5 Ways The ‘L Word’ Didn’t Prepare Me For Actual Lesbian Sex


Do you know what my absolute favorite part of the “L Word” was? The sex scenes.

Maybe they weren’t perfectly ~realistic~ and maybe they didn’t accurately mirror the way “real lesbians” have sex, but hey. What did you expect? It’s television. It’s Holly-fucking-wood. Do you think straight people’s sex lives are remotely similar to that of the ones on TV?!

Based on the (very) limited sexual experiences I had whilst taking a brief walk into hetero-land, I’m going to safely assure you that the answer is: Hell. No.

Yes, the smoke and mirror effect of Hollywood sex scenes are damaging, and yes they set us up for a harrowing lifetime of never feeling good enough or thin enough or curvy enough or hairless enough or just not enough in general–but lez get real.

That’s why we are drawn to it. If we were content in our realities, we wouldn’t feel compelled to go the movies once a week or stare at the television every other evening. For better or for worse, we covet something ~sparklier~ than reality. Something ~prettier~ than reality. That’s why we can’t take our eyes off of shows like the “L Word” where even the characters who incessantly smoke cigarettes are somehow wrinkle-free. Where lesbians don’t need to go to work every day in order afford a West Hollywood bungalow, they can just like, lounge around a coffee shop and flirt with each other whilst clad in $400 designer jeans.

Last week GO staff-writer, Dayna, penned a blazingly-honest and relatable piece about how the “L Word” didn’t prepare her for lesbian reality. I mean she has to actually work nine hours per day in order to afford her apartment in Brooklyn, you know? Those spray tans and hair extensions and extra-long lashes don’t pay for themselves, as much as we both wish they did. We aren’t on a movie set, we’re in an office in Manhattan working.

Inspired by Dayna’s brilliant piece, I decided to tackle a different way in which the “L Word” collectively screwed us up. I decided to talk about how the “L Word” neglected to prepare innocent little 20-year-old me, in the slightest, for real life lesbian sex.

I don’t have a makeup artist for my ass. 

It’s sad but true. I don’t have a professional makeup artist that will diligently apply Chanel foundation to my butt cheeks before I get down and dirty with a girl. Have you ever wondered why it is that movie and TV butts look so smooth and so clear after gasping in horror when catching a glimpse of your own tattered bum in the bathroom mirror?

It’s because of makeup baby! Shane, Carmen, Dana, the entire even-toned-assed cast, surely had heaps of makeup professionally applied to their asses (Powder too. For the shine). You wouldn’t believe how much they cake makeup on butts in ~the industry~. I lived with a bikini model for a few years and she started getting acne on her ass from all the makeup blocking up her butt pores (life must’ve been so hard for her).

So next time that you’re enraged that you or your partner’s ass isn’t as smooth as the finest Egyptian cotton sheets at the most luxurious hotel in New York, remember, Nothing You See On TV Is Real. Not even asses.

Now embrace your scarred, un-tanned, buttocks baby. Because I think it has character. And what has character is always sexy in the long run. And eventually, that makeup has to get washed off. The truth always reveals itself in due time, my sweet baby kittens.

Strap-ons are not as easy to use as it appears on the screen. 

I remember watching Jenny and Nikki Stevens get down and dirty with that large and in charge indigo-colored strap-on and thinking: Well This looks easy as hell. Only it wasn’t easy as hell. It was more like the fiery pits of actual hell.

Those things take an epic amount of strength to manipulate properly, that I certainly did not have as 100 pound 22-year-old. In fact, after years of lezzie experience, I’m still not great at being a strap-on wearer. Which is why I prefer to be the receiver (in those circumstances at least, I’m highly talented in ~other~ areas) rather than the pitcher.

Also the “L Word” definitely did NOT prepare me for how expensive a strap-on would cost me! ‘Especially if you’re into fine Italian leather like yours truly. The whole thing could set a girl back like, $500! What working actress and writer can easily afford a $500 strap-on?


This is the most wicked lie the L Word told me about lesbian sex. When I first started watching the L Word, I blindly assumed that I would get laid as often as Shane. Do you remember how much Shane got laid?!

She got laid after a drunken night of clubbing (at lesbian clubs that were teeming with gorgeous lesbian entities seven nights per week, which is a damaging lie in of itself!). She got laid at work. She got laid by her clients. She got laid by the hottest DJ in town! She had threesomes with blonde Playboy-model looking women. Shane was forever getting laid without even trying. 

Now. Lez be honest. I don’t look like Shane, as I’m on the ~girlier~ end of the Saphhic spectrum. I’m not leggy and swaggy either, but I’m not hideous. I surely thought that if Shane didn’t make a fraction of an effort and she still had women flocking to her vagina like moths to a flame, clearly if I make a slight effort I could easily slut around town like the character we all love to hate.

Spoiler Alert: It didn’t happen like that.

I dutifully winged my eyeliner and lived in midriff-bearing crop-tops and forever wore dresses that were completely see-through and I trudged out to the gay bars, night after night, in rain or in shine. Most of the time the only attention I garnered at the club was from gay men. “You look fab!” They would tell me as I marched past them in my fishnets and five-inch heels and fire engine red lipstick. It *was* flattering to be told I looked fab by the boys. But I wasn’t there for the boys. I was there for the girls. 

And when I did have one-night stands, they were never as carefree as darling Shane’s. They would end in a decadent amount of dyke drama! They would end with one person catching extreme feelings and the other person having a secret girlfriend and the next thing I knew I would be caught up in a Sapphic love triangle, struggling to break free, but stuck regardless of my fruitful efforts.

If only the “L Word” had warned me that lesbian sex isn’t quite so accessible or simple, I would’ve saved myself lot of time and sexual energy. Oh well. At least it’s good content for my memoir? (Not that anyone would read my memoir except maybe my parents which is actually a mortifying thought.)

I was convinced that a hot lesbian art teacher would have sex with me. 

I was obsessed with Bette in my “L Word” days. I dreamed of having a sexy lesbian teacher–any kind of teacher–and making flirtatious eyes at her from my desk in the ~classroom~ and the eventually getting down and dirty with her after the school bell rang. Oh, the ~things~ she would teach me, babes.

I did end up having an insanely sexy teacher that I lusted after with every fiber of my baby dyke being. She ended up being a spin class instructor twice my age and she was so swaggy that I could never tell if I was sweating from the intense workout or from being in her swaggy presence. She would go up and down on that bike and drive my under-sexed younger-self into a fury of fiery flames!

One time the gym had a little “holiday mixer” and I wore this hideous (I thought it was cool at the time) halter-dress that only amplified how scrawny and lifeless my pale shoulders were, but after I swished back a few personality drinks, I felt like a Sapphic Goddess. A Lust-worthy Lez. A Dapper Dyke.

I made sultry eyes at her (at least I thought they were sultry, they were probably demonic looking as I tend to get a lazy eye whilst under the influence of booze) from across the room. She ignored me, in that loud, obvious “I’m ignoring you little girl” type of way. Sigh. I went home and vomited in my sink from the cheap white wine and passed out in my shoes draped in the cold-sweats of shame.

And then I finally had my friend Abby tell the spin class teacher that I thought she was hot, thinking she would probably be totally into me back and turns out! She wasn’t interested. At all. Ha.

Why? Because I was still technically a teenager and she was a real adult and she was like, my teacher and had, oh, I don’t know, ethics?

Wait? What? First-time lesbian sex isn’t always smooth sailing? 

To all the baby queers out there who watched Jenny have sex with Marina during her allegedly “first lesbian experience” and expect it to be that hot and steamy, I have news for you. Most likely, it won’t be.

You will be nervous and sweaty and fearful that you’re doing it all wrong. You’ll probably awkwardly laugh or yelp or burst into tears and feel self-conscious and make a strange, animalistic noise that haunts you for years to come.

That’s OK! Don’t worry your queer little heart! It’s a rite of passage to have an awkward first Sapphic experience. Think of it as initiation into Club Lez. And one day you’ll have the precious gift of sharing your awkward sex story to some sad little baby lez who thinks she’s flunked at life because during her first stab at lesbo sex she royally “failed” and maybe, just maybe, your story will make her feel better.

And to me, rescuing a baby queer from falling into the depths of despair, is way cooler than having a “cool” first time, in my book.

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