I’ve always found personal ads to be interesting. They’re quite difficult to write for most people (myself included), and this leads to some misperceptions of what that person is probably really like. How do you make yourself sound interesting, without revealing so much that you leave yourself naked and exposed? What do you choose to highlight? What do you hide, and why?
(This subject came to mind when reading a post on an alternative/bisexual LJ community. The couple in question posted a link to their ad, and asked for opinions on it, as they obviously didn’t have the response that they were hoping for.)
How would I write one? Would I try to be funny, and risk sounding affected? Would I present myself as the girl-next-door, in hopes of meeting someone “normal”? And would that make me sound too boring for anyone interesting? Should I go for intellectual, and talk about the books I’ve read and famous people I’ve hung with? Nah. Artsy, dark and alternative? No, I’ll end up with a goth boi in eyeliner and a minimum wage job.
Most people describe themselves as the sexiest, most perfectly gorgeous people on the planet. Come on, folks, eventually you’ll have to meet your new friend, who will be looking for Kate Moss to walk into the restaurant, rather than Dawn French. If I say “curvy redhead with cleavage to spare” it can mean just about anything I want it to. Ex-athlete gone slightly to seed? A bit more descriptive, but hardly flattering. Shall I refer to my age? Best to weed out the guys who are looking for girls young enough to be their daughters right off the bat (lest I slip and er, marry one). Hmmmn.
Keep it clean, so I don’t get engulfed by all the sad weirdoes out there? But I am an extremely sexual person – it’s a big part of my life. I couldn’t be with someone who didn’t have the same sex drive, or roughly the same fetishes and desires. But, on the other hand, I wouldn’t want a potential partner to judge me on “sucks like a Hoover, willing to try anything at least once, intelligence is more important than looks or sex (I’m kind of an equal-opportunity employer), light BDSM, and if you don’t know what that is, don’t apply.” Erm, perhaps not. There’s more to me than that.
Everyone lists these, and it’s a good thing. But can you really base interest in someone on “likes books, good wine, and romantic nights in front of the fire”? People are a lot more complex than that. The same person who enjoys a good spanking now and then is also the same person who plays sports, who can read three novels during a rainy weekend and whip up a really great Italian meal.
As long as the person that you meet isn’t addicted to any of these substances (duh), are they really that important? I mean, I am NOT fond of cigarettes; kissing is much less pleasant. But would I rule someone out because of that? I don’t know.
Just a few rambling thoughts, things that rattle through my mind on occasion like ball bearings through a pachinko machine. Not that I’m presently placing ads, or contacting anyone…I just find it interesting. And if you should happen to come across an ad for a curvy redhead of a certain age who likes goth bois in eyeliner…I swear it’s NOT ME. ;)