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‘Lesbian’ has been one of the most viewed porn categories throughout the world for over a decade.

According to the popular site Pornhub, ‘lesbian’ was the third most popular category in 2019 — and the number one among women and viewers in the United States.

Below, sex educators explain why people across the sexuality spectrum can enjoy lesbian porn.

Usually, ‘lesbian porn’ refers to porn that features two (or more!) cisgender women having sex.

But, to be very clear: ‘Lesbian’ does N-O-T refer only to cisgender women who have sex with other (cisgender) women. More on this below.

The most historically accurate definition of lesbian, according to nonbinary lesbian, fat activist, model, and content creator Jordan Underwood, is: non-men who are interested in other non-men, romantically or sexually.

That means someone who is a woman, nonbinary, genderqueer, or any other gender that isn’t “man” could, potentially, identify as lesbian.

However, it’s rare for lesbian porn to feature people other than cisgender women. Porn that does feature non-men having sex with non-men is usually categorized as ‘queer porn.’

Viewers seeking lesbian porn that doesn’t exclusively depict cis women might try searching terms, like ‘queer porn.’ This is a phrase used to describe platforms, like CrashPadSeries.

“That’s because, while there’s a majority of lesbian representation, performers also include people who might not necessarily identify as — or exclusively as — lesbian,” explains Jiz Lee, the marketing director of Pink and White Productions.

“Although not perfect, in this way ‘queer’ lends itself as an all-encompassing synonym for an LGBTQIA+ umbrella that’s broad enough to include performers — without erasing their individual identities,” Lee says.

Enjoying lesbian porn doesn’t necessarily mean your sexuality includes sexual attraction to non-men as a non-man.

“Lesbian porn can be for everyone!” says queer sex educator and lesbian Marla Renee Stewart, MA, a sexpert for the adult wellness brand and retailer Lovers.

Men who watch lesbian porn aren’t necessarily trans or nonbinary folks who are interested in other non-men. And, similarly, women who watch lesbian porn aren’t necessarily interested in being with other women and nonbinary folks IRL.

Simply put: “Liking lesbian porn doesn’t make you a lesbian,” says Katrina Knizek, a lesbian and sex therapist who specializes in helping people explore their sexuality.

The only thing that makes someone lesbian is self-identification, she says. “You’re lesbian because you say, ‘I’m lesbian.'”

There are so many reasons. (One of which is that it allows for a healthier, safer way to explore your sexuality!)

It can flood your senses

For people who are attracted to non-men, seeing two in a scene can be a sensory overload. (In a good way!)

“There’s more to look at, there’s more to think about, and more to imagine and interact with,” Stewart says. “So some arousal potential of the scenes comes from the multiplication factor.”

It might feel safe(r)

Regardless of genre, porn allows people to explore their attractions on their own time, in their own space, and at a pace and duration that feels best for them. And (!) without the potential risk of sexually transmitted infections or unwanted pregnancy.

So, of course, all of this stands for lesbian porn, too.

For people who feel uncomfortable with, afraid of, or intimated by the idea of exploring their sexuality with another person, the private nature of porn-perusing can be hugely beneficial, says Knizek.

For folks who have experienced abusive (partnered) sexual dynamics in the past, porn can play an especially powerful role part in helping them reclaim and re-connect to their sexuality.

“Watching lesbian porn with masculine-presenting non-men can feel like a safer way for people to explore sexual attraction to men than by watching porn with men,” Knizek adds.

This may be especially true for people who have a history of trauma associated with men.

There may be sex toys

If you wanna watch porn that features vibrators, strap-ons, or dildos — either because you think it’s hot or to normalize their use during sex — lesbian porn is a better bet than other genres.

(It’s problematic, because most lesbian porn uses these pleasure products as stand-ins for biological penises — but that’s a topic for another article!)

There may be a more diverse cast

This isn’t true for mainstream (read: typically ‘free’) lesbian porn, but some lesbian porn platforms feature a broader range of people.

Lee says the reason CrashPadSeries exists is because people want to see others in porn who look like themselves.

“Our definition of what’s ‘sexy’ tends to be broader than conventional lesbian porn in terms of gender, race, age, ability, and body type, most likely because our cast and crew are of our communities,” Lee says.

The sounds alone can be hot

“We’ve evolved to find sex noises sexy,” says certified sex coach Gigi Engle, a sex and intimacy sexpert for SKYN and the author of “All The F*cking Mistakes: A Guide to Sex, Love, and Life.”

And, oftentimes, lesbian porn is quite loud.

“Listening to people moan feeds into the part of our subconscious that seeks out luscious pleasure without the trouble of having to think so much,” Engle says.

“All mainstream porn is made for cis men, regardless of who’s involved in the scene,” Engle says.

The official term for this is ‘male gaze-y.’

“The male gaze suggests a sexualized way of looking at something that treats the thing being looked at as an object,” Knizek explains. In lesbian porn, women (and non-men) = the object.

In practice, that means scenes in mainstream lesbian porn are designed to fulfill men’s fantasies of what women and non-men do together, as opposed to what women and non-men *actually* do together, Engle says.

“The performers are often doing things that would probably not feel very good in real life, like hardcore scissoring, screwing each other with dildos, neglecting the clitoris, and making a lot of over-the-top noises that feel disingenuous,” she adds.

The downsides of this are multiple.

For starters, “[it] reinforces harmful false stereotypes about what lesbian sex looks like and who it’s for,” says Knizek. It suggests that lesbian sex is a thing people do *for* men and their pleasure, as opposed to for personal satisfaction and pleasure, she says.

It can also make people having “lesbian sex” IRL feel like their sex isn’t good-enough or “right” — or like their bodies are broken if they don’t enjoy said hardcore scissoring.

“Because mainstream lesbian porn doesn’t include much communication between partners at all, it can also lead lesbians to believe that they don’t have to ask questions like ‘What acts are OK?’ and ‘How does this feel?’ when they do,” Knizek says.

That’s why it’s so important to remember that porn is entertainment, not education.

As a general rule, if you’re going to be consuming porn, you should be paying for it. When you pay for your porn, you ensure that the performers are being compensated for the work they’re doing.

Plus, Engle notes, because these films often have a higher production value, “that’s where the good stuff is at.”

“These sites make great ethical porn that’s less ‘punish f*cking’ and more focused on actual pleasure,” Engle says.

“If somebody feels that they are watching too much porn, they should mention that to a sex therapist or other sex-positive mental health professional,” Knizek says.

Typically, she says, people who think they’re watching too much porn are actually dealing with internalized messages from a sex-negative culture.

But regardless, a professional can help you create a game-plan to watch less lesbian porn or feel less shame about how much lesbian porn you’re watching.


Gabrielle Kassel is a New York-based sex and wellness writer and CrossFit Level 1 Trainer. She’s become a morning person, tested over 200 vibrators, and eaten, drunk, and brushed with charcoal — all in the name of journalism. In her free time, she can be found reading self-help books and romance novels, bench-pressing, or pole dancing. Follow her on Instagram.