Former Dallasite launches site for LGBTs who are tired of hookup hunting and ready to settle down
Exhausted from checking the bogus-looking Craiglist personals? Still afraid of hopping on ManHunt because of that cracked-out stalker you invited to host at 3 a.m.?
Well, last month, a new lesbian and gay matchmaking site made its debut: OneGoodLove.com. And according to former Knox-Henderson resident Frank Mastronuzzi, about 150 queer Texans are already signed up.
Mastronuzzi moved to Dallas in 2001 after getting his MBA in Austin. While in Big D, he worked as a business developer at Match.com’s Richardson office. However, the "mainstream" product he was pushing frustrated his queer sensibilities.
"You never saw any gay or lesbian-targeted ads. And very little changed on the site once you identified yourself as a member of the LGBT community," Mastronuzzi says.
He also noticed that popular gay sites and chat rooms usually catered to quickie transactions and salacious discussions not long-term relationships.
"I wanted to create a brand that clearly would be identified as ‘the site LGBT users go to when they are ready to settle down,’" he says.
In 2004, Mastronuzzi moved to Los Angeles. In 2005, he started working on the concept of OneGoodLove, and by 2007 he was building the site.
What’s the concept about?
First, there’s a personality profile test, which is free: Are you a thrill seeker? Like activity-filled weekends? A homebody? Ambitious? Is great sex important? Are you a social-conscious liberal who likes to volunteer? Want kids? Can endure public displays of affection?
Users answer using a six-range button than measures from "Exactly" to "Not at all."
Then Mastronuzzi gets to work. Users don’t "window shop," hunting and pecking at different profiles. Mastronuzzi says he’s more like a "personal shopper for love" who delivers individual matches to users not one huge lump of candidates. And Mastronuzzi promises that he’ll never fill your inbox with nudie pics.
And hey, fellas, Mastronuzzi is single, which he says motivates his work.
"I know that loneliness can be a very painful state," he says. "So far, I’ve only had one longer-term relationship that started from an online dating. I am hoping to only need one more."
So how do the boys in California stack up against the Lone Star squad?
"Texans are a very proud people. They’re more interested in knowing about your family, where you grew up, what high school you attended and what fraternity you joined in college," he says.
But Mastronuzzi does notice that dating activities in Big D are different than in Hollywood.
"Dallas dates seemed to be more "social-outing focused," like drinks and dinner at popular restaurants. In L.A., dates are more outdoor focused, like coffee at an outdoor artistic cafe, beach lunches and hiking trips," he says.
And what about a tutorial for creating good profiles … ?
MASTRONUZZI’S PROFLE TUTORIAL
• Sex acts: Sexual compatibility is important to a long-term relationship. But it’s not the only area you should have compatibility. Save that discussion for after the first five dates.
• Ethnicity preferences: It’s 2008. There’s no reason to over-emphasize your ethnic preference. If the site is doing its job, you will be introduced to profiles that suit your preferences.
• Drug-related preferences: Can we stop perpetuating the perception that most members of the LGBT community are drug-using partiers? If that’s your preference, discuss it with your matches. Don’t put it on a site for the whole world to view.
• "Be nice": This comment tears at my heart every time I see it. It’s sad when we have to remind adults to mind their manners on the Internet. It also makes me think that this person was mistreated at some point for him/her to write this in their profile.
• Already involved in a relationship: I see many profiles that indicate that individuals are already involved but are looking for something on the side. And at Match.com, we saw plenty of profiles of heterosexuals who were involved and looking. I am just focusing on the LGBT community for now, and it paints the wrong picture for general America. Not all LGBT members of the community are promiscuous or cheaters.
• HIV status: We have users identify their HIV status during the profile process. We filter the status, but we never publicly disclose it. Members only receive profiles that match their preferences.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition February 29, 2008.
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