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Lesbian Sex and what it can teach us about society.

Georgia and Ruh are a Bristol based, cis lesbian couple. I sat down with them to discuss lesbian sex. What followed was a candid and illuminating discussion. They shared their experiences, their wisdom, and reflected upon what lesbian sex can teach us about society.

Images by Harry Chapman, a Bristol based photographer

What was it like having sex with a woman for the first time?

Ruh: amazing. It just felt so right. I’d spent so long trying to have sex with men and not enjoying it. I didn’t feel weird at all!

Georgia: I was really scared about it because I’d wanted to for a long time. I felt like I didn’t know what I was doing. But then I slept with a woman who also hadn’t slept with women before. This helped because there was no pressure or expectation from either of us. It created an environment which felt accepting and explorative.

How is communication key to your sex life?

Ruh: so key. It should be the same for heterosexual sex. Different partners like different things and you don’t know someone else’s body. I always make sure to communicate so to make sure they’re enjoying it. Not just the first time, but every time.

Georgia: no one is perfectly knowledgeable about having sex with women. Everyone’s different and communication is so important in unlocking that. It can make your partner feel much more comfortable as well.

Ruh: also, in terms of verbal and non-verbal communication. You can judge someone’s enjoyment based on moans but also saying “oh that’s really good” can be really helpful.

How do you make sure you’re practicing safe sex?

Georgia: well, we aren’t really…

Ruh: yeah…we think this is a great question because we think this is something we need to think about more and spread the word about in the lesbian community.

Georgia: because we don’t have to use contraception it’s easy to forget that you do need to protect yourself. It’s also such a wider issue that were not taught anything about safe lesbian sex or how to avoid STIs. Often, when you sign up for an STI test you can’t get tested for STIs that are specific to lesbians.

What are some of the myths surrounding lesbian sex that you’d like to expose?

Georgia: I feel like there’s a very limited view of what lesbian sex is. It’s much broader and there’s so many ways to have lesbian sex.

Ruh: to be more explicit for our lovely readers, people think it’s just oral (going down on someone) or fingering. Obviously, those are two great things, but there’s so many different positions and so many different ways you can explore things. There’s different types of build up or ‘foreplay’ (a ridiculous word that makes you think of all the different bases that heterosexual people tend to go through). You can spend a long time building up, kissing, or doing other things. Its exploratory.

Georgia: I think, every time we have sex its different. It’s really cool.

Ruh: also, I hate to think anyone thinks this, but they probably do, lesbian sex is not about replacing the penis. I get so angry about this. You don’t need that. The vagina and clitoris – that’s not what it needs in its life. Penetration can be great. But this is so far from the ultimate thing.

Georgia: with heterosexual sex it’s not sex unless you’re penetrated basically.

Ruh: also the stereotype that lesbians are emotional. I’ve met lots of lesbians who just prefer to have casual sex, without emotions. It’s definitely a myth if you think that lesbians don’t sleep around and have lesbian sex.

Georgia: because lesbians just wanna have fun…

Ruh: and because female sexuality is a thing. It’s very very real.

Georgia: I found it very frustrating for a while when I was single, I just wanted to have casual sex and my friends who were gay men could do that literally at a click of a button on grindr but it’s so much harder if you’re a lesbian.

Ruh: yeah, because you’re supposed to be nice and go on a date

Georgia: exactly, and then you end up on an 8-hour date just talking.

What If you think you’re a lesbian but you haven’t had sex with a woman?

Georgia: Your sexuality is not defined by whether you’ve had sex with a woman. For a long time, I knew I was a lesbian, but I hadn’t had sex with a woman. Sometimes I did struggle, like I felt embarrassed talking to other lesbians. You might want to, and I did want to. But its genuinely quite hard to find people.

What can lesbian sex teach us about societies narrow understanding of sex?

Ruh: It can teach us about the issue of climax. With heterosexual sex and the very little amount of lesbian sex that’s portrayed in the media, it’s always about climax. Someone’s going down on someone/someone’s penetrating someone, lots of heavy breathing, then- climax. Great, love orgasms. But also, lesbian sex can be so much more about the duration, about the actual exploration. TMI but Gig and I probably spend about an hour and a half minimum having sex.

And what about the role’s society gives us in sex?

Ruh: this idea of set roles, this butch femme thing recreating the male and the female, is so unnecessary. You do not have to have two set roles that are completely mutually exclusive. I suppose lesbian relationships and sex show that that is really unnecessary. You can give and take. Which I feel like a lot of society doesn’t quite do.

What are the most important things to remember when having sex with a woman?

Georgia: being honest with your experience before. Women tend to be pretty understanding of that. If you feel like you don’t know what you’re doing tell your partner, so they can take more of a lead.

Ruh: also remembering that women are socialised to not ask for things. Lesbian sex involves creating a space where you and your sex partner can ask for things and be more assertive about your desires. If it’s your first time and you’re terrified just remember you do have the advantage of having a vagina yourself. You know how they work. You know where the nice bits are! Yes, your partner will have different things that they like. Use what you know. And - enjoy it! Also, I suppose, don’t worry if it takes time, layers, and different partners to kind of break through being set in things, specifically if it’s taken you a long time to come to terms with your sexuality and you’ve been sleeping with men. Cut yourself some slack. It’s not going to switch immediately; it took me a moment to be like “oh, now I sleep with women.”

Georgia (Ruh and I in agreement): lesbian sex is fucking amazing.

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