It’s a peculiar fact that the vast majority of dating bloggers are female.
Even among match makers gents are underrepresented. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t an equality debate. Those who know me will testify to my tendency to publicly rail against the patriarchy and I’m a firm believer in forms of positive discrimination.
But this is more a layman’s look at the psychology of men in the dating industry. And by ‘layman’s look’ I mean ‘no research or data to back up what is essentially a guess’.
While there are far fewer male bloggers around, many men involved in the dating industry seem to revolve around the weird world of the Pick Up Artist (PUA).
While not dismissing the trade in its entirety, a brief perusal of the products offered by PUA’s tends to be of the rather pseudo-macho ‘I’ll teach you to pick up hot chicks’ variety circa early 1970’s.
This approach generally commodifies women, reducing them to a target of desire and minimising the process of romantic engagement to a series of underhand ‘tricks’ and a numbers game. If you do x she will be y and if you do so often enough you’ll procure the object of your desire. It negates personality, emotion or mature engagement.
Unsure of this position I posed the question to two established dating writers. Jenny Stallard and Janey Heathly.
Jenny of free daily, Metro says that:
“[W]omen are more willing to wear their dating hearts on their sleeves – I found this when I wrote my column for Metro, ‘Boyfriend by Christmas’ – women would be photographed and chatted to but most men ran a mile when I tried to get them involved. Maybe men see blogging as too ‘heart on sleeve’ and that they aren’t a ‘man’ if they expose their feelings on a dating blog?”
But surely in this day and age things are different?
Not according to Janey Heathly, whose blog, myplaceoryoursblog.com has seen her commissioned further and further afield.
For Janey, “…it’s largely down to most blogs springing from personal quests. For me I was single and enjoyed writing. Those two things are still true and I make the most of them both. However, most of the men I know I are less enthusiastic about documenting their personal quests for romance.”
Janey also identifies the predominance of men in the PUA field but puts it down to the perceived difference between ‘bloggers’ and ‘experts’. Bloggers don’t claim to be experts claims Janey. “We prefer to see the humble blogger as someone who is learning with us.”
Perhaps this is where the problem lies. It seems that for men, dating and discussion around the subject is less something to be considered, discussed, written about and publicly challenged than it is a reversion to a pubescent one-upmanship. Writing a dating blog is a method of publicly exposing insecurities around ideas of romance, sex, love and emotions.
So what is the solution? Back to Janey – “I think that until the male population are more at ease and at home with sharing their romantic feelings (outside of their relationships) we won’t see much from male dating blogs.”
With Jenny and Janey in agreement I’d like to tap into that alpha male, testosterone charged mentality and throw down a challenge.
The pen is mightier than the sword so, men of words, take your weapon, step bravely into the wilderness of you emotions, embrace your singledom and blog the hell out of it. I’m pretty sure it’s not as frightening as we may think.
WORDS BY JOHN DAVIS