I feel as though I have to emphasise this point repeatedly in the course of my life: to begin with, let us try to understand that women do not form relationships with other women because their hormones drive them. Now, with the taboo that surrounds queerness, bodies, sex and sexuality, a lot of time and energy is devoted to these topics. I am not condemning any form of sexuality here. My point is that women in same sex relationships should not be subject to voyeurism, nor are they a sexual fetish that exist for other people’s consumption.

women in same sex relationships should not be subject to voyeurism, nor are they a sexual fetish that exist for other people’s consumption.

“Same sex relationships are not real”

Slotting same sex relationships with only sexuality and what goes on in the bedroom is dangerous. Our struggles range from various issues such as mental and physical health to our demands for being acknowledged as citizens. I’m all for sexuality, but what I do find dangerous is how various mediums paint this picture of us as bodies that only express ourselves for the purpose of carnal pleasures. Let us get one thing straight: my pheromones are not my fuel. At least, not my only source of motivation to achieve anything in this life. We should not be viewed in a one-dimensional manner, negating who we are as a complex whole.

One source of media, entertainment or recreation (call it what you will), that both worries me and makes me very bitter is the “lesbian” category in pornography websites. A very important point I should acknowledge is that of Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE). The taboos surrounding sexuality makes both teachers and family members unwilling to discuss these topics (in most cases). This lack of engagement with sexuality, leads teenagers and pre-teens to the only information that is easily accessible to them – pornography sites. Children and young adults form assumptions about sex and sexuality based on porn in some of the most formative impressionable stages of one’s life.

“Lesbian porn is my favourite type of porn”

Porn websites such as Pornhub, YouPorn, etc. aid in the fetishisation of women in same sex relationships. First, the women acting in these videos represent a very specific body type: where they are white, tall, skinny, polished, buffed, manicured and it seems like they have never had body hair their whole lives. Obviously, such body types do not represent all female bodies. If porn is to be a source of relaxation or self-exploration, how on earth will various viewers connect with the women on screen who are passed off as moving mannequins?

Slotting same sex relationships with only sexuality and what goes on in the bedroom is dangerous.

Second, such portrayals can perpetuate very harmful stereotypes and body image issues. The depiction here is of typecast beauty standards that only seem to serve the white man’s gaze. Even orgasms aren’t spared – they are tailored to be as aesthetically appealing as possible. Do theses standards force a girl/woman who is short, dark, chubby, does not have proportionate or large breasts, does not have a gap between her thighs, etc. into the category of ‘ugly’ and ‘undesirable’? While this typecasting is taking place, one’s self esteem for not living up to such beauty standards is razed to the ground.

Third, within such mediums, there is always an overwhelming presence of the male gaze. Heterosexual pornography reduces women to objects while the men in the videos have the power and privilege to be acknowledged as persons with agency. Now if a viewer wants respite from such patriarchal power dynamics, the link for the ‘lesbian’ category will not help you. In these videos, women are again reduced to the sexual conquests of men. The video frame may not have men in it, but these particular lesbian bodies are also owned by men.

“Hang in there, you will find the right man soon”

The glorification and the pedestalisation of the phallus, and how it is a vital aspect of reproduction, encourages an unhealthy curiosity about what women do with each other in the bedroom. Moreover, they find it impossible to conceive that women can actually achieve sexual satisfaction with each other.

To sum up, the assumption is that sex without a penis isn’t really sex. Here, I feel the need to address one certain stereotype that is pulsing through my head right now: that women do not identify as dykes, lesbians, pansexuals, bisexuals, etc. because they have been rejected by men and then turn to other women for some semblance of sexual satisfaction. They aren’t frustrated due to a lack of a phallus. Frankly speaking, this is just ridiculous, and I assure you, male entitlement does not need any nourishment.

The video frame may not have men in it, but these particular lesbian bodies are also owned by men.

In the end, I can only say this: I refuse to be a sex object. I refuse attempts to be reduced to only a subject of voyeurism. I refuse to be your sexual fantasy; I refuse to be your queer bait. I am an agent too; I own my sexuality; I’m extremely ugly by pornographic standards perpetuated by the white man, but I will not inflict pain or bodily mutilation on myself to conform to such beauty standards. Despite the best of attempts to paint us as hypersexualised Neanderthals, living-breathing blow-up dolls or as sexually frustrated women pining for the phallus, I am and will always be the mistress of my own desires.

Also Read: Representation Of Lesbian, Bisexual And Trans Women In Popular Media


Featured Image Credit: Buzzfeed

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