Human beings are strange creatures, and there are a whole lot of sexual fetishes and oddities out there that most of us may not find particularly attractive but we can largely ignore because, hey, there's someone out there for everyone. I don't particularly want to be peed on or let you rub your junk on my feet, but if you're peeing or foot-rubbing with another consenting adult, that's gravy. I will drink wine and be alone forever, and you can dress up in a mohair suit with a crotch-hole if that's what gets you going. Most folks to tend to agree that we should all just live and let people act out their weird sexual fantasies without interference.
But as a society we've drawn some clear lines — and one of those, for good and obvious reason, is kids. Sexual attraction to kids = bad. Acting on that sexual attraction = evil. Child molesters: EVERYONE HATES THOSE GUYS. On that point most reasonable people will agree.
And yet there are large numbers of men on internet dating sites who, while maybe not actual child molesters (although frankly who knows), go out of their way to make themselves sound like child molesters. It sounds crazy and improbable, but I've received tons of submissions to Annals of Online Dating which basically amount to, "You look like an underage girl, which is why I would like to sex you." Apparently women are supposed to be flattered by the attention of a proto-ChiMo, but all I can think when I read these messages is, "GO TO JAIL." For example:
I think you came home from partying last night, and were feeling horny and silly, and didn’t see that I’m old enough to be your dad.
OR … maybe you came home from partying last night because you were so bored with the insipid young men you meet, and you thought someone older would be able to fulfill your desires for a more mature friend …
OR … you spent all last night watching kinky video clips that feature older men with younger women hilariously role playing ridiculous or horrifying father-daughter scenes … that inexplicably made you ache between your legs …
So, which is it Senorita?
The answer is, "I was wasted and accidentally clicked on your profile." And then you go to jail.
Direct father/daughter molestation "jokes" are sadly not unusual — like this guy, who goes full-on Lolita:
Nothing is sexier than referencing a book about child molestation, and then referencing a book that is totally unrelated but for one word in the title. Except maybe telling you that if your actual dad did molest you, he'd be happy to fill those shoes:
After reading your bio I think I’m in love. Let’s put it this way; if one day you woke up and your nipples were completely gone like no scars or anything, just flat skin and then once you leave your room you find out your dad died last night (God forbid he does) and then several days later, you find out that for your entire life your dad had been sneaking into your room while you slept and sucking on your chest to make to gigantic hickeys where your nipples should be because you were born without them. I would fulfill his position as nipple creator. Not for any sexual reason, just so you would fit in.
Sure, not for any sexual reason at all, just normal helping-you-fit-in stuff. GO TO JAIL. This too is a theme with the incest/molester messengers: They're clearly making some very disturbing comments, but at least realize they can't come right out and say, "You look like a little girl and that makes my penis happy." So instead they paint some sort of creepy, vaguely sexual picture with molestery overtones:
you’re adorable, so adorable in fact that I’ve decided I am going to adopt you as my new little sister. Don’t worry, we’ll spend all our time together climbing trees and drinking kool-aid. Actually you seem like a pretty cool person, I’d love to get together sometime and will let you cook for me haha. Wait! You’re not crazy are you?
Good one, dude. Also you should probably go to prison.
And then there's complimenting a lady on her child-like characteristics — because infants are apparently the standard of beauty these days:
i like your little baby hands and your bangs.
To be fair, what grown man doesn't fantasize about being touched by a baby's hands? (Answer: The vast majority of grown men).
While youth is certainly culturally tied to beauty, I don't know many women who are turned on by dudes who want to bang teenage girls. And yet there are tons of dudes who hit on women by telling them that they look like bangable teenage girls:
you don’t look 27, you look 17. which would mean i am doing something illegal right now.
That man's profile was defunct a week after he sent that message. We can only hope he got sent to jail.
If you've got your own online dating horror stories, drop them below, or submit them anonymously.
The A(n)nals of Online Dating is a weekly column about How We Date Now, from the proprietor of the website of the same name, showing the best of the worst internet dating has to offer.
Illustration by Leslie Wood