Online Dating – Clothing Optional

Online dating is fraught with hazards and humor (mostly hazards). I’ve written about it before. For instance, my previous post about the ads I’ve seen on Craigslist, the ones where guys post—shall we say “intimate”—photos of themselves for all to see. And they’re trying to be serious! (Well, as serious one can be on Craigslist).

Today I’d like to address the “fancier,” the “nicer,” and the more “reputable” online dating sites. I’ll admit it, I check out these sites. Not for the normal reasons, though. Even though I’m on my own these days, I’m not looking too hard to change that. These online ads are sometimes just so funny and so sad at the same time. I’m not bashing online dating in general. I can easily get on board with that. I’m more talking about some of the profiles that are out there…in public…with no shame at all. It’s both hilarious and depressing.

During my periodic excursions into the wild world of online dating, I’ve noticed that many of the photo albums on these more upscale sites aren’t very different from what I’ve seen on Craigslist. They’re just more PG than MA. Whenever I see a “provocative” picture of a guy in some state of undress on these sites, the same question pops in my head. That question, of course, is WTF? Then, the second question: If you (the guy) are trying to find a significant other on one of these dating sites—or God help all involved, Craigslist—is posting a sexually suggestive picture really the right way to go?

is THAT what I think it is!?

Is THAT what I think it is!?

Maybe these guys have nothing left to lose. I’ve noticed that most of the men posting these embarrassingly lewd pictures are usually somewhat older in age. They write that they are looking for romance, an open-mind, and a companion to embark on a long-term relationship with – but no drama! As if no one out there has a backstory. Yet they follow that up with a sexually suggestive photo. Do they think that’s really going to intrigue someone who is looking for the same thing (by same thing, I mean a loving, committed, long-term relationship)? I would think that posting lurid photos would give entirely the wrong impression. But hey, that’s just me.

The latest trend I’ve noticed is that the guy’s main profile photo is one of him shirtless. He’s maybe at the beach, at the pool, on his Harley (although personally, topless motorcycle riding seems a little dangerous, don’t you think?), reclining on a deck chair, or leaning suggestively against a fence in the yard (I know, I know, but they’re out there!).  All well and good, but these guys are getting on in the years and it’s not like they’re keeping it together like Robert Downey Jr., Keanu Reeves, or Denzel Washington. Nor have they somehow defied the calendar and still have the body of a 25-year-old Calvin Klein underwear model. Oh no. They’re in their 50’s or 60’s, and have all the signs that they’ve lived a decadent life that somehow hasn’t involved a lot of time at the gym. And that’s putting it nicely. Some of ‘em have got a sort of werewolf hybrid deal going on. Lots of hair. Lots and lots of hair. I’m sorry. But it’s true. Do these men actually think a photo of them bare-chested as their main profile picture, mind you, is actually going to attract a woman? This is how they chose to introduce themselves? No build up. No “hi how do you do?” Just, BAM, chest hair in your face.

No, no, I MUST have him!

Let’s give them the benefit of the doubt. Maaaaaaybe they want to make sure that the sight of their bare-chestedness isn’t going to turn the woman off. I suppose that could be a possibility, right? I mean, there has to be some logic at play here. It’s not as if these guys would show up to a first date at a nice restaurant or coffee shop without a shirt on. Then again, maybe some would! Who the hell knows these days? The dating scene seems to be much, much different than it once was.

I understand trying to prove you are who you say you are, or rather, how you must make yourself stand out in this crazy new cyber-dating world. But can’t regular pictures do the same job? Believe me, I’m not a prude (ackk! I just choked on my drink on that one). I like to see skin as much as the next person, but posting these sorts of pictures on sites that are geared towards forming long-term relationships and finding the love of your life? Um…not so much. It’s not Tinder, folks.

What’s even sadder is that the women don’t really have it much better. If you don’t offer up a swimsuit photo somewhere in your cache of selfies, many men probably just move on to the next profile. Because knowing, or rather seeing, every intimate detail before you even go on the first date is apparently a must these days, whether you want to or not.

13 thoughts on “Online Dating – Clothing Optional

  1. so when can we expect your swimsuit version Gravatar? I’d post one but that would mean going to a beach and I’m afraid a bunch of kids would try to roll me back into the water.

    • Ha! You’re too much! As for me, nah, I don’t think you’ll be seeing that anytime soon. With my lack of sun worship and … ahem … everything else going on, people would probably think I was a beluga whale that had beached itself.

  2. All technology is neutral. It can be used for either bad or good. This sounds like it’s slipped over the line. In my woe begotten days of online dating (back when we had 1200 baud modems and we were THANKFUL for them!) there wasn’t a lot of bandwidth for pictures. I never thought that was a good thing until now!

  3. Believe it or not I maybe one of the few who believe on line dating works if you know what you are looking for. I met my wife on line and yes we were fully clothed in our profile pictures lol. I remember there was a time when I had to work to get a girl’s name , number and then ask for a date and that whole process if you were luckly was 3 months, then you had to meet the family, yes I know that was ancient history …it’s so different now . But I am glad for the method otherwise I would not have met my one and only!

    • Oh, I definitely believe online dating can work! Actually in this day and age, I would bet many people find love that way. Not to mention, it’s often difficult to meet people depending on one’s job atmosphere, not liking the bar scene, etc. I just find myself shaking my head at how some of the people (male and female) present themselves as a “first impression.” I think that’s great about you and your wife! I’m glad you found each other!

      • You make a good point I work nights so I didn’t get out much so online worked for me. You’re right about first impressions oh God there was some real crazies lol

  4. Great read. I think what really is interesting to me is that it’s essentially opposite to how people meet in real life. On dating sites we read about them and see all sorts of stuff into their life before we meet. And in person we meet them first and then discover things about them. Definitely plays out differently because of that, I think.

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