"For me, sex is when a penis goes into a vagina. And then back out and in, and out and in."
Oh lesbian sex, how it continues to confound and titillate. In a new BuzzFeed video, "Lesbians Explain Sex To Straight People," lesbians debunk some clueless confusions about how lesbians have sex, as well as what constitutes sex in the first place.
The video begins with a few apparently straight individuals trying to figure out the limit of what sex is, most of whom agreeing that sex is defined by penetration, and, through straight eyes, specifically when a vagina is penetrated by a penis. Or, as this White Guy says, "When my parts are in my lady's parts."
This heteronormative logic, of course, is in large part responsible for the belief that lesbians can't have "real sex," if by "real" they mean having a biological penis penetrate a biological vagina. This is also the kind of misinformed mindset that resulted in some fun — and unrealistic — takes on lesbian sex positions being printed over at Cosmopolitan. As these illustrations and countless other examples show, many straight people are utterly confused when it comes to knowing what lesbians do in the sack. "Maybe more adventurous oral?" conjectures aforementioned White Guy. "Maybe some of these?" he offers, waving his fingers:
For years, the idea that lesbian sex is not entirely real has similarly contributed to various stereotypes of lesbian behaviors, usually falling somewhere between coquettish but tame "female friendship" and light fondling.
Because of this cultural misunderstanding, lesbians have also been perceived as being less threatening to society than their gay male counterparts: We don't have "real sex," and women can't reproduce through having sex with other women, so we can't destabilize the heterosexual patriarchy.
"Everything revolves around the dick. ... My world does not revolve around the dick," one lesbian said in the video, speaking to the fact that very little is understood about sexual relations between women.
On the one hand, maybe this is a good thing. Since when is policing and analyzing others' sexual acts the norm? But a very strict understanding of what constitutes sex hampers how it is enjoyed by everyone, gay or straight. As BuzzFeed's expert ultimately explains in the video, "The thought that sex is just man, woman, penetration is very limiting ... to everybody."
The expert's advice? Remember that at the end of the day, "Sex is about fun and connection."
Just think: If sex was not defined by penis-vaginal penetration, it might revolutionize how everyone understands and values not only sex, but also sexual markers like the woefully outdated concept of virginity.
Perhaps taking the time to understand female intimacy will be the sexual revolution we all need.