At least half of online dating is fantasy. And scrolling through a dating app is basically relationship porn—but instead of anonymous apartments and delivery men, this kind of porn has us ladies (and I’m sure more than a few men) imagining a passionate courtship, one that takes place on hikes in Peru, Caribbean fishing excursions, and bars with exceptional lighting.
But if you’ve ever watched porn with a woman and been annoyed when she couldn’t stop critiquing the male sex-haver’s couch, watch, haircut, socks—why is he still wearing socks?!—then you’ve learned that every last detail in an image contributes to (or impedes) a woman’s ability to become aroused. Point is: Your dating app profile should excite prospective viewers (on a more G-rated level, at least). And the photos you post have the power to fuel her fantasies just as easily as they emergency-brake them.
Some dating app truths: Women don’t love having to guess which guy you are in your photos. They definitely find it creepy if you’re shirtless in all your photos. And yes, they care about the clothes you wear in your photos—more than you realize. You may still be under the impression that women only pay attention to great abs and symmetrical facial features. But that assumption is not only rooted in insecurity (the world’s No.1 lady-boner-killer, FYI), it’s also counterproductive to your cause.
Being hot is nothing to scoff at, but it’s far from the only thing women on dating apps care about. Doesn’t it make more sense to obsess over the things in your profile photos you can change? Hot guys with bad clothes are a dime a dozen in this world, but men with really good style, clothes that flatter their bodies, and basic hygiene are the unicorns we women are searching for.
Here’s a guide to crafting a stylish (and, yes, arousing) dating app wardrobe, and arranging those for a winning, five-photo slate that’s far more likely to earn some right-swipes than whatever you have on your Bumble profile now. Who knows? You might even decide to wear the stuff in real life.
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