Best OLD sites?

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Post by Kiskadee on Fri Oct 31, 2014 9:36 pm

Hi, I had shut down my OKCupid account for a little while due to feelings of "I can't deal with this shit right now," and was just getting ready to reactivate it tonight. For reasons discussed in the virgin shaming thread, I haven't done it yet. I'm wondering what other sites are out there and good - has anyone had good experiences with other dating sites? The other niche ones I joined are basically dead and no ones seems to be replying to messages.

My personal criteria are that they are free (or possibly cheap), not completely meat-markety, and that they have a decent number of gay/bi users, but I think discussing ones that don't meet these criteria too would be most helpful for everyone.

So what have your experiences been with different sites than OKC?
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Post by nonA on Sat Nov 01, 2014 6:48 am

Unfortunately, sites are meat markety by nature. The whole point is to collect a bunch of options, and let people flip through them to find what they like.

Being both lesbian and shy will probably work against you, too. Gay and gay-friendly sites will probably lean left for obvious reasons, and left-leaning places will generally also have more liberal attitudes towards sex and other touching. As if simply being shy, or having 90% of the people you're attracted to be uninterested from the get-go, weren't dating handicaps enough.

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Post by Mel on Sat Nov 01, 2014 9:55 am

The rec I could make for a specific site is more than a decade out of date, so you may find this more useful as general criteria, but anyway...

The only dating site that I regularly used when I was dating was Lavalife. At the time, in my area, there were lots of active users. The profile system was simple, if that's something you'd prefer to OK Cupid's myriad of sections and questions--just the basic data like age, race, religion, etc. and an "about me" written section. But what I particularly liked was that the format discouraged carpet bombing and discomforting messages in a couple ways: 1) while there was a free method of indicating interest in someone, there was a small fee to actually send a message or start up a chat, and 2) the site was divided into three sections for dating, long term relationships, and sexual encounters, so people looking mainly for the latter didn't tend to bug you if you didn't have a profile there.

Now, I don't know if that site is still as good as I found it back then, and I don't know how good it was for gay/bi users (there were men seeking men and women seeking women options, at least). But I do think that sites with at least a small payment component tend to reduce the "meat market" element, if that helps.
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Post by Enail on Sat Nov 01, 2014 12:25 pm

A few years back, all the lesbians I knew seemed to use Plenty of Fish rather than OKC. I don't know if it's still the case, though, or how good the site is.
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Post by Kiskadee on Thu Nov 06, 2014 2:52 am

Thanks for the ideas! I see the value of paid sites re:discouraging creeps and people not serious about dating, but I'm in grad school. Might set up a free Lavalife profile and just see if anyone messages me, though. Not crazy about Plenty of Fish.

nonA wrote:Unfortunately, sites are meat markety by nature.  The whole point is to collect a bunch of options, and let people flip through them to find what they like.

Being both lesbian and shy will probably work against you, too.  Gay and gay-friendly sites will probably lean left for obvious reasons, and left-leaning places will generally also have more liberal attitudes towards sex and other touching.  As if simply being shy, or having 90% of the people you're attracted to be uninterested from the get-go, weren't dating handicaps enough.

Hahaha, well, you make it sound so easy for me! I also have celiac disease, which makes it hard to plan typical dates, and I can be made very sick by kissing someone who ate gluten or drank beer. I get very anxious about the prospect of kissing for that reason (and creepily keep track of everything a date eats/drinks), but I guess that's not even close to the topic of this thread. Except that almost no one would want to sign up for that in a partner, especially not all the foodies and beer hipsters around here.

Just to be clear, by not meat markety, I just meant not like Tinder or a hookup site. I prefer sites with more complex profiles and some sort of matching system, because the range of women I find physically attractive is a lot wider than the ones I find emotionally/intellectually attractive (hard to tell from a profile, but you can get an idea of who you might want to meet). I actually don't think I'm sexually conservative, except due to shyness, or rather that I wouldn't be in the context of a relationship. I just need to feel that connection first before I think of someone sexually.
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