The Queer Kentucky world of dating apps: Womxn’s edition

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Carrie Radshaw – a Kentucky lesbian on a journey through dating in the Bluegrass. Less Manolo Blahnik, more Birkenstock.

Dating as a queer lady can be really difficult. Without a womxn-focused place left in Louisville, apps have become the means of connection.

So, let’s rank the apps how queer womxn meet.

Lex

The Lex app was launched in November as a continuation of the former Personals Instagram account. They describe themselves as “a lo-fi, text-based dating and social app for lesbians, bisexuals, asexuals, and queer people,” which translates to a totally picture-free, word-centric connector. And the “ads” are amazing. With headlines like: “Real Hot Butch Shit,” “ISO Help W Easy Veg Meals,” and “Let Me Paint You,” the 2-3 sentence personals range from sexy to fun, proving the age old truth that queer people are the wittiest writers.

Lex is very new, so I am giving it the benefit of the doubt for how dead it currently is. I set my location range to 150 miles—which encompasses both Cincinnati and Indianapolis—and even still there are only 3-5 new posts a day within a 2.5 hour driving circumference. That being said, 90% of the conversations I have started have lasted more than just the initial introduction. The people on Lex are serious about wanting to chat, and that is the best feature.

Negatives: Not yet popular (Please join and make it a success!), sometimes glitchy messaging, writing a 3 sentence description of yourself can be really difficult.

Positives: Genuine and engaging conversations, the pleasure of seeing how people describe themselves concisely, a truly queer-centric app based in community history.

Score: 4/5

Tinder

Tinder, oh Tinder. It has become the most used dating app, for better or worse. Tinder is great, until it isn’t. Tinder is great until the 1am swipe sessions that leave you with matches the next morning you don’t quite want—but maybe, just maybe, this will be the one. The one doesn’t usually end up being the one, because people on Tinder ghost faster than Casper when he saw Christina Ricci for the first time.

I don’t want to discount the amazing relationships made via Tinder, because they happen! Hell, I’ve been on some amazing dates from the app. Because it is so popular, it just gets the most attention, and that can be both good and bad for queer womxn. Attention can mean harassment, offers of threesomes, and amazing dates all in the same night. Tinder is a fickle beast—the most matches with the fewest real conversations.

Positives:
The most popular dating app, easy to use, a staple of dating.

Negatives:
Lots of non-responsive matches, can “swipe out of options” which makes you feel like the loneliest gal in all of Kentucky, straight people looking for threesomes.

Score: 3/5

HER


HER has been around for a few years now, and it seems to be the second most popular dating app in Kentucky. HER is “here to connect womxn and queer people,” and is “for queer womxn, by queer womxn,” so it is thankfully made with us in mind.

Her’s biggest advantage is the “Like” feature that allows users to see when someone has liked them and not rely on blind matching to connect. I’ve made a lot of connections that otherwise might not have happened because I got the notification that someone had swiped yes on me. The only downside to that feature is its use in the “unicorn hunter” community of straight couples seeking a third partner. They are sneaky and all too common, and HER seems to be on par with Tinder for their frequency.

Positives: Made by queers for queers, the “Like” feature.

Negatives: Sometimes glitchy app, amount of surprise straight couples, lack of follow up from matches.

Score: 3/5

Bumble

I can’t say I am a regular user of Bumble. It always just seemed like such a straight app, designed for women to make the first move on men. At least, that’s how I was introduced to it by my very straight lady friends. Those straight gals LOVE Bumble. Props to them.

As for queer people, I know a handful who use it regularly, and they seem to actually enjoy it. Bumble was described to me once as the middle ground between Tinder and eHarmony—the “I want a partner, not a hookup” of apps. I appreciate their inclusion and the availability of Bumble BFF because we all need a place to make new friends in this digital world.

I can’t say I see myself using Bumble regularly, but I appreciate what it offers to those that enjoy it.

Positive: Lady power and the ability to select the people you want to talk to.

Negative: Not as popular for the queer Kentucky community.

Score: 2/5

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