Dating and taxes

Listen up, tricks. I’ve been struggling with something lately, and that something is online dating.

I’m not looking to online date per say, as I’m more than a little bit taken, but I’m not exactly asking for a friend either.

You probably don’t know this but online dating sites are very prominent tools in the gayverse. One in particular, OkCupid, is the undisputed leader, at least here on the coast. Literally every friend I make IRL is on this site. At dinner parties they talk about their match, friend, and enemy percentages with each other. It was like an impenetrable secret language. And because I have a very hard time not participating in social conversations I decided to join. Also, my girlfriend has a profile, and I’m a big believer in relationship equality.

Setting up a profile was easy enough. Pick the two decent photos of yourself taken in the last year. Write some B.S. in the about me section about liking nature and expression and cooking for others (you’ve gotta look marketable). List movies and books and music that make you look smart but not pretentious. Try to write a joke. It’s okay if it’s just a little funny, no one expects you to be Tina Fey. And then, the questions.

Dear god, this site has questions for days. Intimate questions that you not only answer but indicate acceptable answers for potential matches, and then rate the importance of this question to you.

It’s more exhausting than taxes.

My profile is only 80% complete. According to the sidebar threats it will remain at 80% until I write 500 words in my profile. I’m not trying to write a college application essay here. I’m trying to make more friends who like dinosaurs and stupid comedies and nerdy librarian stuff.

I assume online dating is popular in universes other than the queer one I inhabit here in Boston, but I would think to a lesser extent. Though a quick informal survey of my straight friends seems to indicate EVERYone is on this site. We, the people, like that it’s free and that the interface is friendly, and that building your profile works like a personality quiz.

Several of my friends are currently in serious relationships that began on what my friend Jess calls the Cupes. Some of these relationships have lasted longer than many of my other friends’ first marriages.

So what is it about this site that is so appealing to the girl scouts of Boston?

Well, for starters, a lot of us are on there. It also has cool analytics, like what geographical locations would be most favorable to you, getting laid-wise.

The map

You know where I'll be hanging out.

It’s a great way to pseudo-stalk lesbians in the area. That way, when you go out with your friends to Queeraoke you can point out everyone in the room you recognize from their profiles and maybe even include awkward message exchange anecdotes. The site acts as a tool for shrinking a kind of disparate, marginalized community. It’s our local coffee shop/ grocery store/ bar.

The demographic is young. And anything that gets popular is able to retain momentum for that reason. You’re not going to use an unpopular dating site and significantly diminish your chances of meeting the lady/dude of your dreams.

According to my friend D., “There is no other way to meet them because they all stay at home with their cats.” You gays, she’s so right. Just because you leave the closet doesn’t mean you leave the living room.

Sites like this make a semi-invisible community more visible to its members. And Boston, being a city of transplants, benefits because all queers need queer friends in their new city, and it’s always better to see a photo or to know before meeting if the person is a big Nickleback fan. It’s inexcusable, no matter how pretty their face is.

I also hear it has great Harry Potter quizzes.

Kate Sloan is a writer and editor living in Boston, MA. She’s the smart girl at the party. You can read her blog at and follow her on Twitter at @kate_sloan.

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  1. […] grown weary of picture books and have instead started writing a few pieces on city livin’ and being queer. Mostly I am biding my time until Bechdel publishes her next book. If her book tour comes to Boston […]

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