Internet Dating pages

4 Conversations

Note to Subs- can Pinky Parker
be listed as any co-author as she provide good insite
from a female and bi-sexual point

The internet is a virtual
community. This has been said many times before. It therefore
follows that everything that is out here in real life, is in the
web. Dating Agencies are no exception.

The sites used to research this
article are mainly UK based and limited to the free sites and

Smile! - Allows very complex searches, good privacy (however just they have just started charging, MidSummers Eve- Not so complex searches, good privacy,
records messages you send as well as those you receive, UK Personals - Poor privacy (sends your e-mail address
to the recipient, but does allow you a free web e-mail address so use this or another web e-mail address), allows mildy "adult" photographs and
text, large membership and a personal favorite, Excite, - very basic and in its adult section
allow sexually explicit photographs and text, even allow you to
build a slide show of all the submitted photographs - CAUTION
Over 18s only and may contain images that will shock, offend or
be illegal in certain countries
. And the newcomer on the
block, still very young, based on an enhanced
engine used by MidSummers
Eve but with added features and
aimed at the 20-40 age bracket, they hope to introduce a WAP site
soon. All these sites are currently free to send and receive,
however some do say charges may be made in the future. For the first 3,333 accounts are guaranteed free
mebership (only 800 left as of April 1 2001). Another new one is Dateclub which again is free now but say charges are coming "soon", this one seems to be changing it's look frequently so is obviously under development. For Gay and Bisexual adverts RainbowNetworkand Bisexual.Org have been recommended.

Some sites are free to join and free to recieve messages but charge to send messages, obviously, given the fact that the male female ratio is so high, these sites are better suited to females.

Selecting Your Strategy

First off you have to decide if
you just wish to reply to other peoples adverts or to place your
own and allow them to come to you. Bear in mind the male/female
ratio on most of these sites, especially the free ones is about 9
to 1. If you are a male then you are best to reply to the girls
adverts, unless you are great looking and willing to put a
photograph up. If you are female you can afford the luxury of
just putting the advert in and waiting. The men will be sending
stuff to you in a flash.

Selecting Your Site

This is easier said than done. Some sites seem to have no limits on what you can say and show, others will vet your entry and only allow clean adverts. Most will vet your photo before allowing it on the site. Some allow more anonymity and send and receive your messages without even divulging your e-mail address. Others will send your address with the messages. Some will log all your messages that you send as well as receive. This is handy when you have sent loads of
messages and cannot remember what you have said to whom. Some
have chat rooms if that is what you like.

Some sites have a basic free service but charge for extras such as photos, enhanced search routines, logging of users visiting your site. Consider these carefully as they could improve your chances. Others have such poor search routines or order the matches in bizarre ways that they are not worth using.

Your Advert

OK assuming you have decided to
place an advert what to say. Well, the site will ask you many
questions, age, height, religion, vegetarian, hobbies, ideal
partner, ideal holiday, build, etc. If you are after any sort of
relationship more than casual sex then answer these as honestly
as you can. Bending the truth is OK. If you say your hobbies are
reading and DIY you may not get too many replies.

All the sites allow a statement,
some more than others. Be original, and honest, try humour as if
someone shares your sense of humour initially they will be more
interested and if they hate it after meeting you then let's face
it, the relationship is doomed. Try and stand out. If you think
you are different from the normal men/women say so. Difference
can be good.

You will almost certainly be asked
for the relationship type. This can include; "e-mail",
"casual sex", "short term", "long term"
and "Life partner". Sites may use different name but
the general meanings are the same. Are you after someone for a
quicky or a meaningful, lasting relationship. By choosing all (if
the page allows it) you may appear desperate. By selecting only
one you may well limit yourself. Play close attention to this
information on the pages of those who you answer.

Most sites allow you to post a
photo. Some vet these before hand making sure you are not posting
obscene material. Others allow practically anything including
hard core sex photos of "you" in action, although a
study of these and some hard core porn site frequently reveals
the same images. Whatever the site policy, unless you are really
ugly a photo increase your chances of replies.

Your Answers

OK, so you haven't got many people
writing to you so you decide to write to them. Most sites allow
some intelligent searching. You can search on location, height,
for non-smokers, in fact sometimes you can search for all those
things you entered when setting up you site.

When you answer, the site will
always enable the recipient to view your page, so don't repeat
too much of what you say there. But say enough to grab there
attention, remember if you are male replying to a female then
they will almost certainly have got a lot of messages. You need
to read their page carefully, look at what they have to say, what
their interests are. If you were scared to say you collected old
spark plugs but they have then mention it.

When replying don't expect answers.
Many people either are swamped and don't reply, placed the advert
when drunk and have forgotten about it or use the PC once a week
at a friends place. If you get a reply then start talking.

If you are lucky (or female) and
actually receive messages as a result of your advert then always
read them carefully, look at the page of the sender, find out
what sort of relationship they are after, when you have done all
this then decide if you want to reply.

Notes On Gay and Bisexual

These sites seem by their nature
to be more explicit a few notes are worth making. Most women read
"bisexual" as either "Poisonous traitor"
"Slut" or "only doing this so my boyfriend can
watch/join in". Always check the motivation behind the
advert because quite a few women advertising as "bisexual
femme" or "Bi-curious" ARE doing it so their
boyfriend can watch/join in. This is fine if it is what you want,
however make it clear in your first e-mails what it is you want
and are prepared to do. And finally no matter how firmly you
state that you are looking for women ONLY, you will always get a
reply from some man looking to watch/join in. It can be assumed
that the same applies the other way around, but no evidence of
this has yet come to light

The Conversations

These either start slow, build up
and then peter off as you exhaust all the topics of conversation
or just keep going. If after 2 weeks, you have been exchanging an
e-mail a day and you feel that you know the person, then it may
be time to meet. But do take note of the warnings below. There is
a school of thought that says the meeting should be earlier to
avoid wasting time, you either will hit it off or decided very
early on that it is not going to work. However, the positive
effect on yourself of writing about yourself to a total stranger
can be strangely therapeutic.

Don't enter these conversations with a view that they will end in a romance. It is entirly possible that, whilst not ending in a sexual relationship, you will meet someone who will become a very close friend. By making such friendships you will be expanding your social network to such an extent that maybe you will end up meeting someone in real life like people used to do before the internet. Do not stop talking to someone if they say they are only looking for friendship, in the 21st century these friendships are just as valid as those previously thought as as "normal"

The Meeting

Well this is what it all leads up
to really. Taking into account all the warnings and safety
messages these sites provide, you end up meeting someone who you
have only exchanged e-mails with. OK, unless you are very young
and have grown up with the internet, this is not a normal
situation. Where you meet can have a big impact . Obviously it
has to be a public place, but not too public so that people
around you can overhear what may be a strained and odd
conversation. Be natural and act yourself, if you cannot find any
common topic of conversations and it's obviously not working say
so and walk. If you find the converstation flowing, make sure you
listen as well as talk. Nothing can be worse than after 2 hours
conversation to realise that neither of you have actually
listened to the other.

However, just because you have had
a detailed email conversation doesn't mean you will hit it off.
Conversely, just because your emails may be short and not very
detailed doesn't mean that when you meet you don't hit it off.

Remember it will almost certainly
be the case that the other person is feeling exactly as you are.

If all goes well then arrange then
to meet again, or think things over and arrange another meeting
some days later. Second and subsequent meeting will be much more
normal. Anything you still can't cope with is your own problem.


All these sites will contain
valuable advice about meeting people. Read it. However
most do not include the dangers of your email address can lead to.
Many people have e-mail addresses that contain enough information
in themselves of along with the "nickname" packages
like Outlook give you, for a potential stalker to find where you
live. There are enough commercial packages that by using a first
name or initial, a surname, and a rough location your address to
be traced. The more unusual your name is the easier it is to be
traced. Be careful what you give away.

It is advisable to get a fixed
piece of data on the person you are meeting, a landline phone
number, an address (real not email). If you have access to such a
PC package then use it to check the person lives where they say.

Also, and some may view this as
under-hand, these packages can be used to show other occupants at
the same address. If the person you are to meet shares an address
with someone of the same family name and opposite sex and they
have said they are single, living alone, alarm bells should ring.
It could be they are living with their parent(s) but if they have
not mentioned the fact stay suspicious.


There are people out there who
think it is fun to pretend to be the opposite sex, usually
teenage boys pretending to be teenage girls, there adverts and
any replies you may get never have the ring of truth. That 18
year old female virgin in need of education is rarely for real.
Use your brain, if someone seems to good to be true it probably
is. Also note desrepencies , those 19 year old girls who say they
are degree educated. Do the maths, unless they are all child
prodigies there is something wrong. Off course, it should go
without saying that these sites should only be used by adults
over whatever the local legal age of consent is.

One other problem, which is common across the web, is spam, sometimes harmless but sites such as Freewheeler have been known to e-mail all users of a specific site. This site is supposed to re-connect you PC to a premiun rate phone line. Be warned

If all else fails then you will have to revert to Internet Pornography.

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