Who out there remembers? Long before the days of “winks,” “taps,” “looking?” and “Unlock?” there was a phenomenon called video dating. I don’t know if this was a really a big thing in the gay community, but then again I was too young to be bothered, so if any of you guys out there did this, please share the sordid details in the comments section.
1980s Video dating was clearly the precursor to today’s online dating –and from the looks of the archives, it was possibly far more cringe-inducing than 2019’s barrage of headless torsos that send “sup” through Grindr and Scruff.
From what I recall as I was coming of age in the 80s, the most technologically advanced way of hooking up was on telephone party lines, advertised in the back of adult magazines, newspapers, and for heterosexuals – late night, low production TV ads, with a barely legal, half-dressed girl asking, “Wanna talk to me and my sexy friends?”
Before the telephone party lines were hot though, there was an entire industry that centered around video dating. This was a process in which your “profile pic” was basically you in the most unsexy, sterile, video studio environment; something that looked like a Sears Portrait Studio where you gathered with your brood to take a family photo. Your “profile bio” was self-written and scripted, and for an additional fee an expert could help write a bio about you – better than you.
To create your video profile, you were compelled to deliver your script with the conviction of a man destined to never get laid again with the help of VHS.
With stakes that high, it’s incredible to look back on how terribly it all went for most of the guys seeking love in the video-sphere. Thanks to the fun investigative prowess of the comedic Facebook page, Total Nerd, feathered bangs be damned – we can do just that. Let’s look back.
Total Nerd has resurrected the archives of some of the 80s guys “looking for love,” on video, and though they are hetero (questionable), these profiles must still be seen to be believed.
Quite honestly, some of the guys are decent, and a couple of them are even hot in an abstract, Olivia Newton John’s “Let’s Get Physical” video, kind of way. Oh but then wait, for no reason, there’s a guy dressed as a Viking complete with horned helmet (maybe for subliminal messaging?) His video is strange at best and not particularly sexy, especially with the added aesthetic of thick-framed, librarian, reading glasses. Then again, with current hit shows like Game of Thrones and Vikings dominating pop culture in 2019, who knows, today this dude might be a total catch.
Come to think of it, I’m sure many of you of a certain age probably dated (or at least hooked up with) guys who looked just like the guys in this video. This is pretty much how we all looked in the 80s. It’s a wonder anyone got lucky at all in hindsight, but feathered bangs be damned, it’s always fun to look back.
So, check out some of the most eligible bachelors of the 1980s and be sure to share which dude you most likely would date … at least on a dare.
For me, it would be this guy, because he reminds me alot of the late Chad Douglas and you can never go wrong with a 70s porn mustache.
This piece is an opinion piece by one Contributing Writer for Instinct Magazine and may not reflect the opinion of the magazine or other Contributing Writers.