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4 min

Lady-lovin’ on-line

The tampon test & other tips

LOVE ON DEMAND. On-line sex and romance can mean you can have a girl in every data port. Credit: Suzy Malik Illustration

I am a lesbian cyber-babe and proud of it. In person, I won’t go near anyone who hasn’t been properly introduced by a mutual friend. She must then submit to the Lesbian Tea Courting Ceremony, which can last from weeks to years, before we can finally pounce on each other.

But on-line I am the all-knowing “older lesbian,” dispensing wisdom from Mount Venus and getting my ashes hauled by hot young things. Yes, Virginia there is a Santa Claus.

Web sex is the ultimate in safe sex and it’s amazingly easy to get. There are many lonely women out there in cyberspace, especially living in rightwing areas of the US, in the army or abroad, who are desperate for contact with other women. And by contact I don’t mean exchanging recipes.

One of the pitfalls of meeting on-line is that people are not always who they claim to be. There are thousands of men out there pretending to be lesbians. The amazing thing about these guys is that, on-line, they make really great friends and lovers. If they were half as sincere and loving in real life, they’d have real-life women following them around like puppy dogs and wouldn’t have to resort to seducing lesbians under false pretenses.

Often, these fakes show up in lesbian chat rooms. If confronted, some will admit they are guys. Other times they won’t ‘fess up and you need a quick way to sort things out. I spent months coming up with a question that could be used to ferret out the men: “What is the difference between Playtex and Tampax tampons? You have five seconds to answer.”

Most women, even if they don’t know the correct answer immediately, will be able to give a reasonable guess. The hope is that guys will be stunned into silence just long enough to bump them from the room.

(I realize this would be difficult for transgendered women to figure out. To you, I recommend asking one of your XX-chromosome friends in case you are ever asked.)

If you’re really keen on someone get multiple photos and arrange a phone call if things are getting serious, or go for a webcam, voice chat or voice messaging. Some of my on-line friends have been fooled by men posing as women and were horrified when they learned the truth.

There are lots of dating and friendship websites out there (see sidebar) and almost all will want you to start by buildng yourself a personal profile. In addition, lots of sites have blogs (ie on-line journals) that tend to be more useful than stats for getting a sense of what someone’s all about.

You can browse other users’ profiles at random or use predetermined criteria to narrow things down, like choosing to only view profiles for women within 500 miles of you. Or you can get more specific and search based on height, age, smoking and drinking habits, horoscope, etc, depending on the info the site keeps track of.

Most sites allow you to upload multiple photos of yourself. Some allow or even encourage explicit and nude photos; others forbid it (particularly sites based in the US with its uptight porn laws). Make sure you get a decent photo of yourself. First impressions count for a lot, and some people won’t even browse people who don’t havea photo posted.

More and more dating and friendship sites are now supporting voice chat and webcam features for those with the technical capabilities. Cams are great because you know you’re on with some cutie from Patootie and not Grandpa Simpson. Some folks won’t cyber — that is have on-line sex — with you if you don’t have a cam.

You can join all of these sites for free. You can create a profile, upload photos, search other members’ profiles and, sometimes, even chat for free. For safety reasons and to force people to upgrade to paid memberships, most sites won’t allow contact info to be put in profiles.

With many sites, you need to have a paid membership in order to make meangingful contact. Except for a few sites owned by lesbian computer geeks who do it for fun, these are businesses and that’s how these people make a living.

If you don’t have a paid membership, all you can do is send a “wink” or a “smile” to let someone know you’re interested. If they have a full membership, they can write back. If not, all they can do is wink back. Site owners hope that’ll be sufficient motivation to pay the membership fee.

Other sites offer more opportunity for contact between members, including forums, chat rooms and instant messaging (IM) features. For those who find chat rooms awkward, I recommend checking out girls-only trivia rooms, like the ones at Shoe.org or Lesbian-saloon.net. They are free and fully automated, using bots (short for robots) that spew out questions, hints and answers.

What’s cool about the trivia rooms, besides the chance for some of us to show off our typing ability and addictions to People magazine or Sports Illustrated, is that the pretext of the game makes it easier to just be yourself instead of trying to impress for the purposes of picking up.

Usually the atmosphere in the trivia rooms is much more charged and exciting than in other chat rooms. Smart is sexy here and our inner cheerleaders come out to play.

My expert advice is to try out a few of the sites for free to get a feel for what kind of women are attracted to each site. If you see someone you’d like to make contact with, spring for a paid membership, even if just for a week or month. You can make a lot of contacts in a short period of time. Or stick with the completely free sites like Shoe.org or Lesbian-saloon.net.

Don’t get discouraged if you don’t hook up right away. Not all lesbians in cyberspace are nymphomaniacs, just some of us. Have fun.