Feature image by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images
Queer and trans people are not a monolith and so, of course, Autostraddle’s Slack is not just one giant sandbox where our whole staff plays together all day. There are dozens of channels covering hundreds of topics — books, TV, music, politics, social media, general daily vibes, vampires, divorce, Gillian Anderson, advice — and very rarely is there overlap in those discussions. But today, a moment that shook the queer cultural zeitgeist to its very core caused every channel in Autostraddle’s Slack to light up simultaneously like a Christmas tree. At 2:13 pm Eastern Standard Time, Sara Ramirez tweeted that they were thinking of joining Lex — and at 2:27 pm, they confirmed that they had, indeed, added their profile to the social app that “connects queer lovers and friends.”
Really trying to feel into what my somatic experience is communicating at this moment cause this is already overwhelming & I haven’t even made it past the welcome. Instead,should I just invest in some plants, a septum nose ring, a cat, my very own cliched podcast & call it a day? pic.twitter.com/5UDMYVzXrQ
— Sara Ramirez 🐜 (@SaraRamirez) September 1, 2021
Welp. It’s up. My first post on Lex. Let’s see how this one unfolds….will keep you posted. 🙂
— Sara Ramirez 🐜 (@SaraRamirez) September 1, 2021
It was like that Michael Scott gif had come to life! IT’S HAPPENING!
We’re no strangers to Lex here at Autostraddle. Shelli, Dani, and Drew tried it out and reviewed it in November. Shelli encouraged everyone to write their own Lex ad around Valentine’s Day. Shelli’s such an expert she even talked about Lex on Slate’s Outward podcast! And, look, we know queer dating is a tricky business; that’s why Drew and Christina started an entire podcast about it called Wait, Is This a Date?
But, listen, Sara Ramirez, you have given us so much over these last many, many years, and we want to give back to you, specifically, so our team quickly brainstormed our best tips for using Lex in the hopes that our successes and failures will guide you down a rewarding path of companionship (which, according to our team, involves fisting and the farmer’s market, in either order — but you do you, Sara Ramirez. That’s our motto here). Jen Richards found herself a whole entire wife on Lex. We’re rooting for you to find whatever you’re looking for!
Vanessa: Okay first things first BE DIRECT — think about what you want and then actually say it / ask for it, this is not the time to be vague or shy.
Shelli Nicole: Just post and go. Don’t spend the whole day checking it constantly. This next advice is just for you, Sara — Don’t connect your Instagram for obvious reasons.
Vanessa: Right, Sara could maybe get away with skipping this step because WE ALL KNOW HOW HOT THEY ARE but, everyone else: LINK YOUR IG!!!! I’m sorry, if you don’t have an IG link I can’t message you.
Laneia: You have to post a message on Lex because there are actually like 700 people lurking and NEVER POSTING and you have to be braver and bolder than them. You’re not going to reply to a message; you’re going to post one and then have your pick. Like don’t even read what’s there, it’ll just get you in your own head too much. You post. You’ll be the best thing they all read.
Vanessa: I also really like when people say the vibe they’re looking for and describe themselves but don’t get too specific about the other person. It’s obnoxious to be like, “You should be a tall masc of center Leo with a large flogger collection and an ability to make poached eggs.” But it’s hot to be like, “Bossy femme looking for a casual hookup that might lead to breakfast in the morning… I’ll wear the sexy lingerie and provide the CSA veggies, you bring an enthusiastic attitude and maybe some toys. Let’s both get what we want.” It’s not a grocery list — it’s like, a collaborative project.
Laneia: Oh and the fucking Lex board?? IS NOT YOUR THERAPIST ??!!!!
Christina Tucker: Also it is not a journal! Stop freeform journaling!
Laneia: Can you delete your old ads once they expire? Because I would recommend doing that unless you’re just super proud of how clever and hot they were, because when you click on someone’s profile and can see all their ads from months and months ago, it makes me very sad.
Vanessa: Right, delete old posts if you post every five days. Also just stop journaling on Lex — BUT if you have a hot evergreen post it’s sexy to leave it up. Like if you’d always be down for some kinky playtime and you’ve put together a really good snapshot of what you like/what you can offer, leave that shit up.
Laneia: Yeah basically curate that history.
Shelli Nicole: Also maybe fucking don’t post every five days, like — show some fucking chill.
Shelli Nicole: Look out for the emoji responses people send you and look at their profiles/IG and if you like what you read/see reach out. They may be shy and that’s their way of being like, “Hi can you please make the first ACTUAL move?”
Vanessa: But also if you’re a bottom and you don’t want to make the first move just ignore those people, lol — unless they’re REALLY hot obviously.
Shelli Nicole: Again AGREED!
Ro: I think Vanessa covered this in her example, but I think it’s really helpful to pitch a specific date idea in the ad (whether that’s “please fist me” or “let’s go to the farmers market”)!
Shelli: Or please fist me and then let’s go to the farmers market.
Ro: Truly, there is no better date. It’s always a good idea to follow up fisting with some fresh, organic produce.
Shelli: When you’re buying every damn thing from every stall cos you’re in a daze and Chase text you: “Just making sure this is you spending $917 at the farmers market, girl…”
Ro: Open holes, open wallet.
Vanessa: Shelli, you’re my hero
Shelli: Now, the desktop app is your best friend when it comes to sneaking! You can sneak at someone’s story without actually looking at it, you can look at their photos without logging in and having fear of liking (if they aren’t private). Same as Twitter desktop. You can go thru their likes and mentions quicker without fear of liking you just scroll and go back as far as you want.
Laneia: JFC you’re a genius.
Vanessa: Also, don’t be shy to ask your friends for help — they will call you out if you’re being too vague and will be able to gas you up if you’re underselling your best qualities.
Shelli Nicole: ABSOLUTLEY.
Heather: So: Be direct, be specific but not too specific, curate liberally unless your stuff is extra cute, post and go, everyone besides Sara Ramirez link your Instagram, snoop smartly, include your friends in the process, and just a general note for queers as a whole to please stop using Lex like it’s a journal?
Carmen: And put ALLERGIC TO CATS in all caps because people won’t believe you!