June 7, 2012
The highs and lows of online dating
Sometimes I think whoever created my genetic makeup forgot to install the gaydar.
I have always loved women since a monumental crush on Kylie (or ‘Charlene from Neighbours’) when I was eight years old, but my lack of gaydar meant that I didn’t notice or befriend any real-life lesbians in actual real-life until the ripe old age of 26.
I would read about lesbians in magazines, see them on TV and I even moved to Brighton in my quest to befriend the queerer sex, but for one reason or another (damn that missing gaydar!) I never met a single one.
Okay so that’s a tiny exaggeration. Of course I met lesbians in gay bars and I had a few pleasant chats and a few flings but I never managed to infiltrate any lesbian friendship groups and sadly no lesbians came along and infiltrated mine.
After years of being single, and having given up on finding a real life lesbian in the real world, I turned to the internet to see if that’s where my new lesbian friends and maybe even a girlfriend were hiding. Lesbian bars are not really my scene (and I had nobody to go with!) so it seemed to be the logical option.
First stop was GaydarGirls.com, arguably the most well-known dating site for lesbians. It’s a fairly simplistic site where you can add a profile description, up to three pictures (more if you upgrade to paid membership) and an outline of who and what you are looking for.
- It’s cheap! Basic membership is free and it’s only a fiver a month for full membership which allows you unlimited emails and makes you appear at the top of the search results.
- It’s busy – there are plenty of lovely girls on there.
- It’s quick and friendly – most people don’t launch into long drawn-out discussions, they just bang out a quick hello and you chat MSN style.
- It’s quite simplistic, as there is no search criteria other than how close in proximity you are to the lady you are chatting with. This makes it great for casual hook-ups but not so great for finding your soul sister.
After lots of fun and a two year relationship from GaydarGirls, I turned to Guardian Soulmates in the hope of finding a partner who shared my left-wing views.
- The search contains lots more criteria and you are matched with potential partners on a percentage scale based on everything from your star sign to your retirement plans.
- It is great for ruling out “absolutely nots” ensuring steak lovers don’t end up dating vegans, and Geminis don’t end up with Cancerians (heaven forbid).
- It’s expensive. The standard price of a six month subscription is £96 for six months, with monthly renewal thereafter at £16. Standard price of a three month subscription is £64 for three months, with monthly renewal thereafter at £21.33.
- You can be a 100% match for each other online but it doesn’t mean there will be a spark when you meet in real life.
I took the plunge and signed up for a six month subscription and went on a date with an older woman, a lawyer, to a very expensive restaurant. We were a great match online but upon meeting in person it was clear she was way out of my league and the conversation was a little stilted. Unsurprisingly she never called and I ended up getting back with my ex a few weeks later so it was a bit of a waste of money all round.
When searching for my future wife, I noticed that unless the dating site was exclusively gay, all the advertising and marketing material completely ignored gay couples. Ever seen two women hand in hand on an advert for match.com? Nope neither have I. While browsing marketing images from match.com to back up my claim I noticed that not only was every couple a straight couple, they were also both white.
…and the Ugly
…or not in the case of BeautifulPeople.com that is launching its exclusively gay website this summer. The premise of the site is that only “beautiful looking” people are allowed to be members, voted in by members of the opposite sex (or in the case of the new site, members of the same sex). This is how the website describes itself:
BeautifulPeople has been described as an “elite online club, where every member works the door”. BeautifulPeople.com is the largest internet dating community exclusively for the beautiful, dedicated to ensuring members find their perfect match.
It will be interesting to see whether lesbians sign up for the BeautifulPeople website. The stereotypical lesbian relationship is based on chemistry and connection rather than pure physical attraction so it is fair to assume that many lesbians will shy away.
I hope that lesbians do experiment with the site as a typical lesbian’s idea of beauty is likely to differ from a straight male’s and it would be pleasing to see the BeautifulPeople website with images of alternative beauties, both butch and femme, rather than a series of Barbie dolls.
And in case you were wondering how I met my current girlfriend? We met round my mate’s house. How last century!
Can animals be gay?
Lesbilicious were at the Paws with Pride Pet Show at Newcastle Leazes Park in July 2012. We asked pet owners, can animals be gay? The people we interviewed had some interesting anecdotes about their own pets.
August 1, 2012