Why Do Lesbians On Screen Always Have Perfect Hair After Sex?

lesbians with perfect bed head

Lesbian representation has improved dramatically in the last decade. Whether you’re into mainstream blockbusters or indie films, TV shows or a web series, there’s more choice than ever before. And that’s a good thing. However, there’s just one drawback. Wherever you look, lesbian characters have perfect hair after sex. And it has got to stop.

I’ve reviewed lots of films and TV shows for AfterEllen. And as a committed cinephile, it’s one of the highlights of my working life. I will gladly watch anything with lesbians in it – whether it’s a mainstream film like Blue is the Warmest Color, or a small-budget indie darling like Stud Life. There are times when plots are squicky or unconvincing; for example, the story of Tru Love revolves around a woman banging her best friend’s mother. But lesbian representation is not so widely available that we can always choose to be fussy. That being said, the lack of bedhead after sex requires a suspension of belief that I simply cannot give.

Think of the best sexual experiences of your life. Did any of them leave you with perfect hair? Of course not. If you’re worrying about your ‘do rather than your boo, something has clearly gone wrong. And if you can’t lose yourself in the moment because you’re freaking out about bedhead, that doesn’t say much for her skills either.

The most talked about moment in the L Word reboot was the first throuple sex scene. But Alice, Nat, and GG all emerged from it looking like they’d been more intimate with a pair of GHD curling tongs than another woman, never mind two other women. Where’s the fun in that?

Alice and Gigi from the L Word

The tyranny of perfect post-coital hair didn’t stop there. After getting it on with each other, Sophie’s curls were immaculate and Dani’s hair would have been the envy of any shampoo commercial. Finley and her Hot Priest look more like they’ve been getting ready for a Sunday morning service than worshipping each other’s bodies.

In The Good Kisser, a film about a lesbian couple looking to spice up their relationship with a threesome, the problem continues. Three women have sweaty, passionate sex – or so we are led to believe – and between them there is not a single hair out of place. One sex scene even involves the use of popsicles. You can’t eat a popsicle in bed without getting sticky, never mind do the nasty with one.

Platonic, Erin C. Buckley’s lesbian webseries, is visually stunning. Getting a front row seat to watch the adventures of Olive, a Millennial lesbian with a messy love life, feels like a privilege. But, once more, perfect hair got in the way of believable bed scenes. Although her love life is in a state of constant chaos, Olive’s long blonde hair is perfect. While Olive is catching feels for a strictly sex hook-up, viewers will be mesmerised and perplexed by locks that would make Rapunzel jealous.

With mainstream films shot by a male director, I can just about understand it. The dude probably sees lesbian sex as a category of porn first and foremost. But in lesbian films written and directed by women, you’d think we could step beyond the beauty standards set by the male gaze and give a realistic depiction of female pleasure. Bed head and all.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad there are more on-screen depictions of lesbian sexuality. Showing lesbian characters in loving relationships does a lot to counter homophobic ideas, that we’re sexually deviant or unfulfilled because there’s no man in our bedroom. But once, just once, I’d like to see a lesbian sex scene end without perfect hair.