I have dated pretty much every girl interested in girls spanning from one lesbian mecca, Los Angeles, to the other lesbian mecca, New York. I’ve gone out with every stereotype: the hipster girl, the art girl, the nature girl. From all of these (some good, but mostly bad) dates, I have learned ways to navigate around the scene in arguably the two biggest communities in the country.
That brings me to you.
Let’s say you’re a young lesbian from a Midwestern or Southern town (’cause I know at one point I was) and you’ve decided to make the move to one of these beckoning places. There is one very important thing you must know about lesbians and dating in these two cities: they are vastly different beasts.
That’s where this helpful guide comes in.
1. Lesbian bars
It’s your first night in New York City and you do what every new lesbian New Yorker does: find the best gay bar with the hottest girls. If you’re a normal newbie, you’ve done your research and have bookmarked places like “Stonewall” and “Cubby Hole.” You venture into Cubby and realize something about the girls that hang out there: they are and always will be just way cooler than you are. And they always wear black. No, like always. ALWAYS. When this bubbly, blonde lesbian with some serious sass arrived at Cubby Hole, I found it to be my favorite lesbian bar in the country. Small and tucked away — it screams trendy. I’m also super partial `cause I think I got hit on around twenty times. I wasn’t wearing the all-black uniform, so I stuck out like a Cali girl — and everyone loves a newbie.
In LA, the hottest girls in the city aren’t all conveniently located at one bar: they could be anywhere from working in production, to acting in front of the camera, or even on a giant billboard on Hollywood Blvd. There are a few secret spots, though, if you’re in the know. There is your typical Wednesday at the infamous Abbey, but watch out — it seems that it’s a “makeout and then never call you again” spot. Then there is always the predominantly gay male bar, Akbar, known for its ladies’ nights. But I think the number one hidden lesbian spot is Jumbo’s Clown Room. Yes, that’s the real name. I can’t tell you much because it’s LA’s best kept secret, but I can say I once saw a very skilled girl flip upside down and walk around the stripper pole on the ceiling. It’s definitely worth checking out.
In New York, if a girl flirts with you she probably actually wants to date you. I had the privilege of dating a NYC girl and she literally just came up to me and said, “Hey, I think you’re really hot, can I buy you a drink?” Of course I said yes. I’m a sucker for that NYC confidence. It’s hot.
When you flirt in Los Angeles, it can be confusing (maybe this is because I literally flirt with anyone and everyone, even the old lady that used to make my subs at Subway). Everyone is looking to network in LA — and that can come off as flirting. Plus, word gets around really fast that she’s so-and-so’s ex, or this other girl used to hook up with her.
In NYC I’ve said as much as “Hey” and then the next thing you know, you’re en route to the trendiest Brooklyn coffee shop to meet up with her. When I swipe right in LA, it usually takes a good five messages to get a girl to meet up with me.
4. Date spots
In New York, a date consists of a low lit sort of scummy hot dog joint with the best damn hot dogs you’ve ever had — no, really. Or, she’ll take you to a winery in Brooklyn that sits on the water. She’ll make you laugh for hours while she pours you the most delicious Rosé you’ve ever ingested. I think NYC is less glitzy but more real. I like it.
When you start to date LA girls they will take you to places like The Echo Park Lake, where you can take out paddle boats for hours and feed the baby ducks. Maybe a fancy restaurant owned by Moby or some sort of outdoor extravaganza.
If a NYC girl isn’t interested in you anymore, she will probably maturely text you and say, “Hey, this isn’t working anymore for me. Can we still be friends?” I know a ton of NYC girls who are still friends with all their exes, and hey, so am I, even from across the country.
The LA lesbian scene can be flakey. You text the super hot girl you met on Tinder two weeks ago after your steamy Friday night make-out session, and she doesn’t reply?! WHY?! I’ve never really understood the world of ghosting. If you don’t want to date me, just tell me so I can stop obsessing and find someone hotter. Just tell me.
6. My conclusion
Here’s my NY dating fantasy: the brooding brunette who’s dark, Italian and wearing all black makes out with you at a bar on Friday night and then texts you first. Asks YOU out again. And by the second date, you’re on the Staten Island ferry on your way to meet your smoldering love’s whole family.
Though LA seems to be filled with drama, I can’t let her go. I’m married to the party-gossip-party cycle and can’t seem to find a way out of the drama that is the world of LA lesbians. I think New York is my bitch on the side and LA is my wife, ball and chain style. Well, now you know the difference. You be the judge and make your own choice of which coast you prefer. Any ladies out there in New York down for a house swap?
Stay tuned for GO Staff’s encyclopedic, lez-tastic, all-encompassing, one-stop guide to NY and LA coming soon!