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Dating Online: Advice for Men – Photos Revisited

I written about this topic before, but after a long hiatus from online dating, I’ve decided to revisit it.  It seems like men’s photos are getting worse, not better.  As I’ve said on the blog multiple times, If I was going to give men any advice on how to create a successful online dating profile it would be this.

Have a trusted female friend look over your profile before you publish it.

I could type that 100 times for emphasis, but I’ll restrain myself.  Don’t use your mom, or your sister, use a trusted female friend.  You want to use a woman who doesn’t see you as a a nonsexual being, so your relatives are out of the question.

Here are my top 10 tips for picking the right photo for your online dating profile.

Serial Killer

1. Don’t look like a serial killer – What does a serial killer look like?  It’s hard to say really.  It could be the outdated serial killer glasses, or the slicked down side part.  We just know it when we see it.  Show your friends, and simply ask – Do I look like a serial killer in any of these shots?  If the answer is yes, then don’t post them.

2. Don’t look like a pretentious douche bag – What does that mean?  It depends on the person.  Are you standing in front of your flashy Porsche or McMansion in your photos?  Are contemplating the universe with the caption to match?  Are you holding a pipe while wearing a bow tie made out of pipe cleaners?  Looking like a prick is relative to the woman who is viewing your visage.  If you use terms like “visage” in your photo captions, you might look like a pretentious douche bag.

3. Don’t use several group photos – Some guys have nothing but group shots.  Don’t make a woman search through several photos playing – Where’s Waldo?

4. Don’t cut your head off – I’m going to assume you’re married or hideous.  Don’t give me bullshit about having an important job. I once had a date inside the United Nations, it wasn’t the greatest match but his job wasn’t exactly mundane.

5. Don’t use professionally shot modeling or acting photos – They look a bit forced.  You can use one or two but don’t have a slew of them.

6. Don’t limit yourself to one photo – Use at least three.  The more you show the more likely someone will respond.  If your only photo is  of yourself from a far distance, no potential date is going to have any idea what you look like.  Use a body shot, a crop of your face and one that’s from the waist up.  If you have more than three that’s great but three should be a good start.

7. Don’t use a landscape photo as your main profile picture – Again, I will assume you’re hiding something or married.  SHOW YOUR FACE!

8. Please don’t post a dick pic – I said please.  I’m begging you not to do it, unless of course it’s a hook-up site or a woman asks specifically to see your junk.  An unsolicited dick pic is bad enough, a dick pic as your profile photo is the absolute worst.

9. Don’t post a photo of yourself with an ex – Or really even a sister, a friend or any woman other than maybe your mom.  It’s confusing, and distracting.  I’m going to be trying to figure out who the woman is, rather than just focusing on you.  And for the love of all that’s holy, don’t use a photo of yourself next to your ex, with her face blacked out.

10. Limit or eliminate bathroom selfies – You’ve got a smoking hot bod.  You want to show it off.  Well come up with a more creative way than a self-portrait taken with your cell phone in the bathroom.  You could snap one of you working out, or on the beach.  I’ve probably seen 10,000 bathroom selfies at this point.  Just don’t do it.

BE HONEST – One of my favorite all time profiles was of a beautiful black man in his late thirties.  Half of his photos were in typical attire of oxfords, ties, jeans and slacks.  Every other photo was of the same man in full women’s drag complete with wig, makeup, lashes, and padding.  He openly admitted he was a cross dresser but was straight and interested in women.  I APPLAUD this man for making such a bold move.  Sure it might turn off a lot of women, but the perfect woman for him wouldn’t mind at all.  There were no secrets and I admired his courage for putting it all out there.

If you follow this basic advice I promise you’ll get more emails on your profile!!!  And again, when in doubt have a female friend give it the once over before you publish it!  You’d be surprised how much having a woman’s perspective could help you out.

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Online Dating: We just aren’t that into you

Photoboothedit

This is for everyone who tries online dating.  I’m going to write it from a woman’s perspective, but I’ve heard numerous stories from men about this very universal problem.

On the first or second date a lot of guys assume the following

  • I’m madly in love with him
  • I want to have sex with him as soon as possible
  • I have an overwhelming desire to make-out or touch him
  • I’ve somehow had this long-enduring crush on him and FINALLY got up the nerve to ask him out
  • I’m completely sold, my date is the man of my dreams
  • I think he is my next husband, or I’m already dreaming of our nuptials
  • I just called my mom to tell her about how excited I am about this date

None of this is true.  I’m sure there are some women who really do think that when they go on dates with men they’ve met online.  There are always crazy people out there, but honestly most of women that I’ve talked to about online dating feel the following:

  • He doesn’t look like a serial killer
  • He’s alright, I hope he looks like his photos
  • I guess I could go out with him you never know
  • He sorta looks OK
  • He has nice eyes
  • He isn’t allergic to cats and lives in Brooklyn

That’s about as deep as it goes.  HONESTLY.  And this is usually what goes through my mind before a first date with a guy I met online:

  • Don’t let this date stretch on forever
  • I can’t spend a lot of money
  • I hope he isn’t psycho
  • I’m not sure if I even want to go through with this
  • I don’t want to put too much effort into this because most of these dates dont’ work out
  • Please don’t stalk me after this date
  • Maybe it’ll work out and I’ll go on date #2 with this one.

I actually do try to keep things positive, but this isn’t my first time at the rodeo.  I keep my expectations nice and realistic.  So when I meet a man online and he decides to take things physical way too soon, I just hate him.  A hookup site such as Tinder or Adult Friend Finder might be quite different, but most people don’t regard dating websites in the same way. If they are just looking for casual sex, they usually indicate it on their profile, or they should.  Because I’ve never had strong feelings towards a first date, I usually assume they don’t have strong feelings towards me.  No one really knows if there is actual attraction or chemistry until they physically meet.

I have had guys grab my hands, or put their arms around me when I have no real attraction to them, and it just makes me uncomfortable and I’m never sure how to handle it.

Where does this misperception come from?  I’m not sure, but I think it’s people of both genders assuming online dating is like regular dating.  When you were 20 years old, the sight of the cute boy in your biology class could make you weak at the knees.  The two of you would chat a bit and eventually the guy would finally make his move and ask you out.  Within hours you were cuddling in the booth of a diner asking about his favorite food, and his nickname in high school.  Online dating is just not like that. It’s two total strangers who thought from a few questions and photos that they MIGHT be attracted to each other.  With online dating you don’t even get the sense of physical chemistry you might get when meeting a guy in a bar.  It’s just so inorganic and actually goes against our instincts in almost every way.

Sure we know beforehand that the guy isn’t allergic to cats, lives near us and also likes goofy comedies, but at the end of the day that information isn’t going to make us weak in the knees when we are around them.  I’ve equated the whole endeavor to a crap shoot.  Sometimes you get lucky after the first roll of the dice, but most of the times you are both out of luck.  So fear not if your date seems bored and you just want to go home 15 minutes into it.  It’s not you, it’s not necessarily your date, it’s just random luck.  So gentlemen of online dating – please see these dates for what they are – two strangers just trying their luck at a seemingly impossible task. This isn’t college and you aren’t the cute boy in Biology class, but it’s OK.  We can’t go back to that simpler time in our lives, we just have to keep rolling the dice and hope that we eventually hit the jackpot.

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Dating Online: Advice for Men – How to completely mess up the First Date

English: stamp with the words "Fail"...

English: stamp with the words “Fail” and “attention to detail” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’ve written about this before in my article What Men should NOT to do on a First or Second Date, but I decided I needed a shorthand version – a cheat sheet if you will.  Also ladies, consider this shorthand for extremely negative behavior.  If some guy is doing several of the things on this list…RUN!!!!!   I’m making this specific to online dating because I think it’s a fairly unique way to meet people, and fraught with peril.  If you totally want to sabotage a date early, here are a few sure-fire ways to do it:

Say any one or more of the following phrases:

  • My bitch, crazy, psycho, ex-wife or ex-girlfriend – I get it, you had a bad breakup.  This is not the time for a festival of bitching.
  • I’m still in love with my ex-wife or ex-girlfriend – This has happened to me more than once…no joke.
  • I have to pay way too much child support – Well maybe you think you do, but would you rather have your kids live in a box on the street?
  • How many guys have you slept with? – Are you kidding me?

The following will make you look like a liar, even if that wasn’t your intention. 

  • I lied about my age on my dating profile
  • Oh by the way, I have a girlfriend – This information should have been on your profile
  • Oh by the way, I have kids – This information should have been on your profile
  • Oh by the way, I’m married – This happens more than you would think…and of course…this should have been on your profile

How to look rude

  • Make frequent text messages
  • Receive phone calls or make calls
  • Constantly check your phone in front of your date
  • Never ask your date any questions about herself, just give her a non-stop biography
  • Take your date to an expensive restaurant and then ask her to split the bill – If you are on a budget do coffee or drinks
  • Insult your date – You would be surprised how often this happens
  • Discuss politics or religion – Unless of course you know 100% it’s OK to go there, it’s not exactly romantic
  • Show up late or cancel at the last-minute – things happen but if some catastrophe occurs, contact your date immediately and BEG for forgiveness.

How to freak out your date

  • Assume it’s time to start making out, when your date has given you no indication that it’s cool do go there
  • Drink to the point that you’re a drunken sloppy mess
  • Assume your date does drugs, and then tell her it’s a deal breaker if she doesn’t
  • Force your date into a social situation with a ton of people she doesn’t know
  • Have an emotional breakdown and then treat your date like a therapist
  • Focus the conversation on sex, and ask intimate sexual questions right off the bat – The only exception to this is if you both agreed ahead of time it’s a casual sex type of encounter, or you met your date on a hook-up site.
  • Get angry when it’s obvious your date doesn’t want to have sex with you – Even if you met her on a hook-up site or with the expectation that you would have sex.  You might have freaked her out, she might have changed her mind.  No always means no, so chill out and let it go.
  • Send your date a dick pic – Although I love making fun of these in my act, dick pics are rude, goofy, and way too forward.  Your date could cancel completely, scream at you or threaten to call the police.  The only exception is if your date has asked to see your business…otherwise DO NOT DO THIS!

My personal #1 Pet Peeves

  • I’ve always thought I was funny, I bet I could do stand-up.  Could you help me get started in comedy? – If you want to get started in comedy then go to an open mic or take an improv or stand-up class…and never ask me that question again.  🙂
  • Get competitive with me about comedy.  Insist your are funnier or try to one-up me with jokes – Unless you really are a comedian…please just stop…no really just stop
  • Never laugh once during the date
  • Demand I tell you jokes, or want to see my act, right there out of context, while on a date – I basically hate you now.
  • Proclaim that you can’t stand cats – When then say that I know 100% that it isn’t going to work out.

Dating Online: The Coward

The Cowardly Lion as pictured in The Wonderful...

The Cowardly Lion as pictured in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This particular problem is not relegated to any gender, sexual orientation or age group.  Cowards  in the dating world are sadly universal.  I would bet that even prehistoric men and women scratched their heads over this dating archetype.   What is a coward?

A person who asks someone out on a date, only to then:

  • Cancel last-minute
  • Stand-up a date
  • Constantly reschedule
  • Make themselves consistently unavailable
  • Claim they never made the date in the first place – Act as if it was somehow a misunderstanding

I want to emphasize the distinction here, a coward is the person who sets up the date in the first place, and then blows it off. That is a huge difference, because plenty of people might bail on a date for any number of reasons.  Life is complicated, misunderstandings are common and people really might need to cancel.  They may also not be that interested and bailing on a date is a passive aggressive way of saying as much.  However if a man or woman asks someone out on a date, the need to do everything in their power to follow through.  A coward sends the mixed signal of

I want to go out with you, only I DON’T actually want to go out with you.

I hear these stories all the time from both men and women.  It has happened to me more times than I can count, and I will admit that one gentlemen strung me along like this for months.  I didn’t quite have my post-divorce self-confidence back yet so for reasons I still don’t quite understand, I put up with it.

Over half the men that ask me out on online dating sites do this.  The scenario goes something like this:

  1. They send the first email asking me to go out.
  2. I respond saying I would love to go out with them.
  3. Then they either cancel at the last second, blow me off completely, or never get around to actually planning anything.

I used to give these types the benefit of the doubt, but now I don’t.  If they can’t get it together for one date, they probably aren’t going to get it together for much more.   I used to think it was due to my blog, so I stopped using my name in any correspondence online.  Multiple friends of both genders have said this exact scenario plays out with them repeatedly.  Why do people do this?  I am not sure why but it might be

  • Fear of Failure – They are worried they will be ultimately rejected so they avoid the date, thereby avoiding rejection.
  • Fear of Success – If your date does actually go well, then they might have to deal with some type of dating situation this freaks them out, so they self-sabotage.
  • Intimacy Issues – They would rather have some type of fantasy of you than actually deal with another human being.
  • Seeing someone else – It is all a game to them, you are merely a pawn for their ego.
  • Ego Boost – They asked a person out just to see if they would say yes, never intending to go out with them.
  • Living in a Virtual Reality – A person becomes so accustomed to relationships online social networking etc, that a real one is just too much for them to handle.

Faking out dates is almost rampant behavior nowadays.   It seems completely irrational as asking a person out on a date is a bold move, and makes a person quite vulnerable.  It is such a problem with online dating, I could almost bet half the guys who end up in my inbox will never follow through with an actual date.

Actions really do speak louder than words.  If a person is not making you a priority in their life, then they are letting you know that you are not really that important to them.  Asking you out, only to then flake is rude, inconsiderate and downright baffling behavior.  If someone really wants to see you, they will move heaven and earth to make that happen.  Don’t waste your time on a coward.

 

Dating Online: Nice Guys of OKCupid – Why it’s Horrible

Loser

Loser (Photo credit: jugbo)

I get a lot of love and hate mail due to things I have written on this blog.   My critics come from every direction imaginable from angry males calling me a man-hating shrew to virulent feminists claiming I am eroding the women’s movement.  I find all of this venom ironic since I average a little over 100 readers a day.  Not that bad for a total unknown blogger, but there are blogs out there that get a lot more traffic than this one.  Men often take umbrage with my articles, and I can understand their frustration.  I write from a woman’s perspective and I have repeatedly explained to many of my detractors that since I am female, I cannot write from a male’s perspective.  If men want to read about other the dating lives of males, they should read a blog written by someone with a penis.  I simply cannot write from an experience I know nothing about.

That being said I openly admit that I frequently make fun of the online dating profiles of men I find on dating websites.  I mock poorly written or pretentious self summaries on my Facebook page, in my stand-up routines and on this blog.  My regular readers like it when I point out the absurdity and arrogance of some of the men I encounter online.  I make no apologizes for it.  I do however go out of my way to protect the identity of anyone I ridicule.   I never include photos or even screen names.  My intent is not to make personal attacks or to public humiliate a man who might not have an inkling on how to write effectively on a dating website.  I have also tried to help men in their quest for love online.  Since I have scrolled through hundreds of profiles, I know what turns most women off.  In my articles Online Dating: Why you get ignored, and Dating in NYC: What to Not do on a First or Second Date I am honestly trying to help men not make the same mistakes I have seen time and time again.I completely agree with the creators of The Nice Guys of OKCupid up until a point.  Most of the men featured on their blog are clueless and have negative views about women.  However the crime of writing a poorly written dating profile should not subject anyone to public shaming.  I have no problem with poking fun at the grandiosity, rudeness or misogyny on any profile.  The Nice Guys of OKCupid crosses the line by attaching images to the poorly written content.  Now these men are no longer anonymous, any number of friends, relatives or co-workers can see personal information that was not meant for all the world to see.  Anyone could easily fabricate a dating profile and submit it to the site, in order to humiliate someone.  There is no way of authenticating if any of the information posted is actually accurate.

We all put ourselves out there when we sign up for a free online dating profile.   Vulnerability is not easy for anyone, especially men that might have limited social skills.  When we bare our souls looking for a possible mate, we also open ourselves up to the darker sides of someone’s psyche.  I have gotten pure hate from total strangers on dating sites.  I am not sure why, but now and then some man decides he needs to send me insulting or disgustingly perverted emails.   There is no joy in making myself open to this kind of negative behavior.   It makes me cringe when men I know tell me they stumbled upon my profile while browsing, or that I came up as a good match. I would rather not have to resort to putting so much personal information on a site for someone else to dissect, decipher and judge.

The whole thing reminds me of a bully finding a love note written by a total nerd to a popular girl and then plastering a high school with photocopies to humiliate the author. Are the men featured on Nice Guys of OKCupid clueless?  Yes.  But do they deserve public shaming for not understanding women?  No.  Do most men understand women?  Do most women understand men?  I don’t claim to know what is going on in the mind of most men and I would hate to see my own photo/profile in a

  • Women who think they are all that of OKCupid
  • Bitches of OKCupid
  • Cougars of OKCupid
  • Future Old Maids of OKCupid
  • Cat Ladies of OKCupid
  • Annoying Women of OKCupid

Will this public shaming do anything to change the behavior of those featured on the site?  I seriously doubt it.  If anything it will just make the men that much more disillusioned with the gender they already don’t understand.  When a person signs up for an online dating website they don’t sign up for another third-party to exploit them.   OKCupid should get the site taken down.  It is surprising that someone hasn’t already threatened the site with legal action.  I don’t think there is anything wrong with making fun of someone’s words  as long as their identities remain private.  Dating online is hard enough, do we have to make it that much harder?

Dating Online: The Liar – A Hall of Famer!

pants-on-fire

I am launching a new category on this blog: The Hall of Fame.   Anyone I place in the online dating Hall of Fame will be a person who expresses the most extreme traits of an already established archetype.  To protect this man’s identity  for the purposes of this article I will simply call him, “The Pretty Boy”.

It started out innocently enough.  Tired of my inbox filling up with 22-25 year olds trolling for cougars, and geriatric men who lie about their age, I did a quick match search.  My query was simple, men who live in New York City ages 32-47.  After scrolling through dozens of profiles I ended up emailing exactly two men.  One was an extremely attractive man, almost too pretty for my taste.  Most of his photos were professionally done, and he had one shot of himself holding a guitar in front of a large crowd of what looked like several thousand people.  The caption read “I was a rock star…about 10 years ago”

This photo was the first red flag. I questioned why he would put something like that on his profile.  I also wondered if this man might be promiscuous; as the lifestyle of most professional musicians isn’t exactly one of steadfast fidelity.  My roommate looked at his photos and said immediately.

“He is probably gay, he is way too pretty to be straight”

I disagreed as I have met many pretty straight men.  I was more concerned with, “How could a man this good-looking really have much of a problem getting a date, especially if he was a rock star at some point in his life?”

I have come across many extremely attractive people on dating websites.  However this man was model good-looking.  He was gorgeous, and that is rare on dating sites.  I wasn’t really interested as I am really attracted to bookish nerdy guys or artistic types; but, his profile was so over the top I felt compelled to contact him.

I sent him a brief one sentence asking him for a “drink or something”, to which Pretty Boy responded.

When you said ‘or something’ did you mean sky diving?  Or a book reading? Something a bit more exciting?”

I found his response rather annoying.  Here I was a total stranger sticking my neck out to ask him out and he is scolding me for not being bold enough in my request.  So I responded…

“No actually I meant just coffee.  I would hate to ruin an experience like sky diving with a total stranger, not to mention it is rather expensive.  If we went to a book reading we wouldn’t get a chance to talk much and well…you are a total stranger so it is better to actually get to know you”

And then the first shoe dropped and I get this response.

“Well I would love to meet for coffee but I actually live in Los Angeles but I will be moving to New York soon…so that is why I have New York on my profile.  I will be in town on Dec. 10th if you want to hang.”

I wish I could say this is the first time I found an inaccurate profile, but unfortunately a lot of guys lie about living in New York.  I guess we New York gals have a bit of a reputation for being fabulous.  I have no idea.  I should have just walked away; but, for reasons I don’t understand, I shot back

“Hey man if you live in LA you should say you live in LA.  And if you are moving here soon, maybe you should focus on moving here before you try to date anyone.  If that is what you are looking for, I am not sure.  Anyway good luck to you, New York is a really difficult city to date in.  I wrote an article about it, trust me it is hell.”

And because I thought this would be the end of the conversation I sent him a link to my #1 hit as it were, “Dating After Divorce in a City of Sluts.”  I have no idea why I did this.  I had never done it before.  I guess I meant it as a nice parting gesture.  I was just trying to give him my perspective on dating in this city. I just forgot how opinionated and worked up people got about that article.

About twenty minutes later I get this long rambling response written mostly in text speech with the letter “u” substituting for the word “you” and some of the worst grammar and spelling I have ever seen in my life.  I would have just ignored it but his tone set me off.  The line that pushed me over the edge “I disagree with the very notion of writing about it in the first place.”

Plenty of people disagree with me, and I don’t mind a healthy debate.  However telling me I shouldn’t write about any subject was incredibly disrespectful and insulting.  It was also incredibly difficult to respect his opinion since he couldn’t write in complete sentences, spell simple words or even make his opinions clear.  My writing is not perfect, but his writing was simply abominable.

I will paraphrase as our correspondence got somewhat heated and long-winded.  My first tactic was to  defend my article.

“Look you may not agree with me, but I have every right to write about whatever I want.  This is my personal experience so you may disagree with my point of view, but I wrote it from the heart.  I got hundreds of new followers on twitter, it was shared thousands of times on the internet, and I even did interviews based on the article.  So you may not agree with me but a lot of people did.  I am not bashing men as this is a universal problem.   As I stated in the article: women, men and people of every sexual orientation and gender identification deal with this predicament”

His next response is when things really got weird.  As he took my attempt at defending my piece as me bragging about my accomplishments.  His response was to try to out-brag me…again paraphrasing for length.

“Look I have sold millions of records, I have been on TV, was voted one of the most beautiful people in the world and I have been married for 15 years I am just on a hiatus and I have four children”

Well this is news now isn’t it?  He hadn’t indicated on his profile that he was MARRIED, nor that he had FOUR CHILDREN!  I was floored, and kept reading. He may have not realized the verb tenses he used but the words “have been married for 15 years” implied he is still married.  Also the use of the word “hiatus” made me feel he was not even legally separated much less divorced. He went on,

“And because of all of this, I have had a lot of experience with women…all over the world”

And I started doing the math in my head.  So if he is 38 and married for 15 years, and is probably still married…if he was screwing a bunch of women 10 years ago when he was in a band, then he was cheating on his wife.  Wow, this man was a catch.

“And so what about your article who cares?  I also know I am attractive.  Why?  Because thousands of people have told me so.  Including millions of readers in a certain popular magazine that called me one of the most beautiful people in the world.”

At this point I started cackling.  Yes this man was attractive, but obviously he had put a lot of his self-worth into what he looked like as I had not brought up his physical appearance.  I realized he misunderstood my defense of my article.  I wasn’t actually trying to brag, just point out that yes my piece was controversial but plenty of people loved it.  Now it seemed he was hoping that I would rue the day that I had snubbed him.  After all he was one of America’s Most Beautiful people, a fact he mentioned twice in his rant. If he only knew how many other pompous beautiful men I have turned down over the years.  I finally ended this madness and wrote.

“Well if you are so famous and attractive, then why have you resorted to online dating to try to meet women?”

And then I blocked him from contacting me.  I was kind of insulting myself  and everyone else on dating website when I wrote that.  I didn’t mean to diss everyone on a dating website as plenty of people find love online.  I just thought it was funny that this man who kept bragging about how he was so beautiful, had appeared on television and sold millions of records was trying to find a date on a free dating website.

I WILL NOT reveal this man’s identity on this blog but after a fairly quick google search I found out he had what looked like one big hit and a couple minor hits about a decade ago.  I didn’t recognize him or his musical partner, nor had I ever heard any of their music.  It was bland light pop and I am sure they had a loyal following for a brief time.

I have been on and off OKCupid now for over two years and I have never found a profile that proved to be so blatantly fraudulent.  He had no mention of children, still being married or living in a totally different city.  He tried to defend his actions by saying he was only looking for “friends and activity partners”.  That was the only honest thing he had written, but  I can’t imagine his wife would be overjoyed if she found his profile.  This was the ultimate liar, and from the looks of his ranting a fairly insecure liar.  Perhaps he should try to find some groupies who might still be starstruck.  He will learn soon enough, most New York women won’t give a damn that a popular magazine called him a beautiful person.  If he wants casual sexual encounters he will have no problem getting them, he just shouldn’t pretend he would rather go skydiving instead.  Had he been honest from the start, he would have saved us both a lot of trouble.

Dating Online: The Body Experiment

Anyone who knows me and knows this blog understands my complicated relationship with online dating websites.  For the most part I loathe the entire online dating experience, but when I go offline I rarely meet anyone appropriate.  I noticed that my online dating profile was becoming a magnet for the most pretentious men in New York City. My inbox filled up with book long diatribes full of ostentatious vocabulary and self-aggrandizing biographies.  I had no idea what was attracting these men.  I just knew it had to stop.

I wiped my profile clean and started over.  My current dating profile has next to no information on it.  I mention that I am a performer, I live with two cats, I am a vegetarian, I am a liberal and little else.  My profile redesign gave me an idea.  I decided to create a blatantly sexual, shallow and slutty profile and see what kind of mail I would get.  I was not shocked by what I found, but the numbers were overwhelming.

I won’t mention the dating website I used for fear that they will have me banned for life.   For the purpose of this article I will refer to my alternate profile as “German Girl”.

My actual profile.

Age 39, Vegetarian, Cat owner, Agnostic, Bachelor’s degree in the arts.  My regular profile has 10 photos on it, but for space I will include only three representational photos here.


One performance photo, one from a wedding and one of how I look while at home writing.

German Girl – The Body profile

Originally I had these two photos associated with the profile but they were taken down for violating the rules of the website for being “extreme close-ups”

I am a pear-shaped athletically built woman with a small bust and wide hips.  So I decided to go with my best assets…my abs.  I also used somewhat blurry photos on purpose, to hide my identity and to cover up any flaws.  I don’t think I have a perfect physique or anything, and I am not 25.

The following three were perfectly acceptable and approved for use on the site.

The lingerie shot, the abs shot and the bikini shot were the three photos that made up German Girl.  I made myself one inch taller at 5’8″ and six years younger.

My profile went along the following lines.  I am editing it for length.  .

The first things people usually notice about me

My eyes. I am not showing my face for a number of reasons. But I am blonde and most people would find me attractive. I might send you a photo, if I like yours.
1. Sex
2. Creativity
3. Music
4. Intellectual stimulation
5. Open minded people
6. Freshly baked bread.
Finding men that are compatible with me. I am a bit strange. I like them smart and nerdy. The nerdier the better.

You should message me if

You aren’t a total jerk.

I added freshly baked bread as a bit of a joke, as I keep seeing bread references on nearly every other profile.  German Girl was also a vegetarian, atheist and non-drug user.  I also gave her a Masters degree in the “Arts”.  My alter-ego was childless like myself, but without pets.

Here is what happened.  In the course of two weeks time, here is how these two profiles did in a head to head competition.

Regular Profile – Total emails – 15

German Girl – Total emails – 541

The headless photos of myself…got 36 times the email that my regular profile.

Here are just a few of the breakdowns of the emails sent my headless body.

  • 193 – Quick simple one sentence message
  • 92- Emails that just said simply Hi
  • 43 – Used humor in their emails
  • 32 – Asked for more photos
  • 27 – Asked for Sex Directly
  • 18 – Referred to me as gorgeous, cutie, adorable, beautiful  – (I am not sure how a body can be “adorable” but their words not mine.
  • 13 – Sent a mild insult
  • 12 – Were also profiles of photos of male bodies with no face.
  • 11 – Sent a several paragraphs
  • 11 – Sent a message that was obviously a cut and paste that is sent to dozens of women
  • 9 – Requests for BDSM Sex
  • 8 – Asked the simple question where is your face?
  • 1 – Told me I had a nice smile
  • 1 – Called me curvy (I wish I was curvy but I found that compliment to be way off especially with my flat abs and B cup breasts)  I have hips but I don’t exactly have curves.

German Girl got email from men of all ages, demographics and parts of the New York Metro area.  The profile even got email from out-of-town men who asked to meet up for a drink or sex for the brief time they would be in New York.  My favorite comment that I got repeatedly was “I can tell by your profile we have so much in common” which was especially funny since there was next to nothing on the profile.

About a week into my experiment I got a strange email from one of the founders of the company urging me to answer some of my hundreds of emails.  It felt like a mild threat, as they seemed to know that my profile was fake.  I decided to send some responses but I did so in the weirdest way possible.  A few of the several hundred men got one or two-word cryptic answers.  For instance:

Man: “Hey there!  I like your body what are you doing this weekend?”

German Girl: “Weekend?”

Or if they would say something like

Man: “Girl, you are hot I would love to get to know you”

German Girl: “Know me!”

My bizarro answers would deter some but most men would still try to chat with me anyway.  I was only answering a few emails so the site wouldn’t kick me off.   I didn’t want to lead anyone on.

In the case of the handful of men that emailed both profiles they tended to write a lot more to my actual profile. German Girl was lucky to get a sentence.  Nearly 200 emails simply said…”Hi!” or “Hey there”.  It gave me amazing insight on communication with men.  When they are thinking of you as a just a piece of meat, they won’t bother with much chit-chat.  When they are hoping for a girlfriend…they might send several paragraphs.

In the case of the men who emailed both profiles, if sent German Girl an email I didn’t take them seriously on my regular profile.  The whole thing acted like a screening process.  A few men that I knew, looked at German Girl but did not contact her, a fact that I found reassuring.  Not every man took the bait.  I am sure many found German Girl tacky and vacuous.  A few guys I had gone on dates with didn’t recognize me and sent German Girl an email.  These were men I had just had a drink with and nothing else.   They hadn’t exactly seen my body!

I also got several emails from men that looked exactly like German Girl – all photos were of body shots and no head.  So a headless body was sending another headless body email begging to hook up.  I actually respected the direct hook-up requests seeing as German Girl herself was fairly straight forward.

When I briefly added another shot of my mostly obscured face, the flood of emails slowed down.  I would love to do another experiment with one profile with a face and one without and see which one gets more mail.  Somehow a face made me too intimidating, it was easier to send mail to a detached body.

I am not surprised by the outcome of this experiment.  I knew the body shot profile would get more attention and more email.   Any woman seeking casual sex and posting bikini photographs is going to have a full inbox. What shocked me were the overwhelming numbers.  I have had multiple friends find partners, even spouses online.  I am beginning to feel though that their success had more to do with sheer luck than anything else.  If I ever decide to just start hooking-up with random strangers though, I might just resurrect Ms. German Girl and give it ago.  Maybe I will get some freshly baked bread out of it, or an STD.  For now, I will just stick to my profile with a face and hope I get lucky.

Dating After Divorce: He’s Just Not that into You…no really he is just not that into you.

Cover of "He's Just Not That Into You: Th...

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After I left my marriage emotionally scarred and damaged, I have discovered that I am the world’s worst dater.  No really…I am the world’s worst dater.  I am terrible at it.  I talk too much, reveal too much, ramble on and on…and I think I come across as a neurotic idiot.  No, make that a desperate neurotic idiot.  If I am not into a guy I get bored and can’t really hide it, I stop asking him questions and just blather on about any nonsense.  Somehow my brain tells me if I just keep going then maybe something will click, when instead I should just make up an excuse and get out of the situation.  If a man is rude or insulting to me, I don’t think to just get up and leave, even though there were many times when I should have done just that.  And on those rare occasions someone sparks my interest, all I can think of is

“Please like me…please don’t think I am a weirdo…please don’t run away”

And call me crazy, but I think my inner monologue might be projecting…because so far the ones I seem to fancy…run away.

In my never-ending search for dating advice I turn to self-help books.  Books have always been my go-to when I need information about anything.  I own a couple hundred books on various subjects and have an entire shelf dedicated to the subject of “DATING”

One best-selling tome promotes a simple premise “He’s Just Not that Into You” by Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo.  From what I know of the back story, a male comedian and writer came up with the premise for an episode of “Sex in the City“.  The episode was so popular that the concept transformed into a book and then a movie.  Millions in sales later it remains as a classic for women to turn to when we get so damn confused by men.

The wisdom contained in the book is simple

  • Men really aren’t that complicated
  • If a man wants you, he will stop at nothing to get you.
  • Don’t chase a man, or pursue them
  • Don’t waste the pretty if a man is treating you badly don’t put up with it.
  • If a man doesn’t want to commit, cut him off, don’t look back
  • There are quality men out there, but it may take a while to find one.

All of this is great advice and will help any woman to stop obsessing about every little move a man makes.  It also helps women to stop giving inconsiderate men second and third chances.

This is all great medicine, but like any medicine it comes with some side effects.  For instance, I have desperately tried to live by its ideals but I rarely go on second or third dates…I am starting to believe that “No one will ever be into you”  I have had to deal with…

  • Men I barely know try to booty call me even though I gave them no indication that I would be game for that
  • Ignored text messages, emails and phone calls
  • I have sent invites to my shows – only to have them ignored
  • Dated men that rarely if ever gave me a compliment
  • Been blown off completely – countless times
  • One man decided an ex-girlfriend was more important to follow on twitter than I was, even though he was emailing me every day…for months.

So when I apply the “He’s just not that into you” philosophy it leads me to the conclusion

  • There is something wrong with me
  • Who marries a gay clown? – A freak does
  • I repel men
  • I am a total weirdo and no one wants to stick around
  • I am a liability or an emotional wreck
  • They saw your blog, videos or stand-up and have decided your are not dating material

These are irrational fears that swirl about in my head, completely untrue but persistent nonetheless.  The more I seem to stick my neck out in the dating pool of sharks, the more I seem to get bitten.  I have honestly given up trying to figure this out, and I think I am finally done with online dating.  We are after all commodities on any dating site, and any potential suitor might think they can always find a shinier less damaged version out there.  I have had friends find the loves of their lives on online dating websites but whatever reason most of my dates end in tears.  If not immediately afterward I usually end up crying days later when I realize I am not going to hear from the guy.  Either I walk away somewhat disgusted or discouraged by the men that I meet or become crushed when I thought there was a connection and then I never hear from the guy again.  I have met some lovely men who were nice but I didn’t have any chemistry with or felt were more compatible as friends, but then that happens to everyone now doesn’t it.

I think I am going to throw the books away, get off the dating sites and hope that the universe releases me from this undeserved penance.  In a fit of self-protection I can feel a thick emotional callous forming around my heart and I don’t like it.

 

Dating After Divorce: If my Online dating profile was Realistic

If my online dating profile was my inner monologue it would go something like this.

Divorced.  I am putting that first because some of you guys can’t handle it.  So there it is.  DIVORCED.  But hey at least I tried marriage, you are 40? 42? and never married?  So what’s up with that?  Maybe you moved around a lot, maybe you got out of something long-term but otherwise…seriously what’s up with that? And I ask because once you find out my story you will judge me, and oh yes you will…so here we go.

My husband was gay.  No really gay.  Yes we had sex, I am not an idiot.  But the sexual relationship became dysfunctional, and to be quite frank it happens in a lot of marriages.  A quick google search of “sexless marriages” will yield plenty.  And no, he didn’t act gay.  No one thought he was gay.  He wore beat-up clothing with stains on it, and cared very little about his physical appearance for the most part.  He was ripped though.  Should I have known from his buff physique and extensive work-out routines he was really on the down-low?

You might think that since I was married to a gay man that I don’t like sex or that I am asexual.  Oh what I won’t tell you, but that is hardly the case.  I am a one-man type of woman in that I like having one partner at at time, and I like to get to know my partners before having sex with them, which is hardly uncommon, especially for women.   I am not frigid or asexual, in fact I had plenty of perfectly normal relationships before I got married.  I was miserable living that way and I never want to go back.

But enough about him…but you will ask about him, because you will probably find my blog.  And then after you do you will freak out.  Look I am not going to write about you.  I dare you to find another person’s name on my blog other than my own….you won’t. I feel like I have to tell you about the blog, after you find out my name, thanks to powers of a google search.

I was a good wife.  Loyal and ridiculously faithful.   I bent over backwards to make my husband’s life as easy, and I was extremely supportive of his career.  Sacrificed my own career ambitions for him and in the process kind of painted myself into a corner.  This is my fault and I take responsibility for it, but I thought that is what a spouse is supposed to do.  I won’t do it again. Not sure if I would ever marry again…the divorce was so horrible.  Haven’t really dated much so the idea of re-marrying seems really crazy…anyway.

I hope you aren’t one of the many socially awkward types that I seem to go out with.  I don’t know why but it seems that most of the men I have been on dates with have difficulty having a normal conversation, so I am forced to blather on and reveal way too much.  Or they sometimes try to impress me with tales from their youth in which they did hardcore drugs.  Well drugs aren’t an accomplishment so much as a bad habit, so the drug stories don’t impress me.  Anyway, I am a bit awkward myself.  Please don’t be intimidated by the fact that I go onstage with a microphone, or the fact that I liberally use the “f-word” both on stage and in my every day life.  Don’t freak out that I wear a pink wig, don a huge pink polyester dress covered in applique and pay a crazed children’s performer for adults named Princess Sunshine.  Don’t lose it when you hear my song “Man Whore” or “Younger Piece of Ass”.  And everyone knows the accordion is the sexiest musical instrument, second only to the ukulele. I play both, how lucky are you!?!

Look I am fortunate in the genes department and I look 10 years younger than my actual age, I am naturally ripped and slender.  If you are into women with huge breasts and a sensuous curves, you will want to keep looking as that is not me.  But if you like an athletic build…I might be your girl.  And yes I am a vegetarian and I don’t drink alcohol often but that doesn’t mean I am an uptight shrew.  I used to cook meat for my ex-husband all the time.  I am so not uptight that I go out all the time to see my friends take off their clothing for fun.  That’s right…burlesque…I perform in that too…but as an emcee, not a dancer.  Not that there is anything wrong with being a burlesque dancer.  Sorry if that freaks you out, it probably does.  What can I say?  I am a total weirdo.

And to those of you who want babies and are worried I am 39 years old.  Well my grandmother had her last at age 42 and my aunts all had lots of healthy children.  No one in my family has had even the slightest problem with fertility.  And to the men who have kids and don’t want more…well I would have to meet yours and we could figure this out.  Kids love me.  Just don’t tell them about the “f*ck” part of my vocabulary or that I play whacked out characters all over New York.

And I am writing a book!  With a literary agent and everything…no deal yet…it is about being married to that gay clown…oh that’s right he was a clown too.  And I am sometimes a clown, trying to get out of it….but it is honestly how I make a portion of my income.  I dress up in a huge red skirt and go by the name Lulu.  Have you freaked out yet?  You probably have stopped reading at this point, or your just doing it out of curiosity.  I am a regular walking freakshow.  I have actually worked at the Freakshow, a few times…mainly as an emcee or comedian…down at Coney Island.

So if you aren’t a socially awkward man, and you don’t mind that I am a starving artist, and I don’t have a normal job.  Or that I was married to a gay man…and that I am out late when I am performing shows and all of that…we could be the perfect match. 🙂

Or you could just find some normal woman on here…I understand.

Online Dating: Advice for Men – How to Pick a Good Photos for Your Profile

Scuba diver. Found at Plongée sous-marine & ob...

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I am writing this because I just keep seeing the same thing over and over and it is making me crazy. I know most dating websites have general tips and tricks on picking the best profile photos.  I am not sure who is reading the advice given because I just checked my Match.com profile and in one day saw so many great examples of what NOT to do…I felt compelled…the blog must come out.

The absolute first thing you should do before publishing your profile or emailing anyone is: Have a trusted female friend look over your photos, your essay and everything else.  I cannot stress this enough.  Your mother doesn’t count.  You need a woman close to your age who knows you, and has your best interest at heart.  An ex-girlfriend is perfect, as long as you are on good terms.

Here are a few bad photo trends that I see repeatedly:

#1 – Bathroom Mirror Self-portrait – If you are really going to the full cliché then take every photo of yourself without a shirt.  Just make sure we can see the cell phone in the photo, and make it clear that you are in your bathroom.  Some men have nothing but shot after shot of themselves flexing in the mirror.  If you want to look like a Jersey Shore type of douche bag – this is the perfect way to make that happen.

#2 – A photos of yourself with an ex-girlfriend with the woman’s face blacked out –  When there is a big black box over the face of a former lover it speaks volumes. It says a lot about what you think of that person, and what it is saying is not very nice.  The same goes for the artful crop, that is we can tell that you have carefully cropped out a former girlfriend.  It’s fine on one photo but not so cool if all of your photos are like this.

3. Every photo is a group photo. – You would think this one would be obvious.  It says something about you if every single photo is a group photo…and what it is saying is that yes, you have friends..BUT you are hiding something…not good.

4. All of your photos are taken from a far distance. – I don’t get the landscape photos, or photos from vacation that include no humans whatsoever.  A photo of a nice sunset is lovely, but it says very little about what you look like.  When I see this, I just assume the man is married, or hideous.  It seems shady.  Don’t do it.

5. Really old photos – Some guys take this to the extreme, I have seen photos from the 1970’s complete with the yellowed sepia film and obvious hair and wardrobe choices that are clearly not from this decade.  It’s great if you had a wonderful bushy stash in the year in which I was born….but I would like to see what you look like now.

6. Nudity – The only exception to this rule is if you are looking for hook-ups or casual sex and you are making that very clear on the rest of your profile.  Then by all means…show the goods.  But there are sites for that sort of thing.  Generally speaking on most dating sites, nudity will get you kicked off and your photos will be taken down.  It is also probably not going to work as well as you think it is.  Women like a nice looking male body, but you run the risk of repulsing a lot of women.  It’s kind of like going up to a stranger and flashing them.  If you are at a swingers club, this behavior could be extremely welcome.  But if you are just standing on the street – women are libel to just run away from you.  Most women just aren’t wired in quite the same way as the average male. Also your body might not be as smoking hot as you think it is.  When in doubt – show a female friend and she what she thinks.

7. Scuba Gear – I have seen so many profiles in which the majority of photos are a man in scuba gear.  Not one photo, but every photo.  To me that says the man is either married, not confident in what he looks like, or embarrassed by being on an online dating site.   Well get over it and show your face!  Scuba gear gets its own category because it is nearly an epidemic online.  I have no explanation for it, but it drives me crazy!

8. Sports – Sure some women love sports maybe even more than you do, but if every single photo of yourself on your profile is one of you playing a sport, it might be a turn-off for some.  It’s not the worst thing you can do and it does say to any potential date…”I love sports!”  But you might want to throw in a straight shot of yourself just hanging out, instead of having every single shot in tiny running shorts covered in sweat.

9. Ironic boa, dress, women’s clothing – WHY? WHY? WHY do I keep finding these?  It’s just confusing unless cross dressing is your thing.   In one man’s profile,  half of his photos were in full drag, while the other half were in mens clothing.   He was open about being a cross dresser and I had to give him kudos for that.  Sure, he will turn off most women, but for the women who are actually seeking a cross-dresser the profile will be a magnet for them.  I all for honesty!  If you are cross dressing as an ironic joke, women who don’t know you may not get your sense of humor.

10. All Body shots, none of the face – This one just makes me think – married man. I’ve actually found numerous profiles like this where the man explains he is married and cheating on his wife.  One even said he was specifically not in an open marriage, nor was he polyamorous – he was just looking to cheat.  If you aren’t married, then why not show your face?  Nearly everyone tries online dating at some point.  There is no shame in looking for love online, and I have actually encountered a few men online with fairly high profile jobs.  Don’t hide.  If you want to look suspicious having no face shots is an easy way to do it.

11. Pay attention to your backdrop and details – I’ve seen many photos with men still wearing their wedding rings.  They could be old photos, but they are definitely sending a mixed message.  The married man who boasted about cheating on his wife had a baby fence behind him in one of his shots.  Sure it could have been for a dog, but it looked absolutely dreadful.

12. Only one shot – You can’t be bothered. And it increases the likelihood that you won’t look like this one photo.  I have found a good rule of thumb is 5-6 but it never bothers me when a man has 20, as long as 10 of them aren’t landscape shots. 

I know men read this blog, because I can tell when they search for it.  Hopefully some of them might re-think their online profile photos after they read this, but maybe not.  I want everyone to find the love of their life out there, so put your best face forward…and please show your freaking face!