Sex talk
Speaking of Writing Online Profiles

Simon Sheppard,

Sometimes it seems like the online world is just one big meat market. And if you, too, are going to peddle your salami, you might as well package it as temptingly as possible.

That's where the gentle art of writing online profiles comes in. Many cruising-for-sex websites feature fill-in-the-blanks forms that let you enter your personal info. Some ask for only the tersest of stats: Top or bottom? Age? Height? Dick size? Others provide space for expansive essays on everything from your favorite way to get fucked to your favorite songs. (And, as those of us who've had sex while some perfectly awful CD was playing know, musical tastes can be every bit as important as cock size.)

Some sites provide helpful numerical systems: "Rate your hairiness from 1 to 10." Meanwhile, AOL, still the biggest cruising ground in town, likes to pretend its members aren't online to get laid; its profile form is G-rated chaste, though the current "What's your favorite gadget?" question prompts predictable responses involving "big hard drives."

What all those online cruising profiles have in common is that they're the digital interface between you and the guys you want to persuade into bed. Though yours will most likely not win the Nobel Prize for literature, you might as well give writing it some thought. Serious thought, like: "If I had a limited number of words to convince a guy to put out, just what would I say?"

"I've been online a lot, and seen some perfectly great profiles, as well as a lot of dreadful ones," says one cyberhomo. "While a picture may be worth a thousand words, the words a man uses to describe himself can be worth a lot, too. Just a few well-chosen words can sure pique my interest."

As your high school English teacher told you, verbal style matters. Imposing tops growl in prose, vanilla-ish boys next door say friendly things like "buddy," and romantic guys write tenderly of "real love." Someone who manages to be urbanely witty in the space of a sentence or two will appeal to different guys than will a hip homeboy wHo TyPes LiKE ThiS. Even the use of spell-check counts. As Cyberhomo says, "If every second word is misspelled, it makes me think the guy is either impossibly sloppy or a tourist whose first language isn't English."

But what, specifically, to say? Well, honesty is the best policy, but selective emphasis doesn't hurt. No one's expecting you to detail all your flaws; for one thing, someone else might regard those "defects" as turn-ons. Not everybody is into the perfectly sculpted. If you're fat and hairy, say so – though you might employ the phrase "husky and furry."

Not everyone craves big boners, either, though many guys assume the world is chock-full of size queens. It's guffaw-producing to note that – though one man in a thousand has a measurable 9-incher – every AOL chat room seems filled with nothing but the horse-hung. So take stock of your best features and present them as truthfully but invitingly as possible. Just remember that "hot" and "very good-looking" are matters of opinion, while "9 inches" isn't.

Be clear, too, about what you're looking for and what you have to offer. Here, as always, it's a good idea to accentuate the positive. Saying "I'm only looking for masculine, slim men" is a lot nicer than "No fems or fatties," and won't make you seem like an insensitive jerk. And don't promise more than you can deliver: If you're a newcomer to the world of kink, don't put yourself out there as an experienced slave. Not only might you end up in a scene you're not ready for, you might be passing up the opportunity to play with a topman who prefers helping newbies explore their lusts.

Above all, keep in mind your ultimate goal – whether a sexually compatible boyfriend or a trick for the night – and then figure out what about you will appeal to that theoretical Him. Hey, you're putting your salami in the display case, so make it look yummy.

Simon Sheppard is the co-editor of Kinkorama: Dispatches from the Front Lines of Perversion

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