Lauren O'Reilly, Director of Marketing at OKCupid, says that of their current 10 million active users, women seeking women only comprise 7 percent of that.
Sure, straight-focused apps like Tinder and Bumble allow for same-sex swiping, but, for gay women especially, that often leads to matches who are just dabbling in same-sex hookups or are looking to plan a threesome for their boyfriend.My friend Laura, 27, who identifies as queer and has been out for about seven years, says that while these dating apps have allowed straight and questioning women to explore their sexualities more, they're also a risky endeavor for queer women.Lauren Kay, co-founder of the Dating Ring, says it is a bit of a chicken or egg situation."Getting funding for a dating app is very, very hard.A 2013 study from Liverpool Hope University that studied 126 lesbian and straight women with the average age of 27 found that lesbians had and wanted to have just as much casual sex as straight women.
But the gay women I talked to said they need to have some kind of connection to the other person, even if their only intention is to hook-up (which is often is). But now on Tinder everyone seems to be afraid of being too earnest.Mostly-straight dating app Tinder had a projected 20 million active monthly users by April 2015, and gay male dating app Grindr, which on its fifth anniversary in 2014 had over 10 million user downloads, has been thriving for years now, but we have yet to see an app for lesbian and queer women really take off.Daatch launched in 2014 and landed with a thud, primarily because many users reported a lot of technical issues and not enough women (a fatal flaw for a lesbian dating app).After all, she says, it's easier to ask all of your friends what that cute girl's situation is when they all know her and probably have for years.While that's obviously the same in straight dating, straight people don't have to figure out just how straight someone is, worry about navigating a relationship with someone who's not out, or potentially have to deal with someone using them as an experiment.The wide range of identities of women-seeking-women not only makes it hard to sign up for apps that only have three options (straight, lesbian, bisexual) but could also explain why the majority of the queer women I spoke to say they prefer to meet dates through friends.