Oh Gay Cupid! Profiles Are the Window to the Soul, Or Something

Welcome to Oh Gay Cupid! Autostraddle’s OkCupid series. We get lots of questions on Formspring regarding online dating, so we finally got a bunch of people together to talk about it. While OkCupid isn’t the only online dating site for queers, and maybe isn’t even the best, it does seem to be the one we use most often. We’ll be discussing all things OkC, including meeting friends, first dates, profiles, fuck-ups, letdowns and more. Even though it’s the ‘OkCupid Series,’ the advice given in this series could easily be applied to any online dating site.

 Oh Gay Cupid! illustrations by Rory Midhani

 

Once upon a time, I made an OkCupid profile for a job I had. I didn’t really put any effort into it. I don’t even know what it said as I’ve deleted it completely. I’ve never been a person that is looking to date or even looking to hook up. Probably because I’ve never lived somewhere that things coming as they may wasn’t enough to satisfy my lesbionic interaction quota. So as a relative outsider to the OkCupid game, I am proposing a possibly new approach to this online dating game to those willing to eschew norms and take a chance.

It seems to me that most profiles aren’t hits because they’re either so non-offensive and not engaging that no one is called to action OR so specific that very few people will bother. No one wants to hear more about how you “love reading” because that exact phrasing is usually a sign that you don’t actually love reading and it’s too broad for anyone to care. On the other hand, if you get so obscure that you’re talking about how much you love Carl Muller, you’ll probably have more success finding girls in grad school which is like a really expensive OkCupid anyway.

People pretend that by reading someone’s profile you’ll be able to get to know them. This obviously isn’t the case so why even pretend? I thought it’d be best to treat picking up girls on-line the same way I treat picking up girls in real life.

1. Have a hook

With OKC, the hook is your username. A lot of people seem to have mastered this art much better than I have. In a lot of cases, it seemed they just put two random ass things together until it sounded vaguely insane and fairly intriguing. In other instances, users play off of real life people or fictional characters. My name is NotHilarious which doesn’t exactly fit the pattern but a few others that I think would do the job are SnarkyPretzel, GreenEggsandClam, and SaneMcCutcheon. Also anything that sounds like a bad indie band is probs nailing it.

You have to give people something to cling on to. Take a stance. Pick a side. Sometimes it’s not about making them want you. It’s about making them want you to want them.

 

2. Be tongue-in-cheek

Subtlety makes people pay attention. Even though you might be the most earnest person in the world and every word of your profile may be true, everyone assumes you’re putting on airs. And if you’re not putting them on, maybe you should be. When everyone is trying to put their best foot forward, people tend not to take things at face value. You have to keep in mind that quick shallow judgments will be made about you. The online dating profile is a constant battle of what it says versus what it means.

Example 1: I spend most nights listening to jazz with a hot cup of tea in my hands and my eyes on the stars.

Interpretation 1: You’re lying (68%)
Interpretation 2: You’re boring as fuck (26%)
Interpretation 3: Me too! (6%)

Example 2: Currently I’m spending most of my free time raising money for a 5K to benefit the Blind Kittens of Africa Coalition.

Interpretation 1: Shut up (47%)
Interpretation 2: Stop showing off (46%)
Interpretation 3: Awww (7%)

3. Keep them wanting more

The main takeaway is that you’re probably weird and unique. Make that weirdness fun and palatable, not off-putting and showy. Pick a tone and stick to it. You can’t be a quirky but lovable jackass in one question and then talking about how your grandmother inspires you daily in the next. Your profile should keep a reader entertained and guessing. Make them have to ask for the information that other people give away. It’s part of the plan that step three brings you right back to step one. They’re intrigued and they want to know more and the lack of factual information is the hook that will get them to send that message. For a lot of people that first step is the hardest. They can’t get past what to say other than, “hi.” If you take this approach they can easily just ask, “Hey, what the fuck is it that you actually do?” and you can go from there.

Obvi your profile doesn’t have to be as mysterious or barebones as I mine because that might seem sketch and some people think trying to be witty is as pretentious as being unknowingly pretentious, but if you follow those three basic guidelines, you will increase the likelihood of at least appearing witty and intriguing even if you actually aren’t. I know I’m not.

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Share your profile protips in the comments!

Avatar of Brittani

Brittani Nichols is a Los Angeles based comedy person. When she's not tweeting about white people or watching television, she's probably eating pizza. Actually, she's probably doing all three of those things concurrently and when she's not doing THAT, she's sleeping. Brittani also went to Yale and feels weird about mentioning it but wants you to know.

Brittani has written 296 articles for us.

136 Comments

        • Thumb up 1

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          I’m sorry. I’m obviously wrong, which makes sense since I’m a worthless idiot nobody would want to date anyway, so there isn’t much point anyway. I’ll just stop commenting.

        • Thumb up 10

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          hey, hey now. I would argue that someone who makes thoughtful, honest comments like I’ve noticed you do – especially on Autostraddle – is never ever an undateable, worthless idiot.
          <3

        • Thumb up 6

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          Apparently, I can’t respond after you @Mia, but I had the same feeling. To me, I think it is a huge red flag to draw attention to yourself and do the whole “woe is me,” then wait for others to validate you, while you subtley fish for compliments, etc. I have seen it so many times, that the behavior is actually really predictable and it really irks me. I also find that this behavioral pattern is more prevalent online. Consider what I just said another protip, if you get involved with someone and they fall into this pattern, RUN and don’t look back.

        • Thumb up 2

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          Yeah, I’m inclined to call troll/attention whore too. I’ve seen too many people try to pull that BS, and, like you said, it is really annoying.

        • Thumb up 1

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          Oh no, never stop commenting.
          I actually partly agree with your original comment, coz yeah I know if I think about who I’d want to date I would pretty much have to be with someone who did something like charity work. But it could come across the wrong way on a dating website I suppose!
          Back to the point…don’t stop commenting. I’m sure you are amazing. And I wake up most mornings and read AS to inspire me, and the comments are a big part of that.
          Aaaaaaaaand nobody is worthless. :)

        • Thumb up 1

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          Okay, fine. But there’s no point. I don’t think the right things or I don’t see what’s wrong with the wrong things, so I’m just one of the losers to be mocked in these sorts of articles. Thus, worthless. I’d probably be one of the idiots who say I do charity work or I like iced tea, odor whatever isn’t trendy or popular enough. See? Not amazing in the least. A stupid, worthless girl nobody wants around.

        • Thumb up 5

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          Yikes, no one is implying that at all, and I’m pretty sure no one is mocking you! My profile is nothing like the one Brittani is suggesting, just means we have different opinions.

          AS is probably the least judgmental site on the Internet (unless you write for Glee). Don’t be so down on yourself :)

        • Thumb up 2

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          That’s pretty harsh on yourself…the point isn’t that those things are weird or bad (they’re not, they’re just things), it’s that people make quick judgments on dating websites because they don’t have a whole person in front of them. So most stuff you put on there will be off-putting to a certain group of people, and maybe a smaller group of people will be all “shit this girl is cool! I organize charity 5Ks too!”. but real life is the same way. this is how we find friends!

        • Thumb up 13

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          Hey Molly.
          So I know you feel pretty crappy right now. But you know what? I had a friend who went through a similar thing as you. My best friend. And you know what? She came through it. And you will too. I promise. You are a wonderful and beautiful person, and you deserve to be happy. You may not think that right now, but you do. So, as aforementioned, please never stop commenting. We’d all miss you. What you say is relevant, has point, and moreover is intelligent and interesting – what more can anyone ever ask from a comment?
          If you ever need to talk to anyone, know that you can here. We care. We will not push you away, or tell you you are stupid, or any of these things that you think right now. We will treat you with love and compassion and understand. Forgive me for being so weird with this reply, but I think these are things that need to be said.
          So…if you want, talk to us. Talking to anyone is helpful.
          If you trust me, or think what I have said is relevant, then I’d like it if you could try this; tell yourself you are beautiful. Every day. With all the conviction and truth you have left, fight for it until it grows and grows, slowly. And if you can’t do that, that’s okay too, because we’ll just do it for you.

          Alex
          xxx

        • Thumb up 1

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          Do not worry – I’m with you, if someone wrote down example 1 I would JUMP ALL OVER THAT, and I think it’s cool to talk about doing charity work for kittens in Africa. I think we would be friends if we knew each other not on the internet.
          But honestly though, everyone here is committed to creating a safe, supportive place. None of us will ever knowingly tell you you are less than anyone else, and we’re all glad when you raise any objections you have. Love love love. <3

  1. Thumb up 8

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    I don’t get it. Maybe there’s a fine line between “intriguing and mysterious” and “pointlessly cryptic” for some people, but for me this falls pretty solidly into the second category.

    I do see the value in not going into too much detail, so as to leave someone a few obvious questions to ask in their first message, but you gotta give them something interesting to ask about in the first place. I personally would never bother to message someone with, “Okay, so your profile is obviously complete bullshit. What’s the real story?”

    Well, maybe if it were really *entertaining* bullshit. But you’d have to be some kind of bullshit virtuoso.

  2. Thumb up 2

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    I was on the site for 3.5 months and went on 14 first dates! At times, it was exhausting. I don’t think the username makes any difference. The photo is what makes people click on you and scroll down. Then, if they send you a message it will be because you wrote something that stood out to them. That said, they might not send you a message for 1000 reasons. From your height, to your love of cats. Meeting someone you care to be romantically involved with is mostly luck, with a touch of perseverance.

  3. Thumb up 1

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    This article just described my OKC dating experience completely! I actually started writing advice to people whose profiles sucked, but…that didn’t get me very far. I avoided anyone who started their profile by saying, “I never know what to write in these things,” which eliminated at least half the dating pool. But it’s not all negative…there are some awesome profiles out there! And some awesome queers to be met!

    • Thumb up 22

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      My instant-elimination trigger is when, under “What are you doing with your life” it says, “Living it to the fullest!”

      I kind of want to make a fake one, saying “I am uptight and needy, and I hate to have a good time. I live my life as little as possible. My friends all say I am completely normal in every way. My favorite food is cheese pizza, my favorite music is zydeco, and I have exactly one favorite book: the Oxford English Dictionary. You should contact me if you’re a couple looking for a threesome.” But I’m too lazy to set it up.

        • Thumb up 1

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          I am tempted, now. Except, I have no time, and it seems like I’d get a lot of requests for threesomes from people who thought I was serious. (Because nothing deters guys who want to watch their girlfriends get it on with another girl. At least, I get that impression from all the “No threesomes” lines in peoples’ profiles. I’ve never had one of those requests, myself.)

          And I’m one of those people who feels compelled to reply to everything. Even “HEY WASSUP”.

        • Thumb up 2

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          Hi!! In a very boring strategic planning meeting, will reply to your message as soon as I don’t have to hide my phone under my desk to type! (I’m so professional)

        • Thumb up 5

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          Well, damn. Here I have this long, detailed, probably-too-much-information profile that I think is witty and unique, and I went through it and cut all the clichés I could find… and I never get messages.

          What I really should have been doing all this time was trolling!

        • Thumb up 1

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          There are grains of truth in there. I do covet a good dictionary, and if I ever convince myself I’d actually use a real paper dictionary, it would definitely be one of the OED versions.

  4. Thumb up 4

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    I don’t do online dating, or dating, but I had a friend who did and he would share his online dating “horror stories” with me. I never laughed so hard. He would show me profiles and some of the stuff on there was “interesting” and “shocking,” to say the least. In any event, by vicariously living through his online dating woes, here is a list of red flags and or protips you should probably avoid…

    1. Don’t type your profile in all caps, that implies yelling, FOR FUCKS SAKE!!
    2. Avoid cliche’s like the plague, go for something original instead of some mass produced phrases.
    Examples: Still waters run deep (…and so does blood, hell it even stains!), no drama (who doesn’t like a good Shakespeare play?!?!), my kids are my first priority (uh… what? Isn’t that like obvious? OMG someone call CPS!), I like to have fun (Pshh I don’t! I’m a Debbie Downer!), all my friends say I am nice (… of course they do, or they wouldn’t be your friends!), etc.
    3. Profile pics, don’t do that whole self-portrait-I just took a shit in the bathroom-the flash is ricocheting off the mirror-so you can’t really see me, it’s just tacky. Mix your pictures up, be transparent, smiles go a long way too. If you have nothing, but half body shots, that can translate to someone who is not comfortable with themselves, or has something to hide.
    4. First impressions, although can suck, is a quick way for people to judge you, when all they have is little to go off of, so if you type like this… I LyKe Ch0cOlAtE cUpCaKeS wItH sPrInKlEs N i JuSt graduwaited frm kollege., then you may want to bring out Mavis Beacon, just saying.

    Of course, there are more tips I could share, but those seem to be the “nails on the chalkboard” of online dating offenses, that I have witnessed with my little two eyes!

  5. Thumb up 9

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    To be honest, “I have an okcupid account” or anything pertaining to being on okcupid as the most private thing you’re willing to admit is beyond played out. I see it in every other profile. So is You Should Message Me If: “you want to.” Also: having taco, saur or saurus, or tron in your username. avoid if you want to be in any way original.

  6. Thumb up 6

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    my uber witty, yet slightly mysterious profile, coupled with the only amazing picture i ever took certainly gets me lots of emails on OKC. But chicks are weird ok. And they just like, never actually meet other lesbos in real life. Oh sure, they say things like, let’s go play tennis sometime, or, let’s grab some gay coffee….but I have yet to actually meet anyone romantically online. I use it to pump up my ego and polish my lezboness.

    • Thumb up 2

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      I’ve also had a lot of problems with people actually following through/hanging out after a few messages or even beyond the initial or second hang out.

      It seems people I meet via “real life” are always more interested in sustaining some kind of relationship/friendship. Dunno what it is about online dating that makes people so flaky/attracts all the flaky people…but…

      • Thumb up 1

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        I had a similar issue. I met a girl online and we hit it off. She wanted to meet and we did. She seemed great and at the end of our second dinner date, I wanted to keep hanging out with her b/c I liked her and wanted to get to know her more; but instead, she said she felt tired and walked me to the train station b/c it was on her way home. I was hoping for a call or email a few day later but no luck. My ego was bruised. I felt I was wasting my time (and money) on my online profile so I deleted it. I’m not giving up on love but I gave up on trying to find love via online dating.

    • Thumb up 1

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      totes agreed. I’m guaranteed to never make it past the first okc hangout/date. I chalk it up to fellow flakey queermos (cause I rarely ask to hang again) or perhaps I have horribly offensive body odor. To quote Brad Paisley, I guess I’m so much cooler online!

  7. Thumb up 3

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    I’ve rewritten several friends’ profiles and they tell me they’ve gotten a lot more replies. Their profiles were too safe. Trying to appeal to too many people. Let your actual personality shine through. What do your friends like best about you? A slightly too-long profile is better than a too-short one. And at least 3-5 photos are good. And, you should answer at least 150 questions. Those personality profile assessments are actually pretty dead on.

    I get a ton of views on my own profile, which I credit to using a very close up, clear photo of myself, smiling broadly, looking right into the camera.

    I have met many great girls via Cupid, several of whom became really good friends. And, I met a girl who I was with for almost a year. I heart that site! Match is dreadful by comparison.

    • Thumb up 1

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      The photo thing is my downfall. Mine are all self-portraits or cropped out of the corner of a photo that just happened to include me accidentally, because I have no friends I would impose on to take a good picture of me. (Because taking a good picture of me is HARD. I am the least photogenic person in the universe. As proof of this, see my user photo at the left of this comment, and know that I’m using it because it’s one of the better photos of me.) How does one acquire photos of oneself that do not suck?

        • Thumb up 3

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          cavedueller, you might just have to prevail upon a friend to take, like, 40 shots of you and then pick the best one. You only need one good one. However, if your normal life has times when you peek out from behind trees, then maybe you should keep that one! I think your glasses are cute and would be an attention-getter!

        • Thumb up 2

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          Hah, that actually was taken at my last job! Like, I was working, not posing. There was a frog on the tree and I was catching it. That was something I was actually paid for. I quit that job to go back to school and sometimes I wonder what I was thinking.

        • Thumb up 1

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          Hey! That would be a great line for your profile: “I used to get paid to pry tiny frogs off of trees, but I left that job for grad school to study XYZ, so I’ll be raking in the big bucks soon. Ha”. That would make me laugh and also want to know more. Shows you have a sense of humor, a brain, and can laugh at yourself a bit.

  8. Thumb up 45

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    I’ve been thinking about okcupid a lot today. I am an English teacher, but I don’t care about grammar as much as okcupid users claim to.

    For example, this sentence was on a profile I saw today:

    “[message me if] you use correct grammar, huge turn off if you don’t.”

    THAT’S A RUN ON SENTENCE. It’s a huge turn off to be uppity about your good grammar while using a comma splice. It’s a good example of irony though.

  9. Thumb up 2

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    I’ve only met one girl off OKC, but I live in the middle of nowhere. There’s maybe three profiles within 45 miles of my city, and all those people who say they want long-distance penpals usually turn out to have no commitment to writing. It’s like pulling teeth to get some people to write more than two sentences in a message.

    I’ve kept my profile out of optimism, and occasionally for laughs.

  10. Thumb up 14

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    Actually, people with vague, subtle, and snappy one-liner profiles are the people I never message because they come off as self-consciously cool and the kind of people who won’t respond to my messages. Friendly and funny with a few sarcastic one-liners for edge is the way to go. Unapproachable is not.

  11. Thumb up 3

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    I really cannot understand why ANYONE would think its a good idea to include things like “I’m a loud, obnoxious bitch and I’m proud” or “I’m looking for someone understanding to help with my emotional intimacy problems as I’ve recently lost the love of my life”.

    Mostly though, I think someone needs to invent a profile reviewing service so someone can tell me whether I come across boring as fuck &/or pretentious…

  12. Thumb up 1

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    My favourite was “I want your whisky mouth on my down south”
    My friends harassed me about online dating and everytime I checked it out I just ended up looking at straight women’s profiles- way more interesting (desperate).

    • Thumb up 3

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      I’ll bite. I think you should put something in the summary box. I mean, nobody likes to do that; half of the ones I see start with, “I don’t like to write about myself, but…” or “I don’t fit in little boxes!” But since that’s usually the thing that shows up by your picture in the search lists, it’s good if there’s something there! It doesn’t need to be long; in fact, something short and to the point would work better. Just jump right in without any preamble or throat-clearing or the usual introductory clichés. Just the first paragraph of it shows up on the search page; you want the interesting part to be what people see when they’re just scrolling through the list.

      • Thumb up 0

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        aaw, really? The friend that I talked about… the first thing she wrote me was “You can not be summarized. That is what really caught my attention. Brilliant answer.”… so I thought that was a keeper! hehehe! hmmm…

      • Thumb up 3

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        Yeah, I thought that, too! Even if it’s honest (because, hello, who doesn’t love making new friends), I would change the “message me if” part to something that doesn’t use the word “desperate.”

        I’d also try to be more specific with some of your interests; even if you have too many favorite movies or whatever to count, are there any trends you notice?

        My advice! Doesn’t mean it’s right, though.

    • Thumb up 2

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      Honestly someone saying “I don’t read much” or who doesn’t have a couple of books listed is an instant elimination for me.
      The other thing is that maybe you could try to be more positive in your answers? Idk I am more likely to reply to profiles that are more upbeat. What you’ve got in your ‘most private thing’ question and your ’6 things’ question areas are kind of negative.

      Red flags might be coming up for people because your profile and questions make you come across as kind of sad/unhappy. I feel like you almost have to approach writing a profile like a job interview- you want to put your best face forward, highlight the best things about you. You’re on Autostraddle so you must be awesome! People want to hear about the good things.

      Maybe I’m not the best person to give you advice because I guess we are only a 54% percent match, so our personalities probably clash. But I hope this helps!

  13. Thumb up 6

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    Does anyone ever feel like they’re slowly ok-ing the cupid out of all the available queer ladies in their cities/hamlets/towns? I’m in a medium-sized town and getting that creepy feeling that I’ve somehow interacted with all the ladies that pop up… and that they hold a secret meeting every Thursday night to be like, “yes, I’ve hung out with the girl from okcupid with the sorta funny profile about the harmonica.” And everyone exclaims, “welcome!”

  14. Thumb up 4

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    In my opinion the best thing about okcupid is the matches they give based on your answers to the questions.
    I joined after reading about okcupids matching processing and im weird and enjoy answering random questions on the Internet. Never wrote anything in my profile except answering the drop down (?) questions (it’s been a while….) and had a few photos up.
    the first and only girl I ever messaged was a “92% match” and is now my girlfriend/fiancée of over two years – I’m the luckiest and happiest girl in the world. But it magically all started at okcupid, so happy online dating :)

  15. Thumb up 1

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    I use this same photo as my main photo on okc (me at the Lincoln Memorial). Zero takers. What is it, ladies! Is it the chinless Brit effect? I HAVE A CHIN, IT’S JUST BURIED UNDER MY EXCITEMENT BECAUSE LINCOLN. Or is it Lincoln? Is he too intimidating? Ugh it’s the Cumberbatch/Cousin Fatthew no chin black hole effect, isn’t it.

  16. Thumb up 5

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    how about that awkward moment when you click on someone’s profile, then realize you know them from the real world and they will most likely also recognize you when they look at your profile and tell your mutual friends. ANYONE?
    I try to keep my profile cool enough so that if/when my friends see it, they won’t make too much fun of me.

  17. Thumb up 2

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    I usually look at the books/movies/music section first, because that will tell me if we will have things to talk about. Because dating someone who doesn’t like any of the same books/movies/music is really boring, you guys.
    It also gives you a good opening for a message. “Oh, you like (insert genre here?) have you heard of (insert musician from that genre)”.

  18. Thumb up 0

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    Did not even know OKCupid existed until Oh Gay Cupid. Fell right into it. Feel like the lack of a profile picture hinders me. Although, I’m in no hurry to be outed by people who recognize me in my tiny tiny town. I can always send someone a picture of myself if they’re curious before meeting. Is there an etiquette for that? Or is it just totally weird to be like *bam* “This is all me, Baby” ?

  19. Thumb up 2

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    Lord this post has me pressed!
    I just opened an OKCupid, I have a “sorta str8″ friend that raved about it and considering the industry/city I’m in, I figured why the hell not.

    I hated making my profile- it reminded me of lame “about me” chain emails that you’d fill out after school when you were in junior high. I suppose I can’t understand someone being genuinely interested in me based on clever responses and my best 5 FB profile pictures. There’s gotta be something better.

    We gotta do better ya’ll!

  20. Thumb up 0

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    Welll….maybe my profile needs some advising too, so why not. Although I should make a small note that this profile was only re-activated one month ago because 5 months beforehand, I met my girlfriend (now former) via (would you believe it), speed dating.

    Fast forward to the present and while I’ve matured and grown from said relationship, my profile is still accurate, some of the answers to my previously-answered questions…have changed. :P

    Thoughts and questions are welcome. :)

    http://www.okcupid.com/profile/koukan

  21. Thumb up 0

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    I feel like mostly my profile is good, but I put in a bunch of “don’t message me if” stuff. Which probably seems judgey, but I get a lot less messages from the people I don’t want messages from.

    Like, if you’re in high school (I am way too old for you), if you want to have sex with me and your boyfriend ‘only wants to watch and can be involved if you want!’ (that got someone really angry, actually), if you don’t make an effort to use proper spelling/grammar (it doesn’t have to be perfect, clearly this sentence runs on forever), if you have “I don’t like reading” under your favorite books (we just won’t get along), if you’re a guy.

    All of those have happened so I feel like it’s okay to address that?

  22. Thumb up 1

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    I always make weirdest, most twisted faces on my OKCupid profile pictures. I count on people’s curiosity getting the better of them.

    That, and in my “What do you do on a Friday night?” blah question, I list some normal things and then have “WHOA. What’s that noise?!
    It’s the sound of your panties dropping.”

    I’ve only gotten people forty states over telling me how funny I am. So, that’s saddening.

  23. Thumb up 1

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    Here’s my two bits, I feel like kind of an expert because I have been on approximately one BILLION internet dates, and met my sweetie on the okcupid and we are all shacked up and business like that.

    The thing about okaycupid is that it’s so so easy to get really insecure and hung up and do that overly-snarky-compensating thing,or the just-ignore-me-while-I-cry thing or the I’m-so-intellectual-blah-blah thing and I at this point I am Judgey. about other people’s profiles.

    So my advice is:

    1) Be sincere and SPECIFIC. I always got the most responses to ads that included a lot of detail, but I also included a lot of ‘buzzwords’ (like, waffles! hula hoops! vintage typewriters! zadie smith novels! also, I had like four girls holler at me because of zadie smith novels, so you can borrow that one)

    And the ‘being sincere’ thing- like, honestly, that whole thing where folks act snarky and aloof in order to offset their anxiety- it’s common among queermos, but I always found it really off-putting. but also I am super earnest, and mostly like to make out with other earnest people. but it’s worth a shot! honestly! They imbue all your actions with meaning and assume that you’re a “good person”, whatever that means.

    2) Don’t apologize for anything! Don’t apologize for your weight! Don’t apologize for being weird or awkward or quirky or boring or slutty or inexperienced or whatever! Just be honest about your biz.

    Conversely, do not tell me your whole life story, and only allude VAGUELY to stories about your ex’s on first thru third dates. like, “oh, my ex-girlfriend grew up in Malaysia, so that’s why I know obscure details about noodle production” or something innocuous like that. Like, be responsible about your shit, (re: going to bars, if you’re sober, or whatever) but also don’t be all sharey mc sharetown.

    Mostly DATING SHOULD BE FUN. PEOPLE WHO LIKE YOU WILL ACT LIKE THEY LIKE YOU. SPEAK UP FOR YOURSELF IF YOU ARE UNCOMFORTABLE OR YOU NEED TO CHECK IN ABOUT ISH.

    also, I wrote a blog post about it awhile ago: http://neverstopsayingmaria.wordpress.com/2012/07/04/what-i-learned-from-dating-a-lot/

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    Once, I made an OKC account and one of my first matches was actual a girl I had hooked up with two years earlier and was hooking up with again. I messaged her “Well, this is awkward.”, but then she didn’t check her account for about two weeks. It was really really weird hanging out with her knowing about her secret OKC account. Finally, it got so unbearable that I admitted having found her profile. OKC is weird.

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    I pretty much immediately ignore girls who write “I have and okcupid profile” under “most private thing..”

    However, snarky and playful works for me, so the rest of the profile would in deed catch my eye.

    But it occurs to me, and as some of the other comments point out, that these tips are really only for certain kinds of people to attract other certain kinds of people.

    There’s no wrong way to OK Cupid :)

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    I tried to be as honest as possible while keeping my readers engaged on my profile and provided a variety of photos while I’m in my element. It seems that I am usually physically attracted to the hipsters who are vaguely snarky and impossibly cool with their Buffalo Exchange/American Apparel attire and interests in all things obscure, and, by no surprise, hardly any of them write back. But when they do, it’s very half-assed… and I want to flip my desk. I take the time to compose a light-hearted, concise, and personalized message, so it does get discouraging when after awhile, you realize it’s you putting forth most of the effort.

    Anyone care to critique my profile on what may be off-putting?: http://www.okcupid.com/profile/Macarooney

    When I used to date guys years ago, I met one from a different dating site who remains my best friend to this day, and he is also on OKCupid now. We usually hang out and call/text just to share stories on how bitches be crazy, or to tell each other about bad dates we had just been on with OKC girls. Seems like our primary thing is trollin’ the site these days.

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    I don’t know… I like when people talk real talk in their OKC profile. I like when they write enough that I can get a sense of their voice, and the way they think. I mean, there’s a lot to be said for not overthinking your profile, so it can sound natural and like you really talk/think. I mean, I’ve actually gotten girls to message me just because they appreciated how natural I sounded on my profile, how I spoke like a real person, and said what I felt. If someone’s just filling in their profile with cute/witty one liners… it doesn’t tell me anything about them other than that they’re able to write one liners. It’s not very interesting, in my opinion. I’m definitely not going to bother messaging them when I can’t get a read. Just me.

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    So, this article inspired me to try OkCupid because it sounded like fun times on the Internet. Lo and behold, though, the boys are super friendly and the girls are not. I’m like.. 1-10 on responses from the ladies, whereas guys are all about initiating contact.

    Is the “bisexual” tag just an automatic reason to ignore me?

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    I’ve been on OKC for a while (like, years). Observations:

    1. I’ve had many awesome dates with both girls and guys from OKCupid! It never went anywhere but FriendLand, but the friendships are ones I really cherish. Lots of fellow nerds on that site, too, super-awesome way to make friends, esp. if you’re new in town.

    2. Ladies almost never message me. Dudes message all the time (I’m bi). Of course, there’s way more straight dudes than there are queer women, so idk if it’s a proportional thing. Or if guys are more desperate and girls are more choosy/reticent.

    3. I had this minor uptick in getting messages from chicks after littering my profile with “HI I’M QUEER” neon signs — roller derby, marriage equality, “HI, I WANT TO MEET QUEER LADIES,” etc. Then it died off. It might be that people sort by match & new, and since I’ve been there a while, I’m coming up last. Or maybe people just find me gross, lol.

    4. I feel like people were more into me when I posted worse pictures of myself? Like, when I had unflattering pictures, my date would show up at Starbucks or wherever and there’d be this tiny “Wow, hotter than expected!” look. When I replaced those with better pictures, I’d get, “Whoah, less hot than expected” looks. Now I just have a mix of flattering/unflattering photos but I feel like I get messaged way less than when it was all-gross-all-the-time? Weird.

    5. I kinda feel like a lot of people compatible with me look a lot like me? Possibly that’s all in my mind? Whereas soft-butch chicks I silently pine for don’t seem to have stuff in common with me. WHERE MY NERDBOIS AT?

    6. Give me your thoughts, y’all: http://www.okcupid.com/profile/wotwotwot

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    This is how online dating works in small towns:

    My friend, “Misty,” and a girl she was dating, “Jane” broke up because the girl wanted to get back with her ex-girlfriend, “Sue.” Well, Jane and Sue ended up breaking up immediately after they got back together. All three ladies then unknowingly registered for the gay online dating site (I really don’t know which one they used) in the area. Misty then told me that her highest “matches” within 50 miles of her were Jane and Sue.

    Thus, the lesbian square dance continues… ;-)

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    Revisiting this and I realized that if I came on to women online the way I come on to them in person I would need to use my computer drunk most of the time. Hooray for needing booze 98 percent of the time to talk to a beautiful woman.

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    I’ve been on it for while and have gotten maybe 2 messages from people, one girl liked my username and another lived in another country. I’ve sent out a bunch of messages, cause, why the fuck not? I’d rather mildly embarrass myself on the internet than say I made no attempt at all. I’ve been on a few dates with some of the girls I messaged. No sparks, but I think I’ve met some people that I’d like to be friends with, which totally counts for something too.

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    “I have an OkCupid profile”

    Sorry, but that is the most boring possible response to that question. Two reasons: 1. It is the #1 most common answer I’ve seen on OKCupid profiles and therefore terribly unimaginative. 2. It sidesteps the question while adding nothing of note to your profile. Oh, and it also makes you sound insecure about the fact that you have an OKC profile, which in my opinion is pretty unattractive when OKC is the very means through which you are attempting to connect with someone – reading that over and over just makes me think I shouldn’t be on OKC in the first place. If that’s the best answer you can come up with, I’d say just skip that question altogether. You’re not required to answer all the questions.

    I don’t use OKC anymore. It didn’t work for me. I think it has less to do with your profile and more to do with just what in particular works for you when it comes to dating.

    Personally, I had the most creative profile on OKC ever, which got me lots of compliments. “You have the most creative profile ever.” “You have the most interesting profile I’ve seen.” “You have the best profile I’ve come across.” Most of the messages I got were, unfortunately, from people of no interest to me. I did end up meeting up with 10 or 11 people from OKC, but there was no significant chemistry with any of them. I did go on a very interesting date with a smart and funny law student who wanted to have sex with me, but I wasn’t interested in hookups at the time. It probably wouldn’t have worked out anyway.

    Anyway, writing an intriguing profile is far from being the same as a good date or a good lover. If you’re just looking for hookups and you’re attracted to a lot of people, maybe that works. But for me, it was a waste of time. Ok, not a total waste of time – I had never dated until then, so it was a good confidence-builder. After all, almost all of my dates were interested in me and some wanted sex. But once I gained that basic confidence, it became useless. Spending hours and hours browsing profiles, contacting people, and figuring out times to meet up is absurdly time-consuming. I could instead go to a queer party or event and meet dozens of queers in a night and know instantly if there’s any chemistry. That chemistry is the most important element for me. Without that, there’s no Cupid.

    Let me tell you what works way, way, way better than OKCupid in my experience: kinky play parties and events. Especially queer kinky play parties. I finally have a sex life thanks to that community, and people are super direct about being interested in you, at least compared to the rest of life. Also, people are super poly, which I dig.

    Queer conferences also seem to be a good way for me to meet dates… specifically, I have now gone to two QT conferences where I met someone there, and then later saw them at a queer club event and hooked up with them. Out of five sexual partner total, that’s pretty good.

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    I know this thread is old, but I hope someone replies. I’m from Milwaukee, and I have to say the Autostraddle “Milwaukee City Guide” dating section is bull/unsatisfying. I have no lesbian friends, and I would love to make friends before I dive right into dating. Maybe meet friends online that could be potential dates. But I’m terrified of someone I know seeing my online dating profile. It’s not even that I’m “not out” (i sorta am). I just feel like I would look desperate, or something, especially when my first priority is making friends, not dating – although I’d enjoy that. Please help!

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    I can not stress this enough: I NEVER get emails OR responses to emails or anything close to female attention on okcupid. Then when I asked women to look at my profile and tell me whats wrong with it…STILL no responses. So I had a friend look at my page once and told me that my inclusion of “casual sex” in the “seeking” box was in instant turn off to her as a gay woman. But why should I lie about it? i mean hell even if I get rid of that and get a date, Im still going to want casual sec and that is bound to come up at some point.
    I am not entirely panicked about this, because I seem to get dates out in the real world (not that okcupid is any less of a real way but you know what i mean) but it still makes me wonder at times…what the hell is so unappealing about me?
    As an experiment I switched my okcupid profile to “bi” and put that I am looking for men, and got rid of the casual sex under the seeking tab (because we all know any guy in the world would respond to that!. In the first three days I received 300 messages. A huge percent of them from what seemed to be handsome, stable men. So, what in the world okcupid? should I give up and be straight? I cant because its not a choice! damn!

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