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Thursday, February 3, 2011

OkCupid is poly?

In the poly community, or at least mine, OkCupid seems to be a fairly popular site that is viewed as "poly friendly".

Recently, OkCupid (or OKC as it is often referred to) was acquired by Match.com. See the links below for a couple of news stories on the whole thing.

PR Newswire: IAC's Match.com Acquires OkCupid
http://www.prnewswire.com
/news-releases/iacs-matchcom-acquires-okcupid-115090674.html

TechCrunch: IAC's Match.com Acquires Online Dating Site OkCupid for $50M In Cash
http://techcrunch.com/2011/02/02/match-com-acquires-online-dating-site-okcupid-for-50-million-in-cash/?icid=main|htmlws-main-n|dl5|sec3_lnk2|198784

I've written about dating sites before, and will again, but I don't feel the sites are of much use. If I do a search on OKC with "poly" as a keyword I get exactly 11 matches within 25 miles of my location. Two of those matches I know fairly well, and two more at least casually. That leaves 7 possibilities, assuming I'm attracted to all of them and they reply to email. Which I'm not, and they don't. It isn't like I am in a small town either. I'm in a major metropolitan area. As you hopefully understand now, when I say OKC isn't of much use to me it isn't because their site or software don't work, it just doesn't provide me with a whole lot. At the same time, some of the "fluffy stuff" on the site like questions, surveys, or statistics can be somewhat entertaining. I also think OKC is easy to use and although I wouldn't call it "poly friendly", it doesn't specifically exclude alternative lifestyles either.

Despite all that, I do worry that Match.com will drive OKC to a paid member model instead of remaining free. Yeah, I know, right now they are saying things won't change and maybe they won't. But in my experience, they will.

Do you use OkCupid? If you do, what do you think of the site? Has it helped you find romance and relationships? Or is it just something fun to do at work when your boss isn't looking?

8 comments:

  1. I use OKCupid. Almost everyone that I know who is poly and out, use the site. It is a Poly-friendly social networking site.

    My biggest gripe about OKCupid being Poly-friendly is that married men who want to have "discreet" affairs, troll around for women who are poly. In my opinion, the men are cheaters and prove that monogamy does not work.

    I block their hollow asses. :}"

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  2. Kameshari,

    I'm curious, why do you consider OKC "Poly-friendly"? Is it mainly because of the number of poly people you know using it? Or are there specific features on the site that seem poly-friendly to you?

    I haven't had the problem with married men myself, LOL. I do know guys on the site seem unable to comprehend a woman who says they want another woman only, and continue to hit on them anyway.

    Thanks for sharing your perspective :)
    PP

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  3. I believe that the reason so many people look at OKCupid as being "poly friendly" is because it offers a relationship status that shows that although an individual is in a relationship, that they are also available.

    OKCupid also has a following by people in open relationships. Remember when you used to tell your friends of a certain persuasion to meet on Saturday night at a certain bar and spread the word? OKC is somewhat similar in that many of the Poly folks that I know come to OKCupid because others have suggested that it is a Poly friendly place.

    Is OKC "Poly-friendly" just because so many people say it is so?

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  4. Kameshwari,

    I actually think OKC is considered "poly-friendly" because of what you said in your last paragraph; essentially, word of mouth in the poly community has made it a popular place for poly people.

    The relationship status you mentioned is "seeing someone" with the other options being "single", or "married". I really doubt "seeing someone" or "married" were options created to support polyamory or open relationships. My guess is they were created so folks could show they are occupied in a relationship and effectively take themselves "off the market" without leaving OKC completely. (That doesn't work in my opinion, LOL). I looked around on the site a bit this morning and I couldn't find anything that jumped out as intentionally supporting poly or open relationships.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm not questioning whether OKC is useful. Obviously it is when the majority of the poly community is using the site. I ask because I wondered if I was missing something and there were poly specific settings or options somewhere on OKC. From what I can see, there aren't.

    Thanks for the feedback :)

    PP

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  5. Clarification: OKCupid gives an option to pick "available" as a relationship status. It usually means that one is not single , but is available for dating and or involved in more than one relationship.

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  6. Kameshwari,

    I had to do some hunting around on OKC but I finally figured out what you were talking about. (Guess I never really paid much attention to it before. I rarely even logon to OKC.)

    You can't actually pick "Available" as a status, instead (per OKC): "When you change your status to Seeing someone or Married, but are still looking for dates or casual sex you will show up as Available. If you aren’t interested in showing up as Available, you should edit your profile details by clicking on the basic information section at the top when you edit your profile."

    The result is you are effectively given two choices to appear on your profile: Single or Available.
    Interestingly enough, I did some surfing of profiles and found: Single, Married, Available, and Seeing Someone as a status. I tried all the different options and I cannot get "Seeing Someone" to show up on my profile. That seems to contradict OKC's own information.(For me, it shows me as "Available").

    This actually makes your comment earlier about married men looking for affairs make more sense to me. Since they likely chose "Married" as their status but it shows as "Available" they probably think they are being up-front about things. Instead you (we) are thinking it means you're in some type of open relationship, not a cheater.

    It also means I was wrong with my earlier comment that the options "Married" or "Seeing Someone" were probably created so people could take themselves off the market. Apparently they were created so the site could support the variety of open relationship models that exist.

    Although you educated me a bit, and I was wrong on the status options, I stand by my feeling that OKC isn't specifically poly-friendly. I say that because I don't see anything like status options specifically for poly. I'm still thinking it is mainly poly-friendly because the poly community has found a way to use the site for their purposes.

    Thanks again for the information! I actually changed my status on OKC so I'm "available" now :) I'll let you know if I start getting hits from married guys wanting to cheat!

    PP

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  7. Well I have to say that as a married and poly guy OKC was not as good as I hoped. While it is poly-friendly it is also very annoying to have non-poly, monogamous women come up on my matches etc.

    I wrote to countless women only to be told that they just weren't into the poly thing. Or that they didn't want to share their man.

    I wished there was a 100% poly/open section on OKC Just to weed out the time wasting.

    Anyway good luck with OKC if you are a poly, married guy.

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  8. Blog_claat,
    Thanks for the comment.

    I have the same problem so I limit my searches using Polyamory as a keyword. I figure, if someone who is poly doesn't put the word "polyamory" in their profile then; a) they don't want to be found by other poly's and b) they aren't being open about their lifestyle so I'm probably not interested anyway.

    It would be nice if OKC would recognize they are acquiring a niche group and support them with some site changes, I agree!

    Thanks again,
    PP

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