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Gender Play in Lesbian Relationships


Gender play is nothing new to lesbians. Butch. Tomboy. Stud. Genderqueer. Aggressive. Two-spirit. Masculine of Center. Cross Dressers. Drag Kings. Alternative gender expression is part of our history, our culture and our sexual identity. Lesbian women have “passed” for centuries as a means to live their lives in a way that feels authentic to them. They’ve courted each other in lesbian bars and clubs as sexual and gender outlaws.

Gender play and gender expression are not about how we dress and act, but can play a part in our sexual lives. Even if you don’t normally identify as butch, you might experiment with gender play in your sexual activities.

Gender Play – Role Play

Gender play can be expressed in many ways in lesbian love-making. One of those ways is via role-play. You might be a lesbian with no desire to ever sleep with a man, but that doesn’t mean you don’t want to have sex with a woman who is pretending to be a man. Or maybe you are a lesbian who has a desire to have sex with another woman, as if you were a man. Or maybe you want to have sex with another woman as if you were both men. You don’t want to be a man, that would make you transsexual, you just want to experiment and from time to time (or maybe always) and act as if you are the man in a sexual relationship. That is one way that gender play plays out in a lesbian bedroom.

Gender play in lesbian role playing can be as simple or elaborate as you desire. You might decide you want to be a man and have sex with your partner as a man. Or you might come up with a whole back story and characters that you and your partner act out. The whole point is for you to step outside of who you are in real life and take on a persona that feels powerful and sexy to you. It gives you the opportunity to experiment and maybe try some things you wouldn’t feel comfortable doing as yourself.

Maybe you role play police officer and crime victim or Captain Stubing and Julie McCoy from The Love Boat. (Think Dana and Alice from The L Word.) Gender play can expand to other role play fantasies too. You can pretend to be two gay men picking each other up for a one night stand. Whatever it is that gets you turned on. It won’t be the same for everyone. You may or may not be turned on by your partner’s fantasy and vice versa.

Gender Play in Public

Gender play can be as simple as dressing in male clothing and packing a dildo under your clothes. You can share this experience with your partner, or maybe only you know it’s there. You can dress in drag, with a paste-on beard or mustache and even perform in a drag king show. Drag is a performance, but can also be a way to express your sexuality and sexual identity.

Gender Play in the Bedroom

Even though both you and your partner identify as female out in the world, you may have roles in the bedroom that are outside those identities. Maybe one of you likes to feel like she is the “man” when you make love. This can be something that is static or changes from time to time.

Gender Play and Taboo Fantasy

What about when your fantasies are in conflict with your personal identity? Some lesbian fantasies about gender play are more taboo than others. What if you are an incest survivor with rape fantasies? Or maybe you’re a butch lesbian who fantasizes about wearing a maid uniform and being seduced by the man of the house. These kind of fantasies can be alarming and you may feel you can’t express them out loud or explore them. Many times we have shame around our sexuality to begin with and adding a taboo element can be hard to talk about or admit.

If you are interested in a form of sexual role play that feels taboo to you, talking to people within the BDSM community is a good place to start. Although your fantasy may not involve sadomasochism, people within that community have developed and created great tools for practicing safe, sane and consensual sex. Thinking of your sex life as a theatrical play may help you put it in perspective. If you and your partner are both engaged, it can be a way to connect more deeply with your partner.

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