Straight Men of CL, Get It Together

After geeking out on Parallels earlier this evening, I figured I'd squander spend some time delighting in the latest M4W posts on Craigslist, which are always useful as amusement if not actually as a tool for finding potential mates.

I'm actually a pretty big fan of CL personals, and have had decent luck with posting my own ad and meeting even remotely suitable suitors as a result. But reading the Men Seeking Women ads often makes me shake my head and wonder what the guys posting might be thinking. In version 1 of an ad I placed earlier this year, I gave a run-down of ads I was unlikely to respond to, accompanied by reasons why. That was swiftly flagged, either because it was somehow truly offensive (though I can't quite fathom that), or because I had directly quoted the titles of actual ads.

But anyway, the point of that whole exercise was to attempt (if in vain) to explain to the straight men posting on CL why so many of them--by their very own admissions--received few or no replies to their ads. Of course, there's no way I can speak for an entire chunk of the population, and it's entirely possible that there are women in the Bay Area who would adore these fellows if only the two sides could manage to connect.

So let the record show that I am not claiming to be the voice of the straight, single portion of my gender. I simply want to help clue some of you guys in about why your Inboxes may not be bursting with replies.

To wit:
  • If you're going to post an image, why make it an image of flowers, or the moon, or Maccu Piccu, or a jukebox, or a platter of shrimp, or Lake Tahoe? I know women do it too, but to a far lesser degree (and still, that doesn't make it right). And perhaps I'm far more shallow than most, but I care what the people I date look like. Peruvian ruins and seafood, notsomuch. At least not in this context.
  • Also on the picture front, cutting your body off at your head, even if the rest of said body is bare (and especially if the rest of said body is wearing a full suit, as was one fellow in an ad I saw tonight), suggests either that you're exceedingly shy or that there's something less appealing about what was excised from the shot. Jaded people like myself assume the latter.
  • Perhaps consider it wise not to broadly insult the women who respond to your ad, or the ones who might be reading your ad, by claiming that they're hopeless/too picky/too unattractive/too picky/did I mention too picky? One post currently up begins by asking, "Why are all women in Search of Brad Pitt [sic on the lack of question mark and the interesting capitalization]," then goes on to wonder, " What about all the non tall white kind, is there any hope, maybe not..." before noting a few lines down that "Theres a price for everything. yet what I'm seeking is missing, and the ones that respond are even more hopeless, than 1 would imagine." I can only say, dude, that the last time I checked, Brad Pitt was also white, and that most women in their right minds wouldn't reply to this post and risk being added to the list of "more hopeless, than 1 would imagine."
  • Please, please, please stop using "I'm bored" (or, more commonly, "Im bored" or "IM BOOOOOORRREEED!") as an opening gambit. Please.
  • This tactic may not do you any favors: "It may sound suspect,but not sure of my status with my previous girlfriend." Yup, "suspect" might cover it, as might "like a horrific idea for me to be posting this ad."
  • Finally (the list could go on, but I'm tired), posting the same ad multiple times in the span of a day or two (albeit possibly with different titles) suggests a desperation you might not intend. Or perhaps you do intend it, in which case I'm here to gently suggest that desperation is unlikely to send the ladies flocking. Sometimes on CL, you get what you pay for, no matter how often you post.