It’s a Question of Sex

In 2018 LGBT Foundation Women’s Programme launched the Sexual Wellbeing Survey for women who have sex with women (WSW).Working with the academic supervision of Professor Catherine Meads, of Anglia Ruskin University, we created a 52 question, online survey that aimed to address the lack of data in this area and give us previously unseen insights into the sexual wellbeing for women who have sex with women, including factors such as pleasure, exploration, confidence and consent.

From our day to day work we know that lesbian, bisexual and trans women often find discussing sexual health and wellbeing difficult. Health professionals frequently make heteronormative and cisnormative assumptions that can lead to misunderstanding and inappropriate curiosity. Many LB+ women no longer look for help and/or information around sexual health, because they feel that the narrative excludes them.

We felt we needed to address this by opening up the dialogue to include factors such as pleasure, exploration, confidence and consent. We also felt that, after years of being told there were no or low sexual health risks for women who have sex with women, it was imperative to build a more realistic picture around the potential risks and negative experiences.

We made a positive estimation that 300-400 people would respond. When we closed the survey over 2,000 people had responded. It was very clear that women who have sex with women wanted to talk about it.

On Thursday October 15th LGBT Foundation Women’s Programme presented the community report It’s a Question of Sex, exploring the initial findings from the Sexual Wellbeing Survey as produced by researcher Tara Poole.

You can download the report below and also watch a recording of the conference. If you would like to join our network and are interested in taking discussions around the subject forward, we'd be delighted to hear from you. Please get in touch: women@lgbt.foundation

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