Thursday, November 11, 2010

What Online Dating Does [part I]

Arguably, I do end up writing a lot about technology and desire: intimacies fascinate me, be they intellectual, sexual, emotional, physical, distanced; I have a huge degree of lust for the human body and as much for a human mind; and post-modernity has it that we live in a techonocratic world that now structures and restructures our human interactions, the language we use, the ways we carry our body and the way we think, all through (amongst others) this fascinating phenomenon now called "online social networking." This post may not be "serious" (yet) but it remains serious to the core: why the hell doesn't online dating do the work for me?

Part I.

[I should preface this by saying that I have two online dating accounts on two extremely meaty gay websites (gay and meaty website: is that a tautology?!) In the course of the past few years, I did meet 2-3 guys off these websites who are now very dear friends and/or lovers to me. So I don't discard it as a meeting point at all. Whether this meeting place is as good as any bars, parks, libraries, streets, clubs is debatable and I shall leave this aside for now.]

So, here's why online dating doesn't do it:

1- "Hi. Wassup?"

There was a time when I used to reply by saying "what's down there is up!" but I don't even bother now... Wassup? Well either you work your intellect and come up with a better ice-breaker or you tilt your head up and tell me what you see (most probably, the ceiling anyway.)

2- "Wassup, dude?"

Now, who the hell are you to eff-ing "dude" me?! Big mistake: people may "bitch" me, but nobody "dudes" me!

3- "Only white men."

I'm divided on this one. On the one hand, I am tempted to think that it's okay to state one's preferences, just like many men like to stipulate "only tops" or "only bottoms" but while we're at it, why not specify everything: "only nipple play," "only non-stinking feet," "only non-smokers," "only if you are not ticklish," "only 5ft7 to 5ft8," "only if you have a hairy chest," "only if you trim your pubic hair," "only if..." and "only if..."

So, on the one hand, I don't mind the clear discrimination that excludes a section of the online-daters (we all have preferences, right?) but I do wonder: where do we draw the line? And is it okay to say "only white"? I'm personally not sure, it makes me uncomfortable, but maybe that's because I'm black. [In the midst of all that, I also wonder: what happens to being surprised? Read here.]

4- "No fatties."

This, I cannot take! This is plain offensive. Who the hell are you? Just another little jerk who's caught up in a gym-oriented, totally normative obsession with a body image? This disgusts me and makes me cringe: too much shallowness to handle.

4- "Straight-acting."

I'm freaking queer: there's no chance on earth that I can act straight. And you want me to still act straight while sucking you off?! The straight actors are always deal-breakers for me, which basically erases 80% of the men on those websites from my pool. No exaggerating: I tried to keep a count and roughly 80% of the profiles mention straight-acting.

5- "Be ripped like myself."

I often wonder why all those gym-obsessed men don't all simply have a community of their own, where they just frequent each other, fuck each other, have muscle-kids with each other and create a nation-state of their own while they're at it. I'm amazed by the number of men who want "gym buddies" on those sites. If I'm here, it's to date, to fuck, to mate, to make friends, or to have a drink and keep warm on a cold night. I'm not here to become your "gym buddy!"

If you have never been on one of those sites, imaginary reader, you may be interested in knowing that the majority of the pictures on those websites are of six-packs. After a point of time, it gets so generic, it's boring. The worse part is that you never get to see their (probably low self-esteem riddled) face that hides behind some skin... Now, forget trying to find a personality behind the six-pack: it's pretty hollow out there!

And don't get me started on men who have pictures of themselves flexing their muscles... (I gotta end this post here: I'm suddenly feeling sick! That's what online dating does indeed!)


Neil Moser said...

I met my partner online. We were both about to quit the dating world for some of the reasons you listed and then he decided to message me on a whim. He mentioned something about 5-Fingered Shoes (why they call them "fingered" and not "toed" I'll never know) and caught my attention. But, before him, there were a lot of ridiculous comments and unnecessary filler.

Amak said...

Next writing project (post-thesis): Write an online fairy tale! Though not turning it into a cynical, absurdist narrative so full of pathos that it borders on the tragic would be a major challenge!

Neil said...

I would love to read that!

PS. Feel better :)

Amak said...

Feel better indeed, thanks! I just posted (as sign that I feel better.)