If you’re a gay Jewish woman trying to navigate the choppy waters of modern romance, you might need a dating site. Or a matchmaking service. Or both. Which might bring you to Pink Lobster Dating — “For Women Who Like Women”.
Emma Ziff (left) and Juliette Prais (Photo: India Hobson)
Describing itself as “the only online dating network in the UK designed specifically for lipstick lesbians/femmes”, it is also the only one run by two Jewish women, Juliette Prais and Emma Ziff. The pair draw the distinction between “butch” lesbians, who are, they say, “more aggressive and full-on”, and the more feminine variety (“femme”). They do not formally operate a Jews-only service but have found that increasing numbers of their customers are Jewish.
“For me,” reasons Prais, 37, “being Jewish isn’t necessarily who I am. I don’t believe you need to meet another Jew if you’re Jewish. I was just looking for a sex therapist and I happened to meet and fall in love with her.”
Emma, 42, was that sex therapist: Juliette invited her to write a column back in February 2013 and they subsequently began dating.
The women have quite different backgrounds, in terms of religion (Prais’s upbringing was liberal, Ziff’s conservative) and sexuality. Ziff was born into a wealthy Jewish family — her late father was a director of Barratts shoes, while her mother ran a nanny agency. Until the age of 40, she had only ever been in relationships with men, and was married for 18 months. How did her mum react to her becoming involved with Prais?
“She wasn’t that surprised,” she replies. “No, she didn’t faint. There was no invoking of God and the Bible.”