Exploring the world of precarious, unpredictable online lesbian dating
A survey of online dating sites for lesbians—including JDate, which boasts 60 Jewish lesbian members—proved that sometimes, the old fashioned way of meeting prospective lovers, drunk at a party, is still the best way.
When winter approached and I found my sheets too cold, I set out to find a nice lesbian to help warm them up. If modern love is a commodity, I reasoned, what better place to shop than online?
Being a city girl I headed first to my trusty friend, Craigslist. I quickly discovered that if you’re looking for a quick hookup with a man or a straight woman who wants her boyfriend to watch, Craigslist is the place for you. This free clearinghouse is the absolute perfect place, bar none, to find an apartment, sell a sofa, catch a ride to DC, or get a free red-eared slider turtle.
But for women seeking women, Craigslist is a black hole of regret and despair.
To wit—after a weekend of disastrous encounters, I placed what I thought was a very clear ad on Craigslist’s women seeking women section. It read: “Are there any lesbians left in Brooklyn?” and went to outline very specifically my ISOs—a lesbian, 26-35, in decent physical shape, with a healthy libido, to hang out, watch movies, and go to dinner.
My respondents took liberties. The first was a transgendered woman whom I like to call “the cake-licker;” when she finally sent a picture, I recognized her as someone whom I had seen tongue the dessert at two separate parties.
Following her were a spate of co-eds who were either too young, lived in Queens, or both. Next were two women who said they wanted to do karate with me, and a Russian woman who insulted me in lieu of compliments. Finally, there was a beautiful Puerto Rican “adult entertainer” who sent me a dozen pictures of herself in panties and heels. The hook worked; I called, only to realize that I was way out of my element. When she began her line of questioning with, “Do you wear women’s underwear?” and progressed to, “Do you have all of your own teeth?” I knew my own ad had left way too much to chance.
I later learned that the “adult entertaining” consisted of her traveling around the country serving as a dominatrix to men who wanted to be treated like a dog. Literally. With a leash and collar. I also suspected, after an additional line of questioning, that this beautiful Puerto Rican woman was actually a beautiful Puerto Rican man.
The experience left a bad taste in my mouth. That’s not to say that no one has ever found her perfect match on Craigslist; in fact, my best friend and her girlfriend hooked up on the site—though they hardly like to advertise the fact—and they have been together for two years.
Fast forward to a failed pick-up at Cattyshack, the Brooklyn women’s bar. Me, hitting on a nice worker from the U.N., who asks, “What’s your type?” Me, responding, “Why, you’re my type.” Her replying, “I’m seeing someone. We met on PinkSofa.com. You should try that site.” Me, face crumpling.
Anyway, I check out the site, which bills itself as “the world’s biggest lesbian meeting place.” To their credit, there are loads of profiles of women who look good, and seem relatively normal, and more importantly, relatively lesbian. The caveat? It’s a pay site, and accordingly, the women skew older, as young lesbians tend to be underemployed and/or cheap. Still, the ads are promising, and I make a note to some day pony up the membership fee of $10 a week or $80 a year—I guess it depends on how optimistic you are—and meet some of these women with the promising blurbs.
For Jewish lesbians who want to meet other Jewish lesbians, JDate offers a reprieve. Since November 2005, JDate has reached out to gay and lesbian Jews—there are currently about 60 active lesbian JDaters.
But as a non-Jewish lesbian, the JDate revolution meant little to me. So, back on the prowl for the online love of my life—or at least a date I wouldn’t be embarrassed to be seen with in public—I logged on to LesbiansMeet.com. The site is low quality, the women are listed by state, they are incredibly young, and although it says registration is free, if you try to access the profiles, you need to pay.
But it did provide links to other sites, including connexion.org, a portal for gays and lesbians—a definite plus—that is not just a hook-up place, but has other forums. [Editor’s note—Army Specialist Jeff Howe was discharged as a result of his personal ad, which identified him as gay, on this site. Tim Gill, founder of connexion.org, posted an alert in the help section of his site for military members after learning of this incident]. I took the time to fill out the form, uploaded my photo and waited to see what happened. I made a search, and found transgender activist Riki Anne Wilchins—at least she’s reputable. Plus, this site has a sense of humor. The ISO section actually allows you to choose from a list of options including “single,” “available,” “in a relationship,” or, for those with very low standards, “breathing.”
But there were only two pages of profiles, and among the first page was another friend’s girlfriend, who hadn’t checked her profile in almost 10 months. Still, two of the women were interesting, and had visited the site within the past month, so I gave a shout out.
One of the women wrote back to say that she thought I had flirted with her during her first date with another woman at Henrietta’s two years ago. She said I had cool hair. I crafted what I thought was a witty response… and never heard back from her. She was too tall for me anyway, I told myself, ignoring the cold winds blowing through the rattling windows of my lonely Brooklyn apartment.
After a few more foiled attempts, I threw in the towel. All of my forays into the world of online dating ended with little more than a budding case of carpal tunnel syndrome. Undeterred, I reverted back to my original methods, and ended up meeting a woman the old-fashioned way—drunk at a party. Hardly true love, but enough to get through a cold winter. Here’s to happy hunting!