Friday, July 23, 2010

About Your Online Dating Photos

I never considered the dating scene. Why should I? Marriage renders that particular ritual irrelevant…or at least it should. I had no idea that I’d be dating again in my early forties and my first post-marriage year saw me devoid of any appetite for doing so.

Then I woke up from my divorce trauma hibernation. Deciding it would be nice to connect with someone again, I pondered my options. The online thing was something that flourished during my marriage so I was clueless regarding who-what-how-why. I remember personal ads in the back of Washingtonian magazine years ago and I simply figured it was a venue for losers. Sorry.

It’s one thing to hit your neighborhood bar with your wingmen in your twenties and meet girls. It’s quite another when you are a divorced father of a little-one and your schedule is anything but easy and flexible. Plus, I’ve never been the bar cruiser kind of guy. Then someone suggested the online venue.

I don’t currently have a reason have an online personal ad but my experiences doing so are generally more positive than not. You can discover really nice, smart, fun, decent people who are essentially seeking the same things. But there are pitfalls and the horror stories from this venue are usually told by women about their experiences with men. I’ve heard some doozies and regretfully, am not surprised by the predatory behavior of my knuckle dragging gender. So yes, it’s probably an easier venue for guys. And women do need to be extra vigilant in how they manage their internet dating activities.

Which brings me to the motivation for this story. I’ve seen thousands of personal ads by now and while I’d never purport to offer assistance regarding what women should write in their profiles, I do have a word or two regarding your photos. All of the snaps that I’ve posted in this story are from online dating profiles that I’ve gandered.

You already know this but let me remind you…again. Guys are visual. Guys ogle. Just because ADG happens to read and enjoy words doesn’t mean that all guys are going to read every word of your profile. If you refer to yourself as “classy”…use “party” as a verb…tell me that you “love Vegas”…then I’m not gonna be contacting you but again, I’m probably not your type of  guy anyway. I’m not suggesting you remove those words from your profile. Chances are you’ll like some of the idiots who get turned on by those declarations and you’ll have a great time…in the heart shaped hot tub…in your room…partying…in Vegas. Classy. I did get a chuckle out of reading this profile line a while ago amidst harvesting pictures for this post… “I've never started a sentence with... "my friends describe me as," and I don't wear sweatpants with "juicy" written on the ass….” Now that’s my kind of gal.

So let’s talk pictures and please, let me help you…
Helmets are bad. Your profile reflects a woman of substance and eclectic interests. There’s plenty to pique a man’s interest therein. But then you had to go and put the damn helmet photo in the lineup.Never forget what a helmet photo did for Michael Dukakis.

 What the flip were you thinking? Every guy surely, would like to spend a Saturday at one of those driving experience schools. We're glad you had a big time last Saturday but you look like Atom Ant's Aunt.
You are otherwise stunning. Your profile story and other pictures are great. But a helmet and a hat...who told you this was ok to post on Off with it. Now.
Even with the jaunty tilt that you and your son are manifesting, this coal miner's daughter thang ain't working.
And it's not just helmets. Your other photos compensate for this one, Missy. You are smart, cute and well written/spoken. But I ain't the Frito F_ _ _ing Bandito.
I realize that you are teaching kids the merits of wearing helmets. LFG and I think your efforts are more than honorable. But what possessed you to believe that this was a good photo for your digital romance efforts? The dog emailed me and threatened to litigate if I didn't black patch his eyes too.
Swim with 'em. LFG did and her photo is priceless. But she was six years old. You honey chile, are gonna have to brush your teeth before you and I do any knacker nibblin'. And look what the salt water did to your highlights. 
I’ve never been to Egypt, or Syria, or Jordan or anywhere else in either North Africa or the Middle East where tourists acquire photos astride camels. I’m sure if I did, I’d be first in line to get my souvenir snapshot…ADG commanding the phlegm flinging dromedarial tourist trappist. But please girls, nobody looks comfortable on a camel. Butcept maybe the natives and maybe some of the old boys in the camel corps of decades past. It’s hard to visualize you on my camel colored sofa after seeing your nervous ass tentatively perched…camelistically. And what did I tell you about helmets?

Here's Trixie...just before Stumpy blew a wad of snot on her. The camel photo opp is the anti-elegant converse to the beauty and artistry of a woman astride a show jumper…gracefully…mid-air with jodhpurs painted on those athletic quads and hacking jacket topping off the athletic commandress of horseflesh. The airborne equestriennesque beauty of equine and feminine forms. Damn. 
So double up on your show jumping shots and dump the camel snaps ok?
May I approach a touchy subject? Breasts. The woman above, at least to me, is beautiful in so many ways. She is confident and sexy. Appropriately provocative in a halter assemblage that says "I don't need plastic orbs to feel like a woman". Now for the rest of you....I know that you saved forever to get the dosh for your implants. I respect the self discipline you displayed when you opted to save another year for them instead of financing your siliconalia at 18% interest. Suze Orman and I are both thrilled. I also know firsthand that there are women who look and feel so much better as a result of having moderately sized augmentation. 
But why, just because they told you the costs for augmentation were the same, regardless of implant size, did you get those absurd things? Are you sure you should be on a dating site? I understand there are sites devoted exclusively to the hooker trade.
You are fifty years old. Happy I know, to be back out in the singles scene. But please. This is the very reason I avoid theme parties and costume centric gatherings. It ain’t pretty.
Your profile states that you teach Sunday School. Ok...but let this be a lesson for all women when they post pictures to complement their dating profile. This shot promises that every freak out there with a boot-foot fetish will barrage your inbox with poorly contrived, drooling rhetoric, offering to rock your world. So if that’s whatcha want…
The Charlie’s Angels pose has been done. And done. And done. It was cute. In 2003. Now come and sit in my damn lap.
And let me offer a perspective on posting bathing suit shots. This woman is forty three years old. Stunning is an understatement. But if you post this type of photo, don’t get pissed off when you receive three hundred emails a day from guys that want to bed you. It’s gonna happen. My female friends forward me emails from guys who are going for broke in their attempt to see and touch this flesh in situ. Seems a bit contradictory for women to have a photo similar to this one and have an all caps bolded headline that says “LOVE ME FOR ME AND NOT MY BODY—IF YOU ARE LOOKING FOR A HOOKUP, MOVE ON”. No...I’m looking to join your damn book club. On “naked night” only though.
We know that you are a pretty good amateur photographer. There are hobby sites just for that purpose. When a guy sees a profile that says “16 photos” they generally think “nice” as they prepare for the visual treat associated with perusing said profile. 
Gotta tell you girls, when fourteen of the photos are fine-art efforts, the guys who are gonna contact you probably still live with mama. If that’s what you’re looking for, then skip this morsel of advice.
And finally, take my Tweetsie Railroad souvenir vest off. Put some fifty year old woman appropriate clothes on and repost your pictures. You are confused about what it really takes to earn the interest of a man for any connection beyond a one nighter. I can appreciate the discombobulation since this is your initial dating foray after a twenty four year marriage. Your confidence is shaky and you think that if you show us from the get-go that your body is still hot, we’ll be patient and get to know you for you—realizing that your physicality is part of the total package that we—all of us guys want. Trust me when I tell you that you’re headed for a Tweetsie train wreck right out of the post twenty four year marriage station. If all you want to do is get laid, save your money and simply wear that rig to the grocery store. That would be the Giant grocery store in Old Town Alexandria…4:15 pm tomorrow afternoon. I’ll have my coon skin cap on.

Sorry girls but most guys except me are still good old knuckle dragging hard heads who need little encouragement to misread your intentions. Make sure your pictures overstate...redundantly who you are and what you really want. Otherwise this whole online love connection effort of yours is gonna be trouble. Chances are that your accompanying words are gonna pale in comparison to your visual assertions.

Onward…from Dallas…but coon skinning it over to the Giant tomorrow.


K.S. Anthony said...

I haven't laughed this hard in ages.

Excellent, excellent, excellent post.

Suburban Princess said...

Nicely done! I met my husband online and yes, I have seen and heard it all!

I am glad to hear the Charlie's Angels pose was still cute in 2003 as that's the last time I did it, on my wedding day.

And...that's a dromedary, not a camel ;o) A real woman leaves the helmet at the Auberge while trekking in the I found out the saddle and hooves will do more damage than landing head first in the sand.

...ami... said...

Oh my goodness. I can hardly type for the tears...Best post in weeks, anywhere on the Internets!

I also met my husband online, but not a dating site. He was brave and showed up to meet me, sight-unseen! He won me over with words and I guess I did the same.

It is no wonder that men can't understand women, if your post findings are any indication of the mixed signals. Good luck, Guys!

Anonymous said...

Although married, this post really struck a chord with me. A few years ago I was at a master's swim meet (yes, old folks in speedos). There was a woman about 40 with a tattoo in her crotch--but outside the coverage of her swimsuit. I became fixated on trying to identify the symbol / logo / script whatever made up this tattoo. I glanced up and noticed she did not like my extended gaze into her nether region. Ok---but you put the blanking tattoo there. You put the bathing suit on. I am just a guy. People need to take responsibility for what they show the public. I feel for all you dating today--who has the rule book??????

Ian Gilmoure said...

ADG Thank you for a much needed chuckle during the work day.

Main Line Sportsman said...

Helmets...really? They posted pix with helmets...what were they thinking. One assumes that a poster has culled their pix to find their best angle and look. So what can one deduce when they post a shot whilst wearing protective head-gear.
Now, as for that Helen Hunt look-a-like....I too would scamper down to the Produce section at Giant to stalk that be-fringed vixen.

Lastly, KS...what is with the private Blog are pinching me off? C'mon...give me the high sign or secret handshake so I can be privy to your late-night booze induced adventures and swooninhg dark love missives.

Scott said...

Lord have mercy...Thanks for the glimpse of the other side. This was more valuable than a "Marriage Encounter Weekend".


ADG said...'s scary out there/here.

MainLiner...I'll jump on KS right now.

KSA...cease the private members only blogsite bullshit right now or I'm gonna embarrass you.

Anon...wonder how that crotch ink is gonna look twenty years from now. I just threw up a little bit in the back of my throat.

ami...good for you and your husband.

Suburban Princess...SHIT...thanks for the pachy heads up and I shoulda known that after my elephant book report with LFG.

SouthernProletariat said...

Thank God I am married. Like I have long said, if anything happens to the Hubs, I'm just getting a dog-I've put too much effort into this man to try to find another one.

(thanks for the laugh!)

cdclaycomb said...

Thank you ADG for the full fledged belly laugh!

P.S. Could y'all promise never to utter the words "crotch ink" again? Thanks!

ilovelimegreen said...

ADG - You don't do theme parties? So much for inviting you to next year's green party - and I was going to suggest you to wear those soon-to-arrive green loafers.

Anonymous English Female said...

ADG- best post all year. Can't help thinking the girl you're currently dating must be a flat chested librarian who wears boy scout shorts. May be madras boy scout shorts.

Preppy 101 said...

Once again you have given me my daily "best medicine". I was snickering until I got to the oomments about Miss Tweetsie Railroad, which made me giggle out loud like I was at a high school slumber party. I'll have to say I have never ventured into the cyberworld of matchmaking. Maybe if I do, I should just say I don't wear helmets, bikinis, costumes --- and I'm not on medication. Thanks for the entertainment and have a great weekend!! xoxo

NCJack said...

Just like the W*l-M*rt people, those ladies made a definite, considered decision to dress that way for the...entertainment? edification?... of the viewing public. As usual, I remain mystified

Anonymous said...

Camels. Always so fucking smug.

AnonEngfem.......PATCH madras scout shorts with slash pockets, post July 4th cookout only, with pale pink Polo summer camp shirt and lug-soled Belgian-type faux crocs (can you just see the little rubber bow?) and aviator glasses. Am I close?

SF Bay Area

Anonymous said...

Does anyone still visit online dating sites?

Now really.


In The Littoral said...

I am pretty sure that I have viewed the same profiles as you and agree on every point made. Especially the self described "classy." A misnomer if every there was one!

However, you forgot to mention the obligatory shots holding a dog or cat (don't get me started on women with cats, not cat, cats). And my personal favorite, the only photos of said woman she is wearing sunglasses.

Good luck in Giant this afternoon!


*ackja* said...

This should be required reading for anyone venturing into online dating. You always, always make laugh, or nod in agreement, but today you did both. The above may be your best collection of observations yet. Not only did you touch on my biggest pet peeve ("classy" - I shudder), but you also make me want to take up horseback riding. Damn. Shut up. Love the 16" cleavage on Pocahontas at the end. I'm sure her grandchildren are so proud...

Summer is a Verb said...

I'm only approving the show jumper...XXOO

ADG said... too.

ackja...first, I just checked out your blog. Bilateral MRSA...but for the grace of God and kick ass antibiotics (I do strategy work with a MRSA product/company)...I know more than I should about these things and I'm still blown away that this happened to you. Glad you are ok. I'll report back after my rendezvous at the Giant...with Poca.

DaveLittoral...stay tuned for the Giant report. Gotta go feed my seventeen cats now.

Anonymous...of course people visit online dating sites.

SFBayArea...don't know if you are close but what I've contrived in my mind based on your speculation is appealing. Long as the knickers are provocative. Camels...smug indeed.

NCJack...some mysteries are best remained.

Preppy101...give it a go.

AnonEngFem...this is NOT my best post all year. The one I did about my Speedo was better. Oh and yes, you've sorted out my latest paramour...butcept there's an insatiable Head Librarian just lurking therein.

LimeGreenGal...ok. I'll be there. With Pocohontas.

SouthernProl...yes. dogs are much easier to train.

CDClay...crotch ink...pity the tattoo artist. maybe a freelance OBGYN.

Anonymous said...

Good lord man, do you realize how many marriages have been repaired after the public service you have just provided! I was laughing out loud reading this.

Anonymous said...

and the link to the 'Speedo' post?


Anonymous said...

CDClay. Forget crotch ink. I was just relieved that this post made no reference to (or provided images of) the camel was dicey there for a moment

SFBay Area

Kathie Truitt said...

Okay, the jump shot is perfect, but then again I am a straight, married woman who knows nothing of what a photo for a dating service should look like. With that said, may I say I agree with you 150%. These over-40 women listen to the media too much. The media that tells us that after 35 we are 'washed up', 'nothing', 'ugly'. So they overcompensate as if to say, "Look! I'm (insert age here) and I'm still hot." Sad, really.

By the way, you don't need a dating service. You have me. But be very careful. The couples I 'fix' up end up getting married. My success rate is 100%. Just a thought...


Lucky Dog / The Commish said...

Great big belly laugh re: meeting Miss Tweetsie at the Giant. Of course all the helments and camels are there to evoke a.d.v.e.n.t.u.r.e.

Looking forward to the next post.
Best Regards,

Anonymous said...

I met my husband online although not via a dating site. We will celebrate our 14th year of marriage in September and every day I'm grateful to know that our pixels intersected. He still makes me laugh, I could listen to him all night without glancing surreptitiously at the time and I'm proud to stand next to him as his wife. I'm stepmother to his daughters and he is stepfather to my special-needs son; together we have a son that possesses the best of our traits. I typed all of this to encourage you to get back out there because the future Mrs. ADG is looking for you.

Anonymous said...

This one was quite funny. The women I showed it to also found it amusing.

If I were you I would go after the woman in the red dress and Jesse Duke's niece.

Keep on, keepin' on.


Young Fogey said...

Oh. My. Word.

There is only one rule for dating towards a happy, lasting relationship:


At least not for the first several months, and preferably not until after marriage. Try to wait until you're engaged, at the very least.

Really. Our not-so-distant ancestors (many of whom are still alive and still married to their first and only spouse), far from being hung-up-about-sex prudes, knew what they were doing when they held out until marriage.

Anonymous said...

Young Fogey. Are you crazy? No sex would mean that you wouldn't find out if you were compatible in bed with your 'date' nor would you find out about any weirdo disgusting vile (or extremely exciting and enticing) fetishes that a person has before getting into a relationship with said person and hey, don't think some of those trannies don't know Bonannos and Lilly Pulitzer and wear Wolford skivvies. And what's all this about MARRIAGE? If ADG is trolling the over 40 set (which he BETTER be) one would expect that these gals have been married once or twice before and wouldn't make THAT mistake again. Do you believe that there are Over-40 women who have never been married or who are virgins in ADG's 'shopping cart'? REALLY. ENGAGED?! Oh. My. Word. Someone explain online dating to YF, I suddenly have a headache.

Lisa@PracticallyIntuitive said...

Oh! You must immediately go to Date Wrecks ( where you can spend hours upon hours of fun looking at what's out there online - the very best of the worst.

You're totally right about the photos. What are people thinking?

Patsy said...

The photo of the youngish lady in the vest may not be all that recent, given the age of the gas pumps she's leaning against. Who poses for photos at the gas station?

I'd bet money the wooden skiff photo was taken in Rockport. Motif #2.

ADG said... never know. I did notice the "87 octane" thing or whatever that was.

Lisa...damn you...I just spent an hour at that site. Nasty.

Anonymous...NO SEX Responder...I hear you and I think you are missing a nuance in your example(s). I don't think Fogey is expecting me to seek out virgins...they don't exist and certainly I wouldn't want to encounter one! He's just saying delay sex for a while, or optimally, wait until marriage. I respect his logic and understand biblically where that originates and there is merit in the argument. However, my personal behavior, both and pre and post marriage was/is aligned 100% in your philosophical camp.

Young Fogey....see above!

Hilton...I ain't goin' after either one of them.

LuckyCommish...indeed. And don't think that I didn't take to heart what you said about the parenting dynamics and the fact that things can go south in a nanosecond with a child. I'm with you 100% on the bud-nippin.'d meet your ultimate challenge in trying to find someone that I'd agree to marry. I'm snakebit for life.

SFBayArea...don't ever mention cameltoe here again. And there ain't a speedo shot available at present.

RTS...that wasn't the intent but I'm glad of the outcome.

JMW said...

This is hilarious! We just returned from Blowing Rock, NC, so the Tweetsie Railroad comment made me laugh outloud. It's amazing what people will post online. Absolutely amazing.

Anonymous said...

Hah! YOU'RE the one who started with the camels. I broke into a sweat when I saw the picture in this post's context before I read your text!!

You bragged to AnonEngFem that your best post was the one you did on your it up, ADG.


Leah McClellan said...

lol Been there, done that. Online dating is a riot--I don't think I'll do it again. It sure can be entertaining, though.

I think using a really good, professional headshot is the best bet. The one I was using, though, wowed a lot of guys and yeah, plenty didn't read a thing in my profile. I'll never forget the self-described conservative Christian meat and potatoes guy...I wrote back and asked him what he thought he might have in common with a liberal Zen Buddhist vegetarian tree hugger? lol

Since I have no interest in anyone who doesn't take the time to read, well it's a good way to weed out the non readers lol

I'm amazed with the photos guys put up. Around here, in southern NJ, they inevitably show a pic of them holding a giant fish, or in their one was a guy underneath the head of a deer with huge antlers, apparently one he had shot and stuffed--scary lol

Thanks for the laugh, and good luck :)

Anonymous said...

your devoted fans want to know what happened at the giant on saturday.

ADG said...

Ian...forgot to say thanks for thanking me.

AnonGiant...stay tuned.

Leah...I hear you. Kinda reminds me of the email that one of my female friends got from a man who said..."I can already imagine my hands around your waste"...oy.

SFBay...Ok, I did start it.

ADG said...

Anonymous who said...."I typed all of this to encourage you to get back out there because the future Mrs. ADG is looking for you"....Sorry! Not sure why your comment didn't post. Thanks and I'm glad you've found a partner.

Anonymous said...

SFBayArea: May be ADG wrote his Speedo post exclusively for AnonEngFem ? Can only speculate aboutwhat she thought of it - suspect he's way out of her league (and she's probably under 40)...

Young Fogey said...

Anonymous seems to think that sexual compatibility is somehow more important than all the things you find out before you get physical.

Well, if all you want is sex, then yes.

However, if you want a serious, committed, long-term relationship, then no.

Now, for those who've been around the block a few—or several—times, sex may seem important. It is, but not in the way our society makes it. Sex is how God intended monogamous spouses to find a kind of spiritual connection with each other that is not attainable by other means.

Oh--can I mention procreation here as well?

Sex as perverted by modern society is how people engage in alienating mutual masturbation, debasing themselves and each other, spiritually and morally, in the process.

ADG was on the mark: you missed my point.

Even if you think that everything I said is hogwash, starting a relationship with sex is a good way to make it fail. In contrast, putting sex on the back burner means that you'll be able to weed out a lot of the weirdoes—including the possessive ones who end up as stalkers, or worse, after being dumped—before they can get too weird on you.

Did I 'splain it good enuff 4 U now?