13 Terms That Mean Something Totally Different to Lesbians

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Let’s face it: Lesbians are a strange breed. Whether we embody the stereotypes within our community or adamantly defy them, there are certain things that we pretty much all understand. And often… No one else understands them the same way we do.

Which of the following terms have you confused non-lesbians with?

1. Girlfriend

What it means to them: Your female friend(s).

What it means to us: The person you are ridiculously attached to, almost right away. She’s got partial custody of your cat and full custody of your heart – at least until one of you gets frustrated and walks out. (Fingers crossed that never has to happen!)


2. Lipstick/Chapstick

What it means to them: Makeup products worn on the lips. Generally, lipstick is tinted, whereas Chapstick is not. They will offer varying levels of sun protection.

What it means to us: Sexy feminine women who are rocking in every way. Generally, “lipstick” refers to femmes who wear makeup, where “Chapstick” refers to femmes who do not wear makeup. (Your experience may vary based on personal preferences.)


3. Stud

What it means to them:

  1. A) A small piece of metal that’s pressed to a fabric, usually for decoration.
  2. B) A small, simple earring; also called a post.
  3. C) A wooden beam in the wall – the most stable point in most walls.

What it means to us: Sexy masculine women who are rocking in every way. The term “soft stud” may be used to describe a woman who dresses masculine, but chooses to keep long hair and/or do her makeup. Generally agreed to be sexy as hell in the lesbian community. (Your experience may vary based on personal preferences.)


4. The L Word

What it means to them: Love.

What it means to us: The quintessential lesbian TV series that helped to answer a million questions the lesbian community had – although it’s generally accepted that the ladies in the show weren’t really representative of lesbians in general. Still, this show was full of hot, steamy sex, important lesbian icons from history, and a cast that worked its way into everyone’s hearts. Aww!

l word 02

5. Break Up

What it means to them: The end of a relationship, or the act of ending a relationship.

What it means to us: The feeling of your heart being literally ripped from your chest, often without warning, that is all-consuming until you find someone new… or, more likely, un-break up. This can be a long cycle sometimes, with neither partner wanting to fully let go. (Hint: Avoid this cycle.)


6. The Ex

What it means to them: Someone you used to be romantically or sexually linked with, who you no longer talk to.

What it means to us: That woman you used to have passionate sex with, and now maintain you can be “just friends” – usually to the dismay and/or frustration of your current partner. She may even be your best friend now. Your girlfriend will probably hate her.


7. Best Friend

What it means to them: A friend who you have probably known for a long time, who knows a great deal about you. He or she would probably come to your aid if you needed.

What it means to us: All of the above – but with the risk of being secretly in love with her and having to keep your feelings hidden. If you do tell her, you run the risk of ruining the friendship… But you may find out that you’re soul mates! (I make no promises in regards to your outcome.)

Spencer Carlin and Ashley Davies (South of Nowhere)

8. Straight Girl

What it means to them: A woman who exclusively dates/sleeps with men.

What it means to us: A challenge. A bi-curious woman who doesn’t know it yet. (Note: I don’t recommend this approach, but as long as you’re respectful, all is fair in love and war.)


9. Ladies Night

What it means to them: One night a week where you go out with your female friends and enjoy fun and each other’s company.

What it means to us: A night where you and your other lesbian friends try (and usually fail) to pick up women at gay bars. Even if every girl you pursue turns out to be straight, it’s probably the most fun you’ll have all week.


10. Lug

What it means to them: To carry something, usually quite heavy. The word implies a great deal of effort.

What it means to us: Lesbian Until Graduation; a bi-curious women who dates/sleeps with other women during high school and/or college, but ends up settling down and marrying a man, often to the disappointment of the woman she was dating at the time. (Hint: You should probably never assume a woman is a lug, nor should you accuse her of being one – especially if you’re trying to get in her pants.)


11. Shane

What it means to them: A nice unisex name. Usually used for a boy, but not exclusively.

What it means to us: The sexiest lesbian who ever lived – even if she wasn’t real. Almost every lesbian has either idolized her or crushed on her, and for many, that effect lasts to this day.


12. Scissors/Scissoring

What it means to them:  Objects used to cut paper, plastic, or other such materials.

What it means to us: Oh, come on now. You know what scissoring means. (But just in case you don’t, here’s a fun article to explain it.)


13. Manicure

What it means to them: Going to the nail salon, usually to get artificial tips and/or polish on. Sometimes includes a hand massage.

What it means to us: Sitting on the bed with a pair of nail clippers because your partner won’t let you touch her until you cut those suckers. Vaginal contusions are not fun or pretty – your girlfriend shouldn’t have to remind you to trim!

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