A little while ago, I pitched an article on how to pick-up your Twitter crush. I got about two lines in to writing it before I realised: I was doing a terrible, horrible thing. Not because my advice was bad, but because the last thing I wanted to do was give men more impetus to try to pick up women on the internet. In the process of thinking about men and the amount of times my DMs have been slid into by their thirsty bretheren, I realised that they could generally be categorised in to eight different types. Here, for your reference, are the eight men who try to pick you up on Twitter.
THE MENTIONS PEST
If The Mentions Pest has a personality, a hobby, or an occupation – or any discernable quality beyond a working keyboard and a modem – you certainly don’t know it. Scrolling through his timeline, you can see that the only contribution The Mentions Pest makes to the digital word is an endless stream of one-word adjectives delivered in response to any tweet, by any woman, about anything. A photo of your cat? ‘Cool!’ A recap of your morning jog? ‘Awesome!’ A heart-felt confession about your deepest darkest family secret? ‘Nice!’ The Mentions Pest thinks that being constantly, desperately agreeable will earn him some tail – but you and I both know that a spirited debate is preferable to the conversational equivalent of one of those toy dogs that sits on your car dashboard and nods whenever you bop their head. Is The Mentions Pest an okay dude? Look, probably. But you know that any sexual encounter with him would only end in him hovering above your naked, prone body and gazing into your eyes as he whispers, over and over again, “Cool, nice, awesome, wow.”
In his younger days, The Dadfem was as much as a lad as anyone. Catcalling women, showing his girlfriend’s naked photos to the boys at the pub – The Dadfem did it all. And then he settled down and had a daughter. Now, he is repulsed by his former life and has made it his mission to champion the feminist movement on behalf of women everywhere. The Dadfem can be identified by his urgent need to apologise for men everywhere: his desperation to differentiate himself from ‘all of those other guys’ is second only to his want to prostrate himself in front of you and beg for forgiveness for simply being a man. If you give The Dadfem even a little of your attention, he’ll stick around forever: appearing in your mentions to ask if you’ve read a two-year-old article on intersectional feminism or arriving in your DMs to talk about how amazing the #HeForShe campaign is. While there’s something sweet about watching someone discover feminism for the first time, The Dadfem just hasn’t realised yet that he can’t demand women’s time – point it out to him and you’ll be on the receiving end of a pouty goodbye message, explaining that he thought you were different to ‘all of those other girls’.
THE WANNABE PORN ACTOR
The Wannabe Porn Actor is just a downright dirty creep. You can see him coming (pardon the pun) a mile away because his avatar is a close-up of his erect, turgid penis. His bio says something like, ‘LUV 2 FUCK ALL DAY EVERY DAY ANY POSITION LADIES DM ME IF YOU’RE LOOKING FOR YOUR OWN MR. GREY’ and he’s followed it up with as many winking emojis as he can cram into 140 characters. The Wannabe Porn Actor is out and proud about his proclivities, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing; but scrolling through his timeline you can see every tweet he’s ever sent is to sex workers asking when they’re next coming to his city, accompanied by a blurry picture of his chode that looks like hidden camera footage from inside a literal sausage factory. The second you post something even mildly related to your body, your appearance, or your romantic life, The Wannabe Porn Actor will be on you like a leech, asking whether or not you’re a squirter, if you can Kik him a photo of dem titties, and demanding you call him Sir in your reply. Any response that doesn’t include a macro image of your clitoris will be ignored, because as soon as he realises you’re not interested he’ll be on to the next woman – and, in turn, his fifth lonely wank of the day.
THE PERPETUAL FAVER
Who is The Perpetual Faver? What is his name? What does he do? You have no idea, because he has never said a word to you. He tweets every now and again, three-word updates like, ‘Great game tonight!’ or ‘Pizza for dinner!’ but aside from that, he’s almost a non-entity. A quick look through his favourites reveals that The Perpetual Faver only interacts with women (surprise surprise) and seems to use the favourite button to remind them that he’s there – a little tap on the shoulder every time their attention drifts, asking them not to forget about him. The Perpetual Faver is thirsty, for sure, but what’s more unnerving than the constant thirst-faving, is the thought of what he might be doing with all the information he’s procured from your tweets. Considering he has a vertiable dossier of you, in pieces of 140 characters or less, what are his plans? What does he want? Alas, only The Perpetual Faver knows that – and he’ll be there, watching and waiting, forever existing as a galaxy of little yellow stars.
The Subtweeter exists inside all of us, and is perhaps the only one on this list who isn’t an exclusively male archetype. By day The Subtweeter is probably the funniest, smartest person you know; but as soon as night falls and the temperature drops they become an intolerably mushy, lonely fool desperate for company. “So cold tonight, wish I had someone to snuggle with under the covers.” Is there any sadder a siren song? If the required amount of attention is not received, they continue: “Homemade lasagna for dinner! So tasty, but I guess it’s just a meal for one.” The Subtweeter is the Twitter equivalent of the dude you meet at the bar who announces he’s going to call a cab home and then stares at you until you either get in the taxi with him, or run. If they weren’t walking such a thin line between ego-stroking and self-pity, The Subtweeter might actually be fun to spend the night with – but between the soppiness and the pouting, you just can’t do it to yourself. When the sun rises and the weather is warm again, The Subtweeter will disappear; but as soon as winter comes, they’ll emerge again. “I’d be the best boyfriend,” they write. “Taking applications now!”
Ahh, the Benny Hill of Twitter. Never before has someone combined an in-depth knowledge of sexual innuendo with such complete disregard for anyone’s personal boundaries. Benny Hill sees women as a parade of sex robots who are waiting to be turned on by anyone who can barrage them with a bawdy enough joke, and by gosh is he willing to try that strategy on every woman he meets. Making a steak for dinner? Benny Hill will be there in a second to ask if it’s a rump steak ;). Posting a workout selfie? Benny Hill has to remark on how good you look when you’re sweaty ;). Down with the flu and spending the day under the doona? You better believe Benny Hill is excited that you’re in bed ;). While he starts off with some fairly innocent remarks, he won’t give up until he’s making jovial references to the depth of your cervix – all in the name of comedy! You’d think that Benny Hill is comprised entirely of funny bones, but if you dare to let him know that he’s made you uncomfortable you’ll see the darker side. Benny Hill secretly fears women and feels entitled to them all at once, and his grade-seven humour will quickly give way to a stream of hateful misogyny once he realises that he’s the only one laughing.
THE WHITE KNIGHT
The White Knight is a nice guy. No, really – he’s a Nice Guy. The White Knight is such a Nice Guy that he’s prepared to protect his damsel in distress at any cost – and whether you like it or not, that damsel is you! Like Prince Phillip on his mighty steed, The White Knight gallops into your mentions to ensure there’s nothing you need to worry your pretty little head about. “Isn’t it hot today!”, you tweet, and The White Knight arrives to agree that it IS quite hot – thirty-five degrees, in fact, if you’ll just take a look at this graph from the Bureau of Meterology. But The White Knight’s skills aren’t limited to simply mansplaining. No, The White Knight will happily battle the evil trolls for you: he’ll battle them for hours, in a screed of two hundred tweets, making sure to CC you into each one and provide #hashtags for each of the #topics he’s #arguing about. If you politely ask him not to, he will change his tone entirely and let loose, telling you what an ungrateful bitch you are and how you deserve everything you’re getting. By the time The White Knight leaves, you have half of GamerGate in your mentions plus Richard Dawkins himself – and where is The White Knight now? He’s left you to fend for yourself while he goes to protect some other poor, innocent lass. He’s just a Nice Guy like that.
Absolute power arouses absolutely, and no-one knows this better than The Celebrity. His bio bills him as something like, ‘actor, musician, troublemaker’, but his ex-girlfriends refer to him as, ‘The one who gave me gonhorrea’. Often found sniffing suspiciously in a toilet cubicle at Hugo’s, The Celebrity has fashioned himself after Russell Brand and thinks he’s only a step away from the “Shagger Of The Year” Award. He exclusively follows two groups of people – other celebrities, and pretty girls under twenty-eight. Follow him back and he’ll immediately message you to let you know what room he’s staying in at the Hilton; and if you should follow through on his request to ‘come over for a cheeky visit’, you’ll finally get to witness someone having an existential crisis and an orgasm at the same time. The Celebrity has been inside more women than Tampax, but that doesn’t stave off the loneliness he feels when he’s on the road and in between recording sessions or tapings. Without a doubt, The Celebrity will start telling tales about how he wants to whisk you away to Fiji or Hamilton Island, but don’t pay too much attention. There’ll be someone else in that Hilton suite tomorrow night, and you’ll end up as a footnote in the Daily Mail – if you’re lucky.
Feature image: MTV Films