8. Because no one has to be “the man” in a relationship.

‘Who’s the man in that relationship?’ is a question that only shows how deeply ingrained our ideas of gender roles in relationships are. Many lesbians aren’t masculine at all, nor find any need to be with someone who is. Of course, there are butch lesbians (along with bisexuals, transgender men and women, etc.), and that’s all fine. Sexuality is a complex thing, and most lesbians don’t spend their energies worrying about gender roles (and neither should you).

7. Because lesbians make great mothers.

A study recently published in the Journal of Child and Family Studies compared teenagers raised by stable lesbian couples and “continuously coupled” heterosexual couples, and found that the teens in both groups were both similar in terms of psychological well-being—and that the few differences “favored the adolescents in lesbian two-mother families.”

In particular, the children in lesbian families reported slightly higher self-esteem and lower conduct problems. It doesn’t take a study to reinforce the wisdom that well-being of kids have more to do with the quality of parenting than the sexual orientation of the parents.

6. Because gay women make great friends.

Lesbians are notorious for being cliquish and loyal to one another. But they make fantastic friends to anyone else. To straight men, lesbians are the female friends you can, um, “appreciate” girls with.

Straight women can benefit from having a BFF who sympathize with your relationship troubles AND tell you how difficult women can be. And gay men? One of my closest friends is a gay man—we talk about music, pop culture, sci-fi, and occasionally trade eyebrow-grooming tips.

5. Because gay women know how to hold hands.

In a study published last year, authors Alison Che and Richard Wasserberg found that lesbians are a model of equality when it comes to holding hands. Men tend to literally have the upper hand as part of a heterosexual couple—they have the overhand grip, grasping the woman’s hand.

For lesbians, however, the study found that those who favored the dominant hand were the taller of the pair; those who “trailed” were those who had dated guys before. In other words, in lesbian relationships, hand-holding is a matter of anatomical comfort, and not reflective of power dynamics between the couple.

4. Because lesbians care about making a connection.

A survey done by Michelle O’ Mara, Ph.D. found that, for lesbians, the most important aspects of a relationship are a strong emotional connection and a strong intellectual connection. Least important: sexual frequency.

3. Because they can go all the way, all day

Not that lesbians hate men or their body parts. While sex between two women can be as varied as any other couple’s—and that sometimes includes sex toys that include strap-ons and dildos—lesbian sex doesn’t have to depend on an erection. Bonus: Women are capable of multiple orgasms, with little “recovery time” in between sessions.

2. Great sex!

Think lesbians can’t possibly be sexually satisfied? How are these for numbers: According to Dr. O’ Mara’s survey, the majority of lesbians (84%) experience orgasm when they have sex. They like to take their time, too—79% report that sex usually lasts at least half an hour.

1. Because there are some great female role models who are gay.

Michelle Rodriguez and Ellen Page are only two of the latest celebs to come out as gay, joining a long list that includes everyone from Ellen DeGeneres and Portia da Rossi to Jodie Foster and Melissa Etheridge.

But there’s also newscaster and author Rachel Maddow, chef Cat Cora, and the six openly gay women who competed at the Sochi Winter Olympics. Looking for more? There are writers, philosophers, scientists, politicians, artists, and women from all walks of life whose contributions to society have nothing to do with their sexual orientation.

Share other reasons why lesbians are outstanding examples of womanhood in the Comments Section.

Kristine F.

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