Lez Island – Our Pitch for Reality Dating Shows with a Twist

Lesbian reality dating tv

Ever get locked into a binge-fest of reality dating shows? It’s classic trash TV, perfect for when you really need to check out of reality while also giving yourself the space to shamelessly judge the often insane and undignified antics of the young, hot, and horny. There’s a lot lesbians will find relatable even in the most heteronormative of these shows. And yet no one has taken up the task of creating a lesbian reality dating franchise. I’ve always said if there were a lesbian Love Island, I’d have been married by now. Married and divorced, probably. Give the lesbians what they want: an alternative to the endless swiping, the low-return DM-slide, the long-distance, yet-to-be consummated relationship that started in a Facebook group for rabbit lovers.

Lez Island

Love Island drops a dozen men and women into a Spanish villa where they’ll spend the summer locked in with no phones, tons of alcohol, and only one way to stay — to be in a couple. In the first episode, men or women are lined up and given a chance to choose their partner of the opposite sex based on the looks and general aura. In Lez Island, the butch tops and femme bottoms (sorry for the constrictive labels but how else would you organize the show?) are given the chance to couple up first thing.

High femmes spend hours putting on makeup in order to sit by the pool. Butches in basketball shorts and sports bras bro out with their free weights. Think Dinah Shore weekend with more accents. Women hook up with their partners the first day. A few stay loyal and seem ready to pretty much say “I do,” on day one.

But sexy games and bottomless mimosas quickly lead to kisses stolen in every corner of the villa. Pre-interviews of butch bottoms and femme tops are defied when it turns out half the villa is vers. Hookups abound: femmes for femmes, butches for  butches (the scandal!), and the villa starts looking like your friendship group back home, where you’ve slept with your ex’s ex’s new girlfriend because she said they were open at Ladies’ Night, but “open” was actually open to interpretation.

2 Hot 2 Handle

tribute to that lez hook up on Too Hot to Handle

Too Hot to Handle is Netflix’s new reality dating show. Self-styled love and leave ’em types, fuckboys and girls, used to one-night stands and hookups, come together in a tropical cabana. They’re young, emotionally underdeveloped, and likely to make their money completely inexplicably: thirst-trapping on Instagram for hundreds of thousands of followers.

Our version gathers a group of 20-somethings with the most incredible hair on TikTok and surprises them when it turns out their cabana is actually a spiritual retreat where sexual touching costs them thousands of dollars in prize money. A robot with Ellen DeGeneres’ voice calls them to the living room, where it’s revealed that the Shane and Carmen types were tribbing in the jacuzzi. “That’s not even sex! We didn’t even take our bathing suits off!” Shane tries to reason even as the rest of the gang deals with the crushing blow of losing another $10,000 because of the same few selfish hoes.

U-Hauled at First Sight

uhauled at first site - reality dating for lesbians

Married at First Sight is a show about arranged marriages. Experts comb through thousands of applications to match couples with real lasting power. While arranged marriages have certainly gotten a bad rap, in its ninth season the show claims to have received 50,000 applications. Several couples have stayed married after the show and have even had babies!

This show is essentially tailor-made for lesbians. We love to fall in love and fast. We’re romantics. We love to process, to plan elaborate futures with relative strangers, to seek couples therapy after only three weeks. In this show, lesbians of a certain age, who graduated from Hinge, women who feel the ticking of their biological clock and are just looking for someone to share the mortgage on a working farm in Virginia with acreage for a future eco village, submit their essays on the true meaning of marriage (or handfasting, for you witches out there). And this show really is ideal for the spiritual lesbians. Women so hooked on law of attraction they know that the Universe will really be picking their soulmate, more than the panel of experts.

The Butchelor

the Butchelor reality dating for lesbians

The Bachelor is the OG reality dating show, with versions in 37 countries, and now with 25 seasons in the US. In it, generally high-functioning bachelorettes vie for the attention of an eligible man-baby.

The casting call for The Butchelor is exclusively fuckboys who’ve graduated from snap backs to $60 high and tights. They seem grown, but take a closer look and see that the longest and most fulfilling relationship they’ve had is with their barber. On this show, femmes hoping to receive a rose are looking for their dream butch to heal their deep-seated daddy issues, and yet they’re all successful and well-rounded, and their shit is way more together than that of anyone they’ve dated. If they don’t find love, maybe they’ll finally find the self worth they need to jump off the carousel of women who call them Shorty one week and don’t call them at all the next.

Back with the Ex

Has there ever been a lesbian culture dating show that more desperately needs actual lesbians? This Aussie show skips the contest format of many reality dating shows for more of a documentary style. Exes recent and long past take a second crack at love.

There are two types of lesbians in this world: those that stay friends with their exes and those that pull an Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and try to forget they ever knew each other. But as in Eternal Sunshine, sometimes you just can’t leave the past in the past, and whether codependent or well-adjusted, you wind up drawn back to your ex.

90-Day Fiancée

The original TLC show follows international couples who unite, sometimes for the first time, on a fiancé visa. They have 90 days to decide if they’ll get married or to fly back home when their visa expires.

Lesbians are very good at long-distance relationships. We’ve all known, or have even been, the women who met at a folk music festival and kept up a relationship across three time zones via Skype and sappy Facebook appreciation posts. In this show, we’re taking the long distance lesbians to the extreme with intercontinental love. We’ve had one gay couple on this show so far, but an accurate representation of our culture would definitely include Sundays spent in German language classes, baristas who somehow found the cash for international flights, and soulmates who met through Tumblr.