back to article In some ways, dating apps are the anti-internet

Given the massive, but not startling*, success of dating apps like Grindr and Tinder it might sound, well, it will sound, a little odd to state that in one way at least they're like the anti-internet. For what that internet does is abolish geography as a binding limit on who one can socialise with. From the earliest BBS …

  1. dogged

    But women will educate us in what works and once the lesson sinks in that asking 50 random strangers “Hi, wanna jiggy?” doesn't actually work, then our approaches will be tamed down to those that do work.

    Except that it almost certainly will work, provided the asker is prepared to continue asking different individuals and not be disheartened by the massed rejections.

    I refer Tim to the concept of Broadcast spawning as an analogy and also this classic from Kevin Bloody Wilson (lyrics NSFW - use headphones and try not to snort tea).

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Is this really Tim Worstall, arch-capitalist?

      The reduction of cost of suggesting jiggy time (in time / effort / social capital / risk of slapping) means lower probability of success approaches become viable. As with spam email, approaches that would be ridiculously impractical (419 scams, "hi, wanna jiggy?") become practical.

      What's the solution? We've been working on it for decades in the email space, so an autosort into folders / tagging ([Creeper][Spam]?) seems sensible. Given the goal requires a real person to be both local and contactable, reputation blacklisting would help, if only by adding a cost to set up a new fake ID. Will it stop all the abuse? Again, the email experience says probably not, but it'll help reduce it to a manageable level.

    2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      The other problem is that not everyone on a dating app may be looking for a date. Or even to get jiggy with anyone...

      Some of them may be 15 year olds who want to send pictures of penises to women they've never met because they're 15 and penise emails are apparently funny. Actually that also seems to apply to some 60 year old married men...

      They can't be trained not to do it so easily, as for them the reaction is what they're after. Even if they don't ever get to see it. I struggle to understand their motives to be honest, and that also makes it harder to stop. I guess these can be lumped in with other trolls, it's just that Eadon never showed us a picture of his willy (or even Steve Ballmer's willy) thankfully.

    3. Just Enough

      What works

      Well you need to define "works", don't you.

      I suspect that many "willy wavers" are not really looking for a partner (whether casual or serious), but are in fact just trolling. Like all trolls, they're desire a reaction, any reaction, whether negative or positive. In which case, this approach probably works just fine for them.

    4. Alan Brown Silver badge

      "asking 50 random strangers “Hi, wanna jiggy?” doesn't actually work"

      The guys doing this online are the same ones who used to do it at the school dances and put up with being slapped a dozen times - but they'd usually find someone who said "yes" in the end.

      Now they can do it 10 times faster and not get slapped.

      The hard part from an app point of view is banning (and keeping banned) the antisocial types (both men and women - a significant number of women also go onto apps with the express purpose of being abusive and getting away with it). Paywalls don't help much as people believe that having paid, they're free to do what they want online.

      As has been said, a large number of trolls are online - because it's hard to digitise a punch in the face, so they feel empowered.

  2. DropBear

    But women will educate us in what works and once the lesson sinks in that asking 50 random strangers “Hi, wanna jiggy?” doesn't actually work, then our approaches will be tamed down to those that do work.

    Except I can't really see any feedback loop here unless one considers that in a few generations those with more refined approaches might get to reproduce more while those with the simplistic ones might not - and this may take a while. Short of that, nothing else selects in favour of those who smarten up - they stay the vanishingly small minority in the ocean of people stuck at nilly waving who only keep getting more and more frustrated because it doesn't seem to get results, without realizing why.

    1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

      What is worse is that some folk do seem to succeed by using the “Hi, wanna jiggy?” approach, and that leads to the tragic reality of Darwinism:

      "Survival of the fittest" is often misunderstood to be about strength, cunning, health, etc. It is not, it is about the ability to out-breed your opponents by any means.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        ""Survival of the fittest" is.... about the ability to out-breed your opponents by any means."

        Those looking for evolutionary success should get down the sperm bank, then, rather than wasting their time with crummy dating apps.

        1. Thorne

          "Those looking for evolutionary success should get down the sperm bank, then, rather than wasting their time with crummy dating apps."

          Forget the meek. Wankers will inherit the Earth.......

    2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Or more likely - those good at writing messages will have great "success" in enduring long meaningfull conversations with women but produce no kids.

      While the willy waving lets get jiggly will do more jiggly and have more kids.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        There was an article recently about a man in England with (IIRC) 40 children by 20 women and he wants more. He must have had something - although it wasn't obvious from his picture.

  3. Zog_but_not_the_first

    As a man (see icon),

    I know that I should apologise (because it's all my fault), but whenever I read something like "a platform that offered some level of female empowerment" I can't help thinking of this.

    1. A Ghost

      Re: As a man (see icon),

      You are not alone brother. You are not alone.

      "Don't tell this bitch what to do," said Kari Eastley, 24, a participant in the Oberlin study and, according to one of her T-shirts, a "Slut Goddess." "I wear what I want when I want, and no man is going to tell me otherwise. We're talking Pussy Power, baby."

      I recycled my can of Special Brew out of one nostril and back up the other, upon reading that. Tasted ok.

  4. Bob Wheeler
    Paris Hilton

    What I read...

    "A male boss will both crap anywhere and wave his willy at any- and everyone"

    I need my eyes testing......

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Tinder is for lesbians

    I am no expert, but I have seen Tinder and in the app you say what you are and what you are looking for. It would work fine for lesbians, subject to the geographical constraints in the article. Why would it need a separate app/service/company?

    1. Cliff

      Re: Tinder is for lesbians

      Just missing the right name.





    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Tinder is for lesbians

      Maybe it fails cause they're too busy tuning their Harleys or playing softball instead of fiddling with an iPhone........

  6. small and stupid

    "Simple observation of the passing scene will tell us that men will, if allowed, shag around as much as possible (perhaps “tend to” is better here) and women less so"

    Im puzzled by this logic. Every time a man has sex with a woman, a woman has sex with a man. So women shag around just as much. QED.

    1. dogged

      > Im puzzled by this logic. Every time a man has sex with a woman, a woman has sex with a man. So women shag around just as much. QED.

      You're confusing the total number of acts with the total number of participants. Elementary logical failure.

      1. MonkeyCee

        By country

        Ah, but now we're also into the fun stuff of data collection, and what people count as "having sex"

        For most chaps (in my experience) who are recounting who they've had as lovers, they count pretty much anything (handjob, blowjob, frottage etc) as a "notch on the belt", whereas a lot of the ladies only count vaginal penetration. Throw in various cultural norms, and the stats again change. These being things like someone who has engaged in anal and oral sex, but is still a "virgin", and thus "pure" for marriage. Or men who have sex with men, but do not consider themselves to be gay.

        I do like Tim's guesstimate of 1% lesbians, since over the whole population, that's about right for those who are self identifying as such. For the under 30's it's about 2.5%, which I thought these sorts of apps where more aimed at. Plus some amount of the 3-7% of the people who decline to answer are probably engaging in said behaviors, but do not wish to share this on a survey.

        1. JimmyPage

          ladies only count vaginal penetration.

          reminded me of 37 cocks from Clerks

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: By country

          "For most chaps (in my experience) who are recounting who they've had as lovers, they count pretty much anything [...]"

          A couple of years ago a twenty-something friend was recounting a night spent sharing a bed with a barmaid he had met earlier in the evening. "No sex though" he said. It transpired that the fellatio was just being friendly - and like Bill Clinton he didn't count it as "sex".

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: By country

          "Or men who have sex with men, but do not consider themselves to be gay."

          A gay acquaintance was raised in a village (small town?) of about 5,000 people. A dormitory suburb for the city and nearby larger towns. In his under-age teens in the 1980s he was sexually active in that community - although publically conforming to the obligatory heterosexual stereotype by dating girls. What was surprising to him was, as he recounted, "how many married men wanted a blow-job from me".

          He eventually broke the engagement to his girlfriend and moved to London where he could have a male partner.

          One of his pals in the village also broke-up with a long-term girlfriend, moved to London, and eventually came out as gay.

          A gay neighbour was married in the 1960s with children. He is now divorced and has a civil partnership with a younger man. He is still on friendly terms with his ex-wife and children.

          Some of my twenty-something young friends - while happily dating women - have also expressed a desire for their male best friend. Only the fear of losing that friendship has inhibited them from making an advance.

          It will be interesting to see how the next generation grows up in an environment where sexuality and gender are possibly no longer a set of social pigeon holes.

        4. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: By country

          "These being things like someone who has engaged in anal and oral sex, but is still a "virgin", and thus "pure" for marriage. "

          Reminds me of the opening chapter of one of the "Confessions" books of the 1970s when virginity was still considered to be the desirable norm. The eponymous protagonist of "Rosie Dixon - Night Nurse" considers herself a virgin. The first chapter starts with her listing all the times "that didn't count" for various plausible reasons. Can't remember how the book developed - but that opening was truly memorable hypocrisy.

      2. MonkeyCee

        Ah, logic

        "> Im puzzled by this logic. Every time a man has sex with a woman, a woman has sex with a man. So women shag around just as much. QED.

        You're confusing the total number of acts with the total number of participants. Elementary logical failure."

        In good old New Zealand the women have had, on average, more partners than the men. Based on the reviews of a number of kiwi blokes, it appears this is because they can talk a good game, but tend to disappoint :)

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: Ah, logic

          And discounting N subscript(sheep)

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Ah, logic

          "In good old New Zealand the women have had, on average, more partners than the men."

          It appears to be a fact of life that young women want what their rivals have. Therefore the school Lothario has his pick of eager partners wanting him on their arm. The young men become so cocksure of their trophy value that they can say "if you won't - then your friend will".

          In that power play many young women have sex with the same few young men. The others don't get a look in.

      3. Paul Shirley

        "You're confusing the total number of acts with the total number of participants. Elementary logical failure."

        or more likely, the willingness to perform is higher than success rates in men, lower in women.

      4. Zog_but_not_the_first
        Paris Hilton

        I'm afraid this is an area where logic just doesn't apply.

  7. JimmyPage

    As if by magic ...

    a *very* geo-specific mobile app - "Maaxi" is plugged by the BBC

    So let's see ....

  8. not_equal_to_null

    An excellent article

    Some very interesting points raised here - fundamentally that male and female needs are very different. I'd actually go so far as to say there are major differences between gay and 'straight' men - certainly in my experience Grindr is less a tool for finding a date, and more a tool for finding something significantly less romantically involved.

    The fact that most of my conquests have ended up as friends (and even the occasional boyfriend) is more a happy and unexpected result than what I was originally seeking (I'm assuming I'm pretty average here as far as homosexual males go).

    My (admittedly overly generalised and stereotypical) view of females' attitudes to dates and relationships is that it's the romantic and not the sexual aspect of the relationship which takes precedence. This by it's nature negates grindr-style apps as they are all really designed for one thing.

    I do worry when I see quotes about enforcing female empowerment and the like - I get that many women feel uncomfortable about some of the messages they receive on these types of apps, but, frankly, that's part of the risk of using these types of apps. I've had to turn down many an unwanted advance - this is what the 'block' button is for.

    All I'm really trying to say is, that it's nice to see an article that shows some thought and balance and approaches this subject in a sensible way rather than the usual 'OMG LOOK AT THE SLUTTY GAYS'.

    Top Score :)

  9. MonkeyCee

    UKIP and foreign aid

    C'mon Tim, your party makes it's first significant economic policy declaration, and you're not here defending or explaining it?

    Unless *gasp* the kippers are a vanity party designed to make a bunch of well heeled city boys some extra cash by milking the Eu parliamentary system, and that there policies have even less chance of making to reality than the Lib Dems.

  10. Tim Worstal


    Ukip's first major economic policy declaration was before the last GE when we said that the personal allowance should rise to the full year full time minimum wage. Actually, my policy that is and the Lib Dems and Tories have since signed up to it. Which I'll take as a bit of a win actually.

    But here at El Reg the point about my writing is that it is *despite* the fact that I am a Kipper that I am here, not *because*.

    1. MonkeyCee

      Re: Well,

      Fair enough, that certainly is a sensible policy. I heard it being attributed to a different party, but I'm very willing to accept that it originated at UKIP, since we all know how much certain politicians can be trusted :)

      Oddly enough this is a Green policy in the countries in which I vote. I can vote in the UK, but utterly pointless since it's safer than a safe thing (Henley) for my entire life.

      I shouldn't be too mean to you, since I usually enjoy your columns, even the various parts that I straight out disagree with. But I'm used to having certain economics experts (I'm studying econometrics at Maastricht) make inaccurate claims, be unable to find actual examples that back up the theory, then chose to ignore my questions. Often means I'm either teacher's pet or just told to STFU during class. My explanations of various parts of the financial system from the perspective of a mobster have helped more than a few of my tutorial groups grasp the concepts. And what can go horribly wrong if you let actual mobsters loose in them.

      I am curious about your political leanings stem from being Nigel's mate, or something else. The UK political system seems to me to be an example of pretty much total regulatory capture by an exceedingly narrow class of PPE types (who seem to skip far too much of the E for my liking) with a distinct lack of civics class or equivalent in school. So some degree of wanting MPs (and Lords) who have been _anything_ other than politicians for their career. Even if it means getting in lawyers and city spivs :D

      As this is going off topic by a large margin, would you be up for some email discussion?

      1. Tim Worstal

        Re: Well,

        Wasn't Nigel's mate at all before I went to work for the party for a year.

        I am vastly, overbearingly, free market and pretty much OK with capitalism (I certainly have no problems with voluntary socialism, from workers coops through to hippie communes). Very classically liberal on social matters. Pretty much a straight out classical liberal in fact.

        I'm Ukip because I am convinced that the major political (as opposed to economic) question for the UK is "in or out of the EU?" my answer being out. Not because I'm xenophobic, I actually divide my time between Portugal and the Czech Republic.

        But 1) Because I don't think that most Europeans desire that classically liberal state and that there's more chance of the UK having it outside the EU (and one way to achieve something like it is not to stay on any one country too long, see above).

        2) I am absolutely certain that the sort of people who actually put themselves up for election to Brussels will never, ever, deliver anything like a classically liberal state.

        That's pretty much it really.....

  11. jake Silver badge

    Computers aren't human, people.

    They don't grok emotions. And the dating sites aren't exactly offering options local to you. Why the fuck would you want to "date" somebody outside your area/zip-code?

    Helpful hint: Next time you're at Whole Foods (or chip shop, or whatever), purchasing your soon to become a sad & lonely pre-prepared evening meal ... look around you! See that pretty/handsome MOTAS, obviously purchasing a similarly sad & lonely evening meal? Smile at them! Ask 'em if they have ever tried the penne casserole, or the Korean spareribs, or the mango, red onion & spinach salad with cashews. Strike up a conversation. If the other party seems willing to chat, suggest finding a table somewhere to eat said meal together.

    Might take a week or seven, but if you are both lucky, you'll both get lucky ;-)

    Won't work every time, for obvious reasons ... but I used to get a lot of dates when I was at Berkeley & Stanford, buying my morning coffee at Peet's[1] on Vine Street, Berkeley & University Avenue, Menlo Park, respectively.

    [1] Back when Peet's was good coffee, before they went crass & commercial, trying to catch up to the swill sold by Starbucks ... Sad thing is that Starbucks got their inspiration from Peet's. It's a lowest common denominator thingie, alas ...

    1. LucreLout Silver badge

      Re: Computers aren't human, people.

      Why the fuck would you want to "date" somebody outside your area/zip-code?

      I did exactly that. Met my wife while I was on holiday elsewhere in the world. Spent a very enjoyable year flying back and forth at weekends, before deciding that one of us needed to relocate. Still extremely happy 10+ years down the road.

      <bs>Besides, I've shagged every lass in my zip code</bs>

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Computers aren't human, people.

        Did you ever find where she relocated to ?

        1. LucreLout Silver badge

          Re: Computers aren't human, people.

          Did you ever find where she relocated to ?

          I've not looked: It's why we're happy!

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Computers aren't human, people.

        "[...] before deciding that one of us needed to relocate.[...]"

        I have been a confidante to several foreign women who married Englishmen or are pursuing careers in England. As the love of my life lives over a thousand miles away I understand the cultural sacrifices they have made.

        As someone once said in my youth "do you only fall in love with foreign women?". It does seem that way.

        1. Neil Barnes Silver badge

          Re: Computers aren't human, people.

          Don't look to me for inspiration - met my other half on a plane, flying from a country of which neither was a native and without an application in sight.

          Sometimes, all you have to do is talk.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Computers aren't human, people.

      "Why the fuck would you want to "date" somebody outside your area/zip-code?"

      It has surprised me how many of the twenty-something English men I know who have done exactly that - and not just once. Not sure if they used dating sites or just some sort of niche interest forum. Two of them have now moved over 100 miles, finding new jobs, in order to shack up with the women.

    3. AceRimmer

      Re: Computers aren't human, people.

      Why the fuck would you want to "date" somebody outside your area/zip-code?

      Less chance of the wife bumping into them

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Bumble sounds great

    I like the idea and sound of that Bumble app. A dating site that puts the onus on the women to make first contact is great!

    As someone who spent a not insignificant amount of time on various dating sites (when I was single), I can say it was really disheartening and humiliating experience. Let me posit the following scenario:

    A friend of mine who was also using dating sites at the time said to me "It's a numbers game. You need to be sending out 20+ messages a day in the hope that one or two may get back to you."

    I agreed wholeheartedly with his logic. However, when you read through profiles on these sites, you find a recurring pattern from the ladies side, and it's this; a lot of the ladies profiles featured sentences such as "Come on guys. Don't just send me messages like 'Hey, how are you?' or 'How was your weekend? Did you get up to anything fun?' Be inventive. Make me laugh."

    I appreciate that ladies get bombarded on dating sites with c*ck shots etc. But when you've spent around 20-30 minutes, reading their profile and composing an opening message that is not war and piece, references things they have put in their profile (to demonstrate that you have read it) and generally show an interest rather than just spam them with the usual opening lines, only to have your message deleted without even being read? And you've got to try to do this in a numbers game? I didn't have 6-7 spare hours a day to invest in writing 20 opening messages! So guess what? To hit the numbers game, I resorted to the "Hey, how are you?" tactic. Yes, it's generic. Yes, it lacks imagination. But why invest that time and effort to only ever face rejection? While it wasn't a resounding success, I did get a couple of dates (whereas the more considered and targeted approach bore nothing at all. So much for you getting a more tailored approach experience ladies).

    So, an app that puts the emphasis back on to females to make first contact is great. You know they are (potentially) interested in you and you've not wasted your time on another fruitless odyssey of just trying to get an initial reply.

    Anyway, time to climb off the soapbox.

    AC, because.

    1. Lush At The Bar

      Re: Bumble sounds great

      *war and peace. Perhaps it was my lack of literary nous that put them off ;)

    2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Bumble sounds great

      So there is a market for an app that writes long sensitive messages to women.

      Of course then there would be an app that analyzes the messages and works out which are from an app.

      Then the apps would get together and breed - a sort of Mills and Boon version of Terminator.

      1. Lush At The Bar

        Re: Bumble sounds great

        I like your thinking! I'd award more than one upvote if I could.

        I'd take one away from me for failing to remain Anon in my corrective reply.

        May as well drop that charade, huh!

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Bumble sounds great

      Posting anon because this is the kind of truth that can come back to haunt a person...

      I am male. I was married, that ended about ten years ago leaving me single and in my mid-30's. I too spent some time on dating sites. By selectively messaging (ie, only people I thought I might actually like as opposed to fancy because there's nothing like a failed marriage to grind in how important it is that you actually like your partner), it turned out that my success rate was around 50% in terms of returned messages leading to conversation and about 25% in terms of initial on-spec messages resulting in actual dates.

      This might have been purely circumstantial - I am tall, exercised a lot at the time (I now have small kids and no time, alas), have a decent job and single women in their 30s are beginning to feel societal pressure not to turn into Bridget Jones. But it happened.

  13. Madeye

    Market economics

    "But women will educate us in what works and once the lesson sinks in that asking 50 random strangers “Hi, wanna jiggy?” doesn't actually work, then our approaches will be tamed down to those that do work."

    Is this not just the mantra of "the market will prevail" applied to human relationships? If I were a cynic, I'd suggest that quite a few of Tim's recent columns involved the application of this precept to matters not traditionally covered by economics.

  14. Tim Worstal

    "Is this not just the mantra of "the market will prevail" applied to human relationships? If I were a cynic, I'd suggest that quite a few of Tim's recent columns involved the application of this precept to matters not traditionally covered by economics."

    Gary Becker got the Nobel largely for applying exactly these precepts to families and sex....

    1. Madeye

      *grin* That looks like an atempt use the Vulture staple of sex and scientists to steer the conversation away from discussing your algorithm for choosing topics for new columns

    2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      "Is this not just the mantra of "the market will prevail" applied to human relationships?

      Didn't Darwin claim that all male displays were the result of female selection pressure?

      1. dogged

        Yeah, but he was just showing off to get laid.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    My experience

    I decided to give online dating a go a while back. It's still socially unacceptable to admit to this so yeah I'm going anonymous. I put together a profile and started messaging some women who looked interesting. My response rate was lukewarm. So I stopped and had a think about where I was going wrong. I knew the language I was using was fine [in messages] but realised it must be something else. So I took a long hard look at how I presented myself in my profile etc and essentially re-launched it. Things improved from then on. I met and went out with a lot of women for a while. Some were great, some were awful - some just really wanted to go to bed and "get jiggy". It was all pretty much what you would expect from a range women expressing normal human responses. Eventually I met my longterm and we're very happy.

    All throughout this period I kept chatting to and meeting women who said the same things.

    "You're not like the other guys on here."

    "It's very rare that I get to message anyone back - all the other guys are neanderthals."

    "My god you're literate. Can we meet please?"


    That sort of thing. And for a long time I did not believe what I was hearing. "Surely", I said to myself, "it can't be THIS hard if you're female on these sites?"

    To cut this story short. One of my friends asked me to help her out. She was lonely and knew that I'd settled back down again and had a lot of fun getting there - she wanted to give the internet dating thing a go. I helped her put a profile together (this is what *I* looked for, these are the sort of things *I* was looking for on these profiles). And after a while she reported she wasn't having any luck. So I got her password and logged on as her and just looked around. What I quickly realised was that the vast majority of men on these sights don't have a clue. What I had been told all that time wasn't an exaggeration. All those stories you hear about guys just being sexist idiots, trying to arrange affairs and/or just being rude and stupid are entirely true. Their behaviour was actually unacceptable. It's as though internet dating is magnifying the worst aspects of male behaviour.

    Anyway. I don't know if this post helps anyone but I would just say that if you're going to try this out, apply some common sense. Ask yourself "would I say that to her face?" if the answer is no then don't do it. If the answer is yes and she calls you a boorish twat then take a long hard look at yourself or just move on.

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: My experience

      I've not done the online dating thing, but I had a long nose around one of the sites a few weeks ago. And what I noticed was how short people's profiles were. How little information there was to them. Even the ones who'd bothered to write about themselves, didn't seem to have given any indication of the kind of partner they were after. So they can't really complain if they get bombarded with requests from everyone, given they haven't indicated what they don't want (along with what they do).

      In those cases they may as well just put up a photo, and people can do like they do on that phone app whose name I can't remember, where you swipe away the pictures you don't fancy, and keep the ones you do.

      I did notice quite a few of the women had put effectively "no timewasters please" on their profiles. But most of them didn't seem to have said much about themselves, or what they were after, so I don't know where they were expecting Mr Right to get the inspiration for his perfect message to them from...

      They were effectively saying, "Dance monkey boy! Dance!" Along with, "P.S. - don't show me your penis pictures."

      That was a site that didn't make you log in, or post your own profile, so maybe the others are a bit better at forcing information out of people.

      From what I've read about it, online dating doesn't seem to be that nice a process to go through. Even the people who've had success from it often complain about how awful some aspects were. So the industry probably need to make a serious effort to improve their services, or someone will come along and steal their revenue. Or social change will happen, and people will abandon them as a bad idea, and try something else.

      Perhaps the Supermarkets could try and take over? They're desperate for new revenue sources? Or the banks? They've got these networks of unused branches to find a use for. How's "Find Love with Lloyds" grab you? Or "get a bonk with Barclays"? The mis-selling scandal and compensation 5 years down the line would certainly be interesting...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: My experience

        "They were effectively saying, "Dance monkey boy! Dance!""


        1. A Ghost

          Re: My experience

          This is a well known phenomena -

          See -

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: My experience

            Thanks for the rooshv, great to find things that make you glad to be old.

            Actually this:

            is a far better economics write-up than the pretty poor effort by Tim

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: My experience

        There's plenty of articles out there about the economics of relationships - especially via online dating. There's a really good one which essentially says "If you're a guy and you're doing this be wary of sites that let women on for free and you have to pay". It's a great article actually, written by a guy who owns one of the major players. Pity I can't find it.

        People thinking of giving it a go have to realise that they are selling themselves and that to attract the right people you need to stand out from the crowd. To do that you'll probably need to be wary of "beige box" (see below), be pleasant and professional (spell checking is easy!), be patient and just learn how it works. And that's no different (to my mind) than any other social interaction. It's true it's not always fun but then it's not always fun trying to chat to someone you've met in a bar. ymmv!

        I also didn't say that the process was sunshine and light, what I did say was that some people were great, others less-so and some pretty shallow. This must apply to both women and men and feels obvious to me.

        I also didn't say it was easy. It's true, you have to put the time in and I really don't understand why people would expect it to be otherwise. Building a relationship is hard work. I'm a fairly gregarious guy so meeting people and interacting with them isn't a hardship. But I also understand that this is isn't easy for everyone. I think people who are not naturally good with other people are going to struggle - no matter which avenue they pursue.

        A couple of your points stand out:

        "And what I noticed was how short people's profiles were."

        Totally true.

        Did you also notice how few people say anything interesting about themselves? Everyone likes to read, go to the cinema, go abroad on holiday and music. I mean, these are almost universal traits and the profile equivalent of the beige box.

        "They were effectively saying, "Dance monkey boy! Dance!" Along with, "P.S. - don't show me your penis pictures.""

        Yes, no and maybe. But mostly no. Understand that while you may be a decent guy, you are literally drowned out by a horde of apparently-illiterate douchbags. Some women have been scarred by the process of online dating. And on top of keep in mind that not everyone is creative or able to express themselves well in words. There are also others who are genuinely demanding. That's why these notes go up on profiles.

        I've chatted to some of my blokey pals about this and some guys appear genuinely hurt that they're not being taken seriously at their [profile] word. I've had to point out that it's a tough world and take a good long look at yourself if you are insulted by that line. Remember no one says you have to interact with these "profiles". Don't like what you see? Don't take it personally and do move on.

        By the way If you think women's profiles are bad, take the time to look at men's. They are by-and-large staggeringly awful.

        In fact if I think about this it is probably one of those areas where the reality is that men and women are equally bad at something!

        I agree that the industry could be better. Searching could be made smarter and that would be top of the list if I was designing a site. There's also a lot of people trying to capitalise on loneliness.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: My experience

      "I decided to give online dating a go a while back."

      After her husband died a friend tried a relatively up-market dating site. She would have long email exchanges with a man with mutual interests. Then she would go on a date with them - nice restaurant, theatre etc. Some were even repeats - but after a while she declared "there's no spark" and gently let them down. Now she is starting to rather like her independent life.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Social commentary

    My godchildren and their friends keep me informed about the latest online social networking. They are still a bit miffed that I don't yet have a smart phone so they can WhatsApp me the latest news. They have passed the stage of bemoaning my lack of a public Facebook account. No doubt SnapChat also figures for some of them - by all accounts Tinder and Grindr definitely do.

    Is the article being coy in that it gives links to everything - except Chat Roulette? Is that the same as something they call Chaturbate? I gather that really is willy-waving.

  17. A Ghost
    Thumb Up


    _One_ of the possible reasons that there is no equality in the female/female 'getting jiggy' market, is because of those nasty men again, hiding under the metaphorical bed, waiting to (ahem) infiltrate and make a mockery of all that is good and wholesome in this world.

    OooKkkiedokie. Gotcha!

    This is why I stopped reading the radical feminist Guardian a little while back, just around when they purposely ruined the paper with their unusable design. It seemed like a good time to quit. I made a few posts here about how you could practically post anything at all at the Guardian, and it wouldn't get deleted. Yet, totally innocent comments made from a male point of view were deleted without warning within minutes. But what I found _really_ shocking, and the reason I stopped reading the paper was because, and you may not believe this, but it's true, whenever I would post 'Look, we have differences as genders, can't we all just stop this warring and be a little nicer to each other, eh?' - that stuff was deleted within seconds. The Guardian has a radical feminist agenda and I want nothing to do with it at all.

    I thought it would be difficult giving up my favourite newspaper, but it has been remarkably easy. I have not read one article there or posted one comment there in the however many months it is, I decided to boycott it. I mentioned this here when I first joined around the same time. I said I wouldn't bang on about the 'radical feminist guardian', and I haven't, but sorry, this was just too good an opportunity to miss. I'll shut up again now.

    As for dating apps. Really? You do that? That works? For one night stands, or for relationships? You can have it. Good luck to you.

    Regarding a female/female app, that would only cause as much havoc in the realm as the other apps have caused. They have destroyed more than they have created. The chickens are still not fully home to roost, but it won't be long now. Same as the effects of pornography on children under 13. Give it a generation or so, at the most. That's another 10 years, and this landscape is going to look very very different. With a lot of people thinking, 'what the fuck _was_ I thinking?', but I'm probably crediting them with too much soul searching after the event.

    We have a war on here. A gender war. It is being stoked by the very same people that bring us the war machine. The ones that bombard us non-stop with their psychological operations. Oh how I wish I had a tin foil hat. But alas no, just my long studied disparate eastern philosophies - Confuciansism, Buddhism, Hinduism etc. etc. etc...

    First, _they_ destroyed the community. They did this by various means. Turning every man into a paedophile was one, destroying the public house and live music venues was another. No more community centres for kids to play ping pong, no funding you see, and besides, who would want to actually nurture a child? Give it guitar lessons, teach it advanced French perhaps (ho ho ho), what about a spot of camping? Only a nasty dirty little paedo would. So it's just as well they have all gone.

    Second, _they_ destroyed the family unit. That's mummy and daddy to you kids. Again, being a student of eastern teachings, this is very easy to see why. The family unit is a strong unit. A resistant unit. Extended families are even stronger. Now the only families that prevail are 'crime' families. And look how well they are doing. While our boys are dodging bullets and bombs in Afganistan, they have the run of the council block. None dare oppose them. Not even the police.

    They did this by castrating the male via laws of the land. Divorce rape is the name for it some use. But so many more ways, again. Again via the media. Men are nothing but scum. Is the message. The statistics for male suicide at certain age ranges is through the roof. No wonder. I know how they feel. I spend more time researching successful and painless suicide methods than I ever would on a 'dating' app. But enough about me. They could have brought about this redistribution of power to destroy the family unit, by other means, but the male was the one with his head above the parapet. It was nothing personal. Strictly business.

    Thirdly, _they_ destroyed the personal relationship, between men and women. Even between men/men and women/women. I know of as many unhappy and tortured souls in gay relationships as straight. Being gay does not lead to a wonderful path of happiness that is not available to the straight amongst us. How have they achieved this? The media again. They wait, they watch. They plant false stories with no backup or source. The people, too busy frothing at the mouth do not question. The gauge our reactions, they write it down, they aggregate it. They wait, they watch. They poke us with the stick again to see what we will do.

    They do it through advertising. It's a given that men are portrayed as chumps in ads. Whilst women are 'empowered'. Yet, women are not empowered enough yet. I say, give them the power. Give it all to them. Give them every last drop they desire. What will they do with it? Will they be any better than 'men behaving badly'? Besides, they do all this through many other means as well. But this is the phase we are at now.

    They _have_ destroyed the community. They _have_ destroyed the family unit. They are busy little bees deconstructing the personal relationship. We are in its very midst. Be under no illusions the game that is being played here.

    And you know what is coming next don't you? They are already doing reconnaissance for this, with the odd snatch squad already employed surreptitiously here and there. That's right, they want to destroy the sovereignty of your very own mind. The final frontier. The goal. The prize. The real end game.

    They will do this via the internet, via google, via data rape, via the making of laws no one asked for and no one wants and no one can oppose, or even question. All your data on one big database, shared with any person in authority, or any authority themselves. They are already sewing the seeds for this. All your medical records will be sold and leaked. Any mental health/sexual problem issues you might have will be available at that roadblock. In fact they are available now to your landlord along with details of your debt. They recently gave a shot across the bows the other day. ALL YOUR PORNOGRAPHIC VIEWING HABITS may one day be leaked. O'rlly?

    In other words, you will have no sovereign internal state of the mind. Your mind, your fears, your desires will be a silly little amusement, but a serious one all the same, to be used against you by any party with power over you. Never ever stick your head above the parapet. You will by this point be beaten, with recourse only to forbidden means, and then the real end game will start. Like game of thrones, just as a new epoch ends, a new one will start. It doesn't get better. It never gets better from here. The game was lost years ago.

    I see communities ripped apart. Can we get an app for them to come together again, even if it is just for the night?

    I see families ripped apart. Can we....

    I see relationships ripped apart. Can...

    Whole communities turning against each other. Families turning against each other. Man/wife turning against each other. Where is the questioning and pleading for an app for that?

    But they know what makes us tick, from the fear to the love to the desire to the hate. In all our hearts. They know it works, their little game. They know that we allow them to keep doing this to us. And so they will keep doing it. Forever.


    Nothing would make me happier for people to come together and enjoy each other, sexually, spiritually, emotionally, physically. But even when this app gets created, just like the internet slum, it will not enrich their lives one iota. They will want something else, something more, to empower them, in their truly impotent and pathetic little lives. The darkness inside that can never be filled. The void...

    It's back to my studying of the great eastern religions/philosophies etc.

    What interesting times we live in.

    1. 's water music

      Re: SOooo........

      ...[paranoid rantings]...

      Have you considered a return to teh graun boards? It sounds like there is still Important Work for you there.

      1. A Ghost

        Re: SOooo........


        I know you think you know what that word means. But I don't think you do. Know.

        Anyway, m'lady, or m'laddo, gonna have to do better than that.

        Apart from the fact, that you did not make your point...

        Put a bit of effort in will you, come on. I did.

        I genuinely, honestly do not know what you are trying to say. I'm not being deliberately obtuse either.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: SOooo........

      "With a lot of people thinking, 'what the fuck _was_ I thinking?', but I'm probably crediting them with too much soul searching after the event."

      It's called hypocrisy - the oil of social conformity.

      Youngsters generally take their peer group as their reference. As they become adults they decide that it is too "dangerous" to appear out of step with the apparent majority's views - and therefore lip service is necessary.

      The human mind doesn't like internal contradictions - so the easiest way is to conveniently forget their past behaviour. Occasionally the mask slips. How many times has a parent been heard to say "yes - I did do that at their age - and that's why they are not going to get the chance".

      Eminently respectable old women sometimes confided in me about their adult sexual behaviour that was, in theory, well beyond the pale in the 1930s through 1950s. The war years in particular provided opportunities that were gratefully taken. In England the aftermath paved the way for the Baby Boomers to establish a new conformity that was not so rigid.

      In turn their children were influenced by the repressive attitudes of the 1980/90s. As adults it again became wise to pay lip service to the media and Government's proscriptions. These are probably the cohort who are powering the current "moral panic" issues. They were raised on the concept that someone else has to be found to take the blame - even if innocent.

      The current young generation are apparently more liberal in many ways - but often shy away from in-depth examination of the issues. The gap between them and the Establishment is wider than it was in the 1960/70s. Even the rabble-rousing demagogues can't engage them in politics.

      1. A Ghost
        IT Angle

        Re: SOooo........


        Eminently respectable old women sometimes confided in me about their adult sexual behaviour that was, in theory, well beyond the pale in the 1930s through 1950s. The war years in particular provided opportunities that were gratefully taken.


        Yeah, I like the older generation of women. I got quite a few stories to tell there as well regarding stories told to me. Another day.

        I don't know if this generation of radical feminists realise exactly how much damage they are doing. I 'tongue in cheek' posted to the roosh forum above. I do read it. For entertainment. It's a good marker of how far some men are prepared to go to be vocal against not just radical feminism, but feminism in general. They often refer to women there as s***s, c***s, w****s and b*****s. Maybe some times it is deserved (the Russian teacher that was caught hiring a hit man to torture the schoolchild she was having an affair with, and wanting him to be kept alive long enough, so she could 'finish him off'), but I can't help feel they are all rather reactionary and not helping their 'cause' very much.

        I'm not a big fan of them, and if anyone likes, I can write 2000 words in essay form to say why those 'men' are bigger arseholes than anyone. They ain't no friends of mine brother/sister. But that also, is for another day.

        I'm out of the game, laughing at the side lines. Crying some times too.

        The women from older generations faced hardships that these younger ones haven't so far, but who knows what the youngest generations will face? It may be a wasteland unlike anything that has gone before. But probably not.

        It's a losing game, even talking about this. I expected a lot more shootdowns and venomous replies. Not that I was trolling. Men have a lot to answer for (sometimes), and Women are just adorable (sometimes), but how in the hell a fuck buddy app is going to make things better in the middle of this bloodbath of a gender war, is beyond me.

        The argument is polarised to the radical feminist sites and the 'real men' sites (they refuse to be pigeonholed - coz they are 'real men'). El Reg skirts around the issue, but never engages full on. Probably best. Where is the IT angle? And most posters keep their noses out, male and female alike, not saying how they really feel. And that is probably best too.

        Meanwhile, wounds fester, turn toxic...

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