Tag Archives: dating

Online Dating and Valentines

love, dating, dating sites, valentines day, hooking up, bliind dates

Dating sites can have too much choice to make a decision. Creative Commons: webdesignhot.com

The history of online dating is an interesting one. From a personal point of view, I’ve been online since the screen was black and the text green, when there were no graphics and it was all DOS. The moment people could send their desires and quests across the great digital ether, they have looked for all types of information and much of it has been sexual.

During those first days of the internet, when a friend in New York said I should get a modem and I had to ask what that was, there weren’t many people or groups online. In fact, I went online to do research for writing and I would shout into that big black hole, hoping for an answer from who knows where. Chat groups began to appear but it was like a quest with a blindfold on to find them. The local internet service provider (ISP) in Vancouver was also the only one: mindlink. When I went online I would see a list of all the users, no more than 20 in Vancouver. Yes, it was that small. Anyone on the ISP could instant chat with anyone else. There were a few chat rooms but this was outside of the rooms. Right away (being one of very few women) I would get people asking how old I was, was I single, etc. Then there would be the inevitable request for “hot chat.” Bear in mind that I’m a writer, and I could hot chat anyone up to probably a good time, but really, it’s rare that hot chat would work for me. Besides, I didn’t know if this was a 14-year-old guy or some creepy decrepit pervert. I just wasn’t interested.

Then the internet blossomed with chat rooms and minimal graphics and about 90% of all chat sites were sexually oriented, one way or another. Bulletin Boards (BBS) came about but I never went through that maze. Lavalife came along, which was actually phone personals at first. I tried that for a while and at least you could listen to a person’s voice but there were some crazy ranters on there with issues. I dropped off, then I got on the internet Lavalife but it was not a great site for me. No matter what you put in your profile it seemed no one read it and still wanted to “hook up” for the evening. I also got stood up more times than I ever have in my life. Although I have friends who met and married off of Lavalife, I compared it to boys in a candy shop with too many choices to make a decision. I left.

love, dating, relationships, culture, internet dating, online dating, sex

Is love still possible? Creative Commons: Aaron, Flickr

I already posted about Plenty of Fish. I think I tried eHarmony for a month but at $30/month for about the same results. I’m a little too creative for many of these sites and don’t have the patience. These days, there is a plethora of places for dating, for hooking up, for long term fun. OKCupid blends friendship and dating and I have made friends on that site. There are a variety of styles and predilections, but I think with all the instant media we’re forgetting how to interact with a live person. We let Hallmark tell us that to love someone we just say it on Valentine’s Day, we give pre-prescribed candies and flowers, and that will be enough. You can try to sugar coat a relationship, put up pretty pictures, and write flattering partial truths, but the true taste of the heart (or pudding) is in the tasting. If we just got out there and socialized more, didn’t expect instant gratification, and slowed things down we might find that a relationship is worth doing and more rewarding than a thousand Facebook friends.

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How to Bomb Out on Dating Sites

dating, love, dating sites, sex, men, chatting

Creative Commons by Motoyen (Flickr)

I’m in a state of singlehood at the moment, which some liken to being a leper while others might see as being a lion amongst a herd of gazelles. People often have different requirements on a dating site. Some want short-term dating, some long-term leading to a permanent relationship. Others want casual companions or to hook up with a bed buddy for the night. In the last situation you might start your online chat with, “Do you like it doggy style?”

But for me, there is no faster turnoff than a guy who doesn’t bother to chat about life, the universe and other intriguing things (notice I didn’t say “everything”) but instead begins with “I’m very physical. I like to cuddle/neck/be oral/snuggle/have a high libido/enjoy holding hands. What do you like?” To me, it’s rude and crass. Stick it in your profile, if you must. Often, we haven’t exchanged names yet so it’s like a guy on the street flashing open his trenchcoat.

If you met someone at a friend’s dinner party, would you start out saying, “Do you like it hard and fast or slow and soft?” Perhaps it’s suitable in some cases but in most it would be crossing a line way too soon. And without the benefit of alcohol when online (I presume here) it’s certainly a rude slap. A guy that starts with the 20 questions about sex may as well stick a picture of his penis up online as well. And if that’s all he can really think of to talk about he should just say he’s looking for sex. I couldn’t lose interest faster.

The other way to bomb in the dating field is to do another twenty questions about the age and ethnicity of guys I’ve dated. It’s one thing to know if I would date someone younger or older than me but another to want me to list their nationalities. In my bomb shelter I will hide from the barrage of such questions and wonder what the reason for asking is. If I’m willing to talk to a person younger or older and of any color it already shows I’ll likely date them. Listing every nationality or religion is bizarre.

I’d prefer not to be bombed with a multitude of questions but to trade questions and answers back and forth, even discussions about life and interests. Guys like the top two examples make me think they wouldn’t be good dating material because in one way or another they’re more hung up on sex than on relationships and on who to date by looks than just who is compatible. I do believe sex is part of a good partnership but it’s not all. If it was, I wouldn’t worry about being single or not. A great mind is more likely to get me into bed than a sex fiend is.

If you’re a guy or a woman and you think you’d like a relationship but all you can think to talk about is sex then I would suggest learning how to carry a conversation. You certainly don’t want to arrow in on the genitals in the first few chats online with someone. Unless a relationship is established, to me, it will always be crass. Those intimate questions are better left to discussions in person. If all you want is to have online sex, go for it. Just don’t bother chatting with me. Forget about love; let’s start with a decent conversation.

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The Muffins Lasted Longer Than the Relationship

There are dates and there are dates. The first is the type that you eat, that you could possibly put in a muffin. And the second is the type you do with someone, presumably someone you’re interested in.

I have had either the misfortune or the…adventure of dating from time to time. Here’s an example of what I might have to put up with. The other night I was out with friends for a drink. This guy decided I was beautiful, but like most lines after a few drinks we must examine them like insects crawling across our sandwiches. Motives are always suspect because often the guy wants nothing more than to be the cream in your coffee. And lo and behold this guy told me he loved me. I said, “No you don’t. You’ve just met me.”

Do they really think that will work? It didn’t work when I was 20 and it doesn’t work now. He proceeded to say he really wanted to date me and that he didn’t just want sex but a relationship, but he was all over me and that turned me off. It adds a teaspoon of cynicism right at the beginning.

But really, this post is about muffins. Sort of. For a short spate, I dated someone this summer. He worked in a muffin factory. These muffins were dense, moist, full of flax and sturdy enough to keep me filled for half a day. That description doesn’t work for the man, but he sometimes gave me a few muffins to take home. I ate the last one today. I haven’t been eating them throughout all this time but the muffin lasted in my fridge through August and September. No mold and mostly still moist. The relationship on the other hand, lasted five dates, or over about six weeks. The muffin had staying power and might have been the better part of the deal. All I can go on is what I got.

But muffins have it easy. They only have to relate with your digestive system. And though that can cause its own havoc, the communication is fairly straightforward. You either like or don’t like the taste, eat, feel full, and then your body processes the nutrients into wanted and not wanted, and then you get rid of the rest. Hmmm, maybe a relationship is a lot like eating.

However, communication seems to be one of those weird things that takes more twists and turns than food sliding through your gut. I have enough male friends who are in relationships they aren’t happy with, but they won’t leave their partner. Why? Well, some argue that “she wouldn’t survive without me.” I call this reverse egotism. The man decides that the woman is incapable of moving on or existing without him, when somehow she did so before they met. Often it’s really because the man doesn’t know if he’d survive on his own, he’s never broken up with a woman, or he’s afraid of his loneliness.

On the dating end, I’ve had a guy give me his phone number but it was a dud number. So why did he even bother? I was not going to die if he didn’t give me his number in the first place. And often we’ll hear, I just need space, I want to be alone right now, or nothing, just silence. If these phrases are lies instead of the truth, we’re bound to find out, as I have. I can actually live quite easily with someone saying, “I just don’t think this relationship will work,” or “I’m actually interested in someone else” to some other far-fetched and less truthful statement.Especially if I’ve only had a date or two.  My emotional investment is pretty low and I’m capable of moving on and forgetting I actually dated the person.

You’d think people could just say the truth, be honest. But somehow they believe a little lie will be less painful than the truth. I have used “men” here in my analogies because that’s who I’ve dated but I think in some instances these scenarios would hold true for women. Except I bet that a woman who is done with a relationship is more likely to leave it, overall, than say “he couldn’t survive without me.”

So in the meantime, between these dates where the ingredients are missing or suspect, I’ll stick to home cooking and leave it to the food to communicate with my body. That at least is always an honest interaction.

Thanks to anaumi for the picture: http://i629.photobucket.com/albums/uu13/anaumi/muffin.jpg

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Love, Sex and Inanimate Objects

Just when you think you’ve seen it all, up pops another twist on the skein of life. I’m used to reading about, and hearing about different fetishes. I write erotica as well as other subjects so most of it I’ve heard of. Some of it is downright weird and some even revolting but I’ve heard of it.

What I have not heard of, or didn’t until yesterday, was objectum sexuals. It doesn’t exactly roll of the tongue and seems a blend of Latin and English but perhaps that’s to be expected from a self-proclaimed, very limited group of people who classify themselves as in love with or having intimate relations with inanimate objects.

love, inanimate objects, objectum sexualis, crazy people, marriage

Erika married the Eiffel Toweer (from http://blkandred.blogspot.com/2009_04_01_archive.html)

The article listed here from The Globe and Mail mentions a woman, Erika, who had a special feeling when she was at the Eiffel tower. She continued to visit it, again and again, touching it, spending all day with it. Eventually she performed a commitment ceremony with the tower, and friends as witnesses and changed her name to Erika Eiffel. The picture shows she wears an Eiffel tower necklace and has the tower tattooed between her breasts.

swordHer past relationships have been with an archery bow, a bridge and a sword (is that another euphemism for rough play?). I wonder if she’s ever had a relationship with a person and if she did so at the same time as dating the bridge. Was she then cheating on both partners, the animate and inanimate? And if she’s with a female object, is she then a lesbian? Ms Eiffel began a group called Objectum Sexuality Internationale (Latin, English and French in that name?) for people who love inanimate objects.

The article goes on to mention the man who is dating two soundboards and keeps them in his pocket, and fondles and kisses them. Is he cheating or just polyamorous? There’s a woman who is going to marry a roller coaster. Which denomination will perform that marriage or will it be a justice of the peace? But almost all religions require that both people give consent. These are not two people but woman and thing, however the thing cannot give its consent. I doubt that that marriage will be legal in the eyes of the law.

So okay, these people get a warm fuzzy glow about some thing but to marry or have a commitment ceremony with it? If I take these people seriously in their choice of partners, then I have to ask, how do they know that that bridge or tower or roller coaster wants to marry them or have a commitment ceremony with them? Aren’t they forcing their affections on something that can’t object? If they also are married or date people, then aren’t they cheating? What if the bridge wants a monogamous relationship? How do they know?

And what if the Eiffel tower already had a ceremony with someone else? Is it cheating? Do they know if the tower is monogamous or polyamorous? Maybe it’s saying in its quiet metallic voice, “Don’t touch me there. Get away from me. I’m sick of all you people spitting on me, pissing on me, dropping your gum and garbage all over my surface. Just leave me alone.”

Although a third of these self-identified objectum sexuals are supposedly diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome or autism (where it is sometimes hard for people to form relationships, but not always) there are only 100 people in this group, or at least those who have “come out.” That’s not even one percent of any population. Still, how can a person form a relationship with something that doesn’t feel, though Erika claims they are animists, therefore believing in a spirit in everything. There are animist religions but they don’t marry the objects in their religion (usually). What does it say when a person dates an object so that there are no discussions, no arguments, no objections to any behavior? Is it a sign that that person wants to control all aspects of a relationship?

Should I just turn a blind eye if I see a guy screwing a Volkswagen Beetle in a parking lot? After all, he can’t have it in to his place and he needs to maintain the relationship. In fact, in the US, men (or women I suppose) can buy neon colored, silicon testicles to hang from the back of their cars. Is this a form of penis extension or pumping up the image of masculine virility, or is it more objectum sexual? I’m not sure I want to know.

If I see a woman semi-naked and rubbing herself against a building, should I just presume it’s a normal relationship with her lover? So what’s next? Hmmm, dead people are inanimate. Should the deceased’s partner be able to maintain intimate relationships with the newly dead? Should there be a business in renting out preserved dead folks for loving relationships? We usually call this necrophilia.

I love chocolate but I suppose I’m a murderer as I tend to eat it. I love the color turquoise but I’m not about to get all intimate with every turquoise item I see. Maybe I should just lick and fondle it. That might be enough for both of us. I love my bed. I sleep with it every night. Maybe we should get married.

Still, for all this weird little piece of life makes me shake my head, I guess it doesn’t harm anyone, unless you consider the feelings of the objects.

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How to Date

This is a summation of some aspects of dating profiles that I’ve seen. I’ve tried dating sites and I understand that it’s hard to sound interesting, well-rounded and like a particularly unique individual. But there are some things that will deter men or women from having anything to do with you depending on what your profile says.

  • Try updating those pics, and making sure you have a range of clear ones that show you as you are now, not when you were in high school, twenty pounds lighter or you only dressed as Count Dracula.
  • This also means don’t put pictures of movie stars or models up on your page. Unless you only ever want a virtual relationship you will be discovered the first time you meet your date if he or she even recognizes you.
  • Be honest. Saying you’re completely active and bungee jump every weekend, or like to be a couch potato all of the time is only good if that’s what the person is looking for. Duping them into one date might be how you get your jollies but it won’t help for a repeat performance.
  • Don’t say, “I like romantic, candlelit dinners and walks on the beach.” It’s been used so often no one believes it, like those bad chick flicks. You may very well like these things but say it in your own words.
  • Don’t say things because you think the gals (or guys) will like it.
  • If you’re looking for sex for the night, then make sure you’re in the correct area or section. Don’t troll the dating and long term relationship sections.
  • Don’t chat someone up, ask if they’d like to meet for a drink and when they say yes, you don’t answer. In fact, be honest. Say (nicely), sorry I’ve changed my mind. Most people can handle that.
  • Don’t lead people on. Seriously. If you’re such a social misfit that this is the only thing you like to do and you find it funny, then I’m just happy you’re not getting closer to potential dates.
  • Spellcheck your profile information. You may suck as a speller. You may have a learning disability. That’s okay; that’s why God and Gates invented spellcheckers. Use them to make your words readable. Likewise, if English is your second language, get a friend to proofread for you. Spelling is not a sign of intelligence, but some people will equate it that way.
  • Don’t leave a blank profile, or no pictures and then ask others for pictures or to chat when they know nothing about you. I’m not interested in chatting up someone I can’t see and could be 12.
  • Watch the sarcasm. It may come across well in a group of people but on a dating profile it can come across as bitter. Save it until you get to know the person or be really obvious, such as saying, “That was a joke.”
  • Don’t be rude, condescending, antagonistic, bigoted or angry. Save those for your blog. You can rant there, but if you want to meet people, it’s the best foot, face and words forward.
  • Try to be original. In fact, I’ve read many wonderful and original profiles. People are individuals. No two are alike. The picture and the words are the first step. If someone likes what they see, they may be willing to take the next step and talk to you. But you have to be accessible.
  • Don’t say that looks don’t matter (or activity level) and when you go on a date you tell the person they’re not active enough. Again, be honest in what you really want. For most of us, looks do count to some degree.

So that’s it, a few tips that can make a difference between garnering dates and a howling wasteland. People don’t want games so don’t play them. Don’t lie. Be honest. Stick to your commitments or communicate and say no thanks.

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Living in a World of Rejection

Everyone gets some form or rejection at some point in their lives. If you’re fairly well balanced, you can take it in stride, maybe momentarily sad/disappointed/angry but you move on.

However, to reject seems a much harder action for some people to commit. Take the thinner side of relationships–that is, dating. How many times has it happened that someone says, “I’ll call you,” when they have no intention of ever calling? Or the slow disappearance of the person you’re dating, who can’t manage to say, “I’m no longer interested,” but instead becomes distant, talking less, laughing less, making love less or with less passion?

Really, who is being fooled in such relationships? Not the one being dumped slowly, unless they’re in complete denial. And if you haven’t learned by now, a slow dumping is much more wounding and demoralizing than a sudden one. Though that shouldn’t legitimize never calling again but still having the guts to say, “Look, this just isn’t working out,” or “I’m really more into my book than you,” or whatever. It comes down to communication.

However, I believe there’s often ego tied up in this that people don’t realize. “Oh, I couldn’t tell him/her I don’t want to see them anymore. It would crush him/her.” Yeah, I’ve been reduced to ashes every time some guy never called. Give me a break. Ego ego ego. Not needed. People survive, they move on. They continue to live their lives. Someone I’ve dated is not all-important in my life. (A longer live-in relationship could be a different story however; more time is invested.) If you’ve only had a few dates with someone, be decent and say it’s not working. Don’t be a worm wriggling away without the guts to say anything.

Which gets to the real point of this. Writing. I’ve been rejected so many times I cannot count. I used to say I could paper a house with rejections and a bathroom with acceptances. I think I could now paper a good-sized bedroom with acceptances. But the point is, a writer lives with rejection all the time. And it’s not just because personalities don’t mesh (well, maybe sometimes it is), but it’s more personal; it’s one’s writing that gets rejected.

Writing can be the blood and soul of a writer. A good writer can separate enough to take constructive criticism. A writer can also be completely emotionally unstable and think that you’re ripping the arms off their baby any time you say anything against their perfect child. That’s not a good writer, who will never get the perspective to see what is wrong with a story. That’s a crazed writer who might, from time to time, write well, but only if they can take criticism.

Still, no matter how professional you are, how gracious, how open and noble, how thick your skin, it can get to you. The perseverance of most writers is akin to beating your head against a wall with a nail sticking out, knowing it’s causing you to hurt and bleed, but still doing it, hoping you can pound that nail down. What gives first? How prevalent is depression amongst writers? Ask them.

Writing is not for the weak at heart. Over the years and the many workshops/writers groups I’ve been in I’ve seen people freeze up. Some never write again when they find out their perfect child has a flaw to some people. Some are closet writers, writing away, but paralyzed to submit or let anyone view their work.

And there you go; submission. A writer must be submissive. Passively and meekly sending in stories and poetry to the mighty god-editor of doom, awaiting the call or the casting out. You must submit your writing and submit to the will of others.

Now, when you look at the aberrant or colorful personalities of past writers: Dylan Thomas, Hemingway, Oscar Wilde, Lord Byron, to name a few, is it any wonder they turned out the way they did? And of course one can ask: does writing attract the unique personalities or does writing create them? Does a writer who has experienced the numerous rejections by editors become more compassionate in rejecting people in a relationship or less? Does the one condition have any correlation to the other or is it strictly one’s personality that dictates the way of rejection?

Whichever it is, the rejector should always reject gently and clearly, whether in a relationship or in writing (there are always exceptions). And anyone considering the life of a writer better be ready to face rejection and realize that nothing is perfect in the world to all people. Something can be rejected a hundred times before it is accepted (even true for relationships but not with the same person–that’s stalking). So here’s to a thick skin, persevering and weathering the rejections.

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You’re So Vain

Vanity. It’s usually said in disparaging ways, that a vain person is a bad thing. And is it? The dictionary says it is conceit, or having an excessively high regard for one’s self, looks, possessions or ability. Arrogance is related with its overbearing pride or self-importance.

The worst case of vanity and arrogance I ever saw was a boyfriend who believed that every time a woman talked to him, even if she was asking him the time, was because she wanted him. He believed everyone loved him and that he knew things no one else knew, had experienced events that no one else had ever experienced. But he was more arrogant than vain though it’s a slim line between the two.

A person who is extremely vain is often a narcissist, stuck in self-love and importance, appearance or abilities. They’re more concerned with how they look and what they do, than the world, people or events around them. They’re given to talking about themselves a lot. Like the joke goes, “Enough about me. What do you think about me?” And Carly Simon’s  song (You’re so Vain) of course frames it well, “You had one eye in the mirror as you watched yourself go by…”

I once dated a narcissist. Later, “as friends” we got together for coffee. Jon talked about his job, his family, his dog. He paused and there was silence since I had decided to let him be the first to ask how I was. I’d asked him about himself, his job, etc. but never once did he actually ask me anything about what I was doing, not even “how are you?”. After the pause, he talked about his love life, his place, himself. When we left, Jon had not asked me a thing. I could have had kittens and he wouldn’t have known. Not a great person to date.

Narcissists may go farther with their self-importance and date people who look like them. I remember a girl in school who once said, “I only read books where the character has the name Laura.” Guess what her name was? These are the worst aspects of vanity, self-involvement, where perspective centers only on self, believing one is always the best and that no one can compare.

But not all vanity is bad. The opposite end is humility, yet false humility is another form of vanity, where you extol the virtues of being humble in a way that makes you look better than anyone else for sacrificing so much.

Taking care of your appearance beyond simple grooming is caring about how you look and is a vanity. Does a hairstyle or particular color look better on you? Do you wear wrinkled clothes or items in a dirty or slovenly manner? Do you take pride in your appearance? Do you try to stay in shape, not just to feel better, but to look better?

It is not wrong to feel pride or feel good about how you look. In fact, someone who doesn’t care at all may have other emotional problems like low self-esteem or depression. It’s the absence of balance that is always the problem. Talk about how you look but then notice how the other person looks. Talk about what you’ve been doing but give a person fair share in time and show interest. There are people who can’t start conversations because they don’t know how to ask a question about someone else. They expect everyone to ask about them and they can go on.

Sometimes it isn’t so much vanity as the person may lack some social aspects, learning only to talk about what they know, sometimes incessantly. Chatterboxes can put you to sleep because they don’t allow anyone to get an word in or interact. They may be narcissist or vain or just inept on the nuances of conversation.

We all have moments when we want the attention on us. It’s human nature to want to feel special, to shine at some aspect of our lives. But we have to share the limelight. It’s all right to be selfish sometimes and say me first, or it’s about me. I’ve been accused of making things all about me when I tried to stop a friend from physically fighting with another friend who had just slept with someone not his wife. That man accused me of making it all about me when somehow I was trying to help him save his marriage. I said, when we talked afterward, that yes, it was about me in that I was selfish and liked my friends and didn’t want to see them broken up and that I wanted them happy. That’s my selfishness. I have found sometimes that people will accuse someone of vanity at the weirdest times for completely unrelated things. I’m beginning to realize that this can be a misfired plea for some attention.

So if you say, “Wow, look at this poster.” And your friend says, “Oh everything always has to be about you,” then maybe what they’re saying is, “Me, me, look at me.” You may have to say, “What do you think about this poster?” People are weird and vanity tempered with humility is probably the best way to go.

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Internet & Sex & Voice

Has the internet changed since those early DOS days of looking for cheap sex and hot chat? I remember getting on to the great vast abyss of the internet. There I sat before my black screen, the neon green cursor blinking a way. Like shouting into a black tunnel, I would send questions out, hoping for an answer from the unknown universe of the internet, not yet called the world wide web.

There was little in the realm of urls. Locally, there was an ISP called Mindlink. It might have been the only one or one of very few at that point. When I joined up and went online to these groups, Mindlink would show the names of all the people online. Sometimes it was ten, sometimes twenty at a time. I joined a couple of chat groups and found that they often contained pedantic blowhards who shot down anyone talking about a subject. They were so obnoxious in trying to show their stellar intelligence that I left them to join Mindlink’s nonsense group.

When you signed up for thsi group you were asked for an alias. Once given, no one would ever see your real name unless you chose to reveal it. For whatever crazy reason, I chose the moniker Laughing Fist. There were others on the group like Feste and names I no longer remember. And true to the name of the group, we talked nonsense. Sometime puns, sometimes jokes, sometimes mad ramblings, but the group was created to counteract all those “serious” groups of know-it-alls.

Mindlink would hold meets where members could meet in a pub in public. My partner at the time had no interest in computers and internet and I really didn’t feel a need to go to the meet-ups. As I was trying to find information on subjects, mostly for writing, on the internet, I discovered that there were numerous chat rooms. A lot of those early groups had specific topics or the alt.groups. But sure enough, about 90% of them dealt with sex, maybe because 90% of people on the net were men and boys.

Mindlink had instant chat and whenever I signed on to the list, where everyone could see your name, I would get guys messaging me right away. Everyone could post a profile and I made it clear that if you asked me how old I was first, then you weren’t interested in chatting with me but just trying to date me. And then there were the guys who would ask if I was interested in hot chat. Basic talking dirty online. I wasn’t interested, have never really been interested. For one, I had no idea how old the person was or what he was like. For two, I’m a writer. I can write all sorts of stories. It might get them off but I’d only be practising my writing.

I also realized in the nonsense group where everyone had shortened my name to Fisty, that they thought I was a guy. Probably from the name and from the way I wrote. Once I realized that, I said nothing that would give away my gender. It was fairly easy and made me realize how much you can have a different personality on the internet. Unfortunately as internet use expanded, the stalkers and degenerates found it as a way to lure impressionable and gullible teenagers. I did eventually show up at a meet where everyone was surprised to find out Fisty was a girl.

I don’t go searching out the millions of sites on porn, and as search engines have become more sophisticated one is not as likely to stumble on porn, hot chat, or sex sites unless one wants to. So what percentage of the internet is taken up with sex? I’m sure there is someone out there adding up the googling and could tell us…maybe. But I think even looking at WordPress and my blog gives an idea. I write on a range of topics but some of the ones that get the most hits are the ones about sex, genitals, prostitutes.

We think that humans are more advanced or far above our animal brethren but we forget we are run by the same instincts as they are: the need to procreate. Of course, we have gone further in eroticizing many aspects, making some good and wholesome, some naughty, dirty or downright perverse. We have cultural conventions and moires that animals don’t have. So in essence we have complicated sex, but people still think about it a lot. Whether we’re curious, or appalled or turned on, many still want to read about it.

I think the internet may be broader and more far reaching from those early days of hot chat but I’m not sure by how much. And look at how far we’ve come in less than twenty years. We have way more pictures. :)

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Dating Site Pictures

So it’s just past that big day brought to you by Hallmark, florists and chocolate companies. I’ve never been big into it, single for a lot of it and find it contrived. On Saturday I bellydanced at a 50th birthday party, then stopped in the local watering hole for a drink or two before home. A woman was writing up a note to pass to a band member because she said she was there with her boyfriend, it was Valentine’s Day and he wouldn’t hold her hand. I kinda wondered if he knew he was supposed to and was thankful not to be in that boat.

But it got me thinking of the dating sites I’ve tried before (Okay Cupid, Plenty of  Fish, Lavalife) and the pictures men post. I wrote this up a while back but it’s still apropos to dating.

I have this word (many in fact) of advice for people:

  • Try updating those pics, or more likely your fashion sense. Giganto aviator glasses went out in the 70s or the latest, the 80s, and even if you were going to wear them, you’d need to have a way funkier wardrobe than is revealed by your pic.
  • And the moustache, gah! If you’re going to go with something that only cops wear you may as well go crazy and have handlebars on it or a Hitler style brushstroke.
  • Don’t stand like tweedle dee with your belly sticking out and your hands down by your sides. You look retarded.
  • Try getting a picture that is actually clear. A fuzzy pic in low light does you no justice. Unless you really want to defeat yourself at the dating thing before you start.
  • Having one eye doing something way weird from the other one makes you look like a psychopathic killer and although it may do to weed out the nonserious, it will also get rid of any sane thinking person too.
  • Putting a picture of a monkey, a horse, a tiger or any other wildlife is nice. But I don’t want to date them. And if I think you look like a tiger or a monkey’s ass I’m not going to want to date you either.
  • Likewise, lovely landscapes are nice but if I want to see them I’ll go for a walk. You are a landscape of flesh, eyes, nose, mouth. Show it.
  • Putting up your game geek pics (where you’re almost drooling, overly dishevelled, somewhat crazed looking) with words like “blank mindless stare” as the caption, well, hmm, you sound like too much of a winner for me.
  • Looking like you just puked over the side of the boat after downing a keg is not so attractive either.
  • Oh, and a picture of you covered in blood and gore (even if it is simulated) is just downright not gonna have me meeting you for a first date.
  • Pictures from South Park are original…for South Park. But not for you. Try your face. It’s unique.
  • A picture of your hand, or belly, or eyeball, or other lascivious body part, although of you does not tell me what you look like. And if I’m going to meet a stranger from online I want to at least know what you look like beforehand in case my body is never found. Oh, and silly me, I’m really not interested in what your dong looks like (unless it’s Adult Friend Finder where that’s what you’d expect).
  • Wearing your pagan/Dungeons and Dragons/Lord of the Rings robe for a picture might be something you wanna save until you get to know the person. Just listing you play RPGs or are a pagan should be enough.

Pictures in different types of clothes: sporty, tux, costume, can be okay as long as you show normal attire as well. Now, albeit there are some perfectly fine pics and you can enlighten with a caption. But trust me, one of the above with: “I’m a perfectly average chap,” or “I’m an outgoing guy who likes walks on the beach,” are just not going to cut it. If you go with the freakish pics, then you better be downright entertaining, erudite and interesting in your profile. Now if you don’t wanna date, no problem. I’m jes sayin’.

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Broken Hearts and Frozen Hearts

I’ve been lucky to have fallen in love, more than once even. Which of course leads to the being not so lucky to have fallen or been pushed out of love more than once, hence clearing the way for better, bigger loves. Well, not always. Each one was different.

Back in high school I dated Randy for about a year but I didn’t love him. I broke up with him because he was an alcoholic. A pretty good reason I think. I dated a few other guys and another one named Randy Davis who had the potential to be long term, except we were almost the mirror of each other. It was uncanny to the point that we knew what each other was thinking because we had the same thoughts at the same time. The problem was that we were both in the same spot, not sure if we wanted a relationship and so broke up without every actually having to say it. I still wonder what became of him.

Then there was Chuck, my first true love. We met in art college and were together about three years. I thought we’d be together forever. It was very much an in the moment thing. Problem was, he fell in love with someone else. That was like being pushed off a cliff–no soft landing. I moved to Vancouver at that point and crawled through a three-year depression. Part of that was finding my self-confidence. I’d been damaged enough that when I was with Chuck he supplied the confidence for me. Without that break-up I probably wouldn’t have grown as much, but it was still one the most painful experiences and broke me forever on pure love. It happens to most of us though.

Eventually when I crawled my way back to normalcy, I was burned and twice shy, dating but not particularly wanting a relationship. Then I accidentally fell in love, with a customer at the bookstore where I worked. I realized it when it was too late and tried to start a relationship with him. It was a disaster and I coasted close to completely losing myself in the worst aspect of my eating disorder. He was a charming rogue running across the globe to escape commitment. To this day though (we resolved things years later) I care for him even though he is half a world away, knowing that’s because it was unrequited love and therefore can remain this little pearl of what-ifs.

Then came Eric. We met through friends and were perhaps feeling a little bit like we’d never meet anyone. Really, we were ill-fated from the beginning, attracted by creativity and assaulted by some major incompatibilities. We tried for three years, with our problems mounting and communication going out the window. We finally called it quits when we had already moved far from the emotion of splitting up. We still chat from time to time many years later.

And after that, I think there was one other person who snagged my heart, who I can’t remember right now. Overall, dating became scarce, and though I still hold out hope of falling crazy head-over-heels in love I also wonder if my heart has been frozen through time. It’s been a while and the people I’m attracted to usually turn out to not be attracted to me, or not wanting to date, or are taken and that’s a road better not to walk.

Perhaps I’m living in a fairy tale, waiting for my prince to come and thaw my frozen heart, to live in bliss forever more. Well, bliss might be stretching it, since all relationships take work, time and communication. But I think relative bliss is still available. Vancouver is filled with twenty somethings, which I no longer am, and gay men, and attached men. The pool is small. But there might still be hope. Now if only I still have a heart.

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