Before I get started, I just want to make something clear; I am not lonely.
...Okay, so I am a little lonely, but I don't want you feeling sorry for me.
...That's not entirely true either; I am lonely and I do want you to feel sorry for me, but my loneliness was in no way the reason I found myself flicking through the personals this afternoon.
An e-mail from a friend had brought to my attention a lonely hearts ad on gumtree.com. It was far too graphic, far too long, and far too obscure to print in my rather high-brow blog, but for those of you interested here's the link (please don't read this unless you are comfortable with sexually explicit detail, and are resigned to the fact that the world is full of psychos).
Although a large number of people (at least 7, some researchers say more) use the personals to meet others as desperate and lonely as themselves, I've never been even slightly tempted. The truth is I don't like meeting strangers. I don't actually like people in general all that much, and the thought of placing myself in such a socially awkward situation makes me want to cocoon myself in my duvet.
The example got me to thinking though; there is a true art to reading between the lines of these ads and deciphering what a person is really saying. For those of you in need of help, I have prepared a brief guide to safely using the personal ads. Here are just a few of the people you are likely to come across, and would be well advised to avoid:
"F 24 WLTM M 19-49 GSOH for LOLLING, LWITP and RSIPP. PCM TTYL XOXO"
"Female, 24, would like to meet male, aged 19-49 for laughing out loud, long walks in the park and rampant sex in public places. Please call me. Talk to you later."
This care-free bastardisation of the English language will tell us one of several things about the person placing the add. Invariably they are either:
- 14 years old
- A robot
- Plain Stupid
- The kind of person who spends more time talking on computers than conversing with real people (think Denis Nedry from Jurassic Park)
- Young, and hip, and down with the lingo, despite being 50 years old
- A journalist for the mirror
- extremely poor or tight-fisted. Knowing that when paying by the word, abbreviations are a must.
At all costs this kind of person must be avoided. Seriously; do you ever want to see a wedding invitation with an emoticon next to your name?
As an added note, If a close friend starts to use such frequent abbreviations, you should consider it your duty to break their fingers and enrol them into night classes. The intelligence of our nation and the survival of our language depends on it. KWIM? (Know what I mean?).
Have you ever met anyone whose impression of themselves is so skewed it seems preposterous. Someone who loves themselves so much, any reflective surface acts as an opportunity for them to get lost in their own eyes. Think hard I'm sure you can come up with one; the guy in the office who always calls the receptionist babe, or the barman at your local, who only serves the women and provides a free wink with every drink.
This is 'The Ego', who between extended periods of flirting with himself in his computer screen, places ads to let us all know how excruciatingly brilliant he is. He uses phrases like 'v attractive', 'successful', 'athletic build', 'great sense of humour' and 'a real catch', presumably because his mother once paid him a compliment, and he chose to believer her. At no point does he take the time to wonder why he is still single; he thinks of himself as picky and waiting for someone worthy to come along. The truth however, is that everyone thinks he's a bit of a helmet.
The ego sometimes comes in the form of the superego (who let Freud in here?). This guy doesn't bother wasting time describing himself, assuming it is a given that he is so awesome it hurts. He places ads like the following (a genuine example):
Best Fucker in Brighton. Just Click and Tell Me What You Want
camon girls...im the best...
Rather aptly describing himself as a 'fucker', the truth is that this guy has probably never had sex, and most likely never will. He does however frequently enjoy making passionate love to himself, which explains why he's so assured in his capabilities.
The personal adds are like the yellow pages of victims for lonely psychos. Most often these adds will stick out like a pork chop at a Bar Mitzvah, but every so often one may slip under your radar.
Here's an example (genuine excerpt from a personal add):
Quick Blow Job Needed, Cash Paid:
I am a chilled out clean bloke.
I would like a blow job from a female. I am willing to pay £50.
please email me for details."
What the add really says:
Hi there, I am so disgusting even hookers won't touch me. If you meet me I will do terrible things to you, before burying you under my patio. £50 will be sent to your next of kin.
warm touch .....
What the add really says:
I will set fire to you. No joke.
Much like being a streetwalker; using the personal adds will quite often put you at the risk of meeting less-than-savoury characters. Your best form of defence will be to kill anyone you meet before they get a chance to lay a finger on you.
....And just like that; I make the world a safer place
Some people are just unlucky in love. It is a genetic disposition, and is therefore untreatable. Having had their wives/husbands leave them for the lead singer of an AC/DC tribute band, these people have tried the local dating scene, resulting in the kind of rejection that would make Russell Crow's music career appear successful. As a last resort they have opted for the personal ads. If you get close enough to your monitor when reading these, you can virtually smell the desperation seeping from the text:
"middle aged, professional shoe salesman, seeks desperate clingy woman aged between 30-74, to share motor home, dull conversation and my love for Phil Collins. Payment negotiable"
These are what are known as 'safe bets' in the world of dating. If you have reached the point when being with anyone would be better than being alone, then reply to these ads. You will still be miserable, but at least you will be miserable together.
The ol' Perv
Making up around 50% of the personal ad community; 'The Ol' Perv' mostly advertises in newspapers, having been denied access to the Internet since his last conviction in the late 90's. Completely at ease with his perverse nature, the ads he places will leave you with no misconceptions about who he is. He is the uncle who used to make you sit on his knee. He is the Santa at your local shopping centre. He is the P.E teacher, who mysteriously disappeared halfway through the school term after offering to show you some stretches.
Another real example:
Teacher Looking for Students
Male teacher looking for young fresh students looking to gain experience...
Are you shy or uncertain, looking to find yourself and find confidence.
email me with a picture to arrange enrolment
What the add really says:
I am the reason you were home schooled
THE 'MY FETISH IS WIERDER THAN YOUR FETISH' GUY
Personal ads are full of people looking for someone to help carry out their fetishes. Most involve spanking, feet, whips, chains or clamps of some sort, and are filed away under the category of general fetishism. Some however, are more dedicated to the cause, and go that extra mile when it comes to becoming a complete sexual deviant.
The chances of meeting someone who also wants to dress up as a mallard and have hoi sin sauce drizzled over them during a rough-and-tumble session of avian coitus, are slim. Therefore the 'fetish' guy is eager to put himself out there in order to maximise his chances.
Yet more real examples:
I Will Pay Girls to Turn Me Into a Little Baby
I want dominant girls to transform me into a helpless little baby and make me dependent on them
I am happy to pay a fee and it can be on regular basis
I'm 57 5-6 tall slim shy and nervous
What the add really says:
I am everything a woman doesn't want. I can, however, change my own nappy, and I have cash.
...I want my mum
R U Into Wrestling Fun?
I'm looking for a female wrestling partner for fantasy fun. Facesitting - oily - fantasy roleplaying . Do you like the idea of erotic sex wrestling.
Get in touch with your ideas.
The latter of these adverts combines two of the tell tale warning signs I have mentioned; the abbreviation in the heading, and the complete sexual absurdity involved in the activity. If this is your thing then by all means go for it. Whatever you do though; don't make fun of his wrestling outfit, or his stage name. And if you remove his circa '89 Hulk Hogan action figure from it's packaging, be prepared for him to open up a can of whoop-ass.
Having sized up the competition, I have decided to test out my own eligibility in the dating sphere. My ad reads as follows:
Male, 25. Too busy to spend time with you, too selfish to care. Has own transport but wouldn't mind help paying for petrol. Limited/no financial income means I share a comfortable four bedroom house with my parents. Would like to meet attractive, young, extremely wealthy girl, for sitting quietly whilst I watch the football, and paying me compliments at half time. time-wasters may only apply.
Wish me luck.