Ten days ago, I received the message you see to your right informing me that OKCupid, the free online dating service I have been registered with and updating for years even though I have rarely used it for actual dating, considered me attractive. Not only did they consider me attractive, they informed me that because I was attractive, I would start seeing more attractive matches in my searches.


So the other night, I decided to flip through a few of them. I messaged one and never got a response. You win some, you lose some.

Then I got to another girl’s profile. Things were looking promising: she seemed nice enough, was pretty, didn’t have any noticeable red flags or anything like that. Then I looked at the rest of her pictures, and in one of them she was in a sexy pose and dressed in a cowgirl outfit, complete with tipped cowboy hat and daisy duke shorts.

And I said “next.”

Now, a real manly man would look at that picture and go “yowza! I should message her and latch onto some vague mutual interest! Lemme Google Rascal Flatts so I can pretend I know the words to that song I’ve barely heard.”

In the blue corner you have me, the poor excuse for a heterosexual male known as Kevin Marshall. Instead of taking it at face value and moving forward, I roll my eyes and move on.

You can call me shallow and narrow-minded and tell me what a foolish person I am, but I cannot possibly fathom being compatible with someone who dresses up as a sexy cowgirl and posts pictures of it on a dating site. At least part of it is because the picture makes me see her not so much as a real person, but as a caricature.  But, mostly, it’s attributable to my own pretentiousness and insecurity.

Plus, I don’t think I could ever dress up as a sexy cowboy and be serious about it.

Sexy Cowgirl, if you’re reading this, I’m sure you’re a great gal. And I’m right positive you’ll find the right cowboy for you, and he’ll probably be a better man than I in many ways. So good luck on that ol’ dusty trail; at least our paths got the chance to cross, all because some intern decided I was cute.

I suppose the phrase “attractive matches” is less subjective than I realized.


54 Responses to I am a Poor Excuse for a Heterosexual Male

  1. cute~ella says:

    Actually I totally understand what you’re saying. My question is this and it goes along to some of the ladies out and about as well. (Don’t get me started on Halloween!)

    Just what kind of attention are you looking for when you dress like that? Are you lacking good solid male relationships in your life? Are there insecurities that need to be addressed? Do you not have anything else to offer others?

    I’m absolutely not a prude and I’ll admit to wearing some slightly revealing clothing upon occasion – or almost daily depending on your opinion – but I try to remember that dressing like a skank will only attract the kind of attention I don’t want and I’m covered.

  2. I agree with you. I have to admit that the first thing that I looked for when I was doing the internet dating, was how someone looked. There is virtually no other way to check if that person is interesting based on anything other than what they say they are interested in. People LIE! It’s a fact. They over sell themselves on the internet dating sites, just so they get that “first interview.” And to be honest, the first meeting/date is exactly that, an interview. You finally get to see this individual in real life and can see their mannerisms, personality, responses to questions, whatever you cannot see on paper. I learned this when I was interviewing people to work for me when I was a hall director. I realized that the interview process was EXACTLY like internet dating (except we can’t ask for photos with resumes any longer).

    So, someone may have all the “qualifications” of being a good person/date, what ever, but when you dig deeper & check their “references” they don’t seem interview worthy at all. File 13 and don’t waste my time. I also may seem shallow for that, but I had a LOT of first dates, most were my choice, but that’s how it worked. I have a LOT of friends that I met through internet dating/friend sites, which is great. Hell, I met M. via the internet, though it was not through a dating site, and it was pretty much before the internet even existed.

    One thing you could consider is a phone interview before you dismiss an applicant. That might give you more of an idea. Maybe the “sexy” cliche photos are the oversell? You never know. <–that's me being optimistic *gasp*

  3. Em says:

    Kevin this post makes me so happy. You give me faith in male-kind.

  4. Jeff says:

    You know, maybe she’s an actual cowgirl, and that’s just her work outfit.

  5. CRZ says:

    I think it has to be said: This post has one too many photos of Kevin and one too few photos of sexy cowgirls.

  6. Disappointed Panda says:

    Don’t judge a book by its cover. A picture is worth a 1,000 words. Every heard those clichés?

    I believe the point of the pictures was to demonstrate what kind of person she sees in herself. A single sexy pose was probably to demonstrate that she can be sexy. Combine that with the other pictures and you know what kind of person she is as a whole. However, you judged her based on a single photograph (as have some of the other comments here). Then, you choose to make fun of this person?

  7. Flurries says:

    I didn’t know you were hetero! *Gasp!
    Not that there’s anything wrong with that. My father’s a hetero.

  8. BL says:

    I look at the picture and I want to ask “Why do they call it ovaltine? “

  9. Wushupork says:

    So what are you saying? That Denise Richards ISN’T a nuclear physicist? I WAS LIED TO

  10. Brad says:

    So wait… what happens if you get a message and OKCupid says ” = you’re ugly.” ?? Would they have the gall to DO THAT? I would quit at life.

  11. Ski says:

    You’re such a prude, Kev.

  12. MATT says:

    I think you might be gay. Sorry but thats whats i think. Your scared of women, because your gay.

  13. Tony Barbaro says:

    Who among us hasn’t dressed up like a sexy cowgirl?…..wait..nevermind.

  14. CRZ I’m saving those pics for a thread on THE-W.COM

    Disappointed Panda …seriously, dude? K. I’m gonna go take a picture of me shaking my penis at the camera. DON’T JUDGE ME IT’S JUST ONE PICTURE. No, it wasn’t to that extreme, but it says a lot. All I’m saying is that I couldn’t see myself with a girl that has a provocative sexy cowgirl picture as part of her profile. And yes, it does say a lot about a person; you even say so yourself in that cliche (a picture is worth a thousand words). Either you’re just trolling or (more likely) that saying doesn’t mean quite what you think it means. To boot, I’m not even really judging her. Sure, I have fun with it, but didn’t she?

    Wushupork I assumed she was a real nuclear physicist; I saw that movie and she’s no actress.

    Brad God, I hope not. I thought it was weird enough they would send out the “you’re good looking so you won’t see uggos” e-mail. I don’t know, considering the site’s overall tone, I thought it was pretty odd.

    MATT I’m not scared of women, though. If you don’t believe me, you can go ask that girl you’re too afraid to ask out. Plus, what gay guys do you know that are scared of women? Man, you really suck at this whole trolling thing.

    Tony Pics or it didn’t happen!

  15. Lucy says:

    Wow! I thought men like you were extinct! You just renewed my faith that good, decent men do actually exist in this world and aren’t mythical creatures!!

  16. ArielRed says:

    I have long been of the opinion that the sort of people who post pictures like that of themselves on the internet get some kind of personal validation from that sort of attention . . . and that anyone who needs that kind of validation from strangers probably craves it in real life to the point of putting themselves into questionable situations. More trouble than they’re worth, in my book.

    Sexy cowgirl will probably get a lot of messages from guys who want to bang her. But no one is hoping to tell their parents (or the kids they may have in the future) that they knew their sig. other was a keeper when they saw her in short shorts on the internet for everyone to see.

  17. Wushupork says:

    Touché, sir.

  18. kriskaten says:

    while i agree with the title of this post, the rest of it comes off like a bunch of judgemental bs. i’m surprised someone as ‘tolerant’ as yourself would be so quick to dismiss a person based on ONE photo (not her profile or what she had to say, or the whole of her pictures, but one.)
    so, it’s NOT ok to look sexy in an online dating pic? double standard, i see men online CONSTANTLY without shirts or in the gym. if you had it, you would flaunt it, too. trust me.

    • kriskaten Nope. That is patently false. I wouldn’t and don’t.

      Wait, did you really just try to draw a comparison to my posts on religious affiliation, gay rights, etcetera and a picture of a girl dressed as a sexy cowgirl? Oy vey.

      And did you not read the post? Where I said “you know, I could judge her, but really it’s because I’m pretentious and insecure”? Because I don’t think you did. Or, you did, but you disregarded it completely.

      It seems like you’re just looking to blow off steam (again) and toss insults at me (again) for some reason that I can’t possibly figure out. For someone who so openly professes their dislike for my writing and my opinions, you sure do post a lot of comments on this blog. I’d ignroe it if I didn’t find it so odd and confusing.

      I mean, if it’s a personal thing, let me know and we can address it. Because I’m at a complete loss.

  19. Lucy says:

    Regardless of what it is, it’s nice to hear that there is at least one man out there who doesn’t go panting after the type of girl who posts pic’s like that to attract men.

  20. ArielRed says:

    There’s no double standard. Shirtless (particularly the shirtless, making muscle poses in my bathroom by myself at night) pics are for tools.

  21. kriskaten says:

    nope, you don’t and you don’t.
    i didn’t miss the whole pretentious and insecure thing. i’m glad you recognize the reason this blog kind of drives me batty. sure i could not read it, but where would the fun in that be? besides you seem good at dishing it out, why shouldn’t you have to take a little criticism yourself. yes, i disagree with a lot of what you write but don’t ALWAYS let my opinion known. bottom line, don’t read too much into it. it’s mostly boredom, sometimes i do agree (and comment as such).
    meanwhile, re: this post and what i wrote, i truly believe you are being a bit harsh on the poor girl. i don’t think my comparison is completely unfair. if you can be so openminded in regards to one thing, why not a harmless halloween costume?

    • kriskaten – It wasn’t a Halloween costume. It was a private, in the bedroom, mood-lit shot.

      I certainly don’t mind criticism or discussion or disagreement. I actually encourage it. But only if it’s real and only if it makes some sort of sense and isn’t somebody just trying to argue online for the sake of arguing online. That just wastes everyone’s time, including the readers.

      So basically, what you’re saying is because I always encourage people to keep an open mind and be respectful other folks’ religious beliefs, I’m not allowed to dismiss a girl as a dating option because of my own personal set of criteria.

      See, it’s one thing to say “I don’t think you should dismiss her.” It’s another thing to then draw a false comparison and claim I’m being “judgmental” because I expressed a personal failing (and acknowledging it as such) when it comes to choosing women.

      Listen, I read into your comments because I’m trying to give you a fair shake and make sense of what they’re about. But, I know from now on that you’re probably just bored and you’re going to say stuff regardless of whether or not you believe it or it actually, you know, makes sense.

  22. cute~ella says:

    Now I want to log in and see what pictures I have up. I don’t think any were questionable though!

  23. Sue says:

    If you look for suggestions at how to set up an online dating profile, one very common hint is to post a full-body photo of yourself. It’s very possible that this woman posted this picture because it met that criteria, and for no other reason.

    I’m reading between the lines a bit here, but it seems like you’re suggesting that because she posted a sexy photo, she can’t be taken seriously. So, if someone is sexy and fun, they can’t also be witty and smart? Since when are all of those qualities mutually exclusive?

    It also seems like you’re saying you’re different (better?) than the average guy. The average guy would have been all over her (I believe the term you used was “yowza?”) but not you.

    That doesn’t make you unique. First, there are plenty of smart, decent, fun guys out there who judge women based on a lot more than their looks. Secondly – that’s exactly what you did. You passed on a woman who you said was “promising,” who seemed smart and funny – all because of her photo.

    I tend to agree with kriskaten (#20) – being tolerant and open-minded means not judging a book by its cover (or its daisy dukes).

    • Sue I have full body shots. People have full body shots. None of them are with them on a bed, top button of daisy dukes unbuttoned, striking a provocative pose.

      “I’m reading between the lines a bit here, but it seems like you’re suggesting that because she posted a sexy photo, she can’t be taken seriously.”

      Yet, what I wrote was:
      “At least part of it is because the picture makes me see her not so much as a real person, but as a caricature. But, mostly, it’s attributable to my own pretentiousness and insecurity.”

      So you’re not reading between the lines. That is sort of what I’m saying, though I acknowledge it’s more because of other factors. And I’m not even going to touch the “open minded and tolerant” thing again, because this post isn’t about that – at all – and this bears absolutely no resemblance to the issues addressed last week.

      Look, here’s my problem with this comment and kriskaten’s (and why I won’t respond any further): you’re not commenting on what’s written in this blog post! You’re commenting on what you wish had been written so that you could have a retort. It’s like you want me to have this position so much that you’re willing to bend and twist words to try to make it so, just so that you can argue a point that isn’t even addressed here.

      It’s really quite maddening.

  24. kriskaten says:

    i didn’t say you weren’t “allowed” to do anything! dismiss away all of the dates you want…. they’re probably lucky for it.
    i was just saying it seems awfully closed minded coming from someone who just last week was professing his greatness at being accepting of others.
    thank you, sue, i do see a bit of hypocritical-ness here that i just wanted to point out. you are judging a book by it’s cover, or in this case a photo. i’m not saying you can’t get an impression of someone based on a dating profile – that is what it is there for. but to pick out a particular photo and decide what he/she is like based on that is not something to be bragging about.
    meanwhile, i’m really not sure what didn’t make sense about my comments. i think i’m a fairly straight-forward and i do speak in plain english. perhaps that is what perplexes you. if you want to ignore them, that’s fine. i’ll still make my opinions known when i feel like it because this is a blog and that’s the point :)
    your pointing my comments out just comes across petty, like you can’t stand to have someone disagree with you. deal with it.

    • I gotta end with this:

      “I’m not saying you can’t get an impression of someone based on a dating profile – that is what it is there for. but to pick out a particular photo and decide what he/she is like based on that is not something to be bragging about.”

      But see, I didn’t do that at all! That’s what’s so maddening about your comments!

  25. kriskaten says:

    maddening? yay! my work here is done ;-)

  26. All I can say is . . . . this and some other recent blog posts elsewhere in TU-land lead me to be SO VERY THANKFUL that I was out of the singles pool before online dating came along . . .

    Because (a) I’d have spent all of my waking hours trying to line up as many dates with as many sexy cowgirls as I could have, and (b) In a world where an ability to spin words in a tantalizing fashion has some direct correlation to dating success, I probably would have had a reasonably busy dating dance card, and (c) I’d then have spent the hours I was supposed to be sleeping worrying about whether the sexy cowgirls were going to blow my cover by talking about me in their blogs the next day . . .

    Too freakin’ complicated, yo. The world is a better place without me in the dating pool, for sure.

  27. kriskaten says:

    Look, your own words: “You can call me shallow and narrow-minded and tell me what a foolish person I am”
    well i did and got yelled at for it! sheesh.
    seriously, you told both me and sue to re-read your post, but perhaps you should before you hit publish.

  28. Sally says:

    I got the email as well and my favorite part is where it says, “And, no, we didn’t just send this email to everyone on OkCupid. Go ask an ugly friend and see.”

    LOVE it.

  29. “maddening? yay! my work here is done ”


  30. Steve says:

    You are what you eat. Perhaps she eats veal.

  31. Sue says:

    You specifically said that you liked her profile, until you saw the picture. Upon seeing the picture, you moved on.

    “Things were looking promising: she seemed nice enough…pretty, (no) red flags…Then I looked at the rest of her pictures, and in one of them she was in a sexy pose and dressed in a cowgirl outfit…

    And I said “next.””

    I totally get it. I’ve used dating websites. I’ve judged and been judged. I’m not about to criticize how anyone does their thing.

    I’m just saying that what I read in your post was that your entire image of this person changed when you saw that picture. That seems to counter the way you represent yourself in your blog, and it seems to counter what you were trying to say about yourself in this post.

  32. Sue, you’re absolutely right. This does come into direct conflict with my previously stated positions on Sexy Cowgirl pictures.

    All sarcasm aside, I sort of see what you’re getting at. But, again, I think we just disagree that these are the same things as, say, being tolerant of other people’s beliefs. Because beliefs and actions are two different things: I preach keeping an open mind about viewpoints, belief systems, political stances, etcetera. However, I do think it’s fair for me to judge whether or not someone is compatible with me based on a ridiculous photo, and to then question whether it says more about them or more about me.

    I guess I understand what you took out of it, but that’s not what I was saying at all.

  33. Disappointed Panda says:

    “And yes, it does say a lot about a person” But, that’s not how you’re interpreting the photograph, and that’s the point. You have one, well two, views of the photograph and have ignored the other 998. Perhaps I should have just called you shallow and narrow-minded instead of trying to explain why I thought so?

  34. Disappointed Panda – The phrase “a picture is worth a thousand words” means that an image can say just as much, if not more, than 1,000 words can. It doesn’t mean a picture means 1,000 different things. I’m not judging her as a bad person for the photograph; yes, I’m having some fun with it, but again, I imagine she was having fun as well. A different kind of fun, granted, but fun none the less.

    But it does say a lot about her. Perhaps positive, perhaps negative. The bottom line is that it does give me a view of the kind of person she is, which is the kind of person I would not be compatible with.

    Again, I think you like a handful of others are trying to attach a moral weight and meaning to this post that simply isn’t there.

  35. Gman says:

    You wimp.

    Send her back a picture of a horse, tell her you want to call her Catherine the Great, and take her out for a big honkin’ steak. Then see what happens.


  36. kriskaten says:


    in all seriousness, i mean no harm. there is apparently some reason i continue to read your writing, it is a different perspective on many things. i’m a thoughtful person and i would hope most things i comment make some sense (unless it’s after midnight.) but some things get under my skin a bit, and this is one of them.
    you’re dismissing her for something (somewhat) innocent imo. granted, you clarified that it was a bedroom picture, but she obviously likes it, feels good about it, and doesn’t mind if her friends, family or potential mates see it. she’s confident. maybe something about that that intimidates you? or maybe you just are a little old-fashioned? i, too, am trying to figure out why you would hit that next button.
    and, whether i would do the same.
    i like posts that make me think. so don’t yell at me and i’ll try to be nicer. but no promises (see: muwhahahaha)

  37. Ryan Kohler says:

    Waitta second…You turned down the chick because she dressed up as a sexy cowgirl…But in the pic you have there, of the shoulders up, you clearly have a look straight out of Heath Ledger’s Joker performance, minus the make up. I suggest reconsidering, if only to talk to this girl a lil more.

  38. Vincent Barr says:

    I like everything about this post.

  39. Chris Wessell says:

    So, Marshall, send me a link to this girl’s profile… LOL!

  40. Jennifer says:

    Well I for one do not think you are a jerk for passing this half naked on the internet chick by. A picture like that (to me) says classless. It’s making a conscious decision to project that side of yourself on a dating site that would turn me off. The whole insta sexualization aspect of it.

    Back in my online dating days I routinely passed by guys who had topless cheese shots of themselves posted. If we haven’t even had coffee, I do not want to see your nipples.

  41. Disappointed Panda says:

    “But it does say a lot about her.” Right, and you can’t see it. Let me put this another way so you understand where I’m coming from. Besides telling you this is someone you can’t see yourself with, how about listing twenty five other things the photograph tells you about her?

  42. I can’t quote which comment said that these sites like you to pose a full body shot & that’s all she had. Or one where they said that there was nothing wrong with posing the way she did to be sexy.

    IMHO, you can do a full body sexy pose without looking like… um… a “sexy cowgirl” if you know what I mean. I’ve seen sexy people in jeans & t-shirts. It’s the way you carry yourself & photo. That’s it.

  43. m says:

    I agree with you Kevin. If I was talking to someone on one of these sites and then I saw a picture of him and he’s an attractive guy, but an attractive guy who was sitting shirtless, wearing a banana hammock and kissing his biceps I would dismiss him as well. I would think EWWWW this guy is a skeeve, not WOW, he’s got a great body. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with realizing BEFORE you set out for a date that its’ not going to work out. It’s better than wasting your time.

  44. Donna H says:

    Man, is this post ever being overthought.

    He’s not saying she’s a bad person, for chrissake. He’s saying she’s not his cup of tea. For the record, given his reaction to a photo she probably thought was cute, he ain’t hers either. But, to prove they are open and broad-minded, they should what? Date each other?

    This is rather like the black guys (yes, I’m going there) who hit on you with the actual line that you’d date them if you aren’t prejudiced. When you laughed in their face, they’ll grin and say it was worth a shot and we’d move on no harm, no foul, other than the fact that these were not the men of color that I did date. I was left thinking what kind of stupid white chicks out there is that line working on?

    Yet, they must exist because this line is still around 30 years after the first time I heard it. This amazes me. What am I going to jump into bed with you to prove I’m not a bigot? I really don’t think so. Kriskaten, Sue, Dumb Panda, would you? If so, Wash and Lark and Washington Park seem to be among their favorite hang-outs.

    For all we know, this chick and Kevin might be great friends if they met under a different venue but that’s not what happened. I don’t know how this dating service works but I’m not reading any report of her contacting him either.

    So I’m left wondering why other people care so much that two people who have utterly no desire to hook up, aren’t? WTF!!!

    J. Eric, you are a lucky man. Me, I meet people face to face or I can’t be bothered. It’s not like men are hard to come by. But even face to face, J. Eric, you are lucky and so is your wife.

  45. Donna H says:

    Yikes! Tell me I didn’t just do that! TU really needs an edit button! Panda, I’m sorry and I’m disappointed in myself. Kevin, please fix!

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