If you have used OkCupid or any other online dating site or dating app, you have experienced a creepy message. Perhaps it was sexual harassment through a screen, perhaps it was racist, perhaps it was just weird. Regardless, if you're trying to meet people to date online (which can be a totally wonderful thing), you are going to have to learn what to write in OKCupid messages, even the ones that make you feel uncomfortable through a keyboard on a kinda regular basis. (By the way, this is not at all meant to normalize this type of behavior, but instead to point out that this is an awful fact of so many people's dating lives.)
One of the first messages I ever saw was from a guy with the username "RuinHer" – so you can imagine how that played out.
Lots of people (usually women who are interested in men, though people of all genders and sexualities encounter such horrors) give up on OkCupid because they can't take the barrage of graphic descriptions of sex acts, racialized sexual harassment, and general weirdness. However, there is hope, because maybe you'll be one of the many to meet someone you really like. Plus, there are ways of lessening the random messages you receive if you answer certain survey questions on your profile. So, to help you survive the wild and sometimes disturbing terrain of OkCupid, here are some suggested responses for shutting down gross/weird gentleman callers (if you don't just hit “delete message” first):
1. When you get a cheesy "hey baby"
"Nope, adult human woman. You're made out of my nightmares, though!"
2. When You Get A Gross Question
"Your profile picture made me vomit, so ya."
3. When You Get A ....
Why not try something with a fun and up-to-date reference like, “Have you tried AskJeeves? Hope this helps with whatever your question is!”
4. When You Get A Sexist Greeting
"Misogyny kills." (protip: the dude you are messaging does not know what misogyny means [or what feminism means] but you do not have the time to teach an online gender studies course to OKC trolls. LIVE YOUR LIFE, GURL)
5. When You Get A Longwinded Message They Think Is SO Clever
6. When You Get An Emoji Challenge
"What's the emoji for continuing to eat my Lean Cuisine and finish my taxes because I don't give a sh*t."
7. When You Get A Message That's A Symptom Of The Mansplaining Epidemic That We All Know And Hate
You probably mentioned in your profile that you are a badass law school student or some other type of ballin' career woman, inspiring him to “flirtatiously” send his AP US Government essay prompts your way to see if he'll getcha. You are too busy studying for your bar exam to even entertain such #basic and patronizing questions, so if you choose to respond at all, may I suggest, “Sorry were you looking for homework help? GoogleJunior helped me with a lot of reports when I was in middle school. Good luck!”
8. When You Get An Offensive Message That Also Has A Big Typo
"Oh no!!! Did someone in the Louisiana Association of School Business Officials hurt you in your past?"
9. When You Get A Message That's All About Your Body
"The better to flip you off with, my dear."
10. When You Get An Agressive Message
"Hi, quick question, have you talked to a woman before?"
11. When Someone Doesn't Understand Poetry
"lololol by Emily Dickinson"Images: Tina Leggio/Flickr; Instagram (8); Facebook (3)