In the decade I’ve been out as a queer-gay-lesbian-dyke-type-person, I’ve encountered many lesbian stereotypes. But all the straight people reading this are better than that, right? You know by now that queer women comes in all different shapes, sizes and flannels? Right? Please tell me I’m right. Oh, you still have some misconceptions and misplaced envy? You’re jealous that we double our wardrobes when we pair up, you think being gay is “easier,” you don’t think lesbians fuck, we must hate men and are best friends with our exes? I guess I have my work cut out for me explaining why you are so wrong.
1. You double your wardrobe. This is only true if you date someone who shares both your size and your style, which is rare. My grrlfriend is six inches shorter than me and her boyish, casual style is in stark contrast to my femme hippie aesthetic. I think her style is rad and she is adorable but I generally don’t want to wear her clothes, and she won’t be borrowing my dresses anytime soon. I do sometimes wear her button-ups and she my non-girly sweaters. But I like her button-ups because they smell like her, not because I want one of my own. And she likes my lion sweater because there’s a lion on it and it’s awesome. That reminds me, I need to steal it back.
2. It’s easier than being with a guy. No, it’s not. A relationship is a relationship. Women can be scared of commitment, too. They can have friends you don’t like. Your friends might not like her. She might cheat on you. She might not love you the same way you love her. She might sleep with you then never call you again. She might dump you in Michigan after you took a 26 hour bus ride to visit her, then call you on the 26 hour bus ride back and try to get back together. Yes, that one actually happened to me when I was 20. Lesbians can be thoughtless assholes, just like straight men. They can also be caring, committed partners, just like straight men. The grass isn’t any greener in Queer Relationship Land. Relationships are still work, people are still people, and a lot of people suck.
3. Lesbian Bed Death. A stupid study from 1983 coined this lovely term. The study claimed committed long-term lesbian couples have less sex than hetero couples, and even had the nerve to say lesbians have less sexual technique. Ouch, man. The concept of “lesbian bed death,” has been around ever since, striking fear in the hearts of baby dykes everywhere who can’t possibly imagine a sexless future with their girlfriends. Lesbian bed death isn’t real, guys. Sex lives ebb and flow, and lesbians have the same general sexual trajectory as any other couple where you fuck like bunnies for the first 1-3 months, then you come out of your sex bubble and start occasionally enjoying each other’s company with your clothes on. You know, when you go from having sex three times a day to a more reasonable five times a week. Sometimes you’re tired or busy and you don’t get laid for a week, sometimes you’re horny and for a week you’re back to sexy times twice a day. Just like in long-term straight relationships, sex lives evolve. And for the record, yes, women do fuck each other. It’s not all poetry and braiding each other’s armpit hair. That’s just foreplay. And then we cry.
4. Lesbians hate men. Yes, I hate my best bro Chris, who has been one of my closest friends since college and with whom I love drinking beer and playing Wii. I hate my little brother, which is why I text him almost every day and have been trying for two years to convince him to move here. I hate the many male teachers and bosses I’ve had over the years who challenged and inspired me and helped me become who I am today. I hate the kind, funny guy at my corner store who I spend at least five minutes talking to each time I go in. I hate my male colleagues in the comedy world who have supported me, encouraged me and taught me so much about comedy. Is it clear that I don’t actually hate men? And most of us don’t? We hate misogyny, not men. And also: We’re lesbians. We don’t spend that much time thinking about men. That distracts from valuable time spent thinking about boobs.
5. We all stay friends with our exes. Nope. Hi to my ex-girlfriends: Julianna*, Karen* and Morgan*! How are you? I ask because I have no idea, since we’re not facebook friends and we never talk and I moved to the other side of the country. I didn’t move here because of them, but at least now we don’t have to run into each other. In keeping with what we’ve learned today, I will reiterate that queer women’s romantic relationships are just as diverse as straight people’s. Some of us stay friends with our exes. Some of us do not. Sometimes we stay friends with some and not others. Whatever, love is complicated and stuff.
*names have been changed to protect my personal life
BONUS MYTH: All lesbians wear Birkenstocks. Actually, this one is true. It’s kind of a rule.
Featured Image: Flickr user philippe leroyer via Creative Commons