Are you (blacklesbian or anyone else that would like to respond) saying that these "lesbians who don't have sex with women" you've been noticing DO have sex with bio guys INSTEAD of women, or that they are currently not having sex with other people of any gender whatsoever? Is it a question of "waiting for the right one" or that they're currently with men?
I'm also curious to hear if you feel this "lesbians who don't have sex with women" phenomenon is more prevalent among women of color. It sounded like you thought perhaps it was (or maybe just that you posted your question in this topic area instead of a more general one), but maybe I'm misunderstanding. I hadn't noticed that was the case, but that would be an interesting phenomenon indeed. Why would THAT happen? My personal experience (of course, yours may always vary) has been that persons of color (both men and women) are usually a bit more reluctant to personally assign themselves or reveal themselves to be associated with any label associated with queerness because it would be yet another way they'd expose themselves to discrimination. A double whammy, if you will. Well actually, even harder for women, a potential triple whammy (race, gender, AND NOW ALSO sexual orientation). A white gay man in the U.S., for instance, will more likely than not experience discrimination only for being gay.
Regarding one's definition of "lesbian," I've personally known MANY women that identified as lesbian before they'd had sex with another woman. Maybe not identifying to large groups of people initially, maybe only to themselves for a long time. However, these were women who'd felt they were lesbians as soon as they even learned what the word meant, usually sometime in late childhood or adolescence. Even though it took them another decade or more to actually have sex with another real live woman, they knew it was what they were meant to do, and they knew they'd never find "true love" with a man. And then . . . they continued to "do" women and nothing but women to this day.
I wouldn't call those women anything other than lesbians, and I do imagine they had themselves all sussed out from the beginning. I wouldn't call them anything other because I wouldn't want to face the repercussions
And then there's women more like me, the sort of which I've also met many. I'm in my 30's now, but I did have sex with a number of men in my 20's. I DO consider myself a lesbian NOW, because I've not had sex with a man in several years, and have no desire to do so in the future. I didn't define myself as a lesbian back then when I was having sex with men (don't know why I would have?) but I do now because I define myself currently not most importantly in terms of my distant past, but my recent past, my present, and my future intentions. But I'm not one of the women described above who felt she knew all about herself in that regard from an early age. No, I had to experiment quite a bit in order to figure myself out. I DID feel from a very early age that it was possible I might become sexually involved with another woman, but it wasn't until I'd actually been involved with a number of both men and women that I determined that men . . . not so much, women . . . much more, basically. I'm currently in a long-term relationship with another woman and have been for the last several years, but even if that ceased being the case, I'd either look for another woman with whom to become involved or . . . just not be involved with anyone. Going back to men would never be a viable option for me at this state of more advanced self-knowledge, life's too short, I'd rather spend that time reading a book if I couldn't find another compatible woman
I'd define myself as a previously wishy-washy bisexual turned dyke. :) I know there are some people, including even some on this board that might define me as bisexual based on my previous history, and that's really ok with me, because it just doesn't matter that much . . . to ME. But I wouldn't and won't. I consider myself a dyke.
But if what we're talking about here is women who call themselves lesbians and CURRENTLY have sex with men, yes, that does confuse me. Mostly because I tend to believe in the cliche that actions do speak louder than words, but also because I DON'T think there's a damn thing wrong with being bisexual. Why not just call yourself THAT? Yes, and for those of you old enough or that are inclined to seek out older lesbian films, I am reminded of the scene in "Go Fish." I'm also reminded of Kinsey's scale. It is a scale. You can be a bisexual woman in a limited sense . . . sex with only certain men in certain situations but primarily attracted to women, etc., OR you can be a "50/50" bisexual. There's more than one variety of bisexual, but I would define a woman that CURRENTLY enjoys sexual activity with men on a regular basis as at least bisexual in some sense or to some degree, not really a lesbian.
Or what am I missing here? :)