June 2, 2014

Do women from OkCupid put out more, and does myBestFace work?

Anonymous writes:

I love your book: short and sweet. I came to the same conclusion on sending a generic first email, but was looking for someone who ran the experiment that I wanted to run. Now that I see you did it, I can rest easy.

Question: It makes sense that the women on match.com who are paid members would be more likely to respond and follow through on meeting you, but my how much more or less likely are they to put out quickly compared to the ones from say okcupid?

My theory would be that they are less likely to put out quickly because they are paying and expecting more commitment. But you actually have experience. Are there any noticeable differences?

He continues by offering a couple links on another topic from my book:

Okcupid myBestFace features is pretty useless:



First of all, Mr. Anonymous, thanks for reading. I'm glad you like the book. How about a positive review on Amazon? Anyway now that that shameless promotion is out of the way, let's take these questions one at a time.

Are women from different sites more likely to put out?

In my experience, no. I thought the same thing as Anonymous, that more "causal" sites like OkCupid would lead to dates with women who are more willing to put out. I have not conducted a controlled trial on this topic, like I did for the first email, but anecdotally, I have not noticed any difference.

I think there are so many other factors that go into this, that I wouldn't say women from any given site are more likely to put out in general. I can tell you that I have had success in this particular, ahem, area using all of the major dating sites - eharmony, match, okcupid, POF, Tinder - and I have not noticed any major difference in friskiness once I'm on the first date.

Now, there are things you can look for in the profile and email conversations that will give away whether a woman is worth your time in that respect, but those line up pretty well with the red flags and the "Sisyphus Factor" that I cover in the book. And of course, different sites have different features that allow you to assess this. For example, OkCupid has a ton of survey questions that refer to sexual promiscuity that you might look at, but in general, whether a woman is going to put out depends on so many things that I don't think it really matters that much which site you meet her on.

Does myBestFace work?

The two articles that Anonymous points to basically say that myBestFace uses too few statistical samples to be meaningful, and that other users may not have any incentive to provide accurate ratings, just randomly clicking to finish the survey. As evidence, one article shows two tests that use identical pictures, but give different results.

Both of these concerns are valid, but I don't think they are enough to throw out myBestFace as a useful tool to evaluate potential profile pictures. You can overcome these issues by conducting multiple trials and taking the results with a grain of salt. By no means is it perfect, but is there a better way to quickly, objectively evaluate your profile pictures? I don't think so.

I can tell you that I've experienced inconsistent results from myBestFace myself, but there is one thing that I've found it very useful for... determining which pictures you do NOT want to put in your profile. If all of the pictures you evaluate with myBestFace are about the same quality, you're likely to get inconsistent results. But if some are very bad, or very good, you should see that pretty clearly.

But if you don't want to use myBestFace, try this: post your pictures to Facebook. The relative number of likes your pictures get, especially if they come from your female friends, should give you an idea of which pictures flatter you, and which don't.