Results From An Online Dating Experiment

A reader telegraphed the Chateau a link to a very interesting experiment that an intrepid blogger ran on OKCupid. He created ten fake profiles, five men and five women of increasing physical attractiveness, and measured the response rate he received over a four-month period. The results should be little surprise to regular guests of this mysterious sanctum sanctorum, but are worth examining in detail for the clarity they provide to men who are considering making online dating the fulcrum of their mate selection strategy.

The experiment: How many unsolicited messages do men get compared to women? And what difference does their physical attractiveness make to each man and woman’s success? [ed: all ten dummy accounts had the same written profile. you can read about his experimental set-up at his blog, which i recommend. we’ll focus on his results here.]

Here are the photos he used, ugliest to hottest, left to right:

The results after 24 hours showed that the two hottest women were instantly barraged with suitors, while the men, even the good-looking ones, struggled to get a nibble.

• Each woman received at least one message, but the two best looking women received 581% more messages than the other three combined.

• Only one man received any messages.

For the second-hottest chick, 1 in 3 men who viewed her profile sent her a message. For the second-hottest man, 1 in 10 women who viewed his profile sent him a message. (Strangely, the putative hottest man got no messages.) Conclusion: Looks matter a lot more for women’s mating success. Or: looks matter a lot less for men’s mating success (relative to all the other criteria they must meet to satisfy women’s 463 bullet-point checklist).

What about the results after 7 days?

As we can see, the two hottest girls are cleaning up in the attention whore sweepstakes. The two hottest men get a few bites, but because they are men and have no personal concept of the sheer volume of sexual attention that hot women experience during their brief window of prime fertility, they think they are Kings of Maine.

Handsome Joe: “Hey, Emma, I got eight messages this week! I’m in demand!”

Exquisite Emma: “Oh, uh, hee hee… that’s great Joe!”

Handsome Joe: “How many did you get?”

Exquisite Emma: “128.”

Handsome Joe: 😯

Even more depressing for those above average-looking men who think they can bank on their decent looks to score pussy, the ugliest girl (that cow all the way over on the left) got one more message than the three men, from left to right, got in total. The plain jane got almost as many messages as the two hottest men combined.

• Three of the men had no messages, despite their profiles being viewed about 25 times between them.

• The women’s messages outnumbered the men’s 17 to 1 (mostly thanks to the two best looking women).

Behold female hypergamy and male potency.

Finally, the results after four months:

Holy mackerel! Check your female privilege. The next time you hear a feminist whine about the patriarchy, show her this graph and tell her where the real power resides.

A couple things to note. The ugliest man got nothing after four months of desperation. The three men with looks ranging from ugly to above-average received a grand total of three messages over four months. If you are the average man, don’t plan on letting your generic beta profile and photo do your work for you. Hell, even if you are a good-looking man, you won’t have many messages to work with after four months. Conclusion: Men, you NEED game in order to excel in the thunderbone that is online dating. Otherwise, you’ll have better odds picking up women just talking to any of them that you meet walking down the street.

Worse, the ugliest woman got nearly as many messages as the best-looking man! (Or second-best-looking man, depending on your judgment of the rank order of male photos.) The second-ugliest woman — a piddling 3 or 4 by most men’s standards — received as many messages as the two hottest men received.

• The two most attractive women probably would have received several thousand more if their inboxes hadn’t have reached maximum capacity.

• It took 2 months, 13 days for the most popular woman’s inbox to fill up. At the current rate it would take the most popular man 2.3 years to fill up his.

This is why men, unlike women in their primes, cannot wait around for lovers to fall in their laps. They have to bust a move. This also explains why men, in general, have a firmer grip on the reality of the sexual market than do women: when you’re a hot babe, you can afford ignorance and platitudes because the tidal wave of messages will come regardless. But a man who wallows in pretty lies will soon find himself banished to Pudpullia, where boners go to chafe.

The blogger who performed the experiment also analyzed the content of the messages that the OKCupid customers were leaving the fake profiles.

My impression, after reading several hundred in the women’s inboxes, is that most men compliment the attractive women a lot, they make reference to something in the woman’s profile (you would not believe how many times men mentioned the party tricks and ‘Arrow’ the cheetah from the generic profile I wrote), or they ask a general question about travel or something equally boring.

They are rarely, if ever, imaginative…

Game will never become overexposed. Boring beta chumps who are truly nice outnumber charming aloof jerks who are truly cocky by about 1 million to 1. This is good news for the player with game who plays the online charade: online, you can decimate, because your competition is so weak and so ludicrously market saturated.

So what is the experimenter’s recommendation for men? His recipe for success will sound familiar to practitioners of the art of seduction.

• Demonstrate creativity, intelligence and a great sense of humour
• Be totally different to anything she may have received before
• Be obviously unique and not a cut-and-paste job
• Show that I’ve read her profile and absorbed facts about her
• Not be needy!

Unpredictability, ignoring her beauty (negs), non-neediness, listening ability, and wit. All core game concepts.

Note, too, that the guy running that blog sounds like a well-meaning liberal who probably thinks feminism is a-ok, so the fact that he’s coming to these conclusions about the sexes and the steps men need to take to attract women — steps which fly in the face of feminist and beta male bromides — suggests that his self-enlightenment is genuine, and not an affectation.

He includes in his post the “perfect message” that he sent to a cute chick, which you should go there to read. It’s a bit long and try-hard for my taste, but he mostly abides the standard game rules and does a good job avoiding horrible anti-game. Notice that at the end of his message he ASSUMED THE SALE. She replied positively.

He ends with thoughts about the obstacles that men and women face in the hyperconcentrated online meat market.

The fact that the first stage of online dating is so heavily stacked in women’s favour doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s any easier for them, compared to men, to reach the end goal of pure love or perfect sex. They may have the pick of the bunch to begin with, especially if they happen to be really attractive, but they can still only date one man at a time—they must still filter the largely undifferentiated onslaught of male attention into yes and no piles. Then the yes pile has to be sorted through in much the same way as anyone else does it—by talking, bonding, finding common interests, realising there’s been a big mistake, or a wonderful discovery.

An overabundance of sexual attention is a problem most men would like to have. So I don’t buy his feminist-glazed assertion that women have it just as tough as men. First, he’s simply wrong to think women can only date one man at a time. Women, especially the hot ones, can and do date multiple men concurrently. Usually, they do this before they have committed to any one man with the broken seal of their vaginas, but before then women have no ethical or psychological roadblocks stopping them from dating three or five or ten men per week. In fact, I’ve known cute chicks who BRAGGED about how many men were treating them to nights out on the town.

It’s different, of course, once women enter a sexual relationship. Then, they find it hard, and soul-crushing, to give themselves over to more than one man at a time. Men, in contrast, will happily screw many babes concurrently if they could get away with it. Most men can’t, so they pretend they have morals to explain their heavenly monogamy.

Second, the online sorting process is not as hard for women as this guy is making it out to be. Women have finely honed beta male filter mechanisms that can quickly and efficiently sort the bores from the bosses. Sorting through 500 email messages becomes a lot less daunting when you can immediately delete the 495 of them that start with “You’re very pretty…” or “Hi, my name is…” or “Do you like living in…?”.

Granted, women have to put more time into their message sorting chores than men do (who base their judgments almost completely on a quick millisecond glance at a photo), but most women would secretly agree that the ego boost of an overflowing email inbox is worth the extra time picking through all the losers. For proof of this, just listen to any aging cougar who laments the loss of her youth when unwanted attention from men was a hassle. Being sexually invisible (like most men) is a change in life status most women don’t accommodate very well.

Beyond the scope of sorting, meeting and dating, there is a good point to be made that the difficulty level for women navigating the sexual market begins to rise and even surpass the difficulty level for men once relationships are within reach. Men can glide more easily in and out of failed dating adventures, and even failed LTRs, for they have more time on their side than do women. Plus, they have no risk of a disabling nine month burden. A couple years here and there with different women doesn’t much affect the overall dating outlook for men. Women, otoh, risk a lot more with the time and energy they invest in each man they date. An LTR that fails after two years can be fatal to a woman’s dating window of opportunity.

Two final notes.

1. It’s easy to be misled by this data from online dating sites that ugly women are just as in-demand as handsome men. No. First, the men contacting the ugly women are likely the dregs of malehood. Second, a low-effort copypaste email to an ugly chick is worth it from a loser man’s perspective if it results in a quick, sloppy lay. The trick for these ugly women, which they find is much harder to manage, is getting these losers to stick around and commit to them for more than the one-off perfunctory fuck. In other words, you can’t accurately judge a woman’s sexual market value by how much sex has, or how easily she can have sex, with losers.

Third, female choosiness means that the rate of online female messaging is not as indicative of men’s SMV as online male messaging is indicative of women’s SMV. An online profile is simply NOT ENOUGH for a woman to judge a man’s sexiness and compatibility. She needs to smell him, be touched by him, watch him move, listen to him speak, and furtively eye the way his crotch bulges. But an online profile IS ENOUGH for a man to judge a woman’s sexiness and, yes, sometimes even compatibility, because men seek to build connections primarily as a function of their visually-based lust, unlike women who seek to find reasons to dismiss budding connections as a function of their critical hypergamous impulses.

2. Differential online messaging rates between men and women, when a bare bones written profile and photo are all the viewer has to go on, prove that looks in a potential mate simply aren’t as important for women as they are for men. If they were, women would be messaging the two hottest men at the same rate that the men messaged the two hottest women. But women need a LOT MORE from their men than just a nice-looking face. Women need a whole plethora of signals of high value mate quality, and that includes to a great degree men’s personality traits, vibe and attitude.

This is not to say that women don’t care about looks; only that women compartmentalize looks along with other, less physically tangible male characteristics that they are subconsciously attracted to in men. Less facially gifted men with game should be heartened by these online results: they show that a tight email message that exhibits the qualities of the preselected alpha male can draw the interest of cute girls who might otherwise dismiss these men based solely on their photos.

In short, women have a tool. Men have a toolbox. If a woman’s tool, however powerful it is, is broken, she’s shit out of luck. If a man’s wrench is broken, he reaches in and grabs the pliers.

Don’t wait for a woman to slip her tool in your toolbox. If you do that, you are looking at long dry spells. Reach in, grab your tools, and hot wire her circuitry.

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