If you’re new to the lesbian dating pool, there are a few things you should know when you’re dating other women. One of those things is to familiarise yourself with the different types of lesbians you might meet out in the pond. And the other is to educate yourself on the obscure lesbian terms you might hear thrown around when conversing with other queer women.
Before we get started, I’d like to point out that the terms and stereotypes in this article are mostly just a bit of fun. Many people in the LGBTQ+ community rely on their lesbian ‘type’ to identify and define themselves, and that’s perfectly ok. But not everybody conforms to stereotypes, and we can’t assume anything about a person purely based on looks or status.
With this in mind, by no means is the idea of this article to put ourselves into a box. We are way too complex creatures for that. But it’s to help us understand existing social dynamics and the common lesbian terms used amongst lesbians themselves. It’s all very tongue in cheek, so I hope you will have a few laughs in the process.
Right now we’ve got that out of the way, let’s get to it. Here are 17 different types of lesbians you can expect to meet in the dating pool, as well as the most common lesbian terms.
The Different Types of Lesbians in the Dating Pool
Contrary to the few typical stereotypes such as butches and femmes, lesbians come in all shapes and sizes. But it’s important not to become too obsessed with labels and what they mean.
I know from experience how fixating on labels can lead to feelings of isolation, or like you don’t ‘fit in’. I remember believing that I had to look, dress, and act a certain way if I wanted to be a valid member of the community. After all, I’d already lost serious lesbian points by sleeping with a man.
But, of course, that’s all ridiculous. Regardless of where you sit on the spectrum, if YOU consider yourself a lesbian, then you ARE a lesbian. Own that fact and know that you are VALID.
Nowadays, I find that I don’t really belong in any one category. One day I might feel more femme; on others, I might feel more of a tomboy. Sexuality and identity can be fluid, regardless of what people might tell you otherwise.
1. The Lipstick/Femme Lesbian
A lipstick lesbian, otherwise known as a femme lesbian, is famed for being the most feminine variety of our species. They aren’t afraid of wearing dresses, can actually walk in stilettos, and are likely to know how to apply liquid eyeliner flawlessly.
Another name for them could be camouflage lesbians, as they confuse both straight and gay people by looking just like straight women! If you spot one in a gay bar, it can be hard to tell if she’s a lesbian, or if she’s accompanying her gay best friend.
Most of the femmes I know get incredibly frustrated by this. But they are strong-minded and refuse to change their appearance just to fit in. They embrace their queerness and their feminity equally.
If you decide to date a lipstick lesbian, be prepared to woo her. Dress to impress, compliment her on how she looks, and shower her with attention. Oh and be nice to her friends, because they will be judging you!
Example of a famous lipstick lesbian: Sarah Paulson
2. The Butch/Stud/Diesel Dyke Lesbian
On the polar opposite end of the spectrum, we have the butch lesbians. Our beloved butches get a bad rep and are often accused of wanting to be men or being man-haters. When actually, they are just women. Women challenging the social norms of how a woman is expected to be.
Not only that, they are complete badasses. They often sport an enviable muscular physique, ride a Harley Davidson, ooze charm & confidence, and make the girls swoon just by winking at them. You can only ever hope to be as cool as them when you grow up.
If you want an easy-going lesbian relationship, a butch lesbian is your safest bet. They are way too cool to be needy or possessive, and you can guarantee she’ll treat you like the queen that you are.
Example of a famous butch lesbian: Lea DeLaria – AKA Big Boo in the Lesbian Netflix show Orange Is the New Black.
3. The Chapstick/Tomboy/Soft Butch/Stem/Futch Lesbian
A lesbian term created by the one and only Ellen Degeneres, a chapstick lesbian sits on the spectrum somewhere between a butch, a femme, and a boi lesbian. They aren’t masculine, but they aren’t girly either. And could sway more to either side depending on how they feel on the day.
Chapsticks are most likely to be wearing chinos, shirts, and brogues on a night out. And trendy jeans, trainers, and hoodies during the day. They always look super stylish and will likely sport an edgy short haircut that they will say is their staple feature.
Cute and charismatic, these girls have a loyal group of friends and have no problem attracting a partner. In fact, even many ‘straight’ women find them attractive as they tend to be boyish-looking yet somewhat feminine at the same time.
If you want to win the heart of a chapstick, make her laugh and be down to earth. She may come across full of confidence, but beneath it all, she’s probably a big softie.
Example of a famous chapstick lesbian: Ellen DeGeneres
4. The Boi Lesbian
As the name suggests, a Boi lesbian is typically very boyish-looking. They are way too timid to be butch and not as fashionably fluid as chapsticks, so Boi is the term they use to define themselves.
They will usually sport short-cropped hair and a super slim physique, and wouldn’t be seen dead in any item of clothing that’s remotely girly.
If you want to date a boi lesbian, it will probably help if you are a few years older than them. Bois tend to like the company of older women.
5. The Alpha Lesbian
Top of the lesbian food chain and don’t they know it. With their razor-sharp jawlines, incredible tattoos, flawless hair, and buckets of sex appeal, alphas can turn even the straightest of women.
The alpha is the type of lesbian many of us aspire to be but often fail miserably. But on the bright side, they are a rare breed of lesbian. And those you do come across seem to be extremely unapproachable. So don’t lose too much sleep over the alphas snapping up all the hot women.
The mystery of how to pull an alpha is yet to be solved. You don’t choose them; they choose you. And when they do, you will know about it. Just don’t be surprised if you end up with a broken heart.
Example of a famous Alpha lesbian: Ruby Rose
6. The Activist Lesbian
All hail the activist lesbian! This super breed of lesbian is out there on the front line, helping to protect the rights of our entire community. Their egos are non-existent, and they don’t care where you sit on the ever-broadening spectrum. They believe in liberty and justice for all. And they aren’t afraid to speak up for those whose voices need amplifying.
We’ve come a long way in the past few decades. But we would never have got there if it wasn’t for the activists in our community. Activism has been imperative for the LGBTQ+ community to gain acceptance and equality in modern society. And it will be crucial to our progression in the future.
We believe that we can all play our part in activism. It needn’t be on a large scale. But we can all attend Pride marches, we can boycott anti-LGBTQ+ brands and businesses, and we can use our voice and platforms to raise awareness of LGBTQ+ matters around the world. We’ve come a long way, but there’s still a long way to go. And the more of us who get involved, the better!
7. The Stone Butch Lesbian
A stone butch lesbian sports the same characteristics as a butch lesbian; however, they are known to be strictly givers in the bedroom. Their pleasure is derived from pleasuring their partners, and they rarely expect anything in return. This rare trait makes them a favourable partner of the ‘pillow princesses’.
8. The Pillow Princess Lesbian
On the opposite side of the coin of the stone butches, we have our pillow princesses. These high maintenance women love to be the reciprocators of sex. But getting them to return the favour is like getting blood out of a stone. Pillow princesses are often uber femme with frighteningly long nails, so you wouldn’t want them to come near you anyway. It would be like getting a finger-bashing from Freddy Kreuger!
9. The “Straight” Lesbian
You know what they say. Women are like spaghetti. They’re only straight until you heat them up. In other words, there aren’t many entirely straight women. And I guarantee that any lesbian that’s been out of the closet for longer than 6-months has had at least one straight woman hit on them at one point or another.
It can be quite exhilarating flirting and experimenting with a straight woman. But take a few wise words from somebody who knows, and do not fall for them. It might seem like you’re having a great time together, but more often than not dabbling with girls is just a phase for them. And it won’t be long until they go back to men. You have been warned!
10. The Alternative Lesbian
I’m not entirely sure if this a common term used amongst the lesbian community, but I use it to describe the girls who are slightly quirky or eccentric. They could be an emo or a goth, or they could simply dye their hair in whacky colours. Either way, they make a statement, and they get away with a style that most people can’t.
This kind of girl stands out in a crowd for me. They usually boast some interesting tattoos or piercings, can always be seen having fun, and are confident without being pretentious. You’ll have to work hard to get her attention, but when you do, it will be worth it.
While her style screams that she doesn’t give a f*ck, deep down, she’s a gentle soul with a kind heart. And so long as you nurture her free-spirited nature, rather than tame it, she will love you fiercely and deeply.
11. The Gold Star Lesbian
Gold star lesbians are those who’ve never had sex with a man. They are considered the purest breed of our species and wear their gold star as a badge of honour. Again, I have mixed feelings about this term, as it suggests that if you’ve had sex with a man, you’re not a ‘real’ lesbian. B*tch I was confused god damn it! I say give a gold star to everyone on the spectrum.
12. The Hasbian Lesbian
A ‘hasbian’ is the word used to describe women who once identified themselves as a lesbian, but now they are dating a man or identify as straight. Despite its slightly malicious connotation, I can’t help but like this term. You’ve got to admit it’s pretty clever. But I have to stress, never to use it in a bitter or spiteful way.
If recent years have taught us anything, it’s that sexuality and identity are incredibly fluid. And we should all feel free to follow our hearts without fear of judgement from others in the community. So by all means, use the term ‘hasbian’. But use it in a lighthearted manner. I put it in the same category as ‘dyke’, in a sense that I would only use it jokingly amongst my group of friends.
13. The Power/Suit lesbian
A power lesbian is usually the term used to describe a woman who is influential and well-respected amongst the community. She is generally highly successful, and despite her sexuality, has excelled in her line of work. Her job could be anything – a police officer, a sports star, a politician, or a lawyer. But power lesbians are an inspiration, as they remind us that anything is possible. They are crushing stereotypes and rising above bigotry, to show the world we are here. And we aren’t going anywhere.
14. The Sport Dyke
As the name suggests, a sport dyke, more than anything, identifies with being an athlete. She regularly plays football, probably owns a skateboard, and should probably be an ambassador for Vans. Her body is a temple, and you know she’s hiding some killer abs beneath that baggy t-shirt.
If you want to date a sport lesbian, her ideal date will be bowling or mini-golf, or some other competitive activity. That is if you can pin her down, of course. Her calendar is grid-locked with sports tournaments, training, and hitting the gym. So prepare for some serious competition in every sense of the word.
15. The Baby Dyke
Also known as “dykes in training” a baby dyke is new on the lesbian scene. She’s probably only recently come out of the closet and still working on finding her feet within the community. But thankfully, the predators among us are more than happy to help her do just that.
16. The LUG Lesbian
Not too dissimilar to a “Hasbian”, LUG stands for Lesbian Until Graduation. As you would expect, this term is used to describe girls who experiment with girls at Uni, but they aren’t quite committed to the lesbian lifestyle. Basically, once they graduate, they are likely to put their debaucherous ways behind them and settle down with a man.
17. The ‘Only When I’m Drunk’ Lesbian
Come on; we’ve all met them. These are the women who are as straight as an arrow. Well, that is until they’ve got a few pornstar martinis down their neck. Then they are grinding with you on the dancefloor, giving you the eye, and making out with you in the girl’s bathroom. They have a boyfriend, but apparently, cheating doesn’t count if it’s with a girl. And next time you see them, it’s as if nothing ever happened.
In my experience, this strange breed of lesbian can exist among your own group of acquaintances or even a family friend. And sometimes, it’s the random girl in the bathroom who snogs you on a night out. Oh, those were the days!
Other Common Lesbian Terms used by Lesbians
Dyke is another term used to describe a lesbian. But historically, it was used in a derogatory way by people outside of the community. So naturally, when I first came out as a lesbian, I thought the word was extremely offensive.
To be honest, I still wouldn’t say I like it much. It just doesn’t sound very pleasant to me. But I’m glad that as a community we’ve reclaimed the word. Some lesbians prefer the term dyke; others still get offended by it. So more often than not, ‘dyke’ is a term used amongst friends, not thrown around willy nilly.
Celesbian is a term used to describe lesbian celebrities. Some famous lesbians include Ellen De Generes, Ellen Page, Ruby Rose, Sarah Paulson, Cynthia Nixon, Lily Tomlin, Jody Foster, and Audre Lorde.
Dykon is a term used to define those who are considered icons amongst the lesbian community. They could be celebrities, but not necessarily. And they aren’t necessarily gay themselves either. They can be activists or politicians, or anybody influential who’s made a stand for equality and acceptance.
21. U-Haul Lesbians
The term “U-Haul lesbians” originated from a joke invented by famous butch lesbian Lea De’Laria. If you haven’t heard it already, here’s how it goes:
Joke: What do lesbians bring to a second date?
Answer: A U-Haul Van.
The joke pokes fun at the stereotype that lesbians become emotionally invested in a relationship very quickly. And while it obviously can’t be said for all lesbian love stories, there is a whole lot of truth in this joke which is why it’s so funny.
Joke: Where do lesbians celebrate their one year anniversary?
Answer: The IVF Clinic.
I’ll show myself out.
LBD is an abbreviation for Lesbian Bed Death – A horrifying term that refers to a lack of intimacy between lesbian couples. It’s said that lesbians who’ve been together for a long time, tend to have less sex than any other couple! We certainly don’t want to fall into that trap, do we? So, thankfully we got this solid relationship advice from our good friends and sexperts Breaking the Distance, on how to avoid the dreaded LBD.
Ever heard the term cock block? Well, cliterference is the same thing but for girls. It’s basically when somebody stands in the way of you getting laid. It could be your needy friend who demands your attention at all times. Or it could that overprotective friend that refuses to let her hot friend speak to you. Or worse of all, it could be the b*tch that just stepped in and bought that girl a drink first.
Another common lesbian joke is that many of us tend to pick partners that look similar to ourselves. If you can relate, then you, my friend, are a dopplebanger. Natalie and I have been told on several occasions that we look like sisters. And sometimes even twins. But other than both having blonde hair and blue eyes, we just don’t see it.
Queer is a term used for any sexual and gender minorities who are not heterosexual or cisgender. So anybody under the LGBTQ+ umbrella can define themselves as queer, including lesbians. Originally, queer meant to be ‘strange’ or ‘peculiar’, and historically it was used in a derogatory way by people outside of the community. Similar to ‘dyke’, however, the community has reclaimed the word, and many now use it to define their sexuality.
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Thank you for reading! We hope you enjoyed this list of the common lesbian types and phrases. Be sure to let us know if you have any others that you think need to be on this list. You can reach out to us in the comment section below or through our contact us page.
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Charlotte & Natalie x
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