My experience of Plenty of Fish (website and app) has been eventful and rather daunting at times. Having signed up voluntarily, I was thrown in at the deep end of the POF lesbian dating experience. Instantly, I became a fresh piece of meat and was approached by many women who appeared to have little interest in what I was like, apart from in bed. But, what I found even more fascinating about the dating brand was what it was like to date from a different perspective. My girlfriend claims I can “sweet talk my way into anyone’s bed” - yet, while lesbians are willing to start the conversation and lead it forward, heterosexual women rarely appear to be the ones to initiate it.
I recently tested out this gender dating apprehension by offering to take over the account of my male flatmate Brian. I then created a POF profile for my girlfriend under a ‘straight air hostess’ persona and my oh my, were the results different! First, Brian’s original account was riddled with all sorts of dating etiquette no-nos. He claimed ‘sleeping’ as an interest and showcased the least flattering images of himself. This was changed within an hour with new photos, new bio, the whole lot. Yet, not one single woman sent even a very mundane ‘Hi hows you?’ to spark up a conversation.
On the flipside, my girlfriend was bombarded with offers of all sorts. While I may have encouraged these often-sleazy men with the glamorous (and often fantasy fulfilling) airhostess status, everything else was true. From being asked if she got excited by “tightening guys seatbelts” to an offer of “snuggles” that night - it seemed as though her job title translated into 'slut'.
Why couldn’t I get this much attention as a lesbian on here?” my girlfriend ranted, as the steady flow of ‘meet me’ responses kept coming in from men of all ages in all sorts of occupations. It seemed as though her opening line had already been written for her, and while only nineteen years old, she was a fresh-faced air hostess who was clearly just 'looking for fun'. Does this type of job mean you’re a commitment-phobe? Or does it mean you have a fuck buddy in every country? Maybe. For her, there was no need to start the conversation, no need for a cheesy opening message because her occupation did it all anyway. “So, where's the furthest you’ve travelled?” she was asked by some guy. “Do you ever fly to Dubai? I’d happily be your travel buddy.” Well, of course he would!
So, what is it about an airhostess that makes men spark up out of nowhere? Okay, so it’s a bit like Tinder in the same style of choosing who you think is hot or not - a quick swipe left or right changes on Plenty of Fish to a 'yes, no, or maybe'. Was it the job title hooking them in? It would seem so.
You might be thinking that my flatmate Brian isn't very attractive, therefore making this experiment incredibly unfair, but you’d be far off the mark. As a result of this little experiment, I've come to the conclusion that on the whole, straight women really do expect men to make the first move, whether in person or online.
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