Tips from OKCupid's Most Desirable Ladies

Could this be the definitive answer to what makes a good online dating profile? Maybe! After a conversation with OKCupid co-founder Christian Rudder, NY Mag’s The Cut tracked down four of OKCupid’s most popular New York users to chat with them about the secrets to their success. Here’s what we learned from the women — Lauren, a 23-year-old makeup artist and OKCupid’s most sought-after straight female user, and Kerry, a 26-year-old fashion designer/street artist and the site’s most popular gay female user.

1. Save the dirty talk for later.

Lauren, who receives about three dozen emails from OKC a day, says that a whopping 70 percent of the messages she gets are “straight-up blunt, vulgar shit.” This? Is a total turnoff. “Even if I would just have fun with you…you need to not approach it that way,” she says. Dirty talk is for later on in a relationship, not when you’re trying to impress someone enough to earn a first meeting.

2. Looks matter…

“I’m not a stuck-up girl, but I think looks are No. 1 for everyone,” Lauren says — and she’s probably not wrong. On top of that, there’s an art to taking a good profile picture: Obviously you want to present yourself as well as possible, but you also want to make sure you still look like yourself. Oh, and don’t feel like you have to bare too much. Lauren’s advice? “I believe in a head-to-toe shot to show what you look like, but you don’t need to have your ass hanging out!”

No, Miley. No.

3. …But so do brains.

Lauren’s profile not only features good profile pictures (she’s a good-lookin’ lady, after all), but also smart content. She has an interest in astronomy, which is clearly visible: She has astronomical tattoos on her knuckles showcased in her photos, and she quotes a physicist and links out to NASA’s website. She thinks this might account for her popularity, saying, “Even if an amazingly attractive girl said something stupid in her profile, she’ll still get messages. So I feel like I’m intelligent and people think I look good, so I guess it’s as simple as that?”

4. Beware the “casual sex” box.

I am both not surprised by this and horrified at my lack of surprise, but when Lauren had the “long-term dating,” “short-term dating,” ‘new friends,” and “casual sex” boxes checked for her “I’m looking for…” selections, her inbox exploded with the dirty talk messages we’ve already noted should be avoided. “At first, I thought if you listed ‘casual sex,’ guys would realize that even though I don’t want to be in a relationship with you, we can still go out, get drinks,” Lauren says. “It’s like, I’m not a prostitute. But they don’t get that.” She eventually had to delete her profile and start again, this time only selecting “long-term dating,” “short-term dating,” and “new friends.”

Should we have to worry about this? No. No, we should not. But apparently we do, which sucks. Unless you’re prepared to deal with an awful lot of unwanted come-ons, it might be best to leave the “casual sex” box unchecked.

5. Break some rules.

Kerry’s profile pictures include bathroom selfies, which are normally labeled cliché no-nos; she also doesn’t have any full-body shots, although — as we learned from Lauren — it’s recommended that you have at least one. There’s something to be said for blazing your own trail, regardless of what the “rules” may be.

6. Be brave — and be yourself.

Kerry created her OKCupid profile, selecting “gay girls only,” two years before she came out to her family (with whom, by the way, she has a terrific relationship). “Some people say, ‘I don’t believe in labels,’” she says. “For me, making the profile and saying ‘I’m gay and I want to meet women was a little scary, but it’s who I am.”

7. Know what you want, and be confident in communicating it.

Kerry says that even though she has “gay girls only” checked, she still gets a lot of messages from straight dudes who want to convert her and straight girls who want to experiment. But, she says, “I’m not interested in being an experiment” — and she sticks to her guns about it.