By Araceli Cruz
By Tessa Stuart
By Anna Merlan
By Keegan Hamilton
By Albert Samaha
By Village Voice staff
By Tessa Stuart
By Albert Samaha
Lesbians, if you're looking for a subtle online spot to hang out with fellow women who love women, Digiromp isn't it. The new social network for gay, bi, and trans ladies is anything but subtle―it's got dirty stories, kinky videos from lesbians across the world, and the tagline "Where all the hot girls come." Boys, not only can't you touch, you can't look either. Men get turned away at the door.
Launched by New Yorker Jincey Lumpkin, a 28-year-old fashion lawyer who recently quit a day job in banking litigation to run Digiromp full time, the site has attracted 1300-plus users―predominantly, lesbians between the ages of 18 and 25. Eventually, Lumpkin plans to open up two sister sites: Digierotica, a lesbian porn site, and Digicrush, a site for lesbian video dating. We recently spoke to her over the phone about bush-coiffure klatsches, fashion blogging, and Digiromp's no-men-allowed policy.
What's the goal of Digiromp? It's not exactly a hook-up site, right?
A: It's about sharing erotic experiences. Like any social network, it leads people to meet each other and make friends, but the primary purpose is for lesbians to have a space to share sexual experiences. When I first conceptualized it, I thought it would be more like sharing specific stories―and people do that, they talk about sex that they've had in pretty explicit terms―but I've left the platform open.
For example, there was a really long discussion about bush: how they like to have their lovers' bush, do they like it shaved, do they like it waxed. Or, recently in Australia I had a woman who was married to a man but knew she was gay for a long time, so she was asking for advice. It depends what the members want to talk about. Of course, some people have ended up meeting in real life.
Okay, so how did this site where women can sit around talking about bush get started?
I began writing a sex blog back in January. I'd been blogging for a while―I also write a fashion law blog. The numbers were really astonishing in terms of how much more interested people were in the sex blog. At the same time, I didn't feel like there was anything out there addressing the information lesbians wanted to read about: sex. Also, it's one thing living in New York and be the age that I am, but in a lot of places women just don't have access to a place to talk about that kind of thing.
I wanted to take the idea of sex blogging and aggregate it and get a real conversation going. So it's like a MySpace or a Facebook, but to talk about sex. Since it started, a lot of girls have sent me emails that say, Thank you for creating this site. It's about time that we had something that's just for us.
What's the advantage of having a social networking site specifically for women who like women?
Well, if you're going to be divulging really personal information you don't want a bunch of guys there ogling over it. At my old job I told people what I was doing and I had a couple of guy coworkers who wanted to sign up. I had to turn them down. I explained to them that the women feel a lot more comfortable sharing this kind of sensitive information with women who understand where they're coming from.
Especially if it's pictures of video they really like that it's a comfortable environment where it feels safe. It's not going to expose them to any kind of hate speak. I love guys. I think they're fantastic. And there are a lot of bisexual women on the site. But everybody seems to be happy that finally, instead of an Adult Friend Finder situation where men are constantly contacting you, that it's all women.
And how about you? How did you go from practicing law to running a site like Digiromp?
I'd gotten out of a relationship at the end of last year. It was an opportunity for me to really express myself because I was single and frustrated. My coworkers encouraged me to start a blog because I was having all these crazy dates. I thought, if I want to share these experiences, I should really have a space where people can come and talk . . . That's why I settled on a social network concept.
I'm still working in fashion law, just not with a firm. I'm feeling really excited. At first it was scary and probably not understandable to people on any rational basis why I would quit my high-paying lawyer job. But this is growing so much it really needs full time attention. Now there are all these women who are joining the site, and I feel sort of vindicated. I was right.
Previously in Click Me: "Joining the Mile High Club Just Got Easier."
Click Me runs weekly on villagevoice.com. Got a question about cybersex? Write to your friendly cyberhood sexpert Bonnie Ruberg to ask advice or to share stories about sex and the internet: bonnie [at] heroine-sheik [dot] com.