html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml" xml:lang="en" lang="en"> From the archives: I would change it, but I'm already tired of it.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

I would change it, but I'm already tired of it.

I’ll make a half-hearted attempt at defending mentioning sex in a personal ad, then I’ll just believe you when you tell me I’m wrong, because I am not attached to either that ad in particular or to talking about sex in ads in general.

A couple responses to the comments:
Robert graciously wrote:
But your sexy side is not your comparative advantage in this enterprise. I'd use the space to emphasize your passions, your athleticism, and your intellectual curiosity.

I am not sure I agree on that one. Not so much the Craigslist ads, but definitely on the Salon/Nerve ads and in real life, I see a lot of freakin’ amazing single women. Smart, interesting, photogenic, athletic women post ads. I’ll click over from the mouth-breathers on the men’s side and wish I had options as good as the single women who have ads up. I don’t think I am very different from those women. But raunchy is unusual, and can be fun.

Ennis, who always has great suggestions, wrote:
Talking about sex directly (and in that way) in an ad confuses people as to your type.

This is a hard one, because ‘enthusiastic about sex’ is my type. But I think what Ennis is tactfully getting at is that I’ll come across as a skank. Perhaps wrongfully, I just don’t worry about that. Partly, I’m trusting my readers. That doesn’t work so well on Craigslist, where the obsessed lurk. But I’m hoping that the ad will find its way to men like my friends from undergrad, who don’t confuse sex-positive or promiscuous with skank and would at least hold off judgement until writing further or meeting me.

I don’t think anyone who meets me could be confused. People who judge based on my appearance won’t think I’m a skank, because I don’t look like one. On the axes of pretty, cute and sexy, I skew strongly to pretty, some cute, very little sexy. I look much more Madonna than whore. People who know better and judge me on my personality will find out soon that I think hard about stuff and will make fun of anyone and am interested in who they are, and by the way, also like sex.


***
I got a couple promising responses, from men who don't seem to mind that I'm practically a crackwhore. If all goes well or even neutral, you'll never hear about them again.

6 Comments:

Blogger capella said...

I think the mention of your interest in sex could be a useful filter. From my own experiences meeting people online, I've noticed that there are an awful lot of men who are afraid of sex and/or intimidated by female sexuality, and they can be difficult to identify without actually getting to or near the point of sleeping with them. These men will be attracted in large numbers to your personality, but will hopefully be scared off by any suggestion that the desired relationship may include sex. Meanwhile the ones looking for only sex - or at least the crudest of them - seem to self-identify so you can easily weed them out.

2:54 PM  
Blogger LizardBreath said...

I think capella gets it. Your ad is going to attract a bunch of crude reponses, but the only loss there is the time to sort through them. Anyone clever and fun who isn't put off, and responds charmingly rather than unpleasantly, is likely not to be irritatingly uptight.

9:45 AM  
Anonymous jens said...

The mention of sex is such a tiny piece of the ad that it seems like a side issue. If I were looking for skank, I'd probably look elsewhere. The ad seemed more sweet than edgy.

Thank goodness you avoided some of the cliches, though.

9:51 AM  
Blogger JetPass said...

As a woman who met her fiance on line I will tell you there's NO perfect paragraph. I met mine on Match.com, I thought craigslist was a bit seedy, but this is my take.

I say be your true self, no matter how that is, but always be true to yourself and you will find love.

9:58 AM  
Blogger melbourne.train.girl said...

I like your ad. And agree with jens about the sex being just a side note. Although I have no internet dating experience, I think that the mention will provide a very useful filter - a filter that sifts out the responders who are only interested in "eating down south".

Although the cultural barrier means I'm not sure what a grad student is, I think I know the type, and like him very much.

10:57 AM  
Blogger Ennis said...

I have a different reason for why it might not be a great idea. In general, show not tell is best. It allows you to display your humor, which is not only one of your attributes, but also a great screening device.

Honestly, your discussion of sex came across as a bit more ... earnest ... than your discussion of romance. I think you might want to try more flirty and less direct.

As for signalling, my point was a simple bayesian one. Just so nobody misunderstands ;) OTOH, with a different group of men than you find on CL (such as what you find on Nerve) they might read it very differently.

11:06 AM  

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