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In North American lesbian popular culture, the term U-Haul (named after the brand of rental "move yourself" trucks and equipment) is gay slang for a relationship that progresses very quickly, for example moving in together after only a short period of time—a pattern stereotypically attributed to relationships between two women.[1][2] The reference to a "U-Haul" in the gay community has been considered one of the touchstones of sexual identity.[3] The expression may have originated in the early 1980s by comic Lea DeLaria, who joked:

Q: What does a lesbian bring on a second date?
A: A U-Haul.

The joke has been repeated numerous times, mostly but not exclusively within the lesbian community,[4][5][6] and is considered a staple in lesbian humor.[7] It is sometimes followed by a joke about gay men:

Q: What does a gay man bring on a second date?
A: What second date?[5]

"U-Haul" lesbians and relationships Edit

Mental health experts note that the "U-Haul joke" symbolizes the habits of lesbians to form intense emotional connection and the urge to merge.[8] It has been theorized that this "phenomenon" is used by lesbians as an escape from the risks involved with dating.[9] That aversion to the risks with dating is linked to the stunted development of intimate relationships during the teenage years for most gays and lesbians who are normally in the closet at this time. With the freedom of adulthood, lesbians are drawn to the "U-Haul" relationships and the instant gratification and intimacy they create.[10]

Despite the appearance that lesbians do not have difficulties committing to relationships, most experts agree that this behavior is not healthy.[11] One of the negative consequences of quickly moving in together is that the short dating span virtually eliminates serious discussion on many relationship issues, including sexual compatibility, prior to moving in which can make itself manifest in various problems down the road.[12]

Criticisms Edit

A common criticism of the "U-Haul" joke is the negative impression that it gives of lesbians' coupling on literally the second date when for the majority of relationships that step normally happens several months after meeting, if ever.[13] It is often noted that this behavior is not unique to lesbians, as heterosexual and gay male couples move in together at similar paces.[14]

See also Edit

References Edit

  1. Metro Weekly
  2. Houston Voice
  3. The Advocate August 19th, 2003
  4. The Advocate, Feb 1st, 2000
  5. 5.0 5.1 The Stranger Jul 17 - Jul 23, 2003
  6. Denizet-Lewis, Benoit. "Young Gay Rites", The New York Times Magazine, 2008-04-27. Retrieved on 2008-04-28. 
  7. "How many lesbians does it take to screw in a light bulb?" An Analysis of Lesbian Humor
  8. Christopher J. Alexander Gay and Lesbian Mental Health: A Sourcebook for Practitioners pg 96 Haworth Press 1996 ISBN 1560238798
  9. Kali Munro, M.Ed ,Lesbian Dating: Life Before the U-Haul
  10. K. Hardin, M. Hall & B. Berzon Queer Blues: The Lesbian and Gay Guide to Overcoming Depression pg 31 New Harbinger Publications 2001 ISBN 1572242442
  11. Seattle Weekly June 23, 2004
  12. Tracey Stevens & Katherine Wunder, How to be a Happy Lesbian: A Coming Out Guide pg 49. Amazing Dreams Publishing 2003 ISBN 0971962804
  13. E. Marcus Together Forever: Gay and Lesbian Marriage pg 119 Anchor Publishing 1999 ISBN 0385488769
  14. Dr. Richard L. Pimental-Habib The Power of a Partner: Creating and Maintaining Healthy Gay and Lesbian Relationships pg 45 Alyson Publications ISBN 1555836321

External linksEdit

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