Dating in 2016 is like a perpetual Valentine’s Day in elementary school. You sent a bunch of one-line messages to people, you hoped to get some back, you ignored the messages from the people you thought were annoying or weird. Hopefully you received a few from people you really liked, and those were the messages you saved. But really it was all about quantity over quality. All those messages piled in front of you meant you were loved.
Now in adulthood, we are back in the note-passing game; the little Valentine’s Day cards have been replaced with web sites and phone apps, but the idea is the same. You send countless one-line messages to a bunch of people you may or may not know, you hope you get some messages back.
There are few people here and there who you actually like, and messages from them are fun. These days, a lot of the messages you receive (and perhaps some that you send) may include a nude photo or two, but it is still a game of quantity over quality. You just hope you can make it through the day without being totally ignored.
There is a better way to make the most of the Internet dating game, and it begins with how you choose to play–and where. Picking the best site or app for your goals gives you a head start. There is no need to waste your time reading every profile of every person online everywhere. Start by choosing the sites and apps that work for what you are looking for. This isn’t elementary school anymore.
Go after the one you actually want and throw the rest away…
LGBTQutie fills a huge gap in the online dating landscape: those who want to settle down and end the dating drama. In this regard, it is the most clearly branded such app in our market, a great differentiator. Log in to LGBTQutie and find members on your terms. The app allows you to narrow down what you’re looking for based on sexual orientations and gender identities.
LGBTQutie goes beyond LGBT to include pansexual, asexual, queer, non-binary and intersex individuals. People can express themselves however they wish to find a mate. Our friends at LGBTQutie are dedicated not just to dating, but the kind of community that supports it: The app features events, blogs, and even news.
LGBTQutie gives you more options: full profiles and the Qutie FastTrack Swiping system. If you’re tired of the hookup grind, download LGBTQutie in the App Store and Google Play, and start making meaningful connections. The app promotes finding long-term love over short-term hookups, but of course it is inevitable that people will start sending each other video messages on the app and then it’s just a matter of time until they get together and do The Big Nasty. It’s 2016. There’s no shame in wanting to find sex, if that’s what you’re into.
But wouldn’t it be nice to have sex with someone you actually like?
Match.com is not just a website. Match Group, as it is known to investors on NASDAQ, reigns supreme in the mainstream online dating empire, with 45+ different sites and apps in their arsenal of technology. Match, OKCupid, PlentyOfFish, BlackPeopleMeet, LittlePeopleMeet, LDSPlanet, and Facebook-friendly Tinder are part of the family, all using slightly different methods of achieving the same goal: helping your lonely self find some companionship, in whatever form you want it to happen. Most of the platforms are free to use, but Match charges for a monthly membership, in exchange for accessing its logarithm-based questionnaire about your life goals and what makes you happy and all that other stuff. That questionnaire is really long and it can get pretty intense. Then the brainiac tech wizards use the info to match you with appropriate people to date. Although everyone knows you still spend hours sorting through profiles on your own anyway, but it’s nice to know you have those love-arithms guiding you along the way a little bit.
Despite all the free dating technologies out there, the pay-for-play business model works, in part because members who pay for profiles are on a mission to find a mate. Those people are pro-active. It cuts down on those people who are online because they, shudder at the thought, just want to “chat for fun” and have no interest in actually meeting anybody. Ugh. Says D.F., a loyal Match subscriber: “People who are willing to pay for a membership are there because they are really looking for a relationship. They’re not just sitting around online, wasting time…and mine…”
Scruff is one of many apps that sort members based on GPS coordinates, and display profiles in order of proximity to your current location. No questionnaires, no matchmaking logarithms, you just upload a photo of yourself and hopefully the person down the street thinks you’re sexy. (But that sexy photo can’t be X-rated. Nudity is forbidden as per Apple and Android guidelines.) No luck? Change your feng shui and drive across town, and suddenly you have an entirely new batch of potential mates popping up on your phone. Granted, lots of guys toggle among multiple GPS apps at the same time, so the guys you see on one app will be the guys you see on the others, but Scruff separates itself from the crowd by attracting men who are theoretically a little rougher around the edges than the average pretty boy. This is, of course, a facade. Go to Chicago during International Mr. Leather, and witness the packs of big burly men covered in hair, who look tough, until they go window shopping on Michigan Ave. and squeal with delight at a pair of Gucci shoes.
But back to the topic of online dating.
Besides the photos you upload to your profile, on Scruff you can send additional photos directly to a specific recipient and, because they’re private, those photos can show all sorts of your naughty nakedness. You can also send a short video of yourself, which is a rare feature on dating platforms. Should you wish to catch someone’s attention but you don’t know what to say, you can send him a “Woof,” like blowing him a kiss across the room but far more objectifying, which for some reason members do not consider degrading. Then hopefully that guy will appreciate the compliment and also realize how desirable you are and initiate a conversation, although usually nothing will happen because those Woofs are really easy to ignore. That Woof feature aside, Scruff is an important service in the landscape of LGBT dating, where youth-obsessed culture objectifies young, fit lads as sexual playthings. Sometimes a guy is looking for a mate, whether for life or just for a day, who has a little bit of life experience and perhaps a little bit of meat on his bones. Running your hand through a nice patch of chest hair can feel really good. And maybe he does like Gucci shoes, but so what?
Adam4Adam is an old-fashioned hookup web site, where members are grouped in rooms based on the city they choose as their location, and everyone is displayed in order of who logged on most recently. This helps weed out people who park themselves online for days at a time but don’t check or respond to messages, which is one of the most annoying downsides of online dating. If you are a person who does this, stop it. No one wants to get a message from someone that says “hi,” respond to that message, and then have to wait 6 hours just to get back a lame “what’s up?” Pay attention! Or go away!
Adam4Adam doesn’t have a downloadable app, so they allow nudity in their photos; they do have a mobile version of the site, Adam4AdamRadar, that will show your distance in miles from other mobile users, but it seems a lot of members still communicate on the computer. This appeals to a very different sect of online dater: it is for the man who has a spouse, perhaps a wife, who has access to his phone, so he can’t have any pesky apps saved on there. Using a computer, you can log on, find a dude, show him photos of your various body parts, and have a tryst now and then. There are certainly men on Adam4Adam who are relationship oriented, looking for Mr. Right, but they are mixed in with the gentlemen looking for a Mr. Right Now. There’s also a lot of porn ads, which can be distracting in ways good and bad. You can pay a member fee to have them removed.
It’s also a fun way to find low-rent hustlers, who don’t have the money to pay their phone bills and are using the computer at the local LGBT community center to turn a trick or two. Don’t judge. Everybody’s got to make a living.
Gay men around America have a spot in their hearts for Craigslist’s “men seeking men” personals. Once the dominant player in the matchmaking world, because it was (and still is) totally anonymous and totally free to use, its personals ads are filled with postings from people looking to engage in all sorts of tawdry behaviors. The site has very few restrictions–basically anything that is legal is fair game–so reading an ad may include seeing a photo of, perhaps, someone’s body part with instructions of what the person wants to do with it or have done to it. Lovely. Craigslist has perhaps fallen into the shadows behind the newer, app-based technologies that promise more respectable methods of meeting a mate, but it is still very much a part of the spectrum. If you’re looking for a lunchtime romp with a construction worker who is helping build the nearby highway exit ramp and wants to stop by on his way home after his shift ends, Craigslist is the place to go. Don’t ask how we know this. We heard it from a friend.
Let’s go back to the Match Group sites for a moment, and discuss in more details one of their largest properties, Tinder. The Tinder championed the “swipe” concept: while using a touch-screen phone, you see one photo of a person and make a snap judgment about whether he/she is worthy of you acknowledging he/she exists. Then you “swipe” the photo to the right to say the person in the photo looks promising, or to the left and the person’s profile is ignored. At some point in the game, that person will theoretically see your photo and hopefully swipe right as well, and then you are both “connected,’ which means you can send each other messages. Although nothing happens until one of you takes the initiative to send that first message, and that is the great hurdle to traverse since you will probably both wait for the other to make the first move, but congratulations! You both swiped right for each other. You both think each other is not hideous.
It seems like a trivial method of connecting to other humans, but those first impressions are a big deal. According to Princeton psychologists, it takes only 1/10 of a second to form an opinion of people based on their appearance.
So pick that photo carefully.