When my wife and I lived in South America, we really improved our Spanish. Most importantly, we learned that the slang word for “lesbian” (roughly equivalent to English’s “dyke”) is “tortillera.” This literally means “a woman who makes tortillas,” and creatively and hilariously references our flattened down-there anatomy, which presumably makes the same slapping sound that hands on freshly made tortillas might make.

In American Sign Language, a tipped-over “L” shape made with the thumb and forefinger placed on the chin to frame our vagina-licking mouths means “Lesbian.”

In drunkenly slurred English coming from my straight friends’ mouths to my lesbian ear, lesbian sex is generally described with a big, fat question mark hovering after a “So, how do lesbians have sex, really?”

Of the many responses the webpage “Yahoo! Answers” received for such a question, the following answer was voted The Best: “Honestly, I don’t know how two women can do anything that qualifies as sex. Two guys can have anal, but two women don’t have much to work with.”

Making key burrito ingredients, lapping labia, doing nothing that “qualifies”—what the hell do y’all think we’re having so many orgasms about? What is lesbian sex?

Now I could follow the twisted, homophobic, bullshit “logic” that “gay people can’t have ‘real’ sex” because there’s no penis and vagina pairing. But why is it that so many people have no problem wrapping their heads around gay male sex but can’t even begin to contemplate what sex might look like between two women? I know that social norms and the sad closeting of clitoral-focused female pleasure has led us all to believe that your North Pole is truly the center of everyone’s sexual gravity, but the world of sex doesn’t actually revolve around your dick. Sorry.

However, if you asked a U-Haul full of lesbians what lesbian sex is, they’d probably be hard pressed to agree on the same answer. But just because we don’t have a formulaic Tab B to insert into Slot A doesn’t mean we can’t eff you see kay. In fact, existing outside this formula often makes lesbian sex more dynamic, creative and orgasmic exactly because it does not revolve around one particular penile axis.

What’s lesbian sex? It’s…

Digital: Penetration or even just some well-placed rubbing with fingers and hands. A couple of dainty extremities seem puny in the shadow of your Eiffel Tower? How about three? Or four? Or, hell, even a whole fist? What if you treated digital penetration as your sexual entree instead of a quick appetizer? It’s truly amazing, the number of ways we ladies can score another lady’s digits. And I don’t just mean scribbled on a bar napkin.

Oral: Cunnilingus, people! Many seem to think that diving for muff is a woman’s favorite thing to do when confronted with a vagina. It’s simply not the case for all. Just like all straight people don’t love missionary quickies (right?), not all lesbians like to lick it. However, the fact that oral doesn’t (always) include penetration doesn’t mean it isn’t considered sex by many.

Vaginal or Anal Penetrative With a Dildo or Vibrator: Said dildo may or may not be strapped on with a harness. This is where the holes in the “no sex without my penis” argument really expand (puns always intended). A dildo looks like a penis, is strapped onto the same place an anatomical penis would go, goes into the same opening as a penis and, especially in the case of Vixen’s wonder-silicone material, can feel a lot like a flesh-and-blood penis, too. Since it comes in all different sizes, shapes and colors, I’d say we actually have lots to work with.

Bumpin’ Uglies: This is your frotage, grinding, scissoring—any fancy word you want to use for rubbing up on each other until you get off.

But how does a lesbian know when she’s had sex? When penetration happens? When she reaches (or both reach) orgasm? When her tongue is in clitoral contact?

Really, who cares? I’m pretty sure a lesbian’s had sex whenever the mothertruck she says she has.•