You Know What Still Weirds Me Out About OKCupid? And, You Know, People?

Three years ago, OKCupid had two separate controls for rating a potential match: Personality and Beauty.  You rated each profile along a five-star rating, one according to what you thought of the personality they expressed in their profile, and another according how strongly you were attracted to the person in the photos.

They collapsed that to a single rating, because as it turned out, most people just chose the same value for both.

Dude, that is fucked up.

There’s a running gag on FetLife (the Facebook for Kinksters) that no guy actually reads the profile, they just look at the pictures and then send messages.  Which is true.  Back when I posted a few shots of my then-girlfriend Jen on my Fet Profile, I got a couple of hi-LAR-ious requests from ignorant men wanting to have sex with me.  I almost took ‘em up on it, just to watch the look on their face when they realized I was not the woman in the pictures.

Still, I think the fact that OKCupid’s helpful tool went unused is a sad sign of how society gets fucked around the axle when it comes to attraction.  One of the things that has saved me from a billion terrible relationships is that I can realize that I might want to boink the popcorn out of any given woman, but we’d irritate the hell out of each other during repeated, intimate contact.  When that happens, I’ll fantasize, but I won’t make any moves.

Unfortunately, this is not the way most people work.  When you have only one line of attraction, and the physical is high, then what folks start to do is find ways to bring this heavenly creature’s personality up to snuff.  Which means that you start making excuses for these Amazonian Gods and Goddesses – interpreting their disinterest as cool study of the world, their arrogant dismissal of the things you love as “high taste,” their erratic schedules as proof that they’re unique, fun-loving people.  And because you have no way of making that all-important distinction of, “Beauty: 5, Personality: 2,” you eventually create a situation where you have fabricated a whole personality for someone that doesn’t exist, just so you can try to boink them.

….which, like a dog chasing his tail, thankfully you don’t usually catch ‘em.  But when you do, you’re in for months of ugly wearing as you slowly come to realize, Wait, I hate this person.

Look, I’m not saying never to boink a really pretty person who you don’t get along with. Do!  Safely!  Consensually!  Exorbitantly!  But the danger is in trying to transform that single-serving friendship into a relationship.  And you do that by fabricating bits of their personality that don’t actually exist, which is never a good idea.

What your body craves is not the same as what your mind craves, I promise.  Understanding that difference is a vital, healthy thing, one that leads to both more fulfilling relationships and more fulfilling sex, since having control over what you want is a wondrous, wondrous thing. Understand that you can spooge tons of bodily fluids to anyone’s images, and yet outside of the boudoir you might despise each other.

Let that be what it is.  Read their fucking profile.  Get an idea of who this person is that your body wants to bang like a screen door.  Then decide what kind of thing you would desire from them, and whether they might actually want to give that to you, and craft a relationship perfectly devised to this synergy of fleshly pursuit and emotional interplay.

But do not fool yourself.  Do not date people you’ve made up out of whole cloth just so you can gain access to a taut rump.  And even though OKCupid has bowed to the pressure, do not assume that a five-star rating is really a single rating.  It’s at least two.  Maybe five.  Think about all the axes before you make your move.

4 Comments

  1. Jerri Lyn
    Feb 4, 2013

    This is where I’m glad that I have the kind of looks that … well, let’s just say they’re not for everybody. I still get my fair share of “Hey sexy let’s meet” (only not spelled as well) but far less than I imagine the typical woman gets on the site.

    It’s also why I insist on meeting quickly. The last thing I want is to build up a person in my mind only to find out there is ZERO chemistry. It’s also a gut check to the guy to see what BBW means in person vs in a picture.

    I wonder how much of this comes from being solidly middle-age and not driven (as much) by hormones?

  2. Mary Turzillo
    Feb 4, 2013

    The drive to find a pretty mate is Darwinian; the idea is that the pretty ones are healthier (of course they aren’t necessarily).

    When I was dating (quite a while ago), I rejected (actually, I just passed over him) a guy in the Great Expectations book because he looked stodgy. If you want me to define “stodgy,” I guess it means he wouldn’t fit in at a con. Anyway, he happened to walk into the Great Expectations lounge as I was leaving, and — he didn’t look stodgy at all. They use their own photographer, and that portrait just didn’t capture him.

    However, my laundry list contained such items as 1) must like science fiction, 2) must have an IQ above his body temperature, and 3) must not belong to the NRA. (There were more, but I’ll keep those to myself.)

    I could be wrong, but I’m not sure OKCupid narrows things down enough . . . never looked at it. I think it sprang up after I found Geoff.

  3. Mary Turzillo
    Feb 4, 2013

    Not exactly on topic, but Psychology Today published an article on whether appearance is a guide to personality. I found it a little less than convincing, although I’m not sure the author herself was convinced, either:

    http://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/201210/whats-in-face

  4. Euphrates
    Feb 6, 2013

    You know what drives ME batty? Showing me who’s visited, giving me NUMBERS of who’s visited my profile. Why do I want to know that, if they haven’t messaged me? It’s just a ridiculous parade of rejection “Why did they visit and move on, what turned them off, especially when they showed up on my “matches” too and I thought maybe they looked like possibilities…now I’m too worried to try and contact them that they think I’m some kind of troll” (Oh, and yes, I’ve been called an ugly troll on OKC, directly…)

    I haven’t figured out why I still keep the damn thing active. :(

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