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If you’re a gay man, pose outdoors
February 6, 2014 8:57 PM   Subscribe

25 Wired infographics claim to show how to create the perfect online dating profile.

Mentioning cats is fine, but mention “my cats” and you’re a weirdo. The data shows that lesbians appreciate nice legs, gay men prize nice arms, and straight women and men are looking for flat stomachs above all else. The tips got pretty specific in some cases: It’s 28 percent better for a male to refer to females as women rather than girls, and men who use “whom” get 31 percent more contacts from the opposite sex.
posted by Bella Donna (54 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite

 
I'm not sure who they're writing about of whom they are writing, but if a flat stomach were the most important thing, I'd be covered in girls women instead of my cats.

I'm not much for online dating, but perhaps this advice will make my comments better
posted by davejay at 9:28 PM on February 6 [9 favorites]


Online dating seems so strange, do people really talk about their own eyes?
posted by oceanjesse at 9:38 PM on February 6 [2 favorites]


Whenever I read something like this, I figure that I should probably go refine my profile so as to be more desirable. But at the same time, nah, forget that. It's not like I'm going to suddenly take up surfing.
posted by A Bad Catholic at 9:46 PM on February 6 [1 favorite]


As someone who routinely uses the word "whom," I support this study.
posted by Dip Flash at 9:50 PM on February 6 [5 favorites]


I'm a yoga surfing skiing instructor who lives in the ocean. My children are into craft. I like the Arrested Development of Homeland's Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Pulp Fiction Office Thrones. And Radiohead. Cats are funny and I'm looking forward to retirement. My profile picture is a toothy grin - and I'm standing inside a glass box that is situated outside. I'm looking directly at the professional photographer who shot a series of action shots of me inside the glass box.

I have a flat stomach, awesome pecs, a butt to die for - but you may not notice when you're looking deeply into my beautiful eyes. Also, you should see my feet. I don't practice religion but I am happy to get to know all about yours, if necessary. I make between 50 and 70 K, but understand if you don't. Women, it's fine if you only make 77 cents in every dollar that I make, I know you can't help it.

You can find me on Grindr, Tinder and Ok Cupid mostly on Sundays, but I change which one I'm on the later in the day it gets. I hope to be having sex with you by the third to fifth date and once we are having sex, I'd prefer it every day, but 3 to 4 times a week is acceptable at a bare minimum.

Women and Men, come at me!
posted by crossoverman at 10:01 PM on February 6 [23 favorites]


do people really talk about their own eyes

Laptops, moms, and worry, also in the bottom quartile, somehow.
posted by cotton dress sock at 10:15 PM on February 6


do people really talk about their own eyes?

One of the profile fields on OkCupid is "The first things people usually notice about me."
posted by Shmuel510 at 10:20 PM on February 6 [1 favorite]


I fucking go on OKCupid for a week and the thing hooks me up with a French-educated doctoral candidate in the humanities who's doing a goddamn Foucauldian critique of my work/hobbies. I don't even anymore, I just can't. If it was 1982 I would seek out therapy for losing touch with reality but I think in 2014 it is reality that is the problem.

Step #1. Check your lease.
posted by save alive nothing that breatheth at 10:34 PM on February 6 [6 favorites]


Bah, nothing about how to use a bowl of fruit. This article is worthless!
posted by bswinburn at 10:34 PM on February 6 [23 favorites]


Of course, if you use all the right buzzwords, then you actually end up having to date, like, a surfing investment banker who cares deeply about his/her abs and who, apparently, uses the word "mating" in his or her profile.

It's funny how much more depressing humanity is when contemplated in the aggregate than in the form of "people around me I might personally actually date".
posted by Frowner at 10:40 PM on February 6 [6 favorites]


I've had good luck with OKC without access to any of this advice. bswinburn, I agree: Nothing about a bowl of fruit. We know it works on Craigslist, but on OKC?

I say it's time to find out!
posted by Bella Donna at 11:00 PM on February 6


Also, in my experience MeFites look for fat brains rather than flat stomachs. Am I wrong about this?
posted by Bella Donna at 11:03 PM on February 6 [5 favorites]


in my experience MeFites look for fat brains

and snark.
posted by Greg_Ace at 11:14 PM on February 6 [1 favorite]


Of course, if you use all the right buzzwords, then you actually end up having to date, like, a surfing investment banker who cares deeply about his/her abs and who, apparently, uses the word "mating" in his or her profile.

I could never wrap my head around surfing investment.


Good to know Wired is picking up the slack where the OK blog has let it slide.
posted by RobotHero at 11:27 PM on February 6 [1 favorite]


I dunno about flat stomachs, but there was this girl in school who wanted to do unspeakable things to my back. note: I have photographic evidence that I do indeed have a rather nice back, at least when viewed from an artistic angle in B&W.
posted by Hello, I'm David McGahan at 11:31 PM on February 6


the thing hooks me up with a French-educated doctoral candidate in the humanities who's doing a goddamn Foucauldian critique of my work/hobbies. I don't even anymore, I just can't. If it was 1982 I would seek out therapy for losing touch with reality

Surely this is the scenario of at least one Woody Allen movie?
posted by Hello, I'm David McGahan at 11:33 PM on February 6 [2 favorites]


Also, in my experience MeFites look for fat brains rather than flat stomachs.

Then I got something for everyone: a fat stomach.
posted by MartinWisse at 12:13 AM on February 7 [9 favorites]


I'm kind of stuck on the concept of unspeakable things being done to someone's back. Unspeakably delicious, I hope.
posted by Bella Donna at 12:27 AM on February 7 [1 favorite]


the thing hooks me up with a French-educated doctoral candidate in the humanities who's doing a goddamn Foucauldian critique of my work/hobbies

For some of us, this is pretty hot.
posted by Wolof at 3:17 AM on February 7 [5 favorites]


It’s 28 percent better for a male to refer to females as women rather than girls

This is the point where I stop believing the data. It's at least 500% better to call women "women" and not "girls." And it's 40% worse to call them "females."
posted by Metroid Baby at 3:23 AM on February 7 [16 favorites]


What would you prefer? Going to bars? You kids today have it so lucky, I can't even.
posted by fungible at 3:52 AM on February 7


I think everyone who uses online dating has their own "subconscious" criteria that bubbles up over time.

For instance, before browsing a gazillion online ads, I never knew I had such a quiet loathing:

- people in team shirts who take photos at sporting events
- people who cannot seem to be photographed alone -- some to the extent that I have no idea which person's profile I'm looking at because multiples of their friends are in all the pictures
- people who insist on showing me a close-up of their tattoo, regardless of where it is on their body
- people who include the year in their profile name. Heather2009, you don't look so fresh these days and I suspect your optimism is fading.
- people who have entered an age in the profile thingy and then state in the write-up that they're not really that age. (Last night a 30 year old's first message to me was, "I'm really 18. Is that hot or not?" Um, no.)
- people whose every photo is of them working out -- or in revealing clothes that insist that they are always working out
- people who only seem to be photographed at a distance. In front of a beach. Or in silhouette from behind.
- people involved in some sort of weird sexual activity with an animal. (Okay, I've only seen one of these, but it is burned on my brain. A friend forwarded me the profile of a guy, naked on a beach, with a large octopus on his genitals, tentacles wrapped around his body.)
- people who post their wedding photos.

The good thing about having so many pet peeves with profiles is that it makes the really good ones POP!
posted by dobbs at 4:02 AM on February 7 [6 favorites]




This is great. Now when people ask me why in the hell I am learning to surf in the Great Lakes I have another answer. I'm gonna be such a catch.

(I really am learning how to surf. Got it all lined up for the summer as long as my shoulder gets better.)
posted by Jalliah at 4:47 AM on February 7


I'm kind of stuck on the concept of unspeakable things being done to someone's back. Unspeakably delicious, I hope.
posted by Bella Donna at 12:27 AM on February 7 [1 favorite +] [!]


As she had a boyfriend at the time I never found out, but I imagine so, yes.
posted by Hello, I'm David McGahan at 4:56 AM on February 7


Then I got something for everyone: a fat stomach.

You and me both! Any dude can handle a six pack, it takes a real man to take on a keg.

Also this weird minmaxing of dating profiles is just... weird. I mean I get putting your best foot forward, but it needs to be real, y'know? Seems like the gamification of life proceeds apace.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 4:57 AM on February 7 [3 favorites]


The near total lack of data on bisexuals is striking.
posted by bile and syntax at 5:11 AM on February 7 [1 favorite]


Yeah FFFM, it's like that question someone mentioned above: "The first things people usually notice about me."

I've never been able to complete a profile for one of these things because when faced with questions like this my thought process goes:

1) Be a smart arse. So, answer would be "My ability to read minds, as I apparently know the answer to this question???"

2) 'Okay, they want me to list a notable or defining trait. Wait, do they mean a physical or personality trait? I suppose either. So which one do I go for......' and then I start wondering what the first thing it was I noticed about the people I know, and it's either some dumb superficial shit for people I've not known that long, like, they dressed well/ interestingly (good way/not so good way/what on earth?)/ badly; whoah, they're really cute/ hot/ drunk and someone should take them home maybe? (no not like that); what a dickhead (a very broad category); or generally lacking in any specifically defining trait which jumps out straight away. Or for people I've known a longer time it's equally banal stuff like they get on well with everyone, GSOH (groan), or yeah they're a bit crazy you just need to get to know them better.

3) I could just put down some cliched rubbish..... no one really bases their decisions of this kind of palaver do they? The people I'm interested wouldn't surely, or would they?

4) Fuck this, I'm going to have a glass of wine and read MeFi and overthink some beans in peace.
posted by Hello, I'm David McGahan at 5:12 AM on February 7 [3 favorites]


I'm pretty sure my profile says, in response to that question, "That my mouth is moving."

But yeah, I get your point. I've had this vague idea in the back of my head for a dating website with profiles written by ex-partners. (With, obviously, permission from the profilee.)
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 5:22 AM on February 7


Mormon men are the most likely to contact singles outside of their religion.
I wonder what that's all about? And then I wonder at the sample size of Mormons vs other religions who use these dating sites.
posted by gaspode at 5:40 AM on February 7


For some of us, this is pretty hot.

Oh, so damn hot. I think neither of us has a chance.

What really has been impressing the internet ladies recently is my DOGE. I don't have sufficient USD to wave around but if I show a few k DOGE I draw interest.
posted by save alive nothing that breatheth at 6:10 AM on February 7 [1 favorite]


I've never been able to complete a profile for one of these things because when faced with questions like this my thought process goes:

Just think, your interlocutors face the same dilemma, and then your considerations interact! Such fun.
posted by save alive nothing that breatheth at 6:12 AM on February 7


Someone needs to show wired how to make the perfect infographic. Not being able to actually read the words is a big turnoff.
posted by orme at 6:17 AM on February 7


Just think, your interlocutors face the same dilemma, and then your considerations interact! Such fun.
posted by save alive nothing that breatheth at 6:12 AM on February 7 [+] [!]


Umm, shouldn't that be 'WOW!, SUCH FUN!'? ;)
posted by Hello, I'm David McGahan at 6:29 AM on February 7 [1 favorite]


What really has been impressing the feeeeeeeemales lately is my LATINUM.
posted by emmtee at 6:56 AM on February 7 [7 favorites]


Yet more reasons I got married at 26.

( My eyes? The color of the sea before a storm, next question.)
posted by The Whelk at 6:57 AM on February 7 [4 favorites]


The Whelk: over here we got Second Love for that:

"Happily married? So am I".
posted by MartinWisse at 8:32 AM on February 7 [1 favorite]


What really has been impressing the internet ladies recently is my DOGE. I don't have sufficient USD to wave around but if I show a few k DOGE I draw interest.

Hey, keep that crap on Reddit. We don't need you filth spreading your dirty memes around here. This is a high class joint, see?

I kid! such love. so fun. wow.
posted by leotrotsky at 8:37 AM on February 7 [1 favorite]


The first things people usually notice about me.

I think this is the best question ever, because nobody ever gets it right, so you'll stand out if you do what seems obvious to me: use it as an opportunity to show references/a little bit about your relationships with other people.
The first thing people usually notice about me:

"I don't remember. Maybe that you were there? Knowing you, I probably heard you say something stupid." - Michael, best friend since 1993

"Your ass. Wait, don't use that, even if it's true." - Fey, co-worker and frequent lunch buddy

"You were so skinny. Remember when you weighed like five pounds? I was so jealous, which seems stupid now." - Jennifer, friend who used to date my brother five years ago

"Seriously?" Elise, ex-girlfriend who I unwisely emailed for a quote

"I'm your mother. What kind of a question is that?" - My mother
posted by davejay at 8:57 AM on February 7 [18 favorites]


Hell yeah I'm sexually attracted to men who can correctly use the word "whom." Good to know I'm not the only one.
posted by ErikaB at 9:58 AM on February 7 [1 favorite]


Man I miss OKtrends....this was like a year's worth of good chewy info to digest and discuss all wrapped up into one click-bait article. Interesting, but they're doin it wrong.
posted by OHenryPacey at 10:26 AM on February 7


Hell yeah I'm sexually attracted to men who can correctly use the word "whom." Good to know I'm not the only one.

What about men whom use it incorrectly but liberally?
posted by RobotHero at 10:42 AM on February 7


If you’re a gay man, pose outdoors—48 percent of the profile pics of the most popular gay men on OkCupid were snapped outside.

Odds bodkins!! 52 percent were inside! Also: OkCupid? Serosly?
posted by Twang at 12:38 PM on February 7


What about men whom use it incorrectly but liberally?

That's worse than not using it at all.

Sorry, I don't make the grammar rules, I just get weirdly turned on by them.
posted by ErikaB at 1:22 PM on February 7 [1 favorite]


Man that other hacking OKCupid article was wayyyyyyyyy better. Clustering is probably an important thing to do when you're looking at dating data!
posted by zscore at 2:09 PM on February 7 [1 favorite]


What about men whom use it incorrectly but liberally?

With whom to perhaps one night stand, but not date?
posted by Dip Flash at 3:58 PM on February 7


What really has been impressing the feeeeeeeemales lately is my LATINUM.

I dunno, GPLatinum seems to be functional but only a few transactions a day, probably not very many hash/s, I wouldn't try to impress anyone with it yet.
posted by save alive nothing that breatheth at 4:17 PM on February 7


Input data. Output love.

Not sure if I am depressed at what is going on here, or the fact that it actually works.
posted by Halogenhat at 7:16 PM on February 7


The thing is that this just tells you how to get a lot of people to like your profile. I play video games and have perfectly shaped breasts; I have no shortage of people who like my profile. I've been trying to craft it so that I get a better quality of response over quantity, mostly by putting "NO EUGENICISTS" and yelling about feminism a lot.
posted by NoraReed at 3:20 AM on February 8 [3 favorites]


I was already pretty aware that gay men like them some big arms from a couple of decades of feeling bad about my body. But it became particularly clear to me when I was browsing Facebook recently and discovered that all the high-achievin' gays I knew from college who went on to get high-achievin' schmancy jobs - financiers, consultants, doctors - now all have arms approximately the diameter of my thighs. It is especially odd seeing the "finished product" all at once without the intermediate stages. I am internally divided on whether they look hot or cartoonishly out of proportion to the rest of their bodies (at least from what I can see). A little of both, really.

But I still want my arms to be bigger, and a couple weeks ago I caved and added bicep curls to my otherwise totally sensible compound-lifting routine, so I'm not exactly in a position to judge here.

The outside thing is just a common-sense signifier of orthodox masculinity of the kind us male-gays are good at valorizing. Still fall for it all the time even (or maybe especially) as a formerly indoor kid who played too many video games and like Frank O'Hara, started to get nervous if he got too far away from the subway.
posted by en forme de poire at 1:47 PM on February 8


en forme de poire, I should mention that I go to a gym that is heavily patronized by A) Firefighters B) Ballet Dancers C) Soap Opera Actors and D) The NHL

I am by far the most out of shape person in the gym at any given time. It's so fucking depressing.

(that being said an awful lot of the super-type A muscle yuppies always look at a bit HGH-ed out whatever)
posted by The Whelk at 2:37 PM on February 8 [1 favorite]


Yes, steroids are def a (perhaps underappreciated) factor.
posted by en forme de poire at 2:46 PM on February 8


The not-so-invisible "You must be this buff to ride" sign attached to so much of gay dating and socialization is why I am very happy to be married.
posted by The Whelk at 2:53 PM on February 8 [1 favorite]


Heh, rub it in. But yeah, the whole thing has aspects of a double bind. Like, there's an element that almost makes me want to become really unfit out of spite, except of course that I know that there are also plenty of reasons to strive for health that aren't borne out of an unhealthy body image. And I think it's normal and not even necessarily unhealthy to want to be found attractive, at least in the abstract. Plus I sort of tried the whole "fuck you, athletics are for masculinist assholes and I will choose ill-fitting and frumpy clothes on purpose" pose in high school and college already... it turns out that kind of self-flagellation was not coming from a particularly healthy place and did not make me very happy, which, shocker. But of course frowning at myself in the mirror obsessing over the concavity in the middle of my chest doesn't either.

And while the obvious advice is to find a middle ground, most of the people who are quick to suggest this seem to really want you to find their middle ground, not your own. To someone I knew in grad school the fact that I wanted to chug down more calories so that I would get bigger was a sign that my eating was fundamentally disordered and that I must be harboring body dysmorphia. To another person, meanwhile, my failure to break the 200-lb barrier at 6'1" (or to eat meat when I cook at home) means that I am unfit and am failing to be an adequate caretaker for my body. Both of these views can sneak up on you and make you feel guilty and embarrassed at any time.

I'm guessing this is something a lot of women ITT have experience with too, of course.
posted by en forme de poire at 3:28 PM on February 8 [2 favorites]


31% more meaningless
In "Whom loves ya?", 2/12/2014, Geoff Pullum riffed on one of the outcomes of  "a large-scale statistical study of what correlates with numbers of responses to online dating ads", namely that "men who use 'whom' get 31% more contacts from opposite-sex respondents".

It suited Geoff's rhetorical purposes to take this number at face value, but I wondered about where it really comes from, and what if anything it means.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 7:20 AM on February 16


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