BY EMELINA MINERO
You may not know this yet: Dating isn’t “As Seen On TV.” It’s not as easy or glamorous — and hopefully not as dysfunctional — as portrayed on “The L Word.”
Most queer women have gone to the internet for dating. It eliminates our most asked questions. Where do you find queer women? How do you know if she’s into women that way? Is she flirting with you or is she just being friendly? Outside of the queer club scene, where can you find your book reading or LARP-lovin’ counterpart?
I googled “top lesbian dating sites” and unfortunately most of what came up were sites originally created for straight people, like Match.com and OkCupid.
There are also queer dating sites like OneGoodLove, which targets the entire queer spectrum. But what if you just want to connect with queer women?
For that, there’s Dattch. It’s an online dating app and community for queer women that I’m now using over OkCupid. Currently, it’s available for iPhone and Andriod in the United Kingdom, San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles and Portland.
What makes Dattch different from dating sites like OkCupid? One, it’s exclusively for women interested in women. You don’t have to deal with guys sending you private messages with pictures of their dicks (It happens).
Two, Dattch is like Instagram, but for dating.
Three, Dattch was created by a lesbian, someone who knows our needs and desires better than a straight person.
Last but not least, Dattch also has a blog that dishes out interesting stories and great dating advice.
Dattch stands out starkly in contrast to other dating apps in that it is mainly photo based. Like Instagram, you can upload photos with blurbs of text, but unlike Instagram, you can also add text to your profile. Your and every woman’s profile is a collage, and aside from photos, you’ll also find checklists and written blurbs prompted by Dattch, like, “I couldn’t live without (blank)” or “What I do during the weekends is (blank)” and “My last vacation was (blank).”
There is less pressure in creating your profile compared to OkCupid because you’re not expected to write out your life story. And the Instagram layout makes interacting with other women more relaxed. Dattch is less pressure, fun and easy.
Just like other dating sites, you can scroll through people’s profiles, send messages, like people’s photos, star people you’re interested in, create a wish list of your favorites, filter your search results and see who has checked out your profile.
Another cool aspect similar to OkCupid is “Would you rather?” Instead of scrolling through profile pictures to see who you want to check out more in-depth, you’re shown two women and you can choose which woman you’d rather go on a date with.
Unlike other dating apps, all of this is free. Also, unlike other dating apps, Dattch’s usability is extremely easy. You don’t have to click on a thousand and one buttons to navigate to your profile, and it’s incredibly simple to find and view other women’s profiles, then organize the women you like onto your wish list so you can connect with them later.
Also, Dattch has a blog. Outside of hosting a lot of giveaways on their blog, which is great, they also have blog posts that will help you be a more successful Dattch dater, like “Dattch’s Top 3 Tips For Online Dating” and “Two Speeches About Confidence You Should Read Today.” Their blog also hosts columns revolving around sex, dating and identity, which reveal the diversity of the human experience, as well as the dating experiences within the Dattch community.
“I Never …” is a column that explores the Dattch communities sexual firsts. It’s a Q&A format that’s split into two sections. In the first section the interviewee talks about what they have never done. For example, “I Never: Used Handcuffs,” or “I Never: Used Lube” and the second part of the Q&A is conducted after they’ve tried it.
Another great column is “I’ve Been Out For X Years And I’ve Learned …” that “sexuality is fluid,” “how important patience is to me” and “honesty is the best policy.” Dattch users submit their coming out experiences and what they have learned after being out for two years to 29 years.
“Learning Lesbian” is another column where Dattch explains terminology and sexual experiences relating to sexuality, like androgyny, asexuality and anal sex.
What’s great about the Dattch blog is that it helps foster a community among the Dattch daters. Other Dattch members aren’t just your potential dates or a piece of ass, like on other dating sites. Dattch’s blog humanizes them and turns their shared experiences into your mentorship. The Dattch blog taps into the wealth of the Dattch community to act as a resource for you.
Dattch is a supportive community, and an easy, low-pressure way to connect with women. Since it’s free, it will cost you nothing to try it. So why not try it?