So You're a Lesbian and You Want to Step Up Your Nail Art Game

Nail trends have exploded in the past few years. Beauty-obsessed lesbos have had to improvise.
Publish date:
April 30, 2013
lesbians, nail art, cute nails

Hello and thank you for playing So You're A Lesbian, a lifelong untelevised series of events thrust upon some of us and chosen by others. (Default mode in this game is programmed to So You're A Heterosexual; you have bypassed this setting. If correct, please continue. If incorrect, continue anyway. You might enjoy it. Experiment. You're still young.)

Today's appointed challenge is So You're A Lesbian: And You Want To Step Up Your Nail Game!

I'm here to help.

Now honestly, it doesn't matter what gender or sexuality you identify as having/not having, but a historically accurate way for queer women to spot other queer women has been to check their hands. No, not for a wedding ring –- tons of married women are gay! -– but for nail length.

It may come as a weird surprise to those who haven't thought about it before, but when you -– male, female, neither, both -– are trying to get into a woman's pants, you have to be...delicate. Smooth. You know what I'm saying? Some things just rip.(™) Nail length was a dead giveaway...until recently.

Obviously, nail trends have exploded in the past few years. It's basically why Pinterest was invented. Beauty-obsessed lesbos have had to improvise. I mean, I want Lana Del Rey, but I want her nails, too. And I'm not going to let the, uh, technicalities stop me.


There are a few basic rules -- think short, smooth, clean surfaces.

1. Length is semi-negotiable; gay girls think in millimeters, not inches. Added bonus: Short nails are healthier and carry fewer germs. Some people express concern over asking a manicurist to go shorter than usual –- no, yes, even shorter than that, keep going –- but if you need a handy (yep) excuse, just say you're a musician, or a writer. Your nails should be so short that “square or rounded” isn't even a feasible question.

2. Smoothness sort of speaks for itself, I think –- tears of any kind tend to ruin the fun. It is possible to have sex with long nails, carefully, but it isn't with short nails that have serious edges. All you need is a cuticle clipper –- mine's a random stainless steel kind from the drugstore, but just snip snip snip away. Maybe a nail file, too, though I honestly don't own one right now. Rough cuticles, hangnails, jagged edges, even rough skin around your nails that you (read: I) pick at -– say goodbye.

3. As for cleanliness: THIS IS GOING IN YOUR VAGINA. Writing this article is making me think of all the times chicks' hands that had just been touching the disgusting bar bathroom door handle crept their way under my clothes. Like, last night. Grosssssss. Infections! Google the hell out of this stuff if the mere thought doesn't freak you out enough. ALSO YOU, STRAIGHT GIRLS.


So now your nails are all non-sparkly clean, clipped short and clutching a whiskey as you pre-game for the Tegan & Sara concert or whatever. The Best Solution to achieve any nail art you want? FAKE. NAILS.

I don't know why this isn't a thing by now, but I don't know anyone else who does this: grab some drugstore glue-on nails. The half-empty package on my floor that I'm currently looking at is from "Kiss" brand, so, whatever. The cheaper the better, in this case. Glue on those stupid French manicure blunt squares and use the little flimsy file to scrape down the sides into an acceptable shape –- they WILL be porn-star-square out of the box (ouch).

Once those are on, the nail art world is your oyster. Do whatever you want –- nail embroidery, embellishment, the Sistine Chapel in miniature, piercings, whatever. (Sidenote: Can we all look at the classiest nail piercing on the planet?) I personally can't paint nails at all, so I stick to an oval glossy red or black, mostly.

Lesbians, bisexuals, queer women, people-who-use-their-hands-on-women: This is revolutionary! You can have whatever nails you want and then POP THEM OFF to have sex, revealing the girl-friendly fingers beneath. DON'T TRY TO PEEL THEM OFF; just push the top of the nail, the part that's protruding past your fingertip, downward, and the edge by your cuticle will detach.

When you want to leave/get dressed, you just need to have remembered the tiny tube of nail glue that comes in each pack, and you can glue them right back on. Or leave them where they lay, whatever. I leave broken-off nails wherever I go. It's sort of a signature.

An alternative and less-versatile option are these stick-on nails that are suddenly everywhere (have they always been everywhere?). You just remove the sticker at the back and press the nail on.

I have them in a few colors; they're already painted, which is a plus for me, but since it's only a sticky adhesive (versus glue), they are also more likely to accidentally come off while I'm furiously playing Minesweeper on my iPhone. Yeah, that Minesweeper.


Another obstacle = texture. Glitter, sand, droplets of blood... These nails look amazing, but run your palm over one and you'll see that part of what gives such great 3D texture is also what makes them likely to snag on tender skin.

In this case, I can only suggest keeping the nails short enough so the pads of your fingers are safely accessible. If you're willing to sacrifice a bit, though, do your crazy nail art and then seal it with multiple layers of clear topcoat. Like every nail article ever, I'll tell you to "make sure to let each coat dry before painting another" etc etc, but I don't, so, exercise your freedom of choice. You want a surface that doesn't necessarily have to be even terrain, but is smooth to the touch. Smooooooth.

Nail wraps need very little explanation. They work on short nails; they work on long fake nails. There are SUCH cool ones out there. As far as sex goes: They're fine. They stay on, don't hurt anyone, are still cute in the morning. Possibly unlike you (ME).


Real talk: the sexiest accessory I never had has always been a wooden finger. I detachedly (ha) debated chopping one of mine off in the winter of 2010, when I was watching The Royal Tenenbaums on repeat and drinking terrible vodka from the bottle all day. It was a weird time.

BUT. Margot Tenenbaum! Sexy nonchalance! Wooden finger! So you see why I was ecstatic when full-finger-armor began showing up a few years back. (Behold, a favorite image shot by Tommy Ton: the silvery smoker.)

My favorite nail version of this is the sick Bijules ring made for Beyoncé, coming in at $8,000. A less pricey version from the same designer is this unadorned short ring for $245. They're like sexy pen caps for your hands! For those of us who can't afford a $2,450 manicure, there are a bunch of cheap versions online; Etsy has some cute ones. I'm very tempted to buy three dozen wholesale at once.

Anyone else addicted to Minesweeper like I am? Have you ever been DUPED by a girl's nails? Did anyone ever lose a nail/nail accessory inside someone? I bet you were thinking about that the whole time.