Search: label/the terrifying world of internet dating

Dating in your early twenties is a completely different thing to dating in your early thirties.

Either that or dating in 2012 is totally different to dating in 2006

Or, quite possibly, both. And add to the mix the fact I’m coming into this dating game from an entirely different place to most people. And that the Internet is kind of weird to begin with.

Whatever. We already know that Internet dating is a very strange place. A few moths back, tired of having my vulnerabilities trampled upon, my heart broken and my belief in any kind of romance sadly disillusioned, I shifted my focus from the romantic–looking–for–my–soul–mate–to–go–walking–along–the–beach–with kind of websites to the more quissentially tacky ‘dating’ sites, complete with annoying flash ads, half naked couples on the home page and a veritable plethora of strange, lonely people all ‘Not Looking For A Relationship’ scanning the message boards and Online Now columns to find innocents like me to startle.

The communications that turn up in my inbox have shifted along with my change in sites. While they once consisted of a mix of normal type human male messages (’Hi how are you?’) and missives so strange, creepy or badly spelt they were laughable; they now entail a mix of normal male type messages (’Hi how are you?’) to offers and suggestions that either make me blush so fiercely I can’t check my email in public or actually require me having to Google terms to find out what they mean. (‘Bukkake‘. Don’t do it, you will regret it.)

I’m certainly not a prude and I really thought I was pretty damn knowledgable when it came to sex and that more adult side of life. Evidently I was very wrong. I’m fairly sure that some of the acts being suggested here aren’t even legal in many parts of the world. The total lack of desire I feel toward reading 50 Shades of Grey stems mainly from the idea that, compared to my inbox, it might just be boring.

I look like Mary freaking Poppins. Far too sweet to be tied up. Or handcuffed.

I’m not sure why, but it didn’t strike me as surprising that most of the men responsible for sending these kinds of communiqués are affluent, hard working, well groomed professionals. I’m actually not sure what they’d do if this pierced, tattooed hippy chick who doesn’t drink champagne turned up on their doorstep… and my self esteem is definitely not in the place to be knocked around by trying to find out.

In addition to the Eastern Suburbs office workers who are into kinky sex, there’s another more disturbing trend I’m noticing in the online dating world. I’m not sure if it’s actually as prevalent as it seems or if it’s just the fact that I seem to be inherently attractive to that alpha–male type…

But the number of police officers who have a real thing for bondage is positively scary. To be honest, it seems to extend further than just coppers. It also includes security guards, army personnel and, in one particularly unsettling encounter, a seemingly geeky statistician… who just happened to work for an international ammunition company and had some kind of fantasy involving a petite woman in a dog collar. (And let’s not forget the potentially psychopathic abattoir foreman).

And in case you’re wondering– which I know you are– the generalized stereotype I’m referring to here are into doing the dominating, not being dominated.

I’m sure if I wasn’t so exhausted I could come up with some correlation between men and penii and guns and domination, and probably throw some phallic insecurity in there as well. I’m also sure that if this fact was more publicly known, there would be far fewer arrests– who wants to be locked in the back of a paddy van with someone who gets off on tying people up and whipping them?

Again, whatever. Given my aversion to rope, it’s probably not going to be my thing. But I can reassure you that the NSW judicial system is in respectable, ethical hands.

Out of all those coppers, not one has offered to use his handcuffs on me.

***

I’m sure he’s going to entirely love being tacked onto the end of this particular post. Heh.

Some of you will remember my mate Bear, who let me ride pillion for this year’s NSW Black Dog Ride.

This time around the Bear is doing the National Black Dog Ride- it’s a bigger, longer trip, all the way to Australia’s Red Centre- the Northern Territory. (While I seethe with vivid green jealousy and cursing my lack of available childcare…)

The sponsorship page for the Bear’s National Black Dog Ride is here. Any support you can throw his way is very much appreciated.

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Internet Dating v2.1- My Last Duchess.

by Lori Dwyer on May 11, 2012 · 15 comments

Romance is a glorious thing.

As we’ve discussed and dissected before, I am a hopeless romantic. I love flowers. I love massages and surprises and nights out. I love romantic crap that makes me go “Awwwww!”

Tony, bless him, wasn’t good at the romance. He tried, sometimes, but he just didn’t seem to be able to pull it off without looking– and feeling– like a great big boofhead.

Since he died, the romance in my life has been sadly lacking. I vaguely remember the last time a guy took me out for dinner– it was my best mate Bunny, about six weeks after Tony passed away.

I occasionally buy myself flowers for the kitchen table, especially this time of year when there is nothing blooming in my garden; and it makes me sad, buying them for myself. But that’s offset by the simple happiness that comes from seeing fresh living color in my peripheral vision every time I open my front door.

There was some vague hope of some kind of excitement recently, as reported on Twitter, when I met a guy– online, of course– who seemed close to perfect. Great job in the vicinity of Paradise, gorgeous, intelligent, and– wait for it– spoke fluent French and owned an apartment in Paris.

All together now– *sigh*.

Complete the picture with a first date that included a perfect, warm autumn day and a picnic by a lake; and how does some kind of romantic interlude following that not seem possible?

Being stood up once, complete with dog–eating–homework excuse, should have been enough to kick that thought right out of my cerebellum. It wasn’t. It took him standing me up twice, as well as a rather fierce phone call from Woogs telling me to grow a spine; to make me see the light (douche).

In the meantime, we did have a few rather lovely dates, and a couple of long, giggling phone conversations. It was during one of those that I happened to mention Tony.

It makes me feel self–conscious, speaking of a man I once loved very much in front of one who I’ve just kissed; I can hear the plain fondness for my husband echo through my voice and I apologise to this perfect man, ask him not to mind, please, if I say Tony’s name or speak of things he did once… I can’t help it. He was my whole life for such a long time.

“It’s fine”, Mr Perfect says, “that’s OK. In fact, it reminds me of this poem..

Browning’s ‘Last Duchess’

There’s a wealthy man, years back, who is describing to a painter his last wife, his last duchess; all her details and strengths and weaknesses– “she was this, she was that…” It’s only toward the end of the poem you realize that the painter is not a painter, that he is there to find the man a new duchess; and he’s listening patiently to all her faults and charms so he may replicate those charms and find someone without those flaws.”

Again, all together… *sigh*. How freaking romantic is that? Be still my beating, swooning, eager–to–get–laid heart.

Or, as the educated amongst you may have already picked… not so much.

A little time with the Google God tells me that Robert Browning’s poem ‘My Last Duchess‘ is the story of a man recounting a murder. He killed his last wife, buried her, and, if I have the jist of things right, is now intimidating a possible future father-in-law with the details.

Holy what the f…. run away. Now.

I’m actually fairly sure this guy is not an axe murderer (or if he is, I’m slightly offended that I evidently wasn’t to his taste). It was just a matter of smart–arsery gone wrong.

I’m not sure I can say the same about the other guy who I happened to be chatting to… who revealed he was heavily into bondage. That’s all fine with me, but, you know, I have this thing with rope.

Then he tells me that, actually, he’d love to find a woman to play out a hostage fantasy with him.

And if that’s not terrifying enough, he works at an abattoir.

Cue– block, change profile name and picture. Fumble for that optimism you dropped, possibly in someone’s basement (“It rubs the lotion on its skin!”); smile and try again.

Because romance isn’t dead, surely. It’s just… terrified. Or at the very least, lost somewhere in translation.

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Internet Dating, v 2.0- Mr Bad Date

by Lori Dwyer on March 26, 2012 · 23 comments

As we know, because I am some kind of sadomasochist with a thing for uncomfortable social situations, I occasionally dabble in Internet dating.

It hasn’t been all bad. I’ve made some new friends, had some fun, and only had to provide one of them with a written declaration that I wouldn’t write about him on my blog. (Yes, really. In writing. I resisted the urge to tell him that only really interesting people end up here.)

But, you know, it’s all fun and games until somebody loses an eye. Or somebody (me) makes their escape to the ladies room, calls a SOS-texts a mate to make an ‘emergency’ phone call in ten minutes time, and then Tweets about it.

All that within the first half hour. Online dating is a terrifying place, remember?

I normally make a point of speaking with potential dates on the phone before I meet them– at least that way you know if they’re capable of holding a conversation. I hate nothing more than sitting in an uncomfortable silence.

I neglected to make that phone call before this date. More fool me. By text message and email, this guy was so well spoken, and he seemed to fit all the criteria– a few years older than me, two kids the same ages as mine, understands the dynamic of the basic question-answer-response-question dynamic.

I won’t guide you through the whole thing. It was painful to live through as it is. I think I can sum it up in a few sentences…

Not two children, but three. One almost the same age as me.

Lots of tattoos. Which is fine by me, I love tats. But not those faded, patchy blue jail tattoos. Especially when one of them is your ex–wife’s name on your ring finger.

He stunk of bourbon from the moment he got there, and was utterly disgusted that the TinyTrainTown, where I live, doesn’t have a pub. The nearest one is seven whole kilometers away, and “How the f*ck are you supposed to walk back from there, love?”

I heart tools. Obviously.

Now, please, don’t get wrong… all that I could have taken with salt (and possibly tequila), and still had a good night. If only he hadn’t been one of those men I’ve discussed before, who just cannot hold a conversation. This bloke was happier to sit in silence, or mock the fellow patrons of the sleazy, dark bar he’d bought me to (“Oh, did you want dinner, love? I’ve already eaten. And the food here looks sh*t”) rather than actually try to find out anything at all about the person he was not-dining. One syllable answers. No questions, stories, opinions, and refused to take conversation-bait when it was offered….

Get me the f*ck out of here.

I’ve had a system working with a friend of mine for a while now. If she knows I’m on a date and I text her saying ‘SOS’, she waits ten minutes and then calls me, pretending to be the babysitter, and oh no, my little one’s sick, gotta go, see you later.

Anyone who’s brave enough to date-especially online- needs a safeguard like this one. Trust me. And a huge thank you to all my Tweeps who offered to bail me out and rescue me by shifty phone call– legends.

And, why, yes, before anyone points it out… I do feel like a total bitch. Or I did. Until Mr Bad Date rang me the next four nights in a row at somewhere between the hours of midnight and two am, and left me some lovely drunken voicemails… which I’ve kept on the odd chance I may need a restraining order at some point in the not too distant future.

I’m determined not to get too jaded. Or something. Hey, if nothing else… bad dates make for excellent blog fodder.

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