Editors' Note: Guest blogger Phil Henricks is Gaydar's Head Of North American market. An appropriate bit of trivia: Did you know Gaydar invented the online personals profile format, now standard webwide? True.
Want a date this Valentine's Day? Whether seeking a hot new hanky-panky pal or a husband-huntin' hunk, here are five time-saving tips for online daters who're serious about connecting in person: It's called a date. Have one!
1. Smile, Dammit!
Sure you think you look hot flexing in the gym mirror, but nothing gets a date-minded man's attention faster than a handsome, smiling mug. Yup, we'll sniff every cock shot you put in front of us, but when we get serious we like a smile.
On average, profiles are limited to a couple hundred words, but if a picture is worth a 1000 words, make your photos count. Upload enough snapshots for guys to see how you look from the street to the sheets. And fellas, no excuses for old pix, just snap 'em with the digital, already! (Besides, no one trusts pix that look too "photo shooty," anyway.)
FYI: That photo of you in front of the entire Eiffel Tower? Annoyingly useless. We get it: you can afford a trip to Paris; save it for Facebook.
2. Play Nice
Nice guys attract nice guys. Even if you're just looking for a casual hook-up, who wants to have sex with an asshole? You know what I mean. Skip the negativity; the bossy bitchy attitude and the itemized list of demands required to even contact your prickly ass. Big turn off.
Two of the worst offenses are the gallingly racist profile statement: "No -----s!" (often followed by the backhanded apology, "No offense, just my preference") and referring to being HIV- as "clean" - which is a real sucker-punch to our HIV+ brothers. So keep it friendly and you'll not only avoid offending innocent buddies, but also - think about this - shooting yourself in the foot by turning off a guy you thought was hot and who thought you were hot until he read your nasty profile.
Like mother said, if you can't say anything nice, best not to say anything at all.
3. Tickle His (Funny) Bone
If you think being nice works, watch how fast your mailbox fills up when you make 'em laugh. Laughter is the element most cited as key to the survival of every successful relationship. Laughing couples are happy couples. (They also have better sex.)
Granted, not everyone is a born comedian, but give it a shot. Make him laugh with a funny headline, witty profile, or silly screenname and he'll hit the brakes and back up for a closer look. I'll bet he says hello.
Make him laugh on your first date? Fuggedaboudit, date number two is in the bag!
4. Make Yourself Clear
Be honest and descriptive in your profile. Be clear about what you're looking for. Avoid sending mixed signals. You'd be surprised how many others are looking for the exact same thing. ("OMG, you're a furry, too?")
If you're seriously looking for a long-term relationship, start with an appropriate screen name. "ChokeOnThis" doesn't exactly invoke invitations to long walks on the beach. Nor do photos of yourself spread-eagle with chaser lights.
Conversely, if you're looking for a little no strings attached action, then "LTRorDeath" and a blurry old photo of you on a dusty camel front of the Great Pyramid of Giza isn't going to cut it. Come out swinging, so to speak, and let them know what's on your agenda.
5. Be Yourself
You'd think this would be obvious, but a lot of guys waste too much time creating an idealized profile and in the process do themselves a disservice. Hey, if the goal is to actually have a date - a successful date that could lead to a relationship - then you don't want to start off the romance of a lifetime with a lie.
If a guy likes you for whom you really are, he's worth your time. So shine, show off a bit, and mention a few uncommon interests. Keep it friendly, humble and light because the only thing that's more of a turn off than a generic ("masc, non-scene, jock, regular guy," etc.) profile is going all alpha male over yourself.
So guys, smile, play nice, make him laugh, be clear about what you want, and be yourself. Easy enough. And it works!
Happy Valentine's Day!