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I n the disappointingly cool summer ofI bit the bullet and ed an online dating site. Basic research had taught me there are two types of dating sites: the ones you pay to use, and the free ones that really should be paying you. Despite this, I decided to chance it on a free service, OkCupid. OkCupid is one of the most popular free dating sites on the web, with aboutmembers in the UK. Here, the site has a reputation for cool, intelligent and politically liberal users, often with jobs in media, charity and technology.
On the day I registered, before I had even fully completed my profile, I got into an instant-message conversation, initiated by a year-old graphic deer from south London. His profile picture showed brown hair, big brown eyes and a smiley face.
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We chatted for about 20 minutes, discussing grammar, hay fever and egg sandwiches. It was easy, uncomplicated and fun.
Optimistic, I ed off. Then came the other IM conversations and s.
Not a single black male professional has ever contacted me. In one case, a guy in his first asked me to do a threesome. The men who approach you think you must be desperate and therefore a sure thing. Michelle runs and writes the Single Filezan anonymous dating blog, and has managed to build up an impressive dossier of ignorance. What the hell?
Alice had received an IM alert from a would-be suitor. His irresistible opening gambit?
Perhaps, but offensive nonetheless. A report for OkCupid by OkTrends last October, found that black women members were more likely than any other ethnicity and gender group to reply to a first-contact message.
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In fact, their response rate was one and a half times the average. Inversely, they were the least likely group to get a response back — from any ethnicity. Louise Northwood runs a matchmaking service in north-east England.
Amanda Christie, managing director of mysinglefriend. I hate it when I see others do it and you never know who you might meet, so I like to leave it open and see what happens. They consider it to be a legitimate preference, like having a penchant for blondes, or liking petite women.
She sees no problem with this. A choice that may seem accidental or innocuous in the real world becomes a deliberate exclusion online. We are told there are plenty more fish in the sea. This article was amended on 4 April to remove some personal information.
Racism and online dating: my experience. When one writer ed an online dating site, she was horrified to be called everything from 'ugly black girl' to 'Nubian queen'. Bim Adewunmi.