a few days ago this section of my okcupid profile had no sexual innuendo or very little. i decided to change it and be more direct to see how the reactions would change.
this part of my profile explicitly said to message me if you are NOT a creep trolling the internet for sex. i got messages from geeks, most of the time it seemed they had only looked at my profile pictures and read nothing about me, so there was a lot of messages that started off with small talk that lead no where. keep in mind i put my sexual preference on there as bisexual so i could keep this from being sexist.
i wanted to see how lonely people were, im curious about the people that go out and look for sex on the internet. and when i say curious i really mean curious. with my ridiculous past i do not judge anyone. i just wonder how someone has the energy to try and start a pseudo human connection for a day or two, then go out with a relative stranger and than have sex with them. its more complex than a one night stand, everyone has had a one night stand. but in the internet age this is a completely different process. there is the possibility of rejection or disappointment if someone doesnt look the way they do in their pictures. There is the constant requirement to meet the persons interests digitally, and that is a far more difficult thing to do online than in person. in person a smile or simple body language speaks for itself.
once i changed this section of my profile i immediately got five new messages. what i learned in responding is that people are more likely to put of with me being a little bit of a jerk if there is a prospect of sex applied. especially sex preferred with lack of intimacy or expectation of commitment.
it is easier to tailor your personality online and be whomever you think the other person (who you might be able to have sex with) wants you to be. you can have conversations like
I just re-read some Baudelaire for the millionth time! i love his work.
“oh you like Baudelaire?”
(small pause while the other person googles baudelaire)
i love baudelaire too! i love that whole school of poets especially rimbaud!
compared to going out in bars its much more efficient. and its redundant to say the internet has given us this
now all you need is wikipedia and a finger capable of pushing a mouse button.
these are all things we knew though.
i also posted one conversation that i got right after pretending to be prowling the internet for sex
the lazy that does come with these messages makes ME tired. a lot of the times too i can tell whatever has been sent to me is something generic that was copy/pasted to many profiles.
but like i yelled to some creep once on 1st avenue after he kept hitting me
“HOW DO YOU KNOW IM NOT CRAZY”
everyone worries about the person seeking the sexual relationship as potentially being the one that could cause harm to their prospective mates. but the other person is just as easily capable. now do not get me wrong i do not have anything against internet dating and know some great couples that happened as a result. but a lot of the time ive also witnessed, confusion, frustration and general befuddlement after online dates or hook ups from my friends and not knowing the person i felt useless that there was no insight i could give on the other person.
but in reality what did you know about that cute boy with the canvas sneakers, fixey bike, and cursive tattoo? an internet profile is the edited, polished refined best version of whomever we think we are or aspire to be.
not just okcupid but every networking site. essentially we are packages. with a target demographic, and we design ourselves to be sold.
i have an idea on how to display these interactions in an installation.
but until then i will continue my experiment for arts sake. i don’t like to mess around or toy with people on a regular basis. but sometimes the lack of communication or sincerity in the messages easily prompts me to say something sassy
updating all the way from europe