On the general suggestion of The Girlfriend, and on the specific recommendations of several friends, I signed up for OKCupid account this week, and started playing around with their interface. For those of you who haven't used it, it's a dating site like a hundred others, though it tends to skew younger, and it pretty friendly toward folks who are poly/non-monogamous. It's also run by math nerds who take their algorithms very seriously. This alone is reason enough for me to stick around.
The dating part of it is still kinda weird to me. The Girlfriend and I have been in an "open" relationship for most of the decade-plus we've been together. That said, we generally look like a very standard, monogamous couple - our swinging is discreet, and while we've told friends in the past that we're "open", neither of us has really "dated" anyone else until recently (and that's pretty discreet now, too). There's also the fact that we have a very solid investment in each other (and a kid, and a house), so other partners are much closer to "friends" than anything else, even if there are benefits.
Because of all of that, using a dating site as an individual and filling out profile information there is pretty strange to me. Much stranger than swinging together or swapping, or even The Girlfriend dating (since that's happened more organically with the guy in one of our swinging couples). It's weird writing about myself, and tweaking it in hopes of attracting someone. I can only imagine the ratio of men-looking-for-women is higher than women-looking-for-men (as it tends to be everywhere in the online dating world), so while I've thrown a few lines out there, I don't expect a whole lot of random, well-matched encounters. But sometimes I'm surprised.
The other interesting thing is that I'm wondering how I'd match up with other in my real life, though to my knowledge, most of my friends don't have OKCupid accounts. The site matches you, at first anyway, by comparing your answers on a host of different relationship and life questions, and asking what you'd like a partner to answer (and how important their answer is). I've come up with a few people who I match almost completely, and I while we'd have lots to talk about, I don't know if we're actually good matches. A good way to compare, for me, would be to see what friends rank, given what I know about them. If you're on the site, let me know (I'm OCHedonist).
In the end, I'm not sure it'll be fruitful, but it's fun, and maybe I'll make some friends (I'm honestly just as interested in new friends, even if there's no sex involved). Either way, it's definitely weird.