Saturday, 28 May 2016

An "Open" Girls Dating Site Review

Dating sites are a critical tool in open relationships.  The advice of just go out and meet people is not quite kosher when you are non monogamous.  So whether you are looking to add some spice or make new connections vetting through an online forum is the best way to go.  But of course, there is not just one dating site that perfectly suits my every changing wants and needs, so it is useful to have a few sites to bounce between.  Here is a brief review of 3 that I am currently using: POF, Ok Cupid and Bumble.  Side note, Tinder is a mixture of all 3 of these sites, so I am excluding it for the time being.  There is just nothing particularly special about it, it is merely a swiping exercise or boredom tool.  

Plenty of Fish has the largest user base, with the most restrictions for interactions.  As the pool so to speak is so vast, the likely hood of finding what you want, couples or just something fun on the side is higher.  However, there are some major drawbacks.  You cannot be honest about what you are looking for in your profile, ie married or poly.  They have very strict rules, and set themselves up as a singles site.  If you break these rules, you can be reported, blocked, or have your profile deleted.  This is not just a scare tactic, I have had my profile deleted because I said I was looking for couples in my profile.  There are subtle ways around this, for example, you can now put living together as one of your relationship taglines.  But of course, who really reads these things right?  It is an enticing site for people like me, just due to the sheer volume of users, but you also have to wade through a lot of crap to find what you are looking for.  And the restrictions POF places on who can use the site increases the deception that goes on.  So I always use the site with guards up, ready, and prepared for the abuses that come with interacting with such a variety of people who are not always prepared to handle my situation.

Next up we have Ok Cupid.   This is by far my favourite site for dating as a couple.  We can put links to each other’s profiles right in our opening paragraph.  There are filters for non monogamy, and a bunch of fantastic ways to narrow down the quest to find that perfect someone.  It is set up for such a wide variety of users that I hope someday OKC will get the volume that POF has.  I have had some great conversations with poly, and open people alike.  How could you not send a lovely message?  Being able to share links is also a benefit.  Of course, there are report buttons and block options just like with POF, but I find it is users who block and not the site owners scanning your messages for rule infractions.  I feel more like a responsible adult on OK Cupid.  But of course, because the open community is so small, you cannot just stick with one site.  So onto the newest app I have tried, and that is Bumble.

Bumble is the female’s answer to Tinder.  Women match and talk first.  No more having to block users at a rapid pace when you first sign up as is necessary with all other dating apps and sites I have used over the years.  Here, we the females, have 24 hours to message that cutie that caught our eye and set the tone for our current wants.  It is a fantastic premise.  Being new though, there are a lot of fake profiles, and more than that, a huge shortage of people.  This app is going to take some time to really gain traction, and I hope it does.  The fear of reading the message of the biggest creep is gone.  The men cannot initiate contact, and that in itself removes the almost predatory feeling I think most women have felt while online dating.  It can be scary at times, and that can then crush a good girls ego.  Of course, being that the woman have the power, it leaves out a huge population gap that does not fit into the binary male/female interaction.  I cannot see a solution that would make everyone happy.  I do know that there is a setting so that you can see both male and female profiles, but that I have not yet tried, so am unable to comment on it's effectiveness.  

So there you have it, the short and sweet low down on just 3 of the dating sites that are available and I use with relative frequency.  I'm always open to new suggestions as well, so feel free to message me or add some to the comment section.  Cheers!

Saturday, 21 May 2016

Profile Pictures: Thank You for Those Damn Fish!

Yes, you are correct boys, women love a good dead fish picture.  And what's more, we are judging you by the size of it.  The bigger the fish, the better.  We don't just want to know that you can provide a meal for us, caught all by yourself, but we want to know that there will be enough for leftovers!  Oh, you are looking for a woman who cooks and cleans?  Is that directly related to the fish you just caught?  Why sir, you're in luck.  We will happily gut that fish and throw it in the frying pan with the secret recipe of spices that all us online dating woman share.

I guess fair is fair though.  Because we female species know that when we put quadding or camping in our profiles, your manhood starts getting chubby.  I mean how else do we prove that we are "down to earth".  Not a girly girl that you have to constantly spoil and pamper, but that rough and tumble chick that you can bring around to your buddies and get the hi fives from.

And for all online dating profiles equally, please stop putting nothing but group photos up.  I do not know what you look like, and I don’t want to try and pick you out of a crowd.  Plus, you are either the hot one in the group showing off, or the ugly one trying to bank on the cheerleader effect.  Oh, but look how much fun we are all having posing for this epic picture?  No, seriously, I do not know which one you are and chances are when I figure it out, I am going to be disappointed!

If you want to know anything about me, I'm an open book.  Please ask me anything, because I don't want to spend the time writing anything in my profile.  I just hate these online things, and I am looking for the easiest means of meeting the one.  We can always lie about how we met!  Just judge me on the size of my fish, and not on my vocabulary!

Monday, 9 May 2016

Sex Is Just Sex… Revisited

I wrote a post during my first year blogging, called Sex is Just Sex?  In it, I did a very poor job of trying to describe the first couple I had met, that had an open understanding in their long distance relationship.  My writing was limited by my desire not to offend, and to not give the couple away, and in turn made that whole post a convoluted mess.  Also, and the reason I am sharing this post again, is to outline why I started blogging.  I can see clear growth in my understanding of open relationships and how I can now write about them, with the freeness that I actually feel in my day to day life.

When I met the male in that referenced couple it was before he was married, and I got along with him great.  I respected him, and trusted his judgement.  For this reason, and this reason alone, I kept my mouth shut when I found out that he had slept with another woman, while his soon to be wife was studying abroad.  As I mentioned in that terribly written post, the couple had an open understanding whenever they were in different countries.  I did not understand this concept at the time.  And clearly I did not have the clearest understanding of the value of this sort of relationship norm when I wrote about it. 

I now see a much more human element in this foundation.  This friend, trusted that I would not judge when he told me his story.  I failed him, and judged him hardcore on the inside.  How, could sex not mean something?  How could sex with others be part of a healthy and loving relationship?  At the time, I was monogamous, and had only ever slept with one man.  That was my relationship identity.  I could not help but hold them to the same standard that I held myself to.

I have felt judged and criticized for being in an open relationship many times over the years.  Now however,  I can look back on how I reacted to this couple which was less than mature, and how now I feel I have had a fairly good friendship with this man over the years.  I first ignored the personality flaws that I didn’t like (openness) and then I just forgot all about that.  It was none of my business.  Now, I embrace that about him.  I can see a braveness in him for sharing this possibility for non monogamy nearly 15 years ago.  There was nothing in the media, or internet about those types of couples at the time.  Nothing mainstream anyways.  

He and his wife are still together, with a beautiful family.  I have not yet asked if they are still open, because it just really doesn’t matter to me.  They are wonderful people, with great careers and a lovely family.  Their relationship values work, even if they have changed over the years.  For some couples, sex is just sex when it is with other people.  It can fill a necessary function of life when in a long distance relationship, or just because both parties want the extra physical contact in their lives.