My Memoirs of Match.Com
by Margie Borschke

I do not troll for boys—not with an advertisement anyway. A girl has to have some standards and the "non-participant in the personals" proviso seemed as good as any. Don't get me wrong—I don't mean to judge those who have differently-drafted dating manifestos. Go ahead and seek love among the SWFs and MBMs of the world: Fate will just have to get by without my ad copy.

But a girl also has to pay the bills and the STIM dating competition was bundled with my bootie. So there I was on January 3, 1996, typing "w-a-n-t-i-n-g" into the password field at Match.Com. And with that I witnessed the rise and fall of my boy-magnet, Genvieve, a French-Canadian Anglophile who was a thinly-veiled virgin-whore with an abduction fantasy. You know, Helena Bonham Carter kicking back with a good book, sans knickers, waiting...wanting.... kick some cliché boy butt.

This was clearly the whole point of invading the pen-pal/activity partner/short-term/long-term relationship environs of Match.Com: to see how corny, cheesy, sleazy, pathetic or acutely desperate men could be. At least that was the theory.

But as the letters flowed into my inbox, some just hours after posting, my amusement was overshadowed by an overwhelming, almost immediate sense of guilt. Damn those 14 years of Catholic schooling.

For some reason the lonely, the alienated, the nerdy and even the horny just didn't have the comic punch I'd expected. I'd fed them a line and while some of them played along, most of my potential suitors were not the knaves I, Mlle. Genvieve, had expected them to be. My god, with all that deception I almost felt like—like, a BOY!

Mikki and I compared notes along the way and we found that some of our gentleman callers had prepared speeches—that is, they sent the same personal note to both of us. SCUM! If I wanted to date the Majordomo man I would have dropped him a line.

The repeat offenders, however, were in the minority. Even those who were clearly not-my-type (i.e. the crazy, the stupid, the Led Zeppelin fans) or wrote notes that were fodder for office amusement ("Hey guess what? This one likes to go to the movies too.") did not deserve to be Fucked With. I know that's what they were after in the first place but, well, the virgin trumped the whore in this case. Amid the many email addresses, phone numbers, poems and attempts at flirtatious cultural theory that were sent my way, I just couldn't bring myself to string these boys along.

Consider it saved for the mythical bar scene. Where do you people hang out? </end>

Smart Women, Foolish E-mail
by Mikki Halpin

I'll cop to the fact that the whole thing was my idea. In the midst of a dating flurry as I arrived in New York to work at STIM, and with my first ever T1 connection, surfing the net and cruising for boys seemed like a natural combination. My head was a-twhirl from the combination of jetlag, the Big Apple, and new territory to mark. Don't tell Margie, but I just suggested the Date-A-Thon as a smokescreen so I could get some dirty email.

I don't know what it is about this city, but I was practically ready to jump guys on the subway or something. And with the hours we keep here, I'm sure the girlfriends of all the STIM boys were getting pretty nervous.

We decided to put up profiles on Match.Com, a fairly classy singles web page that provides anonymity for its users. (Prodigy CEO Ed Bennett sits on their board. Hi Ed!) Living out his fondest pimp fantasies, executive editor Steve Raymond assisted us in writing our bios. Margie became "Genvieve", a dreamy French-Canadian and I became "angora", a saucy fluffball looking for love in digital places.


"Foxy and Fun"

31 year-old female, located in New York, seeking 18 to 35 year-old male for email pen-pal, short-term relationship, or long-term relationship.

Looking for love without judgement,and without frontiers. Willing to explore: openminded and passionate. I need a man who can tame me without cruelty. No mind games: other games are encouraged! Kind, funny, creative, honest, with interests we can share. please no joke offers. I am serious.

My favorite part of the profile process was the questionnaire, questions you must answer in order to activate your profile. Stuff like if you smoke, or drink, etc. And lots of questions about body type. In the body type blank, I put (.)(.), which I thought was a pretty subtle little hooter graphic that ought to get the nerdboys going. The first night there were twenty responses. Discounting the ones, that are probably from Steve, that's still pretty respectable. But most of them were unnervingly sincere.

I wasn't planning on actually going out with anyone from Match.Com. Nice as most of the folks I corrresponded with seemed to be, and though several acquaintances have forged sucessful relationships from the service, the specter of cyberstalking looms too large for my comfort. Besides, as I said, I was already doing pretty well in real life. So why bother at all (except for the fun of kicking Margie's ass)? Well, I've been meaning to explore the top/bottom dynamic more thoroughly for a while, but the indie rock boys I date seem intimidated by the whole thing. Why not get some pointers from Match.Com?

illustrations by jorja
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