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BBW Dating:
The Webmaster's
Tale

Brought to you by
"Ianardo's BBW Art Gallery".
Ianardo's

Jump to the 2nd article:
The Bad, the Worse, and the Totally Nuts! (Or Ianardo's online dating memoirs)

Jump to the 3rd article:
Bad Dating Sites!


Lonely Hearts - 1990s style

Back before the internet, there were lonely hearts adverts in newspapers. In the late 1980s, I used to read accounts of advertisers getting swamped with replies when using these services. That sounded rather unlikely, but it did get me thinking: Most of the men advertising locally specifically requested "slim" ladies only and none that I saw asked for any other build. What would the response be if I expressed a preference for "cuddly"?

In the meantime, a local dating agency started up, called "Curves and Cupid", aimed at curvy ladies and their admirers. I applied just in time to find that they had closed down!

In the late spring of 1992 (when I was 26), the local paper here in Leicester, UK, offered a deal for running a personals ad for a few days, plus placing the ad in the weekly free paper that covered the whole county. So I went for it. Anyone replying did not have to pay anything, other than their postage stamp.

Thin response

The response was not what I had hoped for! Some replies were scrawled on torn off scraps of paper, in handwriting that resembled that of a 5 year old. And English grammar to match! Other respondents had not actually read my advert properly. Some of these were thin ladies. Some of them were not compatible, even though I'd given some insight into my personality. Some replies turned out to be dating services promoting themselves, which was always a disappointment when you think you've got a proper reply and it turns out to be junk-mail.

When it came to making contact with some of these ladies, things went further downhill! I phoned a few of them. One got bad tempered while I was taking a few seconds to suggest a time and place to meet. Talk about a short fuse! I phoned another lady and her husband answered! Sometimes, very young children would answer, which made things difficult when they were too young to understand and I did not know how they were related to the person I wanted to speak to (they weren't always sons and daughters). Another one, rather irritatingly, said she deliberately concealed being a single mum just to make sure I phoned. Concealing important information, especially in that way, is certainly not good etiquette. Anyway, I agreed to meet the "poor-etiquette lady" one bright spring evening. I hung around nervously at the venue for about 2 hours and she never showed up. And she did not apologise when I phoned her again, which ticked me off.

I arranged to meet another lady who was 15 years older than me. Even back then, I did not like the notion of placing an age restriction on who can reply, because you just never know what nice person you might exclude. This lady also did not show up on the day! At least she did apologise. Actually she did sort of turn up, and I spotted her in the distance, but she had lost her nerve. So we managed to meet up another day, but it turned out that she was married! She complained that my advert did not make it clear if I was seeking just a friend or a girl friend. Well, when you see a lonely-hearts ad for "boy seeks girl", you don't need it to be explained in pantomime!

I prefer writing to phoning, and think it's fun to have pen-friends. So I was pleased that most of the ladies had provided their home addresses. That may not be good safety practice on their part, but obviously I knew that I was not going to be a bother to them! The ones I expressed an interest in, mostly failed to respond. There were some other ladies who I politely turned down, returning their photos. One who did respond told me off for having interests and tastes for older things, and that I should be appreciating new things! The impertinence staggered me. She put a friend of hers in touch with me, and the friend seemed so much nicer, but their connection put me off.

Take two

After a few months to recover from this experience, and having had time to think over my strategy, I advertised again the following November. The quality of responses was largely the same, but a few seemed much better. Most notable was a charming lady named Beth. I wrote a positive letter back to her and she promptly phoned and we arranged to meet up in town. And she turned up! She was very lovely indeed, as an understanding and accepting person, as well as very pretty. Unfortunately, my own plans for this lonely-hearts dating lark were not well organised. It felt a little awkward arranging to date 2 or more ladies at once, even though it tends to be inevitable in that situation. Also, I had planned how best to do the first date, but not how to follow that up with someone I liked. Great planning, huh? Worse still, I thought Beth was probably bored with me, and inadvertently may have given the impression I wasn't interested. I did not hear back from her, having said that there are other ladies in the queue for a first date.

And there were. Another lady sounded like a fun person, from her letter. I struggled a bit with her hand-writing, and wondered if I had read her age correctly as 51? Not that I minded getting to know a lady of any age, as long as she's a nice person. Out of all the ladies I contacted by phone (before and ever since), she was the only one to turn up for our rendez-vous. To my intense frustration, my arrival was delayed. It was an evening when there was late night Christmas shopping in town and lights to admire. I aimed for an early bus, to be safe, only to have it arrive forty minutes late. Admittedly the driver went like the wind and did the 25 minute journey in a hair-raising 11 minutes! I then ran through town, but was too late. I knew what her bus service was, and nipped over and observed a bus departing with a lady answering her description. So I phoned, apologised and we eventually met up another evening.

It was an awkward meeting. She said virtually nothing, and my various questions were answered very briefly. She may just have been nervous. She looked younger than 51, and while I wasn't going to ask her age, I did ask about her family, and she mentioned a son who was 31 (5 years older than me!). I wasn't put off by age issues, but she seemed so disinterested that I lost interest too.

I corresponded with two other ladies, but one vanished after I mentioned meeting. The other one, Christine, I foolishly broke off with. At that time, I was overly sensitive to even moderately bad language and took exception to some of her writing. With hindsight, I was pretty daft to do that, and if she's reading, then I'm very sorry!

1993

Spurred on by those near successess, I tried again in the spring of '93. That turned out to be a very bad mistake! One reply was from a man who preferred cuddly ladies who evidently had not read my advert very well! Another was a lady's job application sent to my box number because of her terrible hand-writing. So I forwarded it to the correct one. On two separate days I received junkmail from the most ridiculous dating service I've ever come across. I think it had a membership fee of 40 (UKP). The idea was that if you happened to see a man/woman that you fancied, and they happened to be in a carpark getting into their car... and they happened to have that club's membership sticker on their car, then you could contact them via the club!!!

It got worse. I got three replies from ladies already heard from the previous year, including one who never bothered to reply previously, and also she of the "husband answering the phone" story. The previous year, she admitted to having sent her reply to the advert below mine. This time she had done it again, but the recipient kindly sent it on to me.

I spotted an ad from a cuddly lady in another local paper and answered it and ended up meeting for a chat. She dressed in a skirt suit, taking the whole thing seriously, was very nice and I enjoyed our chat. We didn't really click, and I suspect a 12 year age difference may have put her off anyway (she being the older of us).

I had been thinking about contacting Beth again for some time, and finally decided that I had nothing to lose. I was delighted to get a positive reply and struck up a letter correspondence. We discussed meeting again, delayed by her mother's ill health. I cheekily asked for another photo of her, and she duly obliged, looking quite stylish in her summer plumage. That photo formed the basis of the sketch of her within this website's art gallery. The last thing I expected, was for her to fail to turn up for our rendez-vous. We had re-scheduled a few times prior, so I double checked her letters to confirm I had the time and date right. I waited for an explanation before finally writing twice and giving up with no word back. In later years when on the internet, it became almost routine for ladies to not respond at all, or else to suddenly stop writing and to ignore all further messages. So I suppose that this was my first taster of that scenario.

I then got back in touch with a lady from my very first advert. The one who got bad tempered when I was thinking over a meeting time/date. Remember her? Jeez, what WAS I thinking?! When we spoke on the phone, her young son screamed abuse at me down the phone repeatedly, and she treated it as normal, acceptible behaviour (and she was a child-minder!). And her abrupt manner was as bad as I remembered it to be. So I politedly called it off again, making some excuse (I could hardly say that she was horrible!), and predictably I got an irate phone call telling me not to contact her again. Err... wasn't that the general idea of my request? And why would I want to have any contact with such an awful person?

1996

I used to read the singles adverts in the Saturday issue of the Times. They were frequently hilarious! The women's ads had wishlists specifying tall handsome gents who were well travelled, charming, highly educated, and with high-flying careers (astronauts might do). Good grief, do any such men really exist? Apparently yes. I took a look at the men's ads and found them full of good looking charming, well educated (and of course, modest!) gents. Despite the relatively high age group of that paper's readership, there was still nothing about cuddly ladies to be seen, so I thought I would be really adventurous and give it a go. I received several responses. Some were nice and long and well written as I had hoped for. Others were one sentence postcards. I wrote to a few of them, and only one replied, but she and I were not compatible. As before, most of the ladies were older than myself. Having always disliked using the phone for first contact, I hated it even more after the earlier bad experiences in 1992. That was sad, because I might otherwise have followed up some more replies. One lady who I did phone, seemed like a lot of fun. We chatted mostly about dating experiences. This topic can be very revealing about the person you are talking to. She mentioned a dating service for larger people called "Plump Partners" which I had seen promoted on TV. Her problem was that she did not want a cuddly gent. She described meeting a fellow through that service, and how when he approached, "... he blotted out the sun...", which I thought was a cruel comment. What's more, she jumped back into her car and left him, poor chap. That was an awful thing to do. Then she moaned about younger guys still living with their mums, so I did not mention that I was doing so myself! That is such a common mistake by women, but I've ranted enough about that topic elsewhere!

I did try the Times on a later occasion and phoned a very charming lady named Jilly, who was a milliner. But when she said a customer had come in and she needed to hang up, and noted my phone number, I just guessed that it might have been an excuse. Whatever the reason, she never called back.

1997 - One last rendez-vous

The local paper dropped their old offers for running singles adverts for multiple days, but I tried a single ad and got very few replies. This time, I reigned in my usual eagerness to meet, and spent several days having phone chats with one seemingly nice lady. She asked about my interests and we got to know each other. As usual, my mention of an interest in fashion, prompted a sexist response, as some women assume men's interest to be limited to underwear. When we did meet on a hot July afternoon, she was totally different in person. Nice looking and attractive style, but responded to all my interests by saying she's not interested! Then followed a very sexist rant about how all men have "obsessions" and that women don't. Then in a lovely twist to the plot, she spotted a shop selling cat memorabilia and she got very excited. My goodness, she has an "obsession". And there's nothing wrong with an enthusiasm for cats, as long as you don't slag off men for having any other passions. She even admitted to being basically "anti-men" and maybe can't get on with them. Hmmmm... is she just trying to put me off, or is this the real her? And if it's the real her, what is she doing having a date?! She tried to prompt me to retaliate with anti women comments, but I was not going to be childish. I was disappointed, but politely walked her back to her car. In a classic case of "mixed messages", she then tried to persuade me to let her drive me home. Thanks... but no thanks!

By this time, the days of fun lonely-hearts was over. Phone messaging took over from good old fashioned letter writing, as the commercial interests moved in. To reply to adverts, one had to phone a premium rate number (typically at 1.00 UKP per minute) to reply to an ad, and also for the advertiser to retrieve messages. These pricey calls always started with a recorded dialogue of instructions, spoken slowly and repeated, just to run up your phone bill!

Three years later, I ventured onto the internet, discovered the term "BBW", and my world turned upside-down, although there were few UK ladies online at the time. But it did at least bring back the fun of written correspondence.


Ianardo's

The Bad, the Worse, and the Totally Nuts!
(or Ianardo's online dating memoirs)


I suspect that my anecdotes of online dating are tame compared to many people's experiences, but amusing none-the-less. But firstly I would like to make a couple of points:

1) Ladies have their 'fair' share of bad experiences too, as dating sites do unfortunately attract parasites and other unsavoury characters, male and female. Common complaints about men at these sites include those who ask for a lady's bra size; those who get straight into intimate topics; those who assume ladies are desperate if they are using a dating site. If you are a lady who is new to online dating, then try not to be put off by these idiots. You have to wade through some rubbish before finding the gems.

2) The webmaster has also experienced success via certain sites over the years, although this has involved perseverence. The moral of the story being that you only need to find one good/suitable partner, so the presence of a few loonies does not really matter.

And now for the fun. Names have not been revealed!

The Genius

It must be handy being a genius and I've read a few profiles of ladies claiming high intelligence and their long search for a gent who can match (or almost match) their intellectual level. The funny thing is that their profiles don't provide any evidence of their great gift. The truth is that people who have a very positive gift or characteristic, don't have to tell others about it, because it will be evident.

I once made the mistake of responding to such a smart lady here in the UK. We had a brief correspondence. I was expecting nice long messages with plenty of worthwhile content and well written. What I received were one or two sentence messages, and sometimes asking questions about things I had already told her. After getting frustrated myself, she sent a message claiming that our correspondence was "a one-way street" and that I needed to "communicate"! I replied that her first point was quite accurate. Sensing that she might be unbalanced, I took the precaution of blocking further communication (past experience makes me cautious).

The Non-Genius!

Shortly before I started this website in early 2001, an American lady contacted me via the old "BBW City" personals. All her emails were very short, poorly written, and almost devoid of any content. It was a relief when she seemed to stop writing for a while, but then she emailed to ask why I hadn't emailed. It was her turn to email! She kept repeating this strange scenario. As always with these trans-atlantic friends, I made it clear that I already had other female email friends in the USA. But this lady objected and did not want me corresponding with other ladies. So, I'm expected to ditch my existing female friends when I never approached her in the first place? I don't think so!

Then I had an idea. I was about to launch this website with its first set of BBW portraits. So I told this pesky lady about it, and added that I would soon be swamped with female fans!!! She vanished!

Sob story

I made the mistake of feeling sorry for one lady, from what she wrote in her profile, and I actually messaged her with some moral support and good wishes. She deleted my message unread!

The Devoted Fan

I first encountered this American lady running an online group to try and hook up BBWs and admirers who were serious about relationships and marriage. I left when she and another lady posted some appalling insults about thin men. She then chased me up and apologised, and I accepted and thought that would be the end of the matter. But she kept trying to get me to re-join her group, which I did not do. She then joined the Yahoo group I used to have for my Ianardo art and asked if my portrait was being used without permission on another group. It was and I joined the offending group to request the owner to remove it, only to find that this lady was the owner herself!

She then remained active in my group, posting off-topic items. Rather annoyingly she would refer to me as "bf" (boy-friend) when I had made it clear I had started dating someone. She tried to keep some email correspondence going, but she and I were not well suited, and I still had on my mind her old comments about thin men. On the one hand she seemed to be trying to become my girl friend, ignoring my hints of non-interest. On the other hand she seemed to want a portrait doing, but without the small matter of actually paying for one.

She then went bananas after she read a post by me ranting about dating site experiences and frustrations. In a muddled response, she claimed that I only ever draw large busted women! Er... I draw the women who come to me and commission portraits! And she thought I was refusing to date her for similar aesthetic reasons. Err... I already had a girl friend, and had publicised the fact. The rebuffals from my female fans at the group were hilarious, but can't be repeated here for reasons of strong language!

Give Me a Chance!

On one of the UK dating sites for BBWs (since closed) I came across a seemingly nice lady. In my first message I told her what I do for a living, which was my BBW portrait art. Her reply (the first and only message from her) stated that she is suspicious of any men claiming to be photographers or artists, because she believes that they are only writing to her to get her to model for them! How about giving me the benefit of the doubt, silly lady?! I informed her that I regularly receive offers of modelling, but that anyone who wants a portrait has to pay the artist. And my purpose at the dating site was to find a girl friend. When one has to list statements of the obvious, it says a lot about the lady concerned.

The Non-Art Lover

A very tall cuddly American found via one of the "Tall" dating sites seemed like a lot of fun. Until I introduced her to my line of work (and passionate interest) by showing her this art gallery of my beautiful stylish ladies. Her reply was that "I'm not interested in looking at pics of other women"! Duh! There is a long-winded term often applied to folk who cannot grasp art or creativity, but I prefer to simply call them stupid.

Having A Check-Up

I met one British lady online via a BBW forum, which can be a nice way to meet. We started to email, but only got as far as two or three messages when she tried to do some checking up on me, which actually brought her behaviour into disrepute. She managed to track down my phone number and did a surprise call. I was out, but my late mother answered, and finding a lady with my surname (and a Mrs. too) this lady apparantly concluded that I was really married! Heck, I'd never been engaged let alone married (or lived together as married). She then posted forum messages about guys who are not honest about their situation.

In fact, in those earlier internet days, it was common for some women to create problems by trying to find or expose dishonest men, because they were sometimes making false accusations through their own foolishness.

Don't Forget to Write

My biggest pet-hate with dating site experiences is getting no replies to messages even if it's free to reply. The vast majority of ladies I contacted never replied, including all of those whose profiles stated that they would reply to every message. Sometimes excuses are published for this type of bad manners, but all are quite lame. I was once accused of not replying to someone, even though I had. As email can very occasionally go astray, it makes it all the more frustrating if one does not know for sure if someone received a message. The same problem applies to those who start a correspondence, but then stop replying suddenly without a "goodbye" or explanation.

One UK lady who suddenly stopped replying, got my interest again later at another site. Her second profile had a rant in it about men who suddenly "just stop writing"! I caught up with her later at a third site where I reminded her that we had crossed paths before, which prompted another lame excuse. More amusing was her request for basic information about me, even though she only had to press the link to my profile to read it - and should have done so before replying. In fact she checked my profile after replying and then stopped writing again! Talk about hypocrasy? For good measure, I found a fourth profile of hers which was rather offensive to men like myself who have to wear a false tooth due to an accident. That made it easier for me to write a tongue-in-cheek message politely ending our corresondence (such as it was), emphasising that I'm not one of those chaps who "just stops writing"! Her response was that she'd been let down by me. Whatever you say, young lady!

Too Much Information

I came across a profile which suggested that the lady was nice, caring and intelligent, except that one of her favourite journalist/writers happened to be one of my most hated. However, one should not reject a potential soul-mate on such grounds, and I decided to write and learn more about her. She replied, but her message opened with a harsh statement about how rude men are on the dating site. I thought how rude she was to put that rant in my face as an opening line! Not a good start. My hopes faded, but to give her a fair chance, I applied my "too much information" technique. That is where I provide more in-depth facts about myself and my interests than I would normally do within just the first couple of messages. My hobbies tend to be unusual/quirky, and sometimes put off those with closed minds. My reasoning to this approach was that if she's as bad as I suspected, then it would put her off from writing any more (and good riddance), but if she was not put off, then it would show that she was a better person than I had thought at first. Not surprisingly, she never wrote back again.

There's Something Wrong with Everyone... Except Her

Back in 2002 I found a potential lady friend in my own county here in the UK. Sadly things did not get off to a good start. While I was getting interested in size-acceptance and all the online fun surrounding BBWs and their admirers online, she had very different views. She frowned upon larger ladies who wear tight fitting clothes. What business is it of hers what other ladies wish to wear? This lady herself wore very baggy clothing. There's a distinction here between "baggy" and clothes that are loose, but flowing and stylish. Of course, that is her business what she wears, but real impertinence to moan about other ladies' preferences. That impertinent attitude then prevailed into what she thought of me. She considered my home-body and not-so-sociable lifestyle to be a character flaw, and considered it her duty to correct my 'faults'!

Sadly, there are a few ladies around who think it is their duty to make men into better people. It is quite arrogant of them to think they know what's best, and stupid of them not to see how being different is perfectly acceptable. Maybe it is prejudice and lack of tolerance, which shows that it is they who have the character flaws. Getting back to the local lady, I also (as always) asked her to look at my BBW art gallery. After all it is my business and passion and I also like to find a lady who has a feel for creativity. I had to prompt her later for any kind of feedback on visiting my gallery. Eventually she said, of my portraits: "There are a lot of them"!!! I realise she was being tactful and not saying that she did not like or approve of my art. I don't waste my time discussing matters with those who can't grasp creativity.

The Joke's on Me, but not You

An American lady had written a very witty profile including a list of daft things that men say on their profiles. We had an entertaining correspondence for a few weeks, but she was getting increasingly bossy and bad-tempered if I did not follow her advice. Unfortunately she was getting facts about my life muddled so her "orders" were mis-informed, apart from the obvious impertinence of a new friend interfering. I then wrote a tongue-in-cheek list of daft things women write in their profiles, which was inspired by her own profile comments. She took it to be a serious moan and went nuts! So I gave her an equally good telling off, and forbade her from writing again. Geez, I don't tolerate that from strangers let alone friends!

The Law is on Her Side

A local-ish UK lady provided a fairly pleasant few weeks of emailing, having found her on one of the old free BBW dating sites. At least the messages started off as pleasant. Then she rather apprehensively revealed that her profession was a magistrate, and expressed a worry that I might run away, put off by this. I had no problem with her profession. I did develop a problem with her behaviour as soon as she had revealed this part of her life. She went on and on about how wonderful she is at her job and all the special skills she has for it. Apart from being irritating, folk who go overboard with claims of being great at their jobs, are often among the worst. It is easy to understand why this is so. Anyone who thinks that they are very good at something, is less likely to learn and improve, and thus will never become good. It is an attitude problem.

Not that there is anything wrong with some pride in one's work. I might have tolerated all the self-praise if she had treated me with more respect. What I experienced from that point onwards, was a constant "point scoring" exercise. Always trying to be one-up on the other person. That means putting me down. In this particular case, she was frequently trying to say that I had put my foot in my mouth, when I was writing about my life experiences. Simple facts. She was also the first (and still the only) person to find ammusement in one of my worst life experiences from many years ago. I was relieved when she stopped writing, but was always concerned that someone like this could have a job of such authority.

And Finally...

Just to show that my experiences have not all been negative, I have actually got to know, and sometimes to meet, some really lovely and charming ladies. These are both American and British. Some have remained as supportive email friends and fans of my art. Some have been girl friends who I have dated and enjoyed their company. At the time of writing (July 2011), I have a steady girl friend* met online, who I have known for a year so far, and she is exceptionally lovely, caring, accepting and stunningly beautiful! She is as amused and amazed as I am when seeing the silliest wishlists to be found among women's profiles. E.g. Requests for no-one who wears white socks; uniformed men only; no-one over-weight.... or skinny; blue eyes only; no false teeth/limbs/hair. I'm so lucky to have found a lady infinitely more compassionate (and sensible) than the writers of those daft profiles!

*Update: I married the above mentioned girl-friend in November 2013. Success!
*Update again: I got divorced in April 2015. I can't blame the dating site though!


Pet Hates!

Having proved that one can eventually find a really wonderful lady through the personals sites, I thought it might be fun to look back at some of my pet hates. That is, those annoying things that came up repeatedly when browsing profiles and also when communicating with potential girl friends. These are not isolated incidents:

- Those who don't respond to a first message, even when it is free to do so and the profiles are still active. My messages were always polite, respectful, cheerful, and very carefully crafted. Sometimes I would message twice, via different sites just in case my original message did not get through. These were sometimes to ladies who'd stated that all messages will be answered. Sometimes excuses are made within profiles (or at forums) for not replying, which are totally lame. Some of the better ladies gets piles of replies, but organise a set response for politely turning most of the men down.

- Those who deleted my messages unread, after I had very carefully written them (and in one case, offered some advice for a problem her profile mentioned)!

- Profiles firmly stating that they want nothing to do with men with what they perceive as physical defects. Typically, false teeth, lack of hair, false limbs, as well as lack of height, too thin, too cuddly, etc.

- Profiles that tell you to copy something onto your own profile to show that you care about some worthy cause. I don't need to prove myself as a caring person, and copying some nonesense onto my profile would not prove it anyway (or help said cause).

- Profiles insisting on no men who wear white socks and other strange fashion related requests. What sort of priorities are those, when seeking a lifetime soulmate?

- Profiles expressing anger at men who put them on "Favourites" lists and then don't get in touch. Obviously, these women are clueless as to what the "Favourites" lists are for, while there are a number of really obvious (and legitimate) reasons for not getting in touch (duh!!!). And there are loads and loads of women who make this complaint!

- Those who abandon their profiles instead of deleting them, leaving countless people to waste their time and money trying to make contact. I came across some women who would keep making new profiles, without deleting old ones, and not responding to messages either!

- Profiles ranting about men who can't spell... but there are mis-spellings in the profile! Okay, maybe that's just funny, rather than a pet hate. But there are arrogant sounding profiles that put down some men, only to reveal that the lady writer has the same shortcomings. Come to think of it, that's funny too!

- I've come across a lot of ladies complaining that many men put up out of date photos, showing them when they were younger. But how do they know what the man's age was in the photos (unless the guy has owned up to an outdated photo)? I once received a complaint that my photo showed me as a teenager. It was in fact an up to date shot of me in my early 40s! I'm sure men are guilty of this stupid moan too, since some women's profiles emphasise that their photos are up to date, and that they happen to look younger.

- Before most people had joined the internet world, I used to have email friends from far flung places. On a few occasions, the friendship would become very close and last for weeks or months. Then the lady would suddenly stop writing without warning. Had I said something out of line? Had she fallen ill? Had she died? I was always worried. In most cases, I eventually discovered that each of these ladies had found a new boy friend. So why not say "I've found a boy friend and won't be emailing again"? I would have wished them the best of good fortune, if they had had the courtesy to write and let me know.

- Those who demand acceptance for their appearance, and claim that they dislike judgemental people... and then write an absurd wishlist for their dream guy. And put down certain groups of men in a judgemental way!.


Ianardo's

Bad Dating sites!

(Names have not been revealed. Needless to say, none of the sites described are linked to from here.)

Do it our way or be punished!

Back in 2005, I tried a site that had become very popular due to some TV coverage. I was already a veteran of BBW dating sites, and could see several problems with it, but stuck with it because there were so many active members. But there was one really serious fault. Most commercial sites used a straight-forward system. If you had a profile, and wanted to contact another person, you had to become a paid-up member, then you wrote your message, and hopefully ended up in contact with a potential friend/lover. Some sites would insist that the recipient of a message had to be a paid up member before they could access incoming mail. Both versions worked fine.

The site in question allowed non-paying members to receive and read mail. BUT (!), the site guidlines stated that you were not allowed to enclose any contact information in any of your messages, and that they had software to detect any folk who broke this rule! Hold on... so how is anyone supposed to actually use the site for its purpose? The guidlines stated that you could only exchange contact information within their online chat-room. I contacted one of the staff and said that surely if the message sender and the recipient have forked out money to the site, they must be entitled to actually use it! The staff member said "yes", that is okay.

These strange rules were buried in a vast webpage of detailed guidelines, so how many users are likely to read through it all? I only read it because I vet sites for possible inclusion in my dating links page. At a much later stage, when I got fed up with the site, I started to push the limits to test what actually happens. I was aware that other people had been caught out by these rules and had been told off. When they detected that I had broken this rule, I received a message telling me off, and that I had been suspended (even though they had my money for membership to use the site for the purpose I was using it for). They added that if I sent a grovelling apology, and promised never to be naughty again, I would be allowed back in!

Let's rewind to early 2005. Having spotted numerous issues, I decided to highlight just two of them to the site owner. Complaining to any business often reveals just how good or bad that business is. The incompetent business people are always defensive to any criticism which is why they rarely improve. The first issue I raised was that the way their search results 'refreshed' the webpages, caused one to miss a lot of profiles (unless you browsed by opening new browser windows all the time). The CEO (don't you just love grand titles from a small business!) missed the point of what I was highlighting.

The second issue I highlighted was that ladies' profiles had rather muddled references to their dress size. If you're going ask for dress size at all, then surely just ask? The CEO thought that would be rude. So why ask at all? And these profiles also had descriptive references to body parts including the lady's bust. So is that any less rude?

The rest of his message was hilarious. He said that they had done market research and therefore "know how women think"! I'm sure they generally think a lot better than he does! I always take the "market research" phrase with a pinch of salt, because a lot of folk don't know what really thorough research is, or how to do it. And those with a passion for a topic, such as "size acceptance", will already have learnt a lot before going into business.

While awaiting the CEO's response, I tried to apply to their affiliate scheme. It was the only scheme I've come across where you have to write to them just to find out the details and terms of the scheme. It's usual to put these on a webpage (slaps fore-head!). They never replied.

The last time I was at that site, I decided to make use of their resident agony aunt. It was so rare to get a reply from any ladies at that site, that I thought I would ask the agony aunt why. Guess what? The agony aunt never replied either!!!

A few years later, they finally changed the system for members contacting each other, to the normal common-sense system. But they forgot to change the information in both webpages that explained things, leaving conflicting instructions.

Once you're in, you're in for life!

A lot of dating sites don't want you to delete your profile, because they like to show that they have lots of members. A few make it very hard to leave. One site had been completely unsuccessful for me, having made no contacts at all. One lady did send me an "I'm interested" notification, and her profile mentioned how rude it is not to reply to messages. I messaged her and she never replied! I decided to delete my profile but it took some searching to find out how to do this. One had to generate a security code that would be sent to my email address, and then enter the code on their site to delete the profile. A bit long-winded? I tried it, but the code did not appear in my email. I tried again only be to told by the site that you can only generate a code once every 24 hours! I spent a few days trying, and sometimes the code did appear, but failed to work when entered. After a great many attempts it finally worked.

Another site stated that they could not think of any possible reason why anyone would ever want to delete a profile, and recommended against it. The mind boggles! How about these reasons: 1) The website owner is a crook? 2) The website owner is an idiot? 3) The service is a rip-off? 4) The service is wonderful and I've found a partner. Thank you :)

Poaching

One of the most outrageous BBW dating sites started around 2000/2001. I noticed that its portfolio of profiles seemed to grow rapidly. I recognised a few ladies in the profiles and even knew some of them, but was puzzled that some of their details were incorrect. I soon twigged what was happening. At a time when there was a proliferation of free BBW dating sites, this new commercial one was poaching profiles from lots of free sites. Then they would charge people to message people, who had no idea that their profiles were on a paid site! And the site owner had evidently filled in missing profile details by making things up.

Huge... absolutely vast!

Don't get excited. My title doesn't describe a person, but claims of a dating organisation that I tried out within the first few years of the 21st century. Their database of profiles actually covered a great many niches, not just BBWs and admirers, and many of their profiles were old abandoned ones, with no dates showing when they were last active. Their feature for searching profiles was woefully inadequate, and only after a few years did they mention plans to improve it... maybe... some time. You could not search for basic options such as non-smokers.

They ran a scheme to rival traditional affiliate schemes, to promote and expand their business. They denounced affiliate schemes as no good. Their scheme required folk to buy a domain name and hook it up to their database of profiles. That meant you could effectively have your own personals site, perhaps attached to your own BBW related site. But the people in the profiles would have no idea of all the many and varied sites their profile was appearing in. It was one of the most expensive sites to join.

What a cut-throat business this is.

Around about 2003, I noticed another new commercial BBW dating site getting established. Unfortunately they had no scruples at all as to what methods they used to get widely established. The first thing I noticed was that they were spamming countless BBW community sites with promotions, often against individual group rules and to the annoyance of group owners. After they had got banned from many groups, there was a sudden and widespread influx of recommendations for their site, claiming to be from satisfied customers. If you've ever read review sites for consumer products, and seen several over-the-top glowing reviews posted within a short time-frame, then you will know exactly what was happening!

Next, they started to get more sneaky and post links to recommended products, such as books. But the link had some extra code that would cause a pop-under to appear taking you to their site. Meanwhile, they had been pestering me to add a link to them. At one stage, they asked me to add code to my website, so that when a visitor leaves it, a pop-under would appear for their website. Why on earth would I do that huge favour for them, while ruining my reputation with my visitors?

Eventually I did actually try their service just out of curiosity, but it was certainly not the best. Then they started an affiliate scheme with one of the affiliate companies. Since affiliate companies have rules of good conduct, this site finally started to behave in a civil manner, but it was too late as far as I was concerned, having earned my disrespect.

How much do you weigh?

Is that an impertinent question? Yes! I used to use a free dating site that was geared more towards the extra cuddly among the ladies. Unfortunately, it tended to attract feeders who annoyed some of the ladies (perhaps most of them). The owner was keen to have every profile showing the person's weight and height. It was the weights displayed that seemed to be attracting feeders, because if a lady reduced the weight figure, the harassments ceased.

The owner then sent out a message to some advertisers claiming that their weight appears to be incorrectly stated, in relation to their height. He gave them just 2 days to 'correct' the figure or else they would be deleted. And this message was sent out on a Friday, so it could easily be overlooked for 2 days. I actually received this offensive message myself! Yes, it was stated that I could not possibly be that light weight for my height. In fact, the figures were correct. So I'm a thin man - is that a crime? His site was permanently deleted from my links.





More pages of interest for full figured ladies:

Clothing Index UK

Clothing Index USA

Fitness Tips for Extra Cuddly Ladies

Fashion Advice

Relationship Issues

FAQ for this website

About this website


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Website started 4th March 2001