with men?
Another prime example of the pitfalls of heteronormativity. People (the uneducated and bad-mannered ones) assume that all women enjoy sex with men, and that those in lesbian relationships must therefore long to have an encounter with a penis. As we know, this is a false assumption.
How to respond: “I could have sex with men if I wanted to, but – and I can’t stress this enough – I don’t want to.”
Also effective but not recommended: “I wouldn’t have sex with men if someone paid me. Penises are absolutely disgusting.”
5. Do you hate men?
It’s a common misconception that all lesbians have daddy issues. This isn’t true, of course (in most cases), but it doesn’t stop people from asking. If and when they do, here’s how you can respond:
How to respond: “Why do you assume that the only reason I like women is because I hate men? I have a lot of great men in my life that I love dearly… I’m just not romantically and sexually attracted to them.”
Also effective but not recommended: “Would you ask a straight man that just because he was interested in women?”
6. Can you and your partner have children?
This question is becoming less and less common, but it still gets asked every now and again! A lot of people aren’t familiar with the many conception options available for lesbian couples (it isn’t taught in school, after all!), so if you’re on the receiving end of this question, seize the opportunity to educate.
How to respond: “Assuming there’s nothing medically wrong, yes! We can absolutely have children. IVF and IUI are two common procedures that lesbians use, and adoption is also an option.”
Also effective but not recommended: “Yes! Can we have your husband’s sperm?”
7. If you like women, why do you date ones that dress like men?
This one is rather irksome. The first step in answering this question is to clarify that butch lesbians don’t dress like men, they dress androgynously. In other words, they’re embracing a style that isn’t particularly feminine or masculine – it’s unique and ambiguous! And the reason you date them? Well, that’s subjective, but here’s a couple canned responses you can try out:
How to respond: “Butch lesbians aren’t trying to be less “female”, they’re just interested in being a little less “feminine”. In other words, they’re not dressing like men, and they’re still very much women. Plus, it’s the gender I’m attracted to, not the clothes.”
Also effective but not recommended: “It’s what’s underneath the clothes that counts.”
8. Do you use dildos?
More heteronormative assumptions! Some people expect that sex isn’t “real” unless there’s a penis involved… or at least a phallic object of some sort. It goes without saying that it’s nobody else’s business whether or not you use sex toys — so don’t answer this question if you don’t want to. If you do want to, here’s a few ways to go about it:
How to respond: “Yes, we do! They’re not necessary, but they’re fun!” OR “No, we don’t. We manage just fine without tools!”
Also effective but not recommended: “Do you use dildos? Can you please tell me why?”
9. Are you attracted to your female friends?
A lot of your straight female friends probably want to ask you this question. Hopefully they don’t give voice to it, but if they do, try your best to put yourself in their shoes. Or, better yet, tell them to put themselves in your shoes. After all, straight people don’t understand what it’s like to be gay any more than you understand what it’s like to be a unicorn. That doesn’t mean this question is justified, but it might give you the patience you need to answer it calmly and thoughtfully.
How to respond: “No, I’m not attracted to you, Sarah. That’s not how attraction works. Are you attracted to all your guy friends just because they’re guys?”
Also effective but not recommended: “Why do you ask, Sarah? Do you want me to be attracted to you?” *wink*
10. Why don’t you dress gay?
As much as we deny it, we all know what people mean when they ask this question. They want to know why you don’t dress like Ellen DeGeneres.
How to respond: “Everyone has their own style, whether they’re gay, straight, bi, pansexual, queer, etc. Different sexualities don’t have different dress codes. I wear what I want to wear!”
Also effective but not recommended: “You’re right… let me run home and put on my Ellen costume.”