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Online dating has steadily grown in popularity over many years, with websites and apps providing another option for people looking either for “the one” or more casual relationships. There really is no stigma attached to online dating these days, although men and women Online Dating - Men Don't Get It And Women Don't Understand Online Dating - Men Don't Get It And Women Don't Understand Do online dating websites work? It's time for a frank discussion! What I learned from interviews was that online dating is equally painful for men and for women, but for very different reasons. Read More both still face issues Here's What Dating Sites Are Like If You're A Woman Here's What Dating Sites Are Like If You're A Woman As an experiment I set up accounts on three of the more popular free dating websites, then spoke to some women about their experiences. Here’s what happened. Read More when choosing this route to love or lust.

For this week’s MakeUseOf Poll, we want to know whether you have personally ever tried online dating, and if so, which website or app you used. We would also appreciate it if you took the opportunity to discuss the positives and negatives of online dating, and your experiences when doing it. Dating, we mean, not the activity which comes later.

Perverted Purveyors of Porn

To answer this week’s question please scroll down the page until you see the poll staring back at you. But first, we need to look at the results from last week, when we asked, “How Often Do You Look at Porn on The Internet?

Out of a total of 661 votes, 35.9% chose Probably once a week, 33.6% chose Every day, without fail, 9.8% chose Multiple times every day, 7.1% chose Once a month, at most, 6.2% chose I never look at online porn, 6.2% chose Only ever by accident, and 1.2% chose Once a year, tops.

These results strongly suggest that most of our readers regularly look at pornography on the Internet What Are Your Honest Views Of Internet Porn? [You Told Us] What Are Your Honest Views Of Internet Porn? [You Told Us] Read More , with 79.3 percent of those who voted doing so at least once a week. Just 13.6 percent of our readers either never look at porn, do so only accidentally, or have a casual glance once a year.

We are not here to judge in any way, but on a purely personal level, I was surprised by the results. Does this have something to do with the differences in gender, and the fact that the majority of our readers are male? Or is it just a case that with porn now so readily available online, people are consuming it more now than ever before?

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Comment of the Week

We received a lot of great comments, including those from suzybel58, Sherry, and Kevin. Comment Of The Week goes to jake1212, who earns our admiration and affection for this comment How Often Do You Look at Porn on The Internet? [MakeUseOf Poll] How Often Do You Look at Porn on The Internet? [MakeUseOf Poll] Porn, and people's consumption of it, is a taboo topic, but we feel it's a suitable subject for this week's MakeUseOf Poll. Read More :

Up until about mid December, it was every day and often multiple times a day… or worse, for one verrrry long stretch of the day. When I think about the hours I, er, put into online porn, it’s staggering. And this is for years of keeping up that habit.

But I finally got sick of the wasted time and went on a self-imposed porn fast, augmented by a fapping fast too. The benefits were surprising. It was a bit painful after about two weeks of no masturbation, so I gave in on that. Now I try to keep it to a minimum of a few times a week. The porn fast lasted about a month before I caved there too.

However, some interesting things:

First, I found myself relating better to my wife. I’m not sure if that’s because I didn’t feel like I had a secret to hide or because I was more productive or I was just more focused on her as a woman again, or some mix of all three.

Second, I found my “cravings” in the porn category considerably normalized. The more I’d looked at the stuff, the more I guess I’d gone for harder and harder content. But after the break, I find myself wanting to look only at the more normal, natural stuff. I’m even deeply turned off by the hardcore fetish material I used to find alluring.

Now I do look again, and hopefully not on some kind of greased slope where I’ll be back into it as deep or deeper than before. But I only look for a few minutes at a time and once or twice a week. Let’s hope I’ll keep it contained at that level.

We chose this comment because it offers a very honest and open assessment of online porn and how it can affect a person’s behavior. As the commenter discovered, if overly consumed, pornography can damage real relationships Pornography Addiction: The Hidden Struggle & How to Break Free [Feature] Pornography Addiction: The Hidden Struggle & How to Break Free [Feature] Anon22 discovered Internet porn when he was just 12 years old. For around 10 years, Anon22 has enjoyed pornography using his computer once or twice a day, a compulsion that he claims ruined his social... Read More and lead to the need for harder material. Neither of which is particularly healthy.

To Date or Not to Date

Online dating 4 Online Relationship Tips That Actually Work 4 Online Relationship Tips That Actually Work There are plenty of examples to show that Happily Ever After is attainable for online and long distance relationships. Here are some of the best tips and advice to keep you on the right path. Read More is extremely popular at this point, and with none of the stigma attached as it was in the early days of the Internet. Even social networks such as Facebook and Twitter allow people to hook up with other random strangers, but we’re more interested in websites or apps dedicated to connecting people for romantic liaisons.

Please vote in the Poll above, and then explain in the comments section below why you voted that way, and how you view online dating in general. If you have used more than one dating site, just choose the one you have used the most to help us build accurate results.

The more information you can provide with your comment, the more accurate our conclusions can be based on the results. In other words, voting in the Poll tells us something, but adding detail in the comments section below tells us a whole lot more.

The best Comment Of The Week will win our everlasting admiration and affection. At least until we meet back here again this time next week.

Image Credit: Lefteris Heretakis via Flickr

  1. SouthMp3Songs.CO
    March 17, 2015 at 3:23 pm

    No, I Haven't Tried yet

  2. Lee
    March 10, 2015 at 1:19 am

    How about just selling your friends for blind dates to strangers and making easy money? You can at sellmyfriend.com

  3. Xoandre
    March 9, 2015 at 10:39 pm

    The problem I find with this poll is that it is too SPECIFIC to a particular website.

    Yes, I have tried Online Dating. Have I every coughed up real money for it?
    NO!

    I have had (and still have) accounts on EVERY ONE of those online "dating" websites, but only FREE versions. I do not see the value in spending $19.99/month or more on browsing millions of photos and thousands of profiles of women who fit into 3 categories:
    Category A - Those who I really would like to meet and get to know
    Category B - Those I would never want to know or meet in person
    Category C - Those who are fake scam profiles that lure you in only to rip you off.

    And of course Category C makes up a good 75% of all profiles on those websites, covering the swath of A and B and primarily showing photos of not-well-known supermodels, adult models from Russia, or stolen facebook profile photos. These are fake women and men who have automated systems set up (or even real people) to get you to chat, then link you to an adult webcam site or a scam site where you end up getting your identity stolen - or worse - downloading "free" software to chat and getting a virus and malware.

    The number one issue with all these sites is that MEN and WOMEN alike go into them with certain... EXPECTATIONS!

    Men want either a supermodel who is great in bed or a good looking woman they can get along with and maybe marry. Women want a man who is stable but likes to party, or a man who is perfect husband material.

    And of course, everyone REAL on these sites fits nowhere near any of those expectations.

    Another aspect for this is the VALUE for MONEY. No one will spend real money on these sites unless there is a VALUE to the purchase. That value rests in how the FREE experience is perceived. Almost all dating sites have pay-to-interact features that will rack up some serious debt very quickly.

    Going into depth here...

    Match.com is the most advertised dating website in the world, so of course they have a huge number of votes. eHarmony comes in a very close second. eHarmony blocks images unless you pay, specifically so that free users can't actually see who they are talking to. Both let you SEND a message free, but not read replies or even see if the person has replied. For that, you have to cough up the dough. They send you an alert that someone has viewed your profile or messaged you, but to find out more... once again you have to pay.

    Then there are several sites that have truly open forums where you can interact. These are places like DateHookup.com - where men go in for the Hookup and women go in for Friends and Dating. Quite a dilemma.

    The ultimate question is - do you spend the money on one or a few of these sites? If you do, can you unsubscribe or are you LOCKED IN for payments? I truly don't know the answer to that one. And with the quantity of fake profiles and spam bots on these sites, why are the subscription prices so high?

    And for those "Free" sites - how do you tell if that person you have been chatting with for the past week or two is a real human being? A real person as seen in the photos? A man/woman who you could have any type of future with? Or is it the classic image of a giant hairy computer geek cashing in your identity for a few thousand bucks?

  4. Maryon Jeane
    March 9, 2015 at 4:34 pm

    I do think it's sad that there is an attitude of it being 'unnatural' or 'desperate' to use online dating. Surely it's just an updated form of matchmaking, which has always been the way to meet compatible people who might be likely to turn into lifelong partners? Matchmaking was done by parents and other relations, friends, elders, professional matchmakers and the like and was fine when the world was less populated and people stayed nearer to their homes of origin. However it's hugely impractical in these days when people in the same village, let alone town and city, don't know each other, children live away from their families at college, university or to be near a workplace, and religion and other formal 'elder' systems don't particularly hold sway. So using the digital forum which has become our new village and community in the same way seems simply a shift of method rather than something new - or 'sad'.

  5. Finnen
    March 9, 2015 at 8:58 am

    Yes I did - since I'm from Poland I used polish dating service. Unfortunately you didn't add an option "Yes, none of the above" to the poll so I chose Match.com since it seems to have the most similiar philosophy behind it to the polish portal I used.

    Few things I can say about dating online. Personally I believe that it's a wonderful way to meet the person that has similiar interests. Now, I know that for a lot of people true love, especially at first sight, is the best thing that can happen and for that you need first, natural impression like in a bar, park, party and stuff. I know that many people believe that when two people love eachother then any differences between you and him/her don't matter. I, however, have a different opinion on that matter and I believe that it's all about compatibility between people. Hence, I like dating services, because you can easily check some fundamental things and not waste eachother's time. Ofcourse I'm not trying to say that you should avoid man/woman who likes to listen to Britney Spears or Christina Aguilera ;-) I mean more serious stuff. On a dating profile you usually instantly see what kind of relationship the other person is expecting. Does she want kids? Does she have some already? Is she looking for something really serious or just casual? Does she want to get married or not? What about her religion?

    I think that these things are very, very important and while they might seem less important at the very beginning when you are just dating, they will very soon become a major factor in deciding if you want to go for it or not. You can make lots of compromises but you cannot make a compromise about marriage or children. You either are married or not. You either have children or not. Nothing in between here. The thing is, on a dating website you see these thing instantly, but when you meet someone on a party or you go on a first date, you can't really ask right away "Hey, just so we both don't lose eachothers' time... I really want a relationship but do you want to get married or have children ?".

    The other thing I would like to mention is the society's reaction. I don't know how it is US or even more western countries like UK. In Poland it's kind of OK to date someone online but only if you are 30+ and kind of desperate. That's how dating online is considered here. As a last resort and a fail because you couldn't find anyone "normal way". I remember when I told my friend few years ago that I'm using dating service. I think I was 23-24 back then. She was "o.O" then "O.o" and then "O.O". Instantly she started to cheer me up "Come on, you don't need to do that, you can find someone normal way! You are cool, handsome and caring person, women will love you... Why do you want to take away all the romance and butterflies away? That seems like a cold calculation, actually I can't believe that someone like you would do that!". Kind of sad reaction to be honest.

    All in all I really believe in dating services but recently I deleted my account - the personalized suggestions were rubbish, completely out of the compatibility in fundamental things, besides at the moment I don't really want ANY relationships at all. However once I decide I want something, the dating service for sure will be the first place to look.

  6. Charlie
    March 8, 2015 at 7:21 pm

    I have not tried any yet but I might. I might try the one where you swipe right or left. That seems like fun.

  7. cg
    March 8, 2015 at 6:28 pm

    No option other? Yes, other. My gf and I meet on a forum. We together for 7 years.

  8. wes
    March 8, 2015 at 6:27 pm

    I met, my now wife, on okcupid about 4 years. I had tried online dating from okcupid and other sites. They worked about as good as I worked it.

    When I look back at how we met, I'm surprised because it doesn't feel like we didn't know each other, it felt like we have always known each other.

  9. BadJasper
    March 8, 2015 at 4:46 pm

    Met my wife on Match. Been together 12 years now. She reached out to me and even though she never had a pic posted, we started talking quite a bit by phone and email. We finally had our first date about 3 weeks later and have not been apart a day since. I think the thing most people have to remember is, going online to meet someone should be treated the same as meeting someone in person. Don't lie and be real. Also, don't treat Online Dating sites as an escort service. The people on there are real and they are looking for someone real so they can share their lives with someone.

    • Michael
      March 9, 2015 at 6:51 am

      My story is pretty similar to yours. My wife and I have only been together for 6 years, but we met on Match.com as well. We texted, then we talked, and eventually went out on our first date. We saw each other every day since. We were married 7 months later.

      eHarmony was a joke. The hundreds of questions they ask only work if you're honest, and they people I met sure as heck weren't. I'm a social, happy, and outgoing person. I got matched with a girl who was anti-social, unhappy, and freakishly insecure and possessive. My wife had tried eHarmony too, and only got guys who were out for a quick hookup.

  10. Miriam Robbins
    March 8, 2015 at 4:28 pm

    I used SeniorPeopleMeet (a free site for people aged 40+, which is weird, since 40- and 50-somethings are hardly senior citizens!), eHarmony, and Match. I got dates with all three, but you get what you pay for. SeniorPeopleMeet was, IMHO, full of fairly scuzzy guys. eHarmony and Match had more professional and middle-class men. I did meet my life partner through Match and was very satisfied with my experiences through that dating service.

  11. Anon
    March 8, 2015 at 2:45 pm

    Yes. None of the above. I met my amazing bf on Grindr. I was disappointed to not see more of the 'gay' options on the list. :(

    Maybe re-do and start over?

  12. likefunbutnot
    March 8, 2015 at 2:41 pm

    I've used Match.com, Chemistry.com, OKC, PlentyofFish and probably a half a dozen others. eHarmony refuses to match me with anyone. I had a Match.com account in 2000 and my OKCupid account has been active since 2005. A recent trend in dating sites is to require a Facebook login. Those are sites I have not tried.

    I have never gotten a date from any of the above. I did actually make a "Looking for friends" contact through OKCupid with whom I have remained in contact for several years. OKCupid said we'd be high compatible and in point of fact we are. I do believe that its statistical modeling approach has value even if it does not really work for me.

    The last time I paid for Match/Chemistry, a little less than 90% of the traffic to my user profile was spam/bot/fake. I closed those accounts again after a single month. I can open my Spam folder if I need to know about Russian brides or escorts in my area.

    I believe that in the last 15 years, I've sent out slightly more than 2000 messages via dating sites. Perhaps one in 50 results in a profile visit in return and maybe one in 200 resulted in a message reply. I've been randomly propositioned by randy gay men on dating sites more often than I've established two way communication with a human female.

    Needless to say, I don't have a very high opinion of online dating.

  13. Anonymous
    March 8, 2015 at 1:49 pm

    I've used OK Cupid and Match. I found better guys on okc and liked the site navigation better. However with a free site you also gets guys that are just looking for hookups and creeps. Still, it's easy to ignore those guys. So I finally cancelled my Match (expensive) membership and like okc much more. I have met some nice guys on there.

  14. Rex Gray
    March 8, 2015 at 1:26 pm

    I was sceptical about online dating for along time. Because it was free I used plenty of fish for a while. I later added match during one of their "if you don't meet someone in six months you get six months free " promo deals, I'm glad that I did because I met my wife on match.com. We were different enough that we would have never met without online dating

  15. dragonmouth
    March 8, 2015 at 1:16 pm

    Yes. None of the above.

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