My Fellow Inebriates,
Every week Plenty of Fish continues to send me my ideal matches, even though my inbox is (imagine!) empty except for the occasional mass email regarding a party/orgy/swinging event in my neighborhood.
I must say I’m overwhelmed by the egalitarianism of Plenty of Fish. When I first joined, I expected to be immediately eliminated based on my ursine qualities and the inability to meet any height that might be specified as desirable by women seeking mates. I really did think the POF administrator(s) would flush a creature like a bear out immediately, privileging human males at my expense.
Not so. My animal profile continues in its lonely fashion, attracting no one in particular but everyone in general. This week’s POF email drew my attention to the following seekers:
Don’t they sound outgoing?
I have to admit I’m out of my depth with such forward prospective partners. Dolly was, shall we say, demure in comparison. Even our foray into porn had nothing on the sheer sexual hunger apparent in the ready-and-willing candidates at Plenty of Fish.
But who are these women in reality? I was curious about the sort of person who would advertise herself sexuality first (although RustedMetal may or may not fit this category). It got me thinking about identity negotiation—we all 😉 construct a public self as a means of negotiating relationships with other people. So what is being negotiated with a handle like screwmehardplease?
Probably not a whole lot. In all likelihood Plenty of Fish’s 32 million-strong membership is vastly inflated or at least padded out by multiple profiles, pet profiles, and trolls. With 30,000 new signups every day, it’s no wonder POF hasn’t had the time to weed my profile out. And in fact they may not, since large numbers constitute the site’s biggest selling feature. Profiles such as kinkynsilly make good bait for new members—does it matter whether they’re real or serious?
This is what makes dating sites so frustrating for people who genuinely want to meet someone. They have to wade through a shitload of profiles, some false, many nonserious, probably some professionals if you know what I mean, and tons that were put up on a whim and never visited again. POF is probably a cyber ghost town with a population of one hooker for every nine “normal” people. Or worse.
Or is that a misogynistic trap? Google “online dating” and you’ll find plenty of men disgruntled with POF and its ilk, criticizing not just the sites but the women who use them. Men’s magazines describe the sites as minefields, coaching readers how to spot “liars.” Presumably everyone wants to make a good impression (do you put your most unflattering pics on Facebook?), but online dating critics are quick to pounce when pictures don’t match reality.
So, to the charming potential partners viewing my profile on POF, I tried to be as truthful as possible. Date LB and here’s what you get:
- Fur. Call it mangy; call it matted—it’s all over me.
- Odor. Call it animalistic; call it funky—it’s the smell of old empties, and it goes with me everywhere.
- Vice. I’m an alcoholic.
- Seven inches. That’s seven inches tall, ladies. You got it.
And perhaps that’s why no one wants to get with this.