Swinger Website Special Profile Consideration

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When Cooper asked me to do a blog entry on special profile considerations, I honestly didn’t know what to say. What do I know about it? I have no idea whether our profile approaches have caused us to lose people who would otherwise be interested or not. This is the ultimate paradox, you can’t prove a negative. With that said, here is my attempt at covering this topic. As a basis for this, I will note that in our case, the “special profile consideration” is hearing loss of varying degrees and presentations for both of us. Being deaf does not have a huge impact on our lives, we just live a little differently from hearing people.

As far as we see it, there are two main approaches to this situation. One, which is what we used to do, is to take the view of “it is just one part of who we are and bring it up in later conversations. This is what we used to do, and to be honest, is a little stressful. The holding back technique is based on the theory that you get the people interested in first, and then giving them the specific special factor in the hopes that they see it as a nonissue in the grand scheme of things. This ultimately does reflect the reality in our opinion. Using this approach we have never been directly turned down. This does not mean we have not been rejected using this approach. Instead, I believe the rejection takes a different form, what I call “the slow fizzle. In the fizzle maneuver, what was great communication and conversation takes a sudden and dramatic change for the worse. Suddenly there is not as much conversation, meeting times can’t seem to be found for various reasons, etc. This continues until the communication is essentially no longer happening, and the rejection is essentially complete. I will point out that this sort of indirect “discrimination is not unique to the swinger world. People with disabilities or people of color have often found themselves somewhat inexplicably removed from consideration from jobs, activities, etc. due to “lost applications or vague explanations why they just didn’t meet the criteria. We are used to it. Is it the easy way out for them? Yes. In our political correctness-obsessed culture is it a surprise? No.

The other approach, and the one we currently use, is to come out and say what the special issues are directly. In this approach, it is clear in our profiles on the two sites we use, that we have hearing losses, and that is has never been an issue. In the 3 months or so that we have been using this approach, we have had one great experience and an okay one, and have a few possibilities in the hopper. Of course, there were a few fizzles, which is to be expected. One of the more noticeable issues is that we seem to have had fewer responses in general. The scientist in me feels the need to point out that the caveat is that we have not used these particular sites with the “hold back approach, so we don’t have a true basis of comparison.

So, what do you think? Which way would you respond to better? If you have a special consideration, what has your experience been

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  1. Avatar

    I may be approaching this subject from a different perspective than most, but I'll gladly offer my opinion.

    The way I see it, most people are tolerant of others' quirks—when intimacy isn't involved. Throw sex into the equation, and unfortunately we have an environment that is not conducive to equal opportunity. Everyone has a preference (or tolerance level), and that's not necessarily a bad thing. Variety means there is something for everyone.

    Some people are more tolerant than others when sex is involved, but even these people may feel blindsided by conditions they feel are important. Making decisions about who to play with is tough enough without having unexpected challenges appear at the last moment.

    As one may have surmised, I believe full disclosure is the way to go. Even assuming I'm fine with someone's special considerations, being hit with them over the head on a first date is not how I want to learn about them. The trick, then, is identifying potential deal breakers and informing others about them without throwing out too much information. It's a fine line, and some are willing to put up with more disclosure than others.

    For example, before my girlfriend and I became official (over ten years ago) she unloaded a lot of personal baggage on me—ostensibly to see if I judged her poorly. At the time I was a bit overwhelmed, but in retrospect I am glad she leveled with me. If she had surprised me with some of her experiences months or years into our relationship, after I had built up certain expectations of who she was, I would have found it difficult to cope. As it was, I was able to adjust quickly during the initial stages of our relationship.

    It sounds like your direct approach is working out for you; you are still enjoying a number of interested parties, people who are interested in you and willing to accommodate your considerations. If there are indeed people who don't contact you because they are put off by what they read in your profile, there is a very good chance that they would fall into the "fizzle" category had you used your former approach. Less time wasted on those doomed relationships means more time you can spend on ones that have a better chance of succeeding.

    Feel free to comment, disagree, argue, or ignore. 🙂

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      I think you get the idea of how we approach it, but as Jack notes below, our consideration is less of an issue to others than it is to us (and primarily her). Personally, I wonder, after seeing how some other friends do, how different "considerations" do, as ours is truly less of an issue. 🙂

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    Your article was very interesting! Thanks for sharing!

    I agree with Brian on the fact you might get less responses but the ones you get will be more likely to not "fizzle."

    Personally I would like to know up front as well, but I put a lot of stock in honesty. In the grand scheme of things I personally don't see hearing loss as a big deal at all. However, depending on what the special consideration is, finding out later could just result wasted time for all parties involved.

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    I couldn't agree more.

    The entire lifestyle is based (partially) upon not needing to justify why one has sex with somebody else. I also means that nobody has to explain why they DON'T want to.

    Hence we are (or at least try to be) always brutally honest in the profiles and board postings. I am pretty sure that this has got us blacklisted with a couple people already. But I would not see that as a loss, more a win of time. Lets call it "targeted marketing" 🙂

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