Pictures for dating sites

Dating, both online and off is about playing to your strengths, and it should be no different for men with muscles, even if the classic pose is kinda hard to take: After weeks of sorting through pictures, I started calling these guys headless horsemen.

An interesting caveat here is that a six-pack does seem to have a short shelf life: the effectiveness of the “abs pic” decreases sharply with age..

The pictures do all the work: in different ways, they pique the viewer’s curiosity and say a lot about who the subject is (or wants to be).

Of course, we wouldn’t recommend that you meet someone without first seeing a full photo of them, that still seems like a recipe for disaster.

We at first thought this was just because, typically, you can kind of see down the girl’s shirt with the camera at that angle—indeed, that seems to be the point of shot in the first place — so we excluded all cleavage-showing shots from the pool and ran the numbers again.

No change: it’s still the best shot; better, in fact, than straight-up boob pics (more on those later). The male “Ab Shot” has the same reputation as the My Space Shot — it’s an Internet cliché that supposedly everyone thinks is only for bozos.

In the near future, we’re going to be arranging series of blind dates through the site, and profile photo accuracy vs.

the success of the date will be a big part of the report. Our data set was chosen at random from all users in big cities, with only one profile photograph, between the ages of 18 and 32.

For interested readers, I explain our measurement process, and how we collected our data, at the end of the post.A message like “Hey nice rack” isn’t really gonna lead anywhere, and isn’t very valuable to the recipient. We didn’t go through anyone’s inbox to do this; we mathematically modeled a “conversation,” based number of messages back and forth.We looked a level deeper and analyzed what resulted from the incoming contacts. And we discovered the following:even though the two women are basically the same age, spend the same amount of time on the site, have similar profile length and quality, and have the same “attractiveness” as rated by Ok Cupid’s male population.Outfits more sophisticated than a simple collared shirt fare poorly: There are no clear myths associated with showing cleavage in your picture.Most “experts” recommend you don’t, but everyone knows that breasts get attention, so to treat that recommendation as a “myth” would be disingenuous.If you want worthwhile messages in your inbox, the value of being conversation-worthy, as opposed to merely sexy, cannot be overstated.We used to think that the one iron-clad rule of Internet dating photos was to at least show your face.To wit: a journalist was visiting our office recently, and when we told her we were researching user photos, the first thing she said was “please tell me people hate it when guys show off their abs.” We hadn’t finished running the numbers yet, so we confidently reassured her that people did. Of course, there is some self-selection here: the guys showing off their abs are the ones with abs worth showing, and naturally the best bodies get lots of messages.So we can’t recommend this photo tactic to every man.But, contrary to everything you read about profile pictures, if you’re a guy with a nice body, it’s actually better to take off your shirt than to leave it on.We would never suggest to a Fitzgerald or a Dave Eggers to limit his profile to 100 words, and so why should guys with great bodies keep their best asset under wraps?

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