PlentyofFish.com founder Marcus Frind just announced that the Intimate Encounters section of his site will be going away. His reasons for this state that the section doesn’t actually have (m)any hot females. Frind states, "Intimate encounters on POF can be summed up as a bunch of horny men talking to a bunch of horny men pretending to be women."
Some are hailing this move as a cleaning up of online dating world.
I am baffled.
While I’m not surprised that intimate encounters is made up of horny men, I am surprised at Frind’s move to ban the section from the site. As if banning the section somehow limits that intent.
Those interested in intimate encounters are still going to go on to POF, now they just select an option that makes them look like they’re seeking a more traditional relationship than they are. Is this a better option?
As an online dating coach and someone well versed in the reasons people choose one dating site over another, whether Frind wants to acknowledge this or not, POF is the flagship unofficial “hookup” site. Even for those posting profiles with relationship intentions marked, people are using POF to hook up.
I’m curious how Frind’s company found that only 6,041 of the 3.3 million Plenty of Fish users are women looking for "intimate encounters." Were there phone calls placed to the hot women posts on the site and men answered claiming responsibility to the profile?
It’s unfortunate that many men in the intimate encounter section are being duped, no question. Duping, catfishing, and lying in online dating should be discouraged at all times. But isn’t there some kind of self-responsibility to online dating? Shouldn’t there be a sort of caveat emptor, or “dater beware” and let the online dater do their due diligence when seeking out a connection of any kind?
Where is the appropriate start of big brother-ism in an online dating site and in the sense of monitoring and limiting daters interactions, where does it end?
Frind also introduced limiting the age ranges in which one person could contact the other to a 14 year gap. "There is no reason for a 50-year-old man to contact an 18-year-old woman," wrote Frind. "The majority of messages sent outside those age ranges are all about hook-ups."
Since when are adults limited to being anything but adults? Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall had a 26 year age difference and a well chronicled deep love for each other. But they wouldn’t have been allowed to meet on POF it seems.
Again, I don’t feel the answer to 50 year old men contacting 18 year old women is answered by a site’s own imposed restrictions. Maybe the user should be allowed to simply set the restrictions for his or her self? Let them say what age range they are willing receive messages from. And if an 18 year old wants to deal with her Daddy issues by seeking out an older male companion, let that be her adult right to do so.