Do You Recognize These Lesbian Man-Myths?

MythsI’ve got something on my mind. And usually you’d be right if you guessed “women,” but this time, it’s “men.” I’ve been hearing some things lately that have stopped me cold — things that I’m sure many of you have heard. You know — the myth lesbians being a bunch of “man-haters.” But I heard a new myth a few weeks ago; that lesbians deep down want to be men. We’re either trying to dress like men, or date women who act/dress like men, or strap one on because we really really want MEN.

Now, take a deep breath ladies. Yeah…I know, right? Ok…breatheeeeee.

I wondered at first if it were even worth addressing what seems like such obvious nonsense. But apparently, the myth of the angry lesbian has been joined by the myth of the cock-hungry dyke who just can’t get enough dick. But fear not…for if you know someone confused about such matters, let me attempt to offer a bit of clarity.

1. Lesbians do not hate men. Before I even came out as gay, (rather late in life) I was a pretty hardcore feminist and was often accused of being a manhater. I always preferred women’s friendships, and didn’t spend much time focusing on men. And that, ladies, is all it really takes to get yourself called a man-hater. Welcome to the patriarchy. Shift your main focus, the center of your being, your raison d’être, away from the male species — and you will most certainly be labeled. But that does not in fact mean that you HATE men. It just means that you’ve got more important things that you’re focused on. While it’s true that for me personally, I sometimes am guilty of letting the men I meet all kind of blur together into a generic blob of “maleness” and I can barely distinguish one from the other, it’s not out of a dislike or hatred of them…it’s just out of apathy. My focus just isn’t there. Sorry guys. Many other lesbians I know count men among their best friends, and share more common interests with men than women, which leads me into our second myth….

2. Lesbians do not secretly want men. Where one falls on the gender scale can seem as broad as where one falls on the Kinsey scale — but that is not what we’re really talking about. What we’re talking about is sex, and more specifically, penises. Of course, straight people are full of ideas about exactly how lesbians have sex, most of them pretty poorly construed from bad porn or episodes of The L Word. It should go without saying, but there is no one way that lesbians have sex, and it may or may not include penetration, oral sex, fingers, sex toys, etc. If you think all lesbians are strapping it on, you’d be wrong. Many lesbians don’t enjoy or have any interest in penetrative sex, for a variety of reasons. Lesbians hold a variety of opinions about dildos and whether or not they are used during sex (and how) is an entirely personal choice to be determined and negotiated by partners. It would be foolish to make assumptions about who plays which role, or to assume that there are even are such roles in a partnership. And one thing I think most lesbians can agree on about the penis/cock…it’s who’s at the other end of it that really matters, which is why it just doesn’t make sense to claim that enjoying penetration means secretly wanting to be with men. Claiming so reduces men to nothing more than their dicks and removes about 10,000 important factors from lesbian sex and relationships that do not include a cock.

What Lesbians Think About Penises

About Val

Valency was born in San Francisco to hippie parents, but is a Chicago girl through and through. Ten years of Catholic school helped her develop a finely-tuned bullshit detector, as well as a love of all sorts of Catholic kitsch. Valency isn't fond of labels. She is, however, fond of embracing her many paradoxes, and walking the fine lines between religion and politics, with an eye turned toward postmodern religion, feminist theology, and challenging patriarchy from inside religious institutions. She lives on the northside with her two daughters and two female cats, and is always looking for more ways increase the estrogen in her household.


2 Responses to “Do You Recognize These Lesbian Man-Myths?”

  1. Women are verter i swear

    Posted by nichelle | March 7, 2014, 11:24 pm
  2. Good write up

    Posted by Liza Butler | September 28, 2015, 5:52 am

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