Friday, August 5, 2011

DON'T WANT TO PLAY THIS GAME

Okay. I tried gay.com. Signed up a few weeks ago, created a profile and then I avoided the site. Today I did a search.

I got an immediate stomach ache. That may be partly due to the fact I hate a whole bowl of potato salad for lunch. (Damn you, nugget potatoes!) But surely gay.com must take a big chunk of the responsibility.

There were 685 names that came up based on a search of gay men in their forties living in the Vancouver area. You know, that sounds promising. Surely there is a needle in that haystack, no?

No.

No, no, no, no, no!

I’ll admit that the growing stomach pains caused me to only conduct a cursory squint at the thumbnail photos. There weren’t any lewd snapshots—they apparently exist; you just have to pay for a Premium membership. Pass. Still, there were many fortysomething men posting shots of their potent pecs and admirable abs as their main photo. (My image is a headshot and you can tell I am wearing a tie and jacket. I laughed when I just realized this. A tad overdressed.) I know the impressive pecs and abs are supposed to entice browsers to click the pic, read the profile, start a chat, send a message.

Is there something wrong with me? Hey, you...CRUISINBTM. Just how many people have ogled your abs? Are they disappointed when you show up at Starbucks wearing a shirt? Silly me, one can always forgo the coffee.

In creating a profile, each member can indicate what he is looking for. The options: Friendship, Love/Relationship, Action/Sex, Conversation and what I see as the flirty/cryptic/creepy Ask Me. For myself, I chose Love/Relationship. Of course, you can select more than one. Every profile I did click had Action/Sex as the sole option or one of the options. If you select both Love/Relationship AND Action/Sex, what does that say? How committed might you be? Again, these were all guys in their forties. The big rainbow-waving parade was only a week ago and already I feel my Pride waning.

Each member chooses a moniker. Joining the aforementioned CRUISINBTM on the site are TheCockfather, Orgasmmm, Hot2GoMan, Spanking_ and the age-confused 41-year-old BoyToyPup (not to be mixed up with 46-year-old BoyToy1). I did not make these up! It’s one thing to go through life with the name Englebert. Blame the parents. But these names were specially created after much thought, designed to make a super-duper first impression. I stopped glancing at the names as my lunch starting churning.

Many of the more respectable photos were ones I’d already seen on Plenty of Fish. Yes, we’ve already rejected or overlooked one another on one dating domain. No need to slap the other cheek.

I must have clicked on ten photos, enabling me to read the profiles. While I bemoan the fact that many Plenty of Fish members are word/grammar/spelling-challenged, they are skilled communicators compared to what little people write on the gay.com profiles. It’s like dating on Twitter.

Suffice it to say, not a single profile piqued my interest. I do not belong on gay.com. Reminded me of the Bruce Springsteen song “57 Channels (and Nothing on)”, only up the number to 685.

I will, of course, happily explore other options. What are the options?

Suggestions?

An unfortunate side effect of this stint at dating research is that I may never want to eat potato salad again. Never been a coleslaw connoisseur, but I’ll give it a go.

4 comments:

Rick Modien said...

Wow, I love your writing. It's clever and smart (do they mean the same thing?) and clear and totally readable. Great job.
As for any suggestions I may have, Greg, I wish I did.
Is there no one, out of 685 profiles, you haven't considered on Plenty of Fish who might be someone interesting? No one? Really?
Does this mean you're just not putting the work into scratching below the surface? Does this mean you're simply too selective? Does this mean you're overcome with too little hope when you sit down at your computer?
I have to tell you I'm most grateful not to be a part of the dating scene now. Although, to be fair, as I recall it wasn't much easier in the early 90s when Chris and I met. I was pretty lonely and miserable then, too.
And I believe people were less open about being gay. Basically, there were the few clubs in Vancouver and a few personal ads in "The WestEnder," "Georgia Straight," and "Buy & Sell." "Buy & Sell"? Yup. Felt like I was shopping for a car.

Rick Modien said...

Greg, I saw an add in "The Vancouver Sun" today you might be interested it. It's for another Internet dating site called Preferred Partners. The add says the following:

Sex is easy to find. Love isn't.

Preferred Partners--Canada's leading gay matching service can help you find the partner you've been searching for.

Our members are exceptional men and women who are serious about meeting the right person.

Call us to schedule a free consultation:
1-866-467-5252.
www.preferredpartners.ca

Anyway, I know you've tried gay.com and Plenty of Fish with no success, but I liked the sound of this other organization, and I wasn't sure you'd ever heard of it. Seems a little more promising and discriminating.

I'm just trying to help. Hopefully, I haven't offended by bringing this to your attention.

Rural Gay said...

Thanks for the tip, but it sounds an awful lot like a service called Entre Nous that probably shut down--after many complaints that I later read about in Xtra--and may have opened under a new name. I did a FREE CONSULT and then they called to say the service would be $900. The fee was a floating one and the person on the phone said harder to match folks paID thousands more. That, in and of itself, offended me. I said I wasn't interested and they continued to hound me with phone calls.

Unpleasant, uncomfortable. I don't want to get involved with the business side of dating again.

Rick Modien said...

Wow! This online dating thing sounds like it could really be a racket.
I went to the Preferred Partners website, and I saw nothing about how much the service costs. I read everything there, and it all sounded so above board. It would be a huge shame if this service was completely different from what you suspect it is but is painted with the same brush because of your previous bad experiences.
Still, one has to be cautious. Sounds like you've had a rough time in the past. I guess there are unscrupulous businesses who take advantage of people who are anxious to meet someone right for them. It's too bad, isn't it?
I tried. It sounded so good (to good to be true?).