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A strange comparison.

My experience being on OK Cupid reminds me a bit of my time spent in the gay baths, especially the West Side Club.

Still with me? Good.

The West Side Club, on West 20th Street,  is one of the two remaining gay bathhouse establishments left in NYC. The other is the equally aptly named East Side Club, seeing as that one is on East 57th Street. Due to its location, right on the limits of Chelsea, the clientèle tends to lean towards the muscle/jock variety - very Chelsea boy.

To say I did not do well there would be a mild statement at best.

Being slightly overweight, frightfully pale, and certainly lacking in the all-important muscle-to-body-fat ratio, I kind of slipped into the shadows there. Man after man would walk on by... very rarely did I get a glance, because I was not the muscle man they were looking for. Ah, c'est la vie.

That's not the point of this comparison, however.

As time went by, I made an interesting observation. The same guys kept walking through the halls. In perfectly executed loops around the club, they would walk clutching their towels and gazing aimlessly over the darkened hallways. They would look at the same guys in the same open rooms, and yet no action would take place. They would just keep walking, searching for someone new to gaze at and then ignore.

OK Cupid has a match making selection. You put in your preferences, and the program gives you a list of your best matches, ranked by their compatability. While a lovely idea in concept, this then results in an identical list of ranked matches, and very rarely changes. Every time you click the button asking it to "Match Me!", you get the same list. Included on my top 10 list are 2 personal friends, and an ex. The rest are people whom I don't know, but who's profiles I have read exhaustively, as they come up every time.

It's just like the West Side Club. You see the same people over and over, and nothing happens.


( 22 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 5th, 2008 12:51 am (UTC)
You have people waiting in LINE for you
...why do you need OK cupid?
For amusement, probably :)
Mar. 5th, 2008 02:05 am (UTC)
Mar. 5th, 2008 02:54 am (UTC)
So in the past month, I've had FOUR PEOPLE come to me and say, "Hey, Frolicon is coming up and you and Boymeat are pretty tight, right? So like...do you think you can get me a SCENE with him????

I live approximately 500 miles away, and people are coming to me trying to get dates with him.

I very politely tell them that yes Boymeat is a good friend, but I am not authorized to book dates on his behalf...
Mar. 5th, 2008 03:07 am (UTC)
(Deleted comment)
Mar. 5th, 2008 12:57 am (UTC)
Admittedly I did much better and had lots of fun at the East Side Club. Very few "gods," just nice normal guys looking to let loose before they headed home.
Mar. 5th, 2008 01:25 am (UTC)
Ok Cupid... oy. There are also the people who woo at you constantly like braying dogs. I've ignored you the last 10 times you wooed me. Are we done yet? I took out the overt references I had about sex and suddenly.. my random messages have almost stopped! Ok Cupid is weird and frustrating. I have no idea why I keep trying these sites.
Mar. 5th, 2008 01:30 am (UTC)
I had a moment of "He's on OKCupid? Why the heck doesn't he show up on MY match list," but then I figured it out (you're a smoker). But yes, this is definitely a flaw in the system. Still, OKCupid gave me Risa so I'm inclined to feeling kindly towards it.
Mar. 5th, 2008 01:40 am (UTC)
Isn't/wasn't there a Wall Street Baths?
Mar. 5th, 2008 03:08 am (UTC)
I believe there was one at some point. But I don't think it is around any more.
Mar. 5th, 2008 04:37 am (UTC)
The Wall Street Sauna was closed by the city in 2004 by the NYC Health Dept for unsafe sexual activity. Same reason El Mirage is gone now also.
Mar. 5th, 2008 04:41 am (UTC)
Did they allow sex in open rooms? The whole reason why the East and West Side clubs have made it as long as they have is because all the sex is behind closed doors in the rooms, thus inspectors can't see it. Thus why El Mirage got shut down.
Mar. 5th, 2008 04:45 am (UTC)
Unknown. I was never actually there, though I walked by it to work every day for years. Outside of the Bondage Club & Paddles, all my bathhouse experience is out of NYC.
Mar. 5th, 2008 02:14 am (UTC)
the clientèle tends to lean towards the muscle/jock variety - very Chelsea boy.

Boring. Where does one find the twinks?

As far as OK Cupid, though...can't you answer more questions to improve your matches? :)
Mar. 5th, 2008 02:32 pm (UTC)
Sometimes I think about opening a bath house... one side women and one side men and in the middle is where they all can meet.
Mar. 5th, 2008 04:27 pm (UTC)
There was a place like that in San Francisco back in the early '80's. All done up in redwood, with sunny, multi-level atrium spaces. Can't remember the name of it though. Only remember taking this girl I knew in art school who was a hot little slut.
I'm almost surprised to hear that West Side Club is still open.
Mar. 5th, 2008 05:04 pm (UTC)
I really wonder if it's possible and have it kinda underground with no cops knocking on the door.
Mar. 5th, 2008 07:09 pm (UTC)
Well, like I stated above, the two existing baths in NYC have made it this long because all nudity and sex take place behind the closed doors of the rooms that customers rent. With the doors shut, there is no activity for the inspectors to witness, thus, no rules broken. All they see is a bunch of guys walking around with towels around their waists or sitting in their rooms with the door open.
Mar. 5th, 2008 02:38 pm (UTC)
That's so true and hilarious.

And also, wtf I'm on OKCupid and you've never shown up on my matches.
Mar. 5th, 2008 07:10 pm (UTC)
I guess OK Cupid doesn't think we're a match. :-(
Mar. 5th, 2008 07:56 pm (UTC)
those dummies.
Mar. 5th, 2008 03:45 pm (UTC)
OK Cupid too???

LOL. No wonder you never have time to answer emails :P

Your description of the bath sounds a LOT like most of my experience at Paddles, ROFL!
Mar. 6th, 2008 12:08 am (UTC)
I used to have an account there, but I deleted and for that very reason. Everyone I would talk to would eventually just stop talking to me and I keep seeing the same people come up who were either people who stopped talking to me or people who never talked to me to begin with.

As for my track record...I did meet too of my ex's there. One I'm friends with still and the other I hope I never see or hear from again.

I'm tempted to drop CollarMe, too, except there's more people there whom I actually correspond with on a regular basis.
( 22 comments — Leave a comment )