Fall 2012 | The Market: O.D.D. (Online Dating Diary) Girl
  • by Audrey Archives
  • May 30, 2013

Dept The Market
Issue Fall 2012

Hed: Here Goes Nothing

Ever wonder what you’d find on an online dating site? Pervs, fetishists … the boy next door? One Asian American woman does the (dirty) work for us in our inaugural O.D.D. (Online Dating Diary) column.

Online dating can be a daunting experience for both men and women, and even more specifically for an Asian American woman. Some may argue that Asian American women have it easy because they tend to
receive the most number of messages on online dating sites, but having X number of suitors does not necessarily make the experience any easier or better.

I’ve tried online dating before — for a whole week — before permanently deleting my account after receiving little more than creepy (and sometimes downright revolting) messages from various men on the site. At one point, a guy I had grown to trust a bit made a complete 180 — from a seemingly nice guy to one who confessed how much he liked to masturbate to my picture.

Now, years later, I’ve gained some courage to try the experience again — this time in a different city and with a different outlook. At this point in my life, I’m not looking for the love of my life, but I’m not looking for a one night stand either. I created a brand new profile — one that came across as carefree, but still sounded like I knew exactly what I wanted. I revealed just enough about myself to leave a bit of mystery for my audience, and included a just-wacky-enough photo of myself for some levity. What came next gave me quite the shock. In a span of 24 hours, this is what it broke down to by the numbers:

Messages received: 142
Racial breakdown: 60% white, 35% Asian, 5% other
Asian breakdown (of those who self-identified): 60% Korean, 20% Chinese, 15% Japanese, 5% other (Southeast Asian, South Asian, Pacific Islander)
Times approached for casual sex: 24
Times approached for a threesome: 4
Times I felt like a cougar (they were as young as 19!): 16
Number of poems/song lyrics received: 8
Number of love letters: 5
Farthest distance: Boon Lay, Singapore
Number of guys with an obviously fake profile using a
picture of a Japanese idol: 1
Number of messages from a real-life Magic Mike: 1

Despite the overwhelming response, I made a point of going through each and every message and looking at every single profile. A lot of the messages were pretty blunt (one guy went on and on about how well endowed he was, along with an explicit description of what he wanted to do within the confines of a bedroom), while some just merely said “hello.” After spending some more time on the site, I started to figure out the difference between the genuine messages tailored to me and the template messages sent to everyone. Turned out, about 90 percent of the guys were either not interesting or just turned me off.

So what about the other 10 percent? That percentage represented the initial group of men whose messages were genuine and had a profile that stood out. However, only about half of them — 5 percent — turned out to be nice and potentially date-worthy. While the numbers may not seem that promising, despite the site being a total meat market, the experience brought me to a humble realization — that as much as I’m seeking to make a connection with someone on an online dating site, so are other people. Sure, our definitions of “connection” may be different, but the refreshing thing is that, more or less, most get straight to the point. Being online gives you that sort of liberty because you get to set your terms and be very upfront about what you want and don’t want.

Which leads to my other point — why not try online dating? My female friends are always asking, “Where can I find him?” and of course, there’s no right answer. Mr. Right isn’t hiding; he’s probably trying his damned hardest to get to you. But the dating landscape has changed from a decade ago. It’s gotten harder with circumstances like the recession and finances impeding our search. And yet society has become so much more technologically advanced and we can do almost everything online — so why not date online?

Just make sure you keep some perspective. It’s easier to make yourself look like Mr. Right in a 300 word profile and a few exchanged messages. You will meet both good and bad people online and offline. The same douchebags at the clubs will probably be prowling these online dating sites, just as much as the nice guys you want your parents to meet. Dating in any medium is a daunting experience, so don’t knock anything until you’ve actually given it a real shot.

Until next time! — O.D.D. Girl