Must Be

Dear Dr. Darcy:

I’m new to the world of Lesbos, as you’ve called it. Until recently, I only dated men. And now, after visiting a few lesbian parties in NYC, I’m feeling a little hopeless.

I’ve always had super high standards for men: Must be, at a minimum, college educated (preferably beyond), must be handsome, must be well dressed but in a classy way, must be financially stable and career minded, must be close to their family, and must be sophisticated. None of this seems outrageous to me. But apparently, it’s not easy to find in a lesbian.

I’m having a hard enough time just finding gay women who I’m physically attracted to. I’m looking for a traditionally feminine woman (if I wanted a man, I’d date one). Why is this so difficult to find? Must I drop my standards? Isn’t that offensive to lesbians? How is it possible that I can find what I’m looking for in men, but not in women?


Are you sure you’re gay? Maybe you’re just a privileged girl who needs to shake things up sexually. Perhaps you should consider inviting a third person into the bedroom. Or a fourth.

I’m just giving you a hard time. Seriously, I think you’re so scared to death of being gay that you’ve upped your standards to such a height that no one will meet them. You’re hyper-focus on the disqualifiers is keeping you from contemplating your own misgivings about being a lesbian. And before you launch into a defense about not being a homophobe, let me confirm that everyone has some level of internalized homophobia when they first come out. And even though your ‘standards’ indicate that you think you’re better than most of us, you’re not and you’ve not been spared this societal reality.

You don’t need to drop your standards so much as let go of your limitations. We don’t need to date carbon copies of ourselves (this presupposes that you’d meet your own standards which is a leap of faith on my part). You presume that dating someone whose childhood does not mirror yours would result in an incompatibility, and I’m telling you that’s an irrational belief.  Take a chance. Date a black woman, or an Asian woman, or a Jew or a Christian, or a Muslim. Shake things up. Get uncomfortable. You just might grow.

Writer’s stats: Female, lesbian.