Lesbians Wonder Why We Don’t Have Our Own Grindr, Must Settle For Words With Friends

Tribbng. Blstr. Scissr. Fingr. These are a few names I’ve brainstormed for Grindr’s non-existent lesbian counterpart. Apparently there have been failed attempts before, leaving queer women still waiting on a functional app that provides an easy-to-use mapping of tappable ladies in their vicinity. The apps that are still operational are ghost towns or have comments like, “Hate that it only lets me see girls. I wanna see some guys.” which does not bode well for Brenda’s marketing team.

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It begs the question: why can’t we have nice things? Why haven’t I been guilted into buying a smartphone by all the outrageous stories my friends have from Fingr? It would be easy to blame the absence on the stereotypical belief that gay and bi men are sex raptors and queer women want to lead near sexless existences on IKEA love seats with their comfortable shoes beneath them and a mildly tolerable cuddle associate nearby, but I think we all know this not to be true. An extremely heteronormative and cis-focused study reveals that a lot of straight women’s concerns about casual sex regard safety and the perceived qualities of a man in pursuit of such things. Perhaps a similar fear of creepy straight guys posing as lesbians is what keeps some intrepid developer from releasing an app just for us.

Everybody's got a random

I don’t think it should matter what percentage of queer women aren’t interested in casual sex begotten from an app or that we may not “be as good” at hooking up with near strangers as gay guys or even heteros. If anyone wants to casually bang the woman 100 feet away that’s doing her Kegels in the frozen foods section, shouldn’t she be able to? Isn’t that her Shane-given right? It’s not mandated that the future app be used the exact same way as Grindr. Maybe it could serve to alert you of the ladies interested in ladies close by. Not all of us have gaydar like Santana. Instead of periodically wondering aloud whether your roommate’s French partner is queerios, you could pull up your handy dandy app and see if her precious face pops up on your grid. Then you casually drop off some French roast coffees (you’re so clever) and flirt it up until your roommate gives you the death stare because this project is like 25% of the grade. The possibilities, you guys! The world may never feel like we’re a target market for casual sex, but if there’s one thing queer women clearly care about, it’s community. Shouldn’t there be an app for that?

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Brittani Nichols is a Los Angeles based comedy person. When she's not tweeting about white people or watching television, she's probably eating pizza. Actually, she's probably doing all three of those things concurrently and when she's not doing THAT, she's sleeping. Brittani also went to Yale and feels weird about mentioning it but wants you to know.

Brittani has written 304 articles for us.

69 Comments

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    I first heard about Grindr this summer and thought the very same: why can’t we have this too? And instead of wondering about why I have now decided I will look in to how. Things will not happen by themselves, right?

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      I have a really great idea, why dont gay girls just join Grindr, we should send the word out….hear me out..

      They actually had an app for lesbians, it was called Qrushr. Failed miserably and there were all of 3 lesbians in New York online (which we know cant be right) because straight guys kept downloading it and using it to creep girls. If lesbians go on Grindr, straight guys will def not go on that, if they do, they will have to risk being on there with gay men who may hit on them. So it will eliminate that problem. :P

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    Haha I was just talking to my gay boyfriend about this, because he is constantly on grindr! I told him I am starting my own for the ladies and calling it “uhaul-it”

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    OKCupid’s iPhone app has a ‘location’ gadget now – just going by the amount of girls on OKC in London, this could be the closest thing I’ve seen.

    “Brenda” is quite an unappealing name for a Grindr-style app.

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      I kinda like the okcupid one. I havent used it in a while cuz I haven’t really been “looking,” but I went out to Stonewall in NYC Lesba go-go night and it pretty much exploded and I could pick out almost all the girls in the crowd. It was kinda neat, I could look around and browse their profile – it was like the sims or pop up video or something, like I could get a lil blurb about a girl before deciding to tlk to her (which I didn’t do, as I wasn’t really looking that night either). But it was interesting because I knew they were there, and they all knew I was there, it was like a weird tv show almost but no one was really interacting (ie I didn’t see any of the individual girls together).

      BUT – on the flip side, I would turn it on in the West Village and get a bunch of “hey gurl” messages, mostly from older women (not hating, just not my thing atm) looking for a quickie or obvs sex and that was kind of a turn off, esp because it basically said “do you want to talk to this person, y/n” and then if you said no you may very well walk past them in the bar or on the street anytime in the next lil while and that made me feel uncomfortable, like what if someone was drunk and got all pissed you rejected em. Dramaz, ugh :/

      Anyway, there’s pluses and minuses, but for the most part I think it’s nifty and better than nothing for those that are a little adventurous, but it does seem to promote hooking up more than dating, though you can set your status like “at coffee shop, come chat!” casual or like “drunk, who’s down?” which I would never do but ya know, if it’s your style then it is easy to do :)

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    When I was young and I didn’t know about anything gay related I heard the word gaydar and thats what I thought it was. Like some sort of radar on your phone that pinged when a fellow gay was nearby. Its like my 9 year old self invented this thing, but I don’t think in my innocence I ever got past what anyone would ever do with the gay radar once it pinged.

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    ‘it’s not that women never want casual sex: what they don’t want is bad casual sex. Or unsafe casual sex. Or casual sex in which the other participant regards them as basically a blow-up doll with very realistic skin tone’

    GOD YES. I need to print this on cards and hand them out to the innumerable people who tell me that men only want sex while women only want emotional connection and stability.

    I for one would like happy respectful casual sex, whether with dudes or ladies. However, I find men regard me as some sort of human masturbation aide, and women… idk, most queer girls I know dive straight into relationships (and their casual hookups lead to relationships too), so I guess I’d be uncomfortable about approaching one for just sex. In conclusion, sadness.

    I wonder if there’s a way to make a lesbian grindr that keeps out the pervy straight guys???

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    Ever since I found out about Grindr I wished there was a lesbian equivalent, it just seemed fair. the unfortunate reality, though, is that anything involving straight men AND women in the same app is going to end badly, because even if it is for lesbians, straight men always seem to find a way to weasel in there and wreck the party. blendr just sounds like a really easy way to get raped by some creep in a park and i’m scared that guys would hack into a lesbian site to do the same thing. remember how chatroulette eventually devolved into a bunch of dudes jacking off and now no one uses it? straight men ruin everything. sorry for ranting, but it’s true!!

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    There are a few Grindr alternatives other than Qrushr out there… el is very good.. i’ve actually met a couple girls from it. Also, this new app called Spindle, but it could be Japan only….

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    Here in Australia (I don’t know about the US) we have an app called El… It’s pretty good but it crashes a lot. Plus most of the girls are “just looking for friends on here!” so it’s probably not ideal for those keen for a quick fuck…

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    This is timely. I just spent a lot of time today talking about grindr with my gay boy friend and then playing words with friends with him. I was jealous there wasn’t a girl one.. I do like words with friends tho.

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    i have used EL but i wasnt a fan i use gayvox its just a better version of EL but idk if its as good as grindr i dont think any app for lesbians will ever be a hit like grinder because of mentioned stuff above but i would recommend gayvox its helped me meet some girls around my area and its kinda friendly :)

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    We should all start contacting Grindr and instead of creating a separate app for lesbians, we should see if they will just add an “addition” to Grindr specifically for women seeking women.

    I have used ALL of the apps (Qrshr, Skout, (el), Brenda) and recently told some friends about the newest “Brenda” but was very disappointed when I was made aware of men posing as women.

    Grindr seems to be reliable and safe so I would much rather they just create a section of the app for women.

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    Going with what Liza says, I don’t think it would be that difficult to just take grindr and add the lady option. After you chose female or male you would only see that option… but as people have said guys would sneak on there for shenanigans…

    Though I would never meet someone online (or through a app) in a secluded area in any case heh.

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      It’s not necessarily about meeting in a secluded area – you could have your profile active in a public place where someone could see you and follow you to somewhere less public. Which is something that could happen anyway, but for guys who specifically get off on attacking gay women, this makes it easier to find them.

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    I agree with making this an extension of Grindr as opposed to its own app. For one Grindr is such a gay thing that that might actually shield the “sister” app from straight guys f-ing around. “Quarantining” it in an already-established queer space could do wonders safety-wise. Secondly the problem I see with these other lesbian-Grindr-esque apps is that a critical mass of women don’t join them. You feel like a lame tool if it’s only you and one other chick (who’s not the same age as you, not into the same things as you, etc.) using the app, which is of course a self-perpetuating problem. As a name that’s already out there, Grindr would be more successful in attracting the necessary mass of people to make it a hit.

    There can also be more deliberate (as opposed to organic) checks on men posing as women – a system of flags and profile removal, for instance. Though I think concern about “guys posing” is somewhat overblown – the problem with any online-only or primarily online exchange is that the person is not necessarily who they say they are. There have been several high-profile instances of women pretending to be people they aren’t online (see the pseudo Doc “Catfish” and a recent article in one of Riese’s Things I Read That I Love). I believe men have to deal with/put up with a similar if not identical problem as well, and it seems more men are willing to take the risk, therefore on men-centric dating sites/apps there’s a smaller poser:honest dude ratio.

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    I understand why there isn’t a lesbian version of Grindr. Grindr is more focused on hook-ups and emotionless sex (at least according to my gay male sources). Females TEND not to be so into that as males. That’s why apps like that don’t work as well. Looking at the comments, I can see those who’ve tried apps like it were like “EW” when some random asked you for sex. My gay male sources weren’t like “EW” when it happened, they talked to the person for a bit and if they clicked it’s go time. That’s just them, IDK about others. Apps like OKCupid seem better for females because it feels more personal (at least from my lesbian sources who use it). Besides from the “wanna f*ck” messages sent, there is more of an opportunity to meet someone to talk to for a longer time than 5-10 minutes before deciding if there is going to be homosexy time.

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    Anyone try that lezbelinked.com? Its also still in beta, and not so much a phone app more like a lesbian facebook? I haven’t gotten around to really checking it out. I suppose I spend too much time on AS. But is there such a thing?

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    Is there one of these existing apps that’s currently a ghost town that works reasonably well? If so… Autostraddle could partner with them to promote the app. That might help them reach critical mass.

    I wonder if there’s not some way to get around the guys posing as lesbians – like building in the ability to flag someone you thing is a poser.

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    For the love of all that is holy, please! Heck I don’t care if it’s a ghost town full of “45 year old’s looking to u-haul”, at least it’s something! Also, can it be available on Android? I’m tired of feeling like the only “lezzie” in the village.

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    I have a really great idea, why dont gay girls just join Grindr, we should send the word out….hear me out..

    They actually had an app for lesbians, it was called Qrushr. Failed miserably and there were all of 3 lesbians in New York online (which we know cant be right) because straight guys kept downloading it and using it to creep girls. If lesbians go on Grindr, straight guys will def not go on that, if they do, they will have to risk being on there with gay men who may hit on them. So it will eliminate that problem. :P

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