Dating as a Sober Lesbian

Maintaining a sober lifestyle in general can be very daunting, and part of that challenge is fighting the social promotion of alcohol and the devaluation of sober lifestyles. This means no longer attending wine bars and tastings, no longer hitting up happy hour, and no longer soothing the beginning of every awkward Tinder date with a cocktail.  The stigma around sobriety leads to isolation and loneliness, which can prevent sober lesbians from attempting to find a partner. Fortunately, there are ways to get back into the dating world. The key is to find a space where alcohol is either scant or nonexistent. For your reading pleasure, I’ve included a list of spaces for you to mingle without having to worry about booze!

Cat Cafe

We all know that cafe in town that just happens to host all the lesbians, not unlike the Planet on the L Word. Now picture the Planet covered in cats. Irresistible! The meow is also the universal mating call for lesbians, so your new girlfriend might be on her way right now to pick up a soy chai latte, too. Your future wife and future cat are waiting, so hustle!

Softball Game

This one’s self explanatory, but I’ll paint you a beautiful gay picture too. Imagine watching the cute girl next to you in the bleachers getting furious and red in the face over a foul. After the game, you two can bond over your mutual hatred of the other team, your disagreement with the referees, or maybe even set a date to play catch together! Who knows, maybe they’ll even make a Disney movie about you.

Broadway Show

No, theater is not limited to gay men, although you’ll definitely see and befriend some of them, too. You might be objecting to this choice, as straight women also go to Broadway shows. You’ll need a refined lezdar for this, but the main difference in attendance among straight women, is that straight girls attend Broadway shows with their gay best friend, while lesbians are the ones dragging their straight female friends to the show because they’re Dramatic lesbians and require an IV of musical theater about four or five times a year. It keeps the gray hairs away and gives us an excuse to leave our cats and the couch for a couple of hours.

Art Shows

No, this is not because of Bette Porter (although she’s a prime example of the art lesbian). The art lesbian is often in a manager position due to her ambition and motivation. She’ll point out all the stylistic intricacies of every piece but won’t explain them to you because she’s so caught up in the chef d’oeuvre. She’s definitely judging everybody for coming for the free cheese and wine, but not you, because you’re not a wino!

Rocky Horror Showings

When I grew up in Los Angeles, they occurred every week or two at the Nuart. I don’t know anything about the frequency of showings outside of the LA area, but if you’re near a theater showing Rocky Horror, I strongly urge you to attend. Rocky Horror is a hub for the gay community due to the diversity of its community and its accepting message, as well as outlandish characters. Defy those gender norms!

Swimming Pool

Pools remind me of Water Lilies, which was one of the first lesbian movies I saw. You can find our review of Water Lilies here. The pool is no place for glasses, so sidle up to a LaCroix lesbian in a skimpy suit.

Comic Con

At any convention, fans tend to focus on getting into the right room at the right time in the right seat in order to see their role models up close. They’re frantically running from stall to stall in order to find merchandise or their favorite stars at signings and interviews. In the midst of the commotion, you’ll find the nerdy girl of your dreams staring at a signed poster, pondering if it’s worth the price. You’ll buy it for her, and it will hang above the framed picture of Ellen Degeneres when you U-haul together.

Renaissance Fair

Love at first fight does not just exist in fairy tales. At Ye Olde Renaissance Faire, you can court beautiful princesses and dance the night away. Renaissance fairs do include mead and tankards of ale, but they cost a purse-full of ducats.  You’ll be so distracted by the games, swords, and costumes to risk becoming the village drunkard.


I’m convinced that lesbians are the ones keeping bookstores alive and well (the survivors, that is). In between the stacks, if you notice a bookworm with a rainbow beanie and pride stickers on her backpack, you have my blessing to ask for her number and teach her everything.

The Roller Skating Rink

Derby is one of the dykiest sports in existence. Shoving other women requires a certain level of comfort and intimacy that rarefied among straight girls. Ellen Page also played the protagonist in “Whip It.” The camaraderie ignited in derby teams is also uniquely homosocial and downright lesbian.

Women’s Land

Women’s Land is very often a great place to find sober space. Alcoholism and other substance abuse is common among women and lesbians trying to survive under patriarchy, and that’s why recovery spaces are so common in these second-wave inspired spaces. In fact, women’s festivals like MichFest, Michigan Framily Reunion and Ohio Lesbian Fest set aside sober space. You can read more about the tradition of recovery and its ties to women’s festivals here.

So there you have it, sisters. A list of a bunch of places to meet other lesbians without the pressure to get wasted. Whether you’re in recovery or just don’t do alcohol, there’s no need to buy in to the idea that you can’t meet your new friend, hookup or wifey without a drink in your hand.