Over the last couple of years, the public interest in online dating has significantly increased. Where once there was something of a stigma attached to admitting you had an online dating profile, it is now considered a normal and everyday way to meet a new partner.

So how do you identify the genuine people from a whole host of potential stalkers and weirdo’s? I decided to ask a few well chosen individuals about their opinions and experiences with online dating. Male and female views have been gathered to obtain a fair and comprehensive overview of the world of Cyber Dating.

What exactly are people looking for? And what makes someone run for the hills? Paul from Nottingham says that any profile or screen names that are too overtly sexual will cause him to back off. This is a common opinion, echoed by Belinda from California. She received an email with someone with a screen name of “Redstick”, and was immediately put on her guard. Screen names like ‘Spanking Partner required’ and ‘Hot Guy needs some hot lovin’ should be a very clear indicator of what that person is actually looking for. Those names aren’t made up either. Paul says “I noticed a girl who looked rather nice and her screen name said she wanted a spanking partner, I might have contacted her if the profile and screen name hadn’t been so slutty”

For the purposes of this article (and pure amusement) I went in search of some hot and horny screen names. I searched a few well chosen sites and came up with “Cum 4 U” – This guy clearly has no idea of the percentage of women who aren’t that keen on cum!
“BJ loves 69’s” – fairly self explanatory I suppose.
“Lick u till ur wet” – I kid you not. This tagline was on a lesser known site and advertised the ‘services’, of a guy who looked disturbingly like Gollum.
“Hard man wants Pussy” was another one. I mean of course my initial reaction was to hunt him down and throw myself naked at his mercy, but I restrained myself. I can’t help but wonder what kind of women these men attract with these kind of attention grabbing headlines. I would assume that they aren’t particularly fussy about who they allow to get into their knickers.

I could go on and on listing a lot of hilarious and somewhat disturbing profile names but since there are so many I’ll let you all see for yourselves.

So are there genuine men out there who are actually looking for love on the internet? It would seem so. Joe from London told me that “He had a lot of love to give to the right lady, but since he works such long hours during the week, he doesn’t have the time to meet his someone special”

Has the online dating industry made it easier for those who are less physically attractive to find their match? It would seem so. I asked 10 people, both male and female, if they would reply to an email from someone who did not have a photograph on their profile. The answer was yes, from all 10 people.

Whilst appearances do have a part to play in sexual chemistry, it appears that more and more people are realising that you can’t judge a person on looks alone any more than you can judge a book by its cover. Five of the people asked said they would even agree to meet someone whose photo they hadn’t seen, if they had a good rapport with them via email or online chat. Of course, this doesn’t always mean that the attraction will be there when face to face, but it does provide the opportunity to make new friends. Just because you don’t want to embark upon a relationship with the person doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be friends. After all, it provides the opportunity to meet the friends of this new acquaintance, and who knows perhaps their friend will turn out to be the love of your life!

I was curious though as to why people had turned to this online medium as a preferred way of meeting potential partners instead of sticking to the more traditional methods, like trawling the bars on a Saturday night.

Kate from Nottingham says “You can’t really know what a person is looking for when you meet them in a bar. Often they are after a one night stand or a f*ckbuddy, which is fine if you want the same thing, but how often do you really discuss that kind of thing with someone you only just met?” Chris from Florida said “The music is too loud in a bar, how are you supposed to know whether or not you have anything in common if you can’t have a conversation?”

I’ve tried online dating, and have had mixed experiences of it. It’s a perfect way of getting to know someone before you actually have the face to face contact. More often than not I have found that the freaks tend to show themselves early on. This isn’t to say I haven’t met my share of weirdo’s who until I actually took time out to meet them seemed perfectly normal. Overall though I would recommend it to anyone who is looking for someone special.

You have to be discerning though, be on the lookout for tell tale signs that they are married and looking for a bit on the side. Be aware that not everyone is as they seem, and always be cautious. If you arrange to meet someone, make sure it is a public place and you let a friend know where you are going.

Check out baggage reclaim for more insights as I explore this relatively new dating world. I’ll be publishing interviews with people who have had successful experiences, and warning tales from those whose stories are less successful. They may be creepy, they may be funny, but all will be real.

About the author: I’m a single 30 year old living in Nottingham. I recently dyed my hair blonde (albeit a dark blonde) in a vain attempt to inject more fun into my life, either that or subscribe even more closely to the Bridget Jones-esqe life that I lead. I work as a credit analyst which bores me rigid, but it pays the bills. I have lousy rotten luck with men, and I’m still hoping for my Mr. Darcy. I think there’s a good chance I watch too many chick flicks since I’m starting to lose faith in the existence of a decent man. I have a mildly serious case of handbag addiction and I’m a typical Virgo – I like things clean and neat. Visit my blog

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