The Fat Girls’ Guide to Online Dating!
So, fat girls do online dating. I’m not even sure of the correct verb usage on that one. Do you “do” online dating? The taboo of this digital thing is really starting to wane. And it took less than a decade, friend. I know that’s like a trillion giga-years or whatever, but as a child of the ‘80s I find this rather impressive. I feel like I hear people talking about the flasher or husband they met on OkCupid all the time now – and not even in that hushed, unbearably blush-inducing tone either. I, like many fat girls all over the world, saw the radical romantic potential the Internet presented to us. And so I was what Malcolm Gladwell might call an “early adopter” (Malcolm, if you’re reading this please know that I will blow you anywhere, any time). On Craigslist I met a few boyfriends and bought some furniture too. On OkCupid I met one guy who wore coveralls all the time and used his cat to avoid intimacy. I learned to set boundaries, spot a liar, and lower my standards by literally orders of magnitude. Thanks, Internet.
This leads me to my dear friend, Golda Poretsky. Golda and I are hot fat girls. We met during a particularly pleasant New York November in 2011 when I was visiting for a plus size runway/trunk show in Brooklyn. It was the final show for this very special plus size consignment and vintage shop that closed its doors that weekend. The good news was: I met Golda! We went out to brunch in Queens and I met her boyfriend and got to talk with her about all of our plans for fat girl world takeover. Well, a few months later I asked her to write a chapter for my new book, Hot & Heavy: Fierce Fat Girls on Life, Love and Fashion (which Good Vibrations carries, of course), and she decided to write “The Fat Queen of Speed Dating.” This chapter details the funnies and follies of this odd pre-mating ritual. Though happily shacked up with her boo of many years, I still think of her as a superb dating role model. Last weekend she hosted a teleseminar all about body positive sex and dating. A number of her guests (myself included) talked about online dating, and I figured I’d ask Golda some questions about her experience doing it digital and share them with you, lucky pants!
Virgie: So, you’re in a relationship now, but before that how long had you been doing the online dating thing?
Golda: I had been doing online dating on and off for about 8 years. I think my first online date was the result of meeting someone in an AOL chatroom back in 1998. It was so long ago that we met at a restaurant and he chain-smoked the whole time. You could never do that now in NYC. As more online dating options opened up, I tried a lot of them — yahoo personals, match.com, eharmony, etc., but I had the most fun with the guys I met on OkCupid. I still recommend that one the most, just because I know so many people who met their partners that way.
Virgie: Huh. Funny. I don’t know if it’s a San Francisco thing or what, but I feel like my experience has taught me that men aren’t’ serious on OKC. I feel like there’s a lot of shopping and not a lot of buying. I feel like it’s kind of like Costco on a Friday night – except all the time. Those sample ladies aren’t wearing out their vocal chords so you can enjoy 14 cubes of cheese on a toothpick and decide you don’t want to buy the wedge, if you know what I mean. I also hate the exclamatory emails I get from them whenever ANYthing happens with my profile. I feel like they send a lot of emails that have exclamation points, but there’s not really a whole lot to get excited about. Like, unless “SkubaBroDudeXXL” is asking me out on a date, I don’t care if he’s looking at my profile. He could just be there on accident or he could just be jacking off while he stares at my amazing rack. Don’t get my hopes up with all these exclamation points. And then they do all those weird, creepy sexist reports about how if you’re not getting 300 messages a week it means you’re basically not hot and should just kill yourself now because they have statisticians specifically dedicated to calculating your hot points and you have negative forty-seven. I kind of wonder if that site is run by the pick-up artist guy who wears goggles. Ok, anyway. Next question: What’s a best experience (or worst/funniest experience) you’ve had in the world of online dating?
Golda: Well, I met my current guy on okcupid about 6 and a half years ago, so I’d have to say that’s been my best experience. I had a lot of funny and/or horrible dates before that. Actually, online dating is kind of what got me into blogging. Before the Body Love Wellness blog I had a mildly popular livejournal blog where I mostly wrote about the ridiculous dates I went on. I have a theory that writing that blog helped me to laugh off the not so great experiences and focus more on the good stuff.
Virgie: Is online dating for everyone? Who might want to consider online dating?
Golda: I think it is. I think that anyone who is interested in dating more should try it. But it can be really daunting.
Virgie: I used to think that meeting men in real life was super daunting and then, like, last week I decided I wanted to do it more (I’m actually thinking of doing a 30 Days of Flirty thing where I ask out at least one person a day for 30 days; I’ll let you know if that happens!). So, I’ve started talking to guys who smile at me on the street or on the commuter train in San Francisco. And, you know, I only thought it was dudes you met online who asked you to pee on them. But, alas, no. No, guys you meet on MUNI will also ask you to pee on them. Via text. Within three hours of meeting. Ok, Golda, last question: Why should people consider dating online?
Golda: To me, dating is kind of a numbers game, and it often takes time and lots of tries to find people you click with. Dating online helps that numbers game, by giving you access to people you might not meet in everyday life. Also, for better or worse, we have so much more of an online culture now, and people spend so much time online, that online dating is just a way to be where people are.
Virgie: Well, Golda, I’m going to continue to be hopeless and misanthropic and I’m planning to dwell on that dude who asked me to pee on him for a very long time, but thank you for your time.