I once came across an okcupid profile with this disclaimer:
You should message me if
You are not an asshole.
Hi there LD,
I think I meet your lofty expectations: I almost definitely am not an asshole. You want to go dancing?
Weird. She never replied.
I’ve said this before, but I’ve pretty much grown tired of okcupid. Because of this I now try to just have fun with my profile. To this effect, I recently changed two of my answers to the standard profile questions to the following:
On a typical Friday night I am
doing what I do every night: try to take over the world!
The most private thing I am willing to admit
I am secretly a superhero.
A while later, I received this message:
When you spend every night trying to take over the world, does the superhero in you have to step up and thwart your evil machinations? Is this a painful internal conflict, or are you used to it by now?
I love it when people call me out on my shit. I invited her out for a coffee based simply on the merit of this response. She promptly accepted, but, alas, deleted her profile soon after.
A few weeks ago, I was at my desk at work, calmly going about my business. Then my phone beeped. It was a message from Okcupid, which I found somewhat unusual, since the vast majority of the messages I receive are replies to messages I have sent out, and I haven’t been contacting anyone lately. This was the rare exception though, someone contacting me first. Imagine that.
I had a quick look at her profile, and found out she was an artist, traveling around the USA with Amtrak. I found this particular fact very interesting, so I replied to her message. Pretty soon, we had a discussion going. It turned out that Xue was in fact contacting me from a train, which was on the way to my city, but would not arrive for another 2 days. She was looking for contacts in the city for when she arrived, in order to find out what’s on and to meet some new and interesting people.
On the merit of her artistic background, and based on her listed interests in her profile, I invited Xue to a gala at an art gallery I was going to that week. She enthusiastically accepted, and told me that she would have to first figure out her accommodation situation. Her plan was to check out couchsurfing.org and find a convenient place around town.
You can already imagine where this story is going, but the truth is that I was initially very hesitant to offer Xue my couch. I have never done anything like that before and I am generally a very private person. At the same time, I am going through a period of change and self-discovery in my life and, as many of my stories betray, I am making an effort to try new things and experiences. I considered that extending my hospitality to a stranger could be one of these new things.
I struggled with the thought for a while, and even asked Dharma’s advice on the matter. I know that Dharma is the kind of person who will not think twice before opening her door to someone, so in asking her perhaps I was hoping she would push me to go for it. Which she did. I took her advice and told Xue that I was considering offering her my couch, but that at the same time I was a bit hesitant about it. She was also somewhat ambivalent about taking such an offer from someone she met on Okcupid. We agreed to meet for a coffee when she arrived, and if we were both still comfortable with the idea, she would stay at mine.
Two days later, and after long text discussions with Xue, who had not much else to do while trapped in a moving train, we met for the aforementioned coffee. Xue is 36, Asian, and of average height and build. We chatted for about an hour, we figured that we liked each other, and decided to go ahead with it. Xue was understandably exhausted after the long trip, so we got on a bus and I took her to my apartment, where I showed her around and made sure she had everything she needed. It was still morning, so I had to return to work, and Xue wanted to get ready for a long nap.
Now: during the bus ride, and after arriving at my place, Xue and I had gotten very… friendly. There was a lot of touching, hugging (we are both very ‘touchy-feely’ people), and some holding of hands. I was not surprised at all when we ended up kissing before I quickly broke it off, because I was not sure if this was a good idea, and also because I still needed to get back to work.
I was particularly busy on that day, so I stayed at work until late that evening. Returning to my apartment, I was not sure how things would turn out, and more importantly, how I wanted them to turn out. I had gotten myself into this for the sake of having the couch surfing experience, and I was pretty sure it did not involve having sex with your couch surfer!
These were the thoughts running through my head when I arrived home. Xue was still sleeping, but woke up when I entered. I asked her if she was hungry and whether she wanted to go out to get something to eat. She concurred. Then, she told me that she had had terrible trouble going to sleep earlier. “Do you know how I managed to sleep in the end?”, she asked. I didn’t, so she pointed out her vibrator.
If that was in fact not a cue for sex, then I owe Xue an apology, but what can I say, I happen to have somewhat of a weakness for sex toys. I am going to leave what happened next to the imagination of the reader, because if I were to try to describe all the steamy, depraved details of our sexcapades over the following five days, I would have to take several pages. What I will say is that I found sex with Xue particularly wild, all the while realizing that for her things were still relatively mild.
We did end up going out to dinner that night… only much later. The next evening (a Friday) we went to the gala I had invited her to, and had a great time. On Saturday we had brunch together, and then each did their own thing for the rest of the weekend, meeting back at my apartment at night for some more adult fun. On Monday, her last night in town, Xue took me out to dinner, and she gave me a very thoughtful present to thank me for my hospitality: I had previously told her that I have never had a massage, so she bought me a voucher for an one hour massage session at a parlor.
Two more things about my adventure with Xue. First, this was probably the first time in my life that I had completely casual sex, while being brutally honest about what it really was. Sure, I have slept with women casually a couple of times before, but there was always some excuse or pretense that had the conditions been different we would have taken matters more seriously. Not this time; this was about sex, having fun and nothing more.
Second, I relished the fact that Xue is someone who knows exactly what she wants in bed, and who is very easy to satisfy. I am certainly not saying that there is anything wrong with a woman who needs a bit of skill and patience to get there, in fact, I very much enjoy making that effort. But for me, and I hope for most men if we exclude selfish assholes and douchebags, satisfying a woman is a huge part of my own satisfaction, and there is a lot of gratification in knowing that my partner has just had 5, 6 or more orgasms in the last half hour. And that was an experience I hadn’t had for some time.
On Tuesday morning, I woke up and Xue was gone. She had said goodbye with a kiss in my sleep and a “thank you” card. In many ways, quite appropriate.
I am gradually gravitating away from Okcupid and online dating, mostly because of the effort and time it takes to make anything work. Most times, it seems like the results do not justify the investment. I still visit the site from time to time though. A month or two ago, I was browsing around on Okcupid when I noticed a fiery redhead with a Gaelic username and a wild smile. Clicking on her picture revealed that it wasn’t actually a smile, but a roar: she was lying down next to one of those lion skin rugs and playing the part.
Needless to say that my interest was piqued, but there was a problem: her profile was completely empty. That wasn’t very useful now, was it? Then I noticed that the Redhead had answered more than 1600 questions, and for many of those she had also made comments. I went through several of them, and soon had much more than enough information for an interesting first message:
Hey there, Redhead from Scotland,
For a writer, you do not write much, do you? The photo did catch my eye though: such wild beauty, such raw energy, such emotion! And you don’t look bad either.
(Sorry about that. Had to be done.)
I don’t usually try to contact women who have empty profiles, but there was something about that picture (this time I am talking about you and not the lion, I promise). So I went through your answers with explanations instead, trying to find some things about you. Luckily, you have answered a few. There are 40 freaking pages of them! And I must say, I have read enough to be intrigued. I would love to meet you in person and, as I know you are interested in a tall, nerdy European, who will absolutely make the effort to get to know you (oh, and leftist! Don’t forget I’m leftist! You’ve made that requirement abundantly clear!), I think you should drop me a line sometime.
I thought this was one of my best opening messages on Okcupid. She simply thought it was funny. I found out that the reason her profile was empty was that she was still living in a different state, but planning to move to my city soon (she is moving in July). She had simply switched her location on Okcupid in anticipation of her move. Since physically meeting was still impossible, we started exchanging messages every couple of days and, after 2 or 3 weeks of that, moved on to texting.
Our contact became very regular. Every evening, and sometimes throughout the day, we would exchange dozens of texts, updating each other on our everyday life, or discussing ideas and future plans. I really liked the Redhead; we very obviously shared an intellectual connection, and we appreciated each other’s prose, banter and ideas. I was genuinely getting excited about meeting her, not necessarily with romantic intents, but also simply about getting to know her up close and perhaps making a new friend. A couple of weeks ago, she was scheduled to visit the city to see friends, get a feel for the job market and start her search for a place to live. We discussed several times the possibility of meeting.
On Thursday that week, I texted her to say that I was going to be in her neighborhood in the evening to run some chores, and that I would be free after 9pm if she was able to meet. She replied that this was great, and she would let me know soon if she could make it.
I never heard back from her. I texted in the afternoon to remind her of the possibility of meeting, and again after 9 when I was done with my chores, but I received no answers. I have tried 2 or 3 times since then to contact her, asking her what happened. There has never been any reply. After several weeks of being on daily regular contact, the Redhead vanished into thin air without a shred of explanation or reason. Today, I even noticed that she has deleted her Okcupid account.
I have mentioned this before, but it’s not like I don’t get that people have other stuff going on. I am not particularly upset with the Redhead’s disappearing act. But an explanation, or simply a quick note to say that she doesn’t want to be in contact any more would have been nice. It is sad to think that we spent all that time building a connection and getting to know each other through such a difficult medium as text, only to just drop the whole thing on a whim.
Still, it’s all fine, I have no hard feelings. Wherever you are out there, Redhead from Scotland, I genuinely wish you all the best. I hope you find what you are looking for in your journey through life.
I am very, very rarely contacted by women on Okcupid. When I am, 9 times out of 10 it is by much older women, or freaks. I always assumed this was par for the course; it made sense that most women don’t need, and therefore don’t bother, to make an effort to reach out to the opposite sex, since they probably receive dozens of messages per day. My misconception was recently shuttered by a colleague: he showed me profile after profile of girls that have contacted him in the last few months, asking him out. Some of them, pretty hot. Some of them, PhDs. Some of them, models. Some of them, hot models with PhDs. He lamented the fact that he couldn’t date them since he recently got back with his girlfriend. I punched him out and kicked him in the gut, the little shit.
Nah, I am joking, he is a cool guy. I wouldn’t punch him for that… too hard. But I digress.
It was Sunday evening. Several of my plans had fallen through, including a planned date. I shrugged it all off, and did a supermarket run to fill my fridge instead. I resigned myself to a quiet evening in. If my experiences of the last months have taught me anything, it is not to take any of this procrastination personally, and to rely on nobody but myself to uplift my spirits. So I dressed up even though I was only going to the supermarket, and I was working my self up and actually feeling pretty good. It was in this state of mind that I received an Okcupid message from Suzie.
I checked Suzie out on my phone; she looked like a decent-looking girl, and her profile did not give out any huge red flags, so I replied to her, and we started a bit of an exchange. She was in town for the week only, staying with a friend, and was looking for people to hang out with. In my pumped up state, I decided to just go for it, so I invited her out for a drink right there and then.
It wouldn’t be a story if she said no, so not very surprisingly, Suzie accepted. We made plans for 8pm, and I headed home with my groceries to get ready for the impromptu date. But in the meantime, Suzie’s messages started turning weird. She changed her mind about where to meet a couple of times, and started talking to me about her friends, and meeting some other people. All the while she was throwing some rather incomprehensible lines at me. This got me worried and I decided to make sure I had an out. I called Adrian and got him to join me, by promising him that my “date” would bring a friend for him. I had no clear indication of that actually, but hey, what are friends for, right?
Adrian and I arrived at the bar in question at 8pm and sat at a table. We agreed on our plan of retreat: Adrian would say that he really needed to go because he was meeting friends in 10 minutes, and that I could join him; then, if Suzie turned out to be a freak, I would decide what I wanted to do. I asked him to give it 10-15 minutes before he executed our masterful plan.
With a delay of 30 minutes (even though she was staying in the same building as the bar), Suzie appeared. In the history of first impressions, this might have been the worst one there ever was. It was not that Suzie was fat (she was). It was not that Suzie was not attractive (she wasn’t). It was not the big hair (biggest I’ve ever seen). It was not the leopard print of her clothes (no comment). It was not the attitude (bad). It was the fact that for 10 solid minutes, all she talked about was the peroxide she had just used and how much it burned. She kept fanning herself to get rid of the burn and to dry out her nails.
To be fair, I am probably exaggerating when I say that she was babbling for 10 solid minutes. I don’t think we managed to tolerate it for more than 5. This girl had MESS written all over her. Adrian pressed “eject” as fast as he possibly could, and I was so out of there, that I got upset with him for asking me if I would join him, instead of just telling me we are leaving.
The funniest thing was that, after we run out of the bar so quickly that we left tread marks in our wake, Suzie messaged me the next day to tell me that she “had a hotel room for the next two nights, paid by her job” and asked me if I wanted to hang out.
No. No, I didn’t.
Wheels smoking from our heroic exit, Adrian and I met up with two female friends in a dive bar, and we actually had a very good night. We even exchanged contacts with the girls and agreed we should definitely hang out some more in the future.