Tag Archives: lesbian online dating

Having It Both Ways: Which photo is best for a personals site?

Having It Both Ways: Which photo is best for a personals site?

For more on the Having It Both Ways project click here.

When I set out on this experiment and adventure I had no idea I had the potential to learn so much about attraction.  When I was in college I took Dr. Dailey’s Human Sexuality in Everyday Life class.  I needed another 3 hours and someone recommended to me in the registration office (this was before you enrolled online) that it always sold out.  There were 3 spots left in the class so I did it.  He taught us about the “attraction template” which is basically in the form of an onion or bull’s eye.  At your center is you – and each outer ring is the level of attraction you have to a specific type. Dr. Dailey always said that all long-term relationships with individuals MUST have the partner at the center of the attraction template.

Via an interview with my college paper earlier this year:

Sexual attraction, however, Dailey says, is just one component of overall attraction – an umbrella term which includes values, intelligence, money, religion and power all as things we consider when evaluating someone’s attractiveness. Our attraction templates, Dailey says, will alert us if a possible mate has enough of these qualities that we desire.

So, my quest on these online personals sites has been to figure out what best practices (if any) are perfect for both the profile and more importantly the profile photo.  What is the difference between what women are seeking in other women vs. what men are seeking in women and how can I alter each profile to capitalize on this?

I’ve tried to uncover some of this using two contrasting OKCupid profiles.  One in women seeking women one in women seeking men.  The two contrasting profile photos below:

Someone find this girl a man!Someone find this lesbian a date!

I used a lot of facebook and twitter commentary to get recommendations from friends on which photo I should use.  The crowd on both were split between these two photos.  Both felt like the photos showed off my … er… um… assets… so to speak.  And both said they made me look fun and lively.  So I posted them and then entered into the OKCupid profile photo voting system. They basically show your photos to several groups of people who vote on which one is better compared to other people’s profile photos.  BOTH profiles  voted the purple dress picture as being better.

Women seeking men photo analytics first – women seeking women photo analytics second.  Click to make them larger.

Vote on which photo is best

Here’s the troubling thing – the results aren’t spread enough.  59 to 65 votes doesn’t really give me a large enough sample vote.  Also the gender breakdown isn’t done in the voting process.  So, despite my second profile being in the women seeking women section, men vote on the photo as well as women.  So there’s no real way to calculate whether a photo is better for women or for men.  Also it only calculated results for 3 photos – not all 4 so the hiking photo didn’t get any data, and that was the photo many men suggested I use on facebook and twitter.  NOT helpful.

The results on both accounts thus far are

Views on seeking men: 328

Views on seeking women: 34

Is this just a user problem?  Meaning, are there more men seeking women on OKCupid than women seeking women?  Who knows…

OKCupid also posted extensive amount of data on the best practices for most compelling photos likely to attract the eye of a woman or man.  Again, however, is the problem about same sex data.  For women seeking women – which type of photos tend to do better?  Could we get some good data on this community, please?  Or are we to once again assume that what works for the straights works for the no-so-straight?

Having It Both Ways: Two Ways – One Site

Having It Both Ways: Two Ways – One Site

online dating hotness photoThe adventure this week was in creating several different online dating profiles that I am going to play with and do some experiments on.  I’ll start with OKCupid a site that is for everyone from random hook-ups, couples who want someone, people who want to have affairs, or singles who are looking for all sorts of sexual orientations and combinations.

In my efforts to do research on this interesting world of online dating I created two pages.  One as me… the bisexual seeking only straight men.  And one as me the bisexual seeking other women.  I put the same commentary on both of them – same answers.  Almost the same everything except photo.  With the one targeting men I used a full body shot with a low cut dress that showcases my … er… um… assets…  With the girls I used a black and white photo looking down at just my face when I was laughing about the fact that the person taking it was… taking such a photo.  All of the photos on each account are the same – but the primary profile photo I chose changed.

I chose OK Cupid as a site because I have my Chi friend using it as well as another friend in DC using it who had a great date with an OKCupid guy last night and is meeting him again this evening.  So I figured this was the next option.  So far my email box is exploding with men who are looking – only a few women have looked.

Next up – I’m going to start a JDate profile at the urgency of another friend.  My question was “um… but I’m not Jewish…” to which he said … “So?  There’s nothing hotter than a shiksa willing to convert.” My friend also said he’d help add 20% more Yiddish to my profile if it would help.  Oy…

Having It Both Ways: Might be the craziest thing I’ll ever do

Having It Both Ways: Might be the craziest thing I’ll ever do

Hear more about the Having It Both Ways project here

UPDATE:  And so my mother is freaking out now… because of the money…

So I finally filled out my taxes.  This is a good thing because I can now spend that money on the dating service I just paid WAY too much for.  That’s right… Mixology is now going to find me a date.  My mother will be displeased by this because I think she secretly wants me to find a nice man to settle down with – but frankly, I don’t have a hard time meeting men.  If you live in Washington you notice them everywhere… there was the one who stalked me for a while, the one I met on the metro, the married one, friends of friends.  Men are a dime a dozen.  Women are more difficult.  Professional women who are well rounded, socially conscious, and don’t want children… I’ve learned are more complicated.

That’s where Megan and Kim at Mixology come in.  Apparently the fact that I’m open to dating a variety of different races between the ages of 27 and 45 means that I’m going to get a lot of dates.  This apparently makes me versatile.  I wanted to say “Yeah… you have NO idea…”  They shoot for 6 a month – I could end up with as many as 12.  The issue is being available and open and quick to report back on how things went, what you liked about her, and what you didn’t like about her.   You decide if you want to see her again.  I’ll always give her my card at the end of the date just because it’s important to make contacts and friends even if you don’t want to spend the rest of your life with the woman. . . .

So, here’s the other part of this coin: how do I break it to these lesbians that I’m also into the dudes?  Suddenly, I’m coming out all over again.  I guess being who you are is key and if I can get 12 women a month moved through then perhaps I’ll be in a position to be choosy or more will choose me.

The sticking point was payment.  When I talked to them on the phone it was $2500 up front lump sum – they are letting me pay it out.  I just can’t believe I’m paying money for this.  It better get me somewhere and if it isn’t love, at least get some views on the blog post.  At the very least I’ll be reporting back if the service works, how it works, if its worth it.  It makes you initial that you’ll do due diligence on STD tests before you sleep with someone.  That you’ll represent them well at restaurants and not be an asshole to the wait staff (sad they have to even SAY this).  You can pause your account at any time for up to 6 months.  So lets say you meet someone you want to focus on – pause it.  Once you start sleeping together – you’re required to pause your account.

Here’s the first page of the contract below.  I’ll post the other pages when she scans it and sends it to me.  HERE WE GO!

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Having It Both Ways: Lesbian Online Dating

Having It Both Ways: Lesbian Online Dating

The HelpIf you haven’t read the introduction to Having It Both Ways please feel free to read more about the project.

I have a lesbian friend who just moved to Chicago and has been trying to meet new friends and date women in a city where she knows no one.  We both created our “How About We” profiles together a few weekends ago me for DC her for Chicago.  She’d never tried online dating sites telling me “a couple people I know had met some total fucking psychos and also I think I still saw online dating through a 1997 lens.  It’s weird and seemed like not as “pure” as meeting someone some other way.  Then there was just the total crippling fear of being rejected in yet ANOTHER medium.”

So she’s been working on another profile on OKCupid because she says we’ve seemed to be early adopters to “How About We” which has a lower number of users.

The key to online dating sites is basically selling yourself.  Think of it like a virtual personals ad.  But you can’t extrapolate too much, otherwise you’ll end up with some person who figures out who you really are and has no interest in seeing you again.  In my very limited experience and my friend’s – be honest about who you are.  Always… be honest and think positively about your positives.

“I feel like I’ve tried to be pretty honest about myself and who I am” she told me via GoogleChat “But then I feel like that is prolly why no one has messaged me.  Like if I had a different “persona” I would have better luck.  In general I feel like there are certain personas that go over really well with lesbians and I am not it.”

I told her that lesbians work in cycles.  Right now there are a dozen women out there that are breaking up with partners or girlfriends.  Finding the perfect person isn’t like turning on the channel guide and finding something to watch for the evening.  It took me 3 years before I really fell for Dude #3 and clearly that didn’t go well, so it’s all about being brave and trying new things and giving it time.  And for the love of God – know that you’re perfect the way you are, own your own awesomeness!

Read more about insane dating options for lesbians or straights (but neglects bisexuals).