female-instructor-with-yoga-class-in-the-gymFive Dates Healthier Than A Bar

Part of the problem with trying to solve the health problems that are more prevalent in our LBT community is that we’re really just starting to understand what those problems really are. Sexual orientation and gender orientation weren’t even a part of federal health data collection until very recently.

So, for example, when we talk about substance abuse in the lesbian community we’ve ended up with some disparate numbers.

Some studies have said that lesbians (I’m not being a jerk not including the B and the T here; the question of these identities was not included) abuse substances at rates as high as 30 per cent, nearly 21 per cent above the general population. However, since in some of the major research of alcohol use among queer women in the 80s, almost one-third of participants were recruited in bars, we have to be realistic about how um, random this sample was.

And even though we can socialize much more openly–so much so that lesbian bars across the world are closing— plenty of queer life still happens at bars.

I recently attended the GLMA Conference and had three health sciences, students, as roommates.

We got to talking about healthy dating and healthy dates and I asked them for non-bar suggestions. Here’s how they responded:

Jennifer Lettsome, nursing student Boston said:

“I like active dates, a first date is better if you can do something public and then private, especially if you met the person online. So I would say exploring a downtown park of a city that you don’t normally go to would be good, you can watch people. That way you can always find a place to sit down if you get tired.”

Nwadiogo Ejiogu, a third-year medical school student in Nashville who is originally from Toronto, chimed in with some suggestions:

“Anything with food truck is a great idea. In Nashville sometimes they have those events when the food trucks all congregate often in a park. Then you can get something to eat and walk somewhere and talk.”

Tricia Bane, a PA student from California interjected:

“How about going to the beach and renting a bike? Lots of places have boardwalks where you can ride for a while and enjoy the sun. Oh but yeah, don’t forget the sunscreen.”

NE: I’m an introvert so talking a lot can get to be too much, especially on an early date, so I like parallel play y’know? So if you’re together but you have someone else you’re still focusing on.”

JL: What about cooking demonstrations, like have at places like Williams and Sonoma? You have to be there at a certain time during the day but it’ll work if you check the schedule ahead of time.

TB: And then you can learn about healthy ways to cook!

NE: Oh, they have those at Whole Foods. Something about sharing a meal is really nice.

JL: And yeah, walks are good but if you want to take it up a level, you can register for a low impact gym class.

NE: Or a yoga class.

JL: Or if the person is into it, a zumba class or something like that, dancing. Most instructors can give you a low impact or high impact way of doing an activity.

NE: You can also go to a burlesque show which is pretty hip now. And hot!

TB: Or you can learn to do burlesque, like go to a burlesque class?

JL: Oh, I went on a date to the Slut Cracker, which is this play, it only comes out at Christmas, It’s about a woman who likes her vibrator and how she wants to introduce it into her relationship. So it’s healthy and sex-positive.

NE:  That reminds me of a second date when I went to Babeland. You can do that right? If it’s a hook-up situation, if that’s the arrangement, you could do something like a safer sex workshop.

JL:  You can go to an arts and crafts store too, they have really good sales. You can buy acrylics and a paintbrush, and go somewhere to paint. You can make a quick stop at Michael’s and then go somewhere to paint. Too bad arts and crafts stores don’t have their own wine, artisanal wine.

TB: And paint your own pottery!

JL: I guess the beach is a stereotypical date. But if you can go somewhere they allow bonfires, you can build your own bonfire, you can marinate and roast some tofu. Or use lean cuts of meat or chicken. In Australia, you can hike and go to the beach.

TB: That’s a double healthy date!

JL: You can look at the online coupon sites too. Look under “things to do” you can go on a low-cost activity or a small getaway that is affordable and active. Or if you have a friend who has a dog, borrow the dog and go for a walk.

TB: Or a cat. That’s the perfect lesbian date. Walking a cat.