Vanilla dating site: So how’s that workin’ out for ya?

If nothing else, putting a profile up on a vanilla dating site allows me the luxury of realising that online dating is online dating and the ratio of ‘oh FFS’ to ‘well, hello!’ in my inbox is probably going to be much the same as kink sites at about 1000 to 1.

I’ve not put anything about D/s in my profile, though there is a hint there for someone who might pick it up, but the site has Q&A for their matching algorithm and I’ve been completely forthright in the very explicit questions that are asked there (e.g. “Would you consider a master/slave relationship” is one of the questions).

I have a relatively short profile in which I *specifically* state that I’m not going to reply to one liners because the lack of creativity is an excellent indicator that we aren’t going to be compatible. Also, life’s too short.

Unsurprisingly, my inbox is still a hotbed of one liners from men throwing mindless words into the void to see what sticks: Men in their early twenties interested in casual hookups (at least they’re up-front about it), and more mature men who apparently can’t read. Allow me to share some of them for your reading pleasure.



“G’day I’m James how are you?”

“Good morning there how are you”

“hiiiii good morning :)”

“What’s up beautiful you into young men?”

“Let’s hook up”

“Hi how are you in John x”


“love your photos”

“Hi how u going on here?”

“interested in casual encounters with someone younger?”

I’m playing a game on twitter at the moment to amuse myself. I call it “Guess his age”. I post the one line messages and invite people to guess how old the author is. I’m surprisingly bad at it and clearly make the mistake of assuming that age increases a man’s ability to initiate a conversation.

I’ve sent out one note to a younger man who has cute photos, a really funny profile and a good match percentage, and I have exchanged a few emails with another more mature man who read both my profile and my Q&A and sent a really thoughtful first email.

So not throwing in the towel on this experiment just yet, just sorting the chaff from the wheat.

Loves: 7
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      1. Totally agree. Can you just imagine her outlandish views on personal hygiene? She probably just assumes a prospect brushes his teeth on occasion. Why, I bet she holds partners to the “bathe once a week, need it or not” standard.
        Women today. Harrumph. Harrumph.

      2. Worse, some of these idiots don’t know the difference between to and too (yes, that was me who made that error above. I plead haste, not illiteracy.)

        1. *laugh* I know, those pesky standards. WHEN WILL I LEARN TO BE REASONABLE?!

          I’ll just be over here with my standards and my 100 cats…


  1. I’m just flabbergasted by that sort of one-liners. I’ve had more than my fair share of them.

    I want to know what the thought process is here. What sort of response do these men seek? How do they think this sounds? What response is this stimulus intended to invoke?

    Any time men are queried about this issue the response generally is something along the lines of, “Well, the chances of a response are very low, so I can’t be bothered to think up something interesting to say.” Boy, that makes me feel special.

    I had one man contact me on Collarspace recently. He wrote about 100 words, but they were very generic; they had nothing to do with my profile. What made the note even less meaningful was that it was, word for word, identical to a note he’d sent me several months before. Guys, if you’re that lazy, at least keep track of who you’re sending your form letter to.

    1. Oh god! The ones who can’t keep track and re-send the exact same thing are the WORST.

      I assume the really young ones think I’ll be gagging for some hot cock action because older women are all up for it amirite?!… Hurr hurr (to be clear, if one of them was so pretty it made my brain bleed, I might consider it because it might be fun to blow his mind).

      I assume the older ones are either so jaded and so ‘done’ that they just can’t be bothered any more. OR they genuinely think that some form of ‘Hello how are you?’ is a reasonable introduction (which it MIGHT be if we were face-to-face in a bar somewhere, but NOT online when those initial words are all he has to create interest and I’ve specifically said ‘don’t do that’).

      I’m making up reasons there but like you, I honestly don’t get how a grown up man can think that’s going to be a successful strategy.

      I would NEVER just write a 4 word email to someone and expect them to respond. It’s ludicrous.


  2. Oh my lovely, how I feel your pain!! I keep telling people that 40
    year olds are no better than the 20 somethings usually. It’s unbelievable to me that I ever put up with some of the bad communication I did in the early stages of dating.


    1. “I keep telling people that 40
      year olds are no better than the 20 somethings usually”

      How can this be true?! Hooooowwww?!! (sadly, I know it’s true :/)


  3. In talking about online dating (since Match first became big in the early 2000’s) with many female friends of many ages, types, locations, etc., it is this way for every single woman. I was told by a few woman they contacted me and accepted a date simply because I was one of the few who communicated coherently and didn’t immediately suggest hooking up for sex.

    In contrast, I was ecstatic to see a message in my in-box and it was never more than a trickle, despite living in a major city and being at least reasonably good looking (mom says I’m a catch!).

    I don’t know what it is about men. Are they all lazy and stupid? (True of many, but not all.). I theorize that some men are so desperate or lonely that merely getting a response from a women isa thrill, more so if there is even a hint of sexy talk. Sadly, I think a large number may just use dating sites to generate wank fodder ( your term, Ferns).

    I do wish you luck. As always, an adoring fan of all your writing.


    1. “I was told by a few woman they contacted me and accepted a date simply because I was one of the few who communicated coherently and didn’t immediately suggest hooking up for sex.”

      This is still 100% true.

      A lot of men lament that ‘waahh, all the lamers are making us look bad’ and ‘waaahh, putting effort in is SO MUCH TROUBLE :(‘ but they’re misunderstanding how it works!

      How it works is that the bar ends up being set so fucking low that if I get a bare minimum of polite and pleasant correspondence, it feels like I’ve struck gold. And this is true even if he isn’t compatible with me.

      Give me charming and clever on top and I’ll trip over my own tongue to get me some of that.


  4. I related so well to your points in your last post – introversion, sexual response, the concept of *directing* my sexual energy toward a (specific) person… I found myself feeling a bit like a bobble doll with all my nod-nod-nod-ing.

    And here, reading what you’ve just written, I feel myself cringing. Dating is something I’ve never done and the related culture (especially online) is one I’ve never understood or desired to be part of. I get why you’re doing this, but just reading those horrific one-liners has my stomach in knots. Were I in your shoes: Weeding through an inbox full of messages like that sounds about as enjoyable as having a pitchfork shoved through my big toe.


    I hope something (someONE) good comes of this for you, and soon.

    And that he knows the proper way to eat/drink Milo. ;)

    1. Thank you (and I can teach him how to eat/drink Milo :P).

      I made the mistake of looking at a site with REALLY bad messages. Big mistake. HUGE. They were horrifying. So these are, at worst, lame. They aren’t creepy or threatening or horrible. I do believe it’s a lot worse for young women than older ones.

      And there are two who I am working up the social energy to set up a coffee date with. I’m not expecting much, but hopefully I can just get over the hump of feeling like it’s a Big Deal. So we shall see.


  5. Online dating is a farce. Look at it from the men’s point of view. You could spend an hour writing 6 carefully crafted messages, each tailored to the person. Expected response, zero. Or you could spend 3 minutes sending the same 6 people one liners at 30 seconds each. Expected response, zero. Which do you think is preferable?

    1. Neither. If your return rate is consistently zero, then you should probably try something else.

      For me and women I know, we ARE replying to well written emails and pursuing it if we think there’s potential, so for those men with whom we’re communicating, it obviously works.


  6. I’m a sub guy who’s recently given online dating a go and have opened a few conversations with one-line questions or comments that reference the profile. The response rate has been pretty high – about 50%. So yeah, no excuses guys!

  7. Online dating has always been, and always will be, an exercise in patience. Women have the struggle of quantity without quality, and men have the struggle of no quantity – but in some ways I think men have it better because when they *do* get a conversation going it tends to be someone who is genuinely interested in them, and I think the number of women online who are just time wasting wankers is pretty low. Like, really, really low. So men may whine but they are failing to realize / see the good they do have.

    It can be so weird, you can go MONTHS without talking to anyone even remotely interesting, then have multiple good connections in a short time.

    1. I think you’re spot on about quantity and quality. Some people see 100 male profiles and whine that *there are so many*, but honestly 99 of those are online wankers who send the fetish version of the emails above (i.e. “can I be ur slave? i like butt plugs”).

      “It can be so weird, you can go MONTHS without talking to anyone even remotely interesting, then have multiple good connections in a short time.”

      Heh! Maybe when you get one, you are sending all sorts of positive vibes into the world, or some equally ‘woo woo’ thing.


  8. I met my husband on match, but I contacted him first. We talked for a month or so online before we met in person. I did write something crafted to his profile, and I was the only person he dated from match. At that point, I was pretty wild, looking for someone to corral me. It does get better!

  9. You say you have a relatively short profile, so I’m wondering if it includes personal information, specific to you, or if it’s all more or less generic.

    Specific leisure activities? Movies or books you saw/read recently and liked? Professional interests? Political leanings or thoughts?

    I’ve never dated online (except for looking for play partners on CM and FL, if you call that dating). So I’m wondering if there is anything specific enough that it could serve as a `hook’, where a guy could say `me too!’ and prove it, and start a more meaningful exchange. If there is nothing like that on the profile, it’s not surprising that the response to it is generic.

    1. It’s *relatively* short, but I have a bit about me, something funny, a quote from a book, what I’m looking for. All are possible to comment on.

      But the kicker is that the site has a Q&A section (they base their matching algorithm on these), and I’ve answered over 500 questions there, any of which can be used to start a conversation EVEN IF IT’S ONLY ‘oh, I see we have x in common. I like this kind of x…’.

      So nope, there’s no excuse for this level of pathetic.


  10. For me it has always been much easier to get into relationships with women who consider themselves vanilla rather than dominant. Mainly because the pool is significantly bigger, but maybe also because in terms of personality traits differences are not necessarily that big.

    Being a bit disappointed by my online adventure (perhaps I had too high hopes) I still got to know some very interesting women. But most of them not (consciously) dominant.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if you found a few sweet men who could make wonderful subs with some smart guidance…

  11. Haven’t dated in a very long time. I do have some friends, both young and old, who have used the on-line dating services. Its strange. The same comments you have made about the men who have contacted you-failure to read a profile, the lack of creativity, failure to follow directives, etc., are all the same concerns they express. Seems such errors are not gender specific.

    respectfully stan

  12. I post the one line messages and invite people to guess how old the author is.

    Pretty obvious really. I guess 4.

  13. Heeeyyy

    OMG Ferns, you got a message from Fonzie! He’s so Boss. Yowza, yowza, yowza. You could have hung out with Potsie and Ralph Malph too.

    Hi how are you in John x

    When did you insert yourself in John x, how are you able to breathe, and why haven’t you told us about it?

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