Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Dating Tips for Lesbians

Dating Tips for Lesbians

by Kathy Belge

There’s an old joke. What does a lesbian bring on the second date? Answer: A U-Haul. The stereotype is that lesbians don’t date, they just move from one relationship to another. Whereas there is some truth to every stereotype, don’t be worried that just because you came out of the closet, you’re going to have a new roommate next week!

Where can I meet other lesbians?

As the bumper sticker says, “We are everywhere!” But lesbians do tend to congregate in certain places.

Lesbian and gay bars: If you’re over 21, this might be the most obvious place to try and meet someone. Some women have luck meeting partners in bars, others find the atmosphere superficial and hard to get to know someone. And alcohol can always alter your judgment. My suggestion is to go to a bar with some friends. Check the scene out and see if you feel comfortable.

How do I approach someone?

If someone catches your eye, give her a look and see if she makes eye contact. If she holds your glance, approach her. Introduce yourself and ask her name. Try not to use a corny line. Ask her to dance or play a game of pool. Buy her a drink. Ask her if she’s single and get her phone number.

What about personal ads?

Personal ads can be a great way to meet other women. You can be explicit in what you’re looking for and both of you know that it’s a date. You can place an ad in the local paper or on the internet. Check out yahoo personals, technodyke.com or lesbian.com for starters. See if there’s anyone from your area with an ad you’d like to respond to, or place your own. Read what other women write to get an idea of what you’d put in your ad. Try to avoid clich├ęs, like “I like long walks on the beach.” Put something unique or funny and you’ll probably get a great response.

That sounds too forward. I’m shy. What can I do?

Just like heterosexual folks, your best bet in meeting someone is through a shared activity or common interest. What do you like to do? If you like to read, join a lesbian reading group. Volunteer at the local homeless or animal shelter. Join a women’s bike riding club. Volunteer at a gay rights organization or for a gay-supportive politician. Take a women’s or queer studies class. If you meet someone you like, you’ll have something in common to talk about.

What should I know about AIDS and safer sex?

Good question! Lesbians are at risk for HIV. It’s always good to talk to your partner about risk factors before you decide to become sexual.

Flirting Tips for Lesbians

How does a woman flirt with another woman? That can be tricky, especially if you do not know the sexual orientation of the object of your flirt.

There's nothing like having someone flirt with you to boost your self-esteem. Whether or not you return the attraction, it feels good to know that someone finds you attractive. Flirting is an art. It's a two-way game. You have to be able to read your partner's interest and comfort in the flirtation in order to know how to proceed.

But, if done properly, there is nothing better or more exciting than letting the electricity grow between you two in the beginning stages of a relationship. Flirting can be subtle or overt. I prefer the subtle kind.

Here's some tips for flirting:
# When you're out together, try to sit near her. Notice if she moves closer or farther away. When you're sitting on a couch and your thighs touch, what does she do? Does she let it stay or inch away?
# Look her in the eye when you are talking. Hold the stare for a little longer than you would a normal conversation.
# It may sound corny, but open a door for her to walk through.
# If you're sitting across from each other, gently put your hand on hers. Don't move it away unless she does.
# Tell her she looks nice tonight. Compliment her hair or outfit.
# Find out what makes her laugh. There's nothing like humor to cut the tension and loosen you both up.
# Offer to get her a drink if you're at a party or bar together.
# Touch her hand or shoulder when you hand her a drink.
# Tell her you've been thinking about her.
# Call her just to say hi and see what's she's been doing.
# Send her a little note that says you enjoyed spending time together. An email is okay, hand written and dropped at her door or mailed is better.

Be careful not to over do it. You don't want to seem like a stalker. Look for signs that your flirtation is unwanted. Does she get off the phone quickly when you call? Do you send her long flowery e-mails, only to get one line answers in return? If so, back off and let her come to you.

Good luck and most of all, have fun!

Friday, March 21, 2008

How to Find Out if a Co-Worker is Gay

Perhaps you're getting mixed signals from a co-worker, and you can't tell if he's interested in you or not. Though it can be tempting to ask bluntly about his sexual orientation so you don't make a social faux pas, this can lead to an even more uncomfortable situation. Instead, ease into the topic.

Step 1:

Gain her friendship, and she may tell you whether she's gay or straight. Of course, if all you want to know about her is her sexual orientation, becoming her friend may be tedious. However, if you're not interested in her friendship, there's no reason for you to know her sexual orientation.

Step 2:

Listen for clues in his ordinary conversation. He may talk about men he finds attractive or about his favorite gay bar. These, however, are only hints and don't give you a definitive answer. Straight men who aren't afraid of being labeled as gay may express appreciation for the way another man looks, and may frequent gay bars.

Step 3:

Share your own relationship history. Tell stories about your past partners, and invite her to share stories about past relationships, too. Listen to the names and pronouns to determine whether her past relationships were with women or men. Ask for clarification if names or pronouns are ambiguous. If she's comfortable with you, she'll probably tell you. If she is evasive, avoid the subject.

Step 4:

Ask him if he's gay once you're friends, as long as you know he won't be offended. Among friends who have no bias against those of another sexual orientation, a question like this won't be offensive. He may even think you already knew.

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