Lesbian sexual practices

Lesbian sexual practices

Lesbian sexual practices are many and sundry. As with most interpersonal behaviour any physical expression of intimacy depends on the context of the relationship along with social, cultural and other influences.Hite Research, " [http://www.hite-research.com/thehitereports.htm The Hite Reports: What do they say?] ", retrieved 27 Nov 2007]



Sex educator and feminist Shere Hite's research (while subject to methodological limitations) showed "sex as we define it is a cultural institution, not a biological one," that most women need clitoral or exterior stimulation for orgasm which can be "easy and strong, given the right stimulation" and most women reach orgasm more easily by masturbation. [University of California, Berkeley, Philip B. Stark, " [http://www.stat.berkeley.edu/users/stark/SticiGui/Text/ch16.htm Statistics Tools for Internet and Classroom Instruction] ", retrieved 27 Nov 2007] Hite noted one of her female research subjects had written, "Sex with a woman includes: touching, kissing, smiling, looking serious, embracing, talking, digital intercourse, caressing, looking, cunnilingus, undressing, remembering later, making sounds, sometimes gently biting, sometimes crying, and breathing and sighing together." [Hite Research, Shere Hite, " [http://www.hite-research.com/artlesbianism.html Lesbianism: Women's Sexual Expression Together] ", retrieved 27 Nov 2007] Other notable forms of intimate expression between lesbians can include gestures such as tribadism, use of a dildo and more rarely, anilingus. [About.com, Kathy Belge with Felice Newman, " [http://lesbianlife.about.com/od/lesbiansex/a/tribadismq.htm Steps of Tribadism] ", retrieved 27 Nov 2007] [Journal of the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association, Allison L. Diamant1, Janet Lever and Mark A. Schuster, " [http://www.springerlink.com/content/x012016264435548/ Lesbians' Sexual Activities and Efforts to Reduce Risks for Sexually Transmitted Diseases] " (abstract), retrieved 27 Nov 2007] Many lesbians have sexual relationships with men, with vaginal penetration with penis or fingers and mutual masturbation being the most commonly reported sexual activities. [ [http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12690139?ordinalpos=38&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum Sexual behaviour of lesbians and bisexual women.] ] Some lesbians enter into a mixed-orientation marriage with a man. [ [http://www.haworthpress.com/store/ArticleAbstract.asp?sid=3Q4EE45JK40W8L1DN0HJVF3U8WFT5DSC&ID=82829 The Married Lesbian] ]


In 1953 Alfred Kinsey's "Sexual Behavior in the Human Female" noted 78% of lesbians had orgasms in 60% to 100% of their sexual encounters over the preceding five years of a relationship, compared with 55% of heterosexual women over the previous five years of their marriage. [Kinsey, Alfred; Pomeroy, Wardell; Martin, Clyde, & Gebhard, Paul. "Sexual Behavior in the Human Female", Philadelphia: Saunders (1953).]

A 1983 research study by Philip Blumstein and Pepper Schwartz found lesbians had sex significantly less frequently than homosexual male couples, married heterosexual couples or unmarried heterosexual couples. The study reported only one in three lesbian couples had sex once a week or more. Nearly half of the lesbian couples in the study reported having sex once a month or less. [Blumstein, Philip, & Schwartz, Pepper. "American Couples", New York: Morrow (1983)] Their research quickly became the prevailing view and led to the popular expression "lesbian bed death". However, this study was later challenged. The question, "About how often during the last year have you and your partner had sex relations?" was criticized as too ambiguous when applied to lesbian sexual behavior. Moreover, other meaningful measures of sexual behavior, such as duration or subjective measurement of sexual satisfaction, were not examined.

Studies by other scholars including Masters and Johnson and Marilyn Frye have found lesbian sexual behaviors more often have qualities associated with sexual satisfaction than their heterosexual counterparts. These can include aspects such as more full-body sexual contact, rather than genital-focused contact, less preoccupation or anxiety about achieving orgasm, more sexual assertiveness and communication about sexual needs, longer lasting sexual encounters and greater satisfaction with the overall quality of one's sexual life. [Iasenza, Suzanne. [http://www.fridae.com/newsfeatures/article.php?articleid=1182&viewarticle=1 the big lie: lesbian bed death] , Fridae newsletter (November 9, 2001). Retrieved on January 17, 2008.]

Health risks

Like most sexual behaviours these activities can carry increased risks of sexually transmitted and other pathogenic diseases. [ [http://depts.washington.edu/wswstd/ LesbianSTD.com] , retrieved 27 Nov 2007] The Centers for Disease Control reported there is little data available regarding the risk of spreading sexually transmitted diseases between women. Centers for Disease Control, cite web|url=http://www.cdc.gov/std/treatment/2006/specialpops.htm#specialpops5|title="Women Who Have Sex with Women" (WSW), retrieved 27 Nov 2007] However they noted pathogens such as metronidazole-resistant trichomoniasis, genotype-concordant HIV, human papilloma virus (HPV, which has been linked to nearly all cases of cervical cancer) and syphilis can be spread through sexual contact between women. While the rates of these pathologies is unknown, one study showed 30% of lesbians and bisexual women had medical histories with sexually transmitted diseases. [Western Journal of Medicine, Rita Lee, " [http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=1070935 Health care problems of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender patients] ", June 2000, retrieved Nov 2007] This does not mean sexually active lesbians are exposed to higher health risks than the general population. Health Canada noted "the prevalence of all types of HPV (cancer and non-cancer-causing) in different groups of Canadian women ranges from 20%–33%" and an American university study found 60% of sexually active females were infected with HPV at some time within a three year period. [Teach2Wait, Stephen J. Genuis, " [http://www.teach2wait.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=36&Itemid=63 Managing the sexually transmitted disease pandemic: A time for reevaluation] ", retrieved 27 Nov 2007]

ee also

* Lesbian Sex Mafia
* Lesbian bed death
* Women who have sex with women


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