Once upon a time, I reviewed dating apps and AfterEllen readers moderately enjoyed that. Then I reviewed more dating apps because that’s how I roll, guinea pig like. Lo and behold, one year later, and it’s time for me to review two more leaps in cyberdating: One an app, one a website, and both designed with the LGBTQ community in mind.
Hurrah! Both Wing Ma’am and Mesh are made for and by queer women, so I have high expectations that at least one might be the next great contribution to my commitment issues. Let’s see how they fared.
My first impression of Wing Ma’am was, “Oooh nice font,” because I just adore a modern, clean text. It’s the simple pleasures of working on the internet that keep you from gouging your eyes out in a fit of pique. Mad approval on format and layout: crisp light blue and subdued greys, minimal squares separating content, and clear views of women. New apps, particularly those targeting women, tend to go overboard with GIRL COLORS and BRIGHT FUN GRAPHICS. Or, like poor beleaguered Brenda, let their looks go before ever really trying.
Features include profiles, agenda, messaging, searching, and the innovative touch of “events.” I love the idea of impromptu lesbian invasions of LGBTQ and not special events alike. You can narrow down possible matches by age, location, sexual orientation, looking for, and how they identify. Under the “My Agenda” tab, you can easily create events for others to see and attend. I briefly contemplate creating “a party” in “my pants” but decide it probably breaks a lot of rules and may repulse others.
The only event listed in O.C. Pride in August, and there are only a couple RSVPs, so while the agenda/events function has great potential, it is not being heavily used. The safety section explicitly bans cis males, which I adore for obvious reasons, and outlines how to flag and remove any suspected bro-posters.
I’m pleasantly surprise to find a sizable stream of reasonably attractive women on my dash. And unlike other lesbian dating apps that raised, then crushed, my hopes by showing hot girls living 3000 miles away, this lot is local. Huzzah!
Wing Ma’am has a decent but not massive user base, effective searching mechanism, useful filters, and a few unique assets that make it a lesbian dating app filled with potential. This app is attractive and home to some genuine hotties. And it’s free! So let’s all make profile and get that much closer to a party in our pants.
A classic but striking and still modern color scheme of red, black, and white paired with clean interface and wonderfully customizable options make Mesh a seriously well designed app. You can search and filter matches by a wide array of criteria, similar to those of OkCupid, including religion/height/orientation/identity/relationship status. Perfect for the selectively slutty homosexual on the go. Although Mesh filters messages from straight dudes, I do wish they’d offer OkCupid’s “I don’t want to see or be seen by straight people” because a. I want that option switched on at all times and b. imagining bros fapping to my pic is revolting.
Cofounder Yeni, a fellow queer girl, describes Mesh as, “the first mainstream dating site to allow queer, transgender and non-binary as options.” Wing Ma’am does also allow users to choose those options, but as a women-only app I suppose that exempts it from being “mainstream.” Either way I’m stoked to see BOTH the apps I’m reviewing are unusually (but wonderfully) open and user-friendly for all LGBTQ women.
Although Mesh allows boys and not just bois (ha), gay girls sick of cloying and unwanted dude messages on other sites (OkCupid) will be happy to know that Mesh will filter out messages from dudes if you select only interested in women. In fact, Mesh’s intense filter system is quite possibly the fledgling app’s biggest asset. You can filter out messages with “vulgarity, text-speak, poor grammar and spelling, or even copy and pastes!” Although I fear this might limit the sexy imbeciles I occasionally allow to have their way with me. But those can always be found at The Abbey.
Filtered messages go straight to your mismatch folder, where people you don’t wanna bang languish in virtual limbo until you (let’s be real) get drunk and desperate enough to check. Like OkCupid, Mesh users can answer questions to help find like minded users. While OkCupid has you rate the importance of those questions (I will never care if a girl knows the next number in that series k thx bye), Mesh ups the ante with an aptly named “Dealbreakers” function. Dealbreakers lets you define five questions as such and anyone who answers wrong goes in the menacing Mismatch folder. My Dealbreakers might be sobriety (snooze) and stupidity (double snooze). Mesh users can rate other questions by importance a la OKC because Mesh is nothing if not an overachiever. What would your Dealbreakers be?
Ah de baes. Mesh is just now moving out of Beta/NYC and across America. WATCH OUT! Sadly this means I have all of one match in LA. When I say Mesh is just moving out of NYC, I mean that they’re going nationwide just in the last couple weeks. However, legit lady sites like Jezebel and Glamour and the slightly less girly NYT are already touting Mesh as the best thing to happen in creep-blocking since the block button, so I suggest you be a bae pioneer, create a Mesh account, and lay in wait for the other baes. Bae watch, if you will.
Mesh looks fantastic, works beautifully, and comes equipped with serious innovation in gay dating. I’m really excited about this app and want everyone to sign up and start meshing with me. In the biblical sense.
When I began reviewing Mesh and Wing Ma’am, I expected one to come out the clear winner. I did not expect to discover the best lesbian dating app and best dating site available. Yet that is exactly what I found, because both Wing Ma’am and Mesh kick that ass OUT of the park. Seriously, I adore them and have no complaints, which is very rare so you should take these instructions to heart: Download the Wing Ma’am app to find your next date. Sign up for Mesh and lay in wait. And then tell me all about it.