In darkness my heart was won."
-- Dead Can Dance, "The Ubiquitous Mr. Lovegrove"
I've been playing around with dating sites for some time now. One of the advantages of being poly is that, even when things are going lovely in one's primary relationship (which isn't actually the case for me anymore, but that's another conversation entirely), one might still be available to meet interesting people with whom to make an acquaintance and, potentially, establish a romantic connection.
Of course, the problem is finding folks to date. Especially goth-y folks.
Thus, this post and the series it kicks off will focus on the highlights and failures of the online dating scene, both in general and as it relates to being a dark-sider in the Bay Area.
So let's start with one of the more obvious sites for this: GothScene.com
When I stumbled onto GothScene, I thought: "Awesome... a whole dating site devoted to finding people of exactly the type that most draw my eye!"
And it really is replete with profile entries and lots of pictures. Many of the women seem quite attractive and the profiles seem really interesting. The selection of men seems, to me anyway, somewhat more sketchy and distinctly less goth-y than advertised, though (and decidedly slim for men looking for men). So, heads up to those interested in the boys.
Here's some of the really unfortunate and glaring problems with GothScene, though:
- You have to pay to be able to send and read messages. So you can set up a profile for free, but if someone responds to that profile, you can't see what they've got to say or respond back to them in turn unless you're paying for a membership. this wouldn't be awful except...
- Most (as in: by far the vast majority) of the profiles have been abandoned for an indeterminate period of time, at least around San Francisco and Sacramento. So all those entries and pictures are basically a ruse. They may not have started that way, of course (though I'm starting to wonder). But that's what they are now.
- There are only a dozen people on the site at any given time. And not just in the Bay Area. We're talking across the entire country. So, #1 Alternative Dating Community might be accurate because there is no competition for that particular moniker. But it's certainly misleading considering the number of alternative people that are extremely easy to find on other sites (for free, no less).
Final Conclusion: GothScene.com is radically over-priced for what it provides. There's lots of neat little tools to play with for socializing (forum, chatrooms, mailboxes, who's looked at your profile, who's "favorite" tagged your profile, etc.). But there's no one to socialize with, despite the illusion to the contrary. And yet they want to charge you $10/month for the pleasure of not having anyone to talk to.
Learn from my mistake and save your cash. By all means, create a free profile there, but slip in some mention of your email address or your handle on some other non-pay dating site and direct potential suitors there. Because, at the moment, whoever is running GothScene has set up a situation where they're absorbing cash in return for a product that is almost entirely a fantasy.
-- Mr. M.