Dear Alice,

I'm a young lesbian and I masturbate a lot because of the lack of dating and sex. I live in a very small town. What and where can I meet other lesbian girls? Should I stop masturbating?


Dear lonely,

Many gay and straight people with partners masturbate a lot, too. Masturbation is one of many normal and healthy ways to express yourself sexually. If it feels good and is not interfering with other areas of your life, why stop?

As for meeting other lesbians, keep your eyes and ears open because the small size of your town doesn't mean that there aren't other gay girls — young and old — right in your own backyard. At the same time, you can consider towns in your vicinity; do you live near a larger town or city that has a bigger sea of people to fish in? Also, will you be going away to college or moving to find a new job? If so, you could consider a bigger city where gay and lesbian groups are more common.

Here's a list of some other resource options that may be useful to you in your search for companionship:

You may also find that pursuing your interests will lead you to new friends and potential partners. What activities to you enjoy? If you are in school, are there sports teams or clubs you are a part of or can join? Many high schools and universities have gay-straight alliances; check out GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network) for more information about resources for students. A trusted family, friend, or community member may also turn into a useful confidant and source of support during lonely times. And while there are certain safety issues to consider when meeting people online (read Looking for love online), if you are interested in dating, you may be able to meet local women through an online personals site.

Even in a small town there are many avenues for meeting new people. The next step is working up the nerve to approach someone, start a friendship, or ask someone on a date. You may find the related Q&A helpful for tips on garnering courage to expand your social circle. Best of luck to you,


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