Ever felt lost when navigating the hundreds of new lesbian/sapphic stereotypes on social media? Yeah, us too! Luckily Bea the Bud is here to save the day with her 101 guide to the most common lesbian and sapphic stereotypes.
Just a little note on my writing style
So, I’m writing this article using another method this time. I know other writers for the magazine do lots and lots of research and perfectly prime their articles, and you can definitely read the time and effort they put in. Their articles are meticulous and beautiful and I used to think mine felt a lot more shambolic in comparison.
Yet, my thoughts on my rambling shambles of a writing style has recently taken a drastic turn. I recently signed up to my favourite lingerie maker’s weekly email updates. She writes about her weekly musings, inspirations and activities. It reads like her train of thought, and I relish every second I spend reading it. I am a massive people watcher, and I love to see where people are going, what they’re doing and what they’re up to, so this weekly email update on a complete stranger’s life is exactly what I feel like I need.
El Bras, you make my boobs look great
Let me also tell you a little about her because she is my favourite lingerie maker. She’s got a company called El Bras. It’s based in London. She’s self-taught. She’s also now teaching others, I’ve seen her posting workshops. (My birthday is February first, hint hint.) Everything she makes is made to order and the set I have of hers, the Corrie set, is my favourite lingerie I own. I see her posting on her instagram that people wear theirs to clubs. I should have taken a picture of me wearing mine to a Stockholm kink club. I am helping El Bras go international.
She’s also starting a series of photographs of people in their El Bras lingerie on the classic MacBook Photobooth. (Although I don’t have a MacBook so she’ll have to deal with whatever photobooth equivalent I have on my laptop.) But those who know me, keep your eyes peeled for my tits on her website or wherever it ends up getting shown.
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Back to my writing style
That was just a side note of my statement that I now love the way I write my articles more than I did before, just because my favourite lingerie maker writes in a similar train of thought -y way. El Bras, I love you.
Anyway, I’m ditching that this week for the rest of the article because I’m doing my research. I’m doing my research on tiktok because I can’t focus long enough to read to save my life. How am I doing a masters degree you ask? I have no clue. But I’m doing my research nonetheless.
Also, just a precursor for the lesbian identities I’ll talk about. These terms are not only used for cis women, they’re also used for non-binary and trans identities and I’m going to use the word lesbian as an umbrella term for all these identities.
Different Lesbian Identities
I’m doing my research this week on different types of lesbian stereotypes, that a lot of women and non-binary people identify with. I do know some, and when I see people talking about them on TikTok I recognise them. But do I know them well enough to write a whole article on the different lesbian stereotypes? Absolutely not.
So, I’m finding my materials from TikTok, the land of the younger Gen Z’s than me. The type of Gen Z that knew about Queer identities before they turned 19. Can you believe the first out and proud queer I knew I met when I was 19? Anyway, this is also a thank you to the littler Gen Zs on TikTok that teach me about my own identity.
The Femme Lesbian
So, this is a type of lesbian that was super ignored when I was a child. The only lesbians we ever were exposed to were the butch lesbian ones. Just like the only gay men we were exposed to were super camp. Which we also love of course. We love you Louie Spence. But of course we needed more lesbian representation, and this is one that still doesn’t get the appreciation it deserves.
I also think they’re often not spotted by their own gay kind. Femme lesbians look almost straight. But they do have ways of showing their queerness. There’s something about a femme lesbian that is just too femme to be straight. They wear too much pink to be straight, they wear too many rings to be straight, their outfits are too cute to be straight.
There’s just something about them that another queer person can spot and just know that they’re definitely not straight. But any straight person would definitely claim them as their own.
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The Soft Masc Lesbian
I’m gonna say it. Soft masc lesbians are the creme de la creme of lesbians. I moved to Stockholm because my friend’s friends were all suit-wearing lesbians. And I love suit-wearing lesbians. They play with the masculine and feminine energies in a way that is so quintessentially queer.
Soft mascs don’t have to be suit-wearing. It’s more of just like tom-boy clothing. But, in my head, the soft masc lesbian has a beautifully tailored suit, soft makeup, big dick energy. Big dick energy like they’re super confident but are still humble and kind.
There’s something about a soft masc lesbian that is so enchanting. It’s the kind of lesbian you’d meet and your knees go soft and you just melt. If anyone knows any Stockholm soft masc lesbians please send them my number. I need more soft masc lesbians in my life. I really love them, I don’t know if you can tell.
These are the lesbians that work in science, technology, engineering and maths. Nah, I’m joking. STEM is a bit like soft masc, but it typically refers to lesbians of Latin American and black identities and they’re a bit like soft masc because their gender expression falls in between stud (more masculine) and femme.
STEM lesbians also tend to have more masculine activities and hobbies, but have maybe a more femme gender expression. It’s again this playing of hard and softness, of masculine and feminine energies. So they are incredibly similar to soft masc lesbians, which are also referred to as soft butch, or tom-boys, but the main difference is then race or ethnic identity.
I referred earlier to butch lesbians that we were exposed to as kids. This is essentially that but in 2023. This means that butch referred to specifically lesbians but the term stud is more inclusive as it refers to cis, trans and non-binary identities. Studs are more masculine leaning. This masc-leaning-ness is also then reflected in their behaviour and in their interests.
I think stud, like stem, is also a racial / ethnic term and refers to black or Latin American lesbians. But don’t quote me on that because I’m not sure how linked it still is to race and ethnicity. I think as time has gone on it has become less bonded but the bond still exists. Stud on the line of masculine and feminine is more on the masculine side so it seemingly rejects the traditional gender expectations more.
This type of lesbian is my favourite term. Hey Mamas? Incredible. It does what it says on the tin. Anyway, it seems obvious to me, maybe not so if you’re not a big fat gay. So, let me just explain it anyway.
Hey Mamas on TikTok videos is always this white girl, tracksuits, top knot, undercut, wears Nike sports bras, and is known to say the term “hey mama”. That’s it. That’s all. It’s more a masculine-leaning lesbian like stem or stud, but then this type of lesbian tends to be white. It’s a term with quite negative connotations like people claim they’re appropriating stems and studs but in general they just have a bad reputation in the lesbian community.
There’s a lot of TikToks of people imitating hey mamas lesbians and some of them are hilarious, granted. So generally the TikToks go like they lift up their t-shirts to show their bellies and their boxers peeking out of their low waisted trousers, biting their lip, raising one eyebrow, and just flirt awkwardly to the camera.
I still send all these videos to all my straight friends who just seem confused by the whole ordeal. But in general, they have the worst reputation of all lesbians.
I feel like I haven’t even covered half of all the lesbian identities that exist because I spent too much space just admiring El Bras, and honestly I don’t regret it at all. I can always write another article about it if I feel like it. I do feel like I say that every single article though… But it’s my column and I’ll write what I want, just like El Bras and her weekly updates.
Anyway, I hope you now have an understanding of a few lesbian identities now. Or if you knew them already then you know my interpretations that I got from all the TikToks I’ve seen on them. And also of course, these terms don’t refer to absolutely every lesbian out there, a lot of lesbians fall into different categories and that’s normal and that’s fine. But I think how lesbian identities have been categorised is fascinating and I love to talk about it. Especially hey mamas…