Oh yes, the eternal (and infernal) demand for pictures. I've had my fair share of contacts breaking off to deadly insults (just recently one found it necessary to call me "Another person to sadistically jerk my heart.") just because I didn't send a picture on request.
I also understand where it's coming from. I've read my share of "how to stay safe in dating" advice, and most state that someone who doesn't give pictures must be unreliable. The most humorous one was where the next line after that was: "Never give out pictures." How on earth two people are ever going to find a click if they follow both
pieces of advice is a complete mystery to me.
My own way is straightforward, I generally do not ask for pictures, I advice against it, and I do not give them out. There is one exception to this, I sometimes get the request for degrading comments on a person's looks. If that is not accompanied by a picture, I ask how I can comment on her looks if I don't know what she looks like in the first place.
Generally, for meeting, I follow the old rule of the Resistance and Warsaw Pact dissidents: Have a drink in a public place.
First time messages: Always a difficult subject. I generally have given up on messaging unless following up on some forum
thread. Just doesn't work, practically all friendships I have came from her messaging me or a thread turning into a friendship. It's interesting to see how people indeed send the "slut whore" routine on such groups. Maybe they take the desire a bit too literally. Of course I've seen my share of profiles stating: "Don't say anything nice to me. I'm a slut to be abused." OK, that may be different. But where does it say if someone has rape fantasies that she wants to be insulted and raped by every
guy on the planet?
Just a bit of random rants about these two subjects and maybe some tidbits someone may find useful. My sympathies to all the ladies getting loads of abusive comments.