"And graven with diamonds in letters plain, There is written, her fair neck round about; ' Noli me tangere; for Cæsar's I am, And wild for to hold, though I seem tame.'"
@leonstj (not saying of course that i think any of this justifies it or makes it okay, obviously dudes need to stop acting like jerks and just, like, be nice & non-creepy)
@Inside of a dog - I think this is especially true.
I also think there is a weird / terrible result of the system (for hetereo cis folk) where it is almost entirely dudes who ask out women...
Dudes get very used to rejection, if they are capable of asking women out at all. Even the nicest, suavest, hottest dudes I know have been rejected more times than they can count - as it should be, since not everyone is magically for everyone!
At the same time, dudes have virtually no experience being on the receiving end of even the most polite/proper-place-and-time/non-creepy/almost-but-just-barely-a-no unwanted come-ons or pick-up attempts or whatever.
So the people asking other people out are no this giant mass of people who are super comfortable with getting rejected even when they are nice (which, again, I'm not saying is wrong, dudes shouldn't get a "yes" just because they weren't scummy when asking), who also have no idea at all what it is like to have to do the actual rejecting. It can even seem like receiving unwanted advances and rejecting them must be easy, since it happens so much.
Which, even without all of the layers of straight dude privilege which further complicate matters, makes dudes susceptible to being terrible if they don't think about what their behavior must seem like to those who have to endure it.
With online dating, it becomes so much easier to ask people out, so much easier to deal with the rejection (nobody else even knows it happened!) and so much harder to sympathize with the rejector (they're just three photos and a pun about their foibles!) it just starts to accelerate and get worse.
Plus, every time a dude here's a story about how women also get like, a billion dick pics a day (ugh that must be THE GROSSEST) they start to feel like "Well, I only *talked* about my schlong, i didn't whip it out or anything, so, A+ Classy Motherfucker right here!".
@TheMnemosyne those ARE crazy. but they also make me think - as someone who's never used okcupid, so grains of salt etc. - that a lot of people now just take the craigslist approach to dating. which is to say, figure out what you want and throw out appeals to anyone who might meet that desire. need a table? any table you see listed on craigslist will be worth the 15 seconds it takes to send an email to the seller and offer a lower price and request delivery. if it works out, great! if not, you've only lost 15 seconds.
eta: i realize that it's sad, and i think it's telling, that i couldn't explain what i meant without comparing a romantic prospect to a piece of furniture.
@Inside of a dog Dude. This did it, this totally explained dating horror stories to me. Especially the id/ego thing. Like, yeah, I get that we have sort of self-selected social circles, and that explains part of it, but there are SO MANY of these stories that there has to be some overlap, you know? *Some* of the coworkers or classmates I have totally normal interactions with must be acting like badly programmed cyborgs in the context of a date. That id/ego comment goes a long way toward explaining how that might happen.
After YEARS of reading the Awl, this is the post that finally got me to register so I could comment.
I spent about a year and a half on an OK Cupid binge, and I wondered the same thing. Like, where do these guys even COME FROM?
It got to the point, by the end of said binge, where my goal was simply to meet a guy who seemed like someone I might meet in real life. Actually, I remember calling a friend after a date and gushing to my friend that he was like people I met in real life. Literally *gushing* over the fact that he was someone I could picture existing outside an OK Cupid date.
Online dating really lowers your standards.
I have two theories about the "where do these guys come" from question:
1. Most of us actually meet a fairly limited circle of people in real life. At work, we meet people who can hold a job, many of whom have actually spent the time to develop skills and experience. Socially, we meet people who have been vetted by our friends. If most of your friends are sane, low-drama people, then their friends will be too. Same goes for volunteering, hobbies, etc.
2. People act differently on dates and on the internet than they do in "real" life. Put both together and you get a big ole mess. Something that occurred to me when dating is that you see people as their id (desire for sex and intimacy) battles with their ego (desire to look like a normal person). Some people can manage that tension, some people really, really can't. The crazy stories come from those who can't.
@Statham Yes, but as successful action-movie star Jason Statham, online dating is bound to be different for you.
The creepy, weird, sent-to-100-people-at-once messages are one thing. Like another poster said, they're easy enough to ignore. It's when you actually vet someone through normal enough messages, and when you meet him it turns out "freelance writer" means "I write a Sex & the City recap blog [and it's surprisingly hard to make money off of it]." Also, sidenote, for all who are in LTRs and aghast, not all dating is like this. But online dating is a breed of horror I cannot, unfortunately, endorse.
@TheMnemosyne Yeah, I list myself as kinky on mine, and I get a lot of people assuming that means "easy".
I have made this complaint a lot, and an ex-boyfriend of mine explained that basically, dudes see a picture they like (they MIGHT read the profile, but not always) and they send a proposition message. It's a "cast a wide net" approach to dating. If you say "nice shoes, wanna fuck" to 100 girls, 99 of them will probably say no, but one might say yes, and all you need is one, especially if you invested very little effort in your approach.
So, I think the answer is, it's not you, it's the system.
hahaha omg I can't believe that in the context of the other ones "Sorry if this seems rude, but are you into bdsm" seems so normal. Like, okay, yeah, his compulsion to think about nothing but his dick made him completely overlook you as anything but a sex object, but at least the thought entered his mind at some point that that might be rude, and that people should apologize for rude things.
@commanderbanana Which doesn't mean I don't routinely fantasize about finding some of those guys in real life and pouring gasoline all over them and lighting them on fire. Not saying I do, but also not saying I don't.