After The New Realist’s upfront and detailed post on the ins and outs of lesbian sex (thanks @TheNewRealist!), I think I can afford to be a bit more prosaic, and so you won’t be hearing any details about my sex life today! 😉
Instead, I thought I’d write a bit about the pros and cons of LABELS. With reference to one in particular, but also just a brief a general look at the topic, from my (no doubt, skewed) perspective.
It’s not uncommon in the gay community to hear statements like:
‘I hate labels’
‘I don’t want to be pigeon-holed’
‘I don’t like to put myself in a box’
But, on the other hand, labels have their advantages.
I’ve self-defined as a lesbian for about 10 years now and have behaved more or less as the label implies, with just a couple of recent exceptions. But I like the label, because it gives me the feeling that I belong. Belong to some greater being. A community.
Belonging is good. I think most people like it. That’s why we join clubs, hang out in groups, queue… OK, maybe the latter is just a British thing, but you know what I mean! Belonging is reassuring.
I’ve noticed that calling myself a lesbian also gives me a degree of freedom in my interactions with the opposite sex. Regardless of whether I like a boy, or not (and that’s a big question!), I don’t feel any pressure in my interaction with him, in the way I would with a girl I like. There is no pressure. No expectation on either side. And if something materialises, it’s just an unexpected bonus (?!). Or perhaps just the source of much confusion on both sides!
But there are labels that take things too far.
I wanted to give the example of the ‘Gold Star Lesbian’. It’s a label I don’t like. To me, it implies that there are different ‘grades’ of lesbian. I’ve thought about this distinction for a long time, both when I was one, and now…
So what is a Gold Star Lesbian?
Officially: ‘A lesbian who has never slept with a man’
A definition that is, in itself, rather vague… But let’s take it to mean penetrative sex with a man, as it is for this that it is usually employed.
My problem with this particular label is that it ignores the possibility that sexuality is a continuum, and that it seems to me to be anti-bisexuality.
It implies that someone who has never had sex with a man is somehow a ‘better lesbian’, than someone who has. Regardless of life history, or current relationship status, or, or, … Labels shouldn’t be ANTI- things. They should be positive groupings.
In fact, as I was writing this I googled the term, and found someone else’s blog on the exact same topic, who puts it much more eloquently, and has clearly put much more thought into it than I have. You can read it here.
For me, how you define your sexuality is something for you, yourself to work out.
And who you have sex with, is an intensely personal choice.
I fall in love with the person.
It just so happens that men are in a minority for me.
Someone actually asked me to define my sexuality last week, and I said, if pushed, at the present moment, I’d say 80:20 (women:men, obviously!). In general, I find women more attractive. But if the right man came along… I couldn’t rule it out. I would be foolish to.
Just now, a pretty good woman has come along…
So, that’s it. Mini-rant over. Have fun all!