All Articles Tagged "profiles"

Single And Willing to Pay to Mingle? Is Paying For an Online Dating Service Buying A Man?

December 2nd, 2012 - By Zahra
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"Woman on laptop pf"


I am not cheap. Well, not in obvious ways. If you find lame the fact that I have to assess whether products and services that I buy will pay for themselves, then you may call me cheap. For example, I buy cheap shirts because more often than not, I want new styles and colors and buying cheap allows me to switch up my look. They are also more likely to get stains, more often washed than other clothing, hence they wear out. Oh, I could go on and on.

But I am not cheap. Call me a “conscious shopper,” because it’s usually not all about the money.

One day as I was deciding what menu item would be the best buy for my hunger and wallet, I started to wonder about my conscious relationship-shopping. For a while, I wasn’t happy with the amount of interest from black men on a free, multi-racial dating site so I signed up for a paid black site. Currently, I have two new messages, three new flirts and my profile has been viewed 11 times (per the automated site emails). The messages and some flirts have been “new” for a few months now because without having a paid membership, I am effectively a peeping Tom-ika. I can see profiles and pictures of men who show interest, but I might as well be looking through their garbage cans since I’m not allowed to talk to them.

I got my food and started eating, still curious. Why am I so adamant about not paying for online dating? The void for black, “professional” love has been filled at least 5x over. Isn’t that what I want as a single black woman? What’s my problem?

Immediately, I knew that what I have is not a problem. It’s really a chance to see if my way of approaching one aspect of my life can help or harm another aspect of my life.

Before that day in the restaurant, I found paying for online dating somewhat living in the realm of fantasy. It reminded me of paying for home security alarm services. The home security service is marketed as two things: protection and peace of mind. But if you think you’re being protected from burglars, you are mistaken. The service is the same as a neighbor calling the police after a crime is committed. That is to say I find it rare for criminals to be scared off without physical threat and equally as rare for them to be caught. For me, criminals on dating sites are also likely to go unnoticed. I’m paying for peace of mind, not protection.

One point for not paying to see potential criminals and losers online.

In the world of online dating, peace of mind is having a pool of responsible men who are employed enough to pay a fee. Since I chose a black site, it is also a peaceful idea to have a pool of brothers.

One point for paying to see my flirts and messages and for sending my own.

How do I break this tie?

Honestly, I find online dating to be a very convenient service. Paying online is sure as hell cheaper and more convenient than traveling around the world to eat, pray and date. In fact, when I advocate online dating to girlfriends I am quick to point out how the amount of exposure (us to them and them to us) alone is cause for signing up. As my best male friend puts it, Girl, you only meet two guys every six months – how many dates can you go on? If you’re a pimp like me, you talk to as many as you can, stay busy.”

Perhaps I can stop counting. This feels like strike three. Who has time for this whole process? Who has time to search through hundreds of profiles and read them, after making their own? And really, that’s just the beginning; the next steps include sending flirts, messages and other cutesy interactive courtship equivalents. This is when feel I desperate—has my life come to this, spending hours looking for men?

For sure my online dating experience is time-consuming. But maybe I’m the cause since I want to assess the prospects closely, not to mention I want to present a well thought out profile of my own – right down to perfectly cropped pictures that eliminate distractions from my cuteness. Yes, this is the great advantage of dating online. The ability to tell a story about myself.

Another advantage is the ability to do a cost-benefit analysis before I buy  (does that sound harsh) a guy: He “loves” to read so I’m okay with him playing video games. Send message. He doesn’t like to read AND he plays video games, but he’s super fine and I only want to date him. Send message.

Maybe online dating is worth the cost. Within a few hours, I can learn qualities of men near and far that it would take at least a few weeks to know with face-to-face encounters. So what if I have to pay to play as they say? At this point, it’s a convenience that will soon be a cliché not a pop culture pseudo-taboo.

I never thought of paying for online dating as taboo. From the start, my curiosity was about getting my money’s worth and whether I could apply that concept to relationship-shopping. I don’t think I can. If it happens that I meet my husband on the site, I would feel that it paid for itself. I will pay the six months in advance to save a few bucks and then check my old, “new” messages. Like I said in the beginning, I’m cheap.

Black Beauty With Buzz: Dodai Stewart, Editor at

October 18th, 2011 - By Alexis Garrett Stodghill
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Dodai Stewart Editor at Jezebel

Dodai Stewart is an editor at who has enlivened the offerings of this dynamic women’s blog since 2007. Based in New York City and part of Gawker Media, Jezebel is renowned as a respite for intelligent women looking to seriously discuss celebrities and jest about the absurdities of politics. Dodai is an African-American editor there who lends her seasoned expertise to this successful mix, parlaying her background as an executive editor and writer at magazines into her delightful execution in one of today’s most lauded media roles: star blogger. It is thrilling to see a black woman shine in such a prominent position, helping generate monthly page views in the millions with her quick-witted perspective on the hottest issues of the day. Here is what this black beauty with buzz has to say about writing, pop culture and women working together politically for our greater empowerment.

It’s wonderful to see a woman of color at the helm of a powerful web site geared towards a general female audience. How do you use this platform to bridge the gap between the audiences in terms of understanding and perspective?

I do not attempt to write anything that makes sweeping generalizations about black people. I could never write from the vantage point of “black people are like this.” I try to write with honesty, from my personal perspective, which is as a woman of color. Explaining where I’m coming from can open the mind of someone who perhaps never considered how a woman of color might feel about a certain subject.

In particular I have noticed that online discussions between white and black women tend to quickly dissolve into blame games and negativity. Could the medium be used to promote better synergy between these groups?

Even if online discussions between black women and white women do dissolve into blame games and negativity — I am not sure that this is always the case — but at least there’s an open line of communication happening, with a diverse range of viewpoints. Although our commenter community is incredibly vocal, they are actually a very small percentage of our readership. So for every conversation that seems to dissolve and go nowhere, there are possibly a couple of hundred other people who digested the information and didn’t come away with the same negative result. But I believe, in most cases, a conversation is never a waste of time. Exchanging ideas is how we learn and grow.