Back in the day, there used to be an old standby that women who had short hair and dressed somewhat “manish” was a lesbian. Luckily, our minds have opened more throughout our culture. Most of us realize that women aren’t automatically gay if they’re a little androgynous. But even so, this can make things a little bit confusing if you’re out at the bar and trying to hook-up with a lady. There are a few ways, not perfect but more reliable than nothing, to figure out if she’s actually attracted to men.

Her Attitude

A majority of lesbians won’t waste their time trying to get a guy to like them. There’s no point to it. This is unlike the “College Lesbians” (a.k.a. those who make out with other girls at parties but turn straight once they graduate.) Ladies who love ladies will be going for…you’ve got it. Not you. Turning guys on for the hell of it is like cooking a feast for someone then throwing it away.

When you approach a woman who’s gay, if she doesn’t come straight out and tell you, see if she shows any interest in you. If her attitude is more like a bro or making conversation she’s not trying to cook you any sort of meal. This doesn’t always mean she’s gay, but it gives you a flag to watch and see if she hits on other women.

Drop a Reference

Places like Sydney are known as gay meccas. These are places that are super gay-friendly and used to signal others of the person’s sexual orientation. Try dropping a reference like, “I love Sydney. They’re accepting of all different kinds of people. I had a friend there involved in LGBT groups that weren’t so cool in our hometown.” This might not be true. But it gives her the opportunity to mention that she’s part of something similar or that she’s always admired that in a place. Pair this with her interest level and you’ll be closer to figuring it out.

Take a Closer Look

A sometimes effective way to tell a lesbian, whether she’s a lipstick or a more of the tomboy type, is to look at her nails. This is especially true of those girly girls. Their nails will definitely be lacking in the girly department. The nails will always be short and well-maintained. As opposed to cutting them off, she’ll file the sharp edges out, clean underneath, and trim the hangnails.

This is for obvious reasons. But if you don’t get it, think about what she’ll be doing with those hands later after she’s picked up her own hot honey at the bar. She wouldn’t want any sharp corners ruining her night.

Lesbians come in all forms, so if you’re ever unsure, don’t be afraid to ask. She’s a real person, no harm if you ask about her orientation. But make sure you don’t come off as crude or rude. Respect is the name of the game.