Lesbian Sex: Your 15 Favorite Ways To Have It

How do lesbians have sex? Well, lesbians have sex in many different ways, so we went ahead and asked over 13k+ queer women, “which of these activities has been a regular part of your sex life within the last year?” and now we’ve got the answers. The data below reflects the most popular answers given by lesbian-identified women in relationships (monogamous or non-monogamous).

The Top 15 Lesbian Sex Activities In Order Of Popularity

1. Clitoral Stimulation – 99%

In 1933, Sigmund Freud famously remarked “Elimination of clitoral sexuality is a necessary precondition for the development of femininity, since it is immature and masculine in its nature.” He was dead wrong. In fact, most women require clitoral stimulation to orgasm. Plus, it’s the only human organ that exists exclusively for pleasure! So unsurprisingly, doing stuff to your girlfriend’s clit is a very popular activity.

2. Fingering (genitals, internal) – 97.2%

Also known as: finger-banging, finger-fcking and, you know, “fcking.”

3. Oral sex (genitals) – 95.2%

We also asked readers for their favorite sex act in an open-ended question, and oral sex easily came out on top. Here’s some tips for first-timers.

4. Frottage/dry humping – 79.6%

Teenagers and lesbians: mastering the fine art of dry-humping since the dawn of time.

5. Nipple play – 73.1%

Research has shown that nipple stimulation activates the same region of the brain as clitoral and genital stimulation.

6. Strap-on play – 58.8%

Strap-on sex is very popular amongst lesbians, and we’re got a great guide for how to Have Strap-On Lesbian Sex. We get a lot of questions from readers about buying a strap-on harness and recommend, if you can afford it, a Spare Parts Joque Harness.  We’ve got a few guides to strap-on shopping:

Another 22% of y’all indicated that oral sex using a strap-on is a regular part of your sex life.

7. Vibrators – 55.5%

Lots of lesbians use vibrators during sex — for clitoral stimulation, inside a dildo, for penetration, or for mutual masturbation. If you’re buying a vibrator for the first time there can be a lot of intimidating options out there and hard to know which vibrators are the best — and the most famous and beloved vibrator is probably the Hitachi Magic Wand, which is not technically a vibrator at all, and not necessarily the best for partner sex. (Although they recently came out with a rechargeable edition you might like!) The Womanizer has gotten a lot of positive press as well. Couples vibrators are a thing too, like The We-Vibe 4.

Fun fact: 49% of survey-takers usually use vibrators while masturbating.

8. Dildos – 55%

Dildos are most often used with strap-ons, although we didn’t differentiate in the survey which may have led to confusing answers. These are the best dildos according to our lesbian sex experts. There are pros and cons to double-ended dildos . Dildos come in all shapes, styles (like the pack and play), sizes (including “VERY BIG“), and materials — glass, silicone, stainless steel, stone — many designed for stand-alone usage and many designed specifically for being used with a harness.

9. Spanking – 50%

Among survey-takers who indicated being interested in kink, 58% enjoy spanking their partner and 62% enjoy getting spanked. If you’re looking to get into spanking and other impact play, try this handy guide to spanking safely and effectively.

10. Scissoring – 34%

While many have argued that scissoring isn’t a thing, lesbian scissoring is in fact definitely a thing, in so many configurations: full-body scissoring, acrobatic sitting scissoring and classic scissoring. What can we say about scissoring that you haven’t already said about scissoring? Very little, honestly.

11. Anal play (external) – 31%

You can do a lot with your finger besides inserting it all the way into an asshole. 20% of lesbians also indicated that they regularly participated in “rimming” (oral anal play), aka eating ass.

12. Anal penetration – 25.2%

Anal penetration also was the most frequent sex act cited in our open-ended question “what is your least-favorite sex act?” Even if you’re not into anal, you really should read this review of the Njoy Pure Plug, because it’s hilarious. If you’re interested in trying anal, we have a post for how to have lesbian sex: the anal edition.

13. BDSM – 22.2%

The BDSM acronym represents Bondage & Discipline, Domination & Submission and Sadism & Masochism. Our Bondage 101 post is a great place to start when looking into starting to tie people up. Some of our most popular sex posts have been related to BDSM-related activities, such as Bondage For Beginners, How to Tie Someone UpRead a F*cking Book About BDSMTop Five Ways To Consensually Hit Your Sex Partner and What We Talk About When We Talk About Flogging.

14. Other sex toy play – 22%

Of survey-takers who use sex toys, 47% own four or more of them, 75% purchase them in stores and 64% have purchased sex toys online. Sex toys besides vibrators and dildos include kink-lite gear like nipple clamps, butt plugs,

15. Fisting (vaginal) – 18%

Admittedly we were pretty surprised by how low fisting ranked! If you can take it and have the body parts necessary to do so, I cannot recommend more highly the experience of having or receiving somebody’s entire hand inside you. You can get started with this Lesbian Fisting 101 post, or trying out these five tips for aspirational fisters.

This post was originally written in 2015 based on survey data from 2015 and has been updated in August 2023.

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Riese is the 41-year-old Co-Founder of Autostraddle.com as well as an award-winning writer, video-maker, LGBTQ+ Marketing consultant and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York and now lives in California. Her work has appeared in nine books including "The Bigger the Better The Tighter The Sweater: 21 Funny Women on Beauty, Body Image & Other Hazards Of Being Female," magazines including Marie Claire and Curve, and all over the web including Nylon, Queerty, Nerve, Bitch, Emily Books and Jezebel. She had a very popular personal blog once upon a time, and then she recapped The L Word, and then she had the idea to make this place, and now here we all are! In 2016, she was nominated for a GLAAD Award for Outstanding Digital Journalism. Follow her on twitter and instagram.

Riese has written 3072 articles for us.


  1. HAhaha more clasic contnet from autostraddle.com aka hillaryclinton.gov/all_lesbians_have_vaginas.

    Seriously* don*t pu*t aster*isks on the word trans* wo*man that*s not how it wor*ks than*k you research something please autostraddle is gross cis

    • …What? These are responses from a survey, sorted and listed based on the frequency of each response. Each response indicates a sexual act, not all of which necessitate the having of a vagina..? Using vibrators, fingering, anal play, dildos, spanking, and scissoring can all be done by/with someone without a vagina. Are you mad because 99% of the respondents said they like clitoral stimulation..? Because that isn’t actually AS’s fault (as again, these are answers of the respondents) nor is enjoying/mentioning clitoral stimulation transphobic.

      I like the URL though, nice touch.

    • I tried that link and all I got was a page asking for a $10 donation to the Lesbians with Vaginas for Hillary PAC. Apparently if you donate before midnight, you can still have your name added to the new Donor Dildo at HQ!

      • this is a teachable moment kids:
        learn from the pros! Don’t fight the troll ore you’ll be swept under. Go with the flow, then you’ll resurface in one piece.

        Stay safe

    • I know there is a lot of furver around this, and I certainly don’t want to speak for any trans women other than myself but I often refer to my genitals with clitoral nomenclature (Because the structures are incredibly similar differing mostly in size and position, I’d point you to a diagram of the internal structure of “female” anatomy but I’m lazy) . I may have thrown off the survey several times over. In general this kind of trolling is usually not productiove

    • But seriously to all the haters. This isn’t about most of the sex acts being vaginal. It’s about systemic exclusion (or minimum inclusion and the praise you get from self-effacing trans women who have been abused into thinking trans women have male privilege by cisfeminism) of trans women by your lesbian website.

      This article just happened to so not include anything that i do that it became a sort of flashpoint for growing tensions.


    • Yes they absolutely do! We made a huge error when we put the survey together and didn’t ask survey-takers for the gender of their present partner. Because a lot of non-lesbian-identified women took the survey and answered based on their present relationships with men (this became clear in the open-ended responses), the only way to isolate the numbers to be 100% sure that we were only showing sex acts between women was to narrow it to lesbian-identified women (which includes both cis and trans women, obviously). I assume the numbers would be the same if it included all women in relationships with women, regardless of their orientation, but we have no way to do that because we didn’t ask that one crucial question. Luckily we had such a huge response that the results remained statistically significant even when we narrowed it down like that.

        • I completely, 100% understand that not all lesbians have vaginas. And I was referring to the first comment on here, sorry for the confusion. I mean, in a world where nobody wants you to talk about having female sex organs, especially when it comes to enjoying sex (especially with other women), I’d like to think that Autostraddle would be a safe place to refer to having a vagina or clitoris when talking about sex without fear of being told to shut up. And this was a survey in which thousands of queer women shared their personal experiences about their own bodies and I don’t like someone coming on here and making them feel bad about it. Anyway, the cussing was due to the fact that I was/am angry about that comment’s attack on this website/community and that I think all lesbian, bisexual, and trans women should be allowed to reference their own body parts using language that feels comfortable to them without being attacked for it.

          • It’s also true that many women with trans histories do have vaginas. I’m grateful for articles that are inclusive of all of us and all of our bodies. Talking about vaginas and clits is really helpful for me as I learn my body since bottom surgery.

          • Yes I agree with you everyone should be able to talk about you sexual preferences, I am in a FFM and it’s great it’s been working out really well for the three of use so let’s all be open with it

  2. Could y’all make a print of some kind of that flow chart and put it in the Straddle store someday?
    Not saying it has to be a 18 x 24 poster, but some thing larger than 8 by 11 would be great. Say oh 11 by 17 maybe?

    It’d make a wonderful learning aid, just saying.

  3. This is a great article!! I would be curious to know where the straight/Hetero world stood on these things (those that applied, I suppose). Are the numbers similar for straight women?

    • Somewhere out there are results on a survey or a study even on what counts as sex and orgasm rate to straight people and if I remember correctly it was pretty grim for women.

      But, ooh I’d love to study the kink factor possibly expanding the definition of sex and boosting effective communication in straight people.

  4. but srsly autostraddle fisting do you want to talk about fisting and how it’s good for the environment and increases your followers on instagram or whatever and like teaches kids to read and seriously, fisting. guys. ydy, but also, maybe nobody ever asked you so you never considered that you want to do that.

    if for nothing else that you can then make the joke that is in that later-season episode of absolutely fabulous where eddie monsoon’s career is tanking and she winds up involved in a lesbian fundraiser called fist across america, and when there are vaguely appropriate moments you cheer,”FIST ACROSS AMERICA!!!!” gf and I do this sometimes.

  5. There was talk about scissoring on one of these result articles and people talked about tribbing and omggggggggghhgggg thank you for giving us the sex ed classes we were never given as teenagers.

    So many things I like! So much to do! Many feelings. Much happy.

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