I have a confession to make: I’m watching The L Word for the first time this summer. Well, actually I watched the first season forever ago but I stopped at season two when my body would not physically allow me to continue past the opening song. But this time around, I gave in and let the opening song sashay, shante and Stockholm Syndrome it’s way into my heart. And can I just say how honored I am to share the soundtrack to my fever dreams with you?
The best part about watching The L Word is finally getting to choose which character I am. I was hoping to be Dana, because you were right, person who sighs her name breathlessly at parties while I shove a cheese cracker into my mouth and pretend like I know who you’re talking about, Dana’s for sure the baby angel emoji. But here’s what I realized: you don’t get to choose a character for yourself. It’s more like you find yourself relating to a character and then resisting this feeling with a combination of awe and terror before you can no longer deny who you are in your heart. This is how I discovered I’m a Shane.
Look, I didn’t ask for this fate. I didn’t ask for monogamy to be the source of my ruin. And I hope that in the “Where Are They Now” interview, Shane reveals that after the show ended, she discovered the joys of polyamory and is now leading a fulfilling life with multiple partners, minus the guilt and self-loathing. And you know what? I feel like the more well-adjusted Shanes of the world have a lot to offer in terms of dating advice. And there are so many new ways post-L Word to get a date in this world of digital-virtual-hijinks! So here we go, apropos of nothing:
This app is the LifeAlert™ of the queer dating world. You think downloading it will save your life, but then when it doesn’t actually work, you return to your regularly scheduled programming of “help I have fallen and I can’t get up.”
Keep this one for motivation when you’re having a hard time connecting with people on dates, because scrolling through it will remind you how simultaneously weird and boring straight people are, and at least you’re not that!
This one is good if you know that every Tuesday and Thursday at noon you will be in a class with this one person who is really dreamy but you need approximately two months to muster the courage to talk to them specifically. This one is bad if you don’t like the breaking up with said person after a tumultuous love affair and getting stuck in a class with them again next semester.
This one has very similar pros & cons to school, so plan accordingly!
I know, I know, don’t date anyone in your roller derby league. Counterargument: y’all. Are you for real telling me to sign up for the gayest activity invented and then repress my very gay feelings in this space that was, I repeat, invented for gayness? (winging the history of roller derby here, but it feels right) Lucky for you, I’ll never sign up for roller derby because the only convincing thing I can do with my body is dance.
Some people are like: “But Cecelia, how do you do it?” I think, dear readers and fans, that maybe you think being dateable equals being charming and confident and smoldering all the time, but I come prepared with receipts to show you that everyone, even Shanes like me, meet strangers through the internet the same way everyone else does: awkwardly and dare I say, abrasively!
I gave you a really thorough defense of Instagram as a dating app a few months ago. Check in: how did that work for you? As a reminder, here’s the Instagram formula: 1) Do they like your photos? 2. Do they also follow you? 3. Slide into those DM’s with confidence and poise (see above photo for inspiration).
Like the age-old nursery rhyme says: “First comes Twitter, then comes Snapchat, then comes texting nudes to a complete and total stranger.” Patty-cake to that one, kiddos. No but seriously, I’ve never met anyone through Twitter. What I have met is people living in other cities who I will awkwardly DM if I ever visit their city.
4. Art Opening
Look at that girl, staring thoughtfully at the crumpled piece of wet cardboard on the floor. So delicate. So pure. Quick, can you learn the words “postmodernity” and “materiality” fast enough to get her to fall in love with you? Good news: all of the girls here are queer. Bad news: every single one of them will splatter your heart like a Jackson Pollock.
3. A Bar
A classic that has stood the test of time. I have nothing bad to say about this opportunity except for consent is sexy and I believe in you.
This one is great because you either talk to someone and go on a date or you don’t talk to someone and then go on a surprise date that can happen anywhere from the grocery store to the gynecologist, and starts with: “Hey, I’m Stephanie, we matched on Tinder and you didn’t respond.”
If The L Word opening song is the true measure of the way that we live, this is the only place where you can check all those verbs off your list. Breathing? So much it hurts. Cheating? If you mean cutting the dinner line to get food faster, sure. Kissing? I mean, maybe. I wouldn’t know from experience, per se, because I’m an extremely professional staff member who doesn’t kiss campers or staff members or literally everyone who expresses interest, but I’ve heard this is the Number One place for making out. Actually, meeting people here isn’t the problem — it’s deciding between the five soulmates you meet that’s hard.
“I THINK I KNEW YOU IN MIDDLE SCHOOL”
I *wheezed*, Cecelia; this is perfect.
Recently I sent an okc stranger who lives in Florida and will, most likely, never respond, also might block me, an unsolicited but Totally True story that ended with me describing seeing two corgis in a stroller as “happening upon a unicorn at dusk”, so like. It could be worse than middle school.
Michou you’re a gem
very bold approach A+
oh man, why don’t I ever get unsolicited weird stories on Okc? I have to believe it’s that I always choose to live places where nobody else is weird.
Oh ho ho ho, I do NOT live in Florida.
Always and forever set to show me matches who live anywhere in the world ~
Although I really wish I could edit it so that I only see far away people who are ALSO looking for people “located anywhere”. Would make things simpler.
Would 100% read this corgi / unicorn story if published on Autostraddle or literally anywhere
If you had written me that story I would have instantly fallen for you. Bold approach which also effectively filters out squares. A+
I seriously just turned into the hand over eyes monkey emoji. I am that monkey now.
accurate description of my dating life
This is so perfect. My body has also not let me get deep into the L word, as soon as that Jenny carnival thing started happening my body physically rejected it.
But these are also very solid ways to meet people. I would also add: queerish coffee shop that’s a little too cool for you full of babes who are way too cool for you
I bailed once Marina and her accent left the show
Omg, this summer I am watching The L Word for the first time too in my third attempt to get pass the awfulness / honor Kate Moennig.
I figure Shane just stands anywhere she pleases and women throw themselves at her (for reasons I never understood).
i died over the HER one. that’s exactly how i feel about that app, but i also feel like i’ll have to give up my lesbian membership card if i delete it.
seriously though it updated and now it has the tinder swipe-left-to-vanquish-into-the-abyss-forever thing? if i wanted to do that i’d just, you know, use tinder.
Her also asks me weirdly invasive questions like once a day, as though it is on an incredibly awkward first date with me, and then when I don’t answer they show up as notifications and WHY
This makes it hands down the most Lesbian of apps, ever.
I had to delete the app because of all those notifications that I thought would be my dream lady messaging me only to see questions like
LADIES IS IT OKAY TO SHARE HAIRSPRAY WITH YOUR GIRLFRIEND OR IS THAT A TURN-OFF?
TAKE OUR SURVEY TO FIND TRUE LOVE: ARE YOU AN INNIE OR AN OUTTIE?
PERIOD SEX: IS IT DISGUSTING OR ARE YOU A DISGUSTING ANIMAL WHO LOVES IT?
Omg what. Also bless the couple that shares hairspray, I’ve never dated anyone I could share products with.
Ah yes, “God bless the couple that shares hair spray,” one of those psalms from my childhood
SAME! Why does this keep happening? How do we make it stop?
Ok, yes, invasive… BUT, I can forgive because about a month ago the question they asked was “Who is your current crush?” and the background photo was Brittani Nichols! I don’t know who was responsible for that perfection, but made HER totally worth it.
I have an android phone so I can’t use Her; am I not Really Gay until I succumb to Apple Monoculture
WAIT : HER EXISTS ON ANDROID NOW.
I downloaded it. It’s awful. So many duck face car selfies. Everyone is named Tiffany.
I like that there are people who self identify as “bicurious”, though, because it feels like we’ve all been given the opportunity to be someone’s gateway drug
HER is literally a life line and even though it only works 32% of the time, I won’t delete it. Tinder is too much work. I have to do deep investigative work just to find out if a gal is into gals. My area tends to have a lot of gals looking for platonic friends. Gotta look for a rainbow flag or cargo shorts. And OkCupid is dead to me, although I still keep a profile. I’ve become one of those queer girls that has had the same profile for four years and I’m still there, occasionally updating my music preferences.
This list is great though and I am experiencing serious fomo over missing out on A-Camp.
I’m almost ready to start asking the non-queer women who are looking for “friends” about their sucess rate in finding actual friends on Tinder and also if all their new friends are lesbians newly resigned to being single forever, but I’m pretty sure I’ve successfully made my profile too gay to ever accidentally match with any of those people
knowing that you were sitting at a computer and typed “8. SPORTS” is bringing me home
everyone loves sports
I’ve been on Once for a little over two months, and managed to not go on a single date so far…but then, I’m really crap at the dating thing anyway, and this way I can,at least, blame the app and my friends are appeased, because I’m making an effort.
HER means that pretty girls 300 Miles away like me, which is comfortably far away and still balm for my ego.Winwin.
However, anybody have a smooth opening line for opening a chat, when you both “like” each other?
But for reals now, I’ve meet so many fantastic and longtime friends over twitter and fandoms, it’s ridiculous.
I’m super grateful for twitter and forums and the crazy, special people the interwebs have flushed into my life.
So, Cecilia, don’t worry about writing awkward DMs is what I’m trying to say.
Just go for it and have drinks with almost strangers you kind of click with.
My #1 opening line for chatting up girls on dating apps is “Your cat is cute! What is his/her/their name?” or “Hey tell me about your cat!!!”
Then we talk about our cats for a bit and the conversation falters! Woohoo, success!
Fascinating. Terrifying. Inspirational.
Thank you Cecelia.
My current Tinder life is seeing too many people i know ~a little bit~ IRL on Tinder and not liking them because isn’t that awkward? / forgetting that they’ll only see it if they like me too & then it’s not awkward but stilllllll…..
Bonus points for when you see them IRL and they’re like, “so i liked you on Tinder” & you’re like “okay yeah we can hang out” & you make out & stuff once but then realize you don’t have any real ~dating~ chemistry, but it’s okay cause your crush who you met through mutual friends seems into you again & you are cautiously optimistic?
Also yr local open mic/ poetry slam has ALL THE QUEERS but even if you are also into reading poems in front of people you might be too intimidated by their brilliance to actually make words like “hi” come out of your mouth to their faces for like 6 months
whenever you guys post a Shane article I send it to my mom and she writes back “lol”
Cecelia you are my all-time hero, this is amazing and i’m happy to be the alice to your shane
counterpost: every way to never find a date, ranked by shame
“Hey, I’m Stephanie, we matched on Tinder and you didn’t respond.”
OF COURSE HER NAME IS STEPHANIE
When I read this, I imagined that Stephanie was the gynecologist informing her patient that they matched on Tinder and she didn’t respond. A) That’s SUPER unprofessional and also B) I feel personally attacked, despite not having a Tinder and not being a gynecologist
Wait – so my name IS Stephanie.
And I legit matched with you, Cecelia, on Tinder when you were in the Bay Area!
(I’m the girl with the blue hair, shaved sides and cactus shirt.)
Feel like I have reached new levels of queer-ception.
PLEASE GO ON A DATE
As a roller derby athlete, number 8 on this list is TOO REAL.
Which isn’t to say I have never violated said rule, of course. And seriously the number of couples I meet who play derby together (or AGAINST one another, which I mean, hottt) is actually pretty high. So.
But, still a good idea to NOT date a teammate. Right, Emily? I feel like someone made me sign a team contract about that actually…
“but I stopped at season two when my body would not physically allow me to continue past the opening song.” is the realest thing I’ve read today.
I rewatched the L Word last month and fast forwarded past every scene that didn’t have Carmen in it. It was much better that way.
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