Tuesday, February 12, 2008

I Hope Aspen's Not Reading This; Strategies Of The Frustrated

I really hope not...though I know the odds are against me (read: function of 1 out of total number of people who read this {read: small}, multiplied by some co-efficient {things usually are}). So, the usual theme of "woe is me"-related-conversation between my friends and I is that I feel like I'm suffocating in Santa Barbara. The gay community here is small, closeted, and frustrated from virtually zero grounds for social interaction (read: gay bars or some other form of social scene where being gay is, at most, assumed). Because of this, I find that it's impossible for me to date people, and it doesn't help that I'm finding out that I'm actually kind of picky. I think I average about 2 dates a year, and frankly, it's driving me mad and making me more than a slightly bit depressed. The part where this becomes shameful is that I...joined an online dating service.


On a whim on a monday (the day when this problem is on my mind the most), I checked out Chemistry.com, took the personality test and created a profile, and was shown 3 of my "matches." It should have been a strong foreshadowing of just how worthless a service this would be when I only received 3 matches, considering that before becoming a paying subscriber, you're allowed up to 5. Now..."free matches" doesn't mean the ability to interact with those matches, it's just sort of a tantalizing sales strategy. You can see your matches, people can see you and, if they're subscribers, express interest in you through the site's infrastructure (which is very strict about leaving no hint of alternate means of contact in your profile, which might threaten their business model). Aside from it being stupid of me to think that a website dedicated specifically to matchmaking would somehow magically make more gay people appear in this town, my dissatisfaction with this...scam, is the way they lure people in. The problem is that upon becoming a paying subscriber ($50 moneys for one month), there is absolutely no guarantee that these people who show up in my matches are, themselves, paying subscribers.

I've "shown interest" in 5 people now, the last 3 merely to test my theory, with no response, and that means neither a "yes" or a "no thanks, not interested." I'm thoroughly convinced at this point that I'm one of very few actual active, paying profiles in the tri-county's presence on chemistry.com. I'm looking at this on the bright-side and figuring that my $50 was well spent on being able to contact a friend from my past, circa 10-12 years ago, who ended up being one of my first 3 matches, and with whom I had a fun time hanging out and catching up. Of course, being a non-paying user himself, he wasn't able to use the site to respond to me, however knowing my last name, google was able to accomplish the rest. So...in a sense, given that this is, I'm pretty sure, the only good thing that will come out of this shitty service for the remainder of the month I bought, what I payed for was a $50 bit on information sent to an old friend. A very expensive ping.

I have a coworker who tried to cheer me up by telling me about a website he had seen on digg called lovetastic.com. When he asked me how I liked it I responded by showing what turned up after searching for my zipcode with a 50 mile radius: 3 people. He took it that I was not amused. However...I still made a profile. Ha.


Blogger Drew said...

You could do Connexion, a site that I think I'm on and that is basically gay MySpace. (I signed up to see if somebody I knew was on it. Then never checked again, more or less. Neat story, huh?) Being gay MySpace, it's basically a dating service, since what non-heterosexual person isn't on a social network for dating purposes? (Besides me.)

Also, as a point of interest, my co-worker has been working on SB Pride and has become, in her words, inundated with gay men. So there's that.

2:22 PM  

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