ePimps tell your tales!
December 28, 2001 9:48 AM   Subscribe

ePimps tell your tales! Uber and So New Media have a special request for all the "eLovas" of the world. Have you got an eLove story to share? And is this funny, or a commentary on the lengths to which people will reach for love?
posted by spslsausse (20 comments total)
As it could go either way, we'll see. Back in the day, I'd hang out at Bianca's Smut Shack, and even had a lady friend fly all the way out from California (to my carefully concealed Midwestern location) for a weekend of hot, fleshy love. I must have been a true disappointment, as I never heard from her again. Weep for me...
posted by Samizdata at 9:55 AM on December 28, 2001

I expect this thread is going to develop into a series of pseudo-amusing anecdotes regarding various people's e-conquests (or lack thereof). Which is fair enough, I guess.
The appeal of e-relationships is the scope they offer for deception, self-deception as much as deception by another. Maybe seduction is, by and large, the art of plausible lying. I certainly know that after a protracted stint in telesales, my flirting ability went through the roof... heh heh heh. Probably a sad comment on my own ideologies rather than a reflection of society.
posted by RokkitNite at 10:35 AM on December 28, 2001

Not psuedo-amusing so much as occasionally creepy....

I post here, and everywhere else online, under a pseudonym. Actually, it's the name and identity of a good friend of mine who is also a computer geek, albeit more geeky than I. He runs interference for me, and has had to on a few occasions (and I anticipate another one coming up).

Why? Past stalking experiences, Most Unpleasant ones involving local law enforcement. I'm not sure why, but I seem to attract weirdos (present company excluded, at least mostly). While I self-effacingly admit to some charm and humor online, I don't quite see the leap from that to making phone calls and showing up in that big thing out there we call Real Life. Online, I have been hit on by both men and women (and I'm a guy, but I'm, um, sort of versatile in the partner arena), been called ALL kinds of names for not divulging more about myself, wanting to meet people, or hand out my picture on demand.

Sometimes I really don't understand. But I digress.
posted by ebarker at 12:01 PM on December 28, 2001

never date someone you met online. I did, it cost me a year of my life thrown away into a bitter hell. That is only my personal experience however. I met my wife at a coffee shop, which i recommend any day over the internet.
posted by th3ph17 at 12:37 PM on December 28, 2001

I also met my wife in a coffee shop, thereby disproving the Tom Waits aphorism: "You don't meet nice girls in coffee shops". Although it is possible that

a. I didn't actually meet her in the coffee shop and therefore the statement does not apply


2. The other shoe has yet to drop.

We shall see.
posted by Kafkaesque at 12:47 PM on December 28, 2001

Although I met my wife in person, at college, I'd say our relationship developed thanks to hundreds of emails sent back and forth. We were both in grad school, and had very different schedules so there were few times we were both free to talk, but the asynchronous aspect of email helped greatly.

I tried out match.com when it first came out in 1995. I exchanged email with a few strange women, but never met (or wanted to meet) anyone in person from that service.
posted by mathowie at 12:49 PM on December 28, 2001

Newport Beach, Calif. (AP) - "A college sophomore was charged Wednesday with the rape and torture of a 15-year-old girl who had swastikas carved into her face with a knife. Police allege Brian Dance, 20, a University of California, Irvine student, met the girl in an Internet chat room and picked her up Dec. 20 at a mall."
posted by Carol Anne at 12:51 PM on December 28, 2001

I have mixed experiences with the issue, I've met girls online that when I've met in person were ugly or were definitely not the person in the picture they sent me. One instance this really nasty girl tried to have an orgy with me and her 'boyfriend.' I pretended I had a prior engagement and had someone call me by discreetly sending a message on my computer when they weren't paying attention.

My current girlfriend is the awesomest girl in the world though, and we never would of hooked up if it wasn't for the internet. I met her first in person, which I think is definitely a better way to do it, and then I got her screenname from a mutual friend and started talking to her just because I was bored one day. Internet is an easy easy easy way to break the ice, but just make sure you've met the person first!
posted by banished at 1:27 PM on December 28, 2001

Google Anne

Whom should we be wary of... Nazis, the Internet, college sophomores or people named Brian?
posted by geoff. at 1:56 PM on December 28, 2001

geoff: All of the above, as well as those who mangle MeFiers' names.
posted by Carol Anne at 2:08 PM on December 28, 2001

Police allege Brian Dance, 20, a University of California, Irvine student, met the girl in an Internet chat room and picked her up Dec. 20 at a mall.

Hey, it says one of the charges against Dance is "rape with a foreign object."

You think they mean his computer?
posted by generic human at 3:18 PM on December 28, 2001

Yuck. Pretty tasteless, buddy.
posted by Kafkaesque at 3:35 PM on December 28, 2001

posted by rodii at 3:44 PM on December 28, 2001

I've met a lot of people via the internet, and, prior to finding out the internet existed, a lot people via a local chat BBS.

For whatever reason, the better experiences were all in meeting local people from the BBS. Maybe it's because we had more in common, with all of us being from the same general area. I actually miss those days quite a lot. The BBS community was pretty active and there was almost always a party on the weekend. Getting together a group of fifty people on two days' notice via the internet is a little tougher proposition.

I'd share the sordid tale of moving halfway across the country and setting up house with some people I met on the 'net, but it still amazes me that I was that stupid.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 3:49 PM on December 28, 2001

posted by generic human at 5:43 PM on December 28, 2001

Well, I met my husband on the Internet, and he's not a complete freako. But then again, he knew people that I knew and I knew he wasn't a crazy person before I even started talking to him online. We met because we both have websites. I would never have met someone who I had met in a chat room. That's just weird.
posted by animoller at 6:46 PM on December 28, 2001

I would never have met someone who I had met in a chat room. That's just weird.

I've done it repeatedly since 1990 or so. I have met lots of wonderful people online, some of whom I still talk to regularly. In fact, I met the only woman I've ever considered marrying in (I cringe to admit this) an AOL chat room.

I also ran into one definite psychopath and one compulsive liar (who faked her own death twice, a la Kaycee -- she now has a blog!), but I was smart enough not to ever actually meet either of them in person.
posted by kindall at 8:10 PM on December 28, 2001

Crazy to see this posted.

When the idea first came to me, I thought it would be funny, in line with Blaxploitation type manuals. . . but as the day has progressed, I've come see the territory as slightly more delicate than that.

I have known several people who have had a lot of luck with online romance — others who had run-ins with, literally, one-armed people who's photos didn't reveal this fact. I saw the world of online personals as simply a more in-depth version of newspaper offerings. In the same vein, sometimes personal websites seem like little more than inflated personal ads created by lonely people.

What interests me more are these new methods people have developed to interact, via web sites, email, instant messaging and webcams, and how they use this to cure loneliness. Sure, none of this will ever replace face-to-face meeting. . . but I've read several accounts of people investing a lot more in an online meeting than someone else would. It's all a symptom of longing, sure.

If people really do contribute, and please do if you have a story to tell, I see the book saying two things: one would be an actual guide, based on people's stories; the other facet being the story told by these stories: People will always find ways to love each other. This is what intrigues me and makes such a project worthwhile.

The idea wasn't to create a guide for serial killers, or whatever.

And so.
posted by jamesstegall at 8:19 PM on December 28, 2001

...and how they use this to cure loneliness

James -

You're going to find a lot of sad, deceitful, lonely, damaged, and mentally imbalanced people out there. But any comprehensive tour of the bar scene in a decent sized city will likely uncover the same things. There are a lot of stereotypes floating around about love, sex, and relationships online, and any curious party could find evidence to support these claims if they spend enough time looking around in the right places.

The internet is a circus freak sideshow in general, and thus the "e-pimp" scene is going to reflect a more or less proportional amount of that. But freaks and psychos and nuts aren't the whole story, nor are they the most interesting story to be found. A large portion of the people I've met online are 'normal' in that they have jobs, families, friends, and iterests outside of the web. They get laid "in the real world" as often as the next guy/girl.

I can see that you are trying to be even handed and open minded when approaching this subject. You seem to want to run the gamut from disasters and humorous takes, to sincere and smart and witty commentary. Its all out there. Some advice, though: try to avoid the false dichotomy between 'real world' people and 'cyber' people, because such distinctions exist only in extreme cases. Don't assume that people are driven online out of a lonliness or emptiness in their lives ... people have lots of reasons for going online. Its safer than real sex. In some ways, getting to know a person online is more honest and more real. People are less inhibited, less guarded, more likely to open themselves up because the screen and the distance and the veneer of anonymity makes it feel safer. Paying for DSL and a few long distance phonecalls is cheaper than going out to the bars every weekend. Fantasies can be explored in baby steps, without the immediate fallout in a person's day to day life. You can tell pretty quickly who in a chatroom is as dumb as a bag of hammers and who is thoughtful and expressive. You get to learn a person's mind first and thoroughly, if you do it right. At any time of day or night, you can sit down, log on, and immerse yourself in a semi-random menagerie of the human experience, interact with people who you'd never have a chance to otherwise. And no, its not a permanent substitute for face to face interaction, but when used with some degree of sanity, honesty, and maturity, it can enrich or even change your life.

ok, ok, I'm sure you get the picture ... [/soapbox]
posted by hipstertrash at 9:05 PM on December 28, 2001

"In some ways, getting to know a person online is more honest and more real."

hipstertrash, that was very insightful. Many of the people I have met online have expressed the same thing. When you spend a lot of time conversing with a person (albeit through typing rather than vocalizing), the true personality comes through and it's easier to get to know a person for who he/she is rather than what the person looks like.

I've made some fine friends through digital communication that I might not have gotten the chance to know had I simply passed them on the street, seen them at a bar, or even lived next door to them. In my experience, the real person comes through when it's not necessary to put up the "am I attractive" shields.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 9:18 PM on December 28, 2001

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