I’ve had an OkCupid profile for several years. When my ex-boyfriend and I broke up for the first time my then-bestest gay boyfriend talked me into signing up. I didn’t think I was ready; it hadn’t even been a month since I’d broken up with my boyfriend of four years. I wanted time to heal, to figure out who I was. And then my gay boyfriend showed me how great OkCupid really was.
And it wasn’t because of the hookups.
OkCupid, like other dating sites, offers tests that will inevitably explain what type of person you are. Unlike other dating sites it asks pressing questions like, “In a certain light, wouldn’t nuclear war be exciting?” Then, as you go along, you can answer more silly questions and take even sillier tests that help you make matches with other people. But what got me addicted, with all my new free time–sans boyfriend—was just the act of answering these questions. Which I think is a main draw for most bored and/or lonely people who frequent OkCupid. Oh, and the hook ups.
I spent hours of self-indulgence answering questions about myself and what I expect from a partner. I got lost in the what ifs and maybes that may or may not have been at all relevant to me picking a life, or just for the moment, partner. It was as close to dating as I was comfortable with. I was content.
Then I started getting emails and instant messages. I was overwhelmed. I had not anticipated anyone actually contacting me due to my overwhelming low self-esteem. But never underestimate the power of the horny boy to simultaneously make you feel better about yourself while also lowering your standards. Nothing stops them from sending mindless emails like “you’re cute” and “let’s hook up” and actually expecting a response. And out of desperation, sometimes you do respond.
Not all the emails were inane, though, and I was interested in responding. But I still didn’t think I was ready to date. So I had a summit with my friends, Sex and the City style.
To summarize this meeting of the minds, one friend wisely stated, and I’m paraphrasing, that to get over my ex it was important that I just go out there and date as many people as possible. So respond to these requests and see where they lead.
Ok, I guess I could do that. People were actually interested in me so I might as well find out why.
I think I might have taken the advice a little too literally because I then responded to way too many people and tried to juggle too many dates. I was worn out. In one week I think I went on three dates and had sex with two people in a 24-hour period. Judge me if you will but it wasn’t the first time I’d done that. And that was before I was even on OkCupid.
I even went out with two guys who lived in the same neighborhood. One night I went to coffee with this guy, let’s call him Bob, who I inevitably decided was a huge loser and probably wasn’t gonna see him again. That, and he was terrible at giving me a hand job. I’ve never met a straight man so clueless around a clitoris. It was like he wasn’t even trying. But I didn’t say that to Bob. It was more like, “Uh yeah, I’ll call YOU.”
The next night this other guy I had been sleeping with, let’s call him Tom, invited me to go see a movie near his house, which was just down the street from the coffee shop I had been to the previous night with Bob.
I was a little concerned. What if I ran into Bob? How would I explain these boys to each other? I made my trepidations apparent to my gay boyfriend who guffawed and said that it wouldn’t happen. Well, it did.
After the movie, Tom and I decided to get something at his local grocery store before retiring to his house. While at the grocery store, who happened to be behind us in line??? Bob! The guy I definitely never wanted to see again. After the awkward introductions and watching these two boys sniff each other out, I got outta that grocery store without completely giving myself away. This dating thing was becoming way more stressful than fun.
But, hey, I wasn’t thinking about my ex.
And even though I went back to my boyfriend and we eventually broke up, again, I was starting to notice that I got a lot of responses on OkCupid. And it’s not cause I’m smoking hot or whatever.
It’s because I said I worked in porn.
I can’t even tell you how many responses I’ve gotten from guys telling me how cool they think it is, or what did you do in porn, or what was it like, or some other stupid ice breaker specifically about porn. I even wrote in my profile that I didn’t mind talking about porn, because I don’t mind, I LOVE talking about porn. But could someone please respond about something OTHER than that? My profile is pretty well rounded and I have lots to say about many topics. So just pick one that’s NOT porn.
Apparently no one seemed to read anything other than the porn part because I continued to receive the same lame porn questions. So I recently decided to take that part of my life off my profile. I no longer say that I worked in porn. I had a feeling that my responses would drop because of this. That men would no longer be as inspired to email me about my Bright Eyes quote as they would about my ambiguous life in porn. And I was right. I probably get half the emails that I used to. Which makes me feel, to quote Bright Eyes, “…not surprised but I never feel quite prepared.”
So I’m thinking about putting that information back up. Mostly because the extra emails make me feel better about myself. But right now I’m too busy pondering my answer to the question, ”Do you feel there are any circumstances in which a person is obligated to have sex with you?” Hmmmmm.