A lesbian, according to the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, is defined as a “woman whose enduring physical, romantic, and/or emotional attraction is to other women. Some lesbians may prefer to identify as gay (adj.) or as gay women.”1 Women who have sex with other women are not always lesbian.
Some health organizations want to dispel the myth among some women who have sex with other women and lesbians that they are immune to STDs and gynecological cancer just because they do not have sex with men.
This myth, along with not wanting to have a negative experience discussing sexual orientation with their doctor, has caused some lesbians and women who sleep with other women to decline preventive medical care or to not be as open as they might be with their physician. Discussing intimate sex-related issues is a problem for many people, those of all shapes, sizes, sexual orientations and colors.
The sourced articles below should provide you more information on lesbians and women who sleep with other women, from sexual health to what it is like to engage in a woman/woman sexual relationship.
- Opening The OB/GYN Door For Sexual And Gender Minority Patients
“Sexual orientation comprises three different domains of every person’s experience: identity, sexual behavior, and romantic and/or emotional attraction. These three domains have distinct health correlates which research has shown may not all line up. One study noted that 25% of adult lesbian-identified women were having sex with (assumed cisgender) men, highlighting the difference between sexual orientation and sexual behavior and having obvious implications around pregnancy planning and contraception, among other considerations.”
Alexis Light, MD; Juno Obedin-Maliver, MD, MPH, MAS, contemporaryobgyn.net, 1/15/2019
- Lesbian And Bisexual Women
“While all women have specific health risks, lesbian and bisexual women are at a higher risk for certain diseases than other women.”
Online resource, cdc.gov, accessed on 4/11/2018
- Key Health Concerns For WSW (Women Who Have Sex With Women)
“Women who have sex with women and lesbians are at increased risk for certain types of chronic diseases, cancers, and mental health problems. Below is a list of the key health concerns lesbians and women who have sex with women should consider discussing with their doctor.”
Online Resource, vumc.org, copyright 2012, accessed on 4/11/2018
- Why Safer Sex Is Important For Lesbian Women
“You might have heard that if you confine yourself to lesbian sex, then you don’t need to concern yourself with safer sex practices. This is a myth.”
Eileen Bailey, healthcentral.com, 11/3/2016
- 13 Reasons Women In Lesbian Relationships Aren’t Having (More) Sex
“Today, we’re talking about why you’re not having as much sex as you want to, and why that’s not necessarily a bad thing.”
Riese, autostraddle.com, 3/28/2016
- HIV & Women Who Have Sex With Women Fact Sheet
“Are you a woman who has sex with women? Check out these specific HIV prevention tips and facts for you.”
Online Resource, avert.org, last reviewed 3/10/2016
- 5 Things To Know Before Trying Out Sex With Another Woman
“But if you’ve never had sex with a woman, one vulva – much less a carnival ride full of them – may be a bit intimidating.”
Amy Gall, womenshealthmag.com, 9/29/2015
- Why You Should Care About Lesbian Safer Sex (And What To Do About It)
“Drawing on three years of medical school knowledge and an obstetrics-gynecology rotation where I did more pelvic exams than I can count, I’m going to guide you through the research to find out what’s relevant to your interests about safer sex, and what to do about it.”
Christy Duan, autostraddle.com, 5/5/2015
1. glaad.org, accessed on 4/11/2018