How to tell a guy a your Passionate!!!
September 20, 2008 3:45 PM   Subscribe

How do I express myself in an online dating site when it comes to being gifted with the privilege of passion (overly so) and express that in text with eloquence? So as to convey the message that I am a sensuous and passionate woman in the traditional sense and not a promiscuous whore either. Make sense? whew.
posted by Mersades123 to Human Relations (16 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
You should check out the personals of any of the larger book reviews, like New York Review of Books. Here is a good example from the website of the most recent issue:

REALLY PRETTY, SMART, CEO— athletic, trim, divorced, with ever-present dash of self-deprecating humor. Gracious, irreverent, hot ticket—fun, warm, and intellectual. Southerner transplanted to New England, international in outlook both in vocation and avocation. Easygoing travel companion, true explorer’s spirit, be it exploring around the corner or the world. Passions include: lazy afternoons on my dock in Maine, cooking fresh delicious meals, photography, music (but seriously can’t sing a note), sailing, literature, Kendall Square movies, improving rusty French, The Economist, Peru, Fore Street Café, and my Boston version of the Mediterranean pace of life. No big resorts, just wonderful hotels or a touch of old world decadence, authenticity, undiscovered villages or city buzz. Would love to meet co-adventurer—bright, successful, cosmopolitan man, 49–65, for lasting relationship.

posted by parmanparman at 3:55 PM on September 20, 2008

So as to convey the message that I am a sensuous and passionate woman in the traditional sense and not a promiscuous whore either.

The difference between being passionate and being a "whore" is all in your discretion. Advertising in a personal ad that anyone can read that you enjoy sex gives the impression you will have sex with anyone. If it's true that you will have sex with anyone, advertise away (and you won't need me to wish you luck, either), but some people will consider you a "promiscuous whore". To not come off as a "whore", it is probably best to clue only the people you like in to the fact that you are a passionate, sensuous woman.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 4:07 PM on September 20, 2008 [3 favorites]

Not to be all Anglocentric, but I'd take my examples from the personals in the London Review of Books instead.

Experienced, expert man sought for afternoons of lusciousness. Central London. Anonymity, obviously. Photograph appreciated and reciprocated.

Lost in transition. Woman, 56, looking for man with strong arms and big hands for fun. I have son about to leave home but no other baggage and you will be similarly unencumbered. Not unattractive, tall, slim, intelligent, with sense of humour. Need a bit encouragement.

The all you can eat personal ad! Eschew the pasta salad and head straight for me, Meat Feast of the £5.99 buffet and coveted prize of you; statuesque literary lady to 35 who’s sick of loitering round the Vegetarian Supremes and whatever those crispy bacon-like crumbs are meant to be. No side orders or time wasters.
posted by rosebuddy at 4:21 PM on September 20, 2008 [2 favorites]

not trying to be a smart-ass, but what is a "sensuous and passionate woman in the traditional sense?" I'm really having trouble parsing that, besides a vague mental image of the cover of a "bodice-ripper" romance novel.

I think maybe you mean you like sex, but not with just anyone. Personally, if I were hypothetically dating online, I would be somewhat impressed with a woman who came out and said, "I like sex, but not with just everyone." But, as TPS notes, this will attract a lot of maybe unwanted attention.

Your safest best is to just not mention it and let it go without saying. Pretty much everyone on a dating site likes and is actively looking for sex- maybe not right away, but sooner or later. No one advertises, "sexless eunuch who just wants to cuddle!"
posted by drjimmy11 at 4:23 PM on September 20, 2008

Calling other women promiscuous whores isn't cool at all. Please don't do that.

I have no idea what it means to be overly gifted with the privilege of passion; that's very abstract. Do you mean that you have a healthy libido? Or do you mean that you're a romantic of the old school who loves to court and be courted by her suitor? Or do you mean that you're the sort of person who finds it terribly important to keep romance alive in long-term relationships, ie. you'll still be cooking him candlelit dinners and surprising him with little tokens of your affection (and expecting the same) when you're both old and grey? Any sentence that has at least three possible interpretations isn't eloquent; it's coy, or worse, just unclear.

Eloquence has nothing to do with flowery words and euphemisms. Eloquence is simple, direct language used well.

Say what you mean, and say it as simply as you can manage.
posted by freshwater_pr0n at 4:23 PM on September 20, 2008 [12 favorites]

I do not understand what "a sensuous and passionate woman in the traditional sense" is. Does this mean something other than you enjoying sex? If so, perhaps you could explain in more detail.

Unless you use certain codewords, people will assume you want to have sex. I don't think you need to mention it.
posted by grouse at 4:30 PM on September 20, 2008

So as to convey the message that I am a sensuous and passionate woman in the traditional sense and not a promiscuous whore either.

I'll be honest and admit that I'm not entirely sure what "sensuous and passionate in the traditional sense" means, completely. How is that different from non-traditional passion and sensuality?

The way to avoid this kind of confusion, I think, would be in careful and descriptive writing. If you just say "I am passionate," the reader will take that to mean whatever they want. But writing "I am looking for the right person with whom I can fully discover and express my sensuality" or "I love melodramas, romance novels, and other expressions of deep feelings, and I cry when I see a beautiful sunset" or whatever expresses something much more precise.

So don't just say "passionate," or add imprecise qualifiers like "traditional" — say what you actually mean. Don't assume that your reader brings the same assumptions and beliefs about these words as you do.

Also, be aware that there are a lot of code words that people use in personal ads. "Rubenesque" instead of "fat," for example, or "like to party" instead of "get smashed three or four nights every week." Words like "sensuous" and "passionate" are often (but not always) used as code words for "I like sex, a lot" without having to be so direct about it. If that's not the message you are wanting to send, either don't use those words or be sure to use them in very clear and qualified ways.

Lastly, I am sure you were using the phrase ironically and all that, but a woman enjoying sex and having multiple partners does not make her a "promiscuous whore"; avoiding that kind of language will go a long way in making your meaning clear.
posted by Forktine at 4:34 PM on September 20, 2008

Calling other women promiscuous whores isn't cool at all.

Mersades123 didn't do that. Please calm down.

How do I express myself in an online dating site when it comes to being gifted with the privilege of passion (overly so)... So as to convey the message that I am a sensuous and passionate woman in the traditional sense and not a promiscuous whore either.

You might want to say something like, "I love romance and intimacy, but only with the right person; I am very selective about the men I let into my life. If you are a sensitive, cultivated person with a strong passionate side, send me a message. If you're looking for a quick, filthy fling, I'm not for you."
posted by jayder at 4:40 PM on September 20, 2008

I would use such keywords and euphemisms as "fiery," "wild," "enthusiastic," "adventurous," and "hot-blooded." A "woman of appetite," perhaps.

But then again, I don't know what "attracting the wrong attention" even MEANS, so here, here's a grain of salt you should take.

If you're like me when you call yourself passionate, you could easily say that you like to live live richly, you love to laugh and cry, promise to love as well as argue, and hate to do things half-way.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 5:21 PM on September 20, 2008

[a few comments removed - unless the OP comes back I think metatalk might be better for these debates]
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:36 PM on September 20, 2008

"REALLY PRETTY, SMART, CEO— athletic, trim, divorced, with ever-present dash of self-deprecating humor. Gracious, irreverent, hot ticket—fun, warm, and intellectual."

Don't include a string of adjectives like this example. It conveys almost no meaning and takes a lot of space to do it. (adjective strings are one of my pet peeves when I read personals)
posted by 517 at 6:57 PM on September 20, 2008

I like jayder's wording and Ambrosia Voyeur's adjective suggestions.

And I think that everyone has jumped on you enough about the "promiscuous whore" thing, and you've got the idea that slut-shaming is Not Cool Here.

Moving beyond that to respond to what I think you were trying to say: The thing is that no matter what you write you're still going to get people responding to your ad who are going to suggest things that you're not interested in. It might be couples who want you to join them for a threesome, even though that's not what you're advertising an interest in; it might be (and almost certainly will be) married or partnered people looking for an affair, no matter how clear you are about stating that you're looking for dating or a long-term relationship with someone who's single; it will almost certainly be at least one person who wants to shit on you, or who wants you to shit on them, completely regardless of how little your ad suggested anything scatological.

So the important thing is that you feel like the ad describes you and the way you feel about your sexuality.
posted by Sidhedevil at 7:28 PM on September 20, 2008

As a woman on dating sites I can say that if you are female you are bound to attract the wrong kind of attention at some point; the people who are looking for quick hookups and the like don't really care how delicately you parse your words. Write a profile that you feel represents you. If you are funny, write something witty, well-read, talk about books or throw in literary references to illustrate your self-description, etc. Figure out what you mean by "a sensuous and passionate woman in the traditional sense" and try writing it as many different ways as you can until you are happy. Your profile can be edited indefinitely so put something up, see what you catch with that bait, and if you don't like it edit your profile again until you get what you want. Just be prepared to say "no thank you" eloquently.

On another note, I find that many people who contact me clearly haven't read my profile at all so maybe it's really not necessary to sweat the words at all!
posted by kenzi23 at 8:19 PM on September 20, 2008 [1 favorite]

I want to nth that you are going to get the "wrong" kind of attention no matter what your phrasing. I put in an ad to a dating site, stating very clearly that I was in the market for a serious relationship, I was the monogamous type, and absolutely NO married men need reply. Well, guess what? "I'm married but want some on the side" appeared in my inbox anyway!

Write an ad that sounds intelligent and describes you - what you like and are interested in. And try to keep it positive instead of a list of "no's." "I enjoy good books, dinner and a movie, playing Scrabble, and romantic evenings with the man I love" type of stuff instead of "no this, that or the other." "I'm clean and sober, you are too" instead of "No drinking! No drugs!" You get the idea. Positive is always best.
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 7:11 AM on September 21, 2008 [1 favorite]

I'd like to ask if there's a reason why you feel you need to put this in your personals ad? Is it a deal breaker for you if the guy doesn't match up to you, horizontally speaking? Or is it something you feel is a trait that will help entice someone out there to contact you? Basically, are you putting this out as a warning or an persuasion?

If you're just trying to find someone who's compatible with you sensually--I'd think that sort of thing could be figured out during the first date, or even during the email phase. Guys are generally in two boats: those that are very forward (doesn't sound like it'd be a problem for you), or guys that are worried about scaring off their date--but if you bring it up, you should get a quick sense of where they stand in that department.

And if you've had a bad experience with someone who had a lower libido than you, and you're trying to prevent that--I would personally advise not putting "baggage" out in your personal's ad. It just makes you start looking like this guy.

I'm guessing you have several mefi mail's waiting for you from this posting anyway--you might not have to worry about those dating sites after all ;)
posted by jsmith77 at 9:36 AM on September 21, 2008

As a female who did the online dating thing for 3 years, I can safely say that it doesn't matter at all what you write in your profile. Most dating sites have dropdown or text boxes for age, location, looking for ___, etc. It seems like 95% of the men I encountered did a search to match their criteria those things and then contacted me if they liked my picture. Almost never did they reference anything I wrote and most had an entirely different idea of what I was looking for. My now-fiance even admits that he didn't read my profile, he just saw that I was in his age range and locational radius, thought I was attractive-looking, and fired off an email. Fortunately, we turned out to be a match, but it wasn't because of my profile.

If I were ever to jump back into the dating pool I'd write my profile in rot13 just to see if anyone paid attention.
posted by desjardins at 3:27 PM on September 21, 2008

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