How Not To Talk To A Woman On OKCupid

There’s a dance involved with online dating that many have yet to learn, says Christan Marashio.

“Let me also be honest here, you are one of the prettiest women I have seen on OKCupid. However, I must be honest with you again…I really enjoy eating women out, I could probably do it for hours on end. Yes, I know it’s kind of out there and if you think I’m an arrogant asshole for saying that, then so be it, but if not, let it be known that this is a deal breaker for me because eating women out is something I enjoy very, very much.”

There are many questions that arise (along with my lunch) when I receive OKCupid messages like this. I briefly mentioned in a previous article that a lot of men send these notes with the intention of offending the recipient. The goal is to get her to respond, and what better way to do that than to piss her off? Once they’ve engaged her, they drop the act and try to woo her. It’s a bait-and-switch move. This kind of behavior is reminiscent of how we behaved in grammar school. We’d say mean or taunting things to the object of our affection just to get them to notice us. Any reaction was perceived as a positive reaction.

Of course, we eventually grew out of that, realizing that saying offensive things wasn’t going to endear anybody to us. What men who shoot off these emails actually reveal about themselves is how socially stunted they are. If they had enough substantive experience interacting with women, they’d know coming on like this doesn’t work.

What I really want to know is: Who told these guys that an approach like this would lead to success? I have to assume that a lot of these men hear friends brag about taking the same tack and getting laid, never considering one of two things: Either the friend is lying, or they happened to solicit the rare woman who finds emails like these to be a compliment or sexy. (For the record, it’s not a compliment.)

It’s important to state that the guy who sent me that message above was all of 22 years old. Messages from the 20-somethings are what I find most offensive. I think these guys are either looking to cross sex with an older woman off their bucket list or they think, because of my age (44), I don’t have enough sexual options to satisfy me. They’re tapping into multiple stereotypes of single women in my age range that truly need to be disposed of quickly.

It might surprise you to hear that men are not the only ones who use dirty talk to get attention. Women, too, send introductory messages to men revealing their carnal desires. 

I have had a girl send me a message saying her groin aches to have me inside her…I was thoroughly amused. – T., OKCupid, 33, NYC

The men I polled didn’t have the similar knee-jerk reaction of their female counterparts. Their responses ranged from entertained to aroused. One man said that emails that made it clear that the woman was interested in sex signaled that they shared mutual interests and sexual openness.

A number of people who craft these messages are nothing more than your garden variety exhibitionists. Their sexually laced responses to profiles are the equivalent of the flasher in the park, whipping open their jacket. A reaction is not required. The thrill comes from exposing themselves. That, in and of itself, is what gets them off.

If someone decides to use online dating as a means to find casual sex or a casual relationship where sex is a primary focus, I advocate for discretely hinting at expectations and sexual interests in a dating profile. I suggest that people use keywords and phrases that serve as a wink to readers who share similar desires. Someone could mention a particular club, group, or event popular among people who engage in various lifestyles (OneTaste is a good one) or reference a movie that revolves around non-traditional sexuality (like Secretary). There are ways to address your preferred pursuits without coming out and stating them directly.

I advise people against being too direct not because I feel they have anything to be ashamed of but because too many people take such admissions as invitations to be crude. People often use the keyword search function provided by many sites. Use of words like “kinky” or just plain ‘ol “sex” in your profile will skyrocket your profile views. Unfortunately, some people just don’t possess the finesse required to effectively convey compatibility in these areas. They go straight for the innuendo. There’s a dance involved with online dating that many have yet to learn. Having to slog through messages like that can lead a user to abandon the site altogether.

While some men find emails that get right to the point refreshing, many women find them unsettling. From my personal experience ticking off the casual sex box on my profile, I initially felt a sense of shame for being so forthright. Having men speak to me so graphically made me feel as though I had done something wrong by simply checking a box. It shouldn’t be like that. The true concern for me isn’t just the nature of these notes. It’s the volume. A week doesn’t go by where I have to flag a few people for being crass. It’s frightening to me how it appears to have become not just common, but acceptable to speak to a woman in this manner. Mind you, I’m not talking about the messages that address my looks. While I find those tedious, I don’t find them offensive. I’m talking about messages that include commentary of an overtly sexual nature, like the one I mentioned up top.

It’s sad to say, but these sorts of notes are a staple of online dating, especially if you use OKCupid. No one will ever be able to completely avoid receiving one. Accept that they are inevitable, get comfortable with the block feature and use it when appropriate. Most importantly, report anybody who crosses a line. But be consistent. If you’re going to accept such talk from an objectively attractive person but get offended if they’re not, then it’s not what they’re saying that actually bothers you.

You could be the sexiest man on earth and I’d still find it clumsy and gross if, in your very first message to me, you leered at my legs or talked about how badly you wanted to go down on me.

Christan is an NYC based writer and columnist. Her work and advice has been featured in media outlets such as, YourTango, MSN’s GLO Network and The New York Post. You can find more of her work at And That’s Why You’re Single. As a 40-something dating in Manhattan she can teach you that sometimes the love of your life is the love of your life. Follow her on Twitter at @ATWYSingle.

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