I'm an American writer doing an article on international matchmaking sites for a well-known magazine here, and I'd love to interview anyone who has used one of these sites and can discuss their experience on the record. Unfortunately, it can't be anonymous. If you are available, please message me here.
Any prominent international matchmaking site would do, baron555. I just need the objective take from someone who's used one and is familiar with them and who is willing to go on record (I would not mention the specific site in the article).
I was wondering when someone would break the ice.
to the OP: Of course there is a stigma attached to someone who chooses to search for a lady in a different country. Specifically Russia and its satellite countries commonly referred to as the FSU. Some, if not most, are chastised by friends and family. Some are looked upon as losers. Others may be viewed as just plain old adventurous. And some are considered just plain lucky - assuming they have met and married a desirable lady who is genuinely a true partner. Most would prefer to remain anonymous. Your goal is to find someone who is a reasonably stable/normal person and who is willing to either be ridiculed or just looked down upon by his peers. Or perhaps, maybe become the envy of his peers? The nature of the article you intend to write will dictate the type of person you are seeking. Is your desire to poke fun at this? Is it just curiosity? Did you draw the short straw? Is it something you want to champion? Are you hoping that you will find older men with much younger women? Or are you fascinated that so many men are just plain fed up with the quality of women available to them here?
What is the nature of your article?
With some, long ago, previous experience of being a victim of journalism, absolutely nothing to do with this subject, I wouldn't trust the buzzards any further than I can throw them.
Whatevever they may write it will become something that sells magazines such as a headline of "60 year old man marries 20 year old lady" and it is only when one buys the magazine, and reads in to the article, it does not reflect the headline and may be about a 40 year old man marrying a 30 year old lady.
Please bear in mind that when coversing with a journalist one is preaching to the naive who is not particularly interested in listening and has no knowledge of the subject matter, he/she is only interested in twisting the story around in to something sensational that sells magazines.
Converse with a journalist then, trust me, have a lawyer present because they'll twist anything you say
My nature is not to mock whomever I interview, but to provide a counterpoint to the owners of the matchmaking sites I have interviewed. They have all trumpeted their services and declared them scammer-free and claim they work. The popular conception from the public is that they're full of scam artists and that these beautiful women depicted on the sites aren't really on it, or if they are, they're only there to extort money from men or are prostitutes looking for business (the same goes for the socials that agencies set up). I want to find men who've really used the sites so they can give me their perspectives on this or any other topic surrounding matchmaking services.
And Ivor, I can assure you I will not quote anyone out of context, though I certainly understand your skepticism. All I'm looking for is someone who doesn't actually work for one of these companies to discuss them so I can have a well-rounded article.
1. It seems to me that a great proportion of magazine articles are written by authors who are not deeply interested in the subject matter, and are largely ignorant of it. Such writers typically will gather information (spending as few hours as possible) until they think they have enough to create a saleable product.
2. The easy way to be saleable, is not to be objective. It's dull to try and present an understanding of a complex, messy and ambiguous subject as it is. It's catchy and entertaining to "take an attitude" -- to come to some superficial (or better yet, fashionable) conclusion about the subject, and then structure the article to support this conclusion.
3. I certainly haven't made a systematic survey -- only the few published presentations I've seen in writing or video about western men, FSU women, and companies in the international dating business seemed pretty uniform. The men are portrayed as pathetic and contemptible. They are too undesirable to find a mate at home, and/or are drawn to Russia (or whichever non-western country) by the supposed submissiveness of the foreign women. These men are exploiters, and the women are their victims who are doomed to a trajectory of disappointments, unhappiness, degradation, and possible assault! This seems to the standard narrative. It also seems to be popular with a segment of western women, whose exposed nerves are inflamed by the whole concept.
4. I can't know the intentions of any particular author (for example, 'magazinewriter'), but this author is likely to have some ax to grind while composing the article. The ax isn't personal (a la Godfather, it's just business) -- it simply helps to sell the story.
5. Any man who agrees to cooperate with 'magazinewriter' will, if I understand correctly, have some thumbnail sketch of a part of his life that is probably deeply important to his heart, published WITH HIS FULL NAME in some major American magazine, for all time. If when the magazine is published, he sees that this sketch -- or simply the context in which it is presented -- is degrading or humiliating... well, too bad, that is how he has been presented to the world.
surely this mag writer has something up his - or her? - sleeve. perhaps it is a woman who is actually desperate to meet a man. and by trying to get an interview by deceivingly using self-serving measures she hopes to meet a man with the fortitude to go after what he wants. ah, but the butch new york type woman seems to fall short of the desires of many men. still, to yearn for a man with conviction and a positive outlook... perhaps she is just a yenta who has run out of material. maybe it is J Leno. he needs new material for his upcoming AC show.
interesting to see if mag writer posts again. surely he/she would want to stoke the fire...
or perhaps it is as I implied earlier --- you drew the short straw.
c'mon, play with us...
bowhunter -- beware of the unscrupulous. except for Al Pacino (ha-ha to you real journalists who get the joke) there aren't many who are honest and forthcoming with their real motives.
I tried to post before but it either didn't work or is delayed, but at any rate, the gist was this: I have no ax to grind, am not seeking to mock anyone, but simply want a counterpoint to the owners of the sites, who are presenting only one side of the story. I'd like to talk to men who've actually used the services who can provide measured, objective, and experiential analysis of them. If that means debunking myths and stereotypes, I'm all for it. I will not quote anyone out of context; I hope only to get opinions and anecdotes that accurately reflect the experience. I'm very interested in the subject and have spent the last week immersed in it and plan to spend much more time on it, too.
And Ralph, I'm male, 31 years old, and not Jay Leno.
If you'd rather not go on record, though, I understand and respect your skepticism.
Thank you for your candidness. I for one do not qualify as my experience with the dating sites (the ones with hot young women) was short lived. I saw right through it immediately. If you have time to kill you can read through the archives and find some very interesting anecdotal evidence contrary to what the dating sites themselves may say. Unfortunately you cannot rebuke these sites based on non-verifiable remarks. There are several people using this forum that have much experience with dating sites. However, finding someone willing to go on record will be a chore.
Why not go into it first hand? Ask your editor for a budget to set up an account. Or you can use a surrogate for this. You can also set up a bogus account and be whomever you chose. You can be Tom Cruise, Chester The Molester, or some homeless guy with fleas. They will write to you no matter what. Find out first hand that as soon as you list yourself (or a surrogate) that you will be flooded - assuming you list on the big 'scam' sites - with letters from young women begging you to write to them. If the magazine you are representing is a BIG one, then $10,000 should be enough to go into this and get all the ammo you need first hand. Be assured that a very high percentage of women posing provocatively in their photos do this only for the extra income.
Yet there are those with good intentions.
If you talk to one individual you will receive one opinion, another individual a different opinion, another a conflicting opinion etc. etc. etc. One only has to read some recent threads on this forum, individual(s) are slating various website(s) for being less than scruplilous, indeed crooked, whilst other individual(s) speak in defence of those same sites, individual(s) sing the praises of certain website(s) whilst other individual(s) remain unconvinced.
My persona; opinion is that this former Soviet Union online dating malarky has become by far over commercialised and is full of players of both genders, men that multiple date women and women that multiple date men, men because they are men and women for financial recompense whether it be cash or gifts or scams.
If you want an unbiased opinion then for the sake of a few hundred dollars, surely your magazine can run to a budget of a few hundred dollars, you can register, yourself, with a few websites and judge your experiences for yourself, I wouldn't worry too much that you may be misleading women that you are genuinely seeking a partner because, more often than not, the women will be misleading you similarly.
Thanks to everyone for their thoughts. I have indeed registered at several of these sites and been barraged with spammers, which was the expected outcome. I'm sure there are some legitimate women out there, too, of course. That's why I want people who've actually used the sites with success and can overturn stereotypes that they're all scammers, but aren't paid flacks by the companies themselves.
Boys -- my info is that one of the effects of the internet/blogging boom has been, that rates paid for writing in periodicals have been plummeting like a stone. Our intrepid journalist probably doesn't have much of a budget to work with, but it's still possible to run some "experiments" on the cheap.
Might you be suggesting that 'magazinewriter' is a freelance journalist trying to make some money, without paying for it, from our hard earned and paid for experiences and without any finacial incentitive for us to 'open up' regarding our experiences? :)
A question I have for others (this can be answered anonymously): is there a difference between the agencies in the U.S. (such as A Foreign Affair, Hand in Hand, Army of Brides, and the like) and local agencies on the ground in the FSU? In other words, American members go through Army of Brides, but are the women going through another agency that Army of Brides is working with, and which translates the letters and so on? I've heard that the real corrupt activities are through these local agencies, not so much the sites themselves.