by: David Chastity
An infographic that’s making its way around the internet says that online dating is growing by leaps and bounds, a fact which surprises polyamorous people not at all. We love using the internet to meet new partners — because it’s much easier to screen for things like “will storm out of room crying when he finds out you’re married,” and because we don’t really have the time or interest to attend all those Singles Events I’ve seen in movies. Not to mention, you know, not being single.
But now that online dating is officially Not Just For Creeps and Weirdos, there seem to be a lot more people up in there acting like creeps and weirdos. Would you like to find True Love on the internet, or at least a solid lay? Read on, then, because David Chastity is a certified e-slut, and I’m here to help.
First off, you need to pick an Online Dating Service. Use OkCupid. I mean, I could sit here and go into all the pros and cons of various services, but unless you’re a monogamous heterosexual, only OKCupid is really set up to deal with your “alternative lifestyle.” Also it’s free, which means that it has a huge user base. I hear that this varies a bit in different cities, but it’s definitely the place to start. Also, if you’re into kink, and somehow not already on FetLife, I hear FetLife is the. place. to. be.
So, you’ve set up your bright new shiny OKCupid account! Now what?
Well first, you need to fill out your profile. Do not underestimate this step. I have seen profiles with maybe a dozen words spread over six or seven fields, in which the user tells me, “Just ask what you want to know” and “I like to have fun.” This helps no one. At least list some bands and movies that will make you seem cool, and a hobby that’s not “sobbing myself to sleep while I masturbate because I am so very lonely.” Lie if you have to. And go ahead and tell OKCupid what you want — whether you’re interested in dudes, ladies or both, whether you’re currently in a romantic relationship, and whether you’re looking for dates. OKCupid will do this great thing where it lists single people as “single” and people who are dating someone but also open to dating other people as “available.” Keep this in mind as you’re browsing other profiles.
Now, you need some photos! Of your face, jerkwad. No one wants to talk to you online if they don’t know what your face looks like, no matter how well-lit your twelve-pack abs are. (Maybe this is different for gay men. Or ab fetishists. I don’t know.) Fortunately, OKCupid will help you choose the sexiest picture of yourself! Just head on over to My Best Face and drop in 7 or 8 options, and wait an hour or so for people to vote and tell you where you look best. You might be surprised at the results!
Now’s the part where things get interesting. If you are a 100% homosexual-identified dude or lady, I can’t really promise for you how things will go down now, but probably you will start receiving messages and you can browse and send messages to other people.
If, however, you are a person who also enjoys mixing P with V, your OKCupid experience is going to break down by gender. I hate that this is true, but it is. You can always mark your gender different to fuck with people, I guess. Anyway, if you are on OKCupid with a profile that says “female,” you will begin receiving messages. Lots of messages. From male-identified folks. Many of them will be worthless, but some will be nice! Your self esteem will soar as you feel like the sexiest belle of the ball. Everybody wants in your pants, and you could turn all of them down if you wanted. Or have sex with 18 guys in 3 days! Totally your choice.
If, however, your profile says “male,” this will never be your experience. Prepare all of those hunter instincts I read about in sexist articles and start messaging people like crazy. My boyfriend says it takes about 10 sent messages for one reply. Some of those replies will be, “Thanks but no thanks.” Fortunately for you, I have collected a large sample of Incoming OKCupid Messages, and I’m going to point out some of the worst mistakes so you can avoid them. (These tips are for people of all genders. And if you have any tips on how to make OKCupid be less heterosexual, I’d love to hear them in the comments!)
Terrible OKCupid Message Type One: The “Hey Ur Hott”
This is a message with fewer than 10 words, at least half of them misspelled, which comments only on the physical attractiveness of the sender. If you’re feeling frisky, you can also imply or state that you would like to engage in sexual activities with the recipient. Ideally, copy and paste this message to at least 30 or 40 people in one session. Cast a wide net!
Every now and then, I reply to one of these people and try to understand why they have done what they have done. Most of them do not respond favorably. I wish I knew if any of them ever get laid using this technique.
Terrible OKCupid Message Type Two: The “I Disagree Strongly With Your Religious or Political Views”
Apparently, there is a subset of people on OKCupid who think that it is awesome to start political or religious debates. Maybe I’m doing it wrong, but I am on a dating website to meet people with whom to have sex. In any case, because I have a lot of things in my profile about religion — I’m trying to find a Christian girl/boyfriend to round out my set — I often get inundated with atheists who want to save my soul. Sometimes I promise them that, yes, I know about evolution and believe that child raping is bad, and sometimes I go into long explanations of Platonism, and sometimes I straight-up ignore them.
However, I have never, ever, gone on a date with any of them.
Terrible OKCupid Message Type Three: The “Can I Have a Threesome With You and Your Roommate?”
I covered why this is not acceptable in a previous post.
However! Do not confuse this with “my girlfriend/wife and I want to have a threesome with you.” I love those messages. I have had some nice threesomes with friendly couples thanks to those messages. Friendly couples, please keep soliciting pretty girls and/or boys! Try to keep those messages to the kinds of things you’d say to a single person if you were also a single person, though. No implying too much commitment too early,that sort of thing. Use both your heads.
Terrible OKCupid Message Type Four: The “I Did Not Read Your Profile Even a Little”
In the first sentence or so of my profile, it mentions that I have two boyfriends. Sometimes, though, I get to the third or so message with someone, drop that bomb, and they run screaming. It’s never happened with anyone that seemed worthwhile in the first place, but this is still a basic skill. Read the profile of the person you are messaging.
Terrible OKCupid Message Type Five: The “We Are a 60% Match! Wow That’s High!”
OKCupid has a lot of math and algorithms and nerd-things to help you find out if you and that hottie are compatible. Based primarily on a lot of questions that you answer yourself, about every topic under the sun. The thing is, that compatibility percentage is then rendered, as percentages are, out of 100. Some people on OKCupid are a little confused by math, though, and think that fairly low numbers are actually pretty good. I assume these people similarly scored 60s or 70s in math at school and thought that was great. (That said, don’t put too much stock in the match algorithm. I’ve gone on dates with 98% matches that failed miserably, and generally have better luck with people in the 85-95 range. Boy 1 and I are 91%, and Boy 2 and I hit 93%.)
These are only the most egregious OKCupid mistakes. That said, they are depressingly common, and often occur in combination. But since you’re planning on avoiding them, what do you actually put in that message? To answer that, allow me to show you an actual exchange I had with some poor sap when I was feeling particularly vindictive (we had a 46% match):
His opening salvo: “You know that one special thing a guy can say to get your attention and melt your heart? Well, pretend I said that and write back and tell me what it was. :-)”
My reply: “Well, my one boyfriend said, ‘Hey, baby, wanna come play Rock Band?’ The guy I was all ready to fall head over heels for but he is moving to California said, ‘I have the same theology and religious experience as you.’ So, there are at least 2 special things. The problem with polyamorous people (or is it postmodernists? or comparative religion scholars?) is that we are more interested in the differences than the similarities. What makes me interested in a guy is a certain set of equivalent experiences (else we’d have nowhere to begin talking) combined with something that he is doing that is totally different and interesting from what I’m doing. So, show me that, and you might have a chance.”
That guy had no chance. Don’t be that guy.
P.S. I am really good at dating advice, as certain contributors to this blog can personally attest. If you want me and my boyfriends and probably also their partners to look at your OKCupid profile and judge it, let me know! Like I said, I’m here to help.
David Chastity is some girl who lives in a city on the East Coast and likes kissing. She also really enjoys doing the Onion A.V. Club crossword puzzle, drinking good beer and finding the secret sexual meanings in popular music. She’s working on her MDiv and convincing Jesus to marry her.