Two Rhode Island women have released a new guide to dating for a unique demographic. Andrea DiMattia and Loretta Becker co-authored Women, Do You Know What You Really Want?, a fun, lighthearted book for lesbians.
DiMattia, a highly experienced nurse, and Becker, a pharmaceutical sales representative who has degrees in psychology and health education, met at church. DiMattia had been dating one of Becker’s friends, and the two were amused. They became friends, often exchanging notes on their dating lives. Sometimes, they even helped each other out in a pinch.
“She’d be calling me from the bathroom [while on a date] asking, ‘how do I get out of this?’” said DiMattia.
After some time, the two decided to write a book about their experiences and shape it into a manual of sorts to help other lesbians on their path to find “Ms. Right.” The two self-published the book at AuthorHouse Publishing. They had award-winning artist Toon Perkins design the cover, along with other graphic design help for promotional materials from DiMattia’s brother David. Perkins depicted two women “connecting” in her design to represent “connections” made during dates.
A lot of Becker and Dimattia’s bad dates are discussed in the book, but the two weren’t looking for it to be negative. They want the book to help readers get a healthy, full picture of why they date and what they want to get out of the experience.
“We really talk about it being a journey,” Becker said.
The book ponders many answers to the question of “how do you attract your bee to your honey?” It tackles online dating, finances, dating someone with children, intimacy, and “structured approaches to identifying personal wants and desires.” A huge focus though, is on self-love, they say. Dating can be hard on one’s self esteem and leads some to wonder if they’re unattractive or undesirable, and the two authors offer suggestions on how to deal with this in their book.
On its surface, Women, Do You Know What You Really Want? might sound like a guide for people of all sexual orientations – Becker and DiMattia’s publishers even wanted them to make it that way. However, the two kept it focused on lesbians so they could address the “unique challenges” of lesbian dating.
“Women themselves are very complicated – we’re an emotional bag,” Dimattia said with a laugh.
But it’s more than just emotions that make lesbian dating difficult. It’s harder to meet people, Becker and DiMattia say. Options for lesbians are far more limited than those of straight couples.
“We don’t have a lot of places. Online dating is really where it’s at,” DiMattia said.
Though the pool may seem large with online dating, it has its drawbacks. Becker and DiMattia say it’s hard not to be “callous” online when one is swiping through photos and not actually reading profiles. It’s also important for people to be honest about themselves in their profiles so relationships aren’t built on lies and false personas, they say.
As far as in-person interactions though, bars, meetups, and even book clubs might provide an outlet for women to meet, but they aren’t always the best options.
“As you get older, you don’t want to go to a bar,” Becker said.
It’s also more difficult for same sex couples to simply exist – many women are still closeted and fear not being accepted.
“I want to be able to walk down the street, hold my girlfriend’s hand, and not be judged,” said DiMattia.
Despite the struggles, Becker and DiMattia maintain the idea of dating as a fun activity, and hope their book helps to provide a welcoming space for lesbians looking for their ideal partners.
Women, Do You Know What You Really Want? is available in both soft cover and e-book editions. It can be purchased online through AuthorHouse, Barnes and Noble, or Amazon. The authors plan to host book signings that will be announced on their Facebook page (find them at Andrea Loretta or @gaywomensguidetodating).
Andrea DiMattia (left) and Loretta Becker show off their new book.