Lesbian Online Dating & Female Passivity

Single-Swiping-Lesbians & The Subconscious Effects of Female Passivity

We’re all too familiar with the gay male dating app stereotypes.

Whether you are a single gay male yourself or have friends who use such apps, the typical sequence of events that follow a Grindr conversation is somewhat common knowledge.
A quick exchange of brief salutations instantaneously followed by promiscuous and lewd comments or photos. The unsolicited dick pics on these apps tend to be overwhelming and incessant.

Of course, this is not to say that all gay males on Grindr act this way, however, for the most part, this behavior is quite commonplace.


With women seeking other women, it’s a completely different story.

Have you ever wondered what it’s like for lesbians using dating apps? What is the usual sequence of events that follows a Tinder match? Who asks whom out first? Is the exchange of twat shots as common as the exchange of dick pics?
These are questions that often remain unanswered. Unless you yourself are a single-swiping-lesbian or have such friends, for the most part, most people are completely unaware of how these events generally unfold.

Undoubtedly, each individual experience differs from one person to another, and I am not claiming to generalize for the entirety of the lesbian community. However, by means of this article, I would like to put forth some common scenarios that I’m positive many lesbians can relate to. I’d like to also share the habitual and repetitive patterns that I have personally experienced on my own journey through the wonderful world of Tinder!

Being a 28-year-old single lesbian in Montreal with not too much time to spare, juggling school, work, and a social life can be quite exhausting. Not really having the time (nor the desire) for a serious and amorous relationship at the moment, Tinder has allowed me to go on several dates and share some good times with like-minded strangers. However, getting up to this point has not always been so easy.


There is an abundance of “looking for another girl to share my boyfriend with” profiles

The first thing that most, if not all, lesbians can relate to is the seemingly ubiquitous “looking for another girl to share my boyfriend with” profiles. These profiles are far too prevalent.

Let’s be perfectly honest here. I am certain that I am not alone in admitting that I don’t ALWAYS read the girl’s entire profile, nor rummage through the sum of her pictures before swiping right. Call me vain if you will, but I’m sure we’ve all been guilty of this at one point or another. You find someone attractive and you swipe right in the hopes that they’ve liked you back.
Next thing you know, Eureka! They’ve liked you back! You then proceed to open their profile and the first thing you notice is their suspicious three-way intentions. No thank you, I’ll pass. Unmatch.

Side-note: Tinder should really include “threesomes” in their “reason for unmatching” section. I mean, it happens far too often for this not to be one of the first options!

Anyway, moving along. After having navigated my way through the “looking for another girl to share my boyfriend with” profiles, I stumble upon an actual and genuine match. Great! Or is it? I then send a simple message possibly including something interesting that I’ve noticed on her profile. Most of these messages, of course, remain unanswered. (Why swipe right if you have no intention of messaging me back anyway?!)

Venting aside, the instances where I do in fact get responses back generally tend to unfold in one of two ways. The girls either respond with painfully dull, unprogressive comments that leave no room for growth, or they write an intriguing paragraph that shows explicit interest. When the latter situation occurs, it always leaves a big smile on my face. This hottie is showing interest in me, she liked my profile and we are chatting! Maybe we’ll take it to the next step and go on a date. Exciting! Right? Well, what usually follows this initial spark isn’t that exciting. Rather, it is often anticlimactic and tends to fizzle out quite quickly.


Can someone ask the other out already?!?

She proceeds to write me a long paragraph, then I do the same, then her, then me, then her…. you get the picture. Paragraph after paragraph, day after day, novel after novel, this girl and I have already spoken about pretty much our entire life history and yet no one is asking the other one out! WHY?! Why would you invest so much of your precious time and dedicate so much mental energy into these lengthy and detailed messages only for the conversation to eventually fizzle out without even getting a date out of it?!


My intention is not to spew forth this information while pretending that I am not equally to blame. I fully realize that the onus is on my shoulders just as much as it is on hers. I realize that I am quite capable of asking her out rather than waiting for her to ask me out. But, I often do not. Why?

Well, there are several reasons that come to mind: anxiety, fear of rejection, self-confidence issues, worrying that she will think I am being too forward…in sum, overthinking. These issues are quite common and are universally experienced by most of the population. It is very likely that the girl on the other side of the screen is probably suffering from these very same issues while patiently waiting, in the hopes that I will make the first move.


The subconscious effects of female passivity

Yet this anticlimactic exchange of messages happens far too often and has left me wondering, “why?”.  It can’t just be overthinking. One theory that I have pondered upon over the years is due to subconscious female passivity.

Whether we like to admit it or not, female passivity is, unfortunately, a very real thing. It has been the traditional system of values in most cultures throughout the ages. All the way from the classic, medieval Damsel in Distress trope to the more recent tradition of leaving behind your maiden name in exchange for your husband’s name, the sense of female passivity is and has always been omnipresent. Particularly in regards to romantic and sexual encounters. The traditional standard for such events has always been seen through the archetypal male / female dynamic.

Homosexuality has always existed, yet homosexual acceptance is a fairly recent concept that has been gradually progressing in North America since the 1970’s. If the fundamental basis for romance is modeled off a male / female structure, then it is generally accepted that the male is the one to assert himself in asking out the female.


93 % of hetero women admit to wanting to be asked out first

With such a rapid advancement in gender equality throughout the recent years, one would think that these archaic norms of males asking out females are outdated and passé, right? Well, not exactly. According to a fairly recent study done in 2011 by Mills, Janiszewska and Zabala, a whopping 93% of women admitted to wanting to be asked out first rather than do the asking themselves.

And the expectations sure aren’t far from reality

Essentially, women in heteroromantic scenarios do not have to worry about asking out their potential partner. They ACTIVELY assume the passive role and patiently wait to be asked.

This sense of passivity is especially accentuated through the several forms of media that we are exposed to 24/7. With a population comprising of technologically advanced and savvy millennials, we are constantly surrounded by different forms of media on the daily. Simply switch open Netflix and turn on your favorite TV show or movie. There is undoubtedly a plethora of heteronormative gender roles to choose from.
From commercials to literature to film to countless other forms of media, romantic standards of gender norms are and have always been embedded into our core. But it is time we break free from these subconscious constrictions.

What happens when you remove the male from the equation and instead substitute him for another female? Well, essentially, a sense of uncertainty. A sense of stagnant and unprogressive behavior. Whether we like to admit it or not, female passivity has taken a subconscious toll on us all. I believe that these gender norms highly influence us all on a daily basis and, in particular, women seeking women in the dating world.

The only way to combat this embedded sense of passivity is to actively take control and assume your assertiveness. And if two women on Tinder have matched and are undergoing intense conversation, it is very like that they both have similar intentions.


Assume your assertiveness, ladies!

Throughout the years I have suffered from this anticlimactic sense of stagnation in the dating world and it has only been somewhat recently that I’ve decided to make the switch. And you know what? It works!

As we age we progressively grow and learn. Personal knowledge, experience, and growth are ever continuous. And I’ve come to realize that it is only once we assume our assertiveness and take action that things start to happen. I started slow. I’ve undergone personal experiments such as asking the girl out in the first few hours, then in the first hour, all the way down to the first five minutes. Of course, there has to be somewhat of a connection first. If I sense this connection, I will ask her out.

Not to my surprise, I have only experienced positive feedback from this new way of being. I have never once been denied a positive affirmation to the question, “can I take you out for a drink sometime?” And rightfully so! If both parties intentions are similar, why would one deny you this offer? This is not to say that all my tinder dates have been great…that perhaps can be explored in another article!

All this to say that the gay, single woman using dating apps stereotype needs to change. Take charge of your life, ladies! And don’t let these subconscious feelings of passivity and insecurities hold you back. You might be missing out on some great experiences.

So get swiping and ask that cutie out!