Saturday, January 14, 2012

God or Booty?


While watching television the other day I noticed two commercials with rather unique approaches to online dating. The first was for Christianmingle.com, a website that promises to “Find God’s Match for You.” With over 5 million registered profiles (1.7 million of them active), it is currently the largest Protestant-specific online dating service available. The site even touts an advisory board comprised of ministers and church leaders to ensure that your dating experience is as fulfilling as possible.
Christian Mingle Success Story - Lesley & Mike

I find the slogan “Find God’s Match for You” somewhat cringe-worthy because the implication is that God has only one specific individual at this point in time with you which you can find romantic fulfillment. Furthermore, the best and perhaps only chance for you to interact with that individual is through a for-profit website which has existed less than a decade and services less than 1% of the total U.S. population. If only the Almighty had been given such a powerful tool earlier, just think of how many people he could have brought together.

The site is owned by publicly-held company Spark Networks, a juggernaut in the world of overly-specific online dating sites. A sampling of their portfolio:

BBWpersonnalsplus.com – Where Big Beautiful Women (BBW) and Big Handsome Men (BHM) can connect.

Interracialsingles.com – The premier site for “singles wanting to date outside their race.”

DeafSinglesConnection.com – They have “thousands of deaf singles looking to date you.”

HurryDate.com – Speed dating service that guarantees you will meet at least eight people your first night or your next party is free!

BlackChristianSingles.com – The website for “finding someone who is black and shares your Christian faith.”

BlackSingles.com – Presumably for African-Americans who do not wish to date outside their race but also do not wish to rule out really hot non-Christians.

Others include specific dating sites for Latter-Day Saints, Seventh Day Adventists, Catholics, Jews, the elderly, and Latinos. There is even a Jewish specific bargain hunting site called JPicks.com where Israelites can find “The Chosen Deals.”

While I can understand the allure of looking for specific qualities, perhaps Spark has been a little too granular in their approach. In some cases they may be eliminating more options than they are providing. For instance, just because I do not only date the hearing impaired or non-Caucasians does not mean that I would never date the hearing impaired or non-Caucasian. What happened to keeping your options open?  Pretty soon they will be announcing OneSixteenthCherokeeDivorcedSingles.com or Type2DiabeticAnglicanDateConnection.org.

The second website I saw advertised that day catered to a slightly different demographic that christianmingle.com. The homepage was simple, intuitive, and succinct. A prospective client simply provides the gender, age, and zip code of their desired romantic interest and clicks a button labeled “Find Booty.” Within seconds, you can be browsing hundreds of future regrets and assign each of them a numerical value in the “Rate Booty” section. This magical portal is located at OnlineBootyCall.com and bills itself as America’s #1 Casual Dating Site.

Just in case superficial numerical ratings and ubiquitous use of the term “booty” isn’t enough to vanquish all chivalry, the site has penned their own “Ten Commandments.”
  • There shall be no “pillow talk.”
  • Thou shalt never greet me in public.
  • Thou shalt get out before the sun rises.
  • Thou shalt not ask me to walk thee to thy car.
Maybe I could get on board with the loveless fornication and the blatant disregard for basic human emotion, but I must draw the line at personal safety. These commandments indicate that you should sleep with a stranger and then force them to find their car in total darkness while insisting on complete silence during and after the encounter. I assume this code of silence even extends to the inevitable criminal investigation after your nameless partner is abducted trying to locate their car in an unfamiliar part of town.

What surprised me most about OnlineBootyCall.com is that despite the site’s heavy emphasis on hollow carnal encounters, they still have testimonials where customers brag about finding their current wife or husband. Can you imagine a more awkward moment than talking to one of these couples at a dinner party and waiting on their response to, “So how did you two meet?”

“Well, Harold was trolling the web for meaningless sex one night when he decided to click the “Find Booty” button. Low and behold, my profile popped up and the next thing I know we were being kicked out of the men’s room at a Taco Bell on Interstate 20. Even though he had only given me a 6 on the “Booty Meter” I told him that I would love him like a 9.5 and soon thereafter we decided to make it official and settle down. I don’t know where I would be today if Harold didn’t have such a blatant disregard for traditional courtship.”

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