As a girl who exclusively dates other girls, I’m constantly subjected to the perpetual droning of my heterosexual female friends about the horrors of dating men.
“The games are unbearable,” a straight girlfriend lamented to me last weekend over a midday martini.
She inhaled deeply, anxiously tapped the stem glass with her pointed acrylic nail and pressed my gaze so deeply I felt like she was peering into my soul — before she repeated the six dreaded words my exhausted ears have been forced to endure thousands upon thousands of times: “You’re so lucky to be a lezzzbiaaan,” she said, drawing out the “zzz” and “aaaa” for additional emphasis.
While I DO feel extraordinarily lucky to be a lesbian, it’s not for the same reasons my darling, dear friend might so sweetly suggest.
She, like many of my hetero comrades, is under the false impression that gay women are free from the skintight handcuffs of dating games.
I suppose the grass is always greener on the other f*cking side.
The raw truth is: Girls play games with girls, who play games with boys, who play games with other boys, who play games with girls. Wherever you fall onto the colorful spectrum of sexuality is hyper-irrelevant when it comes to the harrowing games existing in a new romantic courtship.
So why do we even bother? Why, dear WHY are we so inclined to subject ourselves to the self-inflicted masochism that is dating at all? Is it simply because we want to test the temperature of the waters before taking the dive? Or do we unconsciously crave the seductive push and pull of tug-of-war?
Does the WHY even matter, when no matter how hard we work to deny or try – we can’t seem to stop ourselves from indulging in the enticing toxicity of game-playing?
Gay, straight, bi or pans — we're all enthusiastic, jersey-sporting, impressively athletic players in the big, bad league of dating. Not a single soul is spared, and no one is safe.
Just because we're all willing participants, however, doesn’t exactly mean we’re all playing the game the same way.
Lesbians have vastly different playing tactics than their heterosexual counterparts. We practiced with a different coach and trained in a different facility. Our strengths and weaknesses fall into different positions.
Lesbians are naturally gifted in the art of softball while the heteros crush it in kickball.
Differences aside, we're all playing the typical dating games:
The Texting Game
Girl on Girl:
The texting game is always complicated and migraine-inducing. Girls are smart f*cking creatures — we're not aloof, even if we gloriously pretend to be from time to time.
We are dangerously aware of everything, thus being always on top of the whereabouts of our technical devices. We felt the vibrations of our phone permeating from the warmth of our pockets the very second you clicked send.
Lesbians know it’s pointless to wait three days to respond back to a text because it’s a far too transparent game. It’s ineffective, and it’s not playing “hard to get”; it’s just f*cking rude.
It almost makes us seem more embarrassingly desperate to wait too long to reply. It’s overcalculated and will deem us amateur and immature. We will respond within the threshold of a few hours in order to appear sane, together and seemingly non-game playing (a mind f*ck of a game in of itself).
Girl on Boy:
The boy/girl texting game is all about unearthing well-thought-out mathematics. Girls and boys use sophisticated analytics to decipher the appropriate time in which to respond. Using patience and self-restraint as tools, a response isn't usually given for at least a solid eight-hour workday after the text is received, or the crushing fear of being deemed "desperate" becomes all too much to handle.
The Tinder Game
Girl on Girl:
We are impassioned users of a plethora of online dating tools, and we don’t experience a shard of shame surrounding Tinder. Lesbians are notoriously elusive, and may the higher power up above grant you good wishes if you find yourself new to a town or city.
It can take immeasurable stretches of time, panning out over the course of several long years to discover the spots lesbians flock to. Unlike gay males, we don’t exactly advertise our whereabouts in mainstream media. This is where TINDER becomes but a lifesaving weapon in the challenging battle of dating.
Lesbians don't have the heterosexual luxury of meandering into any ol’ bar on the block and finding one of our own, so it's imperative we rely on apps (like Tinder) to seek out our kind.
Tinder doesn't attain any sleazy sex/hookup connotation; in fact, I know plenty of girls who use Tinder to expand their group of gay friends (which is confusing in its own right). One day, I plan to pen a memoir: "Some of My Best Friends I met on Tinder."
Girl on Boy:
There seems to be an irritating tickle of humility around Tindering in the heterosexual community. The boy-dating girls of my world have expressed to me the only way for female to meet male is through the vessel of Tinder, yet the male doesn’t particularly want a female who uses Tinder.
It's not dissimilar from the modern debacle of not being able to get employed without experience, but not being able to gain experience without employment.
The Past Game
Girl on Girl:
Gay girls are notoriously the most curious cats of the litter. We want to know everything about you — the exact time and date of your birth, a detailed synopsis of the relationship with your past three lovers, what specific events occurred in childhood gave you the myriad of issues you're dealing with today, etc.
We like to TALK, and you better believe we're going to have dug into the complexities of your past by the time the check arrives on date number one.
Girl on Boy:
While there might be an invisible air of curiosity about one another’s sordid past in the boy-girl dynamic — it’s not exactly a conversation you recklessly jump into on the first date, if at all. The past is whimsically unchartered territory.
Boys aren’t exactly champing at the bit to unearth the gory details on a girl’s complete sexual history. There seems to be this peacefully unspoken understanding between men and women: The past is in the past.
The Sex Game
Girl on Girl:
Women are wildly emotional creatures, yet sex between two women has far less emotional hang-ups than sex between a man and woman. Absent is the dreaded fear of being used for sex because sex is a collaborative experience between two women, extending beyond the physiological power play of gendered penetration.
A night of insatiable sex on the first date can only strengthen your connection.
Boy on Girl:
Girls are struck by the fear of goddess herself in giving it up the goods too quickly to boys. There is a societal disgrace on having sex too soon in the heterosexual world, and girls get unfairly burned at the stake of our culture if they are unable to escape the desires of first-date sex.
The Future Game
Girl on Girl:
It’s completely and utterly normal in the girl-girl world to inquire if she wants babies and marriage after the third glass of wine on a first date. Girls have a tendency to fall down the endless "overthinking" spiral.
Girls, by nature, want to be prepared for everything; it's not exactly natural for us sit back and allow things to happen organically (even if we can put on an impressive performance or pretend to be barefoot bohemians who only exist in the moment). So often, we are pulled out of the joy of NOW because we're worried the girl isn't on the same page as we are.
Girl On Boy:
It’s bone-chillingly scary to discuss the future in the girl/boy world. You’re having so much fun with another person, why are you going to ruin it by finding out you actually want different things?
Boys dread facing the inevitable reality of settling down while girls keep mum on the subject to not terrify them further.
While conducive to FUN, this can be tricky when, after a year of blissful dating, you find out your partner won't marry outside of his religion, hates children or doesn't believe in monogamy...