An example of the quickly disappearing lesbian.
An example of the quickly disappearing lesbian. Scott Barbour/Getty Images

Finally, it's cool to be queer. Not only can same-sex couples impulsively marry and then divorce six months later—a right, until 2015, solely available to our heterosexual brethren and sistren—in 2018, it's genuinely hip to queer. Sure, the term may have become a bit meaningless now that it applies to everyone from poly-demi-pan-andro-enby-otherkins to straight people with edgy haircuts, but still, for the first time in American history, homosexual types are no longer at the bottom of the social hierarchy (they've now been replaced by cis white men). But there is one sub-genre of the endless variety of queers who are still seen as uncool, unhip, troublesome, dowdy, and, especially, problematic, and that's lesbians.

Lesbians are disappearing. In fact, the only people in America who will still actively identity themselves as lesbians in 2018 are a group of semi-retired essential oil-makers in Taos (and me). Everyone else has turned queer.

The reason for the decline of the lesbian isn't because fewer women are sleeping with women. On the contrary: the decline in stigma—as well as the rise in dating and hookup apps—means that more people than ever are throwing off the shackles of heterosexuality and getting down with same-sex partners. But, according to Bonnie J. Morris, the author of The Disappearing L: Erasure of Lesbian Spaces and Culture, "Dyke identity, that specific nomenclature of the fierce woman-identified woman, has been replaced by the more inclusive queer, as a new era of thoughtful LGBT activists proclaim their disidentification with the categories woman and lesbian."

While Morris writes (and I personally agree) that there is a need to preserve lesbian culture before it goes the way of the menstrual belt, plenty of queers celebrate the evolution away from "lesbian" as more inclusive of people whose gender identity doesn't align with their sex at birth. I have a feeling that at some point we will see a backlash to this lesbian erasure, and a new generation of dykes will emerge, but, until that happens, there is still one demographic around that hasn't rejected the lesbian: porn watchers.

This month, PornHub released their annual "Year in Review," which uses search terms and other data to parse the inner workings of porn consumers' solo-time libidio. There were some interesting findings. For instance, in 2017, users uploaded 595,482 hours of video, or 68 years of porn if you watch it back to back (which, surely someone is now attempting to do). Interestingly, the search term "Porn for Women" increased by 1,400 percent in 2017, and other popular terms were "Rick & Morty," "Fidget Spinners," "ASMR," and, a perennial favorite, "cheerleaders." But the most searched term on PornHub 2017 was... drum roll please... LESBIAN, coming in a No. 1 for the third year in a row.

So, lesbians, take comfort, I guess? Fellow queers may find us hopelessly out of date, but we'll always be number one to jerk off to. Great.