Strap-on, Strap-off

Gay women do not want a penis inside of them, but that does not mean they cannot like a woman wearing one.

Some gay women enjoy dildos and strap-on harnesses. The desire to include penis-shaped toys does not equate to a subsequent interest in men—penetration is not exclusive to one specific sexual orientation. Sex is about more than just the physicality of the act. It is about the person you are engaging in it with and the attraction between the both of you.

According to the August 2015 Ultimate Lesbian Sex Survey conducted by Autostraddle, “Lesbian Sex: Your 15 Favorite Ways To Have It,” 58.8 percent of the 13,000 gay women surveyed said they enjoyed strap-on harness play. One participant in the study who identified themselves as lesbian said, “‘I like girls’ doesn’t equate to ‘I don’t like penetration.’” Being penetrated is one part of a wide variety of possible sex acts and not an exclusively male one.

Another participant in the Autostraddle study said, “I personally enjoy using a strap-on with my girlfriend because it feels nice. I don’t like the way the thing looks, but I am not looking to get visual excitement from it. The thing about the harness is that it makes me feel closer to my girlfriend as it goes from ‘it’ being inside me, to ‘it’ being inside her.”

Another point to be made is that masculine-deemed qualities or actions are not exclusive to cisgender males. Wearing a strap-on or using a dildo for sex is a personal choice and interest and not a statement of desire to be the opposite sex.

The reason some gay women are not attracted to men is not simply because of their genitalia. The lack of attraction stems from pure uninterest in the emotional and physical attributes of a man.

An HBO documentary series, Real Sex, specializes in discussing the sexual practices and fantasies of people of all sexual orientations. In an episode focusing on strap-ons, the host of the show said that “there’s a whole generation of women who love their dicks, who have a collection of dicks and party with their dicks.” The host expresses throughout the show that intercourse involving dildos is not rooted in a “fixed notion of gender or sexual identity” but is rather an expression of play. One hostess said, “Sometimes I want to be to a boy, sometimes I want to be a girl.” Her co-hostess declared, “I am as much a fucker as a fuckee.”

Sexuality and sexual attraction consist of elements beyond the pieces and parts that touch when we engage in sexual acts. The reality is that gay women take part in all the usual “sex things”—and a lot more—that are associated with lesbian heteronormative stereotypes. Some gay couples incorporate strap-ons into their sex life and some don’t.

All in all, sexual behavior and sexual orientation are not synonymous. The penetration of a strap-on is nothing more than a sensation that people of all genders and orientations can rightfully enjoy during sex.