Lois isn't real, is she.
February 12, 2018 7:40 PM   Subscribe

I'm coming out as a lesbian in my 30s, having been sexually withdrawn and repressed all my life. I missed the experimentation and awkwardness you're supposed to go through in your teens. I want to make up for lost time now, but how do I find women to do that with?

Ah, the lesbian canon always makes this sound so easy. You come out and you're automatically assigned a debonair, confident butch to induct you into the sisterhood. It happens in Dykes to Watch For, it happens in Desert of the Heart. But I don't think it happens in real life.

I'm newly divorced, kind of a mess, not ready for a relationship, laden with impostor syndrome about claiming a queer identity. I've always known I was for women, but somehow it never worked out with them, and I fell into dating men out of self-doubt and inertia. I'm a sensible adult in every other way, and I'll be frank: I would totally not date me right now. I don't want to make another woman help me carry all my current angst, or ask her to be the big experience that helps me rise like the phoenix. I just want to kiss her.

So...how do women hook up? Particularly women who aren't immediately turned off by a story like this? There don't seem to be lesbian bars anymore. I do queer Meetups sometimes and like them, but people don't seem to use them to meet partners. This would be an obvious time for a sex worker, but trust me, I have the least idea of any living person of how to meet a sex worker. Do people use Tinder? I had the impression that Tinder wasn't really about hooking up anymore.

(In general, I'm a pretty confident and intellectually curious person, and don't have problems meeting people socially or professionally. You wouldn't guess from meeting me that my love life is a smoking ruin. I live in a medium-sized, liberal town that's an hour from a big Western city.)

Throwaway email: mymessyvalentine@gmail.com.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (10 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
Are there any divorced lesbian groups? I ask because sometimes it’s helpful to connect with people who are both on a similar path & are further down the road. They may not be about dating, but people find themselves and each other while surviving the divorce aftermath. Best wishes for a delightful valentines smooch!
posted by childofTethys at 7:58 PM on February 12, 2018

I see lots of folks on tinder who write “not looking for anything serious” in their bios! I think it’s a great way to see who’s out there while still being up front about what you’re looking for :) of course, you can write anything in your bio! I’ve seen lots of different stuff about what folks want, don’t want, etc.... sometimes I’m honestly kind of taken a back by people’s frankness! Good luck !
posted by eggs at 7:59 PM on February 12, 2018

Hi! Welcome! It's great to be queer and you are gonna love it once you stop worrying about whether or not you're queer enough. Which you definitely are! Anyway, I am not a debonair, confident butch, but I am a queer lady in her 30s who has been out forever and would probably make out with you if you lived in my large mid-Atlantic city.

Some ways you might find someone like me: queer dance parties (afternoon parties are a big thing here, which I appreciate more and more as I get older), queer happy hours (check facebook for rotating events), queer and trans yoga (if it exists there), dating apps. For apps, I can vouch for HER (it's not always enjoyable to browse, but I've met some interesting people) and OkCupid, have friends who have met hookups on Tinder, and know almost nothing about the new app Zoe, but it seems worth a try. You could also try herstory personals next time they're accepting submissions.

Also, and this is the truest answer of all: go to the meetup groups, make queer friends, and then tell them you want to meet people to hook up with. They will help. And feel free to memail me if you want more reassurance or just a queer pen pal.
posted by dizziest at 8:13 PM on February 12, 2018 [11 favorites]

Your story is also mine! I'm, oh, 6 years down the road from where you are. You have nothing to worry about. I would suggest Tinder (I see everything from hookups to long term relationship goals on there, but it skews more towards the former). A friend set me up with my first post-divorce hookup. If you're near Denver, feel free to message me.
posted by sugarbomb at 10:37 PM on February 12, 2018 [1 favorite]

Hiiii, welcome, Lois totally happens irl and you're gonna be ok!!

Big 3: OKC, Tinder, queer dance parties.

After that: Don't know about HER or Zoe, give them a shot? Fetlife if you're kinky or poly. Go to Autostraddle's A-camp, it's dyke mecca, next one is May 16-21. Look for queer events on Facebook: 85% of everything public will be there. Ask your new queer pals to kiss your face and namedrop you! Also on dating profiles you should def say you're thirsty and looking for firsts, cuz, um... lots of us really like breaking in newbies. You deserve a hot, liberating, unapologetic fuck/fling/kiss/whatever — so ask for it! :)

I've traveled and met queers all over the states, Facebook is my dominion. I'm literally in over 100 queer Facebook groups. Message me and I'll hook you up, I'm sure I can point you to friends or events near you. I can also help you meet a really nice queer sex worker!
posted by fritillary at 12:09 AM on February 13, 2018 [3 favorites]

I also came in to suggest @herstorypersonals. It’s made by queer women for queer women, and doesn’t have the baggage of expectations of the dating apps. It’s cute and fun and old-school but brand new too!
posted by mymbleth at 12:10 AM on February 13, 2018

Particularly women who aren't immediately turned off by a story like this?

Don't worry about this part! Your story is totally normal! You are not somehow less-than-properly lesbian for coming out now or for having been married to a dude before! And you deserve and will find excellent makeouts! (And honestly, people don't necessarily get any less awkward when they hit their thirties, whether or not they've been out since their teens, at least in my experience. Life is just... awkward. Which is Okay!)
posted by halation at 4:44 AM on February 13, 2018 [1 favorite]

Might also "practice" on MyFreeCams .com, Chaturbate .com, etc. Online is, of course, no substitute for real life, but one can do it on work nights without spending (much) money and staying out late.
posted by cyclicker at 10:59 AM on February 13, 2018

This (published today, as if it were just for you) might also be helpful!
posted by dizziest at 6:33 PM on February 13, 2018

My easiest casual hook-ups with women have been when they’re looking for someone to have a threesome with them and their male partners. This isn’t my favorite kind of sex, and they’re usually enthusiastic but not very skilled, and it only works if you’re willing to let a man watch at the very least, but it’s an option.

In my area, Tinder is still primarily a hook-up space, but has very few women seeking women.
posted by metasarah at 7:54 AM on February 15, 2018

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