The Null Device

Life, liberty and the pursuit of bootywhang

As more and more people look for love online, a new industry has arisen: online dating consultants. For a fee, they'll spruce up your profile (or write you a new one guaranteed to make your boring, unimaginative self look dazzlingly witty and original), and/or furnish you with a digital portrait guaranteed to reel 'em in. (via Techdirt)
A Los Angeles-based firm's site,, offers a choice of packages, ranging from a 40-dollar "bronze" service that provides basic profile editing to a 200-dollar "platinum" option where a personal consultant writes a profile from scratch and follows up with a 30-minute phone consultation.

Yes, Los Angeles sounds like the place for that kind of thing.

Despite the increasing popularity of online dating, Stricke says she often has to counsel people who are worried about the "loser" stigma that still sticks to the idea. "Some people are like, 'OK, I'm going to a photographer. Am I weird for doing that?' And I say, look, it's totally cool, everyone deserves a good photograph," she said.

So if you hire a consultant to write your online dating profile and pay a special photographer to give you that killer portrait people might think you're a bit desperate or insecure? Whyever so?

(Though, perhaps as increasing mobility and "labor-market flexibility" (read: longer and/or more unusual work hours) and the tendency to postpone marriage until long after leaving school/university take their toll on the traditional theatres of courtship, perhaps soon everyone will be looking for their next partners online; and thanks to the Red Queen Effect, the only way to not be a loser will be to hire the most cutting-edge dating consultants, armed with the latest techniques, to put yourself ahead of the competition who are using all of last week's hottest profile tips.)

There are 2 comments on "Life, liberty and the pursuit of bootywhang":

Posted by: mark Mon Jul 21 14:26:13 2003

Reminds me of Douglas Adams. I mean, the woman who tells clients this sort of thing is total cool, everyone deserves it, etc.

Kinda like the prostitute who doesn't actually get paid for sex, but rather gets paid for telling rich people it's okay to be rich. "It's okay, baby, you deserve it, besides, it's good for the economy..."

Posted by: Evan Katz Tue Jul 29 02:40:14 2003

According to the New York Times, 45 million singles in the US dated online in May, 2003. The toughest part of internet dating is distinguishing oneself from everyone else who says, "I'm looking for someone warm and smart and kind and funny and honest and ambitious and attractive and family-oriented". People who write things like this aren't necessarily boring or insecure - they're normal. They just haven't yet realized the value of a unique profile. If a profile is akin to an online dating resume, don't you owe it to yourself to put out the best one possible if you're attempting to get a very competitive job? As long as people struggle with anything, there will be people to help them - mechanics, plumbers, psychologists and yes, even internet dating consultants.