Tuesday, October 2, 2018

I got someone banned from OKCupid

OKCupid is sometimes really wild, man.

I'm on the site to make friends. I swear it actually makes sense. Most people (rightly) think of OKCupid as a place where you'd search for dating options, but the fact is the site's roots extend back to more general social connections, and they maintain opportunities for people to select "new friends" as one of the relationship categories they're searching for.

If you're curious, before they became the OKCupid we know now, the company used to support a bunch of personality quizzes where you could share and compare your results with your friends if you made an account. I made an account during that time, and kept it even when the site evolved into a romantic match site because it actually did use a pretty sophisticated matching algorithm to help you find similar people.

Anyway, I use it for friendships like I always have and it's still connecting me with new people I end up liking. Several people in my close social circle are folks I would not have known without OKCupid. But obviously, my being there for friendships and making it 100% clear that I am only there for friendships does not make a difference when certain people decide the site is only for what they're looking for--people who treat everyone they meet as if they have no business being there if they're not there to date and mate.

Anyway, this will become relevant later.

A man sent me a one-line message--a thing I discourage explicitly in my profile, by the way--but his opener asked "didn't you used to be on SLS?"

Now, this sounds terrible, but since I had no idea what SLS was, I immediately suspected it was probably something sexual.

And I don't assume this because I just figure all men are trash (although on OKCupid, the odds are in favor of them being trash). I assume this because men do backflips to say something that will make women talk to them on the site. Truthfully, even if you send a pretty nice message, if you're a guy you won't likely get a response. I recognize that that sucks. But I have no sympathy for those who employ underhanded techniques to get past that issue--notably, some of them ask provocative questions or insult women, hoping it will be shocking enough that they'll be able to at least start a dialogue.

And one of the provocative questions some dudes seem to think is clever is to pretend they've mistaken me for a porn actress.

I'm not kidding; I occasionally get messages from men who ask me "You look really familiar, were you in [movie]?" And said movie is porn.

They apparently believe women will find it flattering if you pretend they thought you were a porn star.

I don't know.

So you'll see why receiving a message from a man I've never spoken to before asking me if he recognizes me from something *I* don't recognize is immediately questionable for me.

But this guy had a surprisingly high match percentage with me, and I *am* recognizable from some other stuff, so without more information I don't know whether this guy legitimately recognized me from something or if it's a line.

One way to find out: I answered him. I said I did not know what SLS was so probably not.

To his credit, he was polite in his response; he apologized for the mistake and wished me a good weekend.

I still wanted to know what SLS was, and Googling gave me many innocent and not-so-innocent results, so I asked. He just answered with the URL of his specific SLS, and it turned out--surprise--to be an adult hookups site for sexually adventurous people.

So here's my problem. Yes, maybe you just misremembered or mistook me for someone else, but all things considered, that's a pretty personal question. Asking me if I socialize on a sexually charged website is not the same kind of thing as, like, if he'd asked if he recognized me from a school we might've both gone to. And instead of just sending a stranger a message asking what is, in practical terms, a sexual question, you should LOOK AT THEIR PROFILE.



There is no way in the world anyone would mistake me for a sexually adventurous woman if they even took a passing glance at my profile. I'm listed as asexual, lead with a statement about my lack of interest in relationships other than friendships, and elaborate further later in the profile. Don't just ask me stuff like that. Read a profile.

So I basically told him that. I told him he should read profiles; I told him that reading mine would have answered his question; I told him his opener made me wonder if his question was going to be about porn because dudes keep doing that to me; and I told him I'm sick of people talking to me like my picture is the only thing in my profile when it's so easy to be respectful by leaving me out of conversations I clearly don't want to have.

No, it was not a nice e-mail. I wasn't trying to make him feel good and did not feel obligated to acknowledge his relative politeness. He may not have harassed me or pressured me to talk about sex with him, but that doesn't mean it wasn't an impertinent question to ask, and that doesn't mean he should feel free to treat women like he can say anything he wants to them if he likes their face.

Surprise, surprise: He pelted me with six insulting messages in response and then blocked me.

The insulting messages opened by telling me I am a real bitch and need to remember that, and then he blamed me for continuing to ask about SLS even though it was just a mistake, as if I had been leading this conversation somewhere just so I could scold him. He explained that he, unlike others, is a GOOD guy who doesn't deserve the assumptions I described, but he also needed me to know he's seen me on this site for YEARS AND YEARS and maybe I should recognize how pathetic I am for that. Furthermore, he explains, I have something deeply wrong with me and need to see a professional to get fixed. He closed by saying "I feel sorry for you. Peace!"

Interesting how he's seen me around OKCupid for many years and that makes me pathetic, but doesn't apply to him.

That's my favorite part.

People LOVE to shove in my face that my presence on the site proves I'm lonely, sad, desperate, etc., often expressed in sentiments such as EVER WONDER WHY YOU'RE STILL SINGLE BITCH? THIS IS WHY! But like . . . you still didn't read my profile, man. The thing I'm telling you you should do out of basic respect? You're still not doing it. I'm here for friendships. I'm going to keep being available for more friendships. Belittling people for failing in their love life or being unhappy with their situation is a terrible thing to do, and it proves you're a vindictive, petty person, but in my case it's not even appropriate. Shaming me for being on OKCupid "for years" as if it makes my loserhood self-evident is a nasty thing to do--and ultimately it's hilarious to me that they're trying SO HARD to burn me and they're not even using something I'm insecure or unhappy about. They're just so sure I must be that they immediately grab it for ammunition. That really sounds like a good guy, huh? Wow, I really shouldn't have assumed he was a jerk! The lack of imagination on these people is so disappointing.

Since he had blocked me, I couldn't report him to the support staff directly, so I just sent them screenshots of our entire conversation. I know from other times I've dealt with creeps that they don't just believe screenshots; they have access to look and see if these messages were actually sent. (I found that out once because a man sent me an "erotic" fantasy directed at me in which he did sexual things to me and then murdered me. When I reported it, the person handling the report told me the person had sent the same script to a whole bunch of women, in case it made me feel better that it was not personal for me. She could see his sent messages.)

The OKCupid rep wrote me back to say they'd banned the guy and blocked his IP addresses from making new accounts.

Well, good. Maybe he can just do his socializing on SLS from now on. At least he will not mistake the women he's been ogling "for years" as having been present on some other site. I'm sure I'm not alone.

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