Dating, both online and off is about playing to your strengths, and it should be no different for men with muscles, even if the classic pose is kinda hard to take: After weeks of sorting through pictures, I started calling these guys headless horsemen.
An interesting caveat here is that a six-pack does seem to have a short shelf life: the effectiveness of the “abs pic” decreases sharply with age..
For women, a smile isn’t strictly better: she actually gets the most messages by flirting directly into the camera, like the center and right-hand subjects above.
For interested readers, I explain our measurement process, and how we collected our data, at the end of the post.
To wit: a journalist was visiting our office recently, and when we told her we were researching user photos, the first thing she said was “please tell me people hate it when guys show off their abs.” We hadn’t finished running the numbers yet, so we confidently reassured her that people did. Of course, there is some self-selection here: the guys showing off their abs are the ones with abs worth showing, and naturally the best bodies get lots of messages.
So we can’t recommend this photo tactic to every man.
In the future perhaps we can investigate what’s behind the decline: is it because older guys and their older abs are inherently less attractive, or because women as they age find body shots less interesting?
One final point, vis à vis men, their torsos, and the clothing thereupon: if you’re not the type of guy who can show off your muscles, don’t veer off in the opposite direction and get all dressed up.