Guide to Lesbian Labels Guide to Lesbian Labels
In fact, you can basically find as many kinds of lesbians out in the world as you can colors in the rainbow. If you... Guide to Lesbian Labels

According to Merriam-Webster, a lesbian is simply “a woman who is sexually attracted to other women.” [1] However, when it comes to women who love women, one size does not fit all. In fact, you can basically find as many kinds of lesbians out in the world as you can colors in the rainbow. If you want to know more about some common lesbian labels, or find out what lesbian subcategory you best fit into, check out the guide to lesbian labels below.


Sometimes called a Lipstick Lesbian, a femme is a lesbian who is feminine and womanly. Femmes tend to have longer hair, wear effeminate clothing like dresses and skirts, and enjoy all things girly. Stereotypically, femmes are attracted to more masculine lesbians, but that does not mean they’re always submissive in bed. Portia de Rossi, married to Ellen Degeneres, is a good example of a femme lesbian in the public eye.


Often thought of as the femme’s masculine counterpart, butch lesbians tend to lean toward the male side of the gender spectrum, and they are typically believed to be the more dominant partner in bed. Butch lesbians frequently date femme lesbians, though there’s no hard and fast rule about who a butch may date. A good example of a butch lesbian? Lea DeLaria who plays Big Boo on Orange is the New Black.

Soft Butch

A soft butch lesbian is one that is more androgynous than masculine. While not typically displaying many stereotypical feminine characteristics, a soft butch tends to dress in more masculine or agendered clothing. One famous example of a soft butch lesbian is Shane from The L Word.

Stone Butch

The stone butch is a butch lesbian who is often considered to be the most masculine of all lesbians. Stone butch lesbians do not like to be touched sexually, and they get sexual gratification from pleasing their partner.

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Pillow Queen

Often considered the opposite of a stone butch (and often a perfect partner for stone butches), pillow queens do not like to give pleasure to their partner in bed. They only derive sexual pleasure from being on the receiving end.


Lesbians who consider themselves bois are those who are born female, but who feel more aligned with a masculine gender. Bois are often very boyish in appearance, and sometimes bois even identify as transgendered.

Sporty Dyke

A sporty dyke is one who tends to lean towards the feminine side of the gender spectrum, but be extremely fit, tough, and athletic. Sporty lesbians prefer jeans and workout clothes to dresses. One famous example of a sporty lesbian in the public eye is celebrity trainer Jillian Michaels.

Gold Star Lesbians

Gold star lesbians are those who have never slept with a man and never intend to. Gold star lesbians can also be lone star lesbians, who have only slept with one woman in their entire life.

Baby Dyke

If you’re a lesbian just coming out of the closet, you’re considered a baby dyke. Baby dykes can be any age — they’re just new to the experience of being a queer woman.



[1] Lesbian [Def. 2]. (n.d.). Merriam-Webster Online. In Merriam-Webster. Retrieved March 4, 2016, from



Sebastian Wilde

Sebastian Wilde is a writer, thinker, dandy, and wanderer. While not spending her days writing in remote islands of the Pacific, she spends time drinking espressos, listening to The Smiths, and throwing Gastby-esque dinner parties.