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Long Walks & Candlelight Dinners

The trouble with lesbian personal ads

Copyright 1996 by Lynna Landstreet. This column originally appeared in Xtra magazine. Published by Pink Triangle Press, 491 Church Street, 2nd Floor, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M4Y 2C6.

Why no 'female friends' advertisements in Xtra's personals section?" asks reader M Keith in Xtra 296. "Almost nobody seems to print actual ads from women seeking women." Magazines like Now are inundated with ads from straight couples seeking lesbian playmates, she notes, or men wanting to watch, but there are damn few ads from dykes in either the straight or gay press.

The simple answer is that nobody can print ads that they don't get. I very much doubt that either Xtra or Now is receiving tons of enticing ads from lesbians and tossing them into the paper shredder. For whatever reason, dykes just don't seem to be very much into the classifieds scene.

One possible reason for this might be the general perception that excruciatingly long-term, monogamous relationships are the norm in the lesbian population. If everyone is happily married with 2.5 cats and a queen size futon, who's left to put ads in? Now, of course in reality there are single dykes, but most of these tend to feel that everyone except them is happily married with 2.5 cats and a queen size futon, so what's the point of putting in an ad?

This sort of defeatism must stop. Now. There is no earthly reason why queer girls should not have equal opportunity to run through column after column of kindred spirits looking for true love, wanton casual sex, or something in between.

But unfortunately, not only are girl-girl ads hard to come by, but those you do find are usually -- well, let's just say that not only are you not likely to get wet reading them, you're not even likely to be able to keep your eyes open. Let's take a look at this week's offerings:

The one and only Friends Female ad in Xtra 296 offers nothing more exotic than the inevitable long walks and candlelight dinners. The two in XTC, both under the 2.5 Cats -- sorry, Long Term Relationships -- heading, of course, aren't much better. The first one starts out promising, with reference to lipstick lesbians, but quickly devolves into the equally inevitable pool, movies, dancing, and... ABBA. ABBA?! Add quiet times, subtract lipstick and ABBA, and you've got ad number two.

So much for Xtra. Eye doesn't have any girl-girl ads at all, unless you count Bi-Beauties Live! or Pebbles & Bam Bam, Two Hot Caribbean Beauties. The most interesting thing their minimal Personals column has to offer is the chance to "Enlarge Your Penis 1-3". I don't care if it is "safe, non-surgical and inexpensive"; it's not exactly what I'm after.

Now has a lot more, but quantity doesn't necessarily translate to quality. A full 14 are either married or "bi-curious", words likely to send most dykes screaming in terror. Most of the rest blend into an endless stream of sincere, caring, honest, movies, dancing, sincere, honest, professional, candlelight dinners, quiet times, dancing, sincere, honest, vegan, professional, monogamous, sincere, honest, professional, romantic, vegan, movies, dancing, sincere, honest, positive, yoga, longterm, mature, professional, monogamous... you get the idea. And we're not even going to mention the organic lesbian brunch club, now are we?

Oh, sure, there are a few points of interest. 19 yr old dyke sks queer Tank Girl. Burning desire 4 release w/ silicone & other toys. Gay & over it. But they get lost so easily in that sea of honest, sincere, professional, granola-munching, herbal-tea-swilling mediocrity.

Just what is it with us? Gay men's ads certainly suffer from no such constraints. Just look: Hot, horny Italian. Submissive, obedient, boot-licking, body-worshipping boy. Nobody blows you better. I am your god and master. Do you have a hot, hungry butt?

Now, mind you, that kind of thing could probably get to be boring after a while, too. But wouldn't it be neat if, just for a week, all the ads could change gender? Just imagine the delighted faces of all those dykes opening up their copies of Xtra to see pages and pages of female ads of every conceivable variety: Muscular Nordic mistress! Submissive, obedient, stiletto-licking girl! Hairy she-bear! Do you have a hot, hungry pussy? Hardcore muffdiver seeks well-endowed ladies! Eight inches of hot clit -- no, cunt -- no, labia -- well, OK, a few things may get lost in the translation. But still, the change would be marvellously refreshing.

And the boys? Well, I suppose they'd just have to be content with a sprinkling of sincere, honest, professional vegans with 2.5 cats seeking same to share movies, dancing, queen-sized futon... Who knows? Some of them might even like it that way. There's no accounting for tastes.

But barring an invasion of gender-bending printer's demons, Toronto's dyke community may just have to get it together to start putting in some interesting ads of our own. Come on, girls -- a little imagination can go a long way.

But I suspect anatomical measurements are best left to the boys.

Postscript: I had thought that some aspects of this column might be controversial, but I was floored to discover just which part got the most extreme reaction. Check out the following column for details...


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