When you’ve been swooning over guys since you were 12 (you’re still waiting for Johnny Depp to call), it can be tough to imagine what a lesbian relationship is like. Sure, you’ve caught a few episodes of Glee and “Calzona” from Grey’s Anatomy make your list of favorite on-screen couples, but you still have so many questions. From asking girls out to getting down when you’re on your cycle, here are the answers to seven pressing questions you asked over social media.
Other than the obvious, how do you think your relationship differs from the average heterosexual one?
Gay or straight, a committed relationship is a committed relationship. I’ve looked at my heterosexual friends’ relationships and thought, “Wow, we’re so similar! Why is the gay marriage debate even still a thing?!” My fiancée and I love and support each other. We work, pay our taxes, sleep in on Sundays, and eat too much takeout like any other couple. Being a lesbian and all, I’m probably biased, but I’d have to say that our sex lives are better than the average heterosexual couple’s (sorry to all my coupled-up hetero friends who are reading this!). I’ve never dated a woman who didn’t know how to please a woman, but I might just be a lucky girl.
I also think that when you’re in a lesbian relationship, you’re D.I.Y.-ing it. When both partners are women, you don’t feel as much societal pressure to be Supermom AND semi-professional chef AND laundry-doer/tailor. My fiancée and I divvy up chores and I don’t feel expected or pressured to fill certain gender roles. We’re equal partners in our relationship and it feels pretty damn great, actually.
How do lesbians ask girls out?
As much as I’d like to say it’s easy, it’s not. Many times, a girl will make eye contact with you in a bar, look away, look back, and proceed to ignore you for the rest of the night. Awkward! As women, we’re conditioned to wait for the cute guy at the bar to approach us, which means that it gets kind of confusing when you’re a lesbian. Generally, being forward and actively pursuing what you want pays off. Learning witty pickup lines is a must.
What do you think is the easiest thing about dating another woman? The hardest (not in a political/societal sense, just in a between-two-people way)?
I don’t find it much different from my heterosexual friends’ relationships. In fact, we’re a lot more similar than we’d think. However, as a woman herself, my fiancée can personally relate to some of the daily challenges I face. She’s been on the receiving end of cat calls, has dealt with inappropriate work situations, and understands my body image issues.
Is it awkward to ask about having sex on your period? Like, if you were both on your cycle at the same time? (I am embarrassed writing this out but I really don’t know how it works!)
Nope. We’ve become pros at working around our periods. My fiancée and I rarely have our periods at the same time and sex doesn’t always have to include vaginal penetration (I’ll leave that to the imagination). And when it does, using a dildo when you have a light period isn’t a big deal since you’re not bleeding on your significant other’s actual sex organ! PMS is the worst, though. We’ve checked out of the supermarket with entire shopping baskets filled with chocolate ice cream, Raisinets, donuts, cupcake mix, and potato chips. And if you’re PMS-ing at around the same time, there’s no one to stop you from buying it all. Ugh!
In what ways do you wish your hetero friends were more informed/sensitive to your relationship?
For the most part, I don’t mind being asked questions about my life or my relationship, within reason. The one time I did become uncomfortable was when I was working as an intern in the fashion department at a well-known women’s magazine. I was the only out lesbian at the entire publication and another intern took it upon herself to ask me highly personal questions about my sex life…the first time she spoke to me. We have Google for a reason, people!
With that said, I’ve been blessed with wonderful heterosexual friends. Most of my friends are straight women, and I feel that we get along well together. In general, I think it would benefit everyone if every heterosexual person took the time to educate themselves about LGBT relationships. There are numerous online resources that are free and easy to access.
What are the most obnoxious questions people ask you about being in a lesbian relationship?
No lesbian is exempt from the deluge of awkward questions. Here are a few gems I’ve been asked:
- How do you “do it”? In so many orgasmic ways.
- Who’s the man? There is no man. That’s the point.
- Who pays for dates? It’s 2013. Why are we still asking this question?
- How do you know you wouldn’t be into men if you haven’t dated them? How do you know you wouldn’t be into women if you haven’t dated them?
- Are you sure you’re gay? You’re too pretty to be gay! Have you seen Portia de Rossi?!
How do you deal with the pressure of living in a hetero-dominant world?
It can be frustrating and scary to live in a world where people are imprisoned or murdered for simply loving someone of the same sex. Even New York City –where I’ve lived all my life –has seen an uptick in violence against the LGBT community. Same-sex marriage remains illegal in the vast majority of states and I sometimes fear that if my fiancée fell ill in a state that didn’t recognize our relationship, I would be barred from her hospital bedside. I wish I could hold my fiancée’s hand on the train at night without fearing that a man would either hit on us or actually hit us. It would also be nice to not have my sexuality referred to as a fashion trend or my relationship declared dirty or evil or the result of demonic possession.
Nevertheless, I believe that society as a whole is growing more and more accepting of LGBT relationships as each day passes. I’ve consciously surrounded myself with people who love and support me, and while it’s difficult to face ignorance and hatred when you just want to buy a bagel and a cup of coffee with your same-sex partner, I know that our loving relationship is changing hearts and minds.
Diana Denza is BettyConfidential’s contributing editor.