Recent Posts

New to strap on sex? Here’s what you need to know.

New to strap on sex? Here’s what you need to know.

LQ’s editor did a guest article for What’s on Queer BC about strap on sex. Here’s an excerpt and link to the full story. A woman friend asked me recently for advice about buying a dildo and harness for strap on sex. Good harnesses and…

Bushy Park – lesbian country band in Vancouver BC

Bushy Park – lesbian country band in Vancouver BC

Bushy Park sings country songs about dykes Country music is a style of music based on stories about regular people’s lives. Lesbians are regular people, but there are very few country songs about us.  The women of Bushy Park take country songs old and new…

5 tips for finding your perfect lesbian partner

5 tips for finding your perfect lesbian partner

This book and it’s big sister “Wired for Love” offer some different strategies to get beyond the traps so many of us fall into in relationships and hopefully find something solid, nourishing and stable.

My friends (and partners) know I am a big fan of the self help book. When I was a very young girl, I asked to read my mother’s copy of Dr Spock so I could determine if I was “normal”. Now, of course, I know the answer to that is ‘no’. But I have continued to turn to books when I confront the big questions like: how the heck do you date when you haven’t been single for years?

The book I turned to was ‘Wired for Dating: How Understanding Neurobiology and Attachment Style Can Help You Find Your Ideal Mate’. My hope was that through the magic of science, I could figure out how to make good choices. How to find and love women who would be steady eddies, loving, stable, loyal, affectionate, and sexy as Xena to boot. 

Here’s what I learned, from this book (and a few others….), adapted here to be of help to single lesbians looking for a long term partner.

Hormones lie. Ask your friends.

We all have blind spots. The outrageously sexy vibe she’s emitting can mask many qualities that make a woman a bad girlfriend for you. Get yourself some seeing eye friends to look your potential future wife over. Bring her to dinner, activities and family functions, and then ask your peeps what they really think of her. Ask them what they think about how she treats you and of her general character. If more than one of them don’t like her, watch out.

If you and your date have been out of the closet a long time, chances are you might even know some of her exes, or friends. Ask around. Find out what her dating history is like. People will be happy to warn you about the ones with a string of unhappy exes who never want to see her again, and also to glow about the nice ones. She may be friends with her exes (a good sign) or have several that will no longer talk to her (a really bad one).

Be a detective of love

Pay attention to the woman you are beginning to get to know. Watch her mannerisms. Does she avoid eye contact or invite it? Does she casually touch people or hold herself separate? What things seem to make her comfortable or uncomfortable? Is she open about herself or more private? Does she dress more casually or formally than average? Is she kind? Does she treat you with respect? Does she seem honest? Be a detective, not through interrogation, but observation.

Pay attention to her attachment style and yours

Adult attachment science says that about half of all adults have learned the emotional skills needed to form and maintain close relationships with others. Psychologists call that quality a secure attachment style. They invite and maintain closeness easily, and don’t get anxious about it. The remaining half are either anxious about connection, or anxious about that connection disappearing  to a degree that it makes connecting difficult. It’s good to know what kind you are, and what kind she is.

In brief here’s what you need to know.

  • Secures are the universal dater. Secures are the type O blood type of dating. Everyone is compatable with them, and they are compatible with everyone.
  • The other types of attachment styles don’t blend well with anyone but secures.
  • Security is contagious – you can become secure by partnering with a secure. Avoidant or anxious women who partner with secure women tend to become more secure over time, earning security for themselves.
  • Secures get rare as we get older, as they are already in long term relationships.
  • Most people are actually a blend of more than one type, and that blend can change over time, based on what kinds of relationships they’ve been in over their lifetime.

Check her relationship history.

So how are you going to find a woman who is up for a secure, happy, long term partnership? The simplest way is to find out if she’s ever had one. A woman who is likely available for a secure long term live in relationship with another woman has probably already been in one.

Ideally, find a woman who has already been in a live-in relationship of over 5 years in length with a woman. Unless she is her 20s or newly out, she’s unlikely to be good at doing something she’s never done. For more info on how to spot how secure or anxious/aloof she is, I recommend the book referenced above.

No U-Hauls.

Attachment dating is a no-uhaul zone. It takes time to figure out whether a new woman is a good fit for you. Your ovaries may be moaning yes, yes, yes! but your brain and your social network should agree. Giving it a year before committing can help you make a choice that comes from your brain as well as your heart and hormones.

Be prepared to be your partner’s team mate

Successful couples, according to Tatkin, are committed to the principles he calls ‘secure functioning’. They are one another’s ‘go to person’. All important information is shared first with your partner, before anyone else including your therapist or family. You have one another’s back in all situations, and learn how to comfort, excite and soothe one another. You are a team with one another, a team that together handles the kids, inlaws and anything difficult. This is the way to become more secure over time, and folks who are insecurely attached usually have at least some resistance to it.

Trust yourself

Good self-help books point you to things that feel right and make sense, but are no substitute for trusting your gut. If you’re happy and feel relaxed and safe with someone, that’s a very good sign. Happy hunting!

 

Travel Trips for Women

Tripasista is a website that promotes women’s destinations and travel. They seem to have a great offering of events if you’re ever looking for a sun holiday or retreat that is by for and about women. I generally want to travel to places that are…

She’s Just Not That Into You –  for Lesbians

She’s Just Not That Into You –  for Lesbians

Based loosely on the wisdom according to Greg of “He’s Just Not That Into You” fame, and updated with almost 30 years of lesbian community experience, here’s my lesbian version.

How to tie and buy a butch bow tie

How to tie and buy a butch bow tie

by Sophia Kelly (c) Lesbian Quarterly

I bought my genderqueer girlfriend a silk bow tie for Christmas. It looks fabulous – green silk with a nice subtle pattern on it and super classy. For extra difficulty I bought it while visiting Calgary, which if you aren’t Canadian, is an urban area in the Canadian equivalent of Texas. Not known for it’s queer community. It’s not that there aren’t lesbians in Alberta, it’s just that most of them leave.

I was probably safe at the store I went to, but didn’t want any hassles and I wanted some actual help selecting, so went gender ambiguous about the partner I was buying the gift for. I used ‘they’ and ‘partner’ throughout, but was completely read as a straight girl buying for her boyfriend. I did come out at the till when paying, because I think people should know. And after all, this is Canada, even if it is Alberta.

The thing is, neither of us know how to tie it. I think it behooves me to add tying a bow tie to my femmly  repertoire and no doubt my gf wants to learn too. I found this fantastic video by DapperQ, a website for the ‘unconventionally masculine’ on how to tie a bow tie for butches.

Here it is in all it’s glory.  It starts off a bit punk rock, but then gets down to the practical in a very straightforward way.

How To Tie a Bowtie from dapperQ on Vimeo.

If you live in your country’s equivalent of Calgary, and would prefer to order your silk bow tie online, what you want to search for is self tie silk bow tie (this link will take you directly to that search). The term ‘self tie’ means it’s isn’t pre-tied with an elastic on it like your kid nephew wears, and silk because that’s the good stuff.

Happy bowtie wearing!

Tantra for Lesbians – Valentine’s day gifts and activities

Tantra for Lesbians – Valentine’s day gifts and activities

By Sophia Kelly (c) Lesbian Quarterly Most resources for learning tantra are extremely hetero-normative.  All the exercises and and practice assume that everyone is in opposite sex, opposite gender pair and that all the women involved are interested in connecting with their ‘inner feminine’.  It…

Up to Date Lesbian Agenda for BC

Up to Date Lesbian Agenda for BC

Long time readers will recall the print and later the web versions of the Lesbian Agenda. This resource took a lot of work to keep comprehensive and up to date and I’m so glad to have found a resource with all the information lesbians need…

What are your favourite women (and lesbian) owned businesses in or near Vancouver?

What are your favourite women (and lesbian) owned businesses in or near Vancouver?

A Statistics Canada study released in March of this year found that women in Canada still earn only 87 cents for every dollar a man earns. The way I see it, women are my team, and that it’s a good thing to support one another. So, like many lesbians, I when given a choice, I choose to buy from women-owned businesses and lesbian-owned businesses.

Sometimes it can be difficult to find suitable women-owned businesses to support and to access reviews of those businesses. I encourage you to add your own favourite local women-owned businesses in the comments. Feel free to include a single link to the business’ web page. You can recommend your own business if you like too, or add your endorsement of one of those listed.

To start off, here are some I know of. All are women and are some flavour of lesbian, bi or queer.

Andrea Smith of Sidesaddle
Andrea Smith of Sidesaddle

Sidesaddle bicycle shop – Andrea Smith co-owns this women-focused bicycle shop in East Vancouver with a male co-owner Lucas Gallagher. When I visited them this summer to buy padded bicycle shorts, there were all women bike mechanics and a very helpful male salesperson (who may have been Gallagher) sporting a “the future is female” t-shirt.

Eve Rickert of Talk Science to Me

Talk Science to Me – is a Science Communications firm owned by Eve Rickert. Rickert and her team helps produce clear written products that translate ‘science’ into language that is understandable by the general public. If you are looking for editing, proofreading, indexing and fact-checking on other types of projects, they do that too.

Sophia Kelly of Tailored Tech
Sophia Kelly of Tailored Tech

Tailored Tech – Sophia Kelly of Tailored Tech has been helping non-profit organizations and entrepreneurial businesses improve their websites, business operations, project management and online marketing since 2000. She helps non-profits do much more with less, and complete their reporting requirements quickly and easily. She helps business-owners intelligently and sustainably build capacity. She has a warm, practical, client-centred and solution-focused manner, and enjoys getting things done. In her spare time she is the musical director of the Vancouver Goddess Choir and publishes Lesbian Quarterly.

 

For more articles about lesbians in business and women owned business, see the following links.

Vancouver – Same-Sex Country Dancing Thursday Nights

Vancouver – Same-Sex Country Dancing Thursday Nights

I’ve been going for several years to Timberline Dance – it’s two step and line dancing attended by mostly gay men, and some lesbian and straight women. Super friendly, like a country dance in a small gay town.