cliches you should probably avoid
Remember, the INITIAL point of any personals or lesbian social networking profile is to get someone’s attention, to provoke them to reply or to respond positively to your reply.
Going on a great date, sleeping in late (with said date), or even finding a great mate will come LATER.
But no really, before anything else of any significance will happen, you have to GET SOMEONE’S ATTENTION.
One of the best ways to do that is to set yourself apart.
Now, before you start reading this and maybe even get annoyed, let us emphasize that using one of the cliches noted below is very unlikely to be the kiss of death. However, to the extent you can avoid them, your profile will stand out as unique or interesting all the more. The more it stands out as unique or interesting, the more likely it is others will be interested in YOU.
And yes, we do believe you are actually unique and interesting somehow, but that's not what we're talking about here.
We're talking about getting those qualities IN your PROFILE, so other women will know it TOO. In this respect, avoiding the most tired of cliches will never hurt you.
Women reading lesbian social networking profiles are often thinking, "Should I bother responding to THIS profile? How is this person different from others I could message instead? Is SHE different? What about HER? And how?"
Give her some reasons.
Meanwhile, certain phrases and/or self-descriptions have found their way into the “personals lexicon,” and no matter what site you find yourselves on, you’ll keep reading these over and over and over and over and over . . . . until you get an urge to hit some sort of snooze button. Way too many personal profiles sound just like way too many other personal profiles. To the extent you can avoid being a lemming in this regard, you will stand out.
Some of these overused phrases are inherently problematic, but others . . . there’s not anything necessarily WRONG with them per se, OTHER THAN than somewhere in the neighborhood of 50 million people in the country have that PRECISE thing in their personal profiles at this very moment, many of them on this site.
Reading the same thing over and over and over is mind-numbingly boring, pretty much the opposite of something that would inspire a response, at least a good one.
We can’t tell you precisely how TO sound unique, because we’d hope that would at least in part depend on your own unique qualities. But we can give you a few tips on how to AVOID sounding just like everyone else.
(After scanning the kajillion profiles submitted on lesbotronic.com, if we ever again enjoy an evening in front of a fireplace or a long walk on a beach, we'll never admit it publicly.)
"I'll try anything once! Well . . . almost anything! LOL!"
We'd bet most of the folks insisting this aren't avid readers of Savage Love. We're fans of his column, he's one of our personal rock stars, his column has taught us a whole heck of a lot, and a LOT regarding what we'd say with regard to THIS.
Something like . . . there are a heck of a lot of sexual activities goin' on out there that we would never ever try under any circumstances. Even the most open-minded among us would definitely not try almost anything. Not even close. It isn't even entirely about being open-minded (we are) and fetish-positive (we are that too). It's just knowing in advance that no, some stuff other people like to do does not and will never ring our bells, at least in this lifetime.
So goes it for most folks in the world; even hardcore fetishists aren't turned on by ALL fetishes, just THEIR fetishes.
So yeah, whenever we read yet another profile that says that, we think, "Hmmm. . . . REALLY?"
But basically, just way too many people say this, and "almost anything" is more or less like "sense of humor" or "normal" (discussed below). You say, "Sure, why not?" while she's saying, "HELL, NO!" or vice versa. You could be talking to someone with a fundamentally different "Table of Contents" than your own.
Really, it would be much more informative to indicate specifics regarding what you would absolutely avoid trying under any circumstances, what you would consider an "edge" for yourself but might try under the right circumstances, or "edgy" stuff you have already tried and enjoyed.
"I enjoy nights out on the town and quiet evenings at home."
So does the vast majority of the adult population in most countries, at least those adults that aren't bedridden, agoraphobic, incarcerated, or homeless.
Mention of something along these lines would only be interesting if you exclusively stayed home only when severely ill or unconscious, or if you are under house arrest and your electronic monitoring device will alarm if you leave your yard.
"I've got a good sense of humor."
Almost everyone thinks they have a "good" sense of humor.
Realistically though, sense of humor just means the specific stuff you find funny, and everyone finds some things funny, others less so. The only issue is compatibility, which can't be assessed or described with the word "good."
What Mary found hysterical, Hillary found rather boring, while Erin got extremely offended. (Then, mix 'em up for the next joke.)
In order to be even slightly informative, you need to illustrate what your particular sense of humor consists of just a bit. Make a wry comment, tell a joke, describe something funny that happened to you recently, reference a favorite comedian or a movie that amused you.
Not only would that actually be far more informative, you also might make her laugh, which would never hurt.
"I'm normal, please be normal too."
Most people either think they are "normal," or believe the ways they consider themselves statistically non-normative make them more desirable, (i.e., "I'm smarter than the average bear," "I’m more genuine than a lot of the phonies out there," or "I'm so sexy it HURTS.")
The word "normal" could only be meaningful if you then become a lot more specific about how YOU would define that, for yourself and the others you seek. However, once you've done that, you really don't need the word "normal" anymore, do you?
"I like to laugh, I like to have fun, I'm looking for similar."
It's safe to assume everyone likes to laugh and have fun.
. . .
OK, maybe not ABSOLUTELY everyone, but definitely everyone that isn't stark raving mad or in a seriously bad mood. (See the section on sense of humor above for ways to combat this similar cliche.)
"Serious Inquiries Only"
This is a phrase often originally found in a lot of ads other than personals, mainly things for sale. In that context it completely makes sense, as if one is selling a used car via the classifieds, one probably doesn't want to bother fielding a lot of totally casual inquiries from folks with zero cash on hand or somesuch.
We're not sure what it means in the context of a personal profile. But our hypothesis is that "serious inquiries only" has become entrenched in our personals ad "lexicon." Many imagine they should toss that phrase in no matter what, even for the personals, because . . . you know . . . it's sort of like the classifieds, and that's the sort of thing one says . . . right??
But we also imagine they didn't think that through completely, because how serious could a person possibly be about someone they've not yet met in person? And . . . you'd have to inquire somehow before you'd get to that point, right?
If your intent is to say that you are looking for the specific kind of relationship (and only that kind of relationship) that you've indicated in your profile, then just say that.
Complaining about men . . . describing boyfriends that done you wrong, husbands gone bad, etc., as part of some sort of "explanation" for why you'd like to start a relationship with a woman
This could work on some women in the same bitter boat.
However, most women who have been "out of the closet" for a while now want to be with women who want to be with women for the plain and simple reason of truly loving women. They're not going to be thrilled with the idea of being someone to settle for and/or some sort of Plan B after the men didn't work out.
(Even if that's not what is said directly, that often seems to be the implication.)
A lot of women do decide to date women after dating men (and having that not go well) as part of coming to the realization they simply don't want to date men.
But they ALSO (keyword there = ALSO) want to date women because they really WANT to date women, not JUST because they're become afraid of some evil man doin' 'em wrong.
It might seem a fine distinction to some, but for others it will seem like a different stage of evolution. To those, if you're all, "I want to date women because a man was bad to me, waaah!" you'll come off as not fully hatched.
That being said, if you feel that IS actually the case and you're just being upfront and honest so people know what they're signing up for if they choose to date you, great, good for you.
But if you're already past your "experimental stage" and do already know that a future with more women in your life is what you're really all about, better to leave the complaining about men part out of it.
Appreciating women is enough, and that's what most women would rather hear.
Anything derogatory about the word "dyke"
Once upon a time, this was a word intended to rudely describe a more masculine lesbian. It was often used by sad, unfortunate, narrow-minded and sexually unsophisticated folk to attempt to make those women feel badly about themselves. And I guess it still is for some ignorant barnyard dwellers out there, but hopefully if you're one of those, you'll avoid signing up for this site.
In the meantime, it has been reclaimed and reappropriated by progressive-thinking types as a positive descriptor for lesbian or other queer-identified women, proclaiming pride in that identity and a willingness to assert that as a positive and valuable way of being in the world.
We that operate lesbotronic.com ARE dykes, and we KNOW that dykes are fabulous people.
So, to review: "Dyke" can but does not necessarily indicate anything masculine. Femme dykes exist in large numbers. "Dyke" is a great word and means positive things.
If YOU don't choose to describe yourself as a dyke, that's fine, we're not arguing with you about that. But respect the word as a positive thing for women who choose to identify as such, and refrain from stereotyping them or suggesting there's anything wrong with that identification.
Anything associated with the word "attractive"
Don’t say you’re looking to meet someone “attractive” or refer to yourself as such.
Everyone can already assume that you'd like to meet someone that YOU will consider attractive.
When was the last time you read an profile stating that they were looking for someone ugly, unappealing, or unpleasant to be around?
The word "attractive" really doesn't work as an adjective either in describing yourself or who you are looking to meet. It's dreadfully overused, but still way too vague and entirely subjective. Different women have different ideas about what attractive actually means and/or are attracted to different things.
Be more specific, or (for yourself) better yet, post a headshot and let whoever draw her own conclusions. If you think you’re attractive, great! Yay for positive self-esteem!
But there’s still no need to state it like it’s a fact, since it simply is not and never will be.
Besides, if you post a nice headshot of yourself, you can dial back the glowing self-descriptors, appear charmingly modest, then sit back and let HER tell YOU how smoking hot you are. And won't that be so much more fun for everyone?
"I look younger than my age."
A freakishly large percentage (like, about 92%) of people over the age of 28 seem to think they look younger than their age.
Or at least, there are a kajillion people running around saying precisely that.
Meanwhile, there seem to be extremely few well past their teen years saying, "I look my age," or even "I look older." ???
Setting aside the mathematical and statistical inconsistencies and incongruities here, if most folks who are a certain age look "younger than" that age, what is that age even supposed to look like anymore?
MAYBE there are a heck of a lot of people saying this that are completely mistaken. GEE. Wow . . . maybe?
OR, perhaps a lot of folks' perceptions of what they would look like if they were merely average (instead of blessed with the above-average youthfulness they INSIST they possess) at Age X are based on what their older relatives looked like at that age. Perhaps with various advances in nutrition, health care, and sunscreen, many folks really are looking younger . . . younger than their parents and their parents' friends when their parents and their parents' friends were that age, that is. Not necessarily younger than other folks their age CURRENTLY.
Anyway, it's an increasingly tired cliché, and that's reason enough to avoid boring people with it. Just be honest about your actual biological age, share a recent headshot, then let others tell you how hot and how (YourActualAge – X) you look rather than insisting upon it yourself. Or, avoid them hurtfully telling you they disagree.
Either way, it's just much more clever to avoid saying this no matter how much you and all your friends believe it to be true, because then you'll at least appear to be more tastefully and appealingly modest, which really can't hurt.
Avoid age hypocrisy.
Seriously. Leave this sad bag of B.S. for the deluded middle-aged straight men.
Don’t spend time exclaiming in your text areas that you are more “interested in the inside than the outside,” identify yourself as 35-ish or older, then pick age groups all the way down to 15-20-25 or more years younger than yourself but ZERO age ranges older.
It just looks . . . foolish. And often, a little pathetic. Like all those middle-aged straight men running around proclaiming how incredibly zanily "youthful" they are.
Yes, we understand you’re in excellent physical shape and good health and “young at heart” and have lots of friends WAAAAAY younger than yourself who will happily testify on record that all that is the case. But you still are going to come across as ageist, and worst, an ageist who is a hypocrite and even
And appearing to be a misogynist while trying to pick up women isn't going to impress many.
(At least, not the bright ones.)
Within dyke culture it's absolutely cool to NOT be ageist. Way cool. And no one is saying there's anything at all wrong with dating a woman significantly younger than yourself. Nope. Not at all.
But then if you think that's cool for YOU, then YOU need to rock the anti-ageism too, on YOUR end of the stick.
Select at least one or two age ranges older than yourself as well. Don't look like the lesbo equivalent of the proverbial middle-aged heterosexual guy with a receding hairline trying to pick up on some bimbette merely because she's 15 years his junior and his ego was sagging that day. That crap is TIRED.
You think you’re technically middle-aged and still a totally vibrant hottie? That’s totally freakin’ great, and we don’t imagine we’d disagree. You probably are totally freakin’ hot.
However, if YOU have managed to find some way to exist as your own totally freakin’ hot self, SO HAVE other women in your same age grouping and even those older.
You might be a little bit different, but you ain’t THAT different. If you insist you are, that would be ageism, hypocrisy, and maybe also sexism/misogyny. For maximum social success and overall personal fulfillment, get that personality malfunction under control already.
Stating a desire to date a celebrity look-alike - "I wanna be with someone who looks like (insert name of celebrity here) because she's SO HOT!!!"
We've read a lot of this. I think a lot of women may be using the name of a celebrity as a form of "shorthand" as to what very general physical qualities they find attractive.
They are probably doing this entirely innocently and don't realize what a big turnoff it is for most women on the reading end. That is, many if not most women on the reading end of something like that will think to themselves, "I'm not as incredibly gorgeous as that movie star . . . NEXT!"
(And your profile bites the dust.)
The vast majority of women do not consider themselves as extremely attractive as movie stars, even the vast majority of women you'd find extremely attractive.
Heck, even a lot of actual movie stars probably don't consider themselves as attractive as other movie stars. It's just the sick way many of us were socialized as women. Meanwhile, in "real life," actual movie stars don't even look like they do in the movies. Without photo stylists, wardrobe flunkies, image retouchers, hair stylists, makeup artists, blah blah blah yadda yadda, the movie stars wouldn't even look like we think they should.
Regular non-celebrity human beings don't deserve that sort of unrealistic and overly commercialized stress, especially because no one paid them millions of dollars to deal with it.
Ergo, asking for a celebrity look-alike is a no no in terms of appeal to 99.8% of the female population.
And the remaining 0.2%? If they actually DO strongly resemble a celebrity many find attractive, the competition for a date with them will be VERY fierce. So . . . good luck if you insist on asking for a celebrity look-alike, you'll likely need it!
"In love" with a movie star? That's nice, but probably best to avoid emphasizing that too.
Watch her movies. Get all hot and bothered. Think about how you'd like to find a lover, and what you'd like to do with that other person and how much fun you could have with her (a woman you might actually get access to, not the movie star).
THEN POST A REALISTIC PROFILE that doesn't UNrealistically insist on a similarity to a movie star.
And then, have a really great time, with an actual woman that's actually accessible to you. And be really glad you had that fabulously REAL LIFE experience . . . instead of just pining away, uselessly and fruitlessly, for the unattainable woman on the screen.
Excessive and/or totally confusing LOL'ing or emoticon use, sometimes along with "no offense intended, but . . ."
Similar to "serious inquiries only" above, it seems when a form of internet communication reaches a certain critical mass, some folks feel the need to insert it everywhere, even if it doesn't always make much sense.
And yes, we know that LOL and emoticons are meant to clarify emotional content above and beyond the text. BUT, effective use shouldn't preclude saying what you mean and meaning what you say the vast majority of the time.
Or at the very least, try to avoid actually contradicting yourself with the emoticons.
Otherwise, you're likely to confuse the heck out of any reader. Maybe also make them think you're more than a little confused yourself.
For instance, typing something that without the emoticon would sound serious and not at all the sort of thing a person would smile after saying . . . then following it with a smiley or LOL!:
Are they kidding? Not sad or mad after all? Embarrassed? Looking for plausible deniability? Can’t decide what they themselves mean? Prone to rapid cycling mood swings (sometimes so rapid it's even within the same sentence)? Those sentences would be hard to interpret coming from one good friend to another. Read by a stranger, this sort of thing is just hopelessly confusing.
Similarly, don’t say something that is or should be considered offensive, rude, or hurtful BUT precede it with, “No offense intended, but . . . “ and/or follow the offensive sentiment with a happy emoticon. If you really mean no offense, be genuine about it. That is, work harder on not saying offensive things in the first place.
Along those lines, you can also work on phrasing personal preferences as strictly your own (which, they ARE) using “I” statements, not generalizing outward in a manner likely to cause offense.
An offensive statement might be offensive to a wide variety of women, even if they do NOT think it specifically applies to them. Meaning, they might just think you're an ass overall, but one trying to pretend otherwise.
Realize that wishy-washy lead-in and/or follow-up phrases don’t erase truly offensive speech. Most people will mentally erase them and read the remainder as what you really meant anyway.
Don’t say something aggressively rude then look around all faux-innocent, like, “What’s the big deal?” or verbally back away like, “I didn’t really say THAT, did I?” You’re not off the hook.
Own your communication like a big girl instead of pretending you’re not actually saying what you really and truly are.
"I don't bite . . . unless you want me to!"
(or to a slightly lesser extent)
No, of course there's nothing wrong with consenting adults biting other consenting adults. Nope. It's great. More power to ya. And if you even want to say something like, "I'm really into biting/being bitten, it turns me on," THAT'S fabulous.
We just do NOT know why "I don't bite" always followed with the bright and chirpy, "unless you want me to!" won the personals ad popularity contest by such a thundering landslide.
Seriously, we've read these phrases or something extremely similar in no less than 20,000 profiles. If someone wants to write in and tell us why it's so popular, we're listening. In the meantime though, trust us, it's a cliche, so you'll be better off avoiding it.
"Please be gentle with me, as I'm new to this."
(and then what precisely "this" actually consists of isn't disclosed)
Nothing so wrong with this intrinsically, but we'd recommend avoiding because first, it kinda sounds like something you’d find in a very cheesy formulaic romance novel. (OK, if that’s what you're going for and that's your thing, use it. Probably not if not so much.)
Second, it’s terribly vague. “Be gentle?” Unless you specify exactly how and with regard to precisely what, that could mean 50 different things to 50 different people. Do you want . . .
a) someone willing to process a lot of your more tender emotions with you?
b) someone who will spank you, but not very hard?
c) someone who won’t challenge your political views too strenuously?
d) someone who won’t chastise you regularly for eating junk food while watching really bad television?
e) someone who won't care if you're not "out" enough to tell most of your friends you're dating non-hetero?
f) none of the above?
g) more than one of the above?
See, it's terribly unclear, unless you get specific. And then if you get specific, you probably don't need the cliche any more.
“Discretion is important.”
Sorry, this phrase worded exactly like that then not qualified with any supporting reasons is just a big bag of bullcrap.
First of all, don’t state your needs like they’re a given for all women, period, full stop. “Discretion” might be YOUR need, but it's actually NOT at all important to a whole lot of out queer women out there. Many women are actually publicly proud of their relationships and like it when others know they managed to hook up with another out and proud hottie.
Insisting that discretion is some sort of wholesale prerequisite for all will make you sound naïve, or like you’re writing historical fiction circa the 1950's.
More importantly and much more to the point, why must YOU be "closeted," secretive or sneaky?
More specific info is always more helpful and won’t make you sound like you’re trying to hide something (at least, not from whomever you're looking to meet in the personals).
Yeah, you might not want SOME people to know you'd like to go on a date with a woman. But you see, the actual woman with whom you plan to go on that date will actually need to know what's going on . . . or things will likely get uncomfortably confusing really quickly.
Just come right out and say why you plan to be “in hiding.”
If potential dates aren’t interested in you because of the why, it’s better to find out up front anyway. They'll know something's up soon enough, don't kid yourself. Might as well come clean in advance or you're wasting her time and yours.
For example: “I want to cheat on my husband but I don’t want him to find out,” is more honest.
“I’m afraid my employers would get angry if they thought I was gay and I really want to keep the job anyway so I can't hold hands in public,” is more descriptive.
"If you want to know more about me, just ask/just write/just message me."
No, this one's not that bad, but it's still a cliche due to massive overuse and well . . . general feebleness.
First, it's already common knowledge, a given. Lesbotronic.com is an internet site, you're on here to meet people, so are the other people on here with you, anyone wanting to meet anyone else will obviously have to message in order to find out more. No need to point it out or imply that this aspect would confuse others if not for this totally unnecessary instruction from you.
Second, it implies passivity. Are you not really going to message anyone yourself? Start any conversations on your own? Yawn. Don't be a wallflower.
Third, while this is not always the case, this sort of statement often acts as stand-in or space filler for typing anything at all interesting about yourself upfront. The implication being, "I've decided I'm not actually required to bother typing anything helpful or interesting about myself here, I'll just tell people who are curious to ask me themselves."
What these "space fillers" seem to have failed to notice is that if you don't get the ball rolling by sharing some interesting things about yourself IN your profile itself, you've also failed to give them much of anything to ask ABOUT.
Don't be too hopeful that large numbers of women will feel compelled to bother messaging to ask you to "tell them more" about an otherwise mostly unengaging profile.
To generate the interest and curiosity that might provoke a response, you need to give them some ideas about what sort of things they might want to know more about IN your profile. Otherwise, you're unlikely to actually get TO the messaging stage.
Very similar to the above, "I'll fill more in/edit this/update this later" in your freetext area(s).
All the above difficulties still apply, but this one also seems to assume the same members will visit and re-visit her profile on and on into the future, repeatedly checking for "updates."
While it's certainly possible some will, it's a much safer assumption that if your profile fails to pique a woman's interest the first time she views it, it's unlikely she'll be spending much if any time re-reading it later, "updated" or not.
This doesn't mean you should NOT update your profile to better or further describe yourself, or to update your preferences and situation.
No, you certainly SHOULD. You should just do that with the understanding that your new content is mostly for future viewers.
"I can't be expected to describe myself in 150 words or less!"
An aside: We don't know why so many signing up seem so determined to insist there's a word limit, or that the text boxes are so "small." On most browsers (the decent ones, anyway), you can expand them by dragging their edges. Meanwhile, even if you can't do or don't notice the expandable aspect, they also scroll, people.
There is NO WORD LIMIT for the freetext areas. No maximum number of words or characters whatsoever.
You could stick a draft of your novel in one of those boxes, if it struck your fancy.
And if the boxes themselves still seem "small" (even though again, no word limit plus expandable), if the text editor that probably came with your computer is more to your liking, use that instead. Then just copy and paste into the boxes on your profile when you're done.
A second aside: A whole lot of women actually do manage to be interesting in their boxes. A whole heck of a lot. And anyone reading your profile will see a bunch of those too.
A third aside: Yes, we understand many women would find it more comfortable to talk in person than describe themselves with text.
But, this is the internet, folks.
You're not YET sitting across from her at that coffeehouse/bar/restaurant, are you?
The personals are about deciding if you're willing to bother to meet a particular person, if that particular person seems worth it for you, for conversation or whatever else.
Few will want to "get to know you" if you don't give them something they think they'll want to talk about or get to know IN ADVANCE of the face-to-face actually happening.
And that won't likely happen unless you can put at least a little bit of effort into your profile.
But anyway, we know most women probably don't find the typing about themselves in the boxes part of the process the most enjoyable. Go ahead and consider that a given, which means no one needs to point it out repeatedly anymore. But most will put in a reasonable effort because they know it's necessary for success, and they know the text areas are the most interesting parts of the profile.
They also know if they don't, they look really lazy, and that's often a turn-off in and of itself.
So, tough love here, stop prevaricating, stop complaining, no more whining. Stop stalling. Offering disclaimers and various totally feeble excuses about how it’s hard for you to fill out a form is interesting to exactly . . . NOBODY!
Just think of something, whatever you can think of that’s more interesting than a blank space in the next 5-10 minutes, and JUST STICK IT IN ALREADY, sheesh.
Ahem. Thank you.
p.s. If the word "interesting" feels pressure-packed to the extent it's giving you writer's block, go for "descriptive" or "informative." It'll probably be the same thing for your reader.
"I've had some bad experiences, and I'm looking for someone to restore my faith in women."
Some women might find the idea of this sort of challenge romantic.
Other women feel more than a little uncomfortable, like they're being asked to come clean up someone else's mess.
(Can you tell we're in the latter category?)
OK, back up.
It could totally be romantic if someone told you you HAD done that for them, AFTER you were already involved. But asking or expecting someone new to do that for you, right off the bat?
It might be your fantasy, but it is definitely not her responsibility.
Many women will imagine the one who has "lost faith" should have spent time with a good therapist first before expecting much from the personals.
Finally, if you continue to let That Other Woman Who Done You Wrong continue to rain on your parade during new relationships or even the potential of such, you're continuing to give her more and more power, aren't you?
Unpack your emotional baggage already and let your personal profile cheer the eff up.
Height, weight, age, hair and eye color as the first things you type
Nothing absolutely horrid, just that too many seem to be do that in their profiles, so it has become deadly dull.
I think it hearkens back to printed newspaper ads where you had to pay by the word, so the thinking was to get some vital stats in ASAP with as few characters as possible.
Besides, why not just post a headshot instead? Quicker for your reader and more lovely to behold, we’re sure.
If you're not (insert desired qualities here) you “need not apply.”
This one just irks a lot of women on a gut level, totally independent of whether or not they are/are not "qualified."
Most people we know don’t stand around with a clipboard in their personal lives, “accepting applications.” It’s a personal relationship, not a job at Burger King.
It also implies some sort of one-way employer/employee dynamic, like she's going to be "applying" to spend time with you, not that any evaluation process will necessarily be mutual.
If clipboards are your kink, great that you're in touch with that. Just don't expect it to be widely shared.
"I only want to date feminine women. If I wanted to date someone at all masculine, obviously I'd just date a man."
(or its close cousin)
These sorts of comments are ignorant. Ignorant in the sense of the original meaning of the word, "lacking knowledge, information, or awareness about something in particular." We're not using "ignorant" as an insult, but the original meaning, emphasizing lack of awareness.
However, we will offer the serious warning that this sort of ignorance will not be appealing to anyone who has made even the smallest effort to become more enlightened.
There are many lesbians in the world who present themselves in a more masculine manner than what might be considered typical or more average for women in general, and some of them label themselves "butch." There are also many butches in the world who do not wish they were born male, and have no plans to transition to male.
And then there are a lot of other lesbians who find butches incredibly appealing and severely sexy, including some running this website.
So yes Virginia, there IS a big difference between a butch lesbian and a man. (see note below)
No one is trying to tell you what to find attractive and/or whom to date. You only find feminine women attractive? That's just fine and dandy, and it's good to know what you like. It's also good to tell other people what you like, especially if you think you might like to date them.
But you're much better off doing that in a way that isn't insulting to others, or that attempts to negate anyone else's very valid personal identity.
Running around saying, "I only want to date feminine women because if I wanted a man, I'd date one," will only alert others to your lack of sophistication regarding these matters.
Note: There are some people that were assigned female at birth, who present in a masculine manner, who really would rather have been born men. Some are taking steps to change their outward appearance even more to align with their internal experience of themselves, possibly including taking male hormones and sexual reassignment surgery (SRS).
However, we don't call these folks "butch lesbians," we call them trans or FTM transsexuals. If someone calls herself a butch lesbian, she's usually telling you she is NOT trans, but happy being a more masculine WOMAN. Suggesting that YOU know better than she about how she should identify her very own self is again, ignorant.