Real L Word #104 Recap: Gambling with Love & Lesbian Sex

How do lesbians have sex? Do you know? Like what lesbian sex is? Anyone? Can lesbians even have sex? I’m so confused. I’m also wondering if they should really get married. What’s a legally binding contract matter when you’ve got the prospect of pimpy pool tables and fancy dresses?  Lesbians. Such odd yet beautiful creatures!

Anyhow, recently, my frienemies told me about this RAD new show called The Real L Word. Although I was pretty sure I’d already seen it and hated it, I agreed to give it another shot. After all, I needed to answer the burning questions that keep me up all night — it’s like I have a mission, you know?  Like a higher purpose?  Like I’m guided by some lesbian superpower? I think this higher calling probably could possibly be THE POWER OF THE MOTHERFUCKING CLAM, as we demonstrate in this photograph from Pride:

Anyhow, in search of entertainment, lesbian action & something to get upset about; Laneia, Alex and I sat our asses down in front of the teevee for The Real L Word and what did we see? Mikey’s weirdo head staring back at me!

Mikey: “There’s a huge difference between having sex with a man and having sex with a woman. One kind I like, and one kind I don’t.”


Yes, today’s hot topic was “What is Lebsian Sex?” This is a v.important issue, so let’s dig right in and get all those parts out of the way right now. Like foreplay!



Nikki: We’re not one hit wonders. I mean we could go and go.*

*I have no idea what this means. Multiple orgasms? Multiple positions? Kama Sutra? More than one dance track exploding all over the Billboard charts? Is that what the descending fluorescent disco balls are there for?


Tracy: “Lesbian sex is when two vaginas rub together and they don’t catch on fire.”


Via Lesbian Sex Positions for Dummies:


Whitney: “Lesbian sex is anything you want it to be, that’s why it’s so amazing.”


Mikey: “When two chicks go down on each other, that’s not sex. Banging a girl with your foot/toe is also not sex.”


Mikey’s Assistant Shanna: “If you had a strap-on and fucked a girl, that would be sex.”


Mikey: “If you have an orgasm or if you’re being penetrated, that’s sex.”


Raquel: “Fingerbanging does not count as sex, but other kinds of penetration are sex.”


Whitney: “Oral sex exchange” is not “full sex.”


Another delightful definition comes courtesy of Stamie’s business partner. It happens. One minute you’re talking about the arrangement of furniture in a potential sale property and the next minute you’re asking Stamie & Tracy for their definition of lesbian sex.

Josh: “In the straight world, ‘slept together’ means sexual intercourse. Penetration, is what I mean.”


Stamie: “It’s just cuddling. Or sometimes I put her boobs in my face.”


Jill’s getting handsy:

Jill: “There’s plenty of ways to do it. We have hands, we have mouths…”


Shane: “Are you fucking kidding me, [lesbians fucking] is entirely possible! Where do you live, Mark? It’s entirely possible. Is this a joke?”


Alex: Let’s just keep talking about how we’re SO DIFFERENT from everybody else.
Riese: Exciting, Alex, the word is “exciting.”


Rose takes the question very seriously, explaining that “sensuality” is what connects women and makes lesbian sex so amazing. She elaborates: “It’s more than you just sticking your dick in her pussy.” And just like that, our collective “pussies” close up and die, never to be seen or entered by another hand, mouth, strap-on, or Mikey Lesbian again.


Unfortunately, the “scenes from last week” bit was extra long this week. We had to live through it all over again…

Riese: OMG PTSD!
Laneia: DIE! DEATH! DIE!
Riese: <—-dead
Laneia: ^ this


After the episode we asked you to tweet your feelings about the show to us, and we’ll post those responses throughout the recap. Let’s start here:

Oh Kstellar56. We can do much better than that. In fact, we’ve taken it upon ourselves to create a Lesbian Sex Flowchart which is so amazing, you’ll have to turn the page afterwards, because the rest of the recap is not worthy of this flowchart and cannot share its stage [thank you to my fine collaborators, Taylor and Alex Vega]:

click to expand

Pages: 1 2 3 4See entire article on one page

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Riese is the 41-year-old Co-Founder of 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 Los Angeles. Her work has appeared in nine books, 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. She's Jewish and has a cute dog named Carol. Follow her on twitter and instagram.

Riese has written 3179 articles for us.


  1. I cannot speak because I lol-ed too hard.
    Seriously, watching this episode was painful on so many levels, so called lesbians trying to explain what lesbian sex is and what IS considered as sex in a very hetero-normal way, was just a disgrace…
    Thank God for your recaps :D
    This show is just fake and unreal, it’s completely alien to me.
    Now I’m just hoping that the BBC will release their damn British L word-like show, “Lip Service” so that we have a proper portrayal of lesbians on TV :D Oh hell, bring back Callie and Arizona for an extra summer spin off of Grey’s Anatomy, whatever!

    • The hetero-centric definitions of lesbian sex made my girlfriend rant loudly. Usually that’s what I do, not her!

  2. I love the flow chart! I will bust that shit out at Thanksgiving so that my whole family can be enlightened about the mysteries of sex.

    OM NOM NOM (I made a sandwich).

  3. “I got 99 problems but this suite ain’t one.”

    I’ve been laughing at this for an hour now, and counting.

  4. …you guys i know we/i love tracey and stamie but what if they were wrong? what if my vagina CATCHES ON FIRE?!

    or worse, what if all we ever do is cuddle?!!

  5. Until the last season, I pretty much loved “The L Word” even though the characters were not like any lesbians I have ever known in my entire life.

    For that same reason, I find “The Real L Word” very unreal. I am not a big fan of realty shows, most of them seem contrived to me, so I may not be the best to even make a statement about this new creation from Ilene Chaiken.

    My partner and I write coming out books for lesbians, bisexual and questioning women, and we have a support group with over 950 members. Some of our members like the show, and some don’t like it at all. This quote seems to be the consensus of the members who don’t like the show:

    “I don’t want to be a lesbian like any of those women…I don’t want to be associated with any of them…”

    I was really hoping that this would not be the case, as our group has discussions about current events, news and movies that concern the LGBT community quite a bit. I was looking forward to them being able to see a good reality show about real lesbian life, and the discussions that would follow each week.

    Maybe “The Real L Word” will grow on our members who don’t like it, but sadly most were so turned off the first couple of episodes, that they are not giving it a chance to do so. They are still watching “The L Word” on DVD though…

  6. “Alex when you talk about moving to LA while we’re watching this show, I get sad. That’s like saying you want to become a Nazi during Schindler’s List.”

    Funnier/truer words were never written.

  7. ok, now that I’m done with page one (I’ll finish reading later), I just gotta say queerfolk,

    If you eat out a girl without a dam, you could get HPV in your throat which can lead to THROAT CANCER. So no fuck you to Whitney, miz “Oral sex exchange” is not “full sex.”

    My general rule of thumb is that if you’re doing something that could expose you or your partner/s to STDs, it’s sex. Just because there isn’t a cis dick involved doesn’t negate the fact that it’s fucking.

    In conclusion, you had sex with the girl who fingered you last night. Always use gloves/dams/condoms plz!!

    Related: Could it be any clearer that this show is not for us? Otherwise why the fuck would they spend an episode explaining what lezzie sex is? It’s so heterosexist/misogynist of them to perpetuate the notion two women can’t fuck each other. Piss off, TRLW.

  8. The “Bitch stop making drama” picture made me spit coffee all over my desk.


  9. “Hey So, About You Being a Total Douchebag…
    Whitney is hungover and tired from One Night in Romi, and Alyssa is annoyed and tired from Living Every Day With Whitney while Whitney Makes My Cousin Sad.”


    i’ve started referring to Whitney as The Predator cuz she looks like the Predator and acts like one.

    Mikey in my crib is now referred to as Rod Stewart.

    that’s all for now.

    • i haven’t seen any yet BUT MIKEY LOOKS EXACTLY LIKE ROD STEWART. hair-wise at least, which is what counts. in drawing her hair, i was like, okay, rod stewart hair, right?


      …now thats all ill ever see when i look at her….

  10. “Mikey is so inspired by the breathtaking views of sin and greed that she decides she’s gonna marry Raquel that very night, ’cause it turns out she can fly in after all.”

    I thought this was a joke, but then it turned out to NOT BE A JOKE AT ALL

  11. If I ever get married, it’ll be H&M dresses, beer / potato chips and flowers from my garden.

    Seriously Real L Word peeps, keep your money for stuff that actually matters: cat food, computers or, I don’t know, fighting for our rights maybe?

  12. You know when you have a dream and you wake up not remembering it but you still get the creeps from it The Real L Word is that dream.

    Awesome recap. Way better than the god damned show.

  13. This review was so funny! The past reviews were kind of Rush Limbaugh just hateful for no reason. Now you are like Howard Stern…still hateful but funny. Okay maybe hate is a bit much…but highly annoyed. I really didn’t know that white people were like this…meaning that I didn’t know you guys saw other white people who clearly aren’t you and some how make it about yourself. See I know some black people and they get all upset of let’s say BET because it somehow represents them. This is kind of like that…ridiculous.

    My wife and I (legally married in Canada) have been together for seven years and every week we see parts of our relationship somehow represented in the show. And it makes us laugh and reflect on the trials and tribulations of said romance. But at no time do we cringe of even care about the embarrassing things that they do because as much as it is a show it’s not scripted. So I am just going to speak for the cast, of who I admit I don’t know from a can of paint and say, it is what it is! When you guys get a little older you will see that this show is great.

    • I agree, the other recaps just seemed hateful and they actually made me more embarrassed to be gay than the show itself. The joke was on Autostraddle instead of TRLW.

      But this one was actually funny! Keep up the good work girls!

      • the joke was on Autostraddle? ’cause we were honest about how we felt about the show? It’s a bad show. I wrote this recap to please everybody, but in the past I was honest and i think honesty is important, and I don’t care about representation ’cause I don’t think anyone is watching this show so it doesn’t matter really. I just want to be entertained, is all, to be at least as compelling as other reality shows that people apparently liked a lot more.

        The recaps made you embarrassed to be gay? really?

        That’s devastating.

          • lol. I love how the first 2 comments are like insults rolled in loving appreciation.

            I’ve tried to watch and it’s laughable and the level of stupidity and superficiality is awe-inspiring (to be fair, I hate on all reality tv) but mostly it’s freaking me out because IFC is driving. it ain’t about the color of their skin, but I know some people in this world still live there, so ok.

            btw, nobody can _make_ you feel something. that comes wholly from within. just sayin’.

          • Not only does Autostraddle make ME proud to be gay, I think Autostraddle might actually make me a little gay.

    • Perhaps what the people actually say when they’re actually in front of the cameras is unscripted, but come on, you know they pull stuff apart and piece it back together in post. That’s, like, the reality show modus operandi.

    • I think this is the most condescending comment I’ve ever seen on Autostraddle. Get a grip.

  14. The “Is it sex” flowchart needs to be made into t-shirts, like right now.

    This show is just too much for me. The only reason I’m glad that it exists is for these incredible recaps. I agree that I am more interested in the main cast’s friends, lovers, and family.

  15. Why would I watch the “Real” L word, when I get more bang for my buck right here??????

  16. “it tastes the same(if you close your eyes)” = amazing. every time RENT is referenced, a fairy gets its wings.

    also, that flowchart is for sure in the top 5 best things i have seen in my life ever.

  17. I rofl at them. Since when is a sex act not a sex act? Who the hell is rewriting these definitions and how much of ‘la la la la I can’t hear you!’ goes into it? I can go down on a gal, and finger, and do a whole crapload of stuff, etc spoon after and fall asleep from exhaustion (booyah)… but according to these crazy kids, we never had sex! WOT! -.-

  18. Also, I have a big crush on Raquel, ginormous finger ring notwithstanding. Her ring reminds of the ginormous ring Bette was wearing when she kissed Tina at Shebar in season 5.

    Are ginormous finger rings a new trend that I don’t know about?


    can i reiterate the fact that when i say i hate whitney and want to barf on her knees, i mean the CHARACTER of whitney that the editors have tried so desperately to create. i don’t hate anyone IRL b/c none of this shit is RL, so.

    i’m standing by all of the haircut comments, though. seriously.

    also this is maybe probably the best recap so far.

  20. Thanks for your hard work on the recap. Worth it. And worth repeating that the recap is 50 times better than the show. That sex flowchart is so, so good, and I’ve been LOL’ing, rereading and re-LOL’ing at this all morning: “Mikey explains that because Mikey missed her flight on 9/11 from Pittsburgh to LAX, which got hijacked with all her bags inside (she lost her entire collection, it was devastating etc), she’s not upset at Raquel. She’s just 95% confident that her future wife just dodged a close encounter with Al Queda.”

  21. I am really glad I never have to watch this show because I have your recaps. Thank you. And thank you for the flowchart. That was very informative. I think maybe before I was confused.

    Also “This is like when your mom talks about your first period to your neighbors or something.” Yes.

    And at work the other day a rowdy table of 6 was raving about the real L word (and maybe there was one lesbian at the table, or maybe zero) and I had to try really hard not to die from laughing and get fired on my first shift. Or not die on my first shift.

  22. I’m pretty sure I’m not alone when I say that the OG L Word played a significant role in my coming out to myself process (Poor little lonely lez etc etc). I don’t even want to think of where I might be in life if I had peeped out the Closet and saw this Real rif raf instead. Oh god. I probably would have dove right back in and jumped on the first train back to the Penetration Station.

      • This i feel is an important thing. Where is the Lesbian(or gay or tran or whatevs) Anna Karenina? And if i hear Well of loneliness somebody will get shot.

  23. Once, long ago, possessed with the same desire to definitively answer the Sphinx-ian riddle of “what IS lesbian sex?” I walked around West Hollywood with a video camera and interviewed fellow lesbians (some sober, some not-so-sober) re: their opinions/definitions of lesbian sex and lesbian porn. The answers I got were all over the damn place, much like the girls on TRFLW. I would show the doc to you guys, because it actually turned out really funny and I interviewed some awesome Brits and The French Shane (no, really, she looked just like Shane but was French) but I didn’t get any actor releases because it was just for a college class. HOWEVS…the flow chart made my life/summed up all the various answers PERFECTLY and I second, third, double-fist the motion that it be made into T-shirts, posters, etc. etc.

    Conclusion: lesbian sex has multiple definitions just like lesbians give each other multiple orgasms. case closed.

  24. Flow Chart FTW. It will be a great consultation point the next time I make a sandwich sin pantalones.

  25. The only reason I continue to watch this show (other than that other reason that involves something like driving slowly past a semi/smart-car accident) is so I can have my deliciously hearty belly-laugh of the week over reading these recaps. Riese, if I wasn’t already in a lovely relationship, I would hop a plane to take you out– we could discuss the oh-so-elusive definition of lesbian sex and ponder the sunglasses-indoors agenda (sigh)

  26. I’m commenting on this because I want Riese to know that her Herculean efforts are appreciated.

    Also, this…The oral sex exchange is like the stock exchange. Where everyone also gets fucked.…is AMAZING.

  27. Just so we’re all clear, Beyonce stays at the MGM and her suite has two levels AND has a pool table.

    Is there any chance Mikey got the fancy pants Luxor suite because they thought she was Rod Stewart?

  28. Your recaps are amazing, you guys are so funny. But I feel kinda guilty loving them because you hate having to watch it so much, and then having to write about it – thats true dedication! Which is very much appreciated from me too!

  29. It’s all Bill Clinton’s fault guys. He broke the definition of sex for everyone back in the 90s.

    • Don’t forget DOMA too!

      And don’t even get me started on him bailing at the last second as UCLA’s grad speaker in ’08….woulda forgiven the man for wrecking the definition of sex, but now I just want to throw a dildo at his face.

  30. you guys this week i learned how to make my computer take periodic screenshots of a DVD automatically!

  31. Does Mikey mean that her collection was on any old random flight from Pittsburgh to LAX on 9/11, she missed THAT flight, and then the collection was lost in the ensuing travel stoppage? Because there was no hijacked flight from Pittsburgh to LAX on 9/11/01. A check of Wikipedia confirms that the hijacked flights were BOS->LAX, BOS->LAX, Dulles->LAX, and Newark->SFO. If that’s creative editing, that’s beyond offensive.

    • Yeah I was wondering that too, because that would be offensive! But maybe it wasn’t a direct flight, and there was a transfer in Boston or New York.

    • yeah i wondered about that as well. but then i remembered that this show is like 75% nonsense?

  32. hahaha i would also be a person to bring a novel to a wedding planning session, just like i declined to join a wedding dress shopping trip less than a fortnight ago, because snore/suicide. so thank you for the entertainment and the sacrifice because i want to know what’s happening but i sure as shit am not watching it.

  33. 1. I am 2 episodes behind.
    2. Robin refuses to watch this show because it bums her out.
    3. If Sara had made out with Whitney I was going to tell everybody, but she didn’t. So I have nothing interesting to tell you.

  34. Love the recap. Love this show.

    Nikki & Jill are so cute. Tracey and Stamie are sweet. And Whitney, Rose and Mikey’s shenanigans crack me up, they look like they know how to have a good time!

    Some people obviously take it waaaaaay too serious though. Always that whole ‘ow but it’s not representative’, ‘that’s not what lesbians are really like’ & ‘I don’t know anyone like that’ discussion.. Come on! It’s entertainment; watch it, enjoy it, make fun of it, and then move on.


  35. This is completely irrelevant but I just wanted to share the joy I feel. Why? Well, because as of today marriage is for everyone in Argentina! 14 hours of debate, i was so nervous…this is such a relief.

    • Felicitaciones!! Va a casarles ahora :)

      (that might not have been correct, but i’m trying…and now i have yet another reason to move to buenos aires)

  36. I have a question for the law people here: is it even LEGAL to cut statements together the way you want them to be in a TV show? I mean, Nikki declared that she never actually said the thing about looking more “fabulous” in a designer dress but was talking about her weird body shape. They simply took two totally different sentences and cut them together into one.

    Just imagine the police working together with IFC in a murder investigation, it would be -oh wait THEY DID, weirdest investigation ever! Now we know how Alice would have ended up in jail. “I didn’t murder Jenny, I did have crazy sex with my girlfriend though” could suddenly become. “I didn’t have crazy sex with my girlfriend, I did murder Jenny though”

    • I’m no lawyer, but I’m pretty sure they sign releases that let Showtime/IFC do whatever the crap they want with the footage.

  37. I missed the last show/recap so when I saw there were four whole pages of recap for this ep I thought several worrisome things about why there might be so much, and wondered if perhaps the last three pages were just full of “ALL TLRW AND NO PLAY MAKES AUTOSTRADDLE A DULL BOY” and the extreme exposure required for recapping should have made you flip.

    I mean, this is really a superhuman effort for you guys to keep doing this.

    There are too wonderful/hilarious things in this recap to quote without reaching the comment box’s perhaps-non-existent character limit, so I will just pick my fave:

    Laneia: I want my dress to be But only the good words.

    This is the first thing I have ever read that has made me seriously want to marry someone.

  38. I went to bed before I finished reading the recap cause I was super sleepy, but I keep dreaming about weird haircuts and weirder definitions of lesbian sex. I’m pretty happy I don’t get to watch this, recaps are enogh.

  39. Another excruciating experience…
    Ilene Chaiken knows how to make a dead boring, fake, annoying show about lesbians!

    I know the Luxor Hotel and the Roxbury Cafe now, i have the “LA non existent Fashion Week” and “Stamie’s doing a stand up every Thursday” written in my DNA and i can sleep tight!

    I also know that Nikki’s loaded with money and she wants to spend it to a Nirvana Jewish Wedding, that is not even recognized by the State.

    What the F*#ck?

    At least i have my weekly recap on Autostraddle! Thank you girls!!

  40. so, I wasn’t aware that it was so damn hard to define lesbian sex. how ’bout this? if you’re female and trying for an orgasm with one or more chicks, then you’re having lesbian sex.

    now that i got that outta the way. i possibly love the recaps more than the actual show. it’s a shame whitney’s so annoying, because she’s really ‘effing cute.

  41. When I went to The Luxor, there was no pool table. Temples, grave chambers and buildings from before Time, however, were present.

    I’m never going to Las Vegas. I feel like my esthetics center never would make a full recovery,

  42. the “if its not penetration its not sex” comment made me so goddamn mad and was probably pieced together so that all the straight dudes watching the show feel great about their nasty schlongs. not all dykes like penetration. my girlfriend and i BOTH don’t like it, and we give each other multiple orgasms almost every night. shit, it’s like the show went back to 1950 when no one knew what a CLITORIS was. to me, sex=ORGASMS, achieved with one or more partners! my answer to any stupid ass who asks me what lesbians do in bed is “have orgasms rather than fake them and then get a urinary tract infection the way most straight girls do.”

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