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 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.
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?