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SINGLE IN THE CITY

Lost on the bad-date superhighway

August 21, 2003|Samantha Bonar | Times Staff Writer

This week I continue my desperate dispatch from Planet Internet Dating. I had signed up for a free trial with an online matchmaking service, with rather interesting and somewhat horrifying results.

After a week, I had received e-mails from 68 eek-males and had responded to exactly two.

A few categories of men quickly emerged. Last week I wrote about the Overly Optimistic and the John. This week I will explore a few more.

The Pervert: I received an e-mail from a guy who looked like an REO Speedwagon reject in a white button-down shirt, black vest and long, layered, dark curly hair. His unseemly missive was the equivalent of being flashed in cyberspace.

"Liked your profile, and wondered if we might share some Mutual Sensual interests.... Enjoy Fun-with-Buns, either receiving or Giving??" he inquired, signing off with: "huggggs, kissssses, & bun squeeeezes ..."

Oh my grossness!

From another Perv: "Hi, just wondering if you're into the nudist lifestyle ... "

The Impatient: "U KNOW I SENT U MY PIC A WHILE BACK WHY NO REPLY BACK FROM U ????? IF U DIDN'T LIKE U COULD AT LEAST TELL ME THANKS."

"A while back" being that morning.

The Unclear on the Concept: "[My daughter] wants to be a journalist, and I was just thinking how cool it would be if she could maybe write you for advice on how to get started. Or maybe send you some of her stories -- sorta like a penpal??"

The Psychotic: "If you want something 'comfortable,' domestic, or if you are after some [very bad word] that you can impress with pictures of your pets or your cleavage, then GET OUT OF MY ROOM!!!!!!!"

The multiply pierced chap went on to answer the profile question "Give a detailed description of yourself: personality, physique, likes and dislikes," thusly: "I RULE!!!!!!"

I blocked the blockhead.

There were plenty of other winners, not so easily categorized.

There was the guy who said it would be "an honor and a gratitude" to hear back from me.

There was the 57-year-old divorced gent in Vegas.

There was the fellow who sent me a selection of his poetry, the ponytailed Led Zeppelin fanatic and the one who worked in a mysterious, not-to-be-named branch of law enforcement.

The masher, the faker, the movie ticket-taker; you name it, I heard from them.

From the experience thus far, I have several tips I would like to pass along to men who want to be successful Internet daters.

1. Don't use expletives in your profile -- they don't make a good first impression.

2. Don't reveal too much -- like that you and your girlfriend have an "open" relationship or how many body piercings you have and exactly where they are. Or your fetishes.

3. Don't be too eager: Don't keep sending e-mails if you don't get a response. Desperateness has yet to win heart of fair maiden.

4. Don't get angry at women who don't respond to your e-mails or who don't respond to them as soon as you would like. The minute you get snippy, you get deleted.

5. Don't get ahead of yourself. "Wouldn't it be fun to share sweet passionate kisses in the soft light of the moon down at the beach?" one guy wrote me in his very first e-mail. Er, I didn't even know what he looked like. And, um, soft light of the moon? Avoid cliches.

6. Don't send poetry. Ditto song lyrics. Especially if you wrote them.

Soon: I make actual contact (from a safe distance).

Samantha Bonar can be reached at samantha.bonar@latimes.com.

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