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Bonny Albo

Plenty of Fish Removes Members Looking for Intimate Encounters

By June 10, 2013

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If you're a member of POF and have signed in since May 20th, 2013, you'll already know that owner Markus Frind has decided to implement a few significant changes to the website. In an email blasted to all members through their account page, the changes announced include:

  • Anyone contacting another member using sexual references in their first contact will immediately be removed from the site;
  • Members can now only contact other members with less than a 14 year age difference; and
  • The Intimate Encounter section will disappear shortly, if it hasn't already.

I for one, am thrilled with these changes. I've lost count how many folks 20+ years my senior have contacted me using Plenty of Fish; the same goes for folks looking for something clearly more casual than what I'm after. My readers and clients have shared similar stories over the years, and Markus' stats only confirm these experiences -- in one part of the email, he shares that there are 3.3 million people using POF, with only 6,041 single women looking for an 'intimate encounter'. Of those 6,041, Markus believes most (if not all of those with 'hot' pictures) are men pretending to be women.

So readers, what do you think of these changes at Plenty of Fish? Does it make the site more user-friendly? Will you return, or sign up, based on these changes?

Related: Adult Dating Sites, Are There Any Legitimate Adult Dating Sites Out There?, Infidelity Dating Sites, What is Casual Dating?, Research Shows Women Seeking More Casual Relationships.

June 11, 2013 at 12:47 am
(1) veer says:

This is really very informative for those who are individual and feeling alone, unhappy or not satisfied with life then they can enjoy life in the same same way .

June 13, 2013 at 8:42 am
(2) bellestarrr says:

Marcus frind kicked all gays , trans , cd people that are looking for others for sex as well as friendship off his site…not only has he trashed many potential future customers but the words is out there about his tired *** website…thats what I think

June 16, 2013 at 12:30 pm
(3) Opinion girl says:

I think that removing these options only makes it harder for us to “weed out” the people we are not interested in. These people will probably still use the site and not be able to be upfront about what they are looking for. The same goes for the removal of the “married” option, although I do see the good intention in it.

June 20, 2013 at 11:45 am
(4) Wendy says:

I think it’s a great idea. I get so many emails from guys in their 30′s, and I was going to never go on the site again. I also encounter a lot of scam artists. Unfortunately, I don’t think that the men on here are actually looking for a serious relationship!!! Kind of getting discouraged, but will go on here and there!!! However, good job on starting to get this dating site on track!!!

June 20, 2013 at 1:09 pm
(5) Judith Anne says:

I’m in favor of Markus’s effort.

S*x is great…later.

Markus’s effort to slow down intimacy and give it a chance to plant itself in the solid ground of knowing who you and the person(s) you’re talking to really are is a gift to all on POF…and the world:)

June 20, 2013 at 1:40 pm
(6) My Dating Hangovers says:

I like the fact that Plenty of Fish made this change, but with the pitiful state of dating nowadays, the types of scurvy on the site for a quick hook up, are just finding workarounds.

Their profiles now say “casual” or “friends” and simply send their sexually-charged messages instead.

June 20, 2013 at 1:48 pm
(7) donald says:

it’s an adult web site if two adults are looking for intimate encounters why should you care stop trying to be the police

June 20, 2013 at 7:30 pm
(8) Tim says:

I agree with everything except the 14 year difference. Who is this guy to say that couples greater than 14 years apart in age can’t be happy? My parents were married for over 25 years and they were 20 years apart in age. Get real!

June 20, 2013 at 10:15 pm
(9) Mary says:

I think this is absolutely great!!! I actually went off this site for a long time as far as checking emails or even going to it because of mostly young guys with all their discusting comments. I also got tired of all these men looking for intimate encounters, and what they had to say in their profile. I got so tired of the terrible messages that it seemed like all I was doing was deleteing, and blocking these guys!!! Thank you Markus, and if you keep making these much better choices on getting rid of these trashy people that joined this site for all the wrong reasons you will get many good people that came on here for all the right reasons back on here again!! Please continue to make pof the best dating site online. I very much thank you:)

June 20, 2013 at 11:00 pm
(10) Tony says:

THE SEX DRIVE must be very strong on this planet Earth — especially in young, testosterone-laden males. But apparently not so much in indolent estrogen-sprinkled females. So when the Book of Genesis encouraged mankind to “Go forth and multiply” it must not have realized that websites like POF would become a rather predictable outgrowth of such advice.

September 3, 2013 at 2:31 am
(11) Jake says:

I think this is good and bad for POF… good causes it cleans up the site….but bad because they will just loose valuable to traffic to free hookup sites like DateorPlay.com. I think DateorPlay.com will emerge to next leader in people that seeking intimate encounters.

September 18, 2013 at 4:24 pm
(12) Henry says:

As a fit older gay man who is looking for a relationship with someone equally as fit and “young” in attitude, I found the action Markus took offensive to say the least. I had dates with guys in their late 30s and early 40s who are frankly old enough to make up their own minds about who they will see. Some were up to 19 years younger than I am as I do look pretty young for my age. Now I get my “matches” guys who I know are even older than what they have listed there. It offends me that the assumption is made that my selecting someone younger than me means I’m after a quick hook up. I am not. I rarely ever look at or use POF anymore. They need to change the name to “the few fish that are left over bottom feeders for you.” OKCupid doesn’t discriminate against you based on age. Dating is complicated enough without Markus being a control freak and projecting into your brain what you must be thinking and doing in contacting so and so. Before he instituted his policy I had lots of friends of all ages and was in touch with many people. I now can no longer contact those people. A friend of mine from POF says the same thing. He is disgusted with POF and has lost contact with a lot of people he’d been in touch with for years as the policy was instituted without warning, arbitrarily and with no time to get email addresses.

September 18, 2013 at 4:34 pm
(13) Hank says:

Now that they tell you who you can and can’t date basically, the site is the equivalent of a grandma or aunt sitting there and picking out losers for you to go out with. I keep myself fit and look much younger than my age. Before I had dates with nice-looking guys who were glad to go out & NO Markus these weren’t hook ups…I don’t do that nor do a lot of people you assume to do that. My “matches for the day” are not people I’d contact, you picked them solely because of a narrow window of age that you think will work. OKCupid is far better than “a handful of leftover fish….”

September 30, 2013 at 3:17 pm
(14) opinionated says:

why can’t the two co-exist? why cant we all just be mature enough, so that when some one asks you to have sex with them. if you dont want to just say no.you dont have to read the messages, or answer them if you don’t want to. just because someone wants something different from what you are looking for dose not give you the right to ruin it for them. remember that what they are looking for is just as important to them as your needs are to you. now because stuck up ppl get offended when someone asks them 4 sex, because they cant control there own emotions to such an extent that they have to fly off the deep end over something that can be resolved with a simple and polite no thank you.
its just ppl overreacting to simple things that should not even bother them in the first place. people need to stop thinking that they are the only ones using this site. if you don’t want to read a message about sex THAN THERE WAS A LITTLE OPTION TO FIX THAT BUT I GUESS PPL ARE TO LAZY TO OPEN THE OTHER WINDOW AND PUSH A BUTTON!

October 10, 2013 at 11:51 am
(15) MeDude says:

Guys will simply find a workaround. I have no pity for women anymore. After reading their demands of having to be tall, only dating when they’re professionals yet if they were broke it would be fine if they date a rich guy, etc. Women in their 40′s and 50′s and still superficial as teenagers.

There are gorgeous women on POF yet they have been on there the 4 years my ugly self has been on there. At least I have an excuse. I am ugly and broke. I just have height going for me. The tall women want a tall guy and short women want men the same height.

You occasionally find a woman looking for something long term but won’t say that they are open to just a banging relationship until Mr. Right comes along. Just keep BLOCKING guys. You women don’t have the decency to reply to a decent initial contact if we aren’t your type. You say guys get angry at your declining. They can message you rude messages for not answering too so you solve nothing by simply saying. “Thanks but I don’t feel we’re compatible”.

It’s a double standard. Women can be ill-mannered but men must be gentlemen. Bad move, Markus. Guys will get around it by lying. He knows it but wants to attract more women to the site with the farce. Guys will now start with clean messages and then get nasty in subsequent messages. Bye

October 17, 2013 at 3:20 pm
(16) Mack says:

Interesting that you comment about having men that are 20+ years older than you (your senior”) but you don’t mention men 20+ years younger than you ,contacting you. Only a problem with the 20 + older men? ok, if they are way younger? LOL. Typical woman.

October 17, 2013 at 5:17 pm
(17) Bonny says:

In the 20+ years I’ve used online dating sites or some variation thereof (BBS’ come to mind), I can count on one hand how many times men more than 10 years my junior have contacted me. I’d say 20 years if I were older however the point remains: women get contacted by older men disproportionately more than men their junior. If I were to reply to every many who contacted me 10+ years my senior on a dating site, even just to say, “Thanks, however I’m going to focus elsewhere,” I’d spend 90% of my time doing just that – even if I were merely copying and pasting the message. At one point I’d even blocked folks more than 10 years my senior from contacting me, and that just led to people lying about their age. My clients and readers mirror these experiences, unfortunately. The ‘problem’ is only in that the interest is one-sided, Mack, and if a gent 10+ years my junior contacted me, I’d reply in the same way.

November 29, 2013 at 3:50 pm
(18) tom says:

These changes truly suck. Your forcing your personal beliefs on your users and that’s just not cool. If two adults with a significant age difference have a connection, why would you try and stop that. What if I find myself more attracted to older woman? Furthermore, if ppl are complaining about who contacts them and for what reasons, they should be able to just set a criteria for contacting them. Set a certain age for contacting them. And as you did, flag those who are not looking for the same things (ie intimate encounters) and allow the user to determine whether or not they can be contacted by the flagged group. Taking these features out all together because you don’t like them, is kinda selfish.

January 26, 2014 at 8:06 am
(19) John says:

Hi there, my opinion on your recent changes is simple. It was just stupid. You can add criteria like most have put. These whiney woman who complain can just flag the person and be on their way…Why completely remove the intimate encounters part though. You vould make a fortune if you perhaps charging for that part of the site but you to completely remove it is just dumb. Now your gonna find these people lying to woman and not telling them what they really want.

February 14, 2014 at 3:38 pm
(20) matt says:

He’s ruining the site. Almost every recent decision was wrong and drove/will drive people away. Site was horrible and not that popular when I went on it a few months ago. Looks like it’s not going to be getting any better. Just go with okcupid. Attractive people and more of them.

April 5, 2014 at 5:57 am
(21) Caramilk says:

I agree with a lot of the comments in here. Markus is just shoving his morals and views down everyone’s throat and is discriminating re sexual preference and age discrimination. I will not be surprised if he doesn’t have a discrimination law suit filed against him at some point, if legally possible.

I really think blocking Carte Blanche people because of an certain age difference of consenting adults is just begging for a law suit IMHO, at the very least it will turn hundreds of thousands of the current members to other sites that’s more accommodating and less discriminatory.

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