Overcoming Choice Overload – Weeding Through Profiles


Overcoming Choice Overload – Weeding Through ProfilesFor a long time Mr. Scarlet thought I was a permanent student and never was going to get a real job. I have one now but which sucks so I was greatly excited to learn about MOOC’s (Massive Online Open Courses). I get to study for FREE what actually interests me as opposed to just jumping through a hoop a school says I need. Right now I am taking Behavioral Economics which has a lot of applicability to swinging and relationships, even if that is not necessarily obvious at first glance.

One major problem with swinging was alluded to by The Salmon in his post “A World Without Breaks.” He refers to being at a buffet and wanting everything. I agree that having too many choices is difficult. In some cases it can lead to frustration if not outright unhappiness. And as an attractive woman who looks 25 whose a size 8 with 36DD breasts, going from a choice of one (the married partner of 15 years) to what appears to be pretty much unlimited options is overwhelming.

My normal response to too many choices, such as when I am at a grocery store that has sixty kinds of jelly or the video store, is to choose nothing and walk away. Or sometimes, like when I'm at the ice cream parlor, I’ll stand around being indecisive for half an hour before picking the same thing that I always pick.

In the world of behavioral economics, this is classic Choice Overload. Supposedly it happens because people worry they’ll regret the decision because of what they are then missing out on by not choosing. Or it could be due to trying to weigh all options and the rapidly escalating opportunities for comparing various attributes. In either case I do tend toward over-thinking. In person, I tend to resolve this by taking the path of least resistance. It is far easier to err toward playing with the first opportunity that comes along. Sure that has the opportunity cost of missing out on others. But that is what future nights are for, right?

A far bigger source of choice overload in swinging is looking at profiles online such as on Kasidie. With a few exceptions, they all start to sound the same. Everyone wants like minded and fun, sexy people. They may not elaborate on what is fun or what like minded would entail but it sure sounds good. I am waiting for the post that says “Buddhist vegetarian PhD hippie looking for similar because friends don’t let friends fuck Republicans.” But apparently everyone wants to have open options and not offend anyone so they stick with vanilla descriptions unlikely to offend, or attract anyone specific. But I digress.

There are various techniques to help with decision overload. A key one is Organize and Eliminate Options, aka weeding out options. So here is what I have come up with to help weed out profiles. First I skip anyone without pictures. Seriously how hard could that be to upload a picture? Fuzz out the face if you are concerned on being discreet but phone cameras are ubiquitous so there is no excuse for having no pics. Second, I weed out anyone with only pictures of the female. Apparently you aren’t marketing your male to females so why should I bother. Third, I weed out anyone with just tit/crotch shots. I want someone with a little class who isn’t just a body part.

I weed out anyone who is anti-condom or condom optional. Seems obvious to me but that is a judgmental rant for another day.

Finally, I weed out people I consider to be assholes. Anyone with obvious sexism in their profile gets rejected. Sometimes there is obvious objectification of women in the profiles. Other times, it is the obviously written by a male profile where it appears the women had no input or appears to not be actively involved in the decisions.

Anyone posting in their profile that they want HWP or some variation on the no fatties theme is rejected. Some will disagree with that but I think that universally rejecting a group of people based solely on appearance is bullshit. And as a former fat girl, this really pisses me off.

Similarly, you are weeded out if your profile indicates that you only want some specific race(s). In short, I have a rule against bigots. And yes, if you unilaterally say “no blacks” or “no Hispanics” or whatever, then in my book you are a racist. I really don’t care if you claim to have black friends or whatever justification you have. Anytime you feel the need to say, “I’m not racism, but….”.  Just stop. Stop because what you are about to say is racist bullshit and you need to fix that shit.

Or not. Maybe people ought to keep their profiles as is. Or better yet, elaborate on who you really are. It makes my life a hell of a lot easier because I’d rather weed you out in a 10 second profile glance than have wasted an evening with you before figuring out that we are totally incompatible.


Ms. Scarlet is a newbie non-monogamist. She lives in a really Red part of fly over country, hence the name Ms. Scarlet. She likes contact sports, massages, rum, fast cars, ice cream, and good oral sex - not necessarily in that order. You can find her discussing the latest sex news and other things on Twitter as @MsScarletBlogs

1 Comment

  1. “Buddhist vegetarian PhD hippie looking for similar because friends don’t let friends fuck Republicans.”

    Speaking of weeding out assholes ….. 😉

    I hope thats in your profile.

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