This many decades after the rise of Women’s Lib, it’s astounding that we’re just now getting around to this. Women are now acknowledging that they, too, have a reason to be on the hunt. Based on similar ideas to “The Game,” several feminist dating experts come forward about techniques to dazzle and beguile your male target.
And the men aren’t objecting one bit. Follow the buzz from the younger generation and you’ll find that young men are almost unanimous in their opinion of always being expected to initiate the first move: They’re sick of it! Guys have the responsibility to be the aggressor and then get rejected for their trouble, have all the responsibility to think up some way to sweep women off their feet… and today’s male dating demographic, in a kind of “men’s liberation” backlash, is asking “Why do I have to do all the work?”
Ladies, it’s time you seized the moment of confidence. The gentlemen really do want what you’re offering, now all you have to do is work on your pitch.
Hey, let’s do something stereotypical for a change – let’s link to Glamour! Dare us? We dare us! Here’s Glamour’s neat little list o’ tips for what not to do in your online dating photo.
Hey, some of these sound familiar! We’ve said many of these things on our very august pages. Including the bathroom mirror selfie, which is now becoming the Internet standard for “don’t do” right alongside the duckface and the spray-on can-tan. Seriously, people, run right out on the street with your phone and wave some money around, asking “Anybody want to take my picture?” How hard is that? Phones aren’t even valuable enough to steal these days.
Great dating advice from a blog about how to lose your personal baggage, in which we examine the issue of self-esteem with unflinching clarity.
As the article says, it’s not a fixed factor from your childhood. You can change your self-esteem, simply by deciding that nobody’s the judge of you, that you have reasons to love yourself (and hence others have a reason to love you too), and how changing the way you see yourself changes how others see you. In short, think and act like a winner, and the world treats you like one! It really is that simple.
A guide to tasteful trading of photos for the consenting adult in a long-distance relationship:
A few photos in your Facebook, Twitter, or personal profile is all well and good, but when you have entered into a long-distance relationship (LDR), photos will be an important element of your interactions.
There are a couple of rules to get clear going forward:
(1) Be aware of the law before sending nude photos. Make sure you’re at or above the legal age of consent, and your recipient is as well. Make sure also that your local laws (and the laws local to the recipient) don’t conflict with sending nude photos. You’d be surprised how puritanical some jurisdictions can be, and the simple act of trading a picture between two fully consenting adults can actually get a person labeled as a sex offender – and it can be hard to scrub from your record!
(2) Be wary of sending photos to just anyone. There are people out there who solicit nude photos of women they met online just to turn around and sell them to pornography websites. There are also cases where a couple breaks up and then one of the parties posts the photos they received for public viewing as an act of petty revenge. Don’t be one of these people.
(3) Be careful that what you send can’t get you in trouble with a third party. In some of the more puritanical parts of the world, fully-mature consenting adults can get fired from jobs, turned down for hiring, or lose an election, for privately sending nude photos. Stories about these cases pop up all the time. And there’s nothing illicit about the situation: A schoolteacher with a perfect record goes home and texts a photo to her boyfriend from the privacy of her own bedroom, then comes in to work tomorrow to find her photos on the front page of the newspaper and a pink slip from her boss. So, yeah, be careful not to blackmail yourself! And photos can be accidentally exposed through any number of means – some cases have been reported where “Best Buy” computer technicians have scrubbed a customer’s hard drive for photos when they brought their computer in for repair.
(4) A good measure to ensure against accidental exposure is to occlude or obscure the face. This is simply a matter of either not showing your face, wearing a mask, cropping your face out, or using digital image editing software to blur or pixelate your face. The free and open source software image editing program that’s good for this is “Gimp”, available for free download from www.gimp.org . This helps guarantee that even if your photo accidentally leaks out or gets maliciously released, it will still be harder to identify that it’s you.
Now then, if we’re taking those precautions, trading erotic photos with your significant other can be a fun activity, and also the easiest way to be intimate in a long-distance relationship. Here’s a few pointers:
* Invest in a camera stand for your digital camera. This is great for holding the camera steady and straight, and you don’t have to stand there with an arm out.
* Avoid posing in the bathroom mirror. This is the cheesiest Internet cliche out there. For one problem, not everybody’s bathroom looks that great anyway.
* Whatever room you’re taking a photo in, CLEAN it first. At least keep one corner of one room clear as your “studio” if you do this a lot.
* There isn’t too much that can go wrong with a pose on a well-made bed.
* Anybody who looks good naked looks 50% better still when wet, so photos in the shower is the one exception to the “no bathroom shots” rule. Just don’t get the camera wet; this is where the stand and a mastery of the delayed / timed trigger on your camera comes in handy.
* Today’s cameras take photos at a high enough resolution that you should give a thought to whether or not you’ve shaved recently.
* By all means, have fun and satisfy your partner’s every silly request. For those of you who have an unusual flair and kinky tastes, be sure that you research a special activity for safety purposes before you attempt it.
* If you need some ideas, you’ll be sure to find plenty of examples already online. We’ll just start you off with the keywords “gone wild” for casual amateurs and leave it at that.
Have fun, stay safe, and let your imagination run wild!
Guys, if you’ve even gotten one woman to respond to one of your messages, you probably don’t need this guide. But for the rest of you… if you’re tired of posting messages into the void only to be ignored or blocked, this guide is for you.
Here are some do’s and don’t's for contacting single women from their online dating profile:
Realize your odds. Men still outnumber women by a factor of four to ten on most Internet dating cultures. It’s just a fact of life. For every woman you message, assume that her inbox is crammed full and you’re lucky if she sees you or even checks it anymore. It’s a buyer’s market.
Read her profile first. The more she’s written, the more of an opportunity you have to show some interest in something she’s said. If the site supports a blog of some sort, read a few entries. Later you can comment on her cat or ask how she’s coming with that engineering degree. This is flattering, because women love attention most of all.
Be sure you know from her profile what she’s looking for. This is a no-brainer; if she says she wants somebody local and you live 500 miles away, you’ve struck out. If she wants a man in the age range 30-45 and you’re 18, your bet is off the table. By the way, some women do make it clear that they’re also looking for a woman only – be aware of sexual preference.
Have PERFECT spelling, grammar, and punctuation. Sorry, guys, but the old saying “bad writing is the bad breath of the Internet” holds true here. A delete from the subject line alone is the standard for anything less than at least high-school-level literacy.
Have a profile of your own, with some nice photos of yourself. Try to fill in a few paragraphs. Talk about your hobbies and interests.
Be friendly and courteous. Make it obvious that you’re willing to talk to her and get to know her as a person first. If you can show off a funny side, but not be crude about it, you’ll show that you’re fun to hang out with.
Be up-front about what you’re looking for. Sure, there’s women out there interested in just online-only relationships, cam pals, long-distance romance, or even hooking up for “booty calls”, but you have to find them.
Send nude photos on the first message. Instant block. And hey, it isn’t like she’s never seen a man before.
Ask for nude pics of her. Again, there’s plenty of gals doing that online right now without being asked; if she wanted to show off for the camera and a few karma points, she’d be on reddit.com’s /r/gonewild section.
Be rude or mean. This should go without saying, but apparently it doesn’t.
Lie. It may be very easy to present a false front on the Internet, but you’re not the first guy to have thought of it. Women get miles of baloney in their inbox every day; experience teaches them to sort out the phonies.
Post on message boards with any message beginning “Any girls here…” Really? ANY girl? Even a girl pig? My, what high standards you must have! Message boards on dating sites get thousands of these every day and delete them all. When you charge in bawling “Any girls here wanna hookup?”, you’ve just demonstrated that you’re yet another bone-headed bloke who’s just looking for free sex and doesn’t care about anything else, and furthermore are too lazy to read the rules, or the handful of profiles which would have already answered your question, and you’re rude and disrespectful and dumb, too.
Respond to a turn-down with an insult. If the woman demonstrates in any way that she’s not interested, thank her politely for her time and move on.
Good luck out there, Romeos!
What is an “interest hook”? An interest hook is simply anything you can tell about yourself that is a natural conversation starter. It’s something that grabs people’s interest right away, just like a story that opens with a bang or a song that opens with a catchy guitar hook. If you can truthfully say any of these things about yourself, you’ll not only have more luck finding someone matching your interests, but you’ll give everyone something to talk about.
An interesting career.
Chances are nobody will be much interested if you jockey a cash register or shuffle paperwork in an office, but more unusual professions are a fascinated topic. Bonus points if you work in any kind of science field. Working in the arts is also a good interest hook – by all means, post your latest masterpiece in your profile. Then there’s the off-beat occupations, like circus lion-tamer or skyscraper window-washer. If you do something that is a little scary for most people, that just adds a little thrill to your personality. Bonus points if you’re a STEMmer (someone working in the fields of (Science, Technology, Engineering, or Mathematics) because that shows you’re both smart and have stable earning potential.
Your favorite music.
The standard playlist or album list. Bonus points if you like anything but mainstream, especially if you’re into a particular genre that most people don’t pay attention to.
The last few books you’ve read.
If you don’t read, don’t breed. But for the rest of us, posting the last few tomes you’ve consumed gives you an instant conversation starter for those who have read the same books, or are interested in the general area of your reading. People will also ask you if you liked a certain book they’re thinking of reading. It doesn’t matter what kind of books; reading just makes you more interesting. Even the latest “Twilight” or “50 Shades of Gray” is just fine.
You don’t need us to tell you that photos of cats on the Internet are popular. Pet owners right away have a point to connect on – have you ever noticed that you rarely see two dog walkers pass each other without stopping to chit-chat? Also, owning a pet gives you brownie points because it shows (a) at least you’re responsible enough to keep something alive and support it, (b) you at least have enough nurturing instincts to love something.
Your favorite fiction genre.
Are you a sci-fi fan, horror fan, manga fan, superhero fan? Don’t worry, now that “geek chic” is in, it doesn’t matter if you watch “My Little Pony”, you’ll find gaggles of fans of same within your preferred gender. Fans of the same kinds of films, TV series, comic book series, and so on, have an instant interest hook. Even if they’re not a fan of the same, it’s cute when you prattle on in wide-eyed enthusiasm about your favorite “Dr. Who” episodes. At least you care about something!
Your hobbies should be something that doesn’t involve being on the Internet or playing video games – those are fine too, they just don’t count now that everybody goes online and plays video games. But if you collect something, or have a field of interest, or go to conventions or play a board game, or anything else of that ilk, be sure to mention it. The point is that you’re showing that you’re fun to be around and have enough stability in your life to invest energy in something not directly related to your survival.
In recent years, we see this growing culture: People who have delayed finding a partner or getting experience with the opposite sex longer and longer. As a popular meme on the Internet has it, “forever alone”. But if you’ve gone a long time without dipping a toe in the relationship pool, does that mean that there’s something wrong with you?
Where this comes from:
There’s a variety of cultural effects going on here. Worldwide population growth has slowed down in industrial nations; the advent of birth control and modern families has decreased the number of offspring a couple usually has. As a result, staying with one’s parents becomes far more feasible than if you had, say, ten siblings.
Improved medical science means that we’re all living longer. So lots of people’s parents hang around longer and need more long-term care.
Finally, we have economics. In first-world industrial nations, there is a growing difficulty in the younger generation being able to get their lives started financially. More college for higher degrees is necessary, and with it comes more student loan debt. And then if there’s an economic depression going on, that just shoots down a young adult’s economic stability all the more.
Add in our technology level; hanging out on the Internet all day used to be something only “loners” did, and now everybody does it. Electronic socialization is becoming the norm, and face-to-face contact is becoming rarer.
These factors combine to create a tendency for more young adults to go on living with their parents for a number of years, delay entering the job market longer, and generally enjoy the luxury of an extended childhood. Add to this the Internet factor, and many young people today appear to be temporarily satisfied with a long-distance relationship.
So no, there’s nothing “wrong” with you if you’re in your mid-20s or younger and haven’t had a serious relationship yet. In fact, studies have shown that people who “play the field” and enjoy staying single longer eventually make a more informed decision when they do settle down and have a longer, more successful relationship later on. It’s the people who jump right into a commitment fresh out of school who live to regret it down the line.
Another reason why you might delay seeking a serious relationship is that you’re more picky. Again, there’s no fault here! By all means, taking your time to select someone who means something special to you is a sign that you have common self-respect and decency. Having a standard is something that more people could stand to have in this society.
Now, as you age, this begins to get to be more of a concern. Not having had a serious relationship by age 30 will probably be seen as pretty unusual. After age 35, if you have still gone all this time being either a virgin or at least never having “gone steady”, that’s cause for consulting with a doctor, psychiatrist, or other professional just to check. However, everyone’s different and there’s no “right age” where there’s a limit. This is just a rule of thumb.
And even at that, there are such things as lifelong bachelors and bachelorettes. And these people are pretty decently happy! If you’re honestly not in a serious relationship just because you’re happier being single, and it works for you, then there’s no reason to fret about it. Maybe you have a thriving social life anyway, maybe you have a career or lifestyle that just makes a relationship too inconvenient, or maybe you lead a life of quiet contemplation in solitude. There’s no law that says you have to be paired with somebody for your whole life.
Is it surprising to find out that there’s four kinds of singles? Actually, this would be better phrased as “the four kinds of relationships or dating models”, but this advice is good for singles to know. Science Daily links to a study by the University of Virginia’s Advanced Studies in Culture to discover four types of family cultures – and this translates, obviously, into four kinds of singles seeking to start a family.
You’ll see it all make sense after we spell it out. But first, be careful not to read too much into this. It’s not astrology or blood-typing here. And one should certainly not try to stereotype people into one of four slots. Our motives and desires can even change over time. But generally speaking, anyone in one of these four categories is only seeking someone else in the same category, if they’re seeking anyone at all.
Without further ado, the four types and what they mean to the dating world:
Motive for a relationship: To carry on a religious tradition.
Seeking: Someone of the same faith.
This is the smallest percentage of the current population (less than 20%), due to religion world-wide being a subject of skepticism and criticism. However, for those who uphold a traditional religion, these people are seeking someone in their own individual faith, and they’re adamant about a lifetime commitment and having children. This is your traditional “nuclear family” situation here, and likely to even be going into an arranged marriage set up by their parents.
Motive for relationship: To have someone to love, and maybe raise kids.
Seeking: Someone who’s a good romantic match.
This is the largest percentage of the population (more than 30%) who are what we would call “normal” or at least typical people. They are at least secular or non-observant regarding faith, and most likely of all to be atheist or non-believer. They do, however, treasure science, education, health, well-being, and civilization in general. They’re also progressive in the technical sense, more likely to be plugged-in to technology and even have careers in it. They lead faster-paced lives and are also the most likely to be open-minded to alternative lifestyles and relationship models.
Motive for relationship: Sex, companionship, or just platonic interests.
Seeking: Someone with limited attachment.
In this category is the “swinging singles” set, the second-smallest category (less than 25%). They’re the least of all likely to have or want children. They have many other considerations in their lifestyle besides a relationship, and many of them say they’re too busy for a full-fledged relationship. They’re also definitely likely to be online a lot, and most likely to go for long-distance relationships. To them, somebody warm to sleep next to at night is over-rated; they’re just fine camming for each other. Also more likely to practice alternative lifestyles; in fact, plain old “vanilla” heterosexuals are rare here.
#4. Upwardly mobile.
Motive for relationship: To be or appear successful in life.
Seeking: Someone with large reserves of wealth and stability.
The middle category (just over 25%), these are the singles who seek not just a romantic companion, but an effective “life partner” as well. They are most likely to be rich and upper-class, and their romantic life is likely to revolve around pre-nuptial agreements and a trail of divorces made just as much for financial motivations as any other. They’re more likely to have or desire children, if so, they will push these children to be upwardly mobile as well, counting them as an investment first and offspring second. They’re also counting on these children to be their retirement support. Their concerns when seeking a partner revolve more around their credit rating and bank account balance.
Now that you see the four types laid out, that tells you something about the dating market. These groups reflect the changes in modern society as we adapt to an ever-shifting world culture. Just be aware of them and use it to make more informed decisions about whom you should pursue.
Back to basics: The cutely-named blog “Little Red Rails” has a post about 5 Reasons Why Online Dating is the Best Way to Meet. We’ll have to agree with these points. And it’s good to look on the positive side and weight the benefits, especially if you’re made a few false runs and been discouraged.
We look at it this way: If there were no online dating, how would you meet eligible singles? It would be back to the single’s bars, nightclubs, and… what, the library? Dating your boss? When you think about it, you start to see the reason people in older times used to have arranged marriages. Your parents found your spouse before you needed one, and the parents of all parties all agree. Isn’t that simpler? Maybe not as happy, but simple. That goes to show how frustrated people were before the Internet.
Women, gather around: We’re going to do something to combat the massive misinformation campaign of women’s magazines and websites. We’re going to shoot down every “sex secrets that drive men wild” article, quiz, list, and slideshow you’ve ever seen – or ever will see.
- “Be rough” – Some feisty nature is sexy, and it never hurts to ask for what you want. But do not come on like a barbarian woman from Barsoom and body-slam him on the bed and claw at his chest until you draw tendons. Duh!
- “Constantly reassure him” – Are you a nice, polite person? Great, we’re done. You do not need to constantly shower a man in validation beyond what you’re naturally inclined to do anyway. Believe it or not, whiny, insecure, clingy, needy, metrosexual men only exist in women’s magazines and alternative rock concerts.
- “Text photos of yourself constantly” – Once in a while is OK. Do not become a 24/7 Flickr feed. That comes off as needy, clingy, and afraid that he’ll forget you exist.
- “Use candles to set the mood” – Unless you’re sacrificing a goat to Beelzebub, no thanks. Here’s the real sex secret guys want you to know: THEY HATE CANDLES. Even at Christmas. The only reason he keeps any around is in case there’s a blackout, and a couple tall ones because he thinks you like them. Do not use candles to set the mood.
- “Break out the kinky toys” – OK, there’s a line to cross here. If you’re seriously into the kinky stuff, you should let your man know before you even got to the bedroom and hope he’s good for it too. And then you should have a real dungeon set up. Otherwise, those dumb card games and dice games and flavored body lotions are annoying, juvenile, and sold in gift stores for people with no imagination. Do not break out the toys unless you want to send the message that you’re a little girl.
- “Mix it up with new positions” – Really, sex with most men is like dancing – Let him lead. Most men have a menu of about four positions or less, and they really don’t want to be confused by complicated Kama Sutra human pretzels that require the flexibility of a yoga master. Do not wrench out his back or your hips just to improve some factor by 1%.
- “Find his hidden erogenous zones” – Girls, boys have about exactly one erogenous zone. It’s the great, big, obvious one that’s staring right at you. Occasionally guys like a couple other soft touches in other places, which they will tell you all about. All this advice about “blow in his ear” and “tickle his feet” and “swab his temples with your pinkie” and “palpitate his kidneys” is ridiculous. Unless you’re a chiropractor or proctologist, do not knead his spine or try to find secret buttons on his prostate.