Red hot lie

Finally, an online dating site has been found guilty of creating fake profiles. Oddly enough, The Drummer was a guest member of this site about 18 months ago and paid for a membership to contact women who had sent ‘flirts’ to him; the operation was sophisticated enough that each woman had a mobile phone but disappeared within a day of a real-life meeting being suggested. He complained to the site owners and later to the government’s trade practices system and must have been one of many subscribers to do the same.

Dodgy Female Profiles Attract ACCC

Source: http://smarthouse.com.au/Content_And_Downloads/Downloads/E7G2C7J6

By David Richards | Friday | 23/07/2010

Dodgy female profiles that were use to lure consumers to dating web sites have been exposed by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission after an investigation of web sites owned by Jetplace Pty Ltd.

The operator of the socialising and dating website http://www.redhotpie.com.au, has been ordered by the Federal Court to disclose that Jetplace created and operated well over a thousand of its own profiles on its redhotpie website.

The 1371 profiles created by Jetplace purported to represent actual users of the website who were resident in cities and towns across Australia. The profiles appeared in the ‘Uncut’ section of the website.

Jetplace used some of its own profiles to send flirts or customised messages to some registered users of the website. The Jetplace profiles also appeared in searches carried out by visitors to, or registered users of, the website.

Following legal action by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission the Federal Court has now declared that Jetplace contravened the Trade Practices Act 1974 by engaging in misleading or deceptive conduct and by representing that membership of the website had performance characteristics and benefits that it did not have.

[story continues]

Another article I read stated that the falsities were across the board, with more than a thousand of the fake profiles being female, 300 were male and about 60 were couples’ profiles. While I feel self-satisfied on behalf of all of us who have suspected this practice, I have to wonder how many other sites are indulging in the same kind of fraud but just haven’t been caught yet (or have covered their electronic tracks more carefully).

Most of my earlier meeting activities were generated from a larger web site with paid members as a perceived insurance policy against time wasters, but without a guarantee of 100 per cent genuine members, I wonder about the future of fee-charging sites when the sleazy free site is growing at an alarming rate. All the members are real, but the genuine prospects are fewer.

FFS

Mogul didn’t respond to a message one night, which didn’t set off alarm bells as he was busy moving house. He called at ungodly o’clock and I assumed he’d hit the bottle again, which didn’t set off alarm bells because he’s done that before. I responded with a text message the next day and didn’t hear back after several days. Oh.

I sent a final message asking for clarification that he wanted me to stop contact, but I didn’t hear back, again. Perhaps one day I’ll find humour in his timing that he disappeared just as I had lowered my guard and let him in further.

I’ll be back once I’ve finished licking my wounds.

Frustration

This post was intended to write about the follow-up dinner and outdoor adventures that Super Nerd and I organised a few nights ago.

I finished work early so I could dash to the gym, run home, tend chores and present myself as a calm, organised and relaxed woman rather than the randy and nervous wreck I was trying to hide on the inside. I must want him more than I’m acknowledging because I’m marginally more sanguine about meeting others. Everything went to plan until two hours before our meeting when he sent a message saying he had been called to a work-related emergency out of town for several days. It’s a situation where the scenario is plausible because of his business, but could be equally implausible because there should be other qualified tradespeople in that part of the state to manage the job. I expressed disappointment and understanding and haven’t been in touch again yet. The problem with intriguing people is that they unintentionally mess with my head when I’m trying to work them out. He has the benefit of the doubt, of course, but I’m impatient for some kind of outcome.

The added frustration to that night was that Mr OMG got in touch and said tempting things including he was free that night. I had to say no, and only half an hour later Super Nerd cancelled. I threw the phone in a cupboard and stayed home.

Mr OMG and I organised to meet the following night. I sent a message about 8.30pm saying if I didn’t hear from him with a time within half an hour, I was going to bed because I was dog tired. I think I started masturbating but fell asleep half-way through and never finished the job. I didn’t hear from him until the next day when I saw a voicemail time stamped at 2am — he had fallen asleep on the couch and woken in the middle of the night. He is one of the most interesting people and deepest thinkers I’ve met but is vague as all shit when it comes to the concept of time. I know him well enough by now to know he was telling the truth and I have a soft spot for him that’s large enough to keep living with it.

That was Thursday and Friday nights; I have no idea where to start with the next night that I left the house.

Speaking of recycling

I mentioned in the last post that I now keep a document of phone numbers I delete to manage people from the past who unexpectedly return. It’s working reasonably well, but doesn’t provide a way of keeping track of people who annoy by e-mail. The man who sent his last passive-aggressive message of goodbyes more than a month ago must’ve realised I blocked his e-mail address. What does any good purveyor of harassment do? Of course, create another e-mail address and start again!

I like how he reminded me of every step of the entire painful process, as if I might have forgotten.

~~~

Hello,

I think you’ll remember that we initially made contact back in July and August.

Initially we hit things off pretty well and we arranged to meet one evening, but we had to cancel. After that, things didn’t go very well. You went ‘invisible’ for a while and during that time I looked at your profile several times (you’d given me access to your PG) and that freaked you out and you severed contact.

I did contact you again after that, about a week later, and you said you would reconsider (but made no promises; I understood that). After that, things just went weird, from what I can work out. You asked for time to think and after about a week I prompted you and got a reply which I clearly interpreted in a manner other than that which you expected and things culminated in you telling me you’d made up your mind and me telling you I thought you needed to be less ambiguous in your emails. Messy.

I am sorry I sent that last email, it was rude, very abrupt. Since that time I have successfully contacted a few women, but nothing has developed, largely because what you were seeking was what I too wanted. A big part of the reason I was so, I’m not sure how you saw it – demanding? Pushy? Impulsive? – is because your interest in kinky sex as well as plain vanilla really struck a chord with me. That and the fact that you are obviously witty and intelligent and in my eyes, very attractive. I have not spent the last few months thinking about you, but when I turn my thoughts to playing, you come to mind and what I discussed with others paled in comparison.

I’ve just hopped off from the web site and had a quick look at your profile [I don’t know how because I’m sure I blocked him] and noticed you haven’t been on for a while. I guess that could mean you’ve found someone with whom to play or you are still being badgered by guys. If it is the latter reason, would you think again about meeting me? I do think that if we met for a drink you would form a more accurate picture of what I am like and although I would not necessarily expect anything to develop from there (you do mention ‘lashings’ of attraction’ on your profile), at least you would have a clearer idea of who I am, and I of you, for that matter.

I’m not wilful or an idiot, I do remember you stating that once you make up your mind about someone, it stays made up. However, I’ve always believed in taking calculated risks as sometimes they pay off and I do think that we shared some important mutual interests. I have not contacted you earlier because I am a bit of a thinker and I really did not want to be pestering you (although obviously you could interpret this email in that way, but it has been sent in good faith.)

Anyway, if you are of a mind to return this message, I would like to hear from you.

Am I of a mind? Short answer, no. Long answer, no. But I love how he quoted that I wrote ‘lashings of attraction’ in my profile — I didn’t realise the BDSM-focused portion of my mind was active and got away with slipping a good parapraxis in there.

Rewinding to the following day

In the post before last I questioned the outrageous man’s motives for wanting to meet me. My intuition, experience, paranoia or whatever was ringing alarm bells seems to have been correct as far as outcome but the reason was unexpected.

We exchanged text messages and spoke on the phone a few times before arranging to meet. He even sent me his business’s web site address, almost as verification of his bona fides because I must’ve come across as world-weary and cautious. We agreed to meet on a weekend afternoon for a late lunch and return to his house if things progressed well, again, agreeing readily with one of my personal rules that I don’t show up the first time at someone’s home. I was feeling good, and was in an unusual mindset that if our physical attraction wasn’t strong, we could possibly form a friendship (in writing this I just realised I am not in contact with any ex lovers — there’s no ill feeling or bitterness, I seem to work on recovery and re-building and I never go back while the memory of what was still hangs in the air).

The message that arrived in the middle of the night was that he *might* have to attend family business the next day but he *will* call me and explain in the morning. I was distracted at the time by some guilt that I was leaving someone else’s bed and I sent a quick reply that it wasn’t a problem and I’d hear from him in the morning.

I woke in the morning with a turbo-charged surge of logic. The previous night he said he was going to a friend’s birthday pub crawl and we had joked that he had better not get too drunk as he might be needing his energy and powers of recovery the following day.

I’d be willing to bet what’s left of my savings that he met a girl in a bar, was going to take her back to his place and couldn’t guarantee when he’d have her out the next day so it was easier to bump me with a lame reason. If that’s what happened, I wouldn’t have told the truth or expected the truth either, but I ended up indignant that my pride was dented and concerned with self-justification because perhaps I should give the benefit of the doubt as he didn’t owe me in-depth rundowns of his personal problems. Then again, what family issues arise in the late hours that only elicit a ‘might’ have to go?

He didn’t call that day, or the one after, or the one after that. I wrote him off mentally and didn’t bother following up. I get caught about whether I should send parting messages to bounders, but ultimately I can’ t dictate or predict how people behave and I need to dust off and get on with my own life.

Four days later he sent a message asking if I had forgiven him for the cancellation. Well, it wasn’t really about that. I ended up replying, saying that the postponement wasn’t the issue as life gets in the way of plans, but it was about honouring his word that he’d make contact and he had followed the cowardly fleeing habit of many of his fellow users on the web site and I had shut him out of my mind. It was a long message. Possibly a bit unhinged, too. He didn’t reply.

Oh, yeah, the hermaphrodite ran off as well. I ended up responding to his message with some carefully considered words and he didn’t reply. The most annoying part of that correspondence (apart from how much fucking time I spent trying to come across as a casually open-minded libertine who hangs out with hermaphrodites all the time) is that if I send a message and don’t receive a response in a couple of days but the person has logged on, I know they’re not interested — the hint is obvious. If I try to do the same and ignore a message I’m sent, I keep receiving more and more insistent messages until there’s a mini-war erupting in my inb0x or I have to be assertive with the block option. I’ve suspended my account because I’m dealing with enough of that behaviour with agencies during the job search; the similarities are amazing but I don’t have the energy to be dicked about by both — the pursuit of income rather than sex wins for now.

On being dumped and dumping

I’ve learned to let people down with a brief message and no explanation: the breaking point was that too many times my profile was pinged by people far from my locational boundaries and I replied with a safe, “Sorry, you’re too far away,” response. Many decided conquering a few miles would instigate true love Rapunzel-style and returned with twice as much determination and promises from everything to driving to see me every weekend to camping in their cars outside my house until I was ready to meet them. Extremely disturbing, and I opted for a less is best approach.

However, someone let me go recently with this message:

No matter how tempting you and I are to each other I don’t think sweet talking you into progressing is the right thing to do. I admire your honesty a great deal and I would have absolutely loved to feel my hands firmly all over your body but our circumstances just don’t permit greater contact. I can’t guarantee work or distance won’t conspire against us again and it is a great pity. Good luck gorgeous, you’re really something.

It’s a bit flowery and I don’t expect this level of contemplative prose, but I almost don’t mind being dumped with that kind of style.

I’ve had problems in the past few weeks managing someone I didn’t meet. My gut feel told me something wasn’t right — we spoke on the phone and he laughed too quickly at my jokes and agreed with everything I said a little too hastily. I felt uneasy afterwards but overruled my intuition by convincing myself I was being critical of someone who might just be nervous. The next time I logged in to the dating site I saw he was viewing my profile and photos at least once a day, which creeped me out to put it mildly. I sent him a message with a cancellation of our plans and ending contact, except I included the explanation that his constant viewing made me uncomfortable. I paid for it.

~~~

I have looked at your pics several times because you are very attractive. Many women will simply not put up pics or they display simply a close up face pic or close up of some other part of their body – not very helpful. Your profile is also very entertaining, you may not have any idea of how much better it is that the VAST majority of other women’s profiles I’ve read. The whole thing shows some thought has been put into it.

Anyway, I am sorry if I worried you with looking at the profile and I will stop if that makes you feel more comfortable.

~~~

He came back.

I thought a fair bit before sending this email because even though I know you hardly at all, I get the impression that when you make up your mind, it stays made up and thus you probably would not re-consider meeting me. However, I decided to contact you because I was genuinely interested in meeting you.

I can guess at three reasons why you decided to discontinue things (of course, there may be others): I freaked you out by looking at your profile so often and asking questions; you met someone more suited to your needs; or you felt uncomfortable in terms of things with your partner. You are the most engaging person I have met and I probably didn’t convey to you just how much more appealing to me you were compared to other women with whom I had corresponded. Maybe I struck you as just too keen, too eager, maybe desperate because I checked out your profile so often, but that was definitely a reflection of finally finding person who seemed a pretty good match. I also looked at your profile a lot simply to check details; as you know, you look at a few profiles and they tend to blur after a while. So, not desperate or some weirdo stalker, but someone who was genuinely delighted to find someone who shared the same interests as him. I would have explained all this you had we met and had the vibe been ok.

Anyway, that is where I was coming from and I was disappointed when you decided to finish up contact. I do understand if you just don’t have the right vibe from me but I am wondering if you would reconsider meeting, just to see if things might work?

~~~

And again.

I’m definitely not trying to annoy you, or even hurry you but I am wondering whether or not I should be interpreting this as an Ominous Silence? I’ll obviously understand if, having thought about things, you do wish to cease contact just wondering where you are at? For what it is worth, I am still interested in meeting, just to see if there is some chemistry between us.

~~~

And, yes. Again.

Are you sure you want to cease contact? Like I said, I am definitely not trying to annoy or hassle you and I am prepared to be patient, I understand that these things take time. I don’t want to freak you out but can I share something with you? I have thought a little bit about what we might do together – don’t worry, I don’t sit around all day fantasising, but I do let my imagination out for a bit of a run every now and then. And in so many ways you seem to be interested in what I like and you have definitely captured my interest. I know we have not even met and there may be no chemistry but like I said, much of what you have said you like I would really like to do with you / to you / have you do to me; you get the idea.

So, I would like to meet and despite the fact that I sent that email earlier this week, I am prepared to wait, especially if you think you might like to meet me, just to see how things are between us. If you need more time to clear things up, that is fine, I have been involved in this sort of thing for long enough to know that you do need to think about things before acting.

As I said in an earlier email, you are so far in front of the other women I have met in terms of having your act together and just being a decent, well adjusted person that I am definitely prepared to wait and take things at your pace.

~~~

He’s back.

As usual I did think a bit before sending this email because I don’t want to freak you out or cross a line into really pissing you off. I’m just wondering if you are still considering meeting? I am hoping that you are if even if you are still making up your mind; I’m just wondering if you could give me an indication. As I said in my last email (which I am not sure you received), I can be patient and I am definitely not trying to hassle you.

If you definitely don’t want to meet, just let me know and I won’t contact you again but if you do need more time, let me know with a quick response to this email and I’ll wait. Remember, I’m just talking about meeting for a drink – nothing more – something we came close to doing. By the way, I did just have a quick look at your profile again, to see if you had changed anything or closed your account and yes, I had a quick look again at your pics.

I am not annoyed at not hearing from you or anything like that.

~~~

I ended up responding to the last message, repeating no more contact. He returned before I managed to block every form of communication.

I emailed you again because I simply wanted to clarify what was going on. Something to keep in mind next you stuff someone around.

I’ll take the personal attack in exchange for a guarantee he’s gone.

Contempt

The more blunt and hateful I get, the more their tongues hang out. It’s becoming ridiculous.

Look at my profile and tell me what you think.
You’re a big-dicked American alcoholic with a work visa — so what?

Thought I was funniest thing on two legs. I blocked him.

I’m not like the other younger men who run off.
There’s another 50 the same as you in my in-box. Believe me, you’re not different.
Won’t you give me a chance to prove otherwise? Pleeeeease.
No.

Do you like my photos?
They’re dick pictures. Why do men think women are so interested in the penis — if you’re male we assume you’ve got a functioning one.

I’m sorry.
Go away.

Do you like my photos?
All I can see is a body with the head blacked out — are you serious?
I’m sorry, I’ll take more.
Don’t bother.

Can I add you to my messenger?
Why? I log into my account about three times a year.

Perhaps I’ll entice you to log in soon.
Nup, the add contact requests are piling up like little electronic car crashes.

Are you interested in meeting?
Your profile says you’re moving interstate in two weeks; my profile says I’m looking for something ongoing. It’s quite clear I haven’t checked the ‘casual sex’ box.
I’m sorry. I just thought we could have fun.
Bye.

They keep coming back like neglected naughty children who consider any attention good attention. Megalomania doesn’t become me but it’s hard to stop when the targets line themselves up so readily.

No chilling but plenty of creepiness

I ended up replying to Mr Chilled the day after he wrote — my message was welcoming but measured and I expressed interest in catching up again. I haven’t heard back for more than a week and one of my (newer) rules of thumb is that people who express interest singly tend to consolidate with mutually agreeable murmurs of intention within a couple of days. His e-mail was too well expressed to be a drunken missive, so I’ll chalk it down to either stroking his ego to see if he still has ‘it’, something in my reply sent him running, he’s just changed his mind or he hasn’t changed from the ethereal self I remember. The more people I meet, the fewer I understand, I swear.

One thing I should have done at the start of setting up an online account was create a document for ‘do not answer’ names and numbers. I’ve been caught out again twice by deleting numbers of people I didn’t expect to contact again and my urge for a tidy contact list in my mobile phone is too strong to change. I received a message from an unknown number pondering why my number is in his phone as he has no idea who I am. I replied and a second later felt sick in the stomach and realised it was the man who gave me the strongest sense of anti-attraction of my adult life. It took a few messages to banish him again. This time I’ve saved one of the messages with the number.

Even worse, I received a 3am message from an unknown number saying, “Is your husband still working at [company name]?” I can’t place the number at all, the person didn’t reply to my response the next morning and I’ve scoured my e-mail and online account for clues. Assuming it’s someone who knows me, is familiar with my relationship situation but not enough to be accurate, and being correct but out of date in where The Drummer works, I think it’s the man from a few months ago who I met in a park before he freaked out. We had a ‘who do you know?’ chat before we met as I knew of his family and we lived in the same locality. When I checked his old messages in the online acccount I saw he’s been viewing my profile exactly once a week for two months. Creepy. I blocked him.

Thwarting

The past week has been one to forget (yeah, I see the irony in a great bloody long post detailing it).

Country Hottie responded to the text message in my last post in about half a nanosecond and gave me three dates he was available. I chose one and he responded later that he’d see if he was free and get back to me. Heh? I assumed that I was Plan B on standby and he had since heard back positively from a Plan A option and was starting to weasel his way out. I didn’t bother waiting for him to juggle his options and made plans to meet someone else.

I had drinks with the someone else and I felt little beyond moderate attraction in a I’d have sex with you happily enough but walk away happily enough as well kind of way. Somewhat of a shame as in theory as he is separated and not looking for anything beyond regular sexual contact, works a fly-in/fly-out job and lives alone when he’s in town. Our kiss goodnight was barely more than a peck and I have chalked it down to too much amiability and not enough lust between us.

In a weird coincidence I saw the man outlined in the “Fleeing” post on a fetish web site. Through some enquiries made via a few degrees of separation, my instincts to bugger the hell off were verified. He is known as a delusional, manipulative liar who played other women while with his wife, and appears to be now playing the woman he left his wife for — not mine to judge but the fetish circle he moves in is small and close-knit and his house of cards will tumble soon. I’m glad I was right about him, but I wish my hindsight was fed more directly into my foresight so I could have saved myself some discomfort.

The weirdest event of the week involved someone who took possession of the phone belonging to the man who sent photos of his dick in a cock pump. Someone started sending me unsolicited and detailed text messages from his phone like this:

Hi [creepy use of my first name], this is [Mr Cock Pump’s] ex girlfriend and you’ll probably think I’m crazy and perhaps I am right now. [Mr Cock Pump] and I broke up last year and we still have a friends with benefits thing. A few weeks ago I collapsed in a shopping centre and discovered I was pregnant with his child. He has tried to hurt me and I have been in pain the last three weeks. He is a good man and perhaps we have a chance but you also need to know about his mood swings from drug use that make him unpredictable. Contrary to what it sounds like, we are not together now and I want you to know this so you can make up your own mind and avoid the terrible situation I am in. Don’t let this happen to you.

I was bored at work and couldn’t help myself so I replied, asking if they weren’t together, how on earth did she have access to his phone? She responded in an equally rambling and bizarre way and I ended up with more messages over a few hours until I lost interest and decided to step out of both their lives. I doubt he was the sender because of the writing style and he had no reason to scare me off as we never met nor had contact for weeks. Perhaps the nutter was a new, insecure girlfriend who had been snooping through his call logs and was trying to fend off the competition. They are welcome to each other.

I think my only prospects this time around are a woman I’ve been in touch with, however, she might prove too far away and we’ve stepped into the comfort of chatting like friends rather than potential lovers. There’s also a young tradesman about town who comes across as experienced but basic fun and I’ll see what happens. I’m feeling somewhat battle-weary after this campaign and of late the frustration has greatly outweighed the reward.

Fleeing

I wish I could confide details but this was the one man, the one story, the one unusual goal in his life that dominated the first meeting and made me want to leap from my chair into passing traffic to kill the pain of listening.

All I can reflect on is something a former work mentor/clinical psychologist once told me about a study of human attraction. He said that 20 per cent of people experience some attraction when they meet, 60 per cent are ambivalent or form no strong opinion and the remaining 20 per cent will not like each other. My percentages average at about 5 per cent, 90 per cent and I’ve only met a handful of people whom I’ve disliked intensely for unexplainable reasons. I saw this man outside the cafe and my fight or flight receptors immediately said run for the hills before it’s too late. It was one of the strongest chemically-based (I assume) anti-attractions I’ve experienced in my life. Every cell in my body seemed to scream no. No. No. No. No. No.

This is where I have to swallow my previous righteousness about telling the perhaps brutal truth when rejecting someone. Instead of making the clean-cut decision to tell him I felt nothing, I sat and hoped he’d pick up on my body language and the speed I was making my drink disappear. He was too busy talking about himself to notice. I (truthfully) said I was tired and had to leave and would call him the next day (to end contact). He said he was a night owl and had all night and how about darlin’ why don’t you tell me more about those things you mentioned in your profile? I ejected more kind but condescending crap out of my mouth that I’d gone shy when, in all reality, thinking about giving him an inroad to my desires made me bilious. I silently thanked myself for my reluctance to overshare with prospective partners before meeting. He walked me to my car and wouldn’t stop talking but  the subject changed from his life’s goal to his witchy ex-wife. I finally broke away and opened my car door. He was left standing on the footpath like a lost puppy and said loudly, “Don’t I even get a goodnight kiss?”

I thought that getting in my car without him alongside was hint enough that he wasn’t “getting” a damn thing. Emotional manipulation of that nature makes my blood boil. I did a quick assessment of my options and didn’t have the strength to deal with an argument if I said that hell freezing over was a good time with me to kiss him. I had too much pride to get a kiss over and done with and expel him from my life the next day, and I was too angry by this stage to be subtle with a brief and vague rejection.

I made a decision and kissed him. Once. It was awful.

I escaped. Once. It was necessary. I sent a message the next day saying nothing more will happen. He has asked if I really mean I don’t want to see him again.

He’s gone now.