As confident as you may look in that shirtless photo, women just don’t want to see it on your dating profile. “But I’m so ripped!” Don’t care. “But there’s a cute dog next to me!” Still don’t wanna see it. “But so many women have bikini photos in their profiles!” You know damn well that society has different expectations and values toward women’s bodies.
A recent study conducted by Dating.com, a site affiliated with numerous online dating platforms, recently did the math on the matter. Though 90 percent of men surveyed believe that shirtless photos helped their odds of meeting women, it seems that they actually have the opposite effect.
Even if a match is made, guys with shirtless photos are less likely to reach the next step of the dating process. Per the survey results, 76 percent of women said it’s unlikely they’d even consider a long-term relationship with someone whose first impression involves being topless. The odds of a hookup are low, too, with only 15 percent of women stating they’d be open to it. In the event you’re on a dating site for friendship which… interesting method, I guess… only 9 percent of women want to be friends with Shirtless Photo Man. Still, despite doing more harm than good, nearly 60 percent of men on dating sites include a shirtless photo.
What exactly is the problem with it, though?
For starters, the majority of women surveyed said they found shirtless photos to be evidence of immaturity and a lack of self-awareness. Sure, being fit and good looking can be part of the attraction equation, but when guys show off their bodies on dating sites, it might suggest that they’re primarily interested in looks and physical intimacy alone. “Wait until you get to know more about your online match before starting to show some skin,” the survey press release suggests. “Love isn’t about looks, and leading with shirtless pictures sends the message that appearance is what you value most.”
One possible exception to this is gay men. According to the survey, “Members of the LGBTQ+ community are four times more likely to include a shirtless picture in their dating profile.” While there isn’t yet more data on why exactly this is and how this higher rate of shirtless photos impacts matches, it seems plausible that two shirtless guys could form a match just fine.
From my perspective, the shirtlessness question all comes down to who took the picture. A shirtless selfie is a total no-go, but I could see a group shot of you and your pals in the summertime potentially being acceptable. Across the board, I find that straight men should avoid selfies: Photos taken by another human being are almost always more flattering, even if only because they imply that you know another human.
Sure, it’s a total double standard that women can take all the selfies they want, but here in this moment there is simply nothing I can do about that. Include all the shirtless photos in your dating profile you want, just know that you’re hurting your odds. Quality over quantity, though, right?