Tales of a wandering lesbian

The Profiler

This is the second installment of my match.com diaries.  After deciding to give the online dating world a go, I sat down at the keyboard to take the first step from voyeur to active participant:  creating a profile.

I have actually posted profiles on three different sites:  match.com, Curve personals, and okcupid.  The three have slightly different processes for creating a profile, and thus for matching you up with others.  This was a fascinating process.  I got a lot more out of it than I expected.

Match.com takes you through a series of topics, ranging from how many times a week you work out, to where your hot spots are for spending time.  There are 22 of what I call “check box” topics designed to help match you with people who are similar.  These are the religious preference and height requirement sections.  But most of what match provides is room for a lot of text.  You can express yourself in your own words, which, for some is great, and for others is daunting.

With Curve personals you can provide a lot of information using the check box system.  The profile setup takes you through several steps, kind of like TurboTax, to make sure you’ve provided the most complete information. After all, nobody wants an audit on their date.

Okcupid, on the other hand has something like 4,000 user-generated questions you can answer to assure the best match.  Once you answer 25 it tells you you’re good to go, but it’s pretty entertaining to continue on, answering questions like, “should burning your country’s flag be illegal” and “how often do you bathe.”

All of these sites let you post your profile, and also select the profile components of the person you’re looking for.  Unlike the others, okcupid has a weighted system, in which you can indicate how important the answer to the question is, on a scale from mandatory to irrelevant.

About the time I was halfway through my second profile, I realized that I’ve never really sat down and tried to define myself this way.  I’m not entirely sure how I feel about defining myself through a series of check boxes, but I’ll tell you that the Curve process made me stop and think a bit.  Aside from telling me that my usual “flicktastic” username contained profanity, the Curve profile asked me to choose from a list of “important things.”

The list included “Attending Religious Services Often”, and “Having a High Sexual Drive”.

Apparently I’m not that concerned with “Keeping the House Neat and Clean” or “Giving to Those Less Fortunate”.  Apparently.  Of course, I also didn’t check “Having a High Sexual Drive,” even though (close your eyes, Mom) that’s actually pretty important.  So, apparently I’m also a little concerned with what I’m putting out into the world.  Which is interesting, as I’m finding that maybe what I’m putting out into the world isn’t exactly what I want to be putting out.  Take the pictures I chose for my profile, just for example

Each of the sites allows for a certain number of profile pictures.  On match it’s 5, on Curve it’s 25, and on okcupid it’s 10.  You choose one picture that displays first when people are searching through profiles.  And although I’m a fairly photogenic person, I have repeatedly chosen pictures for my online profiles that I feel best highlight my personality, and not my looks.  I think that’s a good thing.  Screens out the people who are just looking for a pretty face, or ass.  But in the last week alone, I’ve had a friend, my mom, and a woman I’ve been dating use the word “scary” in reference to pics I’m using.  My mom even went so far as to ask, “who are you trying to scare off?”  Now that’s an interesting question.  Here are the pics.  Tell me what you think:

Yes, maybe a little scary.  Maybe I’m a little scary.  Maybe I see myself as a little scary.  It kind of looks like that’s what I’m putting out there.  And it’s all about what you’re putting out there.  More to come.

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1 Big Mama { 04.21.10 at 2:21 pm }

Yup! Scary for sure!

2 Tracy Llanos { 04.21.10 at 3:53 pm }

funny-scary … but IMHO you should also post a couple that show how warm and kind you are.

3 Heather { 04.21.10 at 9:13 pm }

I think a person with the right sense of humor will find them a welcome change from the usual pictures on dating websites. Not sure if that’s helpful, but there you go.

4 Ant { 04.22.10 at 8:01 am }

You don’t look vulnerable in these pix. Maybe that is the subconscious message. Tough chick. But you have a beautiful smile that everyone should see as well. Is that ok to say “chick”? (I think that is one of those “gay” questions.) B-)

5 Heather Johnston { 04.22.10 at 12:18 pm }

Okay, so the first one is totally you. I almost want to print it and put it in an oak 5X7 in my hallway.

The second one says, “Don’t hate me because I have an enormous grill of dazzling white teeth a la Julia Roberts”. That’s NOT a bad thing in the dating world. However, I would photo-shop out the cupcake.

The third one is just fun, and it’s a keeper.

6 Ginger { 04.26.10 at 9:39 am }

Can’t see the 3rd photo too well – a little dark. But I’d say “fierce” and “challenging” – in the other 2 – as in “I dare ya to….” and only you can fill in the blanks.

And yes….brilliant teeth!