Whether it comes from the media or from our peers, there is a lot of pressure within our society to be having ‘good’ sex. This entirely undefined term seems to refer to having frequent sex, as well as, of course, having lots of orgasms. There is a decent amount of resistance to these notions, which is great. I’ve lost track of the amount of times I’ve been reassured by women’s magazines that penis-in-vagina sex alone doesn’t quite do it for most women (information which I will store in the ‘in case I ever become sexually involved with a man’ file in my brain). But this reassurance that penis-does-not-equal orgasms (necessarily) just adds fuel to the most persistent of rumours: that lesbian sex is inherently amazing.
And this rumour is everywhere.
It’s in media for queer women, with articles telling us that if you hang off the end of the bed with one leg in the air you might manage a fourth orgasm in a night rather than the usual three, in wry jokes amongst groups of gay women that the oppression is worth it because we don’t have to have the stupid man sex and in ‘real life stories’ in mainstream media about straight women whose momentary experimentation with a woman has converted them to full-time lesbianism because the sex is just so good. I even read an article from The Guardian the other week (The Guardian! Friend of the minority groups!) claiming that lesbians are the secret keepers of good sex.
I’m 25 and I have only had sex with women, but I was 24 and with my seventh sexual partner before I had a ‘proper’ (i.e. from someone else touching me) orgasm during sex. I don’t know what the ‘problem’ was, or if it is now ‘solved’. What I can tell you is that being told that I should have been having amazing sex just by virtue of having sex with women, that I had the best possible chance of having an orgasm, and feeling like because I wasn’t that my body was somehow defective, and that I must be doing sex ‘wrong’, did not fucking help.
It is definitely tempting to go along with a bit of positive publicity, but buying into this myth marks sex between women (and the women that do it) as ‘different’ or ‘other’. It alienates women who can’t relate these tales of incomparable sexual satisfaction to their own lives.
I guess women who sleep with women perhaps are somewhat advantaged in understanding their partner’s body, but surely only slightly more than someone who has seen a picture in a science textbook. Women are not automatically more patient, selfless lovers, either – another argument used to build the queer-women-have-best-sex-ever rumour. Some women come and then fall asleep. Some women make their partners feel bad if they don’t orgasm in the ‘normal’ time. Some women think there’s a way that other women ‘should’ come.
As I’ve said, I’ve never slept with a man, so maybe I have limited insight into the apparently profound differences between sex with men and women. But I suspect it is in fact just not true. Sex isn’t about anatomy; it’s about people. It’s about the individual confidences, quirks and neuroses which come with those people and their bodies. It’s something people do together. It’s a connection. We might not like the ideas of giving up our claim on sexual superiority, but I think it’s just another stereotype which we need to be rid of.
Are you a woman who sleeps with men and women? Have you found women to be sexually superior, or just the same? Or are you a women who only sleeps with women and believes that we do it better? How important is the ‘sex’ in sexuality? Let us know in the comments!