The things people do to find romance. Honestly, it makes you wonder about humanity.
It’s no trivial pursuit, obviously. Some people go to bars and nightclubs and hope to get lucky, in the literal and figurative sense. These days, one gathers, half of humanity is online, trawling for a mate or a date.
If Online Dating Rituals of the American Male (Slice, 9 p.m.) is any guide, the other half of humanity will look at this world and react with, “Eww!” and “Ick!”
The program, part of a series made for the U.S. cable channel Bravo, claims it “unmasks the world of the booming online dating culture from the male perspective.” And what it does tell us is that some men are awful. Utter pigs. But, wait, that’s not all. The program also shows us women who are, in the matter of men, complete imbeciles. Seriously now – this is disturbing stuff.
The program focuses on two guys whom we observe seeking women online and then going on dates. There is Alex, a 29-year-old car salesman who’s very forthright about his aims. And there is Marcus, 36 years old and divorced. He too is forthright – he wants to meet his next wife and his concern is, “Did love forget about me?”
We meet Alex first. “I date online because it makes getting laid a lot easier,” he says. His approach is bluntly aimed at scoring sexual conquests and he thinks he’s shrewd about it. So we see him scroll through a dating website and examine profiles of women.
“This girl is an alcoholic. She probably has self-esteem issues. I like that,” he declares. His modus operandi is to find women who are insecure. That makes them easier to manipulate and easier to sleep with. Alex reckons he’s got it all figured out. And, on a date (he will do several a day if he can), he doesn’t wait long before talking about sex.
We see him on one first date and he waits just minutes before attempting to accurately describe the glory of his penis. The woman laughs. Switching tactics he announces, “I have a dog’s tongue. I will rock your world.” Eventually the woman says, “We’re on a first date, tone it down.” Still, he attempts to grab her buttocks as she says goodbye.
Later Alex meets another woman, an Australian who is described as a psychologist. They arrange to meet up and have ice cream. Alex gets no further than boasting about his job. The woman later tells the camera, “In my professional opinion, Alex is a wanker.”
What’s astonishing is that throughout his adventures, and no matter the number of times his boorishness is rejected, Alex is utterly serene. He’s completely confident there’s a conquest in the next date.
With Marcus, we are meant to see the more mature, serious man. He seems thoughtful, has a good job in the art world and talks only about finding love. So he goes on a date with a woman who describes herself online as “an actress/model” and also claims to be writing a book for children. She seems a bit scattered and Marcus is put off. The clincher is a story she tells him about online dating. She regales him with the tale of waking up in a date’s house and discovering that he’s a pimp. She awoke to find several strippers rehearsing their routine.
Marcus figures the woman is either dim or weird. But he doesn’t have the courage to tell her they won’t meet again. In fact he tells her that she can reveal her age – not revealed in her online profile – on their next date.
And that’s not all. I’m only telling you the half of it here.
It interests me that since the program aired in the United States there has been reaction from women viewers and reviewers. Many think Marcus is creepy. They see him as “douchey” for his judgments of women. Alex they find merely pathetic or amusing.
Judge for yourself. Me, I’ve already decided – “Eww!” and “Ick!”
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