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An Internet Dater's Guide To Meeting People On Online

Everyone I know has had problems meeting people online, and they always come back with crazy stories of crazy people, or stories of people looking for rebounds. This guide is meant to help these people

Step 1: Create a crazy filter.

This is relatively simple. If you are trying to filter out the completely crazy people from this, you should create a fake screen name or email address. A fake email isn't as important since you send emails through the websites, but emailing is not as quick or personal as an IM is. Create a fake screen name, so you can chat with them. Do not give them your real screen name until after you've met them because that will be the big test.

Step 2: Finding a website

The most important thing you need to do when you attempt to find a website is say to yourself, "What Do I really want, " and then go from there. If you are just looking for Sex, I would recommend craigslist or plentyoffish (for the non Adult Dating sites), but the truth is, if you're smooth and you want to get laid any site will do. The more serious you get, the more money you are willing to spend which is why eharmony charges an extreme amount. Now here come the pros and cons

Craigslist: Craigslist isn't really a Dating site, and I wouldn't really take it seriously if you want to fall in love. The truth is, I've met a few people on craigslist and whenever I post a half-hearted personal ad or copy my match profile, I get about 20 responses. 10 of the responses are almost always the same people, no matter how often I post, 2 or 3 of them are usually people who are just bored searching for apartments or jobs and came across the Personals, and the remaining 3 or 4 people are actually interesting. As a matter of fact, I just posted with an "I'm tired of meeting men pretending to be women, or socially inept retards. Email me if you're not one of them, " and the emails I've received thus far consist of

1. I would love the opportunity to please you. This is your standard homosexual male trying to solicit straight men for Sex, while doing no work at his government job, which is where he emailed me from. This happens semi-frequently.

2. aim= _____ This is where a girl is so desperate she just wants to give her screen name out rather than describe her rather boring life.

3. > >hi =O) Why would you want to chat with someone who could only come up with "Hi"

4. hi my name is Laura and I am 21years old. I have recently moved to NH and am looking for a LTR. I am a little on the heavy side, but I have a big heart, am honest, loving and caring. I have pics on myspace. Please let me know if you want to see them. I am not going to lie; this is the best one I received thus far. She actually took the time to type out a legible email, and I probably would have responded if this wasn't the fourth ad she responded and to her, "a little on the heavy side, " means a little over 250 lbs.

Now back to craigslist. They do have a section for casual encounters there, but do not; I repeat do not use this section. It is filled with gay guys and undercover cops trying to catch prostitutes. You will get screwed over in this section. Also, it should be known that I posted as a w4m recently just to test a few things. For one, receiving 60 emails in the course of 2 hours is ridiculous to me. 43 of the guys either sent me a picture of them naked or just sent a solitary penis picture or just talked about Sex a lot. The other 17 guys got an email from saying, "Sorry I posted in the wrong section."

If you're going to respond to ads instead of posting one, I suggest a template email. Said template email is for every site. The templates are found at step 3.

Plentyoffish.com. Pros: 1. when you log in, it shows the last 10 people who checked their email within a certain mileage of you.2. The forums there are a great place to get profile advice, as well as a good laugh out of some of the people.3. It has an option to IM people who are currently online.4. It tells you the status of your email to someone (Unread, Unread deleted, Read, Read Deleted, or Replied) so you can tell "Hey they deleted it without reading it, fuck them"Cons1. The search engine is limited2. The people there are some of the weirdest I've ever come across.3. People are more open about being crazy issues infested bitches on here. I really wouldn't be using this site, but the forums are extremely entertaining.

Okcupid This is the best free site out there, but it has a catch. The catch is that a lot of people there are just there to take tests, which is fine, but emailing them sometimes results in a "Ha-ha you loser, you're trying to meet people online." There is not much else to say about this site, other than its good and attracts the better people from Okcupid and some of the good paid site people as well. YahooPros:1. If you email someone, it will tell you if you've emailed them if you ever click on their name again it will tell you if you've previously emailed them.2. Better selection than free Dating sites. 3. It allows you to sort your results by distance.4. Cheaper than matchCons1.You can only remove 250 people from a search2.You need to enter a security code to email anyone, making it a long process. 3. Half the people here are also on match.

Match.com

Pros 1. You can delete people from search as soon as you email them, making it a lot easier to not double email someone and there is no limit to the amount of people you block. 2. No security code needed, thus emailing people is a lot faster. 3. A lot more people than the other websites.

Cons 1.It doesn't tell you if you've already emailed someone. 2.You can only wink at a limited amount of people per day.

Eharmony

I'm not going to spend much time talking about this website, other than to say I think its ridiculously expensive, takes too long to get in contact with people, and is geared towards people who want to marry the next person they meet.

Other sites: American Singles or Friendfinder are the only other dating websites I'd recommend while trying to meet people, although the Jewish community looks highly upon jdate and I know they have sites specifically geared towards gay people, minorities and the like if those appeal to you. Myspace, Facebook, and blog sites are also places you can meet people, but a lot of people there would rather not be bothered.

Step 3: Emailing a person for the first time.

When you start the process and would like to email a person, I highly suggest sending a semi-templated email out. Mine are not obvious because they address the persons profile while having the basic structure already there for you.

Template #1: This gets the most responses because people love to talk about themselves.

Hey there, I really liked your ad. (Mention two reasons why you liked their ad)So what do you think about (A list of 5-10 things not covered in her ad that you would like to know about. I'd suggest 7 things, 5 of them being things you enjoy and 2 being things you don't like) Follow that sentence up with "I know this is random, but randomness is a great way to start conversation"And finally, ask if they have a screen name.

Don't ask for it; just ask if they have it. DO NOT ASSUME THAT BECAUSE THEY DON'T GIVE IT TO YOU IMMEDIATELY THAT THEY ARE NOT INTERESTED. Someone who gives it out immediately is most likely crazy or a whore, so stick with those who are hesitant to give it out.

Template #2: This got the best responses, because people found it to be a good email. This is also a good thing to use as your craigslist post if you decide to post there.

Hello,

I've been sitting here for 20 minutes trying to decidewhat to write. Do I tell you about me and who I am? Or do I tell you what I want to meet? Maybe just throw abunch of corny pickup lines in this email and see ifyou laugh hard enough to respond? Maybe I should tell you that I almost put "(Totally random thing you like) is the key to my heart" in my actual personal title?

I'm not looking for random sexual encounters, and I'vebeen burned by enough women who used me as a revengeto get back at asshole ex.'s of theirs to know I haveto and should treat any woman I date like the goddessshe deserves to be treated as and not the piece ofmeat she so often is treated like.

My ideal first date is meeting at a coffee shop or icecream parlor. Why, you ask? I want to go on a datewith someone that allows you time to talk to eachother, but also allows for an out. If you go out todinner, you feel obligated to stay through dinner, butafter coffee or ice cream is finished, you have a wayto leave if you're just not feeling it. Also the halfhour required is good if planned early in the night sothat you can make impromptu movie/comedy show plans inadvance.

Maybe I'm weird, but I like my plan.

Anyways, (basic description of yourself) so email me and we'll get to knoweach other.

Step 4: Creating a profile

When you go to create a profile, you need to know a few things.

1. Do not talk about video games in your profile. I don't care if you like them or not, but talking about video games will scare women. Most women recently are afraid of losing the guys attention to a video game.

2. On Okcupid, it asks what you spend your time on Friday nights doing. A goon showed me his profile last night and he made a slightly depressing joke about how he is sometimes out but usually in his warm bed watching the discovery channel. The importance of a personal ad is to sell yourself while being as honest as possible. Small lies like that are not big deals.

3. Post at least 3 pictures. Your primary picture should be a full body shot where you're obviously posing, and the rest of the pictures don't really matter.

4. In drop down menus, do not put "Prefer not to say, " because if I look at the smoking question and see that I am going to think "Hey she is ashamed of it so she's trying to avoid the question. At this point, I'll either block the profile or just send one out saying she smokes.

5.Answer every question. When I come across a profile that is clearly halfassed, I'm not going to respond. I don't want to talk to someone who can't take the time to write their top 5 movies/music/tv shows etc.

6.Profiles all in capital letters, or with lots of misspellings are turnoffs to a lot of people so type your profile up in MSword before you post it. Don't post a personal ad saying "I just left my boyfriend and I am 22 weeks pregnant but I hope that doesn't scare you, " because nobody is going to respond.

7. Never burn bridges with anyone. If someone emails you and you don't find them attractive, just email them back and say you met someone. Burning bridges in life is one of the worst things you could possibly do.

8. While it may be important to fill your profile, if you make it too long, it will be glossed over.

9.When you receive an email, always respond with answers to their questions (if you're interested) and follow up with something to break the ice like...."What is the worst aspect about you."

10. Pretend you're on a fucking job interview. Be on your game at all times.

Step 5: Planning a date

Basically, if you're going to meet someone online or plan on meeting a lot of people, you should do research. Ice Cream Parlors or Coffee shops are a great idea, but the best idea is to meet at a bookstore which has a coffee shop in it. My plan though is this: In Burlington we have a Barnes and Noble with a Starbucks inside it. Next door to B&N is a restaurant and next to that is a movie theater. So I ALWAYS try to meet there. It's just easy to have a plan in your head of "Hey, we'll chill in B&N for a bit and then catch dinner and a movie, " but also knowing that you might not get along in person is important. That is why you should only go somewhere quick for the first time. It alleviates any guilt if you want to end it.

Secondly, it helps if you make the meeting place a place within 10-15 minutes of at least one of your friends so if the date goes horribly wrong, you can take a bathroom break and ask for help.

Step 6: Helpful TIPS

1. If you're chatting with a girl and she isn't really being too chatty she is either A: Uptight B: Boring and has no communication skills C:Already talking to other people or D: She started a relationship since signing up and is just humoring you.

2. You need to remember that you're not the only one in a girl you're talking to online's life. She could be talking to 15-20 people in the same timeframe trying to figure out who she wants to date. It is not something to get angry at, it just a fact of life. Internet dating is like trial and error/process of elimination to a grand scale comparable only to the second you walk into a bar and scan all the women/men there.

3. Sign up for $140 6 month membership at match.com, because if you don't meet anyone after six months, you can get the next 6 months free.

4. If you are a guy, don't wait for an email. 3 out of 4 times we have to email the women. It sucks, but it is how our society works.

5. If you are a girl, email the guy. Stop making us do most of the work.

6. You need to remember a lot of people signed up on these sites because they were bored, someone dared them to, they just want to test the waters, they wanted to be flirted with but not meet anyone, or for various other reasons not relationship like. Hell some people just want people to talk to while at work.7. If you see someone you went to HS with, make sure to email them especially if you didn't get along with them so that they will always be nice to you because they'll be scared you'll tell everyone you saw them on the internet.

Step 7: Frequently asked Questions

Q: How long should I wait before giving them my screen name, and then trying to meet them? A: Well, I've done it all. I've received screen names immediately and had failed internet expeditions multiple times. I've also found waiting too long gets boring and whatever relationship you've built on the internet will falter. Basically 3 months should be your general limit for meeting someone. I would do the email thing for 20 emails or 2 weeks (whichever is first) before going to IM's and then continuing with the chat for another 2 weeks before getting a phone number. 2 weeks after that is the perfect time to meet because you've already had 6 weeks to get to know one another and you can tell what she's all about. Too quick and when you meet you get too much awkward silence. Too long and you'll run out of things to talk about.

Q: Why should I meet people online? A: There are many reasons. For one, you can choose from a greater number of people than you can at a bar on any given night. Two, you can filter them quickly. Three, you don't want to date someone you work with and the internet is a perfectly valid place to meet people now.

Q: Is craigslist safe? A: Not really. Before I respond to emails, I usually search the email addresses on myspace to check if they're crazy or not. They usually are, but I've had some good ones.

Q: Do attractive women use the internet? A: Yes, now they do. It's a new fad, so of course they would.

Q: Are there differences in the types of people you met as you go site to site? A: Obviously. Free sites will attract people who don't have as much money. People with kids, HS dropouts. Match and Yahoo are pretty much the same type of people.

Q: Where do I go if I just want some friends? A: Strictly Platonic section of craigslist is a good start, but a lot of people there will just try to fuck you. Meetup.com is a good place to find people with similar interests.

Q: How careful do I have to be? A: Pretty careful. Always meet in a public place. Never give your last name or address until you meet them. Chill in your car until they get to where you're going to meet them so you can see if they're actually two guys about to rob you.

Q: Do you have any good experiences? A: I fell in love with someone I met online, and then drove 300 miles for 2 months to see her but then I got sick of distance and ended it. Just as soon as I did that she met another guy and got married. Biggest regret ever.

Q: Have you met a lot of crazies? A: Yes, but the number is probably the same statistically as those you'd meet in real life. A lot of girls had baggage up the wazoo but in the end only a few girls were truly insane.

Q: What is the scariest thing that ever happened to you as far as meeting people online A: Pregnancy scare twice, having a knife pulled on me, going to a localized chat room group meet and getting pulled over by cops while I had a gang member in my car, fooling around with a lying 13 year old when I was 18 and then finding out how old she was later, and finding out a girl I was semi-serious with used to be a child prostitute.

Q: How many times have you met groups of 2 or more people? A: I went to a Goonmeet last month and met 10 people, 11 people from a Boston chat room a few years back, 6 more people at another time. Facebook group club meetup had a few people and I've met people who brought multiple friends along before.Q: Good experiences?A: I have a few good friends that I met online and tried to date, or people I've met through online people that I became friends with.

By pillowpants - I'm a 27 year old male from Massachusetts who is currently employed full time at Best Buy about to finish his degree. I love to write and I am thinking about writing a book about meeting people on the in...  

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