Sites From PG to X: My Experiment

I have been conducting some experiments with online dating. Yes, I’ve made profiles on all the following sites and have been laboriously gathering information…and suffering through it all the way. I started with more “reputable” sites, like Match, and worked my way down to the bottom of the barrel—landing in the worst of all places…the sex and swinger sites.  This is what I have found, and I’m pleased to share it. I have listed the sites I’ve used in order of PG to X. (This is a work in progress, so it will be updated as I write.)

Match.com

As the premium relationship app committed to finding people love, our matching algorithm provides single men and women with only the highest quality matches that meet their standards[…]

You could join other apps—like POF, Bumble, Tinder, OkCupid, Zoosk, Badoo, eHarmony or Hinge—for more of the same, frustrating runaround, or you could join the app that’s created more love connections than any other[…]

Download Match for free today to meet genuine people looking for genuine relationships.

Everyone’s seen the latest Match commercials with the attractive, playful young man or woman—or the alluring “older” woman who’s more of a mysterious siren—prancing around while they give the viewer narrative bits of enticing info about themselves and saying that they’re waiting for “you” on Match.

Match has built its reputation on quality matches, boasting that its algorithms are the best and most accurate for finding “love”. Well, I tried it—paid for it, even—and here’s what I found compared to other sites.

  • Match IS strict about verifying photos and keeping profiles more on the “clean” side. As a matter of fact, I got booted off the first time I filled out my profile because I used profanity. AND I received an email from Match stating that my account was terminated because they don’t allow married people to have profiles. Which, I suppose is great, except…I’m NOT married!!  I have no idea how they would even know something like that. So, I called the customer service line to find out what the fuck was going on and the agent couldn’t really explain—leaving it with MAYBE someone saw my profile and reported me for some reason…like an ex-boyfriend who was upset with me or something??!! After her guessing at the problem, she then ended the call by saying that this was a problem she would have to send to “Corporate” to straighten out and that someone would get back to me shortly.  Forty-eight hours later, my profile was back online, wiped clean so that I had to start from scratch.
  • Matches: Just because they’re strict with their rules and guidelines doesn’t mean you’re not going to get a bunch of your typical jetsam. Match prides itself on being a site for attractive, hip-ish semi-young people, but that is not in fact the case. Even if one sets their filters to a younger age range (I searched 25-35), they will still find the same awkward, boorish, kind of homely people that can be found on other less “premium” sites.  (Although, I will admit that the selection of younger matches ARE slightly better than the 35 and up candidates.) But I found it extremely rare—if ever—to stumble across a shiny gem, like the people used in the commercials.
Match with age filter 36 to 49 (snippet). I especially like the guy who’s all “yeah, I’m gonna’ flash a wad of cash and get me a honey”. That’s a quality candidate right there!

Match with age filter 25 to 35. I don’t think I need to say much about this.

  • Filters: I still have no idea what said filters do. Of course, you can sort your matches with the typical refinements; like distance, newest first, age, etc.
  • Final comment: you will still get your pervs and fakes on Match. It’s unavoidable—they’re everywhere. And, as for being a “premium” site with higher standards, you’ll still find a gazillion bathroom selfies, muscle-flexing gym shots, wanna-be-sexy-laying-in-bed-with-a-forced-pouty- face photos, and nauseating shirtless pics.

Zoosk

Tired of having to swipe through countless profiles on dating sites, and want more meaningful date experiences with quality people? Zoosk helps serious daters find love. Whether you’re looking for a second shot at love after divorce, a widow, lesbian, gay or straight, Zoosk can help you match with that special someone to enjoy your life with.

With millions of members worldwide, Zoosk is one of the most trusted and best dating subscription apps. Get ready to open your heart to find love.

While second on the PG list, Zoosk still doesn’t wow me in any remarkable way. It’s kind of like the Overstock.com of dating sites—still higher up on the “quality” scale, but for those who either don’t want to pay the higher price of a site like Match or aren’t really looking for the “commitment” that Match claims they’ll find. Members still have to pay for a subscription to see who’s viewed them or send messages, but it’s not as steep of a fee as Match. Again, I tried it—paid for it—and here’s what I found:

  • Zoosk is like Match bred with Tinder. The results are a kind of confusing system of swiping AND scrolling AND I dunno’, dismissing?!  It provides a bundle of perplexing features all in one place; a “Carousel”, “SmartPick™”, Connections, Search…   And, although your profile and photos still have to be verified, they’re way less strict than Match. I mean, I haven’t seen any nudity or anything, but it was way easier to get things up and going than Match—no profile deleting or account termination.
  • Matches: It wasn’t surprising to find the same ‘ole thing. If you’ve ever used various sites or explored the online dating world, you’ll know what I mean. I can’t say with certainty that the matches were better or worse than Match; but there seems to be a lot more potentially creepy people on Zoosk than Match. (However, like I said before, there are creeps everywhere! It’s unavoidable.) You’ll still get the one-liner or one-word, even, messages that are supposed to show that the sender is interested in you. And, additionally, it can be worse because Zoosk lets you send merely a smiley face or heart emoji as a sort of “flirt”. Ugghhh.   Oh, and yes, the typical awkward, kind of picked-through, bruised apples of the online dating world. I don’t know what the younger crowd is like on Zoosk but the 35 to 49-year-old crowd is a little depressing. Men still insist on using photos in which they don’t show their better “side”—kind of run-of-the-mill “I’ll just slap this selfie of me in my car up here” type of thing.
  • Final comment: Zook may be useful to find a date to take you out to dinner—if you can sift through the profiles and find someone decent enough to take you out without expecting you to hop into bed with them. But I wouldn’t count on finding that attractive college graduate who’s got his shit together and has his shirts laundered.

OKCupid (OKC)

OkCupid is the only dating app that knows you’re more substance than just a selfie…On OkCupid, you’re more than just a photo. You have stories to tell, and passions to share, and things to talk about that are more interesting than the weather. Get noticed for who you are, not what you look like. Because you deserve what dating deserves: better.  […] Get the best dating app for singles and find a match based on who you really are and what you love. […]Better dates come from better connections. That’s why OkCupid shows off who you are beyond just a photo. You should get noticed for what makes you, well, you – because you deserve it. […] Meet new people and start a romance no matter who or what kind of relationship you’re looking for. Whether it’s a long-term commitment or casual dating, OkCupid can help you find someone special.

OkCupid has a trendy campaign using catch-phrases and cool images on there home page.  They’re obviously targeting a Hipster audience—and Millennials.  But, very few of either are to be found. As a matter of fact, the choices on OKC are bleak, to say the least. The lower the site on this list, the lower the “quality” of the site—and OKC if definitely in the lower quality sector.

  • While OKC is free, it gives you the choice to pay for extra privileges, just like any other dating site. If you do pay, you’ll be able to see who likes you and who has sent you a message without mutually liking them…those are about the only notable bonuses I can think of for paying.
  • Photos don’t really require any verification and the only thing you won’t find is an outright dick pic. Although I have seen the occasional full-on close-up boner photo that slid through the cracks somehow.  There are plenty of shirtless men standing in bathrooms or gyms and a lot of “I’m laying in bed because I want to look sexy” photos. I hate those.
  • I would say that OKC is kind of an online “meat market” (for “dating”—there is a literal meat market of sorts out there and it is further down the list), except Plenty of Fish (POF) wins that label (for “dating”, like I said). I suppose OKC is more of a deli counter than a meat market. Anyway, it’s only a step-up from POF, which is gross. And I’m not comparing it to Tinder, which has a reputation for a reason, but only because Tinder doesn’t have an online site.
  • Final comment: If you’re looking for a casual date or hook-up but don’t want to use Tinder, OKC is a good choice. Men seem to be fairly open about their intentions, which are usually, well, eeewwwww. You DO have to be cautious of pervs, fakes, scammers, and just plain ‘ole creeps. The lower on this list, the more likely it is to find an abundance of these types.

Tinder (Will comment)

Plenty of Fish (POF)

A conversation is where it all starts.Messaging is 100% FREE! Singles have more conversations on POF than any other dating app. With us, you’re 2.7x more likely to enter a conversation in your first 24 hours! Join now, and we’ll get you talking to someone before you know it!

To be honest, I didn’t even bother making an account on POF. I’ve used it in the past and was just too grossed out. It’s kind of like the dollar store of dating sites mixed with an online meat market (and I’m not talking the good stuff, like Boar’s Head or anything. I’m talkin’ Oscar Mayer bologna.  If you want to just meet someone who’s out there “fishing”, then this is your site! I’m sure there’s hook-ups a plenty! Just read the reviews and you’ll get a better idea. Here’s a few snippets.

Enough said.

FetLife

Adult Friend Finder (AFF)

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