Because I get lots of questions, I’m going to write a several part series on online kink dating. We’ll examine both how to fill out your profile and how to try to approach someone. First we’re going to look at the most eye catching part of your profile, the picture.
Picture Profiles Get Passed Over Less
Whether this is Collarme, FetLife or some other website, one of the best ways to avoid being passed by is to make sure you have some sort of image. General dating website research says that you’ll get people’s attention longer.
The Main Image
Ideally your first point of contact and main profile picture should be a flattering picture of you. This is not the place to demonstrate you’re the kinkiest mofo who ever logged into a naughty website. It’s not that there’s anything wrong with that, it’s that it’s going to be counter-productive to your goals. That means that your first picture should not be very overt- not a close up of Mr. Happy, rampant or caged up, not you in full gimp suit regalia or best frilly lady clothes. By all means, entice. It’s okay to drop little hints. But save the overtly sexual stuff for the next photo, okay?
According to OkCupid’s data crunching, their male users get the most attention if they don’t look directly at the camera and don’t smile. Women, on the other hand, get rewarded most for “flirty face” which OkCupid defines as cutesy posing and doing pouty stuff with your mouth.
If you’re not stuck resorting to an awkward cellphone camera in a mirror, it’s okay to be sneaky and pose. Got a faithful puppy or a cat to snuggle? Looking for a lady who is impressed by your sweet saxophone skills? Bring these props into the picture. Most digital cameras include a timer and enough memory to play around a bit. And trust me, you should take several photos. Nobody looks good in their first attempt.
Playful and friendly are going to attract more attention. Active photos with you doing things are conversation starters, even if you staged yourself doing whatever you’re showing. It’s one of the easiest ways to get an actual woman to message you. And again, this is backed up by the research- and works for both genders.
In the other direction, if you’re going to post a sexy pic, make it more of a tease than just a money shot, or at least add the tease in. Let’s say your first picture is something much more wholesome and you want a dick pic- no matter how proud you are of the size of your sausage (or excited by the prospect that it is nothing impressive and you want everyone to reach for their magnifying glasses) you want to make the lady eager to look. To try to describe a tease, without devoting an entire blog post to it, think about the journey, not the destination.
Some of you, for obvious reasons, don’t want your employer, or the parents of the kids you teach, or your dear sweet Baptist grandmother finding out what you do in your personal life. That is no reason to leave your picture completely blank though!
An actual picture of you is still better, even if you don’t show your face. Headless torso shots are popular, but this can be hit-or-miss. Abs also have a diminishing result with age- you 19 year old kinksters get better returns than you 49 year olds with cobblestone tummies. If you’re not sure about the abs-and-chest look for you, put your shirt back on. But make it a nice shirt. And consider other body parts. No, not a crotch shot. Try, for example, an arm shot, with a dress shirt rolled to reveal a wrist cuff. Your interests will define your hints.
You can also try a picture of your bookshelf, if you’re a reader, or a nice shot of food, if you’re a foodie. Try to make that picture at least tangentially related to you, rather than random memes. The idea is a conversation starter. In fact your entire profile should probably be structured this way, to keep messages going.
If you put up a sexy picture, for example a porn image you borrowed, keep in mind that what you find sexy is going to attract guys just like you. Do you want to date a guy just like you? If not, you want to share something your target audience will find hot. You’re also going to make people super confused if you post a picture contrary to your orientation you’re identifying under, for example if you have a naked lady in chains when you’re looking for a dom.
Clean up your background. Messy homes are not hot. But also move distracting laundry baskets, Kleenex boxes and cable spaghetti. You may bridle at the thought of displaying anything but unvarnished reality, but trust me; no person actually thinks you live in an immaculate set piece. You’re just taking out the clutter to get a cleaner visual.
Try to make your main self-portrait be just of you. You as the best man at your brother’s wedding, even if you have a nice smile, should at least be cropped so you don’t have to say “I’m the dude on the right”.
If you have the option to add a caption, do so. For example let’s say you’re posing with your guitar or your dog- “I picked it up in first year of college and jam once a month with my friends” or “Fido is a Yorkie/Great Dane cross I got as a shelter rescue” is only bonus stuff you to talk about.
Not photogenic? Quantity. Seriously, that’s how professional models do it, thousands and thousands of pictures. What do you think a strobing flash exists for?
4 thoughts on “Profile (And Approach): Part 1, The Picture”
As a female how do i choose a picture that wont get me 1,000 creepy pms?
You could put up a picture of a dude? 😛
If I had a way to make random internet guys less creepy I’d be ruling the world by now.
There are a lot of smartasses out there and for the most part we are harmless. Our creepiness is just our creepy way of telling you we noticed something we like about you.