What Does It Mean to Be a “Bottom” or “Submissive” in Lesbian Sex?

Like so many elements of queer culture, nailing down the terms “top” and “bottom” are harder than you might think. Whether you’re perusing queer personals, swiping on Tinder or talking to your friends at an inappropriate volume in a public park; it seems like most LGBTQ women and trans folks are eager as beavers to identify as a bottom, top or switch.

via PERSONALS: A text-based dating & community app for queers, a kickstarter you should donate to

I remember these terms being a part of queer women’s discourse from the jump, which for me was the mid-aughts. I started out identifying as a top, decided I was wrong about my whole life and adopted bottoming, and have recently settled into being very much a switch. Who knows what will happen next! Besides the rapid death of democracy and the equally rapid rise of fascism! Life is a journey. Let’s start this one.

The Tops, Bottoms And Switches Sex Survey

Last week, I presented you with a survey about these slippery words, and over 3.6k people showed up to share their tops and bottoms with me. These are the demographics of the respondents:

Sex Survey Demographics = Age: Under 18 (1.2%) 18-24 (25%), 25-34 (56%), 35-44 (14%), 44+ (4.5%) // Sexual Orientation: Lesbian (43.4%), Queer (30%), Bi or Pansexual (19%), Gay (6.2%), Other (1%) // Gender Identity: Cisgender Woman (71.2%), Transgender Woman (3.4%), Non-Binary or Genderqueer Person (7.8%), Other (8.3%) // Relationship Status: Single or Dating, Not Having Sex Regularly (30.6%), Single or Dating, Having Sex Regularly (8.7%), In a Monogamous Relationship (32.6%), In a Non-Monogamous Relationship(s) (9.3%), Married & Monogamous (15.5%), Married & Non-Monogamous (3.2%)

(this graphic was made when only 3.4k people had responded, percentages have not changed significantly since then) // right-click to open and enlarge

I’ll be going through the data gradually over the next month — we’re starting at the bottom with bottoms and submissives, then about tops and doms, then switches as well as people who don’t employ those terms at all. We’ll also talk about sub-identities (bratty bottom, power bottom, service top, etc.) and look at the data as a whole and how it intersects with various identities. Each week’s data will build on last week’s and will be very satisfying for nerds and fans of sex. And isn’t that an identity we can all agree on!

How Many Bottoms Are Out There?

Tops: 12% // Bottoms: 14.3% // Switch: 51.6% // None of the Above: 13.4% // I’m Not Sure: 8.9%

Although these terms/identities seem popular and ubiquitous, our survey revealed that people who identify specifically as tops or bottoms are in the minority overall.

What Is Bottoming?

We’ll talk more about the history of these terms and lesbian sex discourse around top/bottom dynamics in a few weeks, but real quick: before queer women’s culture adopted top/bottom as terminology relevant to non-kinky sex, the terms were primarily used by gay men or in kink or BDSM contexts by both straight and LGBTQ+ people.

Survey responses suggested that there are three distinct approaches to these terms from queer women, trans men and non-binary people:

  1. “Bottom” as an identity relevant to non-kinky sex;
  2. “Bottom” as a concept relevant to kinky sex, distinct from “submissive”;
  3. “Bottom” and “submissive” as interchangeable concepts within kinky sex.

Now that we know there’s literally no way to define any of those words in a way that speaks to everybody’s experiences, let’s try!

What Do Bottoms Like To Do In Bed?

We asked survey-takers to indicate their passion for giving and receiving a variety of sexual acts, and also asked them to define what “bottom” means to them. We’ve included some of the most popular activities below. (Note that scissoring / dry-humping was not included on the survey as it has no clear giving/receiving dynamics.) The penetration-related activities mentioned in the below graphic involve fingers and strap-ons because they were the acts most statistically numerous in our survey results, but of course other kinds of penetrative sex exist, including with toys or with penises when some amab transfeminine people or trans women are having queer sex, and are enjoyed by many bottoms of all kinds. While bottoms expressed a similar level of interest in giving external stimulation as they are in getting it, there was a distinct preference for receiving when it came to all penetration-related activities.

WHAT BOTTOMS LIKE TO DO IN BED: Fingering (Vaginal Penetration): 68.6% like giving, 81% like receiving // Oral Sex (Genital): 77.8% like giving, 78% like receiving // Strap-on Penetration (Vaginal): 20% like giving, 68% like receiving // Vaginal Fisting: 9% like giving, 21% like receiving // Fingering (External Genital Touch): 81% like giving, 87.6% like receiving // Nipple Play: 70% like giving, 76.5% like receiving // Anal Penetration: 12.5% like giving, 37% like receiving.

So, “Bottoming” Can Mean…

Getting Penetrated Exclusively or More Often

For gay men, tops penetrate and bottoms get penetrated. In lesbian sexual culture, the only word that absolutely means “I don’t get penetrated” is “stone,” but many bottoms defined their role like this one bottom did: “the one being fingered, the one being fucked by the strap on, etc.” 30% of bottoms said digital penetration was one of their favorite things to receive and 32% said the same for strap-on penetration, compared to 9.5% of tops and 5% of tops, respectively.

“I think being a bottom typically just means you like getting fucked,” Al, the non-binary writer who got real deep into bottoming for you in their Autostraddle column “Bottoms Up,” told me, “and tbh that usually just means you like being fucked first, since people (hopefully) tend to reciprocate.”

One blissful bottom on our survey described bottoming as “one who follows the lead of a more dominant partner during sex and/or the partner who is usually on the receiving end of sex acts, although since queer/lesbian sex is so varied, that can be more the feeling of being the one getting fucked than a specific role in a specific sex act.” Oral sex, for example, can truly go either way — going down on somebody can feel super toppy or super bottomy, depending on the context, the power dynamic, the dirty talk around it, and other physical actions and cues.

Letting Someone Else Take Control Of The Sexual Experience

On our survey, only 10% of bottoms said they liked “being in control” in bed, and a whopping 47.4% said they actively don’t like being in control. This came up a lot in respondents’ own definitions too, with one blissful bottom defining their persuasion as: “Someone who is happiest letting other people take the lead in a bedroom situation.”

“Bottoming is an act,” says Al, “which to me means choosing to let someone sort of determine the direction our sexy time will take.”

“To me, being a bottom means I like to cede control in bed,” wrote one boutinful bottom on our survey. “I am kind of a control freak normally, so letting someone else take control can be very liberating.”

“It’s not a literal physical stance/position for me,” said another brilliant bottom, “but related to a lack of comfort in initiating the situation, taking control, etc.”

We asked about initiation on the survey, too — 32% of bottoms (not an insignificant number!) like initiating sex, compared to 76% of tops and 65% of switches.

Preferring To Be Pursued

Oftentimes top/bottom identities play a role in how a person identifies potential partners and subsequently make suggestive connections with them, regardless of what happens when they actually get into bed, remove their clothing, and begin rolling around naked while sticking things inside each other. Of bottoms, 29% enjoy pursuing a new partner (and 28.5% don’t like it), but 64% — over twice as many — enjoy being pursued.

Receiving… Something

Allison Moon, in her excellent book Girl Sex 101, says “to bottom is to practice the great art of receiving… as a receiver, the giver is in service to you and your pleasure. It is your job to navigate. It’s her job to drive.”

“It took me a while to figure out I was mostly a bottom,” says Casey, a passionate lesbrarian. “I think at first I thought top and bottom were only for gay guys? I only really realized because it dawned on me that for my partners it was an absolute must to be doing things to me for them to be excited and for me it was like, oh that’s fun but not strictly necessary for me to be turned on.”

While almost all our survey-takers don’t not like receiving pleasure, 93% of bottoms and 93% of switches actively like it, compared to 65% of tops. However, the vast majority of tops and bottoms were into pleasuring their partner — but that could mean so many things! Although many assume that fucking someone with your hand or a toy can’t possibly be the same turn-on that it is for a cis man fucking someone with a penis, it very often is. For one thing, so much of sex for women is psychological. For another, there are lots of ways to stimulate your clit if you have one while fucking, and many toys and strap-ons are designed with that in mind. As one switch put it, “I’m a giver, 90% of sex for me is enthusiastic giving until my partner is satisfied. That’s what feels good to me and turns me on, by the time they’re done i’m ready to pop and it takes about 10 seconds to finish.”

We didn’t ask about orgasm on this survey (we should have), but in Autostraddle’s 2015 Ultimate Lesbian Sex Survey open to queer women and anyone who identifies with that experience, in which only kink-identified people were asked if they were tops or bottoms, both tops and bottoms reported orgasming during partner sex at pretty much identical rates.

Kinky Bottoms and Submissives

Within a kink context, “bottom” can mean something different. According to BDSM-focused The New Bottoming Book, a “bottom” is “someone who has the ability to eroticize or otherwise enjoy some sensations or emotions — such as pain, helplessness, powerlessness and humiliation — that would be unpleasant in another context.” It does seem that most survey-takers who adopt “top” or “bottom” identities have some interest in kink, too — and bottoms were actually more likely to be kinky than tops or switches. 41% of bottoms identify as kinky and 44.6% said they don’t identify as kinky but sometimes enjoy kinky sex.

What Do Kinky Bottoms Like?

WHAT KINKY BOTTOMS LIKE // Being In Control: 11% like it, 51% don’t like it, 38% are neutral. // Not Being In Control: 91% like it, 2.5% don’t like it, 6.5% are neutral. // Receiving Pain: 65% like it, 15% don’t like it, 17% are neutral. // Inflicting Pain: 60% don’t like it, 10% don’t like it, 27% like it // Consensually being used for someone else’s pleasure without regard for mine: 60% like it, 13% are neutral, 21% don’t like it // Consensually using someone else for my pleasure without regard for theirs: 62% don’t like it, 9.6% like it, 18.6% are neutral

Three activities on our list of “elements of a sexual experience” were distinctly favored by self-declared kinky bottoms than non-kinksters, included on the chart below.

In comparison to the above data, 14% of non-kinky bottoms like receiving pain, 62% like not being in control, and 22% like being used for someone else’s pleasure with no regard for theirs.

But within the context of kink, what separates the concept of “bottom” from “submissive”? In consultation with Carolyn, we decided to separate “bottoms” and “submissives” on our survey. Only kink-identified survey-takers were subjected to an additional survey page with questions about dominants/submissives and sub-identities therein, and now we’re gonna talk about those results.

How Many Submissives Are Out There?

Well, ladies and otherwise-identified people, while rumors of a Top Shortage may be overstated, the queer kink community may indeed be suffering from a Dom Shortage.

Doms / Subs / Switches: 16.2% Dominant, 35% Submissive, 41% Switches, 4.9% none of the above, 2.9% I’m Not Sure

Of all kink-identified bottoms, 90% identified as submissives.

The Difference Between Bottoms And Submissives

“A bottom likes to be directed because it’s easier to please those who know what they want,” said the only bottom to identify as a switch in kink play. “A submissive gets off on the command and obey pattern and tension.”

Nate, a trans guy and a switch in his twenties, explained the difference this way: “Bottoming definitely doesn’t automatically mean anything kinky (same for topping), while submissive (and dominant) mean something more specifically related to kink and power play.”

In a group chat on the topic, Al pointed out: “Submission is a fucking GIFT: just because I’m bottoming for you doesn’t mean I’m your submissive.”

Carolyn, who identifies as submissive, added: “Also, just because someone is submissive doesn’t mean they’re bottoming!”

Many survey submissives didn’t consider there to be a difference between the two terms, but most did. All that’s clear is that these words, like so many things, are fluid as fuck.

“I identify as both a sub and a bottom, but subbing means something more specific for me — choosing to temporarily give power and control in a situation to another person(s) and letting them determine the course of events based on our negotiations,” Quinn, a non-binary person in their late twenties, told me. “It often comes with an implication of a particular high level of intensity in that power exchange. When I say I am a bottom, I am referring to this as well as more broadly being on the receiving end in less power-heavy sex.”

On our survey, there were as many different definitions of this distinction as there are bountiful bottoms in this pure earth, but aside from the eroticization of power play, the majority drew the line around kink (“a submissive is a kinky bottom”) or between a physical position versus a state of mind. Those who fell into the latter camp were also more likely to define bottom as being more logistical than psychological. Other interesting comments included:

  • “A submissive can be dominated into GIVING. In my opinion a bottom can be dominant but receiving, giving but submissive, receiving and submissive, but NOT dominant and receiving.”
  • “I would argue that bottom isn’t always a D/s term, while submissive is very very rooted in D/s. Bottom feels inherently queer, whereas submissive can be un-queer.”
  • “Submissive refers to power play, whereas bottom refers to sensation play.”
  • “A bottom /might/ give up power to their top. A submissive /will/ give up power to their dominant.”
  • “Subbing isn’t about whether you’re the top or bottom, it’s about the power in the dynamic. you could be the person flogging somebody else, but if it’s happening bc somebody else told you to, that’s topping and subbing.”
  • “Bottom doesn’t have the same power exchange connotation. Bottoms may get fucked but don’t necessarily enjoy pain or humiliation. Submissives get of on doing what their partner says, which can include fun subversive things like topping from the bottom (the inverse of service topping)”

The concept of “submissive” as a lifestyle came up a lot, too. “The submissive yields/gifts control to the dominant,” wrote one sub, “and sometimes that’s for a scene, and sometimes that is 24/7 depending on the individuals.”

Carolyn explained her relationship to the terms this way: “To me, being submissive informs my whole way of interacting with the world and succeeding at it and being my best most powerful self, and bottoming is part of that but not a huge part. ”

One of my favorite Bottoms Up posts is Al’s piece on being submissive 24/7, in which they articulate this glorious possibility:

Beyond relationships, and most excitingly, thinking about myself as a person who is submissive 24/7 means that I can approach different areas of my life submissively. It’s an exciting challenge for me to think about how in my everyday interactions I’m able to submit to and serve my communities, my colleagues, even my students — I’m not being kinky with them, but I’m thinking kinky. In general, it means I’m thinking more critically as well — I’m running less and less on autopilot and thinking through the lens of submission instead. For me that means I focus less on perfection and more on working my hardest.

There are many more deviations within: power bottom, bossy bottom, little girl/baby girl, masochist, that we’ll talk about in a future column.

Finally: Don’t Assume Anything

Is it true that femmes were more likely than mascs to identify as bottoms? You bet! Does that mean all femmes are bottoms? Absolutely not! Making assumptions about somebody’s bedroom behavior based on gender presentation is never a safe bet.

Nor is it safe to assume bottoms prefer certain sex acts or dynamics. Bottoming can mean so many different things, all at once or independent of each other: proudly showing what you can “take,” being ravaged for somebody else’s pleasure, having all the focus entirely on you, being bossed around, or just a slight preference for having a dildo inside you instead of looped into a leather harness around your waist. However you bottom — if it’s consensual and you’re having fun, keep it up.

C U Next Tuesday to talk about tops!


Lesbian Sex 101 is Autostraddle’s series on how to have lesbian sex for queer women and anyone who finds this information applicable to their bodies or sexual activities. Employment of the term “lesbian sex” in this post uses “lesbian” as an adjective to describe sex between two women or people who identify with that experience, regardless of the sexual orientation of the two people involved.

Sex ed almost never includes queer women or our experiences, so we’re exploring pleasure, safety, relationships and more to make that information more accessible.

A lot of the language in these posts is intended to make them easy to find on search engines.Some of the body parts we talk about will be yours or your partners’ and some won’t. Some of the pronouns will be yours or your partners’ and some won’t. Some of the sexualities will be yours or your partners’ and some won’t. Some of the language will be yours or your partners’ and some won’t. Take what you want and what applies to you or what you can make apply to you and your partners and your experiences, and leave the rest!

Riese is a Jewish lesbian and the 37-year-old CEO, CFO and Editor-in-Chief of Autostraddle.com as well as an award-winning writer, blogger, fictionist, copywriter, video-maker, low-key power lesbian and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York and then headed West. 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 2594 articles for us.

41 Comments

  1. I’ve been an Autostraddle reader for years now and always just lurked without making an account. Today I finally created an account just so I could leave a comment on this piece. As a person who works in public health, I am so happy to see Autostraddle do this kind of sociological research. It’s important for our community to understand ourselves and I’m thrilled to see the thought and effort that went into crafting the survey. Thank you for making this queer data nerd’s day!

  2. I especially liked the distinctions between bottom and submissive, and how bottoming can sometimes be a kink thing and sometimes not.

    This is such a good clarification of vague thoughts I was having. Thanks for helping us learn about us!

  3. Also:

    Is it true that femmes were more likely than mascs to identify as bottoms? You bet! Does that mean all femmes are bottoms? Absolutely not!

    Would be really interested to see the numbers on this!

  4. I’m really disappointed that this summary of over 3500 responses includes almost no coverage of the MANY MANY qualitative open responses and instead just…. quotes a bunch of people that write for AS or that AS editors know personally. Honestly, feels like a weird way to frame a brand-new dataset, by pulling in personal anecdotes when there were such a wealth of open responses to quote instead. It just contributes to me feeling that AS has preconceived ideas about bottoms and tops that they’d like to reinforce with selective anecdotes from personal friends :/ My queer data enthusiast (and Femme Top) heart and brain are so let down! Not what I expect from AS.

    • I mean, this is the first of a series of posts, so there’s definitely time for more of those qualitative responses to be published. Also, it’s really hard to parse almost 4000 qualitative responses! Also, is it possible that some of what is presented as anecdotal is actually the result of following up on survey responses, or discussing them in depth as a team? Sometimes the stuff people write in those response boxes just isn’t quite usable material for the tone writers are trying to strike, or it’s too long but can’t be simplified, or it’s brief and cryptic without context which can’t be solicited because it’s anonymous survey…

      I do agree I’d like to hear more qualitative survey results, not just infographics! (Although the infographics, as always, are very nice) We’ll have to see what the rest of the series brings.

    • hmm… well, firstly this is only the first of many posts using these survey results. so.

      also, this entire post was entirely informed by survey results. every quote i used from people i already knew were used because they articulated something that i saw in the surveys. i’d use a quote from a person i knew rather than a similar quote from a survey-taker because it’s awkward to say “one survey-taker said” over and over. that’s literally the only reason. also i quoted carolyn and al b/c the lesbian sex 101 posts usually employ a variety of sources, including “sexperts” and books. i didn’t see the harm in quoting a few people whose names i know, considering that lots of people i know filled out this survey too!

      there are 16 different survey-takers quoted in this post! and putting this post together took six full days of work so it’s kind of disheartening that you’re being so mean and like “i expected better from AS” because “better” is subjective and i don’t know how much more time i could’ve spent on it.

      would you guys want that? like a post that just lists some of the most interesting responses to these questions? i feel like people’s eyes glaze over when they see a long list of open-ended answer responses in a post summarizing data, so we usually save open-ended answers for listlings. i try instead to read through them in order to let them inform the direction of my writing as a whole.

      also AS does not have a preconceived idea of what is a bottom or a top, if we did, then i could’ve published this post two weeks ago instead of publishing a survey! we had extensive conversations about this within AS staff, what I quoted here was just a small sliver.

      now i know that you want to hear more from everybody’s open ended responses, so i’ll do that next time and not worry about word count! but you could’ve asked me to do that without making me feel so bad!

      • Riese we love you and this article was perfect don’t worry. Excited to see the rest. Also my first thought when I filled in a free text box was wow I bet these are going to make some brilliant listicles…I agree that they don’t work as well in a main article and think you giving the general gist is great.

      • Sharing responses from surveys like this is super challenging, and this felt impressively comprehensive! I trust AS, and therefore I trust that you shared quotes and numbers that were representative of the responses, and did so in a format you felt was right. It’s so rad that you are taking on this project, and it was legitimately therapeutic to both fill out the survey and read this post. So thank you!!!

  5. I’m really grateful for this post/series because my gf and I (mostly I) have trouble talking about and articulating our sexual identities and desires, and I think these will be really good conversation starters. Thanks AS!

  6. I loved filling out the survey and I’m so there for the keen analysis of the results, Riese ! This is going to seriously educate and entertain for weeks to come, so yay !

    Also :
    “what happens when they actually get into bed, remove their clothing, and begin rolling around naked while sticking things inside each other”

    I’m so glad most everyone at work has gone home by now, this gave me quite a moment of uncontrolled mirth.

  7. I’m so excited about this series! I feel like I’ve been having this conversation with my friend group a lot recently and I’m excited to get others opinions/thoughts in addition!

    And duh goes without saying Riese you are a blessing and this data crunch is AMAZING and so important

  8. This is super cool! I’m really excited to read the rest of the articles and look at all the data and charts. I didn’t take the survey because I guess I didn’t really think it was aimed towards me, but now that I see that almost 31% of the respondents are in the “single or dating, not having sex regularly” category like me, I wish I had. I promise I’ll fill out the next survey you do 🙂

    • I had a similar response; I didn’t take the survey because I haven’t had a lot of sex and I haven’t dated anyone in years, but now that I think about it I actually have very definitive ideas of what I do and don’t like both with partners and in solo play. I’ll make a point to do the survey anyway next time.

      • Because it’s inherently transphobic. I’m a bit flabbergasted that I should have to explain or that no one else sees it. We’re allegedly including people who don’t identify as women in this this survey, even if they/we are in the community of queer women.

        This survey allegedly was meant for everyone but cis men. There’s a lot of identities and genders in that, but we’re boiling it down to “lesbian sex”? How much dysphoria do you think that causes for trans guys? For anyone non-binary? I honestly feel let down by the community as much as the editors on this. This was a great idea with failed execution.

        • Yes! You really can’t do a survey in which a significant minority in the results you show say they that they are not women and then say you’re talking about “lesbian sex”. You’re not talking about lesbian sex, almost all the data here is about sex between people with vaginas. My wife and I have the kind of sex being talked about here, but it’s not lesbian sex because I am not a woman. We responded to this survey, misgendering your survey takers is really not cool.

          • Exactly. All the information itself is misidentified and skewed. The participants and their partners are being misgendered, and it seems to be in the name of accessibility for search engines. I know AS needs income, but I don’t think it’s worth it at the expense of its community… otherwise what’s the point? =/

  9. As someone who is most often a power bottom (but sometimes has fun service topping) I find it fascinating that so many people think of submissive and bottoming as the same thing! No wonder conversations like this can be so hard. This is really interesting and I’m excited for the rest of the series.

  10. I’m bi and I have no issues with the survey focusing on sex with people who aren’t men, but the fact that I have sex with both men and non-men has definitely influenced my identity as “none of the above.” There are distinct meanings to top/bottom for me that break down a little differently:

    1. Pitcher vs. catcher in penetrative sex. This only makes sense as an identity for people who can get off on pitching or who don’t want to get off during sex.
    2. More broadly, giver or receiver in a specific activity: “I’m a spanking top.”
    3. The partner who initiates most, is more often the giver, is the pursuer. “Top energy.”

    Personally, I have to be the receiver of an activity at some point during sex to get the physical stimulation I need if I want orgasms. I don’t have the physiology that most cis men and a few (lucky!) other people have to be able to fuck someone until I come. Bottoming gives me a bit of role dysphoria that I have to push through if I want to have certain sexual experiences, but I don’t want the work of topping all the time, either. I can accept calling egalitarian sex where we both do things to each other “switching” but what about when I have intercourse with someone with a penis and it doesn’t feel like bottoming? Somehow if one of us chooses to wear the strap on it feels like top/bottom to me but “straight” sex just doesn’t. I guess this ties into top/bottom as identities that are specifically queer and/or kinky, and not all the sex I have is queer and/or kinky so I don’t have a stable identity along that axis.

  11. I really loved filling in this survey almost as much as I’m loving all the data coming out of it!

    I think it’s great that AS asks these “unanswered” questions and puts in the (huuuuuuuuuuge) amount of time to go through everything and keep us informed!

    I’m excited to see the rest of this series!! Thank you Riese for the wonderful work you do <3

  12. This is so interesting and valuable. Looking very much forward to what comes next. I mean this is such a unique AS thing to do, very much appreciated! Thank you Riese for all the work you’ve put into this research! I honestly don’t know what and where I would be without this site. I have enjoyed every step of becoming, with your help, this non-binary-ish, Ken-of-center, top-leaning mommi thirsty thing.

  13. You show in the survey results that a sizeable minority of survey takers were not women but were non-binary, or trans men. Taking the results we gave you and labelling it “lesbian sex” misgenders us and is seriously transphobic and not cool. Not all people with vaginas are women. That shouldn’t even need saying here.

  14. Never left a comment on autostraddle before but it has def guided me over the years through a very slow coming out journey in my mid-late 20s. This particular series feels important to me in a way I can’t articulate yet so all I’ve got at the moment is fucking thank you. My girlfriend and I have A LOT to talk about. Also, ‘here’s how 5 ppl found autostraddle last week’ is currently my favorite thing on the internet.

  15. As someone who works in research, I always find these pieces very interesting – and this was no exception! I like the judicious use of verbatim comments to illustrate the points you were making and they definitely added to the story. I’m looking forward to seeing the rest of the series!

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