Wednesday, September 28, 2011

OKCupid Reader Mailbag: How to make a good profile


I gotta be honest man. You have the best profile I've ever read. Both in terms of being well-written, paced and humorous, and also as probably able to wrangle in more women than any other jerkoff profile I've seen. Respect.

That being said, I'm curious if you could give me your thoughts on my profile. I know it's kind of a lame thing to ask, but fuck it, you get it. Do you have any advice for me on how to better attract chicks on here?

OK, well first of all, thank you for saying such nice things. I like my profile, too. I get a lot of these emails because of reddit users briefly discussing me months ago. And most of my visitors are dudes from out of state. So, thanks guys. I wish you were nubile young women from Southern California, but, fuck it. At least someone gives a shit.

But I should tell you-- I get an incoming email from an actual girl in my age range about once every two weeks. If this is in fact the best profile on the entirety of OKCupid, and I am a six foot one athletically built white guy who is gainfully employed in a major metropolis, and this is the unsolicited message yield one can expect from an "original" and "humorous" profile, men are genuinely fucked. Plus my response rate on outgoing emails is about fifty per cent, my phone number rate when I ask this fifty percent for it is about fifty percent, the call back rate when I leave a message is about fifty per cent, and the amount of dates that actually result in sexual intercourse or wanting to see the other person again is fifty per cent, and so on. I am in a Zeno's paradox of pussy where you are walking halfway of halfway of halfway along a wall forever and by the time all the hoops are jumped through the possibility of having an actual relationship is functionally zero. So even if this profile is so fucking great, it's like-- the most lethal Nerf weapon ever invented. There's just not much you can do.

But still. It is good, for what it is. If nothing else, having a funny profile certainly distinguishes you from the rest of the community who are just boring the girls to tears. So, if you want to have a profile like mine, here's how to do it:

Get up an hour early every morning and sit down and make your fingers move on a keyboard until you have to go to work. DO NOT deliberately set out to write an OKCupid profile essay, just write about random shit, or how much your job sucks, or how much you're dreading your visit from your mother, or how your cat ate a gopher and then puked up its bones on your curtains. Write about how you are incensed that the rest of your D & D group wants to switch to 4th edition when you are the wizard and the whole point of playing a wizard was to be underpowered at low levels and then grossly overpowered at high levels and this has all been reduced to a formless mush where all the characters, even the fighters, have fifteen special abilities each that are functionally exactly like wizard spells, and plus you have to buy a whole new set of books and magic missile doesn't always hit anymore and the damage calculations for spells like fireball are just made so middle of the road and "balanced," no more of those ridiculous advances that suddenly turn your character into a badass at level five. And your intelligence modifier contributes to armor class, now-- really! Because you are smart enough to dodge blows? You read a book about how to duck from swords are something, so you no longer get to satisfyingly roleplay a character who is a master of the arcane arts but crazily susceptible to physical blows and can easily be taken out if he's standing in back and the party's thief failed a perception check for any kobolds flanking the party from behind, you know.

Anyway, write about shit like this for an hour for like five days. The trick is doing it long enough that you can get out of the "don't think about polar bears" phenomenon of remembering that this is for your OKCupid profile and just have legitimate, honest observations about life experiences flowing out of you. Then at the end of five days look over what you have and cut and paste whatever your favorite paragraphs are that are remotely germane to "six things I could never do without," etc. Tweak them a little to make them fit the question.

Ultimately, and this is a massive fucking cliche, but it comes down to show don't tell. The more you try to reveal, the more you make a point to reveal, the less you actually reveal. The more you have an on-the-nose discussion about your goals and aspirations in life, the more it feels like a sales brochure and one begins to suspect that your goals and aspirations are the exact opposite. You (the general "you," not you in particular, letter writer) come across as some bullshit advertiser-friendly simulacrum of yourself. And that dishonesty reads as chickenshit. It reads, to me at least, as shame about who you actually are. It reads like you have something to hide.

I know I'm shooting myself in the foot by admitting that virtually no girls actually message me, because look, now don't take my advice-- but-- there are such depths within people, you know. Such interesting stories. And they never want to show them on here; they want to give the sanitized version because they're afraid of scaring people away. Well, the good thing to know about OKC is that you are starting from nothing. Just being a dude who doesn't look like 1994 Casper van Dien has already scared them away. You literally have nothing to lose. You might as well crack yourself up, and if you can get a couple laughs out of people, maybe they will be the kind of people who will not be put off by your giving the list of the top ten abortions you've caused over a glass of Pinot, you know, and then maybe coming home and making it number eleven.

Anyway, long story short: take down all the shit that comes right out and says what you're like and put up random funny shit that is seemingly unrelated to the profile essay topics but is, in its honesty, revealing of who you actually are. Do this well, and you will still not get emails from women. It will make no difference. But you will get noticed by dudes from across the country who mistakenly think you get laid all the time. And really, other guys thinking you get laid is what life is all about.


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