Greetings my friends. As a little Blog Exclusive for my loyal subscribers (that’s you) I’ve decided to share a few sneak peeks of my book about online dating FREE LOVE – True Stories of Love and Lust on the Internet by Thomas Kelleher (that’s me) beginning with the Introduction. I hope you enjoy these previews and if do, please feel free to share and, even better, buy the book. Cheers!
Nearly 40 million singles in America share a dirty little secret. They’re using the Internet not just to surf free porn, steal music, and stalk exlovers; but also to find true love (and/or) lust online.
Birds do it. Bees do it. Doctors, lawyers and bored housewives do it. Why shouldn’t you do it too and use whatever means are at your disposal to seek out that elusive soul mate, fall in love, or whatever?
Perhaps you already are, and you’re one of them, but don’t want to readily admit it. But why not?
The truth is that online dating has grown immensely popular over the past decade, due, in part, to continuing advances of the Internet and the proliferation of dating sites. And in shifting priorities in life, with less emphasis on careers and corporate ladder climbing, and more focus on living more enriched, fulfilling lives, seeking out companionship and/or developing meaningful relationships. The basic human need to feel love, or gratuitous sex you don’t have to pay for, suddenly became more important than the need for obsessively monitoring the stock portfolio, that shiny gold Rolex or exquisite new pair of Manolos.
And so people started looking for love, but not in traditional ways – they used technology. Men and women alike spent less time going to singles bars and night clubs, hiring matchmakers, sitting through awkward dinner parties, and even more awkward singles events, and turned to the Internet instead, looking for love online. Mainly because it was there, it was new and it was easy.
After all, dating takes a lot of time, money and hard work if you rely on old school ways of meeting people. You have to actually go out, make yourself look presentable, and agonize over that perfect outfit, without looking like you’re trying too hard. You have to work up your conversation starters/ice breakers/witty jokes/pick-up lines that never work. Line up your “emergency call” from the best friend for a quick escape should the need arise. Remember to set the Tivo. Fight for cabs. Shell out a week’s income on overpriced watered down cocktails. And, of course, risk rejection and wind up going home alone anyway.
Isn’t it more desirable instead to simply spend an hour surfing the Net, in the privacy and comfort of your own home, wearing the sweats you wouldn’t be caught dead in with a glass of wine, and few expectations? A lot of people seem to think so. After all, what’s the worst that can happen? You don’t connect with anyone interesting and you go on about your evening with your Chunky Monkey, watching [adult swim] and you try again tomorrow. Your total personal, financial and emotional investment for the evening: nada. (Except for the ice cream.)
The Internet is truly one of the greatest innovations of the twentieth century and it has completely changed the way we live, work, communicate and interact. More and more people are using it all the time to meet others, make new friends, find love and/or otherwise hook up in today’s ever-evolving, high-tech, wired world.
Yet, for a lot of people (especially those who haven’t been initiated), online dating carries the same stigma that used to be associated with printed personal ads: that you must be some kind of desperate loser or social misfit to have to resort to placing a newspaper ad in order to get a date.
(Have you ever heard of Helen Morrison? The Helen Morrison? A little history: in 1727 Helen Morrison, described as a lonely spinster, became the first woman to place a “Lonely Hearts” advertisement in her local paper, The Manchester Weekly Journal. The mayor of Manchester
immediately had her committed to an insane asylum for a month. Poor Helen. She was actually just looking for porn but got a straight jacket instead.)
Anyway, when you did meet someone from a personal ad, the first meeting was a blind date and you never really knew what you were getting yourself into until the actual date. Sometimes you got lucky and the night didn’t end in tears. Other times you got a cross-dresser with “a few extra pounds” wearing a boa, who you swear could have been your uncle Steve that no one in the family likes to talk about.
But despite their shortcomings and somewhat risky nature, personal ads actually worked for a lot of people, and as a result, became more and more popular over time. It wasn’t long before these classified ads would find themselves online, along with more structured “socially acceptable” dating sites, which at the time were very new and largely unfamiliar terrain, (unlike today, where there are over 1,400 dating sites in America alone).
While free personals were, and are still, considered to be the wild west of online dating, commercial dating sites offer a safer environment with professionally designed user interfaces, extensive personality profiles, ability to post photos that look somewhat like you (10 years ago), detailed descriptions, and the means to seek out others using very specific parameters, and additional safety through the use of anonymous emails. But not for free.
So daters have a choice. You can shell out thirty bucks or more a month in subscription fees in an attempt to stand out among the 40 million other online daters out there, and hope to find that perfect match. Or you can take a chance and get on your horse and ride on over to the seedy world of free online personals and give that a try.
FREE LOVE – True Stories of Love and Lust on the Internet documents this increasingly popular trend and presents a collection of actual online personal ads as they appeared and the stories behind them -– all told in the posters’ own words, warts and all, ranging from quite mild to very wild. It’s real and it’s raw. You’ll laugh. You’ll cry. You’ll cringe and squirm a bit. Over five years in the making, these stories encompass a diverse range of people, economic and ethnic backgrounds, personal needs, wants and desires, sexual orientations, preferences and lifestyle choices.
It’s about taking the concept of old-school personal ads – once shunned and eventually seen as an accepted way of meeting people – to the next level. It’s not without risk though, and free can come with a price. There are scammers, con artists, prostitutes, and otherwise bad people out there trolling the personals looking to do harm. But there are also a lot of great, perfectly normal, non-desperate people out there too, looking for the same things we all want – love, lust, companionship, an apartment. You can find them all and have a truly rewarding experience if you’re a little cautious and exercise a bit of common sense. Think with your brain, not just your naughty parts.
FREE LOVE salutes those glass-is-half-full adventurous types who are brave enough to shun convention, embrace technology, risk rejection, and use alternative, sometimes frowned upon methods of meeting people to help them find the like-minded man, woman, couple or DOM of their dreams. Or at the very least, someone warm to curl up with for the night. Some have found that special friend, lover, missed connection or casual encounter they were looking for. Others haven’t been so lucky yet and are still searching, but remain optimistic.
So what’s your Internet story? Are you looking for love? Or are you searching for something short-term in a size David Beckham? That boa-wearing Amazon is still out there as well. Log on and get some. And thank you Helen Morrison. Just look at what you started.
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Next Sneak Peek: “Still Single” from MEN SEEKING WOMEN