OkCupid Double

OkCupid also typically puts the profiles of users who are interested in you in your Discover and Double Take sections, to increase the odds of a mutual opt-in. What does the star mean on OkCupid? Tapping the blue star brings up the “Likes” section of OkCupid. From there, you can see which profiles you’ve already liked. OkCupid no longer has a traditional search like Match does, so the matches you see will be determined by the preferences you specify there. And it pays to fill out your own profile completely because that will unlock more of the preference categories. OkCupid Double Take presents compatible matches chosen for you by the site’s algorithm. How does double take work now? So for some reason I decided to activate my account again and put just a tiny bit of effort in. So on the PC browser I go through a few double take profiles and 'x' or star. With OkCupid DoubleTake, your preferences will be matched with whatever your “Looking For” specifications and listed locations are. With Double Take, the goal of the app is to see new people each time, so you don’t have to re-Like someone or re-introduce yourself during an OkCupid introduce yourself prompt. OkCupid suggests users on Double Take who have high percentage compatibility with you. This compatibility score is based on you and the other member's answers in the personality quiz. You can also use OkCupid search to look for online members--however, this function is better to use using a desktop. FAQ. I don’t want to receive DoubleTake emails Go to the Notification Settings page.Find the options that read “New Likes” and “Mutual Likes”. To receive these emails, check the box; to opt out of them, uncheck it. Boost is an extra feature where your profile gets highlighted. When your profile gets boosted, your profile will appear more often on other user’s Double Take recommendations and OkCupid’s search. OkCupid Blog. You can learn how to use OkCupid’s platform and find the perfect match for you on their blog. Free OkCupid members can enjoy the following features: Send text messages to other members. Track members they like. Use basic search filters. See user compatibility percentile. Participate in Double Task. Explore other members’ profiles. Paid Membership. In addition to free features, Premium OkCupid members can enjoy the following perks: Okcupid staff runs fake profiles. Okcupid staff runs fake profiles with pictures, the profiles like your profile even if you dont have a photo or description, to make you buy A-LIST (premium account) so you can see who liked you, and after you pay they keep using fake profiles to keep you engaged so they can suck your money for months. Oh no! OkCupid requires you enable Javascript in your browser. Learn more

/r/dating: vent, discuss, learn!

2008.03.03 00:48 /r/dating: vent, discuss, learn!

A subreddit to discuss and vent about the dating process and learn from the experiences of others
[link]


2020.10.16 09:33 MLAdventure [Creative Arena] Collection of best stories-Part 1

Hi adventurers! We put all the best storytellers' writing here. Hope you enjoy it.
Writing prompt:
Lancelot, the vain and rash knight, was attacked by Demons and fell off the cliff. Fortunately, he was saved by Swan Princess Odette. The Water Spirits living in the Crystal Forest discovered them and set a trap for the lovers. One Water Spirit turned into Lancelot. “He” led Odette into the Forest and wounded her badly. Meanwhile, another Water Spirit disguised itself as Odette and asked Lancelot to pick 100 roses for “her”. Totally unaware of the danger, Lancelot walked cheerfully into the Forest...
-------------------------------------------------------------
Created by: u/mitchjagger
The Crystal Forest sparkled brightly under the midday sun, echoes of light bounced through the rainbow crystals and played at Lancelot's feet. His steps were light and carefree as he remembered his first meeting with Swan Princess Odette just a few hours earlier. He had thought himself for dead, as the foul demons Thamuz and Alice drove him backwards off of Gemstone Cliff. They attacked him from both sides, forcing him to parry backwards over and over until at last his left foot stepped behind into thin air. Then he had fallen, head over heels with no concept of up or down expecting a short and grim meeting with the ground.
But it never came. His flight came to a jarring halt - buffeted by a sweet sound that reminded him of home and family and love. He opened his eyes to gaze upon the most beautiful face he had ever seen, and realized she was the sound that had saved him. He had barely let her out of his sight since! But now she had asked him for 100 of the purest whitest roses he could find. Lancelot, befuddled with love, gladly said yes not noticing the Water Spirits poorly disguised reptilian tail or slimy trail of footprints.
So he set off into the Crystal Forest, surrounded by the rainbows of glittering gemstones that he only wished he could pick for his dearest Odette. He had been searching for one hour then two then three and the high sun was now sitting low on the sky, throwing the once beautiful forest into a darker ominous shadow of rainbows. Lanvelot began to hear snuffles in the shadows and wet slapping like the sound of fish on land...
He sped up, walking quickly now - he was mssing his Odette of course, he needed to hurry up! His pace and worry were so great, that he nearly missed the grove of 100 white roses on his left, tucked within a clearing of great gemstones, each 30 feet tall and 6 feet wide. Success! His love would be so pleased, she might even marry him. But then he noticed, a slight discolouration on some of the roses, bright red droplets that shone even in the shadows. He began to run, following the droplets as they got larger and brighter before pulling up with a gasp in the centre of the grove. His dearest Odette, as beautiful as the moon, was lying on a bed of red roses, grievously wounded. He collapsed by her side, shaking her awake.
"Odette!! Odette!! ODETTE!!!"
She stirred slowly and Lancelot could see the wound, although severe, would not be fatal if he could get help. He was bending to give her a kiss on the forehead when the same slow wet fish slappimg noise rung out from behind him. Lanvelot arose and spun, to be faced by three evil hideous Water Spirits, one of whom was still (now poorly) disguised as Odette.
"Foul creatures, what have you done?!" cried Lancelot.
"Heh heh. We have found ourselves some lovebirds to cook for dinner." snickered the Water Spirit dressed as Odette. "Prepare to die!"
The three spirits lunged forwards simultaneously but Lancelot was quicker, using his Puncture attack to rip through the spirits and away from the defenceless Odette. With their backs turned to him, he quickly dispatched of the slightly slower Spirit with one thrust of his rapier. The remaining two Spirits snarled menacingly as they turned, tridents of water forming in their grey flipper hands.
Lancelot was ready for the double attack this time though, having learned his lesson after losing to the foul demons earlier in the day. With his new found experience, he knew he had to eliminate one opponent quickly and lunged towards the left spirit, using his Thorned Rose skill to strike the spirit multiple times before ot could react.
He leapt backwards as the grey lifeless body crumpled to the ground. The remaining spirit, still dressed as Odette, was less confident now. It looked nervous, yellow eyes flicking back and forth. Lancelot wasn't nervous. He gave a yell and attacked with his greatest skill the Phantom Execution, thrusting his sword straight through the last spirit. With a gurgle, water started pouring out its body as it collapsed lifelessly.
Lancelot wiped his blade in the bed of roses, bit his feet were already moving to Odette. He hoisted her onto his back.
"Here my love, I will save you."
He turned and walked out of the grive of 100 white roses and through the Crystal Forest, sharp sword glinting in the now moonlight enevloping the forest.
No creature dared disturb their path.
Server: 60039 ID: 18145172
-------------------------------------------------------------
Created by: u/just_an_MLAdventurer
Lancelot, the vain and rash knight, was attacked by Demons and fell off the cliff. Fortunately, he was saved by Swan Princess Odette. The Water Spirits living in the Crystal Forest discovered them and set a trap for the lovers. One Water Spirit turned into Lancelot. ‘He’ led Odette into the Forest and wounded her badly. Meanwhile, another Water Spirit disguised itself as Odette and asked Lancelot to pick 100 roses for ‘her’. Totally unaware of the danger, Lancelot walked cheerfully into the Forest—or so the Water Spirits thought…
After Lancelot was finally out of sight of the Water Spirit disguised as Odette, he stopped pretending to be walking cheerfully and set out to find the real Odette.
“Such amateur, thinking it could fool me. It might have been able to imitate the beauty of my Odette, but it can’t imitate my love’s modesty and pure heart. I’ll make sure to have the impostor pay for making my Odette look materialistic, but first, I have to find the real Odette, she might be in danger too.” Lancelot thought as he searched deeper into the Crystal Forest.
Meanwhile, the Water Spirit disguised as Odette met up with the Water Spirit pretending to be Lancelot and the wounded Odette lying in a dais made of stone.
“Let’s start the ritual, before the lovestruck fool came back from collecting 100 roses!” The Water Spirit said as it lets out an ear-piercing laugh.
‘Lancelot’ approached Odette and brought ought a sacrificial knife, ‘he’ aimed it at Odette’s heart and thrust as hard as ‘he’ could. But ‘he’ was surprised when the knife met resistance then a swan made from sound energy exploded right at ‘his’ face and blown ‘him’ back.
“H-HOW!? You we’re badly wounded!” ‘Lancelot’ now back to its Water Spirit form, exclaimed in disbelief. “These?” Odette looked down at her bleeding wounds, and they slowly faded away.
“I knew you weren’t the real Lancelot; I was expecting surprise attacks and so I was able to parry all of them with this sword. You probably didn’t notice though because you are not the only one who can create illusions.” She said as she waves the sword the Lancelot gave him.
“But I perfectly copied his appearance!” The Water Spirit still can’t believe what was happening.
“Oh, come on. Don’t think that our love’s too shallow. You might have been able to copy my knight’s appearance, but I don’t love him just because of that. I loved what was inside, and you failed to imitate that. I loved him because of the comfort that he brings into my heart, which no one could ever dream to imitate.” Both the Water Spirits were surprised by Odette’s words.
This was the first time they encountered someone who saw through their disguises.
“THERE YOU ARE!” The real Lancelot shouted behind Odette as he ran to be with his lover’s side. “YOU! I still haven’t punished you for spouting such ugly demands using my Odette’s beautiful lips!” He said pointing at the Water Spirit who were taken by surprise yet again it lost it’s hold on its Odette disguise and reverted to its true form.
Lancelot unsheathes his rapier, getting ready to fight and kill if necessary, but Odette stopped him by placing her hand on his shoulder.
“I can’t blame you if you were created that way, being only able to feed off from the love of others. But do you really have to kill? Won’t it be easier to just feed off from the love in the air? What happens when you killed the last lovers in the Land of Dawn? Won’t it be your kind that will suffer from starvation then? Just because you were created to become parasites, doesn’t mean you have to be monsters. You could try giving back to the lovers instead and help them nurture their love, so you’ll have more energy to feed from the love they’ll be radiating. And when that happens, you’ll cease to be parasites and will have a symbiotic relationship instead.” The Water Spirits looked down out of their shame, for they realized that the princess’ words were true.
“As a member of the Royal Family Baroque, I grant amnesty to you and all your kind. But you must promise never to kill and harm other people again, because next time, I won’t stop this vicious knight from annihilating you.” Odette said.
“That’s my Odette, always so kind and considerate.” Lancelot said as he leaned in for a kiss, and that’s when the Water Spirits realized how this type of love energy tastes so much better than one harvested through sacrificial rituals.
From then on, the Crystal Forest—especially Crystal Lake—became one of the most famous spot for lovers and the Water Spirits learned to co-exist with the people of Land of Dawn and acted like the Cupids of the land.
This may be a little bit late but I'm still hoping to get chosen atleast to be on consolation prize.
Server: 70085 IGN: 14330588
-------------------------------------------------------------
Created by: u/Exact-Veterinarian-9
[Lancelot walked cheerfully into the Forest...] and began picking white roses. From a close distance he could see red and pink roses. He reasoned that the Swan princess deserved no less than the best, and offering the multicolored rose bouquet would be a way to express his gratitude for saving him earlier on. Lancelot thus went a bit deeper into the forest. As he was about to pick the last red rose he felt the warm morning sun gently shine beneath his fingers and it kept on moving towards a green rose. The green rose was farther into the forest but was reasonably close. Lancelot had never seen a rose of such color before. The rose was so delicate, beautiful, and emitted a scent reminding him of the Princess. All the roses he had collected could not compare. Without hesitation he dropped all the previous roses and dashed to get the green rose. As he laid his fingers on the stem, it punctured him with its thorns. Lancelot ignored the thorns and proceeded to completely grab it. Suddenly, he felt a sharp striking cut to his palm. The green rose was revealed to be a dagger in disguise. He quickly leaped away from the dagger. In that instant, the ground beneath the dagger opened up and a blue water spirit emerged. The spirit charged at full speed towards Lancelot. Lancelot went for a counter attack and unsheathed his sword but failed as the palm of his hand was deeply wounded. Unable to fight back, Lancelot used his ability "thorned rose" and evaded the attack. In the brief moment when the water spirit became confused, Lancelot thrusts past the spirit and dashed away from it, only to venture deeper into the forest. The warm sunshine began to fade away, hours went by and it was starting to approach midnight. The dagger was laced with poison. Lancelot was getting weaker by the minute. At that time there were only two things on his mind:
  1. As a knight, I must protect the princess from evil lurking so closely. I must end the water spirits.
  2. As her lover, I can't make the princess cry, Odette must not lose me.
Yet strong willed as Lancelot may be, he could feel the effects of the poison. He was drifting past the forest, looking up and seeing swan shaped clouds heading north. Having no clear path to follow, he decided to follow the clouds trusting that it is a sign for the clouds to be formed like a swan.
He kept pushing his body to the limit just to get out of the forest and see Odette. And then, he heard a hymn he knows to the heart. It was the song that the princess was singing. But this time, it was fading and felt heavy. He looked around and carefully peaked behind the bushes at the source of the sound. His worst fear was confirmed, it was Odette bound to a stone wall with a different white water spirit guarding over her. She appears badly hurt and weakened.
Lancelot was enraged. But he can't lash out recklessly fearing it may further harm Odette. Having learned from the previous encounter that the water spirits are unaware of his abilities. He made a plan.
He went out and stared at the spirit. Odette was shocked but she immediately said "Lancelot you don't have to do this. Please save yourself"
Lancelot replied "I need you to trust me. I can't live my life without you"
Odette replied "I'm gonna love you more for this. I believe you!"
The spirit laughed menacingly "HAHAHA. Oh takes me back... good times. (The spirit changed its form into the appearance of Odette but it emanated a dark ghostly aura) And we have ourselves a couple, just what we need. Hahaha!!!"
Lancelot: "Silence! Wicked spirit! I command you to release the Princess!".
Spirit: "You don't have power over me, Knight".
Lancelot: "I'm gonna make it clear to you. Hand me the princess and I shall let you go into hiding. However, for the pain you have caused, trust that I will find and I will end you. There are no other choices".
Spirit: "Foolish Knight! I do not fear you, Knight. You should fear meeee!!!".
Lancelot: "You are partially correct to not fear me but gravely mistaken because you must... Fear my sword!!!".
Lancelot flashes forward and used "thorned rose" to get past the spirit and went for the thick vines binding Odette. He manages to cut through the vines but further weakened his hand in the process. He then manages to catch Odette.
The spirit realizing the situation jumped towards them, however, with all her might Odette released "blue nova" directed at the spirit.
And all of a sudden the ground between the lovers and the white water spirit broke. A geyser formed and it was the blue water spirit that took the form of Lancelot. It took the hit of the "Blue Nova" for the white water spirit. The blue spirit looked at the white spirit and it slowly faded into nothing.
Odette and Lancelot knew that even though the water spirits meant harm to humans. It shared a similar bond to what they have as lovers. The blue water spirit sacrificed itself for white water spirit.
Odette and Lancelot were perplexed. They said "Could it be that the water spirits feel emotions? Feel love?"
The white water spirit returned to its normal form and the evil aura vanished. It was replaced with an aura of despair. It looked at both the lovers and answered.
"I needed to sacrifice lovers so that our time as water spirits could continue to flow. We did not choose to hurt people but a wicked succubus named Alice had cursed us both to live like this!! Passing days searching to extend our time. My companion's time was drying out. But now, without him I have nothing left. We never wanted to hurt you. My companion knew that I would not have easily been hurt by such an attack yet he saw something in what both of you share, so he sacrificed himself to send me a message. I am sorry for putting both of you through this. I want to make it up for you both. Please let me".
Lancelot and Odette felt no malice from the water spirit and allowed it help them. Lancelot said "I am sorry for what you've been through. Please if there is a way, we want to help you as well".
The white water spirit replied "Thank you but there isn't anymore hope for me. We must tend to your wounds quickly. I will open a pool that can take you to any body of water anywhere. Use it to get close to your kingdom and get medication there. It is the lease I can do".
Odette quickly said "the swan lake!!!"
Lancelot rebutted "but the swan lake must be a couple of miles away from here. Are you really able to do that?"
The white water spirit nodded "well yes but a pool that far.... (The white spirit smiled and opened a pool for them) Quickly! You need to get help immediately and I can't hold it for long".
Lancelot and Odette said thank you and jumped into the pool while holding hands.
About a week passed and Lancelot got his injuries treated while Odette got well rested and looked after Lancelot. Weeks passed, they went out again to stroll around the kingdom. They sat on a garden and looked into the sky. Staring at the clouds. Lancelot asked "I wondered what happened to her, the white water spirit? Odette said " Well I hope she's doing fine. Hopefully she gets a happy life."
In the forest, "The white water spirit having used up all her magic begins to fade and yet she smiles."
It begins to rain.
[END]
IGN: Legend Muffin ID: 2786341 Server: 30035
-------------------------------------------------------------
Created by: u/WarTornNeko
As Lancelot strode towards the field of roses, he saw a few minor demons scattered around, burning the beautiful blood red flowers to ashes. The wind picked up, and Lancelot felt a cold chill, then a whisper in his ear.
"It's quite pathetic how weak your race is, human."
Lancelot spun around, drawing out his sword, gleaming in the faint sun light.
"Who's there!"
He called out, searching for the source in vain.
"I go by many names, however, my most recent is Akashic. This is not relevant. What is relevant is that you should know that if you want to save your love, you must do so fast."
The voice hissed out, followed by the sounds of cruel laughter, then the screams of his love, Odette.
"Princess!"
Lancelot yelled out, attracting the unfortunate attention of a few beasts. Charging into the clearing came a Skullcrusher. As it lumbered closer, it swung it's massive axe towards the knight.
With a quick hop backwards, Lancelot blocked the blow with his sword. As thin and fragile as it looked, it held against the brute's weapon.
"I don't have time for the likes of you!"
Lancelot snarled, leaping over the beast but his foot slid on a patch of mud and ash. He fell down down down, what was going on? Everything went dark, then the same bone-chilling voice rang out.
"Foolish human, the more time you spend dawdling, the closer your princess comes to her unfortunate demise."
"What did you do to my love?!"
Lancelot yelled with all his force, then good consciousness faded.
When he came to, he found himself staring into the eyes of Princess Odette, but which one? With a blink, and like a mirage, she was gone. Sitting down, head between his hands, Lancelot cried out, cried in pain and sorrow, with the helplessness and fear he had bottled up for so long.
"I'm not strong enough... I'm not strong enough!"
He kept repeating to himself, not noticing the rose Princess Odette had given him shimmer, and turn translucent. It sparkled like glass, and suddenly Lancelot felt a tremendous surge of energy and courage welling up inside of him. He shot to his feet and ran.
He passed under trees, across streams, then stopped. He had arrived to the base of the cliff, where it all began. He knelt down and prayed, prayed to whatever deity was out there, if only to save his one true love. Overhead, a crack of lightning, then a boom filled the sky and air, and Lancelot knew he was heard.
With a determined look, he strode back towards the rose fields. It was strangely quiet and empty, until he saw Odette standing in the center of the field, surrounded by 5 spearmen. All 5 had their weapons drawn, leveling them at her.
He knew his time had come, and that saving her was more important than his own life. With one final surge of does, he pushed the princess out of the way, just as the spears jabbed forwards. Instead of hitting Princess Odette, they found a new target.
Lancelot.
He was willing to sacrifice his own life for her, and he did.
"Lancelot, no!"
Was the last thing he heard before it all went dark once more.
(This is where I would've loved to stopped as a cliff hanger, not going to lie.)
Several days later, Sir Lancelot opened his eyes, staring at a white ceiling. Looking to himself, he saw all his wounds were healed it bandaged up, then he saw Her.
Her head was resisting on the bed sideways, towards him, her body kneeling on the floor. With slow movements, he pulled his one true love to his lap, kissing her forehead.
"Wake up my princess."
ANNNND CUT! I guess this is where I do an authors note. This was a fun journey, researching a bit about Lance and Odette, and I had a great enjoyment. I spent many a night trying to piece out a good short story, and this is the result. I hope you enjoy! -Neko 🦊
Server ID: 60030
Player ID: 17400666 (yeah I know. I'm a demon)
-------------------------------------------------------------
Created by: u/YuliyAi
Totally unaware of the danger, Lancelot walked cheerfully into the Forest…
Upon stepping past the boundary line, the forest suddenly shifted and changed; What was once rustling leaves of green and gold, the content hums of wildlife and cheery sunlight breaking through the canopies, became a labyrinth of stifling silence and dark ice.
Lancelot blinks in surprise, hands instinctively reaching for his trust-worthy sabre resting in its sheath against his right thigh. Years of training has taught him that something was not quite right, the wind whispering hushed things through the trees and the skin beneath his armor prickling with unease. But then Lancelot remembered Odette’s bright blue eyes, innocently round as she asked for a hundred roses from the Crystal Forest, smiling with lips pale pink like a rosebud. And so, heart fluttering from the mere memory of Odette, Lancelot pushed past his growing cloud of doubt and continued forward into the whirling snow before him.
Despite the thick covering of snow, there were an abundance of roses everywhere, spots of reds and lavenders and peaches spying behind a fallen tree trunk, clustered on a gnarled branch or hidden behind a tangle of brambles. Even with snow hanging heavily in his blonde hair and the icy wind sending pinpricks of pain across his face, Lancelot took the time to find the largest and most beautiful of them, his armored grip gentle around the bouquet of roses he’s slowly accumulating. Eventually, he had picked ninety-nine roses, and suddenly, there were no roses to be found.
It has gotten darker too, but Lancelot was determined to see the way Odette’s face lights up when he presents the hundred flowers to her. Deciding to follow the trickling of a creek, Lancelot arrived at a clearing with faint rays of sunlight pouring down into the little crevice that the water carved through the forest. In the middle of it all, his eyes widened at the sight of the prettiest rose he had ever seen: crimson layered in an intricate display, blooming majestically like a miniature queen fixing her skirts, satin petals unfurling undisturbed even with the swirling snow storm around it. Lancelot had to give this to Odette, it would be a shame not to. Not only was this a fitting declaration of his fondness for the princess, it would also, surely, marked Lancelot superior over all the other suitors fighting for Odette’s attention.
But as Lancelot’s fingers curled around the stem of the vividly beautiful rose, there was a flash of white out of the corner of his eye, and Lancelot hesitated. He turned, more out of curiosity than anything, and his gaze fell on something seemingly so insignificant-looking, he would not have known it existed even if he entered and left this particular clearing several times.
It was a white rose nestled at the edge of the clearing, small and barely decipherable among the snowy background. Even from afar, Lancelot can tell it was in a bad shape, drooping and battered, its white petals flecked with brown and its leaves on the verge of withering. Despite nearing death however, it stood tall against the unrelenting winter wind, and Lancelot then noticed the various young seedlings sprouting from the ground next to the small rose, being protected by its frail neighbor.
A surge of protectiveness washed over Lancelot, and in the next second, he was next to the small flower in quick strides, hunching over it to direct the assault of snow from the rose and onto his back. He thought of Odette’s gentle hands, their first meeting at that lakeshore not so long ago, where she cradled his face, a stranger, and her fierce promise to get him well so please, do not give in to the pain and stay with me. Lancelot thought of many things at that moment: the warmth of the Swan Palace, Odette’s fingers carding through his hair as he laid his head in her lap, the loneliness in those blue eyes that gave way to wonder whenever Lancelot tells her stories of his adventures in the Land of Dawn, Odette’s tears when Lancelot pressed a kiss to her forehead and whispered, “To me, you’re not a princess, a goddess or a powerful mage. To me, you’re just Odette.”
Let me protect you, Lancelot thought towards the white rose. Gently and oh so carefully, he picked the small flower off the ground, attempting to tuck it in the safe space between his hip and his sabre, because he had learned that delicate things needed tender handling, and Lancelot didn’t want the thorns of his bouquet of roses to hurt his little white rose.
100.
There was a dazzling flash of gold and blue light, the white rose no more, and suddenly Lancelot was reaching out to catch an armful of white skirts, honey-blonde hair and shining blue eyes. “Odette?” He yelped, his roses scattered to the wind in favor of holding the woman he loved close to his chest. There were scrapes and bruises blossoming purple and red over Odette’s pale skin, her usually pristine dress now stained muddy and bloodied, but Odette was laughing, a bright clear sound like windchimes in the breeze as she looped her arms around Lancelot’s shoulders, shouting “You found me!”
“What - ”
“Well done, young warrior.”
Lancelot spun around, hands tightening around Odette protectively as the snow and ice of the forest disappeared completely. In their place stood two water spirits of gleaming ocean blue taking the humanoid form of man and woman, their feet barely touching the grass as they floated closer. The man smiled with its beady white eyes and inclined its body into a deep bow towards Odette, its voice regretful as Odette winced in pain from being shifted about in Lancelot’s grasp. “First and foremost, we would like to express our utmost apologies to the Princess of the Swan Palace for hurting her.”
Anger roared in his belly like a furious living thing. Lancelot was ready to draw his sabre right there and smashed the water spirits to mere droplets, if Odette had not placed a reassuring hand on his arm. “Rest assured, it was not our intention,” the feminine water spirit gurgled out with the sounds of water, “the nature of the test can not be revealed, and the princess put up a struggle once she realized the Lancelot leading her into the forest was not hers.”
The water spirits had been watching the lovers from the very beginning, they said. It was strange, this unconditional love between a talented but arrogant knight and the gentle yet lonely Swan Princess, and the water spirits wondered if such a strong love could be broken easily by a trap made of the same love. But they know now; they saw it in the way Lancelot gave up his pride to protect a weak flower in the snow, the way Odette trusted Lancelot to find her in how she protected the young sprouts. “We’re sorry for doubting your love,” the water spirits were holding hands now, fingers of blue intertwined. “Water is important for us water spirits, for water is love, steady and enduring under all circumstances. We hope the same can be said for yours.” With those parting words, the water spirits vanished.
Lancelot glanced down at the girl in his arms, who was smiling throughout the entirety of the water spirits’ speech, and despite the numbing fatigue in his bones and his injuries from falling off a cliff aching from over-exertion, he couldn’t help but reached over to give Odette’s nose a playful pinch, grinning at the light squawk of indignation from the princess. Even battered and bruised, Odette still looked beautiful. “What are you smiling about?”
In response, her smile only grew wider like a flower, growing from an unassuming curve of red and slowly stretching out bigger and fuller with bunched cheeks and crescent-shaped eyes, sparkling so bright like petals laden with morning dew. There’s fondness in those blue eyes, so soft and sweet it melts like raw warmed honey in the air. Lancelot parted his lips like he could catch a taste of it.
“I do love you, you know.” Odette whispered shyly instead, her cheeks flushed pink, and Lancelot wondered how could such simple words cradle his heart so gently, the way she held him on that day on the lakeshore.
Lancelot would never know, not until years later at least, with bands of gold glittering on their fingers, but his expression then was Odette’s favorite, the one that crinkled green eyes into something warm, curved a crooked smile from a proud snarl into something shy as Lancelot answered quietly, “I know.”
And with his princess in his arms, the knight carried them home.
[Author: Yuliy, ID: 17720232, Server: 60034.]
-------------------------------------------------------------
Created by: u/WoodIsMyBusiness
As the fake Odette followed in the shadows. It watched as Lancelot went towards a bright pink rose bush. He bent down and smelled the flowers as he closed his eyes. This was its chance! It emerged from the shadows, practically floating in the air so as not to attract his attention. Just as it was looming overhead, it felt a slight stinging sensation in its abdomen. The fake Odette looked down to see Lancelot’s rapier lodged deep in its mid-section and began to turn back into what it truly was.
“Very clever. However, the sweet princess does not strike me as a rose lover, nor can she float.” Lancelot said as he turned around and removed his weapon from the water spirit. It fell to the ground and muttered something. Lancelot leaned in closer and heard these words, “You may have escaped death, but not your Sweet Princess”. The creature was now lifeless, and panic set in on Lancelot.
“I must find the princess!” Lancelot said as he jumped to his feet and ran deeper into the forest.
Odette was lying by a stream. Tears rolled down her face as she bit her lip. “How could I be so stupid? Why would that handsome knight ever desire a creature as pathetic as me?” She rolled her hand into a fist and struck the ground where she lay.
“No!” she yelled as she tried to sit up, “I will NOT let this be the end of me.” She tried to rise to her feet while ignoring her wounds but fell back towards the ground. This time face first. She gritted her teeth as she lifted her head. The river was close by. If she could just reach the water where her sword was that contained the healing crystal, she could heal herself. She rose her head and began to crawl. It seemed like an eternity as she moved towards her weapon while a trail of blood began to form behind her. Her body ached, but she was determined to live. She had to!
Just as her sword was within reach a pain shot through her body and she screamed in pain. She looked up to see Lancelot. A grin across his face as his rapier was thrust into her back. Blood began to seep from her mouth as she continued to reach for her weapon. Lancelot laughed as she managed to squeak out a sound, “Why?”
Suddenly, there was a second Lancelot that appeared before her and ran his rapier through the Lancelot that had her pinned down. It changed shape and she realized it was never Lancelot who attacked her, but a water spirit. Lancelot dropped his weapon and scooped her up in his arms. She smiled faintly and mustered all her strength to reach up and touch his face. It was soft, softer than she thought. He clutched her hand with his and kissed it gently.
“I am so glad that this will be the last face I see.” She said faintly.
Lancelot held back tears, “This is not your end sweet princess. I will save you.”
She gasped and held his hand tightly as she practically forced out her next words, “You already did my valiant knight.”
He felt her hand try and pull him towards her. As his face neared hers, he could smell her perfume. An intoxicating scent that would burn itself into his memory forever as she pressed her lips against his. It truly was a kiss to be archived for the ages. Never had love been so perfectly personified within a moment such as this. A pure, romantic gesture of why humans were created. Then he felt her slip away. That was when Lancelot allowed himself to feel the pain of failure and loss.
He screamed, his voice echoed throughout the forest, and it was said that all who had heard it felt an immense amount of suffering wash over them. So ends the sad tale of a love that was meant to be, but never was.
ID:18615990 Server:60049 Author Name: Poison Ivy
-------------------------------------------------------------
Created by: u/BaoNRice
[Totally unaware of the danger, Lancelot walked cheerfully into the Forest...] At first Lancelot found many flowers but none of them were roses, so he thought to himself, he should go deeper into the forest and maybe he would find the roses. The farther Lancelot went in the forest the thicker the mist became, making it very hard for Lancelot to know where he was. He was lost.
After pressing on, with Odette on his mind to keep him going, Lancelot heard footsteps moving around him in the mist. Lancelot drew his sword ready to strike whatever beast that is ready to pounce at him from the mist. Out of the mist jumped out demons hunting for prey lost in the forest. (Multiple battles begin)
After fighting through hordes of demons, Lancelot was becoming more and more tired but kept pushing on fueled by his love for Odette. Soon enough deep in the mist Lancelot found the roses. Tired and excited, Lancelot spots a mysterious figure slowly towards Lancelot through the mist. He could barely see through the thickness of the mist, but was surprised when he saw who it was.
“Odette! What are you doing here and how did you find me!?” Lancelot was shocked and confused. “I was worried that you have gotten lost and came in after to make sure you were safe”, explained Odette. “Do you have the roses?”, Odette asks. Lancelot showed the roses to Odette and was so relieved and happy she was there, he walked towards her to embrace her in his arms, but as he got closer Odette fires an energy orb right at him! He barely dodges the orb in time and draws his sword. “Hand over the roses!”, Odette demands. In disbelief, Lancelot knew deep down this was not the Odette he loved. (Battle begins)
After defeating Odette, Lancelot could not deliver the final blow. The sight of Odette wounded on the ground deeply saddened him. But before he could finish her the imposter Odette struck a fatal blow to Lancelot, he fell to the ground on his knees. “Thanks for taking care of those pesky demons and gathering the roses we need for the for the ritual to be complete”, imposter Odette laughed as she looked down on the weakened knight. Lancelot bowed his weakened head and closed his weary eyes and thought about nothing but Odette and how much he loved her. “This is where it ends, Odette, I love you”, he thought to himself before accepting his fate. Imposter Odette charges up her magic to deliver executing strike on Lancelot. Lancelot was on the ground, beaten and eyes closed, lost in thought. The last thing he heard was the shot of energy magic being shot.
Lancelot opens his eyes, confused, wondering why he is still alive. He sees a dead water spirit lying on the ground in front of him. He looks up and sees a girl in a violet dress. “Hello brother”, the girl said.
Lancelot was still dazed about the events that just happened and now he is seeing his sister Guinevere standing here in front of him. He asked why she was here and she explained that there was trouble at home and she is here to find him to bring him back for help. Lancelot asked Guinevere to help him find the real Odette and promised her that he will return to help when Odette is safe. Guinevere agreed and they both set out into the fog in search of Odette. (Battling through demons and water spirits disguised as other heroes in the game)
After going deeper into the forest Lancelot and his sister knew they were getting close to finding Odette due to the number of water spirits they encountered were growing larger and larger. Then finally they reached a small field where Lancelot saw Odette laying unconscious on the ground while another Lancelot stood looming above her. “Odette!”, yelled Lancelot as he drew his sword ready to fight the imposter. (Battle begins)
After defeating the water spirit disguised as himself, Lancelot ran to Odette’s side. “Odette?! Are you ok, I’m here for you!” Odette awoke looking happy and relieved. Lancelot and Odette embraced each other never wanting to let go. Guinevere stood by watching happily said, “I’m glad your friend is safe. I can hold the roses for you and we can head on home.” Lancelot still holding Odette in his arms looked up and asked, “Wait.... why do you need the roses?”
Guinevere suddenly laughs hysterically. She starts to transform. She transformed into a water spirit! This water spirit was the leader of the water spirits of the forest. (Stronger water spirits can transform into anyone you love_ friends/family) “All I needed was the roses and the energies of two lovers to start the ritual to give me more power”, the water spirit said with a greedy smile. Odette and Lancelot rise up together, weakened but ready to fight the final battle. (Final boss battle begins)
Defeating the Leader of the water spirits, Lancelot and Odette head back to the castle to heal and spend the rest of their lives together. The End.
Id:18706895 Server: 60051
submitted by MLAdventure to MLA_Official [link] [comments]


2020.10.08 20:25 Danbrotastic28 I Finally Understand

Ok, for the past 3 days I read volumes 4 to 7.5 including the all the SS. I wanted to know just how much the story progressed since the anime got me hooked. It took me awhile to get the continuous flow of reading when I started at Vol. 4 but when I did get the momentum I didn't stop, so here are my thoughts criticism is welcome.
So first of all, just wow, W-O-W. I didn't expect the story to be so intriguing, after reading one volume I couldn't help myself but to read the next one, that's just how amazing it was for me there was never a dull moment and now I understand the memes about ayanogod.
The Zodiac exams was something that got me on the edge, especially how Kiyopon made Kei his partner in crime but allowing her past trauma to resurface which is bullying, and in turn using that to shackle her and make her do task when his plotting behind the scenes. I was surprised but continuing to read made me understand it more why he had to do that, why he had to peel of her surface personality in order to get to her real self, in doing so allowed him to gain a valuable pawn, tool, asset or however you'd like to call it. The whole phone switcheroo caught me off guard, I though Ichinose busted them, but in reality he put a lie on top of another lie, true he switched phones, but in reality he switched phones not with just one person but with two, Kei and Yamauchi(correct me if I'm wrong). He also switched the SIM cards with the use of points. So when Ichinose called him it was indeed his SIM but not his phone that was genius the plan was (Tho Ichinose found out anyway) and how they tricked the traitor and came out second place with Class-C in 1st place.
The Sports fest is where things really kick off. Although they're working alongside Class A it still had an Individual class scoring. It was also revealed there was traitor among them, Kushida (This got me real good) and that she and Horikita were from the same middle school. She wanted to get rid of those who knew her past, hence why she wanted to expel Horikita and as well as Kiyopon. Sudou played a big role being the Ace and all but had great character development as well. Horikita got a verbal beat down from Ayanogod himself on how useless she was which in turn made her develop even more as a person on how she couldn't do things alone and needed to rely on others (Her classmates). The Best parts for me is when Kiyopon (Ayanogod) shot down Ryuuen's plan to extort from Horikita and make her kneel by having spy's or in other words traitors in class C(Manabe and her gang) which lead to a full manhunt lead by Ryuuen to find him. The other best part is when Ayanogod released a bit of his power in the relay race against Manabu he lost due to someone falling in front but this action garnered him a lot of attention. But man was the Sports Fest intense did not see it coming the part where Kiyotaka pretty much just annihilates the race by running "Seriously". Sakayanagi is introduced and is shown to know about Kiyotaka's past.
Vol.6 if I remember correctly is the Paper Shuffle exam. Pretty much just Horikita finally working with her class she apologizes for all the inconveniences she cause and is now working with Hirata. Kushida's past is revealed and boy oh boy it ain't a pretty one. Using the truth to bring down an entire class. There was still the problem of her betraying the class since she's working with Ryuuen but was ultimately foiled by Horikita with the old bait and switch. Kiyotaka with a back room deal with Ryuuen in order to make sure Kushida does not get a perfects core which makes Ryuuen grow more interested in him and increases the surveillance. There was the whole Karaoke thing where Kei spilled Juice on Kushida in order to get her uniform since the other one had damming evidence against Kiyopon, why did Kiyopon order Kei to do this is because they could plant a cheat sheet(correct me if I'm wrong) in order to get Kushida expelled. Now here's the good part Spring has come for Kiykotaka, Sato ask for his phone number and well she likes him thanks to the whole I am Speed incident in the sports fest not only that he made new friends namely Akito, Haruka, and Keisei and a has group named after him the Ayanokouji group where he is nicknamed Ayanopon the Kiyopon his inner monologue in getting first nickname is precious. In the end the prevail against Class C. One of the highlights here is when Horikita put on a good show for Ryuuen in order to make him think they got an upper hand against her.
Vol. 7 is where it's at!!! Boom! Kei is once again bullied, this time by Ryuuen. Having water poured on her to get her to fess up X's name. This is where she is completely broken down again and man did hurt to read. She had complete hope Kiyotaka would save her but was not saved until the last minute. This is where my stand has been solidified that Kei is best girl no matter what. Even though exposing Kiyotaka would've saved her(although temporarily only) she defied Ryuuen till the end. This showed she would absolutely not betray Kiyotaka and by saving her at the last minute made her trust in him soar even knowing he was the one behind the Manabe incident. This whole thing allowed her to break free her past the bounded her and seeing happen was a sight to behold, this was when Kei truly became one of my Favorite characters, her character growth is phenomenal! At first I never realized why she was well like but now that I do I can see why! To me she is and will always be best girl and this entire Volume solidified it. Now onto the most intense moment, Ayanongod vs Albert, Ishizaki, Ibuki, and Ryuuen. What happens? Absolute domination by Ayanogod the meme "I see no god up here but me truly applies in this moment" he drove Ryuuen to fear him, the man who did not know fear. Afterwards Christmas break starts after some explaining on how the whole thing went down and some other stuff leading to this moment, oh and Ryuuen was about to be expelled but nonetheless, Kiyotaka did not allow that since he still had his uses for him. Kiyotaka's dad shows up trying to get him to dropout to return to the White Room, it is revealed the the Chairman is Sakayanagi's Father as well(I think that's about it)
Vol. 7.5 time for some resolution to other stuff and and fluff. Imma make this short. Kiyopon had a fight with Ibuki won, went on a double date with Sato and Kei and Hirata and then rejected her at the end. Talks of trying to get Ryuuen to his side and Manabu being there as well in order to oppose Nagumo the new big bad by having Kiyopon meet with the anti-Nagumo Faction. But the real juicy part is after the rejection of Satou and after the Meeting with VP Kiriyama. Just as you'd expect it's all about best girl Kei Karuizawa! Pretty much just confirms what there relationships is and where they stand. After the rooftop incident Kiyopon was worried for Kei as he got her medicine and that she is truly the only person who knows hos dark side. Kei does give him a present and earlier with the Double date she acted as a cupid and fired an arrow of love so Kiyopon and Satou would get together but it missed...or did it. Kiyopon explains that if Sato confessed B4 the Sports fest things might have gone differently which is why he found it ironic that Sato began to like Hime after the sports fest incident. They then have long talk about couples and about themselves until Kiyopon gets a call to meet with the anti faction. After meeting up and proclamation that Kei is his trustworthy partner to VP Kiriyama aka Anti Nagumo faction, they both head back ad start taking. Kei asked what he meant by being partners he explains that she cannot be replaced and is truly valuable in order to soother her anxiety but it's also because she truly the only one who knows him deeply and understands him that Kiyopon finds her existence to be too Valuable to let go. Kei gives him a present and says she broke you with Yousuke aka Hirata and ask whether that lower her value and she is not need anymore. Kiyopon say no to that and says she's become an existence that can move forward without Hirata the her of today was different from the her before the rooftops incident, she is someone who no longer need to rely on Hirata. Tho this was a plan of Kiyopon to get her to change her host form Hirata to him which is like a parasite as he has explaining B4 in Vol. 4. They gave each other gifts even and the "Oi" part truly made me chuckle. He got her cold medicine which showed that be truly did worry about Kei, she asked why not call her, in which he replies she would've out up a strong front and meeting her directly was out of the question. Kiyopon uses this chance to start calling her by her first name which My Oh My truly shocked Kei. In her SS which is in her perspective that arrow which missed and she thought went to who knows where actually went back and struck her instead. Yes she finally admits that her heart has been stolen and even says that it was just how powerful the arrow was that even if was behind the Manabe incident and admits that she has Fallen in Love with Kiyotaka at this point my fondness for her increased exponentially and I truly believe she is best girl through and through.
Overall the entire ride was unbelievably amazing experience I will continue reading to the newly translated Volumes but man oh man am I looking forward to more of this especially Kei and Kiyopon!
Thanks to any the passerby who reads this sorry if it's a bit long just want to show my appreciation to the series.
Edit: The last part supposed to be Vol 7.5 which is Christmas Break out 7 so I changed it to 7.5, it is also supposed to be Sakayanagi's father not daughter. The correction is that Kiyotaka asked Kei to spill juice on Kushida just to know the existence of the other uniform and he was the one who planted a cheat sheet but it was in another day, thanks for the correction on this u/Jazzlike_Razzmatazz, much appreciated.
submitted by Danbrotastic28 to ClassroomOfTheElite [link] [comments]


2020.10.08 04:05 Bocsold Why have all the profiles on DoubleTake now only answered like ten questions?

It seems that every profile on DoubleTake now is rather sparse. They only have a 50% match with me, and they have only answered a single digit number of questions, which is exactly why they only have a 50% match with me. The profiles are filled out with minimal effort, and the pictures are usually inane if not outright obviously from spam/bot accounts. What has gotten into OkCupid recently? Why has the proportion of decent profiles gone down the drain, and all that's left is empty and/or fake profiles?
submitted by Bocsold to OkCupid [link] [comments]


2020.10.04 08:02 Assertiveconception What got you into the men's rights movement?

I'm not a misogynist and I'm not against women, I don't think rape is a joke or that hitting them is ok, or treating them as second class citizens is acceptable, etc. But this seems to be a lot of people's blatant assumptions about the men's movement.
What got me into the movement, ironically, had absolutely nothing to do from within the movement itself, but negative generalizations about men and boys from outside the movement, who are obviously against it, which drew me to it. As a random example, a forum used to frequent (but quit specifically because of this) had a thread where a 29-year-old woman who was a teacher had a sexual relationship with a 13-year-old boy who was her student and they are all saying that she had done nothing wrong and doesn't' deserve to go to jail. They were openly advocating for the law to be changed, and for there to be a double standard: grown women can have sex with boys well under the age of consent without being prosecuted, but men who would do it to underage girls should be treated as pedophiles. I agree that men who have sex with underage girls should be treated as pedophiles, but I disagree with the double standard. The thread itself is very old (about 15 years actually) but it's a great example.
https://forums.civfanatics.com/threads/yet-another-female-teacher-sleeps-with-student.126269/
The opinions expressed absolutely disgusted me. To reiterate, reviewing this particular thread at a particular internet forum did not single-handedly cause me to sympathize with the men's movement or be a part of it. It was a gradual thing that built over time, after being exposed to an abundance of this anti-male bias.
I did not lose my virginity until I was 24, and I lost it to a woman who was 20. She racially fetishized me and took advantage of my innocence by riding me without a condom on, hoping I wouldn't notice (and I didn't at first) despite our agreement we would only have sex with the condom on. I am not completely innocent here because she had a fiance and was cheating on him with me. But I was 24 and desperate. However, she made things even worse than they had to be by calling him on the phone while riding me and telling him she loved him. By the end of it, she said her time with me was her away of getting revenge on the middle eastern customers who were rude to her where she worked (this is my ethnicity, though I am born and raised in America and not Muslim) I was genuinely hurt and humiliated. 100% true story
Now here is where I am going with this: If a 20-year-old woman is capable of that kind of damage to a 24-year-old man, it beyond ridiculous to assume a 29-year-old female teacher is incapable of any harm whatsoever to a 13-year boy who is her student. She is far older than him in terms of life experience (the human brain stops developing at 25 and he is only 13) AND as direct formal authority over him, a double whammy of power imbalance. But no, he must have been lucky, there's no possible way he was hurt, the law should be changed.
It is attitudes like this one random example that has only made me think the men's movement at least has some legitimate points.
That we are all mindless horndogs will always want to have sex with a woman no matter what and it's impossible for them to rape us. That we are all guilty of an abundant amount of original sin. That they make no positive generalizations about masculinity whatsoever (literally not even one) while making no negative generalizations about femininity, and then have the audacity to ask why some people call it man-hating.
To be clear: I accept that men rape women more often than the other way around for obvious, biological reasons. However, so many have taken such an extreme, anti-male position that makes me think the men's movement has legitimate concerns at least some of the time.
edit: The story I was talking about earlier, now in much more elaborate detail, provided with context:
I am going to copy/paste you the situation I was talking about from someone I was discussing privately from it, off of reddit. I described in much more thorough detail, and eloquently there. Context: From the same site the link was from about the 29-year-old teacher having a sexual relationship with her 13-year-old student, I have recently been banned from, for unrelated reasons. They told me they were considering permanently banning me, but hadn't made a final discussion, though I am currently banned and have been for some time. I was having a discussion with a sympathetic moderator who has considering unbanning me but informed this moderator privately that I am no longer going to request to be unbanned because of opinions expressed like the one in the link. Without further ado, here it is:
This isn't related to my apology to get unbanned, so I started a new thread due to lack of adequate reason for leif_erikson to review it. Before I proceed any further: At first, I will confess I was quite upset about this potential permaban when I was informed of it. However, I have contemplated this quite thoroughly and have formulated the determination that I will no longer attempt for it to be revoked. I will not go as far as to say I REQUEST that I am to be continued to be permabanned, but I will no longer try to convince any moderator or administrator to reverse the decision.
But as a result of your professional background, I want to share a personal story with you that, as one example, has made me no longer regret being permabanned, supposing that is what they have decided.
But before I disclose the unfortunate sequents of events, I want to make something abundantly clear, for context:
I am against rape. I acknowledge that specifically, men rape women far more often than the other way around. I am against men who abuse their partner or any woman in their lives, be it physically, sexually, emotionally. If another man implies or indicates to me that he sees women primarily as his subordinates, that they are beneath him and a piece of meat whose sole purpose in life is to please him, I will hold him accountable. I will reprimand him for it, and convey to him that his manner of conduct is grotesque and unacceptable. I also fight for abortion rights for women. I am 100% pro-choice and acknowledge it was far too hard for women to successfully have one in my country (United States). I acknowledge that our current president is highly misogynistic (and more likely than not a rapist himself), something I find to be appalling and unacceptable. I acknowledge there is sexism in the workplace that sometimes hinders women from advancing their careers, something I wish to be changed.
I am 29 now. The first and only time I engaged in coitus and physical intimacy with another individual, I was 24. I met her on OkCupid, and she lived approximately 100 miles from my personal living quarters. She was 20 at this duration of time, 4 years younger than me. Being 24 and a virgin, I was quite miserable. Male virgins (especially when they reach a certain age) are stigmatized to a remarkable extent in society, and in conjunction with that, there is an abundance of pop culture tropes that only exacerbate the problem. As such, I was quite desperate to have sex which she provided me the opportunity with. She was white, and I would say quite average in terms of being conventionally attractive. But that was more than acceptable to me. When I drove to see her, I was not prepared, however, for the calamity that would unfold. She made all kinds of mischaracterization about me based on my ethnicity (my dad is from Iran, though I was born and raised in the United States and not Muslim or anything similar and 100% culturally American). My testicles are not bombs waiting to go off. My dick is not a magic carpet for you to ride on. So and so forth. She had a fiance she was cheating on me with. Normally, I would never participate in such a grotesque act with another individual. However, there are two variables to account for:
First, to reiterate, I was 24 and a virgin, and absolutely desperate. But secondly, and more importantly, she informed me that she cheated on him with alarmingly regularly, ergo, her malevolent act of unfaithfulness with me was barely a drop in the bucket next to everything else, relatively speaking.
However, she made the situation far worse than it even had to be. She called him on the phone while riding me, telling him verbatim how much she loved him. When she hung up I informed her how furious I was and demanded she not do it again. To be fair, she complied. But she was wildly inappropriate to do it, to begin with. Another example is she got on top of me, having sex with me in reverse missionary position, without the condom on, and without informing me that she was going to do this. We already conceived a prearranged agreement that the condom would be on for the entire duration of our sexual intimacy with one another. However, she took advantage of my lack of experience, my innocence and did this to me. The implication is she might have done this with every guy, thus possibly infected me with a sexually transmitted disease. She also informed me she was off birth control, which disturbed me even more. To be clear, she did not become pregnant with my child, and I was tested later on and am still clean. However, I was genuinely flabbergasted and disturbed at the time.
As her profession, she was a manager at a Sams Club. At the end, she informed me that the middle eastern male customers were rude to her, and being with me is her way of getting back at them, because "in your culture, they teach you not to do this, so you betrayed them" in her words, not mine. Again, I was 24 at the time and this, to this date, was my only sexual experience. I would be dishonest with you to tell you the experience did not affect me.
I found opinions being expressed on CFC that are quite unpalatable to me, drawing me to perceive the realizations that not attempting to successfully implement a reversal of my ban could very well be in my best interest and emotional well being. As one random example, I went into google to find an old thread of mine about a personal experience I had with a university professor I had a crush on, a conundrum of mine when I was 21. I was unable to find the thread, but found this instead:
https://forums.civfanatics.com/threads/yet-another-female-teacher-sleeps-with-student.126269/
The opinions expressed were quite appalling to me. If a 20-year-old woman is capable of inflicting this kind of damage to a 24-year-old man, why are they absolutely determined to espouse the belief that there no theoretical possibility at all that a 29-year-old woman could do something similar (if not worse) to a 13-year-old boy? In conjunction with the decisive variable of the vast age discrepancy between a fully adult woman and a boy well below the legal age of consent, it is also worth taking into consideration that she was his teacher. She had direct, formal authority over him. Something that wasn't even at hand to account for between me and the racist sociopath who hoodwinked me for her own personal gain at my expense.
But the misandric generalizations that they indicated: that males are always mindless horn-dogs devoid of any emotional attachment, or vulnerabilities. That it is apparently impossible for a woman to rape or sexually assault a man (or in this case, literally a boy) in any scenario whatsoever. The blatant, over the top double standard they clearly advocated for.
Now to be fair, this was only one thread, and the thread was from 15 years ago. But my problem is that these sorts of opinions have been expressed at CFC with alarming regularity, even to this day. Timsup2nothin, to name one individual has said almost verbatim, to the best of my recollection "men commit suicide far more often because they are weak." Maybe. But I sincerely believe these kinds of unapologetic double standards society have reflected on my gender could explain at least part of it too. And when I try to express my own point of view, they often engage in ad-hominem attacks against me. And has been conducted to me countless times for all kinds of issues, not just this.
submitted by Assertiveconception to MensRights [link] [comments]


2020.09.02 03:47 Ah_Tiong Okcupid double take showing wrong age range?

Just wondering did anybody here have the same issue. I am 35 this year and I have set ladies aged 26-35 for my desired age range but recently the double take keeps showing me ladies around the age of 21-23.
Of course I don't mind dating a lady who is more than 10 years younger than me but most of the ladies will mind unless I am some rich fella of course so I would not want to waste on time on profiles that have almost 0% chances of repricioate.
submitted by Ah_Tiong to OkCupid [link] [comments]


2020.08.27 11:00 theartsygamer89 Are you guys matching with people that delete or make their profile private after a day or two?

I keep matching with people that end up deleting their profile or disabling it by making it private. I figured this out because I get an email from OkCupid whenever I match with someone and that email has an image of their profile. If you click on it it takes you to their profile on the app. If the conversation between me and my match disappear I would I would click on the profile image in the email and if they made their profile private or deleted it then I get a message saying "This profile is either private, or doesn't exist. But there are plenty more people waiting in Double Take." If they unmatched or block you it would give you a retry icon that takes you nowhere.
My frustration is that I keep matching with people that end up deleting or making their profile private a day or two after matching. Just yesterday I matched with someone, she replied back yesterday and also today and then following the same pattern our conversation disappeared, I click on the profile image in the email I find out she either deleted her profile or made it private. Why do so many people do this and why do they do it so often? Have you guys been noticing this happening a lot more? For every match that I have a long conversation with I get like 5 of these matches that reply for a day or two and then they get rid of their profile. I'm struggling finding someone that talking for more then a day.
submitted by theartsygamer89 to OkCupid [link] [comments]


2020.08.20 09:31 camp_crystal_fake Feeling Disappointed and Lost

Howdy everyone. New to Reddit here! Felt like posting here would be a good place to do it. I want to stress that I’m not looking for sympathy - just to learn from other people’s experiences and maybe find a community.
I’m 23 years old and have been openly out as a gay man for the last 5 years. These last few years have been insanely busy. I just graduated with a double major and am now in grad school. Though I have been rather nervous, I decided it was time to put myself out there into the dating pool. My friends had been urging me to try for years and so I finally caved. Keep in mind I’ve been using LTR app. Lots of OkCupid and one of them called “Bumble.” I really have been trying.
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve seen my friend group around me maturate. I’ve watched them grow and build great, loving relationships with people who care about them. They support eachother. They’re moving in with one another. In fact, I just found out that one of them is on the cusp of getting engaged. For the first time in my life (now that I’m allowing myself to hit the brakes on my hectic lifestyle), I have taken a breather. Everyone around me is changing and growing in terms of relationships - and I seem to be staying the same.
I want to state that I know relationships and love isn’t everything, but I’m finally feeling an itch to find someone I care about. So I use these apps, and it’s been horrific. It feels like a wasteland. So I deleted them. I put myself out there by talking to people in public. Yet it always feels hollow, and I always feel like a joke. When I do go on dates with other men, they treat me like garbage. I’ve literally met other guys for coffee and the second they know I’m not going to mess around in their car afterwards - they treat me like nothing. At first I thought it was a bunch of flukes, and then I realized that no one is looking for any sort of companionship. I always leave feeling like my time is wasted, and I feel dirty.
I try talking to other gay people in my life for advice. Most of them are much older than me. They’re casual acquaintances from work. Their advice is always bleak and tiresome. When I ask if they’ve ever found some sort of companionship they say “that doesn’t exist. Work on yourself. You will be disappointed.”
I know I sound a bit dramatic, but I feel like I’m looking at a wasteland in front of me. The way other gay men treat me feels like we’re living in another, older time. It feels dated and wrong. The worst part is - as a gay person, I have been through things MUCH harder than this. I know you guys could probably relate. I face constant judgement when I reveal my sexuality. I feel nervous all the time being an LGBT person in the south. When I was in high school and I came out to my family - I faced so much abuse and was damn near homeless. I have seen hell. And now this hurts me? It makes me feel like everything I’ve worked for to make myself feel comfortable and proud is now fruitless. I feel bullied for the first time in my life, and the worst part is other gay people are doing it. I’ve always been strong, but now I feel alone and pathetic.
I know at 23, there’s so much more time for me. I’m young. But as my 24th birthday approaches fast, I’m feeling more and more bleak. The other day when my engaged friend asked me if I had met anyone lately - I caught myself saying that “that doesn’t happen to people like me. Stop asking me.” I’ve found myself about to enter my mid-20s, and I’m starting to catch myself acting like the bitter, older gay men I’ve known in my life. I feel like I’m simply being lost to a cycle I can’t change - and the only way to move on is to just forget about it. I hate how me building a relationship back up with my mother and father also means that they’re now starting to ask me about my love life. It makes me angry how our positions have seemed to switch; They’ve come around, and I’ve become jaded.
I know I’m a smart person with so much to look forward to. I have lived so much of my life not thinking about men in a romantic capacity because I’m too “busy,” and “that time will come.” I have no doubt I’ll live a prosperous life if I stick to my studies and treat people with kindness. But I’m also not stupid enough to forget the fact that this loneliness will always be eating away at the back of my brain. Even if things are bleak, I don’t want my fear of rotten men to make me bitter. I don’t want to become one of them.
So I end my diatribe there. I want to ask you guys; what are your stories of hope in finding someone kindred? How have you learned to fly solo? How do you try to put yourself out there? How do you fill your time alone?
Thank you everyone, I hope to answer your comments as they roll in.
submitted by camp_crystal_fake to gaybros [link] [comments]


2020.08.20 08:25 camp_crystal_fake Feeling Disappointed and Lost

Howdy everyone. New to Reddit here! Felt like posting here would be a good place to do it. I want to stress that I’m not looking for sympathy - just to learn from other people’s experiences and maybe find a community.
I’m 23 years old and have been openly out as a gay man for the last 5 years. These last few years have been insanely busy. I just graduated with a double major and am now in grad school. Though I have been rather nervous, I decided it was time to put myself out there into the dating pool. My friends had been urging me to try for years and so I finally caved. Keep in mind I’ve been using LTR app. Lots of OkCupid and one of them called “Bumble.” I really have been trying.

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve seen my friend group around me maturate. I’ve watched them grow and build great, loving relationships with people who care about them. They support eachother. They’re moving in with one another. In fact, I just found out that one of them is on the cusp of getting engaged. For the first time in my life (now that I’m allowing myself to hit the brakes on my hectic lifestyle), I have taken a breather. Everyone around me is changing and growing - and I seem to be staying the same.

I want to state that I know relationships and love isn’t everything, but I’m finally feeling an itch to find someone I care about. So I use these apps, and it’s been horrific. It feels like a wasteland. So I deleted them. I put myself out there by talking to people in public. Yet it always feels hollow, and I always feel like a joke. When I do go on dates with other men, they treat me like garbage. I’ve literally met other guys for coffee and the second they know I’m not going to mess around in their car afterwards - they treat me like nothing. At first I thought it was a bunch of flukes, and then I realized that no one is looking for any sort of companionship. I always leave feeling like my time is wasted, and I feel dirty.

I try talking to other gay people in my life for advice. Most of them are much older than me. They’re casual acquaintances from work. Their advice is always bleak and tiresome. When I ask if they’ve ever found some sort of companionship they say “that doesn’t exist. Work on yourself. You will be disappointed.”

I know I sound a bit dramatic, but I feel like I’m looking at a wasteland in front of me. The way other gay men treat me feels like we’re living in another, older time. It feels dated and wrong. The worst part is - as a gay person, I have been through things MUCH harder than this. I know you guys could probably relate. I face constant judgement when I reveal my sexuality. I feel nervous all the time being an LGBT person in the south. When I was in high school and I came out to my family - I faced so much abuse and was damn near homeless. I have seen hell. And now this hurts me? It makes me feel like everything I’ve worked for to make myself feel comfortable and proud is now fruitless. I feel bullied for the first time in my life, and the worst part is other gay people are doing it. I’ve always been strong, but now I feel alone and pathetic.

I know at 23, there’s so much more time for me. I’m young. But as my 24th birthday approaches fast, I’m feeling more and more bleak. The other day when my engaged friend asked me if I had met anyone lately - I caught myself saying that “that doesn’t happen to people like me. Stop asking me.” I’ve found myself about to enter my mid-20s, and I’m starting to catch myself acting like the bitter, older gay men I’ve known in my life. I feel like I’m simply being lost to a cycle I can’t change - and the only way to move on is to just forget about it. I hate how me building a relationship back up with my mother and father also means that they’re now starting to ask me about my love life. It makes me angry how our positions have seemed to switch; They’ve come around, and I’ve become jaded.

I know I’m a smart person with so much to look forward to. I have lived so much of my life not thinking about men in a romantic capacity because I’m too “busy,” and “that time will come.” I have no doubt I’ll live a prosperous life if I stick to my studies and treat people with kindness. But I’m also not stupid enough to forget the fact that this loneliness will always be eating away at the back of my brain. Even if things are bleak, I don’t want my fear of rotten men to make me bitter. I don’t want to become one of them.

So I end my diatribe there. I want to ask you guys; what are your stories of hope in finding someone kindred? How have you learned to fly solo? How do you try to put yourself out there? How do you fill your time alone?

Thank you everyone, I hope to answer your comments as they roll in.
submitted by camp_crystal_fake to lgbt [link] [comments]


2020.08.06 10:46 Konalin_Kost Albums Ranked, Partially Analyzed, and Abuse Tangents

Am I the only one who prefers worst to best?
Ten. Portrait of an American Family
Nine. Born Villain
Eight. The High End of Low
Seven. Eat Me, Drink Me
Six. The Pale Emperor
Five. The Golden Age of Grotesque
Four. Heaven Upside Down
Three. Mechanical Animals
Two. Holy Wood (in the Shadow of the Valley of Death)
One. Antichrist Superstar
I hate having such a basic bitch ranking, but if I'm being honest with myself this is it. The main oddities of my rankings are Portrait being so low and Heaven Upside Down being so high. To be clear, Portrait is the only album I don't thoroughly enjoy. Also, I rank albums as cohesive stories and their ability to flow well with said story in mind. Portrait feels the most like a compilation, and Manson hadn't quite tapped into his signature rage and black heart that captivates me by then.
I think people are way too hard on his music post Golden Age. There are some absolute gems, song-wise. But, conceptually, almost every one of those albums has at least one song that throws the whole flow and/or narrative off.
On Eat Me, Drink Me that song is "Mutilation is the Most Sincere Form of Flattery." While I enjoy the song, it feels massively out of place on an album about the dissolution of his marriage leading into/because of his love/possession of his new lolita-like partner.
The High End of Low has a few of those songs, but the best songs are fucking incredible while the good are still pretty fucking good. The flow is way out of wack because of a few songs. "Pretty as a Swastika" is better than average. "Blank and White" is fun and a nice reminder that Manson could still be political, but this was an album about his state of mind when he had his heart broken (and lost control of a love that dominated his life because he felt on some level he could never lose said control). "Running to the Edge of the World" nearly made me cry when I first listened to it (and that video is haunting, especially when paired with Evan Rachel Wood's since accusations towards an anonymous ex). "Arma-Goddamn-MotherFuckin'-Geddon" doesn't really fit conceptually, but is so damned catchy and manages to somehow flow (in a twisted way it is representative of his worldview at his lowest point, and the story behind the lyrical content is hysterical [execs picked it for a single before he wrote the lyrics, which pissed him off enough to make it profane as possible, a choice I personally believe killed the album's commerical viability]). It almost makes "Blank and White" fine since they both come off as political and sit right next to each other. I think too many people hate on "I Want to Kill You Like They Do in the Movies." But damn, "WOW" is this album's fucking blackhead. I can enjoy it enough, but the lyrics are supremely childish, as well as the vocal delivery. It takes the tongue-in-cheek post break-up attitude of "Leave a Scar" and devolves it into he said-she said high school pettiness. Remove that track and this album would jump up a couple rankings. "We're From America" is super fun and full of awesome lines to consider as an American, but again feels misplaced on this album. That all being said, every unmentioned track is fucking phenomenal and a true look into a man becoming less of a man because of heartbreak (something many of us can empathize with).
Born Villain like Eat Me, Drink Me also only has one song that truly throws off its flow, but that one song is almost as bad as "WOW," that being "The Gardener." It's a shame too, because that track's music is fucking cool and the lyrics aren't quite as juvenile as "WOW"'s, but the spoken-word delivery of the verses is awful. And he was planning on singing them! But after recording a spoken-word, he decided it was good enough (which may have been fine if he had delivered it like a true poet instead of a lethargic man-child). Also, none of its best songs are quite as amazing as The High End of Low's gems (except for maybe "Overneath the Path of Misery" and "Slo-Mo-Tion"). The irony though is that the songs are amazing enough and largely flow well enough that if he hadn't committed the cardinal atrocity against the album's total flow that he did on "The Gardener," this album would jump up several rankings. While the theme is about putting himself back together after having fallen apart circa The High End of Low, themes can feel much weaker when you disrupt flow this terribly. It baffles me that so few artists seem to understand this concept.
The Pale Emperor flows thematically for the most part, but has some odd choices melodically. Although I love 80% of its songs (and like one 10% and can sometimes enjoy one other 10%), I wouldn't have placed "Warship my Wreck" after "The Mephistopheles of Los Angeles" and before "Slave Only Dreams to be King." Those latter tracks are pretty and very hard-hitting, while the former is slow-rising and -falling. But, while this album doesn't commit the blackhead track crime as severely as the last three albums, "Birds of Hell Awaiting" comes close. The chants in it feel a tad forced. Remove them and the issue would be less glaring. Also, I'm not crazy about the closing track "Odds of Even." Not a great follow-up to the nigh-perfect "Cupid Carries a Gun" and a bit of a weak closer to a significant step-up from Born Villain. Thematically, his overarching concept is continued, where he was putting himself back together in Born Villain, he gives his self-ascribed villain a name with this album and overlooks the path of waste he's left behind him.
I personally feel that Eat Me, Drink Me; The High End of Low; and Born Villain form their own inferior second Triptych. Both The Golden Age of Grotesque and The Pale Emperor serve as epilogues to each of their respective trilogies.
Heaven Upside Down is his true comeback album in my opinion. "Jesus Crisis" is almost corny but just tongue-in-cheek enough to work, is fun, and the chants feel much less forced than in "Birds of Hell Awaiting." The spoken-word verse on "Blood Honey" almost throws it off, but the rest of the song is so captivating and heart-wrenching it still works. Otherwise, this album flows better than anything since The Golden Age. It summarizes who Manson feels he is as a whole, someone capable of taking on the world but who gets easily distracted by basic human desires like love and who feels disdain towards his love and himself for that distraction. I read an Amazon reviewer comment that "Revelation #12" forgot number 11 and that annoyed me. I believe that track is his pledge to release twelve albums. He didn't actually name number twelve; he just said that revelations come in twelve (and neither albums eleven or twelve happened by this point). My brother also mocked the play-on-word of "Say10," but I love that track. Beyond just being killer and classic Manson while still feeling new, it's an ode to Satanism. Manson's dabbled in said religion, which emphasizes believing in yourself and the power you carry, and Manson feels immensely powerful reaching the milestone tenth album. It's a celebratory song of everything Manson has built his persona on.
A few comments on the older and (mostly) better albums...
The Golden Age used to not only be my favorite Manson album, but one of my favorite albums ever. But listen to something too much and it loses it's lustre. The first half feels inspired, while the second half feels a tad forced. That's mostly ok though considering this album is about a general obsession with the hardcore and embracing what you've been made to become as opposed to accomplishing something meaningfully world-changing (influenced by how disillusioned he was for being the Columbine scapegoat, something that not only derailed his career but killed the momentum he had to be a world-changing icon). The latter half is an enjoyable enough listen, but listen to it as much as I have and it gets old. I also have a soft spot for it because my first girlfriend bought me my original copy (that is still on my computer).
And the OG triptych...
Not much can be said about how nigh perfect they all are. I want to be more unique with my opinions but flow wise they trump all his efforts after. The only track I ever feel compelled to skip out of any of them is "New Model No. 15," though I still enjoy it.
Mechanical Animals is gorgeous and is an ode to his mother (the feminine side in him).
Holy Wood is an ode to his father (his imagery was released with the album, and Adam is the first man). In Triptych continuity I believe Adam is the Worm's father, and Coma is the mother. "Valentine's Day"'s second verse "I saw that pregnant girl today, she didn't know that it was dead inside/Even though it was alive, some of us are really born to die" I think refers to the Worm himself in the womb. This album honestly strikes a deeper chord in me than Antichrist Superstar because I was a scapegoat in severe family drama (my ex-girlfriend's, they went insane when her dad found out we were having sex), and I bought my copy the day she and I first fucked. But, Holy Wood kind of dies out rather than goes out with a bang. I love its flow, because I think it accurately represents a saddened person losing hope and becoming suicidal. But it isn't quite as satisfying as Antichrist's end.
And Antichrist Superstar. Fuck, man. A basic bitch number one. But in truth, the flow is perfect, and there's not a single track I'd skip. If the other two are about his parents, this one's about the monster himself, and what he was supposed to be for the Christian media (until it bit back with Columbine). The end is a bombastic bang with "The Reflecting God" and the melodic tragic aftermath of "The Man That You Fear."
Honorable mention to the upcoming We Are Chaos. The title track lead single is not what any of us expected. The instrumentation almost comes off as heavily produced Christian rock. But it's grown on me. And, I believe it's a broken apology to Evan Rachel Wood. To be clear, my relationship with Manson has grown into a love/hate one because of her accounts of abuse. As soon as I read the initial accusations (stumbled across them in mid-2017 when the MeToo movement was gaining traction) I was pretty sure she was talking about Manson because of things he said in interviews for The High End of Low (calling her almost 40 times in a night and cutting himself on the face for every call, daydreaming about bashing her face in with a jackhammer, and nearly participating in a murdesuicide pact). I was depressed for weeks. It's been difficult reconciling my favorite artist as a probable heinous person. But c'est la vie. The videos for "Kill4Me" and "Say10" come off as veiled threats (considering Depp at that point settled his abuse case with a joint statement that there were no false allegations made for financial gain, isn't it a little strange Manson would feature himself and Depp in videos with naked women fawning over them [as if to say to Wood, "This is my best friend, who got a slap on the wrist for a similar situation you're threatening to dredge up. Do you really want to go there?"]). Side-note: I find it difficult to believe that Depp wasn't the initial and primary aggressor against Heard (in what was probably a volatile vicious cycle of abuse) knowing he and Manson are best friends (in her testimony to courts trying to change the statute of limitations for abuse, Wood attested that people close to her and her abuser had to sign disclosure statements to keep anything they knew private). Josh Homme kicked Olivieri out of Queens for spousal abuse. While Manson did this against Twiggy, I would guess he did it because A. Twiggy was becoming a lazy fuck in the band (said there was no point to replay any of Bates' compositions because they were already played perfectly) and B. Twiggy's case had nobody rallying behind his potential innocence and therefore necessitated more distance from, especially since that was so close in timing to Wood's accusations. Why wouldn't Manson distance himself from Depp too, after the settlement and its joint statement? I wouldn't be surprised if Manson has his own club that does fucked up shit to women like the barrel girls gang in Dexter.
Anyways, back to We Are Chaos and its relation to all my abuse conspiracies. Wood has seemed to only double down on her efforts against Manson since Heaven Upside Down, and mainstream media even put two and two together (since her testimony aligns with the time she spent with Manson). Rather than lash out angrily, this latest track almost feels like he's trying to explain and justify himself. Sadly, it comes off more as "I'm sorry you feel this way" rather than "I'm sorry for what I've done." Indeed, in his press release for the album you'll find several allusions to the Hannibal television series (his and my favorite show), a series where the title character is constantly contextualizing his heinous actions in a heinous world. I wouldn't have thought the song as a message to Wood until the shot of the blonde on the beach in the music video. Surveil Manson's public romances and you'll notice that all of them are brunettes except Wood, being the sole blonde. The image also bares a striking resemblance to Wood beyond being blonde. After noticing this I read the song's lyrics, and noticed its several nigh-romantic moments ("But I'll be the one that's holding your hand", "Marry with the left hand/So far from the maddening crowd" [similar to his phrase with Wood that's also in "Running to the Edge of the World" being "Together as one, against all others", not to mention how she was the last woman he was engaged to], "Will I be in at the kill with you?" [The High End of Low's botched murder-suicide pact that inspired "Into the Fire"]). The song gets to me because the afore-mentioned ex-girlfriend that I associate Holy Wood (and a lot of my Manson love) with has publicly (and falsely) labelled me as an abuser, but I still feel immense disdain for this man's inability to empathize with somebody he once supposedly loved. I believe that they shared something real together once, and I have the wrist spiral heart tattoo from Eat Me, Drink Me to honor both her and my personally historical love for Manson's music (plus that was the first album of his I ever bought), but fuck this man's probably insane.
submitted by Konalin_Kost to marilyn_manson [link] [comments]


2020.08.06 10:13 -Ophidian- One like per day? WTF?

I signed up, "ran out of likes" after liking 3-4 people on my first day. Still, there was a girl in DoubleTake that was cute so I waited the 24 hours, liked her, and sent her a message. THE SAME GIRL I just liked and sent a message to is now top of my DoubleTake, it says I'm out of likes for the day (AFTER ONE!!!), and I can't even check out other people because the same girl is at the top of my queue and I can either Like her (which the site won't let me do) or Pass which I'm worried will somehow delete my message.
 
What the fuck is wrong with OkCupid?
submitted by -Ophidian- to OkCupid [link] [comments]


2020.08.05 23:32 hufgf123 Dating apps are weird

So I'm on a few dating apps, and I have been for a while. Has anyone had any similar experiences here?
OkCupid
I get a lot of likes, and I can see them as I paid for a premium subscription. It's been kind of a double-edged sword though; most of the folks that like me I have absolutely no interest in. Most are unicorn chasers, poly folks (I'm strictly mono), trans folks of all ages (understandable as I'm trans myself, but I'm not interested in women much younger or older than myself) and just folks I'm not at all attracted to at all because they're just not my type (mostly butch or GNC types, I'm really only interested in femme girls).
Though damn, I do swipe left on like 90% of people. Another 8% are sort of "ah they're alright I guess, could be worth a message", and only like 2% of people really get me excited. Thankfully though I am shown actual women, but I feel exhausted by having to send intros to people, especially as nobody seems to respond to me! Also it feels like I'm reeling girls in like they're fish or something; I feel low key predatory. I guess being a transbian does that to you though.
In general OKC makes me feel bad man; I feel like a dick for swiping left so much.
Tinder
I guess there's a stigma in using this, but I feel like it fits me more, as there's no need to write an intro and the profile is limited (though I really only like girls who do have cute profiles anyway!).
Somehow I definitely feel like I see more girls that I'm attracted to. A hell of a lot more, to be honest, what gives?
I do get hit with a lotttt of straight girls, which makes the experience hella frustrating for other reasons; I feel like I can usually tell when a girl is straight (or just she's extraverted enough that I know she's not for me anyway) but sometimes there's an ambiguity that just feels frustrating.
submitted by hufgf123 to actuallesbians [link] [comments]


2020.07.22 06:21 weary-lady I [f20+] think he [m20+] is cheating on me or has cheated on me. Any and all advice is welcomed.

There is a good deal of evidence of him cheating. It started in the beginning of our relationship, aka when I was looking through rose colored glasses and ignoring almost everything negative. With my permission he went over to an ex's house. He had only dated her for a few weeks at most, but she did NOT know of our relationship until the apparent end of the night. I tried to contact him throughout the night but to no avail. The weather was very, very shitty that night. It was raining and hailing, so I was scared for him. His tires weren't the best, the transmission was starting to go out in his vehicle, so after no returned texts I was really worried. I eventually contacted a mutual friend of ours at the time (m - no longer a friend of ours) and after he called s/o, s/o finally called me back and went a bit.. Off on me? Asked if I didn't trust him and I explained to him the weather issue. He finally decided to leave two hours later. He said that the woman's grandmother was home, but.. I don't know if that's truly the case.
The second, but "lesser" event was about a year or so after that whole fiasco. We had finally started having sex, and we're both fairly "kinky" individuals. After sex he broached the topic of a f-f-m threesome. I immediately said no. I am monogamous; there is nothing wrong with polyamory but it is most certainly NOT for me. He seemed fine with my answer and we continued on by watching a move. About two weeks after that incident we were having sex again and he randomly pauses, kisses me, and says, "I have a really serious question" (I thought the condom broke at first), and he then followed that up with asking about a threesome... Again. This time, with me being upset, he tried to play it off as a harmless joke. He said he wasn't serious, but was overall upset at the fact that I didn't want to continue having sex again. He gave me the cold shoulder, wouldn't talk to me, and I eventually just.. Left the house. We were NOT living together at that time - he was living with his grandmother and I was living with my parents.
After that there have been multiple events regarding him suddenly becoming possessive over his phone and me finding that he had been browsing some, erm, "interesting" areas of Craigslist. He said he was just curious. No, I wasn't snooping - he had left the tab open and had asked me to search something up on his phone. The things he were searching were similar to "any females wanting fling", and things about popular hookup areas.
The next event happened around November. At the time we were involved with a couple that were mutual friends of ours and we were helping them move in. Let's call one "M", who is a man, and the other "F", who is a woman. "F" was pregnant with her first child and "M"'s second child. Were were helping them move into a fairly nice double-wide that was in a decent area. "F" and I were in the kitchen trying to call a pizza place to get some food delivered, and S/O and "M" were in the other room while trying to get the TV set up so we could just hang out and watch some movies after everything was moved in and set up. I thought nothing of it when the conversation went quiet on their end and I thought that they were just starting to get frustrated with the TV's mount. A day later "F" confides in me and says that S/O was telling "M" about how many "women he missed out on fucking" because he "settled" for me. This was extremely disheartening since I have an eating disorder and a general negative view of my own physical appearance. I won't lie - I've gained weight since I've been with him, but now I'm at a healthy BMI. He was apparently raving about how sexy and hot a few of those girls were, and I even knew almost all of them. They suffered from an eating disorder too since we were all fairly close in College. They're seeking help now, but are still much thinner than I am. He was apparently going on about how he could've "fucked my whole friend group" before "settling" for me. He went on to change the subject to, you guessed it, attractive porn stars. I looked most of them up, and all of them are extremely petite. Note: I am not saying that he is guilty for finding someone attractive. We are human. We will still find members of the opposite, or even same sex, attractive. What I'm saying is that I don't know why he would tell this to a mutual friend of ours who he knew would end up turning around and telling his wife, who would then tell me. If you are going to tell someone, tell someone that is NOT a mutual friend, or someone that doesn't like me. It's common sense in my opinion.
Another incident involves a multitude of dating apps that he downloaded because he was "Curious". I won't lie - as someone that has a degree in web building and accounting I've gotten curious and I've GOOGLED what their interface looks like before, but I've never downloaded an app like that since I have been in a committed relationship. He had downloaded Tinder, OkCupid, and Bumble that I know of. All of these were on his cellular device. I wasn't even trying to snoop - again, he asked me to get on his phone to call someone, and since his phone isn't organized, they were on the last page of his phone, which is where the calling app was. I asked him about them, he jerked the phone out of my hand (while driving, and it scares me when he's on the phone while driving - he knows this), and deletes the app. He said he had forgotten that they were on there, but.. I don't really know. He claimed that he just wanted to see what they were like, and that he didn't even make an account on the apps. Again, I don't know if he had an account or not since he deleted them.
As of now nothing else "major" has happened. I have his phone password, and mine isn't locked. As of late he has become extremely possessive of his phone. He won't hardly set it down, he takes it to the bathroom with him, to the kitchen, and won't lay it on the center console while driving like he used to - it's always in his pocket, in his hand, or resting screen-down on his leg while driving. I'm not one to snoop - he knows this, so I don't get why he's suddenly becoming more and more possessive over it. Even when he sleeps he plugs it in to charge, sets it on mute, and puts it in the nightstand's drawer and closes the lid. He bought a random alarm clock about a month ago to use for work.

So, there's the evidence. I have literally nothing concrete and I'm scared to leave him. He's all I've known for six years. He was my first everything. With COVID going on and with me being unemployed at the moment I don't know what to do. The apartment is under both of our names. We have a joint banking account. My car is in his name since it's cheaper insurance wise because he's older and has had more vehicles. I'm pretty sure my parents, some close family, or close friends, would let me stay with them if he tried to kick me out, but with the bank account issue and the car issue I really don't know what to do.
I like to have 100% knowledge on everything before I do it. I'm just.. Scared.
So, good people of reddit, what is your advice? Do you think he's cheating or has cheated in the past?
submitted by weary-lady to survivinginfidelity [link] [comments]


2020.06.29 12:02 erdem10xx I think OkCupid is fake

Even though I’ve got about 15 likes, I don’t see anyone on double take. So here is the question: does OkCupid show me other people but it doesn’t show those other people to me? It doesn’t make sense to use that app if this is the case. I think I am 6/10 I see 6es and 7s most of the time but the people I see on double take won’t swipe me right. Is this app bullsh*t?
submitted by erdem10xx to OkCupid [link] [comments]


2020.06.23 02:35 HigherFunctioning Maybe someone can answer this question for me about how OKCupid 'shows you your preference matches'

So under their help section under their 'Finding and adjusting who you see' section.
This is where Okcupid fucks up in my opinion:
Can I set hard filters?
Your preferences let us know what you'd like to match on. We will always show you people who meet all of your preferences first. However, there may be times where no one matches your preferences perfectly. If this is the case, you'll see people slightly outside of your preferences. We do not currently have any hard filters, but if something is critical you can still search by people's answers to questions (see below).
Why can't they simply give you a 'no users match your settings' instead you have to waste your time looking at other peoples profiles that don't match anything you set! If their focus (as it seems to be) is to allow you to find who you want find - then why would they show users 'slightly' outside your preferences? What kind of fuzzy logic is this?
They say the preferences you set will apply to 'everyone you see'. So my question is: to everyone you see - where? The Double Take? The Discovery section (whatever that is supposed to be)?
answers to questions (see below).
They mention 'we do not have any hard filters' instead they refer you to their questions database where you basically have to 'search' for the question you want to ask for the filter that would apply. So the 'preferences' you set are more like guidelines for their site. As they state below you are currently only able to see 5 'search' results at a time but that they will be adding additional features later - so obviously they made changes to the site that were incomplete and then made it live.
Then below that they have this:
How can I....
Sort by online, attractiveness/ popularity, match percentage, etc
We'll be launching some additional features to address this soon!
submitted by HigherFunctioning to OkCupid [link] [comments]


2020.06.18 21:54 Because_Bot_Fed Search deliberately killed off - They want you to pay because you're desperate and can't find anyone. Don't believe lies about users being confused.

It's almost like they're deliberately trying to kill the platform off.
But hey, on the plus side they got me to pass/block on all the people who "liked" my profile but were way outside my normal filtering criteria.
"I don't understand, global preferences apply to doubletake now, you shouldn't be seeing those people?"
You're right, I shouldn't be. Except they take all of your filtering criteria as a "suggestion" and "guideline" not a dealbreaker or explicit requirement.
Which is why I get to see people within like 250 miles of me now instead of 25 miles.
Edit: I'd sent support a ticket to voice my complaints, this is the response I got back, lol.
Thank you for reaching us here at OkCupid. We have made some exciting updates regarding the search process. We understand change can be hard and at times frustrating so we made a helpful guide to walk you through how to find your top matches.
  1. Your "Match Search" filters (such as diet, religion, pets, etc) have moved to "Looking foMy ideal person" on your main profile page for a more convenient and accurate way to browse. Before, we had two places to set filters, which was confusing for most of our members. Now they're all in one spot, and apply to every part of OkCupid.
  2. You can set your preferences under "Looking foMy ideal person", then use DoubleTake or Discover to find members who match your set preferences. You'll also continue to see this message around the site/app for now while we highlight this new change.
If there's a specific feature or filter that you would like to see in the future, feel free to let us know and we'll be happy to forward your thoughts to our product team.
Thanks! Alice
Edit2: Hilariously they're still advertising features they just axed:
https://i.imgur.com/JpZMN8B.png
Advanced search filters
Search by attractiveness, body type, and more! Now you can even search matches by how they’ve publicly answered their questions.
Edit3:
More OKC shadiness with lack of transparency/outright lying:
https://i.imgur.com/iIlkG9D.png
They label this as "Recently Online" but it's clearly just people who're actively online (because they'll disappear later on instead of lingering) - And as you can see, inspect element shows it as "discovery-section discovery-section--online_now layout--photoAndText"
Edit4:
They're not even sending feedback beyond T1 helpdesk unless you send followup emails and really lay into them about how bad the changes are and how broken everything is:
This is the reply I got back after telling them how garbage and ridiculous the changes are, and how stupid it was to roll out before the replacement features they're supposedly working on are even done.
Also sent a screenshot of DT not respecting your preferences.
Your set preferences apply across the platform rather than the filters only applying to the specific page you were on which is why you don't see a grid view of people when you are on the Search tab like before.
With that said, both Discover and DoubleTake will show you people outside certain preferences. Match Search was more strict, but didn't always show all results. Now Discover (and DoubleTake) show all results, but aren't as strict. With that said, I have relayed your feedback to our developers, I also believe they may be working on a way to implement more strict parameters for Discover.
The incompetence is flabbergasting.
submitted by Because_Bot_Fed to OkCupid [link] [comments]


2020.06.18 21:39 OKCupidInsinuation This led to confusion

"As you may remember, Match Search used to allow you to select separate preferences than the ones in your Looking For section of your profile. This led to confusion, as it was unclear which settings controlled which parts of OkCupid (for example, people thought that their Search settings affected DoubleTake, which they didn't). "
Oh for fuck's sake.
submitted by OKCupidInsinuation to OkCupid [link] [comments]


2020.06.09 22:58 30thAttemptAtAName To Those with Bad Dating Luck, There is Hope

I think this is allowed. I wanted to share my *success story. I note my relationship hasn't been many years and anything can happen, but so far so good. My point in this is to show that even with seemingly-grim luck, there is always hope.
I'm an Asian 26M and have been mostly quiet/shy/introverted which means I don't go out to parties or the bar and hit on people. I've always felt my race has to do with bad luck as supposedly Asian men and Black women have the worst luck with dating (there are lots of articles and statistics). Now, I know it's partially me, whatever it is about me that hinders any chance at dating. I've had crushes and can talk to girls but never engaged in anything. I did go to junior prom with my biggest crush but she only saw me as a friend. A friend inquired and told me she did consider more, but she had another guy in mind where she was going to college. I also went to senior prom with a girl who asked and we weren't even really friends, which was odd.
Age 22: Post college graduation, a friend gave me the number of her friend (who specifically liked Asians, but not to a weeb level) and we talked for a month or two seeming well every day until we went on a double date. There, I was a bit quiet and definitely could've been more engaging but was overall decent. The following day, she messaged me and asked if I wanted to go on another, just me and her as we didn't get much time together. I agreed and we got dinner. It was frustrating because I can keep people talking by asking questions, but was running out of things to say and she didn't really engage me in that regard. A week later after some silence, she said it wasn't mean to be, said I was "too logical" for her (haha) and very friendly-ly broke it off and wished the best. So that was my first actual date.
After that, it gave me some confidence and I decided to download OkCupid. I was in an area with maybe 100,000 people within a 50 mile radius, maybe, but the picking were slim. I'll admit to being kinda picky from a moral stance (drinking, smoking, promiscuity, job prospects, education). Fortunately, I very soon moved to the DC area for work, a thriving metropolis of diversity and couple million people. More apps, still no luck, even paying for "premium" in some cases. A coworker friend was telling a story about some guy she knew and mentioned "I'm sure he hasn't even seen a woman's breasts". I have but it hit me, as I've been lacking still in a romantic/sexual way. So I guess that kinda made me desperate.
Age 23: I found this girl who really took a liking to me about 30 min away. Her pictures were low quality so my judgement wasn't the best. I wasn't in love with her personality or job/education prospects but I think the desperate part of me forced myself to go with it. I was also a complete virgin and she definitely wanted sex. So after maybe 2 months of talking, she took the Metro down to my apartment (she lived with her mom, I lived alone). I picked her up from the station. She brought food and we ate at my place and immediately got busy. This was the first time actually kissing a girl romantically and having any sexual interaction. I was nervous as all hell and didn't do so well which I think made me extremely self-conscious. I also wasn't a fan of having sex with someone I didn't have a real connection with but let myself do so anyways. We met up a couple more times. I mostly avoided intercourse but I was also getting irritated with her. She was very air-headed, not in a bad way though, just oblivious and cutsie/ditsy. She was super nice, sweet, caring, etc. but had aspects that just wasn't my thing. She was relentless but after months of hounding her to leave me alone, she did. I was embarrassed and wanted to leave it behind.
Age 25: Fast forward. I was playing Overwatch (online video game). I join a random group, and there's a girl. We were friendly that night and I liked her but didn't think anything of it. I said "Let's play [in about 3 weeks] when the new season starts up" and she agreed. I think we messaged a little but not much until the season started. That day, we played and we played almost every day after. We got closer, exchanging personal details, talking about life, sharing pictures and social media. We took our friendship outside the video game, to just talking or shared interests (namely drawing). We did eventually get sexual (I mean, what else can you do online?) She admitted she loved me and I confessed in reply. The kicker is I, in the DC area, and she lived in Canada (~1000 mi). At this point, we're officially/unofficially dating. I didn't want to commit as our relationship was pretty young and didn't tell anyone yet. About 3 months after talking, she tells me she's graduating and would love if I came to the ceremony. I'm like "haha yeah that would be cool" but didn't actually think I would. Plus I had a family vacation scheduled during that time. Luck be, my mom had an abscessed tooth, cancelling the trip. I still reluctant, told her about my situation and she encouraged me to go for it. This is pretty outgoing for me, to meet a girl I met online in another country. So I book a flight, rented a car, and 9 hours later, I was at her door.
I'll spare the details but was there for a week and everything was wonderful. I have zero regrets about how anything went. We met last Feb 2019, met up in Jun, again in late Aug/early Sept, she came to the States in Nov, and I went again in Feb 2020. We've had some disagreements and rough patches but are still together. The border closure is making it hard, among other things. As soon as the border opens, I'll be talking a flight and we're both going to look into (hopefully) her moving here and becoming naturalized likely through marriage. I like to wait and be sure about things, but I've never felt this connected to anyone else, even some of my huge high school crushes. I'm hoping for the best and for this border to open.
I feel lucky that literally everything happened how everything did, as my chances of meeting her were very slim. Right place at the right time, being matched on North American servers at the same time, and in a situation where it was simply me and her talking together.
If anyone wants to talk offline, PM me. I feel I give decent relationship advice or at least a 2nd opinion, even though I may not have had the most luck myself.
Anyways, I wish everyone best of luck. Make yourself the best you can be and open your horizons.
tl;dr Very limited dating life, finally met someone international out of serendipity and may even tie the knot
submitted by 30thAttemptAtAName to dating [link] [comments]


2020.06.04 15:10 alollou How to achieve explosive startup growth!

Here is the summary of the book Traction: How any startup can achieve explosive growth.
I hope that you find it useful!

Traction is a sign that your startup is taking off. If you charge, it means customers are buying. If your product is free, it means your user base is growing.
If you have traction, all your technical, market, and team risks become easier to handle. It becomes easier to fund-raise, hire, do press, partnerships, and acquisitions.
Traction trumps everything.

How to think about Traction?

Almost every failed startup has a product. What failed startups don’t have is enough customers.
You should spend your time in parallel, both constructing your product and testing traction channels.
This is what we call the 50 percent rule: spend 50 percent of your time on product and 50% on traction. This rule seems simple but it’s hard to follow because the pull to spend all your attention on the product is strong. You’re probably making a startup because you want to build a particular product. You have a vision, but a lot of traction activities are unknown and outside your vision and comfort zone. So you try to avoid them. Don’t.
Doing product and traction in parallel has these benefits:
Before trying to get traction, you’ll need to define what traction means for your company. You need to set a traction goal. Maybe your current startup goal is to raise funding or become profitable. How many customers do you need and at what rate? You should then focus on marketing activities that result in a significant impact on your traction goal. It should move the needle.
Your startup has 3 phases:

Phase I: Make something people want

In phase 1, your product has the most leaks, it really doesn’t hold water. You shouldn’t scale up your efforts now, but it’s important to send a small amount of water through the bucket so you can see where the holes are and plug them. \ Your goal in phase 1 is to get your first customers and prove your product can get traction. You focus on building your initial product and getting traction in ways that don’t scale: giving talks, writing guest posts, emailing people you know, attending conferences, and doing whatever you can to get in front of customers.

Some founders believe that startups either take off or don’t. Actually startups take off because the founders make them take off!
– Paul Graham

Phase II: Market something people want

Once you hone your product, you have product-market fit and customers are sticking around. Now is the time to scale up your traction efforts. You fine-tune your positioning and marketing messages.

Phase III: Scale your business

As your company grows, smaller traction strategies stop moving the needle, so you’ll start to scale.
In phase 3 you have an established business model and significant position in the market, and you’re focused on scaling to further dominate the market and to profit.

Traction for funding

When pursuing funding, first contact individuals who understand what you’re working on. The better your investors understand what you’re doing, the less traction they’ll need to see before they invest. Also, try friends and family who may not need to see any traction before investing as they’re investing in you personally.

To pivot or not to pivot

Many startups give up way too early. The first thing to look for is evidence of real product engagement, even if it’s only a few dedicated customers. If you have such an engagement, you might be giving up too soon. Look for the bright spots in your customer base and see if you can expand from that base.

How to get traction? The Bullseye framework

The Bullseye framework helps you find the channel that will get you traction. Most businesses actually get zero distribution channels to work. If you can get even a single distribution channel to work, you have a great business. If you try for several but don’t nail one, you’re finished.
You’re aiming for bullseye: the one channel at the center of the target that will unlock your next growth stage. Here are the 3 Bullseye framework steps:

Find what’s possible: The outer-ring

The first step in Bullseye is brainstorming every single traction channel. It’s important not to dismiss any channel in this step. Think of at least one idea for each channel. For example, social ads is a traction channel. Running ads on Facebook or Twitter is a channel strategy within social ads. You could research what marketing strategies worked in your industry as well as the history of companies in your space.

Find what’s probable: The middle-ring

Go around your outer-ring and promote your best and most exciting ideas to your middle-ring. For each traction channel in your middle ring, now construct a cheap traction test you can run to find if the idea is good or not. These tests need to answer the following questions:
  1. What’s the cost of acquiring customers?
  2. How many customers are available?
  3. Are they the right type of customers for you now?
You want to design small scale tests that don’t require much up-front cost or effort. For example, run 4 Facebook ads instead of 40.

Find what’s working: The inner-ring

The final step in Bullseye is to only focus on one channel that will move the needle for your startup: your core channel. At any stage of your startup, you should have one traction channel that you’re focusing on and optimizing.
Most founders mess this up by keeping around distracting marketing efforts in other channels.
If search engine marketing is significantly better for you than other channels, you should focus all your efforts on this core channel and uncover additional strategies and tactics within it.
If no channel seems promising after testing, the whole process should be repeated. If you tried several times with no success, then your product may require more tweaking and your bucket might be still leaky.

How to test traction?

Middle-ring tests: You should be running several cheap tests that give you an indication of how successful a given channel strategy could be.
Inner ring tests:
You’re doing two things:
  1. Optimize your chosen channel strategy to make it the best it can be.
  2. Discover better channel strategies within this traction channel.
There is always a set of things you can tweak. For targeting blogs, you can tweak which blogs to target, type of content, call to action, etc. For search engine marketing, you can tweak keywords, ad-copy, demographics, and landing pages.
A common approach is to use A/B testing, where A is the control group and B is the experimental group. The purpose of it is to measure the effectiveness of change in a button color, an ad image, or a different message on a web page. If the experimental group performs significantly better, you can apply the change, get the benefits, and run another test.
You can use tools such as Optimizely, Visual Website Optimizer, and Unbounce.
Over time, all marketing channels become saturated. To combat this, you should always be trying to discover new strategies and tactics within your channel and conduct small experiments. Also, experiment with new marketing platforms while they’re still in their infancy.

Tools

To track your tests you could start with a simple spreadsheet or use an analytics tool with cohort analysis. You’ll need to answer these questions:
  1. How many people landed on the website?
  2. What are the demographics of my best and worst customers?
  3. Are customers who interact with my support team more likely to stay?
A basic analytics tool like Clicky, Mixpanel, or Chartbeat can help you with these questions. You can use a spreadsheet as the tool to rank and prioritize traction channel strategies. You should include columns like how many customers are available, conversion rate, the cost to acquire a customer, lifetime value of a customer for every given strategy.

How to focus on the right traction goals? The critical path framework

Define your traction goal

You should always have an explicit traction goal you’re working towards. This could be 1,000 paying customers or 100 new daily customers, or 10% of your market. You want a goal where hitting the mark would change things significantly for your company’s outcome.
Once that is defined, you can work backward and set clear time-based subgoals. Such as reaching 1,000 customers by next quarter.
The key is to follow the critical path towards that goal and exclude all features and marketing activities that don’t help you reach your goal. Everything you decide to do should be assessed against your critical path.

Avoid traction biases

Your competitive advantage may be acquiring customers in ways your competition isn’t. That’s why it’s critical to avoid have traction biases. Stop your urge to refuse channels like speaking engagements, sales or affiliate marketing, business development, or trade shows just because you hate talking on the phone or you find the channel annoying or time-consuming.

Targetting blogs

Targeting blogs that your prospective customers read is one of the best ways to get your first wave customers.
Mint’s initial series of tests revealed that targeting blogs should be its core channel. They asked users to embed an “I want mint” badge on their personal blogs and rewarded them with a VIP access before other invitations were sent out. They also directly sponsored blogs. They sent bloggers a message with “Can I send you $500” as the subject and told them a bit about the product.
To find smaller blogs in your niche:
You can also target link-sharing communities like Reddit, Product Hunt, and Hacker News.
Dropbox, Codecademy, Quora, and Gumroad all got their first customers by sharing their products on HackerNews because their products were a good fit for users on that site.

Publicity

Starting out, an article in TechCrunch or The Huffington Post can boost your startup in the eyes of potential customers, investors, or partners. If you have a fascinating story with broad appeal, media outlets will want to hear from you.
It’s easier to start smaller when targeting big media outlets. Sites like TechCrunch and Lifehacker often pick up stories from smaller forums like Hacker News and subreddits. Instead of approaching TechCrunch, try blogs that TechCrunch reads and get story ideas from. It’s easier to get a smaller blog’s attention. Then you might get featured on TechCrunch and then The New York Times which reads TechCrunch!
What gets a reporter’s attention?
A good press angle makes people react emotionally. If it’s not interesting enough to elicit emotion, you don’t have a story worth pitching.
A good first step is using a service like Help A Reporter Out (HARO), where reporters request sources for articles they’re working on. It could get you a mention in the piece and help establish your credibility. Also, you could offer reporters commentary on stories related to your industries.
You can use Twitter to reach reporters online; almost all of them have Twitter accounts and you’d be surprised how few followers many of them have, but they can be highly influential with their content.
Once you have a solid story, you want to draw as much attention to it as you can:
Once your story has been established as a popular news item, try to drag it out as long as you can. Offer interviews that add to the story. Start “How We Did This” follow-up interviews.
As your startup grows you may consider hiring a PR firm or consultant.

Unconventional PR

Nearly every company attempts traditional publicity, but only a few focus on stunts and other unconventional ways to get buzz.

The publicity stunt

Customer Appreciation

Be awesome to your customers. Shortly after Alexis Ohanian launched Hipmunk, he sent out luggage tags and a handwritten note to the first several hundred people who mentioned the site on Twitter.
Holding a contest is also a great repeatable way to generate publicity and get word of mouth. Shopify has an annual Build a Business competition.
Great customer support is so rare that, if you make your customers happy, they’re likely to spread the news of your awesome product. Zappos is one of the best-known examples of a company with incredible customer service and they classify support as a marketing investment.

Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

SEM is placing ads on search engines like Google. It’s sometimes called “pay-per-click” because you only pay when a user clicks on an ad.
SEM works well for companies looking to sell directly to their target customer. You’re capturing people who are actively searching for solutions.
Click-Through Rate (CTR) The percentage of ad impressions that result in clicks to your site.
Cost per Click (CPC) The amount it costs to buy a click on an ad.
Cost per Acquisition (CPA) How much it costs you to acquire a customer, not just a click. If you buy clicks at $1 and 10% of people who hit your site make a purchase. This makes your CPA at $10.
CPA = CPC / conversion percentage

SEM to get early customer data

You can use SEM as a way to get early customer data in a controlled and predictable way. Even if you don’t expect to be profitable, you can decide to spend a certain amount of money to get an early base of customers and users to inform you about important metrics such as landing page conversion rates, average cost per customer, and lifetime value.
Archives.com used AdWords to drive traffic to their landing pages, even before they built a product, to test interest in a specific product approach. By measuring the CTR for each ad and conversions, they determined which product aspects were the most compelling to potential customers and what those people would actually pay for. When they finally built their product, they built something they knew the market would want.

SEM strategy

Find high-potential keywords, group them into ad groups, and test different ad copy and landing pages within each ad group. As data flows in, remove underperforming ads and landing pages and make tweaks to keep improving results.
Use tools like Optimizely and Visual Website Optimizer to run A/B tests on your landing pages.

Keyword research

Use Google’s keyword planner to discover top keywords your target customers use to find products like yours. You could also use tools such as KeywordSpy, SEMrush, and SpyFu to discover keywords your competition is using.
You can refine your keyword list by adding more terms to the end of each base term to create long-tail keywords. They’re less competitive and have lower search volumes which makes them ideal for testing on smaller groups of customers.
SEM is more expensive for more competitive keywords, so you’ll need to limit yourself to keywords with profitable conversion rates.
You shouldn’t expect your campaigns to be profitable right away, but if you can run a campaign that breaks even after a short period of time, then SEM could be an excellent channel for you to focus on.

Writing ads

Write ads with titles that are catchy, memorable, and relevant to the keywords you’ve paired with it. Include the keyword at least once in the body of your ad and conclude with a prominent call to action like “Check out discounted Nike sneakers!”
Each of your ads and ad groups will have a quality score associated with it. A high-quality score will get you better ad placements and better ad pricing. Click-through rate has the biggest influence on quality score, so you should tailor your ads to the keywords. Google assigns a low-quality score to ads with CTRs below 1.5%

Tactics

Social and Display Ads

Display ads are banner ads you see on websites. Social ads are ads you see on social sites like Facebook and Twitter.
Large display campaigns are often used for branding and awareness, much like offline ads. They can also elicit a direct response such as signing up for an email newsletter or buying a product.
Social ads perform exceptionally well is when they’re used to build an audience and engage with them over time, and eventually convert them to customers.

Display ads

The largest display ad networks are Google Display Network, BuySellAds, Advertising.com, Tribal Fusion, Conversant, and Adblade. Niche ad networks focus on smaller sites that fit certain audience demographics, such as dog lovers or Apple fanatics.
To get started in display advertising, you could start to find out types of ads that work in your industry. You could use tools like MixRank and Adbeat to show you ads your competitors are running and where they place them. Alexa and Quantcast can help you determine who visits the sites that feature your competitors’ ads.

Social ads

Social ads work well for creating interest among potential new customers. The goal is often awareness oriented, not conversion oriented. A purchase takes place further down the line. People visit social media sites for entertainment and interaction, not to see ads.
An effective social ad strategy takes advantage of this reality. Use ads to start conversations about your products by creating compelling content. Instead of directing people to a conversion page, direct them to a piece of content that explains why you developed your product or has other purposes than immediately completing a sale. If you have a piece of content that has high organic reach, when you put paid ads behind that piece, magic happens. Paid is only as good as the content you put behind it. You should employ social ads when you know that a fire is starting around your message and you want to put more oil on it.
Major social sites you may consider are LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, StumbleUpon, Foursquare, Tumblr, Reddit, YouTube, and many others.

Offline Ads

Even today, advertisers spend more on offline ads than they do online. When buying offline ads, You should try to advertise to demographics that match up with your target audience. Ask for an audience prospectus or ad kit.
Not sure if magazine ads are a good channel for you? Buy a small ad in a niche publication and give it a test. Want to see if newspapers would be good? Buy a few ads in a local paper. You can also try radio ads and billboards.

Magazine ads

A compelling magazine or newspaper ad will have an attention-grabbing header, an eye-catching graphic, and a description of the product’s benefits. Also, you should have a strong call to action, like an offer to get a free book.

Direct mail

You could also try direct mail by searching for “direct mail lists” and find companies selling such information. (Beware that it can be perceived as spammy)

Local print

You could also try local print ads like local fliers, directories, calendars, church bulletins, community newsletters, coupon booklets, or yellow pages. These work really well for cheap if you want to get early traction for your company in a specific area.

Outdoor advertising

If you want to buy space on a billboard, you could contact companies like Lamar, Clear Channel, or Outfront Media. Billboards aren’t effective for people to take immediate action, but it’s extremely effective for raising awareness around events, like concerts and conferences.
DuckDuckGo bought a billboard in Google’s backyard and it got big attention and press coverage.
Transit ads can be effective as a direct response tool. You can contact Blue Line Media to help you with Transit ads.

Radio and TV

Radio ads are priced on a cost per point (CPP) basis, where each point represents what it will cost to reach 1% of the station’s listeners. It also depends on your market, when the commercial runs and how many ads you’ve bought.
TV ads are often used as branding mechanisms. Quality is critical for it and production costs can run to tens of thousands. Higher-end ones can cost $200K to make. You’ll also need an average of $350,000 for actual airtime. For smaller startups, you could try local TV spots which is much cheaper.
Infomercials work really well for products in categories like Workout equipment, household products, health products, and work-from-home businesses. They can cost between $50,000 and $500,000, and they’re always direct-response.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

SEO is improving your ranking in search engines in order to get more people to your site.
The most important thing to know about SEO is that the more high-quality links you have to a given site or page, the higher it will rank. You should also make sure you’re using the keywords you want to target appropriately on your pages, like in your page titles and headings.
There are 2 strategies to choose from: fat-head and long-tail.
Fat-head: These are one and two-word searches like “Dishwashers,” and “Facebook.” They are searched a lot and make about 30% of searches and are called.
Long-tail: These are longer searches that don’t get searched as much but add up to the majority of searches made. They make up 70% of searches.
When determining which strategy to use, you should keep in mind that the percentage of clicks drops off dramatically as you rank lower. Only 10% of clicks occur beyond the first page.

Fat-head strategy

To find out if fat-head is worthwhile, research what terms people use to find products in your industry, and then see if search volumes are large enough to move the needle. You can use the keyword planner tool for that. You want to find terms that have enough volume such that if you captured 10% for a given term, it would be meaningful.
The next step is determining the difficulty of ranking high for each term. Use tools like Open Site Explorer. If a competitor has thousands of links for a term, it will likely take a lot of focus on building links and optimizing to rank above them.
Next, narrow your list of targeted keywords to just a handful. Go to Google Trends to see how your keywords have been doing. Are they searched more or less often in the last year? You can further test keywords by buying SEM ads against them. If they convert well, then you have an indication that these keywords could get you strong growth.
Next, orient your site around the terms you’ve chosen. Include phrases you are targeting in your page titles and homepage. Get other sites to link to your site. Links with exact phrase matching from high-quality sites will give you a significant boost.

Long-Tail strategy

Because it’s difficult to rank high for competitive fat-head terms, a popular SEO strategy for early-stage startups is to focus on long-tail. If you bundle a lot of long-term keywords together you can reach a meaningful number of customers.
Find out what are search volumes for a bunch of long-tail keywords in your industry? Do they add up to meaningful amounts? Also, take a look at the analytics software you use on your site or google search console to find some of the search terms people are already using to get to your site. If you’re naturally getting a significant amount of traffic from long-tail keywords, then the strategy might be a good fit. Also, check if competitors use this strategy. If they have a lot of landing pages (search for site:domain.com in google), then it’s a sign that this strategy works for your market. Also, check Alexa search rankings and look at the percentage of visitors your competitors are receiving from search.
If you proceed with a long-tail SEO strategy, you’ll need to produce significant amounts of quality content. If you can’t invest time in that, you can pay a freelancer from Upwork to write an article for every search phrase you want to target.
Another way is to use content that naturally flows from your business. Ask yourself: what data do we naturally collect or generate that other people may find useful. Large businesses like Yelp, TripAdvisor, and Wikipedia all gained most of their traffic by producing automated long-tail content. Sometimes the data is hidden behind a login screen and all you need to do is expose it to search engines, or aggregate it in a useful manner.

How to get links?

Don’t buy links, you’ll be penalized by search engines for it. Instead, you can do:

Content Marketing

Companies like Moz and Unbounce have well-known company blogs that are their biggest source of customer acquisition.
Unbounce started a blog and an email list from day one. They used social media to drive readers to your blog. They pinged twitter influencers to ask for feedback, gave away free infographics, and e-books. These actions don’t scale but they push them to a point where their content will spread on its own.
OkCupid is a free online dating site. They intentionally wrote controversial posts like “How your race affects the messages you get” to generate traffic and conversation.

Tactics

Email Marketing

Email marketing is a personal channel. Messages from your company sit next to emails from friends and family. That’s why email marketing works best when personalized. It can be used to build familiarity with prospects, acquire customers, and retain customers you already have.

Email marketing to Find customers

Email marketing to Engage customers

If a customer never gets the value of your product, how can you expect them to pay for it or recommend it to others?

Email marketing to Retain customers

Email marketing can be the most effective channel to bring people back to your site. Twitter sends you an email with a weekly digest of popular tweets and your new notifications.
More business-oriented products usually focus on reminders, reports, and information about how you’re getting value from the product. Mint sends a weekly financial summary to show your expenses and income over the previous week.
You can also use it to surprise and delight your customers. Planscope sends a weekly email to customers telling them how much they made that week. Photo apps will send you pictures you took a year ago.

Email marketing to Drive revenue

You can send a series of emails aimed at upselling customers.
WP Engine sends prospects an email course about Wordpress, and near the end of the email, they make a pitch to signup for its premium Wordpress hosting service.
If one of your customers abandoned a shopping cart, send her a targeted email a day or two later with a special offer for whatever item is left in the cart.
You can use email to explain a premium feature a customer is missing out on and how it can help them in a big way.

Email marketing to get referrals

Groupon generates referrals by incentivizing people to tell their friends about discounts.

Tactics

Viral Marketing

Viral marketing is getting your existing customers to refer others to your product. It was the driving force behind the explosive growth of Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, Dropbox, Instagram, Snapchat, and Pinterest.
It’s so powerful that even if you can’t achieve exponential growth with it, you can still get meaningful growth. If your customer refers a new customer within the first week, you’ll go from ten customers to twenty and double every week without any additional marketing.
The oldest form of virality occurs when your product is so remarkable that people naturally tell others about it — pure word of mouth.
Inherent virality occurs when you can get value from a product only by inviting other customers, like Skype, Snapchat, and WhatsApp.
Others grow by encouraging collaboration like Google Docs.
Some embed virality like adding “Get a free email account with Hotmail” or “Sent from iPhone” to default signatures. Mailchimp and other email marketing products add branding to free customers’ emails.
Some incentivize customers to move through a viral loop, like Dropbox giving you more space if you invite friends to sign up. Airbnb, Uber, and PayPal give you account credits for referring friends.
Some add embedded buttons and widgets to grow virally, like Reddit and YouTube.
Some broadcast users activities on their social networks, like Spotify posting on Facebook when you play a song, or Pinterest when you pin content.
The viral coefficient K is the number of additional customers you can get for each customer you bring in. It depends on i, the number of invites sent per user, and conversion percentage (who will actually sign up after receiving an invite)
K = i * conversion percentage
Any viral coefficient above 1 will result in exponential growth. Any viral coefficient over 0.5 helps your efforts to grow considerably.
You can increase the number of invites per user i by including features that encourage sharing, such as posting to social networks. You can increase the conversion percentage by testing different signup flows. Try cutting out pages or signup fields.
Viral cycle time is how long it takes a user to go through your viral loop. Shortening your cycle time drastically increases the rate at which you go viral. You can do it by creating urgency or incentivizing customers to move through the loops.

Tactics

Engineering as Marketing

You can build tools like calculators, widgets, and educational microsites to get your company in front of potential customers.
HubSpot has Marketing Grade, a free marketing review tool. It’s free, gives you valuable information, and provides HubSpot with the information they use to qualify you as a potential prospect.
Moz has two free SEO tools, Followerwong and Open Site Explorer. They’ve driven tens of thousands of leads for Moz.
WP Engine has a speed testing tool that asks only for an email address in exchange for a detailed report on your site’s speed.

Business Development

With business development, you’re partnering to reach customers in a way that benefits both parties.
Google got most of its initial traction from a partnership with Netscape to be the default search engine and an agreement with Yahoo to power its online searches.
Business development can take the form of:
You should have already defined your traction goal and milestones, and you shouldn’t accept any partnership that doesn’t align with it. Many startups waste resources because it’s tempting to make deals with bigger companies.

Sales

Sales is the process of generating leads, qualifying them, and converting them into paying customers. It’s particularly useful for expensive and enterprise products.

Structuring the sales conversation

Situation questions. Ask one or two questions per conversation. The more you ask situation questions, the less likely they’re going to close.
Problem questions. Use sparingly.
Implication questions. Meant to make a prospect aware of the large implications that stem from the problem.
Need-payoff questions. Focus attention on your solution and get buyers to think about the benefits of solving the problem.

Cold calls

Be judicious about the people you contact. You want someone who is one-two levels up in the organization. They have enough perspective on the problem and some authority for decision making. Avoid starting at the top unless you’re calling a very small business.
Try to get answers about:

Tactics

It’s better to gain traction through a marketing channel first, then use sales as a conversion tool to close leads. The next stage is lead qualification: determine how ready a prospect is to buy. Once you’ve qualified the leads, you should lay out exactly what are you going to do for the customer. Set up a timetable for it and get them to commit with a yes or no whether they’re going to buy. Closing leads can be done by a sales team who does a webinar or product demo and has an ongoing email sequence that ends with a purchase request. In other cases, you may need a field sales team that actually visits prospective customers for some part of the process.
A checklist that can help you with sales:
I removed the last sections because of the post character limit. Here are two:
submitted by alollou to startups [link] [comments]


2020.06.04 14:56 alollou Free marketing guide for startups: How to achieve explosive growth!

Here is the summary of the book Traction: How any startup can achieve explosive growth.
I hope that you find it useful!

Traction is a sign that your startup is taking off. If you charge, it means customers are buying. If your product is free, it means your user base is growing.
If you have traction, all your technical, market, and team risks become easier to handle. It becomes easier to fund-raise, hire, do press, partnerships, and acquisitions.
Traction trumps everything.

How to think about Traction?

Almost every failed startup has a product. What failed startups don’t have is enough customers.
You should spend your time in parallel, both constructing your product and testing traction channels.
This is what we call the 50 percent rule: spend 50 percent of your time on product and 50% on traction. This rule seems simple but it’s hard to follow because the pull to spend all your attention on the product is strong. You’re probably making a startup because you want to build a particular product. You have a vision, but a lot of traction activities are unknown and outside your vision and comfort zone. So you try to avoid them. Don’t.
Doing product and traction in parallel has these benefits:
Before trying to get traction, you’ll need to define what traction means for your company. You need to set a traction goal. Maybe your current startup goal is to raise funding or become profitable. How many customers do you need and at what rate? You should then focus on marketing activities that result in a significant impact on your traction goal. It should move the needle.
Your startup has 3 phases:

Phase I: Make something people want

In phase 1, your product has the most leaks, it really doesn’t hold water. You shouldn’t scale up your efforts now, but it’s important to send a small amount of water through the bucket so you can see where the holes are and plug them. \ Your goal in phase 1 is to get your first customers and prove your product can get traction. You focus on building your initial product and getting traction in ways that don’t scale: giving talks, writing guest posts, emailing people you know, attending conferences, and doing whatever you can to get in front of customers.

Some founders believe that startups either take off or don’t. Actually startups take off because the founders make them take off!
– Paul Graham

Phase II: Market something people want

Once you hone your product, you have product-market fit and customers are sticking around. Now is the time to scale up your traction efforts. You fine-tune your positioning and marketing messages.

Phase III: Scale your business

As your company grows, smaller traction strategies stop moving the needle, so you’ll start to scale.
In phase 3 you have an established business model and significant position in the market, and you’re focused on scaling to further dominate the market and to profit.

Traction for funding

When pursuing funding, first contact individuals who understand what you’re working on. The better your investors understand what you’re doing, the less traction they’ll need to see before they invest. Also, try friends and family who may not need to see any traction before investing as they’re investing in you personally.

To pivot or not to pivot

Many startups give up way too early. The first thing to look for is evidence of real product engagement, even if it’s only a few dedicated customers. If you have such an engagement, you might be giving up too soon. Look for the bright spots in your customer base and see if you can expand from that base.

How to get traction? The Bullseye framework

The Bullseye framework helps you find the channel that will get you traction. Most businesses actually get zero distribution channels to work. If you can get even a single distribution channel to work, you have a great business. If you try for several but don’t nail one, you’re finished.
You’re aiming for bullseye: the one channel at the center of the target that will unlock your next growth stage. Here are the 3 Bullseye framework steps:

Find what’s possible: The outer-ring

The first step in Bullseye is brainstorming every single traction channel. It’s important not to dismiss any channel in this step. Think of at least one idea for each channel. For example, social ads is a traction channel. Running ads on Facebook or Twitter is a channel strategy within social ads. You could research what marketing strategies worked in your industry as well as the history of companies in your space.

Find what’s probable: The middle-ring

Go around your outer-ring and promote your best and most exciting ideas to your middle-ring. For each traction channel in your middle ring, now construct a cheap traction test you can run to find if the idea is good or not. These tests need to answer the following questions:
  1. What’s the cost of acquiring customers?
  2. How many customers are available?
  3. Are they the right type of customers for you now?
You want to design small scale tests that don’t require much up-front cost or effort. For example, run 4 Facebook ads instead of 40.

Find what’s working: The inner-ring

The final step in Bullseye is to only focus on one channel that will move the needle for your startup: your core channel. At any stage of your startup, you should have one traction channel that you’re focusing on and optimizing.
Most founders mess this up by keeping around distracting marketing efforts in other channels.
If search engine marketing is significantly better for you than other channels, you should focus all your efforts on this core channel and uncover additional strategies and tactics within it.
If no channel seems promising after testing, the whole process should be repeated. If you tried several times with no success, then your product may require more tweaking and your bucket might be still leaky.

How to test traction?

Middle-ring tests: You should be running several cheap tests that give you an indication of how successful a given channel strategy could be.
Inner ring tests:
You’re doing two things:
  1. Optimize your chosen channel strategy to make it the best it can be.
  2. Discover better channel strategies within this traction channel.
There is always a set of things you can tweak. For targeting blogs, you can tweak which blogs to target, type of content, call to action, etc. For search engine marketing, you can tweak keywords, ad-copy, demographics, and landing pages.
A common approach is to use A/B testing, where A is the control group and B is the experimental group. The purpose of it is to measure the effectiveness of change in a button color, an ad image, or a different message on a web page. If the experimental group performs significantly better, you can apply the change, get the benefits, and run another test.
You can use tools such as Optimizely, Visual Website Optimizer, and Unbounce.
Over time, all marketing channels become saturated. To combat this, you should always be trying to discover new strategies and tactics within your channel and conduct small experiments. Also, experiment with new marketing platforms while they’re still in their infancy.

Tools

To track your tests you could start with a simple spreadsheet or use an analytics tool with cohort analysis. You’ll need to answer these questions:
  1. How many people landed on the website?
  2. What are the demographics of my best and worst customers?
  3. Are customers who interact with my support team more likely to stay?
A basic analytics tool like Clicky, Mixpanel, or Chartbeat can help you with these questions. You can use a spreadsheet as the tool to rank and prioritize traction channel strategies. You should include columns like how many customers are available, conversion rate, the cost to acquire a customer, lifetime value of a customer for every given strategy.

How to focus on the right traction goals? The critical path framework

Define your traction goal

You should always have an explicit traction goal you’re working towards. This could be 1,000 paying customers or 100 new daily customers, or 10% of your market. You want a goal where hitting the mark would change things significantly for your company’s outcome.
Once that is defined, you can work backward and set clear time-based subgoals. Such as reaching 1,000 customers by next quarter.
The key is to follow the critical path towards that goal and exclude all features and marketing activities that don’t help you reach your goal. Everything you decide to do should be assessed against your critical path.

Avoid traction biases

Your competitive advantage may be acquiring customers in ways your competition isn’t. That’s why it’s critical to avoid have traction biases. Stop your urge to refuse channels like speaking engagements, sales or affiliate marketing, business development, or trade shows just because you hate talking on the phone or you find the channel annoying or time-consuming.

Targetting blogs

Targeting blogs that your prospective customers read is one of the best ways to get your first wave customers.
Mint’s initial series of tests revealed that targeting blogs should be its core channel. They asked users to embed an “I want mint” badge on their personal blogs and rewarded them with a VIP access before other invitations were sent out. They also directly sponsored blogs. They sent bloggers a message with “Can I send you $500” as the subject and told them a bit about the product.
To find smaller blogs in your niche:
You can also target link-sharing communities like Reddit, Product Hunt, and Hacker News.
Dropbox, Codecademy, Quora, and Gumroad all got their first customers by sharing their products on HackerNews because their products were a good fit for users on that site.

Publicity

Starting out, an article in TechCrunch or The Huffington Post can boost your startup in the eyes of potential customers, investors, or partners. If you have a fascinating story with broad appeal, media outlets will want to hear from you.
It’s easier to start smaller when targeting big media outlets. Sites like TechCrunch and Lifehacker often pick up stories from smaller forums like Hacker News and subreddits. Instead of approaching TechCrunch, try blogs that TechCrunch reads and get story ideas from. It’s easier to get a smaller blog’s attention. Then you might get featured on TechCrunch and then The New York Times which reads TechCrunch!
What gets a reporter’s attention?
A good press angle makes people react emotionally. If it’s not interesting enough to elicit emotion, you don’t have a story worth pitching.
A good first step is using a service like Help A Reporter Out (HARO), where reporters request sources for articles they’re working on. It could get you a mention in the piece and help establish your credibility. Also, you could offer reporters commentary on stories related to your industries.
You can use Twitter to reach reporters online; almost all of them have Twitter accounts and you’d be surprised how few followers many of them have, but they can be highly influential with their content.
Once you have a solid story, you want to draw as much attention to it as you can:
Once your story has been established as a popular news item, try to drag it out as long as you can. Offer interviews that add to the story. Start “How We Did This” follow-up interviews.
As your startup grows you may consider hiring a PR firm or consultant.

Unconventional PR

Nearly every company attempts traditional publicity, but only a few focus on stunts and other unconventional ways to get buzz.

The publicity stunt

Customer Appreciation

Be awesome to your customers. Shortly after Alexis Ohanian launched Hipmunk, he sent out luggage tags and a handwritten note to the first several hundred people who mentioned the site on Twitter.
Holding a contest is also a great repeatable way to generate publicity and get word of mouth. Shopify has an annual Build a Business competition.
Great customer support is so rare that, if you make your customers happy, they’re likely to spread the news of your awesome product. Zappos is one of the best-known examples of a company with incredible customer service and they classify support as a marketing investment.

Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

SEM is placing ads on search engines like Google. It’s sometimes called “pay-per-click” because you only pay when a user clicks on an ad.
SEM works well for companies looking to sell directly to their target customer. You’re capturing people who are actively searching for solutions.
Click-Through Rate (CTR) The percentage of ad impressions that result in clicks to your site.
Cost per Click (CPC) The amount it costs to buy a click on an ad.
Cost per Acquisition (CPA) How much it costs you to acquire a customer, not just a click. If you buy clicks at $1 and 10% of people who hit your site make a purchase. This makes your CPA at $10.
CPA = CPC / conversion percentage

SEM to get early customer data

You can use SEM as a way to get early customer data in a controlled and predictable way. Even if you don’t expect to be profitable, you can decide to spend a certain amount of money to get an early base of customers and users to inform you about important metrics such as landing page conversion rates, average cost per customer, and lifetime value.
Archives.com used AdWords to drive traffic to their landing pages, even before they built a product, to test interest in a specific product approach. By measuring the CTR for each ad and conversions, they determined which product aspects were the most compelling to potential customers and what those people would actually pay for. When they finally built their product, they built something they knew the market would want.

SEM strategy

Find high-potential keywords, group them into ad groups, and test different ad copy and landing pages within each ad group. As data flows in, remove underperforming ads and landing pages and make tweaks to keep improving results.
Use tools like Optimizely and Visual Website Optimizer to run A/B tests on your landing pages.

Keyword research

Use Google’s keyword planner to discover top keywords your target customers use to find products like yours. You could also use tools such as KeywordSpy, SEMrush, and SpyFu to discover keywords your competition is using.
You can refine your keyword list by adding more terms to the end of each base term to create long-tail keywords. They’re less competitive and have lower search volumes which makes them ideal for testing on smaller groups of customers.
SEM is more expensive for more competitive keywords, so you’ll need to limit yourself to keywords with profitable conversion rates.
You shouldn’t expect your campaigns to be profitable right away, but if you can run a campaign that breaks even after a short period of time, then SEM could be an excellent channel for you to focus on.

Writing ads

Write ads with titles that are catchy, memorable, and relevant to the keywords you’ve paired with it. Include the keyword at least once in the body of your ad and conclude with a prominent call to action like “Check out discounted Nike sneakers!”
Each of your ads and ad groups will have a quality score associated with it. A high-quality score will get you better ad placements and better ad pricing. Click-through rate has the biggest influence on quality score, so you should tailor your ads to the keywords. Google assigns a low-quality score to ads with CTRs below 1.5%

Tactics

Social and Display Ads

Display ads are banner ads you see on websites. Social ads are ads you see on social sites like Facebook and Twitter.
Large display campaigns are often used for branding and awareness, much like offline ads. They can also elicit a direct response such as signing up for an email newsletter or buying a product.
Social ads perform exceptionally well is when they’re used to build an audience and engage with them over time, and eventually convert them to customers.

Display ads

The largest display ad networks are Google Display Network, BuySellAds, Advertising.com, Tribal Fusion, Conversant, and Adblade. Niche ad networks focus on smaller sites that fit certain audience demographics, such as dog lovers or Apple fanatics.
To get started in display advertising, you could start to find out types of ads that work in your industry. You could use tools like MixRank and Adbeat to show you ads your competitors are running and where they place them. Alexa and Quantcast can help you determine who visits the sites that feature your competitors’ ads.

Social ads

Social ads work well for creating interest among potential new customers. The goal is often awareness oriented, not conversion oriented. A purchase takes place further down the line. People visit social media sites for entertainment and interaction, not to see ads.
An effective social ad strategy takes advantage of this reality. Use ads to start conversations about your products by creating compelling content. Instead of directing people to a conversion page, direct them to a piece of content that explains why you developed your product or has other purposes than immediately completing a sale. If you have a piece of content that has high organic reach, when you put paid ads behind that piece, magic happens. Paid is only as good as the content you put behind it. You should employ social ads when you know that a fire is starting around your message and you want to put more oil on it.
Major social sites you may consider are LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, StumbleUpon, Foursquare, Tumblr, Reddit, YouTube, and many others.

Offline Ads

Even today, advertisers spend more on offline ads than they do online. When buying offline ads, You should try to advertise to demographics that match up with your target audience. Ask for an audience prospectus or ad kit.
Not sure if magazine ads are a good channel for you? Buy a small ad in a niche publication and give it a test. Want to see if newspapers would be good? Buy a few ads in a local paper. You can also try radio ads and billboards.

Magazine ads

A compelling magazine or newspaper ad will have an attention-grabbing header, an eye-catching graphic, and a description of the product’s benefits. Also, you should have a strong call to action, like an offer to get a free book.

Direct mail

You could also try direct mail by searching for “direct mail lists” and find companies selling such information. (Beware that it can be perceived as spammy)

Local print

You could also try local print ads like local fliers, directories, calendars, church bulletins, community newsletters, coupon booklets, or yellow pages. These work really well for cheap if you want to get early traction for your company in a specific area.

Outdoor advertising

If you want to buy space on a billboard, you could contact companies like Lamar, Clear Channel, or Outfront Media. Billboards aren’t effective for people to take immediate action, but it’s extremely effective for raising awareness around events, like concerts and conferences.
DuckDuckGo bought a billboard in Google’s backyard and it got big attention and press coverage.
Transit ads can be effective as a direct response tool. You can contact Blue Line Media to help you with Transit ads.

Radio and TV

Radio ads are priced on a cost per point (CPP) basis, where each point represents what it will cost to reach 1% of the station’s listeners. It also depends on your market, when the commercial runs and how many ads you’ve bought.
TV ads are often used as branding mechanisms. Quality is critical for it and production costs can run to tens of thousands. Higher-end ones can cost $200K to make. You’ll also need an average of $350,000 for actual airtime. For smaller startups, you could try local TV spots which is much cheaper.
Infomercials work really well for products in categories like Workout equipment, household products, health products, and work-from-home businesses. They can cost between $50,000 and $500,000, and they’re always direct-response.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

SEO is improving your ranking in search engines in order to get more people to your site.
The most important thing to know about SEO is that the more high-quality links you have to a given site or page, the higher it will rank. You should also make sure you’re using the keywords you want to target appropriately on your pages, like in your page titles and headings.
There are 2 strategies to choose from: fat-head and long-tail.
Fat-head: These are one and two-word searches like “Dishwashers,” and “Facebook.” They are searched a lot and make about 30% of searches and are called.
Long-tail: These are longer searches that don’t get searched as much but add up to the majority of searches made. They make up 70% of searches.
When determining which strategy to use, you should keep in mind that the percentage of clicks drops off dramatically as you rank lower. Only 10% of clicks occur beyond the first page.

Fat-head strategy

To find out if fat-head is worthwhile, research what terms people use to find products in your industry, and then see if search volumes are large enough to move the needle. You can use the keyword planner tool for that. You want to find terms that have enough volume such that if you captured 10% for a given term, it would be meaningful.
The next step is determining the difficulty of ranking high for each term. Use tools like Open Site Explorer. If a competitor has thousands of links for a term, it will likely take a lot of focus on building links and optimizing to rank above them.
Next, narrow your list of targeted keywords to just a handful. Go to Google Trends to see how your keywords have been doing. Are they searched more or less often in the last year? You can further test keywords by buying SEM ads against them. If they convert well, then you have an indication that these keywords could get you strong growth.
Next, orient your site around the terms you’ve chosen. Include phrases you are targeting in your page titles and homepage. Get other sites to link to your site. Links with exact phrase matching from high-quality sites will give you a significant boost.

Long-Tail strategy

Because it’s difficult to rank high for competitive fat-head terms, a popular SEO strategy for early-stage startups is to focus on long-tail. If you bundle a lot of long-term keywords together you can reach a meaningful number of customers.
Find out what are search volumes for a bunch of long-tail keywords in your industry? Do they add up to meaningful amounts? Also, take a look at the analytics software you use on your site or google search console to find some of the search terms people are already using to get to your site. If you’re naturally getting a significant amount of traffic from long-tail keywords, then the strategy might be a good fit. Also, check if competitors use this strategy. If they have a lot of landing pages (search for site:domain.com in google), then it’s a sign that this strategy works for your market. Also, check Alexa search rankings and look at the percentage of visitors your competitors are receiving from search.
If you proceed with a long-tail SEO strategy, you’ll need to produce significant amounts of quality content. If you can’t invest time in that, you can pay a freelancer from Upwork to write an article for every search phrase you want to target.
Another way is to use content that naturally flows from your business. Ask yourself: what data do we naturally collect or generate that other people may find useful. Large businesses like Yelp, TripAdvisor, and Wikipedia all gained most of their traffic by producing automated long-tail content. Sometimes the data is hidden behind a login screen and all you need to do is expose it to search engines, or aggregate it in a useful manner.

How to get links?

Don’t buy links, you’ll be penalized by search engines for it. Instead, you can do:

Content Marketing

Companies like Moz and Unbounce have well-known company blogs that are their biggest source of customer acquisition.
Unbounce started a blog and an email list from day one. They used social media to drive readers to your blog. They pinged twitter influencers to ask for feedback, gave away free infographics, and e-books. These actions don’t scale but they push them to a point where their content will spread on its own.
OkCupid is a free online dating site. They intentionally wrote controversial posts like “How your race affects the messages you get” to generate traffic and conversation.

Tactics

Email Marketing

Email marketing is a personal channel. Messages from your company sit next to emails from friends and family. That’s why email marketing works best when personalized. It can be used to build familiarity with prospects, acquire customers, and retain customers you already have.

Email marketing to Find customers

Email marketing to Engage customers

If a customer never gets the value of your product, how can you expect them to pay for it or recommend it to others?

Email marketing to Retain customers

Email marketing can be the most effective channel to bring people back to your site. Twitter sends you an email with a weekly digest of popular tweets and your new notifications.
More business-oriented products usually focus on reminders, reports, and information about how you’re getting value from the product. Mint sends a weekly financial summary to show your expenses and income over the previous week.
You can also use it to surprise and delight your customers. Planscope sends a weekly email to customers telling them how much they made that week. Photo apps will send you pictures you took a year ago.

Email marketing to Drive revenue

You can send a series of emails aimed at upselling customers.
WP Engine sends prospects an email course about Wordpress, and near the end of the email, they make a pitch to signup for its premium Wordpress hosting service.
If one of your customers abandoned a shopping cart, send her a targeted email a day or two later with a special offer for whatever item is left in the cart.
You can use email to explain a premium feature a customer is missing out on and how it can help them in a big way.

Email marketing to get referrals

Groupon generates referrals by incentivizing people to tell their friends about discounts.

Tactics

Viral Marketing

Viral marketing is getting your existing customers to refer others to your product. It was the driving force behind the explosive growth of Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, Dropbox, Instagram, Snapchat, and Pinterest.
It’s so powerful that even if you can’t achieve exponential growth with it, you can still get meaningful growth. If your customer refers a new customer within the first week, you’ll go from ten customers to twenty and double every week without any additional marketing.
The oldest form of virality occurs when your product is so remarkable that people naturally tell others about it — pure word of mouth.
Inherent virality occurs when you can get value from a product only by inviting other customers, like Skype, Snapchat, and WhatsApp.
Others grow by encouraging collaboration like Google Docs.
Some embed virality like adding “Get a free email account with Hotmail” or “Sent from iPhone” to default signatures. Mailchimp and other email marketing products add branding to free customers’ emails.
Some incentivize customers to move through a viral loop, like Dropbox giving you more space if you invite friends to sign up. Airbnb, Uber, and PayPal give you account credits for referring friends.
Some add embedded buttons and widgets to grow virally, like Reddit and YouTube.
Some broadcast users activities on their social networks, like Spotify posting on Facebook when you play a song, or Pinterest when you pin content.
The viral coefficient K is the number of additional customers you can get for each customer you bring in. It depends on i, the number of invites sent per user, and conversion percentage (who will actually sign up after receiving an invite)
K = i * conversion percentage
Any viral coefficient above 1 will result in exponential growth. Any viral coefficient over 0.5 helps your efforts to grow considerably.
You can increase the number of invites per user i by including features that encourage sharing, such as posting to social networks. You can increase the conversion percentage by testing different signup flows. Try cutting out pages or signup fields.
Viral cycle time is how long it takes a user to go through your viral loop. Shortening your cycle time drastically increases the rate at which you go viral. You can do it by creating urgency or incentivizing customers to move through the loops.

Tactics

Engineering as Marketing

You can build tools like calculators, widgets, and educational microsites to get your company in front of potential customers.
HubSpot has Marketing Grade, a free marketing review tool. It’s free, gives you valuable information, and provides HubSpot with the information they use to qualify you as a potential prospect.
Moz has two free SEO tools, Followerwong and Open Site Explorer. They’ve driven tens of thousands of leads for Moz.
WP Engine has a speed testing tool that asks only for an email address in exchange for a detailed report on your site’s speed.

Business Development

With business development, you’re partnering to reach customers in a way that benefits both parties.
Google got most of its initial traction from a partnership with Netscape to be the default search engine and an agreement with Yahoo to power its online searches.
Business development can take the form of:
You should have already defined your traction goal and milestones, and you shouldn’t accept any partnership that doesn’t align with it. Many startups waste resources because it’s tempting to make deals with bigger companies.

Sales

Sales is the process of generating leads, qualifying them, and converting them into paying customers. It’s particularly useful for expensive and enterprise products.

Structuring the sales conversation

Situation questions. Ask one or two questions per conversation. The more you ask situation questions, the less likely they’re going to close.
Problem questions. Use sparingly.
Implication questions. Meant to make a prospect aware of the large implications that stem from the problem.
Need-payoff questions. Focus attention on your solution and get buyers to think about the benefits of solving the problem.

Cold calls

Be judicious about the people you contact. You want someone who is one-two levels up in the organization. They have enough perspective on the problem and some authority for decision making. Avoid starting at the top unless you’re calling a very small business.
Try to get answers about:

Tactics

It’s better to gain traction through a marketing channel first, then use sales as a conversion tool to close leads. The next stage is lead qualification: determine how ready a prospect is to buy. Once you’ve qualified the leads, you should lay out exactly what are you going to do for the customer. Set up a timetable for it and get them to commit with a yes or no whether they’re going to buy. Closing leads can be done by a sales team who does a webinar or product demo and has an ongoing email sequence that ends with a purchase request. In other cases, you may need a field sales team that actually visits prospective customers for some part of the process.
A checklist that can help you with sales:
submitted by alollou to Entrepreneur [link] [comments]


2020.06.04 06:51 IHaveABigDuvet Just saw this profile on OkCupid. Double yikes!

Just saw this profile on OkCupid. Double yikes! submitted by IHaveABigDuvet to Yikes [link] [comments]


2020.05.29 03:03 munchmunchmunch1 I have several likes but not seeing them. Why?

As the title says, I have 25+ likes and am not seeing them. I have been using the computer "online" version and have been alerted that I have likes but when I swipe to see people in double-take I do not come across any of those likes.
Why is this happening? I've spent several 15 plus minutes swiping for a few days now and haven't seen ANY like. Not even in the discover. I've even "liked" several people but still not seeing those that liked me.
At this point, I feel like not being able to see any likes is a ploy to buy A-list because like what the heck? I've also had OkCupid before and deleted it but didn't have this problem as much as I'm having now. What is going on? Any help/advice?
EDIT: formatting and spelling
submitted by munchmunchmunch1 to OkCupid [link] [comments]


2020.05.15 20:09 DirtyProjector Can anyone explain to me how OkCupid works (now?)

So I used OkCupid in the past, and now I am trying it again during a pandemic because I'm an idiot. It seems to have changed a lot and I'm confused about how I see profiles. I think I've determined that if you like someone but don't match, you can't see their profile again in search results unless you look at your "I liked" section. What I'm confused about is the difference between using search vs double take. I see people in double take, but I do not see them when I search or browse. I can't figure out why that is. If I see someone in DoubleTake that I'm interested in and I don't swipe right on them, and then i goto search and try to find them, a lot of times they don't show up. I will even remove all the filters on my search, and they still don't show up. So what's the deal? Why would profiles appear in Double Take, but not actually be searchable? I also find that there are a LOT more attractive women in Double Take than if I just search outright.
submitted by DirtyProjector to OkCupid [link] [comments]


r/choosingbeggars Top Posts of All Time [4] - YouTube TINDER EXPERIMENT: MEN VS WOMEN - YouTube Pick A Sperm Donor  Lineup  Cut - YouTube If I was HONEST on OkCupid Let's Play OKCupid - Part 4 - Messages Dan Truong - YouTube Amputee Woman dak, - YouTube DAK Amputee stumps - YouTube One of each.wmv - YouTube

OkCupid Review October 2020 — Is It Trustworthy and Safe ...

  1. r/choosingbeggars Top Posts of All Time [4] - YouTube
  2. TINDER EXPERIMENT: MEN VS WOMEN - YouTube
  3. Pick A Sperm Donor Lineup Cut - YouTube
  4. If I was HONEST on OkCupid
  5. Let's Play OKCupid - Part 4 - Messages
  6. Dan Truong - YouTube
  7. Amputee Woman dak, - YouTube
  8. DAK Amputee stumps - YouTube
  9. One of each.wmv - YouTube
  10. Dating while being an amputee

OKCupid Tips For Men: How To Get More Girls - Duration: 3:31. Premium Life English 53,622 views. 3:31. If you make less than double what I make, YOU'RE BROKE AND GROSS - Duration: 12:20. Tinder App Experiment: Men VS Women MORE INFO BELOW ️ 𝗦𝗨𝗣𝗣𝗢𝗥𝗧 𝗠𝗘: MERCH http://teespring.com/stores/whatever ONE TIME DONATION http ... Just a guy who enjoys playing video games, cosplaying, and DC and Marvel media. hey can you actually leave 2 likes thaaanks r/niceguys: https://goo.gl/PvnYg8 r/quityourbullshit: https://goo.gl/D85pNq r/AntiMLM: https://goo.gl/GE3sz6 r/wo... Explosion Causes Double Amputation - Duration: 26:23. Attitude Recommended for you. 26:23. THE DIVAS 12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS ..DAY12 .. $700 ..BBW CANDLE DAY 2019 - Duration: 8:31. :::::VISIT OUR WEB SITE::::: http://amputee-loves.blogspot.com/ ;;;;;VISIT OUR FACEBOOK::::: https://www.facebook.com/amputeelove/ Enjoy the videos and music you love, upload original content, and share it all with friends, family, and the world on YouTube. How OkCupid really works: finding love with data - Small Empires - Duration: 22:02. The Verge 45,661 views. 22:02. Inside OKCupid: The math of online dating - Christian Rudder - Duration: 7:31. The girl with no legs exposes her stumps Sponsor this series: http://www.cut.com/sponsorship Fear Pong is now a game! Get it here: http://www.fearponggame.com SUBSCRIBE: http://bit.ly/CutSubscribe W...