Trooper used to say, "Nothing good happens after midnight." He was quoting Tony Dungy, an NFL Coach who believed his athletes needed sleep, not parties.
I'm no athlete, but I do know I should not be allowed to access the internet after midnight. I'm far too tired at that hour to make good decisions. Honestly, if I'm awake after midnight, it's probably because I can't sleep. If I'm already upset or worried about something, I really shouldn't go anywhere near the internet.
Nothing good happens then, either.
A few weeks ago, I was feeling particularly bummed. I knew I was in a bad frame of mind, and really needed to shut down and sort out my feelings. Instead, I took to the internet for validation and distraction. Never a good idea.
I wanted to find a new way to meet singles. When I'm in that "poor me, single forever" mindset, meeting people takes priority. This should have been my first clue I was about to jump down the rabbit hole of bad choices.
After a quick google search, and a couple hershey kisses (my answer to alcohol), I joined a site called Adult Friend Finder. DO NOT visit that site from your work browser - don't even Google it. From the name alone, you can guess the point of the site, and why I'm not even adding a link.
A free membership lets you search, but not view profiles. I suspect that's partly because they want to really verify you're old enough to have a credit card before giving full access, and partly because sex sells.
I wasn't going to pay, but then curiosity got the best of me, so I signed up for one month. I did not (and have not) post a photo. I barely completed the profile.
But on a site like this, that doesn't matter. Everyone (men, women, couples...) is looking for one thing, and they have pretty broad standards about where it's found. My faceless profile was bombarded in a matter of minutes.
My first thought was, are they nuts? They don't even know what I look like, or anything. Then when random men just started inviting me over to their apartment, it became clear that they were stupid, or desperate, or have a death wish (in answer to your question - no, I didn't accept random invites from strangers).
After a while, though, I found that wasn't the case with everyone (some - definitely). Many are really just looking for casual, no-strings-attached fun - and they're being honest about it. Which, in a way, is refreshing. I'd guess about 80-85% of people on sites like Plenty of Fish are looking for the same - they're just not upfront.
Still - the site is a bit much for me. It's overwhelming, and not really geared towards what I want. Plus, it is really, really hard (pun intended) to take a guy seriously when his profile picture is his penis. Just staring at me.
Since I paid for 30 days anyway, I decided to stick around, if for nothing else, than research purposes. I mean, if I don't investigate, how will you all know if you want to join the site?
So, I'm taking one for the team. You're welcome.