A lesbigram, does a bi girl send one of those?
Funny Dan. And yes, ask her straight LW. She's hedging, and you need to protect yourself.
Nothing kills a ladyboner faster than a sober conversation about sexual expectations. Just keep ramping up the stakes. Instead of a kiss go for a makeout. Keep rounding the bases until the coach throws up the stop sign. I guess in today's times people would rather feel violated than embarrassed, so you can't depend on them to speak up and say to something if they're uncomfortable, so check in from time to time. If, for example, you're doing the classics hands-on-hips-then-up-the-shirt move, a glance and a leading "yeah?" will generally tell you everything you know about how interested she is in going forward.
This is a pretty funny misspelling in Dan's response: "You've probably started to pick up on her weird ticks..."

Wanting to have sex with someone who has weird ticks - that would certainly be a cause for great anxiety!

Otherwise, WAIT, I'm really having trouble understanding your hesitation. You say you're reluctant to move too fast too soon, lest you scare off the lesbian-virgin GF. But if GF can be that easily scared off by the physical pleasures you want and need in this relationship, she's probably not the woman you're looking for - and as you point out yourself, it's better to find that out BEFORE you get so emotionally involved that the breakup will be much more painful.

OTOH, the fact that she answered your Tinder post, and has hung around this long, means that she may be more ready than you think to explore the world of womansex. The easy rapport that you have built with her, over the past four dates, should help her to relax and trust you during your first sexual encounter together. Time to pull the trigger, WAIT! Good luck! (and please do write back and let us know how it goes.)

What's notable is that the LW has no idea how her date feels for her (or isn't saying). She doesn't say, 'I think she's really into me...' or 'I get the sense she's going through the the motions out of a sense of political solidarity'. Surely she must have some sense? And they have been on four dates ... chances are that, whatever her previous experience, the writer's belle is more interested than she may think....

The fear the writer voiced wasn't rejection but coming to care too much too onesidedly. I think the answer is to offer more by way of a come-on. This can, and should predominantly, be verbal. But perhaps the way to go is a tighter hug or a deeper kiss and an invitation, or a question in the form of an invitation. It would be painful to be turned down, but it also sounds as if it would be a more needling and longrunning pain not to know.
Grab her by the pussy.

It'll make America great again.
"Hey, I'm a little nervous bringing this up, but I'm kinda into you, and I'm wondering where you're at." OR (sideways look) "I was just wondering how it would go for me if I tried to kiss you right now." OR "I'm gonna awkward this up for a minute--I like you, and I'm attracted to you, but I have no idea if you feel the same way. Where's this at for you?"
Kinsey 4 woman here.* In my experience, a lot of women don't want to be pushy, so they wait for the other person to make the first move. When you're both women, that means you can wait an awfully long time! Make a move; she's probably wondering why you're taking so long. :-)

*For those not familiar with the Kinsey scale, 4 means bisexual leaning towards lesbian.
Follow @2's advice. She's a woman who's only been with men. With men, the sexy part of the relationship starts when he just physically iniates the making out (privacy to do this is why Netflix & chill was invented). She's waiting for you to do that. Go for it! She will feel fine moving your hands away, laughing like um maybe not, whatever to deflect your move if she decides she's not into it. But she's waiting for you to make the move.
I heard different accounts about the often-challenging dynamics of lesbian-bifemale relationships, and wonder how much of it is an added value in this case.
@ 7, 8 touched about it as well.

LW- No doubt “talking about it” can be awkward, yet actions without much talking can be awkward as well. And talking has a potential for a mutual intimate growth.
Think of a situation where both of you feel comfortable sharing stuff in a non committed situation nor location.
Some time ago when I was your age or slightly younger H took me to a public dining place and brought up the possibility. It felt very reassuring.
@ 6 has some good openers.

Ive been where this prospective new girlfriend is...  I had the interest and the willingness to be "bi" or "bi curious"., but I didnt have the "balls/ovaries" to face up to being in bed with a hot new girlfriend, and then exposed either as a coward,  or as someone who didnt automatically know how it all works... because we women are supposed to know about how all womens sexuality works, right?  So I think the LW needs to make it clear what her expectations are or arent, and that includes some encouragement that "I know you are nervous and this might take a few times to get it right".  And go from there.
4 dates? Sheesh. Make some moves, girl. Be the aggressor. Not aggressive, but the initiator. Take her in your arms, swing her around, and plant one on the lips like they do in that movie. You met her on a hookup site ferchristssake.

Incidentally, the most dates for me without sex was 3. But most times, it's dates 1 or 2. Initiators varied.
I like the suggestions of @6
You're a a 24 year old lesbian with limited dating experience. She has never been in a relationship or had sex with a woman. I guess limited experience trumps no experience. Not that I'm an expert in lesbian love, but I'm guessing this is kind of a "universal" situation...somebody's got to get the ball rolling, and that somebody is you. Start making a move, girl. Slip your hand up the back of her blouse, lean over and kiss her and slowly work your way around to the front. Previous commenters are met her on a hookup site! The fifth date is definitely second (maybe even third) base territory if you're both feelin' it. She'll let you know fast if you've stepped over the line, but I'm betting she'll go with the flow.
She may be ready and she's been waiting for you to make the first move—the move being an ask, WAIT, not a lunge

It seems that Dan is now a proponent of the "ask for verbal consent before doing anything physical or it's sexual assault"-school of thought? If that is indeed the new normal then I'm glad to be "retired from romance", to steal a phrase from mr. Venn.

The various "start making a move" scenarios described by various commenters above (@11, @13) sound much more natural to me. (Start making a move, not lunge; non-verbally asking for consent, so to speak.)
Yes RE, and other posters, non verbal communication to move thru the various stages of physical intimacy is way preferable to having to sign a waver. People who communicate so fluently won't be writing to Dan.
From my reading of the letter, the woman hasn't shown any signs of wanting to get physically intimate. No seductive looks, no brushing hands, etc. otherwise it would be moving along. One chaste kiss.
If the LW does make a move, she should set the tone right. Take her to a lesbian bar for a couple of drinks, have a smoke together back at home.
Corylea @7: You are absolutely right. This is called lesbian sheep syndrome. I'd guess that as the less experienced partner, WAIT's date expects WAIT to make the moves, since WAIT (allegedly) knows what she's doing. WAIT should invite her over to her place for their next date, cook her dinner, and make some amorous moves, ie making out. If she participates enthusiastically, proceed; if not, ask her what's up and what she wants out of this relationship. Good luck, WAIT!
The letter writer should watch the movie "Kissing Jessica Stein" and see what she's willing to put up with in pursuit of this girl.

I pretty much lived that movie with my ex. Sigh. We could only have sex if she were drunk, or if a guy was there. Sigh. I was young...
Just for the record, it doesn't even take one date to find out that I hated The OA.
Straight middle aged woman here taking inventory of how the are-we-having-sex conversation happened over the years.

(Teenager) Hot make out sessions followed by seemingly endless conversations about love and birth control.

(20s) Hot or not so hot make out sessions followed by brief conversation about birth control and assumption that we're doing this.

(Late 20s) Kiss at the door followed by my asking him up to my apartment.

(30s) A few dates, a brief discussion about exes, some not so sexy sex talk, and a few words of intent.

I hadn't thought of it before, but ever since the early years, I've made the first move after I was pretty sure I wouldn't be turned down. The move came in the form of saying something along the lines of inviting him to adjourn to the bedroom. A statement along the lines of how awkward it is the first time seems to have been welcome.
I've been the other girl in this situation, the "bicurious but not really all that experienced" girl. I'm into girls, really! But those first few times, it's like I froze up, despite being into it and completely willing to proceed. I don't think this should be a sign that her date is not really bi or not into this person or something, it is a lack of experience and an "OMG is this really happening, I think this is happening!" inner mind game going on. Another vote for Netflix and Chill!
I'm not quite sure why "I'd like to kiss you right now, may I kiss you?" is considered a boner killer, while just making a move is the recommended strategy, from so many of you.

Talking about sex, with someone you feel sexy towards, is sexy. If talking about it is a boner killer, actually doing it won't be that great either, I'd say.

The easily-rebuffed "make a move" that several of the previous posters recommend is kinda like the teenage boy faking a stretch that ends up with his arm around the girl - more tiresome than anything else, frankly.
Maybe she's going out with a girl to turn her boyfriend on or looking for a unicorn
Scottie @22: You win a place in Hunter's Everything-Is-About-Men Club.
You think a dude would have the patience to wait four dates while his girlfriend investigated a lesbian (who, news flash, doesn't want sex with men)?
You think a woman with nonexistent ethics would have that sort of patience?
No. Read @20. That's what's really going on.

Fichu @19: "I've made the first move after I was pretty sure I wouldn't be turned down."

And that's the origin of lesbian sheep syndrome. One is "pretty sure one won't be turned down" far less often when it's a woman one is hoping to seduce. Hence, both are less than sure, and neither makes the first (physical or verbal) move.
@21 I'm not quite sure why "I'd like to kiss you right now, may I kiss you?" is considered a boner killer, while just making a move is the recommended strategy, from so many of you.
I think confidence is one of the biggest turn-ons of all. I would never get all wishy-washy and ask permission just for a kiss. You gotta read the situation. Is this a romantic setting where events have been leading up to a smooch, or are you at the dog kennel getting Fluffy fixed? Speaking from experience, almost all women want you to take the lead. Some want to share the lead, but hardly any want you to ask permission. It just makes you look like a weenie.
I know that's a heterosexual point of view, but I'm guessing lesbians like confidence too. And these girls have been on multiple dates already, shouldn't be any guessing that they both like women.
What's wrong with "I really want to kiss you right now" immediately followed by a slow lean-in? Makes intentions clear, makes it clear you are looking for verbal or non-verbal expression of consent, avoids shocking surprise (the "lunge"), which might be a turn-off, but doesn't involve asking for permission, which also might be a turn-off.
You don't lunge. You stand close. You put your hand(s) on her shoulder(s). You look in her eyes. You kiss.
Words can be sexy, the LW doesn't have to be bland about bringing up the topic of physical intimacy. She can do it playfully.
Several dates in and so little encouragement from this woman, using words first, I still feel,
is her best option.
If I sense a woman isn't interested in kissing at the end of a first date over drinks, I assume she isn't interested in seeing me again, and there is no second date, let alone four. If her body language and our chemistry suggests she would like to kiss, then in a pause in the conversation, I kiss her. What suggests that she would like me to kiss her? If we're sitting at a bar together, does she turn her body so that she face me, or does she keep herself aligned toward the bar? Does she lean toward me? How does she react when our legs or knees touch? How does she react if my hand touches her leg or knee?

Based on my experience, I agree with @24/DonnyKlicious, confidence is an aphrodisiac and women are not interested in giving permission to be kissed. In this case, that means that WAIT needs to take the initiative, and move things along sexually throughout their first sexual encounter. All the more so, since WAIT's intended has never been sexually involved with another woman.

If WAIT does invite her friend over to her apartment, don't suggest dinner or watching a movie. Open a bottle of wine, sit on your couch together, share a drink, and then kisser her.

@28 Lava... OK, you're probably right. These are women. Wanting to use words and such all the time. Women are much more likely to want to talk it out. Not saying that to be sexist, I think it's a well-known fact.
This is not a gender thing Donny, for me. If a man was being so undemonstrative several dates in, I'd use my words first there too.
Nothing has to be talked out.
Just check where this woman is really coming from. Maybe she feels no sexual attraction, but likes to hang out with the LW.
Donny @30: Thank you. Yes, MEN offering advice on how WOMEN want to be approached by WOMEN is a bit fucking ridiculous. Please, y'all, just stop.
Mansplaining lesbianism. A new low.
@21 I came of age in the mid-90s, about the same time "PC culture" and "consent" became buzzwords. Being more passive, asking women what they wanted, etc, was highly encouraged for us boys; at least, those in my circles (I went to Seattle Public Schools). But it turns out, a majority of women idealize the active, assertive, masculine man who always makes the first move, always knows what they want, etc. As I got a little older, this mid-90s attitude was relabled "nice guy syndrome" and is basically asking for a kiss or any other explicit request is shunned, and you've got to use Euphamisms. "Wanna watch netflix?", "Do you have a condom?" are the questions to use nowadays without being too blunt.
BDF @32 Well, the LW did ask a man (Dan) for advice...
Sportlandia @34: I think WAIT's girlfriend would be very confused if she asked if she had a condom, and I think it's safe to assume she is not in the "majority of women" who want an "active, assertive, masculine man," at least not at the current moment in time. Please refer to @32/@33.

RE @35: Point. I'll assume it's Dan's expertise in same-sex dating that was being sought here.
@36 I was responding to @21's question, not LW.
Awkward can be appealing. If 'adorkable' wasn't a thing, I wouldn't get any play at all.

I hang in some kinky circles, in which talking about consent and what is and isn't on the table is considered sexy. Bringing it up and talking about it *is* being confident--it's knowing that you might be shot down but still taking the chance. You can do this in a shy, awkward kinda way, or you can do it in a hot, sexy way, but it can be done.
BDF- despite risking (or is it wishing?) an increased flogging enthusiasm on your side, I’d like to point that Dan had mentioned more than once the possibly very talkative side of female-female relationships.
I’m not sure Donny’s assertion differed much from this line if any at all.
BDF @ 33 - Thanks for so clearly articulating what I felt was wrong with the way this conversation was going. Thread won.
Four dates is plenty of time for the LW's girl to decide if she wants to kiss LW. If she says that she needs more time, then it seems like she would just be leading you on and using you as her emotional tampon. I would get out now. Life is too short to try to convince people they should fuck you. Go find someone who WANTS to fuck you as much as you want to fuck them. You seem very considerate, so go find someone who is just as considerate of your feelings as you are of theirs.
CMD @39: No, I agree with Dan's and Donny's (and Lava's) take that asking up front may be way sexier coming from a woman than from a (cave)man. What annoyed me was the number of male commenters offering their irrelevant experience regarding how women want men to seduce them. If WAIT is feeling confident, experienced, tipsy or stoned enough that leaning in for a kiss feels natural, she should go for it. However, if that feels awkward to her, she should totally use her words and ask "so, wanna make out?" She has the luxury of not risking feeling emasculated by not being enough of an alpha male. Her date may be relieved to learn WAIT is just as nervous as she is.

Ricardo @40: Thanks!
@36. By saying that it was Dan's same-sex expertise that was sought, you're 'explaining' male heterosexuality by implying it has things in common with lesbianism. It would surely have been easier to say WAIT wanted Dan's advice because she trusted his expertise (as sexologist / sex columnist / agony uncle) or shared his values.

To me at a certain level we all have to respond to LWs, to people with problems, as individuals. A big part of this is presumably attending closely to the specifics of what anyone says or implies, and not pressing them into received opinions we may have about their type of person (e.g. straight men, retirees, teens, the bicurious).
Harriet @43: "you're 'explaining' male heterosexuality by implying it has things in common with lesbianism"
Wait, what? Surely it's the straight men who are offering their advice on what women want who are implying that male heterosexuality has things in common with lesbianism? (Which is obviously true; "attraction to women" being the main commonality. "How women like to be pursued" is not necessarily identical for all genders. Or all women.)

And yes, obviously WAIT wrote to Dan both because they're both gay and because he's an internationally recognised sex advice columnist. Unlike any of the commenters here, including my humble self. We don't all have to respond to LWs, but we do it anyway ;)
@42 based on my own experiences, I've come to the conclusion that, while orientations may be different, the mechanisms of attraction don't necessarily change along with them and that they're independent of one another. I suspect that the asking-is-sexy people feel that way because they've spent time in what I'll euphemistically call consent advocacy groups; I.e., it's a cultural affect rather than a byproduct of their sexual orientation.
BF -straight men in this thread told LW that she's dating a woman who only dated men before. They shared their view that her date may be accustomed to others making the first move, which is why LW is encouraged to take the initiative.
And while practicalities may vary and not always applicable in this particular situation, that insight in itself is very valuable.

Happy Women's Day to all of us!
@45 Or people who find talking about sex to be sexy have kinks (or other sexual preferences) that require talking about it first. If you want to tie your partner up, or have hot wax dripped on you, or whatever, there's no way to initiate that without an actual conversation.

And yes, what people find sexy is a product of culture. Is that new or surprising?
@43, I'm confused. What does male heterosexuality have to do with Dan or the LW (aside from CMDs point about the GF being accustomed to how males approach a woman)? I would think there may be some parallels between male and female homosexuality, although I am open to correction since I am neither.
@44. Well, I respond because I like the sound of my own voice. :) Also, because I find others' problems easier to solve than my own.

I agree that it's iniquitous for men to decide 'what women want'. Very personally, I think we could do very well without most of the repertoires of ideas associated with the standard types at all--ideas about men, women, sexualities, races, ages, degrees of ability, nationalities, states of health....
@48. Any bristling I felt has now subsided. But BiDanFan said that the LW had contacted Dan because of his experience in same-sex relationships. Ergo, gay men are like gay women--but it's invidious for straight men to rule on what lesbians are like.
I don't understand how asking first can be considered less confident. Obviously you've never had someone look at you intensely, say, "So, you wanna make out?" and waggle their eyebrows (in the sexy non silly way, or in the purposely silly way, both can work depending on the scenario).

Consent is super sexy when it's done right. My HUSBAND will still ask if he can fuck me when we're making out, or at the very least say something else that lets me know that's where he wants it to go so that I can decide whether that's going to be a thing or not. And it's still sexy.
Harriet @50: I meant more in the context that WAIT, and everyone else on the planet, has been saturated since birth with templates on how opposite-sex relationships should proceed, but precious little to guide people with same-sex attractions. Dan, an LGBT community member of long and esteemed standing, might therefore have more anecdata from his lesbian friends' perspectives than your average straight. (Maybe not, but it makes more sense for WAIT to ask Dan than, I dunno, Carolyn Hax.)
LW here. Those that gave advice, thank you. I went the talking route. I kind of just put it all out there and everything turned out well. She had some things she needed to tell me before she felt comfortable being intimate, and so talking really ended up being the best way to go. Everything is great between us now!

PS I asked Dan's advice because he is pretty adept at giving advice in relationships period, whether straight or gay. He has heard so many different issues that I trust him to give me a non-biased straight answer and that's what I got.
@53 Glad to hear it!
@53: Yay, glad it worked out well for you both!

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