OK Cupid Blues and Greens

[It turn out, as a novice user, i significantly over-simplified both the status and the politics of the polyamory identity/recognition struggle within OK Cupid in this post.  Fortunately, my new friend Tara has added a long comment to this this post which gives the background and history.  In this case you might want to read the comments to this post before the post itself.]

Some months back i joined a secret polyamory group on Facebook (which means it can only be seen by its members).  One of the interesting aspects of this group was that there was an internal list of links to people’s OK Cupid (OKC) profiles and a few other links.  Many dating sites and sex positive social network sites use pseudonyms to hide people’s identity, so this key inside the secret poly group was quite valuable in seeing who was in the group and how they present themselves.   Almost everyone had an OKC profile, so i thought i should get one as well. Once i put it up, Cassandra heavily edited it for me.

What should your partner be doing of a Friday Night?

What should your partner be doing of a Friday Night?

One of the problems with OKC is that it was not designed to match poly people very well.  Under relationship status you could be single or married or dating, but there was no “Open Relationship” option, which is quite important to dating sites.  OKC fixed that this week.  We will see if this leads to a different experience for me with the system.

okcupid triad

i must confess an odd relationship with the OKC system.  i want to be validated by having people who it seems i am good matches with, but i am not super interested in finding romantic partners this way, at least i don’t think i am.  It has been slightly frustrating to find people who are 95% matches who have no interest in polyamory, since i have answered a number of questions about this, it seems like there is something wrong with the OKC weighting algorithm (or perhaps everyone else is just dodging all the questions on poly).

OKCupid key words

OK Cupid does have a number of revealing and curious statistics about it’s own users.  For example if your desire is to get a lot of messages from OKC as a straight female user, then you are much better off with some people thinking you attractive and others thinking you are ugly, then you are with the same number of people finding you beautiful but many men finding you cute.

OKC paradox questions

OKC paradoxical answers

The service is free.  You can add your own questions and answer the ones you like.  It is in pretty wide use (which is important for network effects).  It does not discriminate against non-heterosexual users (as a surprising number of dating sites do).  And while it is not the only game in town, it is a good game.  If you want to be in this world at all.

Other Polyamory Blog Posts:

And the latest news from Scientific American:  Polyamory may be Good for You

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About paxus

a funologist, memeticist and revolutionary. Can be found in the vanity bin of Wikipedia and in locations of imminent calamity. buckle up, there is going to be some rough sledding.

8 responses to “OK Cupid Blues and Greens”

  1. pnc says :

    I have to ask:
    Is there such a thing as a “sex >negative< social network site"?

    • paxus says :

      Dearest PNC:

      i spent a bit of time on eHarmony before i realized what that it was Christian controlled and operated. There are lots of people in this community who think that sex outside of marriage is a sin. And while i might not label this as “sex negative” it is certainly not “sex positive”. They are not advocating for a liberated sexual experience. In contrast sites like FetLife, which promotes exotic and/or frequent sex would certainly qualify as “sex positive”.

      Does this distinction right true to you?

      Paxus at Acorn
      12 Temelin 3 & 4 are Dead 2014

  2. pnc says :

    Yes, thank you. That illuminates the concept. I now also know why eHarmony commercials seem vaguely similar to “Fireproof”.

  3. Tara Shakti-Ma says :

    Actually OKC’s relationship status options were “married”, “single” or “seeing someone”. If you selected “married” or “seeing someone” and then configured your “looking for” and “search” options – and then launched a search, it would automatically change to “available” which suited many poly folk perfectly. Available pretty much covers the reality, and then we can get into more detail about polyamory in our profiles. Sadly they removed the “change to available” feature and there was quite an uproar and protest about that….to no avail though. It’s good that they now offer an option for relationship status of “open relationship”. Originally the change was “in *an* open relationship”, which caused additional uproar. Many poly folk feel there is a marked distinction between “open relationship” and polyamory. Personally, as someone who has been non-monogamous since the 70s, when “open relationship” was the only term we had, I’ve never bought into the distinction and am on a personal campaign to reclaim the word from the folks who want to make it mean something “other than” polyamory. And….this change happened at least a month ago or more.

    If you go to the “help” section of OKC there’s a couple of great articles on how to make those match percentages be as accurate as possible. Much of it is in the level of importance you put on certain answers. The get match points for each level, and between “mandatory” and “very important” alone there is a huge spread. So it’s good to know how they “grade” the answers, so match can be honed as close as possible to actually being a good match. You can refine things even more by only answering questions that might ultimately end up being “deal breakers”. This way you won’t get matches where it turns out the only areas where you are highly matched have nothing to do with what would really matter to you.

    It looks like they just took away another feature……..”Quiver Match”. That was a nice way to get some individually highlighted high matches. I just wrote them to ask “What’s up?” wanting to find out if it’s a bug in my profile or if that feature is really no longer there. Match.com – an extremely un-poly-friendly site (and also a pricey one) – bought up OKC a few years ago, and I think we’re beginning to see the fallout now. Fortunately, they have one poly folk working on some of their programming and formatting, so maybe it won’t end up being a sinking ship for us in the long run. However, right now a number of folks who have been on there for years are finding it’s gotten a tad bit less useful. Too bad. It’s the only free poly-friendly site on the internet. I’d love to see someone come up with a new and highly useful one. Christoper Ryan (author of “Sex at Dawn”) started up a new site that’s intended to be for the non-monogamous. http://www.kotango.com It looks like folks are feeling interested in this but are reluctant to embrace some of the time-suck features. For instance, it has a social networking aspect to it and given that many of us are on Facebook, we’re already pretty social network saturated as it is. So, I don’t know who it will fly in the long run. So far it looks like it’s still trying to get off the ground.

    Oh!…..and by the way, directly under “relationship status” is an option called “relationship style”, where you can indicate if your “mostly” or “strictly” or “monogamous” or “non-monogamous”. I have to shake my head and smile at that. Wouldn’t “mostly” monogamous or non-monogamous sort of be like saying “I’m mostly pregnant”. Seems to me you either are or you aren’t. 🙂

    • Tara Shakti-Ma says :

      I have head back from the folks at OKC. Indeed the “Quiver Match” feature is no longer. Ugh! I see they also took the “relationship status” away from the top display of the user’s name, age and location. It was so helpful having it up there, where it was immediately available to see. OKC is going downhill since Match.com took over in my view. Such a shame. It is less and less appealing to use. Maybe KoTango will be the answer we’ve been waiting for.

  4. Bonnie Rovics says :

    also – OK has a huge part of their logorhythm based on key words built into your profile.. so by saying i am [[polyamorous]] or into [[shabari]] then anyone searching for specifically polyamarous shabari lovers would easily find me.. etc..

  5. richard w. lisko says :

    in it all the way up to my eye balls… not really of it. 😉

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