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Q&A Responding To Others

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What would I need to know about this? If you like someone say, "Hi"?

Simple as it seems I wrote this because of the frustrations I have seen and heard about from others

First of all, think of the other person.

Think of what he is like and what other kind of responses he may be getting.

Also think of what the person is looking for? Are you what that person is looking for? If not, should be answering the ad?

Just as important as what you say when you place an ad, is what you say when you respond to an ad. It is kind of the same thing, you want to think before you just answer

What should I be thinking about?

Remember some people are looking, at the library, while at work or doing other things. They always cannot get back to you right away.

The most important thing to remember is you're not the only one answering the ad.

This is the most important thing to remember. You are actually in competition of sorts. And you may not be first in line. As harsh as this sounds it's true. You may be very hot. But there might be other people even hotter that are beating your time. So the thing is you don't want to come off as looking pushy.

For instance I knew of a man who was into the "dominant/submissive" thing. The whole point of this is he wants people that will "follow orders." But he would have people email him once and keep on doing it. Well you're not being submissive so this guy wouldn't get back to you. Why, because if you were being pushy you're not submissive. And that is what he was looking for. So don't MISS the whole point of the ad.

Sounds too complex, can't I just wing it?

Sure you can, but it's a first impression so you have to make it count.

Remember what you are saying may not appeal to everyone. For instance I hate, and I mean I hate to be called "Daddy." I am not your daddy and it's a 100% turn off to me. I can guarantee you as slim as my response rate may be, if you start by calling me "daddy" I won't even bother with you. I hate it just that much.

So it's your loss

Maybe that's true, but are you trying to be right, or are you trying to meet someone?

You got a point, what else should I think about?

Another thing is making sure the person you answer FITS what you are advertising for. I have had people answer me and their outgoing message says "Absolutely NO over 35 or NO over 40." But they are answering me? I used to write back "Thanks for your email, but I'm over your age limit." Of course they write back something like, yeah but you have a nice body."

That to me is really presumptuous. It is another thing I refuse to deal with. If you don't like a man over a certain age, I think that is cool, I can understand it and deal with it. But I refuse to be an exception. So if you state an age limit and then answer me and I am over your limit, I don't answer. And a lot of other people will do so too.

So make sure that your outgoing ad reflects your intentions when you reply. And be NICE if you make an exception. For instance don't say "No over 30 unless you're hot. Or say "No over 30 unless you're built." Because that statement is negative and will turn a lot of people off, turn it around into something somewhat nicer.

This is a tough line to walk. Because on one hand if you say "I generally like people under 30, exceptions are rare," well you've opened yourself up to every "stupid" idiot who thinks "HE" will be the exception. Say something like, "over 30 I'll contact you first." OK that isn't that much better but it ends any doubt.

So you have to decide when you put limitations in your ad if it's worth eliminating everyone or not. It may be it may not be.

I had a client for whom I did a website, he was hot. VERY hot and he could be as picky as he wanted to be and ironically as nasty as he wanted to be. Why, because he got THAT many responses.

How many times should I answer an ad?

I would say two at the most. One time to get started and maybe a follow up, but other than that forget it. Maybe try back in a few months. Again you don't want to come across as being pushy. Or in some site you will be blocked.

I tried to answer an ad and I was already blocked? Why? Isn't that fuckin' rude?

It can be. But let's look at it like this. Some sites allow mass blocking. In other words, you can block someone over 30 years old period. In some sights like gay.com it is very easy to block people and often times depending on the person adviseable.

Remember you are dealing with people on all levels. Think about this for a minute. Remember back when you were 20 years old, how would you feel if a 45 year old man came up to you and wanted you? To a younger person, with less life experience, it can come over as VERY well, creepy. I know it's not, but I have 40 years of life under my belt. The thing is to think about what the other guy is thinking about.

For instance I had a 20 year old ask me if I wanted a senior discount. At first I was a bit put off, but then I remembered when I was 20 anyone over 30 looked pretty darn old to me. So you have to bear that in mind.

What's the big deal if a person doesn't like my response they can delete it?

In theory this seems reasonable but again I want you to think about the other guy. To someone like me that may get 10 responses a week to my ad, it is no big deal to delete unwanted responses. But to someone who is getting 100 emails a day and YES I have known people that get that many per day, it is simply a form of spam. Think about it, don't you get a little crazy when you open your email and it's full of emails from spammers.

So look at it that way, if you are answering ads specifically stating what you are not, or not into, that is a form of spam.

This can be hurtful if the person is limited on a site to a certain number of emails a day.

I'm on Manhunt and people delete without reading my response. Why?

On Manhunt especially, you are limited in the number of emails, if you don't pay for the site. So they simply go and look at the profile and if you don't fit what they are looking for they delete. This way it doesn't count as an email read.

Why don't those cheap asses just pay for the site?

Again, supply and demand, why pay for something you don't have to. If you are getting a lot of responses, why pay? Also let's remember not everyoe can afford $100 bucks a year for Manhunt. For example as of June 2006 I have been on Manhunt for 3 years, in this time I met only 2 people. If I had paid for it all that time, I'd have blown $300 to meet 2 people. I could've gotten two escorts, for $150.00. And they would've looked nice.

It's about return on investment for some people. If they can log on and get a lot of responses, they don't need to pay. And you want to be respectful of that.

How come people don't get back to me for days?

Could be a lot of things. Let's take Manhunt, suppose the person you responded to likes you, but doesn't pay for the site, and he's already reached his limit for emails. He may have to wait for the next day.

Remember you are not the only one responding to ads. And as egotistic as this sounds, there is a list and you may be on it. As a person that has gotten stood up a lot, I can tell you this. Suppose you answer my ad, but I already have arranged to meet another guy. So I don't answer your ad, instead I go to meet this other guy. Of course he stands me up and I get mad. So I come home, have my mad and then answer your response to my ad after my "mad" is over. You see you may not get an answer till the next day.

And if you are really far down on this person's list, it could take awhile. As cruel and as indifferent as that sounds, in reality, it is just how it is.

Is it bad to offer someone a compliment only?

This is a tricky thing, if you are genuine then no, but there are two exceptions. First of all don't fool yourself, many people offer compliments with the hope of getting some "action," so to speak. They often talk themselves into believing they are being genuine, but it can come across as trying to get over or a "foot in the door."

Also you're compliment is probably not going to be well received if it is merely a statement of fact. I knew a guy who was really hot, he would get email after email, literally 50 to 100 a day of people saying "I just want to tell you you're hot." This guy knew he was hot and it was a considerable source of irritation to him. Telling someone they are "hot" when clearly they are isn't really a compliment.

So I should never tell anyone they are hot?

This is something you are going to have to decide for yourself, but if you do don't be shocked to get no response, a hostile response or even blocked. Because to tell Brad Pitt he's hot is a waste of everyone's time.

What about the word "prefer" in ads?

I hate this word "prefer," and tell people not to use it, but if they do feel free to respond to their ad. If someone says "I prefer men under 30" they clearly are NOT limiting themselves to those under 30. Though from my experience, it is generally what the writer intends.

What definitely shouldn't I do when responding to ads?

One is don't respond with hostile intent. I had one guy email me and I was at an Internet cafe. So I didn't respond and by the time I got home he had emailed me FOUR more times to tell me how "uncool" it was for to just blow him off without an answer. Then he told me how rude I was and well you get the idea.

Now if he hadn't written that, more than likely I would've responded to him. As it stood not only didn't I respond, but also I blocked him.

And think about how the tone of your response sounds. People can't tell by writing if you're trying to be funny, so if you tell a joke, even an obvious one put in a smiley like :) to make sure the recipient knows it is intended to be funny and not taken seriously

Also do not mass reply to each ads. I have gotten answers on Craigslist where the person emailed me and 20 other people, no kidding 20 other people, the same response. Sure it saves him time and I'm not against form responses but at least cut and paste them.

Don't put me on an email list if you're responding to ads, it makes me feel less important and it makes me wonder about how many people you hook up with and how desperate you are, among a lot of other things.

Should I open my pics before responding to an ad?

In sites that give you the option of locking your pics, I have to say yes, unlock them before responding. This is really a pet peeve of mine. To me it is like being in a bar, putting a bag over your head and walking over to someone to talk to them. I pretty much never answer an ad if the pic is closed, or if they have no face pic. Even if they have a kick ass body, I don't answer.

Not showing your face to me, and a lot of others that comes across as being rude. A face pic is definite but other pics like "X" pics, it perfectly fine to keep them closed when you first respond.

I'm discrete. I don't want to show my face to someone till I am sure he's interested in me.?

OK understandable, but you've put yourself into a "catch-22" situation. The basic idea I want people to think about is don't do things online you wouldn't do in person. So unless you show your face how do you really know if that person likes you?

Well if he doesn't answer me because I don't show my face, it's his loss.

That may well be, but do you want to be right or do you want to meet someone. Don't lose sight of the fact you are online to meet people not to prove to the world you are right.

Any suggestions what to say?

This is hard, because I don't respond to a lot of ads. I find the one word responses hard. For instance suppose I get an 18 year old kid respond to me and say "Hi." I mean how does one answer that?

I realize a lot of people don't know what to say, so I am not going to come down on responses like that, but I do say be prepared to follow up with some content. So you should try to have content even if you don't say a lot. So a person can tell if you want to say "Hi" or "hook up" or whatever.

For some odd reason I always wind up on the dangling end of the conversation. In other words someone starts a connection but leave it up to me to finish it

What do you mean?

Let's look at this conversation for example:

You) Hi
Mark) Hello
You) How are you?
Mark) Fine and you?
You) Good

Now if I like this guy I am stuck being the one to have to carry on the conversation even though I didn't start it. So while I don't knock the one word response, again I say, be prepared to figure out what to say beyond that first "Hi."

Keep first replies fairly neutral, as you don't want people to get hacked off by what you say.

For instance for some reason when someone says to me "Hi, you have a nice body for a guy over 40." By qualifying this compliment it kind of makes me think "I guess my body is good for over 40 but if I was under 40 it'd be lousy."

And that is probably just me but if I feel that way certainly others do as well.
It reminds me of the first time People Magazine had Mel Gibson as "The sexiest man alive." I thought to myself "I guess there must be other people out their sexier, but it's just they are all dead."

So I hope you can see my point. Yes I realize they probably don't mean that but it still creeps in my mind.

Should I be, well blunt, on first responses

I have no issue with it and don't see a problem with it. If you say, "Hey you're hot, want to fuck me?" I don't see any issue with it. Of course it would depend on the site. That might not be appropriate on Yahoo personals but it is certainly OK on Manhunt. Being upfront about your wants it cool and if that is what you truly want go for it.

The only caution light I put up is, if you may want more than a cheap fuck, but will settle for that, perhaps that isn't the best way to do it. Some people will say "Let's fuck" is OK for hook ups but not OK for a date or potential boyfriend.

Should I answer ads if I'm coming to town for a visit?

I would say absolutely not. I found everyone I talked to finds this universally annoying. If you're coming to Chicago, I don't care, I only care when you're IN Chicago. This is because most people are not moving here, but looking for sex once they get here.

What about if I am moving here? Is it cool to ask for advice?

This is where you REALLY need to read the ad first. I have no issue with this but don't do it unless you feel from the wording of the ad the person will be open to it.

If the ad says "I'm Looking to FUCK NOW!!!" and you say "I'm moving to Chicago in July and looking for someone to show me around and be pals with." Ah you have missed the point, and most likely the only reason you responded to that ad is the guy's pic was hot. That person is not going to be interested in being your guide to Chicago. Check for another ad where the wording sounds like they'd be helpful.

This really comes off as sneaky and "trying to get a foot in the door." Let's face it they are not the Chicago Chamber of Commerce, and now a days anything you want can usually be found easily by a Google search.

Should I give my email or AIM or phone number when replying?

No, not for the first time you speak with the person or email them. If the site you use doesn't have an internal mailbox system, get an email from Hotmail or Yahoo or Google or another free site. I recommend Google, simply because of the vast storage space. It allows you to search to see if the same people are responding to your time and again.

Never use a work email or give out your AIM or phone number till after you have a few emails under your belt. People will do things with these. I know of people that gave their phone numbers out only to find them posted on Usenet or even bathroom stalls. It's not bad to give it out once a person replies to your response, at least that way you get an indication of his tone and intentions.

What about sites that have "send smileys" and the like

Some sites like "Adam4Adam" will allow you to send a smiley to a person. Some sites let you send a "rose" or a "you're hot" I wouldn't rely on it. For instance I didn't even realize when I was on Adam4Adam what that meant. I was getting couple of smiles a week and I just deleted the emails telling me so thinking they were spam. I believe site owners put these devices to make it easier for people to say "Hi," if they are shy. But in reality they don't seem to work that way.

And if the guy is really hot, he is probably getting hundreds of them so the chance he'll see yours is slim. You need to add content of words if you hope to get attention

Now as an aside to this, there was one site where it would list how man "roses" you got, and like with feedback on eBay, people get competitive with this.

Is "hotlisting" someone a way of responding to an ad?

In my experience I say no. I thought, when I first got online, OK this is cool if someone hotlists me they think I'm hot, so they want me. It didn't turn out to be that way. What I found out was most people simply like to look at pictures and when I contacted them they said, "You got a nice body, but I have no interest in you."

Talk about rejection!

What about real time chat?

Most of the same responses apply except if you're on a site like, gay.com. The only thing I want to add is on sites like gay.com which have a lot of 'bots on them be careful that people don't mistake you for a bot. For instance if the current crop of bots are starting out saying "Hi, I think you're hot," you don't want to use that phrase as an opening or people may assume you are a bot and not respond to you or worse block you.

Do you really think people will listen to this advice?

In reality no, and that is not my goal. I am not the Internet police. But I hope by reading this, you will begin to think and say "Oh I never thought of that." I am hoping that it will make people see what the other guy is thinking, and more importantly WHY he is thinking like that.

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