It is not uncommon for lesbians to field random and often very personal questions, such as, “How do lesbians have sex?” I wonder how many heterosexual couples have been asked, “so, how do you two have sex?” You might assume this is because everyone knows how heterosexuals have sex, but is that true? There is the obvious penis-in-vagina method, but does that mean that is all heterosexuals do and what they prefer? For the 75% of women who can not orgasm from the ole penis-in-vagina method of sex, I hope it’s not all there is to heterosexual sex! This question is just one of many that lesbians find themselves asked on a regular basis, so I created a survey to put these questions to rest!
The Survey Questions
- How do lesbians have sex?
- Is one woman “the man” in your sex life?
- If you are attracted to women, why do you have sex with women that look like men? (If this applies to you)
- How do you flirt with another woman? (i.e. How would I know if you are attracted to me?)
- Do you rely on toys for a satisfying sex life?
- Do you engage in fisting?
- Do you have threesomes with your partner and another person?
- On average, when you are having partner sex (not masturbation) what is the typical time of clitoral stimulation (or your preferred stimulation) necessary to achieve an orgasm?
About the Survey Responders
Of the 132 women who have completed this survey, the majority of responders are between the ages of 35-54 (66%), followed by 22% ages 25-34, 9% over 55 years of age, and 3% ages 18-24. Of these women, 64% report they are exclusively attracted to women, 20% state they are mostly attracted to women and some men, with 14% stating they are generally drawn to people, not genders, with 2% reporting they are primarily attracted to men and some women. All but one woman reports they are orgasmic. In general, research indicates that 10% of the female population is not orgasmic, so either the non-orgasmic lesbians shied away from this survey, or lesbians have special superpowers when it comes to orgasms. (I like to think it’s the later).
Question One: How do lesbians have sex?
The first, and probably most commonly asked question for lesbians is: How do lesbians have sex? There are 132 answers to this question listed here for your reference. A loose summary of these individual responses reveals a common theme about how lesbians describe their own sexual activity. In general, the most prevalent response (58%) indicates the use of hands and fingers for touching and clitoral stimulation. A tie for the second most commonly reported answer to the question, “How do lesbians have sex?” is the use of sex aids (45%) and oral sex (45%). Penetration shows up less, with 20% indicating the use of fingers and sexual aids for penetration. Of note, 6% of lesbians said they simply do “what feels good,” and there were similar reports of communication, passion, and breast play. Very few (3%) included scissoring in their definition of lesbian sex, and even less (2%) included anal play.
Also, of note, a couple responders expressed disgust with the question, a few referenced that it’s the same as sex with a man, without the penis, and a handful simply stated their frequency of sexual activity rather than what they actually considered sex. My favorite response to the question, “How do lesbians have sex?” was simply: “very well, thanks.”
Question Two: Is one woman “the man” in your sex life?
The majority of women (72%) indicate “no,” there is no “man” in our sex life. Some (14%) indicate that on occasion there is, and very few (4%) state that yes, there is. Clearly, how this question is interpreted can affect the way it is answered. There were a few people (10%) who preferred to explain their feelings about this question. The explanations seem to translate “the man” to mean a more masculine and/or dominant role in one’s sex life or the one who penetrates. Among those who expanded on their answers, there is still a little endorsement of the idea that one is “the man,” and my favorite answer of all is: “That’s like asking a pair of chopsticks which one is the fork and which one is the spoon. No, we are both women. Period.”
Question 3: If you are attracted to women, why do you have sex with women that look like men? (If this applies to you)
The majority of survey responders (47%) report that they do not have sex with women that look like men. As for those who do, (20%) selected the option that they “prefer women who appear more masculine, just as some men are more attracted to more masculine women,” and (16%) state that it is not about the gender presentation that they are attracted to, it’s the personality and other characteristics about her that she’s drawn to.
From the additional comments, it’s also important to note that many women are aware of the reality that gender presentation is a human-made concept and that in reality, as one woman said: “Those ‘looks’ are not exclusive to men. Just as women don’t OWN the rights to make up.”
As for the original question, then, “If you are attracted to women, why do you have sex with women that look like men,” it seems the answer has little to do with “looking like men,” in that only 20% of women report that they are expressly attracted to women with a masculine presentation. The remaining responders who do not deny attractions to more masculine men suggest that while a woman may have a masculine presentation, that is not the variable to which they are most drawn.
4: How do you flirt with another woman? (i.e., How would I know if you are attracted to me?)
Sometimes it is assumed that if a woman is gay, she is romantically attracted to all women. Or at least that is the fear for some heterosexual women who might also be found saying something like, “I don’t care if she’s a lesbian as long as she doesn’t like me that way.” Fear has a way of impairing logic, not that lesbians don’t have a knack for also finding heterosexual women attractive. The point is, being a lesbian does not mean you will automatically fall in love with any and all women. It simply means that when you do find “the one,” it will be a woman.
If you are wondering if she likes you, here’s what the women in this survey said about how they will let you know. Roughly half of the women (46%) will seek more time, conversation and interaction with you, and the other half (42%) will be more affectionate, complimentary, and use more eye contact. A small percent (4%) admit they are likely to be shy and withdrawn.
Some responders added additional comments. Two mentioned using humor, one likes to talk about sex, a couple others said they are very direct, one explaining that, “I don’t beat around the bush,” which gave me a good chuckle as I thought to myself, that’s probably a good idea, because someone might get hurt flirting like that, besides, how would you know if she even has a bush? (Ba-Dum-Dump) One survey responder says she first becomes friends with her. Two others shared that it’s the “same as flirting with guys,” and two lesbians said they don’t flirt because they are married. Though one of the married women did endorse flirting with her wife, “by smacking her on the ass and telling her how hot she is.” Lastly, one responder confessed, “I actually do not know how to flirt with women, or even tell if they are interested.”
5: Do you rely on toys for a satisfying sex life?
Sex toys, or as some prefer, sexual aids, are not an essential part of the lesbian sexual diet for 89% of the women responding to this survey. Only 11% report using sexual aids consistently during their sexual activity. The majority (52%) report using aids occasionally, 27% use them rarely and 8% do not use them at all. No additional insights about this were gathered from the comments.
6: Do you engage in lesbian fisting?
What is lesbian fisting? It is easy to visualize anything that involves a fist as being violent. However, in the case of lesbian fisting, this is a sexual practice where an entire hand is inserted either vaginally or anally. While many people associate fisting with lesbian sexual activity, only 76% of survey responders endorse ever having engaged in this practice. There are 16% of women who report that they do engage in lesbian fisting. Another 2% share they do not know what this fisting is. Some of the “other” responses include women who have been a giver but not a receiver, used to in a past relationship but not now or are “working up to it!” as one woman shared.
Before you set out to explore lesbian fisting, be sure to have a lot of lube on hand (pun intended), and position all of your fingers in a pointed position, pinched together (which is not the same as an entire fist inserted at once), and go slowly.
7: Do you have lesbian threesomes with your partner and another person?
When it comes to threesomes, it seems that this is not a big draw for partnered lesbians. Among the responders to this survey, only 6% of women report that they have had a lesbian threesome with her partner, or with her partner and a man (it was not specified) on more than one occasion and only 5% report that they have had a lesbian threesome (or a threesome with her partner and a man) once. If you add the lesbians who report having had a threesome while single, the total jumps to 31% of lesbians who have ever had a threesome under any circumstances. A solid 58% of responders stated that they have not had a threesome with their lesbian partner and another person, and they would rather not. This leaves 8% of survey responders who have “not had a threesome, but would like to.” One responder added the comment, “we did once, and it was a disaster,” and another explained that she was in a relationship with a couple.
If you are wondering if that cute lesbian couple you just met wants to join you for a threesome, the odds are mighty slim according to this survey that you are going to get a “yes.”
8. On average, when you are having partner sex (not masturbation) what is the typical time of clitoral stimulation (or your preferred stimulation) necessary to achieve an orgasm?
The responses from lesbians completing this survey suggest that most women (34%) indicate that they need an average of 10-20 minutes of clitoral stimulation (or preferred stimulation) by one’s partner (not including masturbation) to reach an orgasm, and similar amounts of women (32%) state they can reach orgasm with 5-10 minutes of clitoral stimulation or other preferred stimulation. A few responders (7%) report needing more than 20 minutes. There is an impressive 23% of responders who report reaching climax with less than 5 minutes of partner stimulation.
Some women are self-conscious about the length of time it takes to climax, especially if she is partnered with someone who comes quickly. This bonus question is designed to validate the wide-ranging length of stimulation required for climax during partner sex. Most women can self-pleasure much more rapidly than they can with partner sex. Your responses may also vary from partner to partner, depending on different techniques and accessories used for stimulation.
As one woman commented, “Ok, this is not up to me…she can get me to orgasm in a few minutes or make me wait 15, 20, 30 minutes. She is in complete control and knows EXACTLY which buttons to push to drive me wild.” Other responders clarified that they are indicating the length of time it takes for their first orgasm, but that they continue to have additional orgasms for another hour, and one woman shared that she continues to have orgasms for five or more hours after her first one.
Do you identify as a lesbian? Do you want to add your voice to #asklesbians? Take the current survey here.