Anyone who knows me and knows this blog understands my complicated relationship with online dating websites. For the most part I loathe the entire online dating experience, but when I go offline I rarely meet anyone appropriate. I noticed that my online dating profile was becoming a magnet for the most pretentious men in New York City. My inbox filled up with book long diatribes full of ostentatious vocabulary and self-aggrandizing biographies. I had no idea what was attracting these men. I just knew it had to stop.
I wiped my profile clean and started over. My current dating profile has next to no information on it. I mention that I am a performer, I live with two cats, I am a vegetarian, I am a liberal and little else. My profile redesign gave me an idea. I decided to create a blatantly sexual, shallow and slutty profile and see what kind of mail I would get. I was not shocked by what I found, but the numbers were overwhelming.
I won’t mention the dating website I used for fear that they will have me banned for life. For the purpose of this article I will refer to my alternate profile as “German Girl”.
My actual profile.
Age 39, Vegetarian, Cat owner, Agnostic, Bachelor’s degree in the arts. My regular profile has 10 photos on it, but for space I will include only three representational photos here.
One performance photo, one from a wedding and one of how I look while at home writing.
German Girl – The Body profile
Originally I had these two photos associated with the profile but they were taken down for violating the rules of the website for being “extreme close-ups”
I am a pear-shaped athletically built woman with a small bust and wide hips. So I decided to go with my best assets…my abs. I also used somewhat blurry photos on purpose, to hide my identity and to cover up any flaws. I don’t think I have a perfect physique or anything, and I am not 25.
The following three were perfectly acceptable and approved for use on the site.
The lingerie shot, the abs shot and the bikini shot were the three photos that made up German Girl. I made myself one inch taller at 5’8″ and six years younger.
My profile went along the following lines. I am editing it for length. .
4. Intellectual stimulation
5. Open minded people
6. Freshly baked bread.
I added freshly baked bread as a bit of a joke, as I keep seeing bread references on nearly every other profile. German Girl was also a vegetarian, atheist and non-drug user. I also gave her a Masters degree in the “Arts”. My alter-ego was childless like myself, but without pets.
Here is what happened. In the course of two weeks time, here is how these two profiles did in a head to head competition.
Regular Profile – Total emails – 15
German Girl – Total emails – 541
The headless photos of myself…got 36 times the email that my regular profile.
Here are just a few of the breakdowns of the emails sent my headless body.
- 193 – Quick simple one sentence message
- 92- Emails that just said simply Hi
- 43 – Used humor in their emails
- 32 – Asked for more photos
- 27 – Asked for Sex Directly
- 18 – Referred to me as gorgeous, cutie, adorable, beautiful - (I am not sure how a body can be “adorable” but their words not mine.
- 13 – Sent a mild insult
- 12 – Were also profiles of photos of male bodies with no face.
- 11- Sent a several paragraphs
- 11 – Sent a message that was obviously a cut and paste that is sent to dozens of women
- 9- Requests for BDSM
- 8- Asked the simple question where is your face?
- 1 – Told me I had a nice smile
- 1 – Called me curvy (I wish I was curvy but I found that compliment to be way off especially with my flat abs and A cup breasts) I have hips but I don’t exactly have curves.
German Girl got email from men of all ages, demographics and parts of the New York Metro area. The profile even got email from out-of-town men who asked to meet up for a drink or sex for the brief time they would be in New York. My favorite comment that I got repeatedly was “I can tell by your profile we have so much in common” which was especially funny since there was next to nothing on the profile.
About a week into my experiment I got a strange email from one of the founders of the company urging me to answer some of my hundreds of emails. It felt like a mild threat, as they seemed to know that my profile was fake. I decided to send some responses but I did so in the weirdest way possible. A few of the several hundred men got one or two-word cryptic answers. For instance:
Man: “Hey there! I like your body what are you doing this weekend?”
German Girl: “Weekend?”
Or if they would say something like
Man: “Girl, you are hot I would love to get to know you”
German Girl: “Know me!”
My bizarro answers would deter some but most men would still try to chat with me anyway. I was only answering a few emails so the site wouldn’t kick me off. I didn’t want to lead anyone on.
In the case of the handful of men that emailed both profiles they tended to write a lot more to my actual profile. German Girl was lucky to get a sentence. Nearly 200 emails simply said…”Hi!” or “Hey there”. It gave me amazing insight on communication with men. When they are thinking of you as a just a piece of meat, they won’t bother with much chit-chat. When they are hoping for a girlfriend…they might send several paragraphs.
In the case of the men who emailed both profiles, if sent German Girl an email I didn’t take them seriously on my regular profile. The whole thing acted like a screening process. A few men that I knew, looked at German Girl but did not contact her, a fact that I found reassuring. Not every man took the bait. I am sure many found German Girl tacky and vacuous. A few guys I had gone on dates with didn’t recognize me and sent German Girl an email. These were men I had just had a drink with and nothing else. They hadn’t exactly seen my body!
I also got several emails from men that looked exactly like German Girl – all photos were of body shots and no head. So a headless body was sending another headless body email begging to hook up. I actually respected the direct hook-up requests seeing as German Girl herself was fairly straight forward.
When I briefly added another shot of my mostly obscured face, the flood of emails slowed down. I would love to do another experiment with one profile with a face and one without and see which one gets more mail. Somehow a face made me too intimidating, it was easier to send mail to a detached body.
I am not surprised by the outcome of this experiment. I knew the body shot profile would get more attention and more email. Any woman seeking casual sex and posting bikini photographs is going to have a full inbox. What shocked me were the overwhelming numbers. I have had multiple friends find partners, even spouses online. I am beginning to feel though that their success had more to do with sheer luck than anything else. If I ever decide to just start hooking-up with random strangers though, I might just resurrect Ms. German Girl and give it ago. Maybe I will get some freshly baked bread out of it, or an STD. For now, I will just stick to my profile with a face and hope I get lucky.
- Online Dating: Nice Guys of OKCupid – Why it’s Horrible (julietjeske.wordpress.com)
- Dating Online: The Coward (julietjeske.wordpress.com)
- FBI Warns About Online Dating Scams (forbes.com)
- The Analytics of Valentine’s Day – An Online Dating Infographic (iacquire.com)
- Online Dating ~ justshookup.com (onlinethreatalerts.wordpress.com)
- Cybersecurity concerns of online dating (net-security.org)
- Online Dating: Mr. Online Only (julietjeske.wordpress.com)