The Hook Up: A Relationships Column


What’s with the death of the lesbian hook up? I live in Sweden and here you simply cannot go out on a Saturday and pick a stranger up. The culture is very clique-y and if you don’t know someone they will consider you weird if you hit on them without “proper introduction” so to speak. In short, people don’t have sex anymore. Is this a Scandinavian thing (pretty uptight lesbians here!) or is the hook up dead? I’ve noticed a distinct change in climate during the last few years. I’ve read lesbian blogs and articles claiming the same from different parts of the world. What’s your take? — Salicia

Anna says: I feel your pain, Salicia. Sadly, what with the whole legalizing gay marriage, repealing DADT, ending employee discrimination, passing hate crime legislation and watching Rachel Maddow five days a week, we somehow ran out of time to fight for the right to hook up. Even Shane became a one-woman gal at the end of The L Word. Where are our priorities?

I’m only partially joking. Though I do wish we could be more like gay men sometimes — make a quick trip to IKEA for lampshades and end up with a hot Swedish meatball instead. In fact, in all of my lady lovin’ years, I’ve had exactly one one-night-stand. And even then, she tried to get me to come to her birthday party the next weekend.

One of the reasons queer women have fewer no-strings-attached hook ups is because we love strings, obvs. Our casual sex often involves someone who is an ex, a friend, a friend’s ex, an ex’s friend, the barista at our favorite Starbucks, etc — basically someone we will eventually run into again. This tends to make hook ups complicated, guilt-ridden or just plain awkward.

Also, women are socialized not to aggressively pursue people we want to sleep with. We’re subtle. We flirt and listen and engage, but such strategies rarely turn into a steamy trip to the coat closet. It doesn’t help that lesbian bars police the hell out of their bathrooms. I got kicked out of a bar once because a friend was in the stall with me, helping me put a band-aid on a hard to reach place and the lezstapo just assumed we were being inappropriate and booted us. It didn’t help that I wasn’t wearing pants at the time. (Kidding!)

I don’t know how the online dating scene is in Scandinavia, but in the U.S. it’s becoming more and more common practice to meet potential hook ups that way. Of course, we’re a tad behind the curve on that one. There aren’t a lot of sites that focus purely on hook ups for queer women. is one. Though they asked for my cup size upon signing up, and then never sent me my login info, so who knows if it’s legit. Maybe they knew I was a spy. (Call me, SassyPants03121908!) Many dating sites give you the option of choosing “casual encounters” versus “seeking someone to share pets and argue with in Trader Joes.” Going online takes care of the cliquey-ness you’re feeling in bars, though it does tend to be much more time-consuming.

As much as I’d like to see queer girls the world over wearing buttons that say, “Let’s have sex and never see each other again,” I don’t think that will be happening any time soon. While I wouldn’t go so far as to say hook up culture is dead, I would say that it may have gotten lazy and decided to just watch Buffy instead.

Readers, what say you? Is queer girl hook up culture going the way of the dodo bird? Where have you had luck meeting potential flings?

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