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Lonely lesbian wants to be less lonely

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?

— lonely

Dear lonely,

When it comes to living in a small town, sometimes it can feel like you already know everybody! However, even in small towns, many folx come and go, giving you opportunities to potentially meet a new partner. In fact, there may be some other lesbians in your town — it may just take a little bit of searching. In terms of masturbation, many people with partners (regardless of sexual identity) masturbate a lot, too. It's one of many normal and healthy ways to express yourself sexually! So, if it feels good and isn't interfering with other areas of your life, why stop? If you're still curious about the topic, feel free to check out the Go Ask Alice! Q&As on masturbation to learn more about the subject and how it may fit into your life.

As for meeting other lesbians, it may take a bit of time to know where to look. Does your community have any events that you could attend where you may meet new people? Are there any new businesses you could frequent to potentially meet new people? Even pushing yourself out of your normal habits within your small town may bring you into contact with new people that you don't typically encounter in your daily routines. At the same time, you can also consider other towns that are in your vicinity; do you live near a larger town or city that has "a bigger sea to fish in?" If so, hanging out and trying to meet someone there might be an option. Also, will you be going away to college or moving to find a new job? If you are, then you could consider a bigger city where gay and lesbian groups are more common.

Pursuing your interests could also lead you to new friends and potential partners. What activities do you enjoy? If you're in school, are there sports teams or clubs you are a part of or can join? Many high schools and universities have Gender and Sexuality Alliances (GSAs); check out GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network) for more information about resources for students. Additionally, a trusted family, friend, or community member may also turn into a useful confidant and source of support during lonely times.

You could also consider utilizing dating apps and online sites to meet women locally. Some of these sites or apps, such as Lesbian Personals, Her, and Taimi, are designed specifically for meeting other single lesbians. Other sites or apps, such as Tinder, eHarmony, and Bumble, aren't designed specifically for LGBTQ+ individuals but do offer filters that allow you to see, and be seen by, other single lesbians. You can also set filters for proximity, so you may be able to see how many other people in your area are seeking out a similar type of partnership. Additionally, you can also check out sites, such as Meetup, that hosts a number of events, both online and in-person, which can help facilitate connections with people in your community, around the country, and even the globe. However, whenever meeting people online, it's important to consider certain safety issues, as people do sometimes lie or withold things about themselves on the Internet. For more information on that, you can check out the Go Ask Alice! Q&A on looking for love online.

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&As helpful for tips on garnering courage to expand your social circle.

Best of luck to you,

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Last updated Jul 12, 2022
Originally published Dec 19, 1997

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