Ball Sacks and Dead Fish: Stories of Internet Dating

Dating. On the internet.

At this point, it’s not nearly the taboo it used to be, so one night about a month ago (after a few glasses of wine), I decided to give it a whirl. I signed up, made a profile, scoffed at the idea of actually paying money for it, and more or less continued on my way.

And then, gentle readers, I began to get messages. At first I rolled my eyes at these, too. I didn’t need to know if this random person who couldn’t tell the difference between “you’re” and “your” was intrigued by me. I didn’t need to know if a twenty year old thought I was cute. But then I started to get messages from men who actually seemed interesting. Promising. They could use grammar! They had jobs! They were adults! (Okay, so my standards aren’t terribly high). So I coughed up a tragic amount of money for a month-long membership, and went on a date. I thought it went well. He, apparently felt otherwise.

Oh, the indignity of being rejected by a man you met online.

But by then I’d caught the bug. I went on another site, a free one, once again “just for the hell of it”. That’s when the messages started pouring in. This site was less selective, it seemed, and to say I was bombarded would be an understatement. There is a certain addictive quality to some of these sites, and you can find yourself literally sitting there for hours, wine in hand, just browsing. “Yes. Yes. Maybe. No. Hell no. Hmm.” It’s simultaneously heaps of fun and ridiculously overwhelming.

Fortunately, I have a few friends walking along this digital path with me, so we started to share some stories. Here is just a brief compilation of a few tips, tricks and conversations.

1. A lot of men use pictures of themselves holding giant dead fish as their profile photo. Do not do this.
(Conversation between friend and myself: “Who are these people and why would he choose a picture of himself with a dead fish?” “Oh, here’s another one of a guy with a dead fish!!! Except this guy is hot.” “Oh my gawd that fish is HUGE.”)

2. Do not select a username with the words “Ball” or “Sack”. There are no exceptions.
2b. Additionally, never message someone “Balls!”, nor should any message be followed up by “and ovaries, too!”

3. Online dating can be awkward and strange enough, do not make it more awkward and strange. Simple messages suffice.

4. Do not post pictures in which it is unclear which person you are. Particularly when one of the people in the photo has a hard-on.
(Conversation between myself and friend: “WAIT! I don’t think he’s that guy, I think he’s the mascot” “I feel better now that I know he’s the mascot and not the guy with the boner.”)

5. Do take normal pictures. With pizza.
(“I don’t think anyone can beat this ‘fix-it’ guy… He looks like a Norse god who wandered down from the mountains and into the pizzeria.”)

*For further ridiculousness, you can check out my friend’s blog  of our conversations here.

The truth is that it’s a dog eat dog world out there on the internet, and yes, you will be judged harshly. I’ll be honest and say that I’ve actually just deactivated my profiles – turns out a seemingly bottomless dating pool and endless messages are actually more terrifying to me than anything else, especially given how aggressive some of those messages have been. I’d like to be left alone by the men of the internet, at least for now, and go ahead and trust things to work out the old-fashioned way.

But I can tell you one thing. It definitely wasn’t boring.

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7 thoughts on “Ball Sacks and Dead Fish: Stories of Internet Dating

  1. Been there, done that, blogged about it too! Terrifying that these men exist and are happy with their status in life. And :Seinfeld voice: what IS the deal with the dead fish? ‘I can catch this. I can feed you.’ Huh??
    Kudos for getting in, then safely exiting, the game. 😉

      1. I guess I should also say there were definitely creepers, as well. I even got an offer to make a video for a guy, “for his person collection only” of course. Gag.

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