Hiatus from dating sites, then not…

A few weeks ago, I hid my profiles on both the vanilla and BDSM dating sites.

I got to a point where I no longer found the careless idiocy in my inbox amusing. I rarely got offensive or rude emails (how sad that that’s even a point to be made as exceptional), but the majority of what I was getting added up to a relentless onslaught of minimum-effort mediocrity from men with poorly written or empty profiles.

“hey”
“how r u”
“i want to be ur slave”
“hello there”

After a while the barrage of it spills over the walls of hopeful optimism and drowns everything good and positive. I got to the the point where it was making me feel depressed and obviously that’s not a place from which anyone can optimistically make connections.

So I bailed to give myself time to regroup and shore up the walls.

In the last few days, with my profile still hidden, I trawled Australian boys on the BDSM site. I was looking for great, thoughtful profiles and/or pretty pictures.

I don’t know why I didn’t think of being active with my profile hidden before. It means that no-one can message me unless I message them first, no-one can see me viewing their profiles, and the control is in my hands. Perfect!

I looked at a LOT of profiles and ended up sending out five messages.

Three were fly-by compliments to much younger men on their profiles or pictures. I didn’t tell them anything about myself, except that I was much older, and that I thought that [something about their profile] was really appealing and wanted to let them know that I saw it and thought it was great. I wished them luck.

Two were to younger (but more age-appropriate) men who had stellar profiles. With those, I told them what I liked about what they had to say, shared a little about myself, and sent a link to this photo that I tweeted last month. I invited them to have a chat.

So far three of my emails have been read and replied to:

A 6’3 42yo with a thoughtful profile & pretty cropped mouth pic. A flight away. He was musing that he was probably not looking for submission out of the bedroom. I sent a complimentary note, said we probably weren’t a match, but asked about his musings because I like talking to smart thoughtful men: it makes me feel hopeful. Turns out this is a guy I talked to YEARS ago and who I offered to meet when I was in his city. He declined the meeting because REASONS. We drifted after that. Funny that I’m still attracted to (and can pick out) qualities that I was attracted to years ago.

A 6’ 44yo with a great, balanced profile that was really appealing. Also flight distance. I’m having further positive conversation with him, we have exchanged pictures (he’s a cutie pie), a few emails. What he talks about is all good and interesting, but there’s none of that sparkling flirtatious bantering even though I have given him plenty of openings to riff off. I think he’s probably really nervous, so his emails are very earnestly about giving me facts about himself. I like what he has to say and I’m hoping he will relax into our exchange and show me a few sparks.

A 6’2 34yo with a stupid-hot body picture and hints of a lovely face that I sent a compliment on (he was a ‘fly-by compliment’ guy). Again a flight away (and no, I really don’t know why no local men have appealed, I don’t do this on purpose!). Since he was a fly-by, I told him nothing about myself, just mentioned that I was too old for him and essentially said ‘Great body shot! Very pretty.’). He came back with ‘I prefer older women’. Do you now? Well well well… I’ll probably ask him what the chances are that he’d want to come up and visit and go from there.

Not read yet:

A 6’ 30yo with a cute (half hidden) face pic and a new profile. Just sent a random compliment and warned him not to send anyone money. He looks really naïve. Bless.

A 5’8 29yo newbie with an adorable happy-smiley face photo that made me smile. I just told him exactly that, wished him luck.

Of all of them, only the man I knew before knows of my blog (as far as I know). I generally avoid being ‘Ferns’ when I introduce myself for reasons I’ve talked about before. If any of them progress, I’ll tell them about my blog and book and Fetlife profile, but for now, it’s just me, random woman on a BDSM dating site.

To clarify, this isn’t odd behaviour for me, initiating contact with men who interest me. I do it a lot, though mostly it’s much more random, where I don’t specifically go trawling for men to contact, but I just happen to see their profile and send them a note (as I did with the cougarling and holy fuck beautiful eyes).

You just never hear about it here on the blog until it’s worth mentioning. I never usually talk about these sorts of correspondences so early on, not least because most simply peter out quietly after a few back-and-forths. And that’s okay.

I’m posting it mostly because I feel like I’ve been in a bit of a hole and I’m peeking over the top of it now: I feel like I’m tentatively climbing over the edge with some tenuous optimism.

So yeah, that’s where I’m at.

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17 Comments

  1. Wow, excepting for your very hot photo, your experience aligns so well with my own. Almost two years ago I decided to look for a new partner. I was widowed for the second time in 2010 and that put me into a hiatus for several years; but in 2014 I figured it was time to come out of hibernation. I was a project manager for years and I approached this new project with my professional skills: I thought seriously about what I wanted and what resources I was willing to dedicate to my project. I put real effort into my profile to make it honest, clear and appealing.

    So the “minimum-effort mediocrity from men with poorly written or empty profiles” was flabbergasting to me. With all we read about submissive men who can’t find Domnant women, you’d think more of them would put some effort into their own profiles and their initial approaches to prospective partners. I’ve caught a couple men sending me THE EXACT SAME MESSAGE multiple times at intervals of a few months. Perhaps if these men would send fewer but better messages they’d get more responses.

    1. But but… the RATIOS!!! :P

      I keep telling lovely submissive men who I talk to that the number of nimrods that dominant women deal with can work to their advantage because dominant women will fall all over themselves if they get an articulate, appealing email from a seemingly well balanced and intelligent submissive man.

      The bar is honestly so low that genuinely good men stand out like glaringly shiny pieces of gold (accompanied by herald angels singing, and unicorns prancing).

      Ferns

        1. The bar is honestly so low that genuinely good men stand out like glaringly shiny pieces of gold (accompanied by herald angels singing, and unicorns prancing).

          Ha! I was just saying that on fetlife. Sure, dominant women get pretty jaded, but we’re also incredibly easy to impress because of the average quality of messages we get.

  2. I come from a different angle as I was looking for straight forward lovers on the side I suppose. However I do have gone through the stage of closing my profiles on Ashley Madison and Illicit Encounters (more a UK site) due to the amount of bilge and dross that was coming into my inbox. I then learnt how to browse privately, but am despairing as it is the still the same old profiles.

    Interesting you mentioned how many read your blog, I imagine that it turns them on with desire

    1. I do agree there are ‘the same old profiles’ on those sites (I am, unfortunately, one of them!).

      And yes, my blog can be a blessing and a curse in all of this.

      Ferns

      1. I am sure with your style you are not “the same old profile” I was referring too, I am talking about the lack of effort on those profiles, I hope I did not come over rude, not my intention.

        1. *smile* No no, not rude at all.

          I just know that when I see the ‘same old profiles’ (even the not-terrible ones), I tend to think ‘woah, they’ve been here FOREVER: What’s *wrong* with them’, even though I’m totally one of them!

          Ferns

  3. So–exactly what you can do on FL, search profiles systematically and secretly, and write to a small number of them. What an idea!

    That second guy sounds good (and it’s funny to list the height; shows what’s important, no?) Fly to him maybe? (Isn’t all of Australia/NZ “flight distance”?)

    I think it’s a very good idea not to mention your blog for quite a while, and just be yourself; meeting “the Ferns” could be intimidating.

    1. I HAVE done searches on FL in the past (there was an add-on available for a while and I periodically look at local events’ RSVPs like some predatory vulture), but mostly if I message someone there (like the cougarling), they have come to my attention by coincidence (posted a comment that I saw, interacted with someone on my feed, done ‘something’ that makes them visible to me).

      The focussed search-trawling is on collarspace which is an actual dating site with all the requisite search features.

      The second guy DOES sound good, and seems lovely so far, even if nothing is getting set on fire just yet.

      I list age and height and distance because there are only a few metrics to list (and you already know that they are male, hetero(ish) and submissive), so there’s not a lot left to differentiate them. BUT, I do skew younger and I love tall, so there is certainly a pattern there.

      And, yeah, I’ve written a few pieces about ‘Ferns’ and the influence she has on perceptions, so keeping it on the downlow is better. So far none with whom I have done that have progressed far enough that I had to do some big reveal, but as long as I haven’t spilled a bunch of secrets about them (I wouldn’t), I can’t imagine it will be a big deal.

      Ferns

  4. Do you ever tweak your profile to make it fresh? I have reopened my Ashley Madison profile, tweaked it but I don’t know if there are less men on the site as the replies are not particularly forthcoming.

    1. I have changed it here and there when I wasn’t getting the kind of responses I wanted.

      But I think the newer you are the more messages you get (because ‘fresh meat’), so they will pretty much always taper off over time.

      Ferns

  5. OK, I accept the fetish dating sites have their problems but this week on a vanilla dating site I’m dying in a sea of vicar’s garden party conversation and worst of all I’m becoming just as bad as everyone else there.
    Thanks for letting me complain about it.
    Also what are your career aspirations, hobbies, do you rent or own your apartment/house?
    Personally I’m giving serious thought to becoming a vicar

  6. I have had my profile open on Ashley Madison for about 10 days now, a very poor response and I wonder whether I should cancel and recreate, however I feel that in my particular part of the United Kingdom the pool of profiles has not changed for some time. No new blood for me to enjoy, tease and tempt

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