Last night, I updated my match.com profile with some new photos and tried to make a couple of minor edits to the text (I have no idea why I’m wasting time on this… I met a few nice guys through match.com and planetout.com, including Terry, whom I dated for about a year, but mostly it’s been a bust). The photos all were approved and uploaded to the profile. But the edits to the profile itself keep causing the following email to be automatically generated by match.com:

Thank you for submitting your profile for posting with our service. Unfortunately, we are unable to approve and post it because a portion of your essay information violates our Terms of Use. Match.com does not allow it’s [sic]members to post sexually explicit language, racial slurs, vulgarity or any other derogatory language in a member profile.

Please take a moment to revise your information to meet our Terms of Use standards, and re-submit your profile. If after a second review, you feel that your essays are acceptable, please contact us at: customercare@match.com

First of all, they really should fix that ungrammatical “it’s” where “its” is needed in the second sentence before telling me that my profile has a problem. </catty class= “gratuitous”>

But for the life of me, I cannot figure out what in my profile violates their TOS. At first I thought maybe it was just the fact that I used the phrases “sex ed” and “sexual orientation,” but after removing both of those, the profile still is flagged by their automatic software for some reason.

So here’s what my profile says. If their software rejected profiles for being overly verbose, dull or unappealing, well, ok, then I could see getting my wrist slapped, but what about this is even remotely “sexually explicit,” a “racial slur,” “vulgar” or “derogatory”?

Describing myself

I grew up in a small rural, conservative town in the mountains of southwestern Virginia, where I fit in so badly that I suspected I must have been either adopted, switched at birth, a changeling, or an alien. My mom assures me I was neither adopted nor switched; the jury may still be out on the rest.

I spent seven years studying and then working in Boston, and came to the DC area expecting to stay “a year, maybe two”–however, in that “where did the time go?” kind of way, it’s turned into 16. I do like living here now, and the (sub)urban life suits me, but I sometimes miss the woods and great starry night skies of home. Previously a dot-com CTO, I now work for the federal government. I’m also involved in anti-oppression and other volunteer work; I’m particularly active in my local liberal progressive Unitarian-Universalist Church.

Personality measures: INFP, Enneagram 4 with a 5 wing.
Pet: A Maine Coon cat named Alexander Graham Bell-the-cat.
Hobbies/Interests/Fun : Dancing (club, contra, square, 2-step; would love to find someone to partner for Latin or ballroom lessons); computer games; the Internet/blogosphere; theme parks; renaissance fairs; reading, music and the arts.
Books: Fantasy, sf, medieval mysteries, magical realism, cosmology, creative physics, metaphysics, children’s books.
Music: Especially Folk, Celtic, progressive and alternative.
TV/Radio: HGTV, TLC, BBC-A, Six Feet Under, Food Network, NPR.
Film: Independent films, black comedies, animation, sf.
Food: Spicy cuisines, especially Thai, Vietnamese and Korean; Italian (can’t get enough garlic or calimari); sushi and sashimi; Diet Dr. Pepper or Vanilla Coke; dulce de leche or other caramel/toffee ice cream (or the only decent thing Safeway makes, Athens Baklavar Bazaar: honey ice cream with baklava bits); popcorn.

Describing my ideal match

My ideal? Hard to pin down, especially physically. Each man I’ve been attracted to, infatuated with, or even in love with has looked quite different from the others. Though I can’t quantify my ideal, I guess I can at least qualify it in some ways, though, particularly regarding intellectual, spiritual and emotional traits. For example, I prefer men who are very comfortable with their orientation and fairly if not completely out, who can be comfortable spending time with my family or accompanying me to a business function; who appreciate cuddling, kissing, hugging; with a certain twinkle in the eye and a warm, ready smile; who are curious, creative, thoughtful and intelligent (and I don’t equate this with “educated”; the latter isn’t per se important to me), caring and playful; spiritual though not necessarily, and usually not conventionally, religious. I’m not looking for someone to take care of, or to take care of me; rather, I look for mutuality in my relationships.

Upon re-reading it, the only word I can see now that looks like it might set off an unintelligent/non-contextual language filter is “coon” in the phrase “Maine Coon cat.” I’m going to try to remove that and see if the posting goes through.

[Update: 23:09 – Well, I haven’t gotten any email this time, so that does seem to have been the problem. I had written to them several times earlier asking why the profile was being rejected by their system, and the humans there couldn’t tell me. So if you’re going to put a profile on match.com, don’t mention a fetish for coon-skin caps, or talk about your pet raccoon or your Maine Coon.]

2 thoughts on “mis-matched

  1. Maine coon cats have a reputation for being ill-tempered. Perhaps they misbehaved so badly they are banned at match.com?
    I’m impressed that you figured it out. Merriam-Webster OnLine has the derogative definition second (out of two) but I’m not at all sure it would have occurred to me. Maybe it’s a southern term? The bigots in Maine just used the “n” word.

  2. Before reading your last two paragraphs, I was going to say maybe it’s the word ‘coon.’ Otherwise, I would not describe your profile using any of those words: sexually explicit, racial slur, vulgar, or derogatory.
    I used to live in the DC area and in a way, I kind of miss it.

Comments are closed.