The Big Lies People Tell In Online Dating

July 7th, 2010 by Christian Rudder

Nerds. As we all know, the Internet is a great place to pretend to be someone you're not. For instance, here's me in Second Life having a great time:

Anyhow, in many online situations, self-misrepresentation is totally harmless. Like, who cares if your Halo 3 avatar is taller than you are in real life? Or if flickr thinks you're single when you're really married? But in online dating, where the whole goal is to eventually meet other people in person, creating a false impression is a whole different deal.

People do everything they can in their OkCupid profiles to make themselves seem awesome, and surely many of our users genuinely are. But it's very hard for the casual browser to tell truth from fiction. With our behind-the-scenes perspective, we're able to shed some light on some typical claims and the likely realities behind them.

Let's get started.

"I'm 6 feet tall."

REALITY: People are two inches shorter in real life.

This whole post was inspired by an amusing graph we stumbled across while trying to answer the question Do taller guys have more sex? The answer, to a degree, is yes, and I'll expand on that in a little bit. But in this case what was more interesting than the sex was the (supposed) tallness of the guys.

The male heights on OkCupid very nearly follow the expected normal distribution—except the whole thing is shifted to the right of where it should be. You can see it better when we overlay the implied best fit below (pardon the technical language):

Almost universally guys like to add a couple inches. You can also see a more subtle vanity at work: starting at roughly 5' 8", the top of the dotted curve tilts even further rightward. This means that guys as they get closer to six feet round up a bit more than usual, stretching for that coveted psychological benchmark.

When we looked into the data for women, we were surprised to see height exaggeration was just as widespread, though without the lurch towards a benchmark height:

On a somewhat humbling personal note, I just went back and looked at my own profile, and apparently I list myself at 5' 11". Really, I'm a touch under 5' 10". Hmmm.

. . .

As for whether it even makes sense for people to make such an obvious and easily disproved exaggeration, the jury is out. We've found that taller people, up to a point, have more sex:

But as far as messages go, shorter women actually seem to get more attention:

These are the average weekly unsolicited message totals by height; you can think of these as the number of times a person is "hit on" out of the blue each week on OkCupid. a 5' 4" woman gets 60 more contacts each year than a six-footerThe genders are plotted on different scales because of the eternal fact that men almost always make the first move, so women get many more unsolicited messages.

It's plain from these two charts that women six feet or taller are either less attractive to men or are considered too intimidating to message. The data also raises the interesting possibility that these tall women are much more likely to sleep with a man who does approach them. Compare the 6' 0" woman to her 5' 4" counterpart: the taller woman gets hit on about two-thirds as much, yet has had slightly more sex partners.

"I make $100,000 a year."

REALITY: People are 20% poorer than they say they are.

Apparently, an online dater's imagination is the best performing mutual fund of the last 10 years. Here's what people are saying on OkCupid, versus what their incomes should be:

Use the slider to watch as people exaggerate more as they get older. As you can see, people advertise disproportionately high salaries for themselves. Just to pick a symbolic amount, there are consistently 4× the number of people making $100K a year than there should be.

Note that in formulating the "expected" lines for each age we were very careful to adjust for OkCupid's particular demographics: we compared every individual against the average not just by age but by zip code. Here a breakdown by gender of the exaggeration rates:

A woman may earn 76 cents on the dollar for the same work as a man, but she can fabricate, like, 85 cents no problem.

As a public service, we've decided to make our income calculations available. The following widget will calculate the statistically expected income of your potential matches; you give it a gender, an age, and a zip code, and it'll spit out a salary. Then you can confront your dates about exactly how much money they probably do or don't make. Fun!

. . .

We did a little investigating as to whether a person's stated income had any real effect on his or her online dating experience. Unsurprisingly, we found that it matters a lot, particularly for men. This is a by-age messaging distribution:

These bold colors contain a subtle message: if you're a young guy and don't make much money, cool. If you're 23 or older and don't make much money, go die in a fire. It's not hard to see where the incentive to exaggerate comes from.

"Here's a recent pic."

REALITY: The more attractive the picture, the more likely it is to be out-of-date.

The above picture, for example, was over two years old when it was uploaded. How do we know? Most modern cameras append text tags to the jpgs they take. These tags, called EXIF metadata, specify things like the exposure and f-stop settings, gps information if your camera has it, and, of course, the time and date the photo was taken. This is how programs like iPhoto know when (and sometimes where) you've taken your pictures.

Analyzing this stuff, we found that most of the pictures on OkCupid were of recent vintage; site-wide the median photo age at upload was just 92 days. However, hotter photos were much more likely to be outdated than normal ones. Here's a comparison (the age of a picture below is how old it was when it was uploaded to our site):

As you can see, over a third of the hottest photos on the site are a year old or more. And more than twice as many hot photos are over three years old (12%) as average-looking ones (5%), which makes sense because people are more inclined to cling to the pics that make them look their best

Another useful (if somewhat unorthodox) way to take in this graph is to follow the horizontal gridlines. If you trace out from "20%", for example, you can see that 1 in 5 average-looking photos is at least a year old, meanwhile, among the hot photos, nearly 1 in 5 is at least two years old.

It also turns out that older people also upload older photos:

The upshot here is, if you see a good-looking picture of a man over 30, that photo is very likely to be out-of-date. Not to get personal again, but my own OkCupid photo shows a Burberry-dressed 27 year-old, strumming away on his guitar. Meanwhile, I turn 35 in a couple months and am writing this post in the same shorts and tee-shirt I've been wearing for a week. Time waits for no man, unless that man doesn't update his personal information.

"I'm bisexual."

REALITY: 80% of self-identified bisexuals are only interested in one gender.

OkCupid is a gay- and bi-friendly place and it's not our intention here to call into question anyone's sexual identity. But when we looked into messaging trends by sexuality, we were very surprised at what we found. People who describe themselves as bisexual overwhelmingly message either one sex or the other, not both as you might expect. Site-wide, here's how it breaks out:

This suggests that bisexuality is often either a hedge for gay people or a label adopted by straights to appear more sexually adventurous to their (straight) matches. You can actually see these trends in action in the chart below.

Again, this is just the data we've collected. We'd be very interested in our bisexual users' thoughts on this single-sex-messaging phenomenon, so if you'd like to weigh-in please use the comments section. Please note, everybody, that we don’t assume that bis should be “into both genders equally.” We only assume that they should be into both genders at all. The swaths of red and blue that you see in these sexuality charts represent people who message only one gender. The purple areas are people who send any messages, in whatever proportion, to both men and women.

In this chart, throughout the teens and twenties, the male bisexual population is mostly observably gay men. By the mid-thirties, it seems, most of these men are more comfortable self-identifying as gay and have left the bi population. By the end of our chart, 3 of every 4 bi males on OkCupid are observably straight. Meanwhile, the proportion of men who message both women and other men holds fairly steady.

The proportions for women are more consistent over time:

12% of women under 35 on OkCupid (and the internet in general, I'd wager) self-identify as bi. However, as you can see above, only about 1 in 4 of those women is actually into both guys and girls at the same time. I know this will come as a big letdown to the straight male browsing population: three-fourths of your fantasies are, in fact, fantasies of a fantasy. Like bi men, most bi women are, for whatever reason, not observably bi. The primacy of America's most popular threesome, two dudes and an Xbox, is safe.

. . .

In gathering data for this last section on sexuality, we found so much interesting stuff that we're making it the topic of our next post. We'll look at the messaging, searching, and stalking (!) patterns of gay, bi, and straight people and see what else we can learn about the sexual continuum. Until then, no lie: thanks for reading.

842 Responses to “The Big Lies People Tell In Online Dating”

  1. Logic Sheriff says:

    OF COURSE one would expect older people to have older pics, even if the motivation isn’t deception. How much does a person’s appearance typically change from50 to 55, as compared to from 20 to 25? It’s the 10 year old pics (and there are A LOT of ‘em) that crack me up.

    Also, they didn’t include people who don’t specify their income, which one can do for any of many reasons (most of which apply to low income or high income). Be interesting to see THEIR stats.

  2. BPooleAZ says:

    Wow. Lie at your peril, imo.

    As soon as I find out someone has lied about ANYTHING in an online dating profile – whether it’s personality traits, age, income, height – it’s a deal breaker.

    One exception (sort of) is body type. It’s a little subjective. What one person considers ‘average’ might be ‘thin’ to someone else and ‘curvy’ to another.

    I recently dated a woman whose entire profile was pretty much a lie – Laid back? Not. Honest and straightforward? Not. Active? Not. Comfortable in her skin? Horribly NOT.

    My profile is all me. What you see is what you get. My pictures are all less than a year old, and the ones that show my face or body include dates.

    So, please don’t lie, ladies. I want to meet who I THINK I am meeting. And lies are a pretty big indicator of insecurity, imo. Huge turn-off.

  3. artsyactivist (michele) says:

    re: bisexuality.

    Okay, I think you guys are a bit confused and miseducated when it comes to bisexuality. Just because a bisexual person choose to message only one sex opposed to both, does not mean that they are not bisexual. You can be bisexual where you are attracted to both sexes but still have a stronger preference towards one sex. It doesn’t make you straight or gay.

    Now does barsexuality where basically a straight (typically woman) is saying they are bisexual to get the attention from the boys exist? hell yes. but barsexuality is not the same as bisexuality.

    It is also possible that the bisexual user just happens to find more interesting people of one sex on this site then the other sex.

    It does not suggest that 80% of people who say they are bisexual on this site are lying.

    This article really pissed off and offended the bisexual community (a fellow activist when hearing that I just created a profile passed on this article to me).

  4. Faith Cheltenham says:

    Yup. Still waiting on OKC to do a real survey on bisexuality not based on their assumptions. HOW MANY USERS MSG BOTH GENDERS? Without even reading the bisexuality wikipedia page, OKC made a real assumption about bi folks and then followed it up with some treacherous math. Unfortunately, I fear bi folks can no longer champion the site as being wonderfully bi inclusive.

  5. BPooleAZ says:

    Yeah, that whole thing about who bisexual people message seemed a little weird. My son is bisexual, but he lives with his girlfriend. Admittedly, when he was in junior high school he said he was bi, then in high school he thought he was gay, then he came home with a girlfriend one day a few years ago – so there was some confusion along the way. But just because he lives with a girl doesn’t mean he’s not bi.

    I have looked at a few profiles of OKC men and a few have looked at mine. I guess that makes us bisexual. Hehe. Or maybe we’re just trying to appear more sexually adventurous. lol.

  6. Dharma56 says:

    This blog is a hoot.

    If you say you are 25 and you are really 45, that might be a problem.
    49 when you are really 52, probably not.
    If you say you make 100,000 and you really make 35,000, that might be a problem.
    75,000 when you really make 50,000, probably not.
    If you say you are 5′ 10″ and you are really 5′ 2″ that might be a problem.
    6 feet when you are really 5′ 10″, probably not.

    Of course, people lie on the Internet. It’s the Internet. It’s fun, it can be a fantasy, or can be a start to something real, or something real fun.

    Enter this human social interaction with few expectations and see what it can be, instead of what you want or hope it to be.

  7. Charlie says:

    I wonder how those bi charts would line up if you added a queer option for sexuality? I have read so many profiles that say “Actually, I’m queer”. And I have bounced myself back and forth between “gay” and “bi” because there is no “I’m not interested in straight folks” option.

  8. Cheshie213 says:

    I think that a lot of times bisexuals will come on here looking for a particular sex. I am bisexual, but am on here specifically to find a girl. I was a bit offended b this, but I guess I see where they are coming from. But sayng its a lie is pretty rude.

  9. AmarisSkye says:

    I am pansexual but listed as bi on OkCupid. I message both sexes but I tend to get an overwhelming amount of messages from men. I am not interested in dating men at the moment or meeting them on line because I already meet plenty in my day to day life. If I had my choice I would only receive messages from women even though I like both because men are far easier to pick up in my day to day life.

  10. xpfcwintergreen says:

    Regarding height, I’m 5’7″ (which I accurately list) and I wanted to comment on the taller women getting fewer messages trend. I don’t filter by height at all, but usually if I see someone interesting and she’s over 5’9″ or so, her profile usually includes “you are taller than me” as one of the messaging criteria so even if she otherwise seemed great I don’t send a message. Also, when I do decide to send a message, my response rate to anyone above 5’7″ is still much lower than when it’s 5’7″ and below.

    Relating this to the other topic, my personal experience is that more bisexual women care less about height than straight women so I end up with better luck with them.

  11. ss says:

    People shouldn’t be so quick to make a big deal. The important point is that computer monitors limit how people can represent themselves. Seems more like it started a conversation based on Statistical Facts. Now the interpretations are right for some people and not right for others. The point is, isn’t it better to have this information open to the public so we can have the conversation vs locked away because people take things too personally? Let’s try to see the bigger picture!

  12. Alikah says:

    I’m a self Identified “bi” woman. I’ve actually slept with a few women, and hen it comes to random fooling around, I can easily go both ways. Here’s the issue though, I have very hard time maintaining long term relationships with women, even just friendships. I am sexually attracted to woman, but I get better emotional connections with men. It’s just my personality. Also there never seems to be as many bi/gay women on this site, or at least that come up in my matches search.

    But to sum up my view on my bisexuality, because of all the “difficult” women I’ve met, I tend to be attracted to 1 woman for every 4-5 guys I’m attracted to, physically, and very rarely do I meet one I really connect with emotionally. Women are for fun, guys are for fun and have the possibility of something more serious.

  13. alguna_rubia says:

    I’m a bisexual chick, and I just want to point out that the reason I hardly ever contact chicks is the fact that there’s very few of them compared to guys on this site.

  14. Orangejelly says:

    I’m a bisexual woman, married 11 years to a bisexual man, we both have particular tastes when it comes to attraction of the sexes and we both agree… women are more attractive! Most men I see are drones and lack character (on the outside, no offence intended) and grooming. Online you can judge (which is probably not always a good thing lol) what’s attractive before you say hello. Therefore I would only generally chat and message one gender on sites like this. (This does not reflect on my real world and ‘gender’ preferences!!

  15. 123 says:

    The biased bi messaging graphs seem to show something interesting.
    http://cdn.okcimg.com/blog/lies/BiMenMessaging.png
    http://cdn.okcimg.com/blog/lies/BiWomenMessaging.png
    After 48-50 yo, messages shift more toward women. That despite the standard opinion that women lose attractiveness at middleage, while middleage men hold their attractiveness

    hey, have you ever tried two xboxes and a dude? or a ps, xbox and a dude? wink wink, nudge nidge, know what i mean, eh?

  16. joe0715 says:

    shit dude, I guess I’m the idiot here: I’m actually 5’6″, and my profile lists that (and not 5’8″), should I lie, expecting that women think I’m 5’4″? I don’t list my income, it doesn’t matter to me as a noteworthy dating stat, but should I just lie and say $100,000 to ‘ballpark’ it (pretty big fucking ball park though)? And I actually am straight, and would prefer to date someone who’s already made up their minds about their sexual identity, but would lying help? I think my profile pic is pretty recent, and in any event, I actually do look like the guy in the picture, so WTF?

    Seems to me it’s pretty effing stupid to make shit up, since you’re going to find out eventually, and since there’s a surplus of women who have no issue with casual sex (I don’t, either), if that’s what dudes are looking for, so really? I guess I should just lie my ass off, and hope whoever matches w/me is a math dummy, and can’t tell 5’6″ from 5’8″? But who the hell wants to date a liar?

    Again, WTF ppl?

  17. Lalia says:

    I am a self-identified bisexual (though lately I changed my orientation to ‘gay’ on OkCupid). I do message only women on the site, because GOD KNOWS I ALREADY MEET ENOUGH STRAIGHT MEN everywhere else.

    It is so hard to approach women in person because you never know if they’ll be offended… it’s so hard to tell if they are gay/bi. But on this site, I know before I contact them.

    I have sex with more men than women (about 65/35), so how dare you say, “Well, she messages only women on our site, so she’s really gay.” It’s presumptuous to assume that your site (though useful) is the SOLE method people have of meeting and pursuing relationships/hookups. So to say that I’m “only interested in one gender” is just a stupid, stupid conclusion all around.

  18. Caitlin says:

    Your stat methods are robust; my apologies for those of your readers who can’t properly read and interpret an analysis. I read this blog just cause your large sample sizes and interesting questions make me happy- I’m not an online dater.

  19. sydney says:

    RE: Bisexuality

    There are OTHER terms besides bisexual that you do not include on OKC, such as heteroflexible or homoflexible, If you go read some threads in the forums, allot of people really do want more gender/sexuality options.

  20. incredipants says:

    This very well may have been mentioned, but I don’t have the patience to sift through all the comments…
    As far as bisexuals messaging a single gender: I have encountered a good chunk of profiles that are set up by a couple (but just representing one person) seeking a third person, either to fool around with or include in an actual relationship or some variation… So, it would make sense that they only message one gender.

  21. tony says:

    Now, does this mean, if I honestly post my height and income, women are automatically going to assume that I’m shorter and poorer?

  22. Shellac Fanatic says:

    Christian-

    At what time of day did you measure yourself? If your declared height was measured at the doctor’s office in the morning and your double-check was in the evening, that would completely explain the inch variance. Gravity compresses our spine throughout the day and we end up shorter when we retire than the height we woke up with. Astronauts on long-duration missions grow several inches (is that why space suits look loose on them?) over their flight and compress down to their “normal” (1G) height not so long after they land.

  23. Ashley says:

    ditto to lalia’s comment.

    plus – i changed my status back to “gay” after a brief stint advertising my true bi identity because i got too many creepy messages from straight guys. it’s tough out there for a bi girl. especially because by claiming gay on my profile, i put myself in the awkward position of having to out myself as bi to any gay women i might meet on the site. this can impact dating because many of the gay identified women put on their profiles that they are interested in “gay girls only.” grrr… research that please!

  24. Romello says:

    On an online dating site, a person probably has about 3-5 seconds to
    catch your attention with their profile.
    And there’s A LOT of competition.

    But don’t make your profile out, like your “Too good to be true.”
    and your the perfect catch…no one is perfect…
    Also don’t write your life story in their either..
    no one is gonna sit there and read it all..haha
    Just put enuff about yourself to get someone attention,
    and get them wanting to know more about you..

    If your a little overweight.. if your short..
    not too smart… not sociable… so the f*ck what..
    Just have confidence in yourself, and people will see that..

    Bottom line is.. You be you, the rest will take care of itself.. :-)

  25. Anon says:

    I’m a female who identifies as bisexual. I only message women on okcupid because I meet plenty of men in real life. I have trouble finding women who are interested in women and use the site for that purpose.

  26. hotnoisehoney says:

    There needs to be more options for listing your sexual identity than just straight, bi, and gay! A pansexual and/or queer option would be very helpful. “Bisexuality” reinforces the idea that there are only two genders. What about all the trans and intersexed people out there? Or what about those of us who are just open to everything? Maybe a heteroflexible option should be in place too?

  27. Jeff says:

    In the end, the usefulness of a dating website is whether it connects people to those they would like to be with. For an older man, say 55+, they’re playing the game of younger people here. As a man, I’ve found that women around my age have a rather fixed idea of who they prefer. Someone with about 15 interests, many expensive, and a wonderful personality untarnished by life. There don’t seem to be many younger women on here who are interested in an older man, despite the fact there might be advantages given the number of complaints younger women make about men their age.

  28. AmandaPanda says:

    A bisexual doesn’t have to date both genders to be bisexual. Identifying as bisexual just means you are attracted to both genders. That might vary in the ways they are attracted, such as romantically, physically, socially, etc. Identifying as bisexual and only dating one gender does not make them any less bisexual if they are still attracted to both. It would only be deceptive to tell people you are monosexual when in fact, you are bisexual, even if not in dating rituals.

  29. absolutedestiny says:

    Well, I’m bisexual, and I message mostly women on this site because I already get enough attention from men in my offline life. That’s only one of many possible explanations, though.

  30. Emily says:

    I just saw this, and as a woman who formerly listed herself as bi, I feel I ought to weigh in..

    I’m technically bisexual, but I am only really looking at women because
    a) I have a boyfriend already (we’re in an open relationship) and I’ve had limited actual sexual experience with women, and I’m curious
    b) all things being equal, I definitely have a preference for women, it just doesn’t rule out falling in love with/wanting to have sex with a man and
    c) men are easy, in real life and OkC, sorry to be blunt… When it comes to men, I’d rather date a man that I know and have developed feelings for in real life. This is true for women too but they’re a bit more complicated in that regard and so I joined OkC to help. Before I realized I liked women and I was living as a straight girl, it never even would have occurred to me to join a dating site.

    Anyway, I eventually just changed my profile to gay.

  31. Esha says:

    People also lie about their age. That is totally pissing off. They’ll tell you that they are around 25-26 but they actually turn out to be desperate uncles out there. =/ sad!

  32. Luke says:

    I think the most worrying thing there is the trend on messages versus income. Are people really that shallow?

  33. Maddy says:

    When compiling the data about who bisexual people messaged, were you including just initial messages, or including replies?

    I am bisexual, but I set up this site SPECIFICALLY to meet women. Men are easy to meet in real life, and I’ve never flirted with a guy and then discovered that he was gay. I HAVE, however, flirted with many, many women who turned out to be straight. And even bisexual/lesbian women can be hard to flirt with, as you have to be pretty direct for them to be sure you’re interested in more than friendship. You basically have to say, “hi, I’m bisexual and I would love to date you.” Men on the other hand, you smile and they practically dry hump your leg. This is a generalization, but it usually holds true.

    At first on the profile, I said I was ONLY interested in women, but all the messages I got were from men. And the women did not reply to my messages. So, I eventually started replying to the male messages, though I never actually initiate communication with men on this site.

  34. fanny says:

    TO: Joe0715 DUDE, ARE YOU – IN REALITY – TOM CRUISE?

  35. Toddd says:

    artsyactivist must be miseducated herself not understanding the disclaimer this article gives, for being an activist you think she would learn to read better, and to also take on such a generalization herself, giving herself the power to speak on behalf of the bisexual community, I was forwarded this article by bisexual peers who found it interesting with the understanding of the disclaimers given in the article.

  36. Lisa says:

    So, I’m definitely listed on okc as bi, but I *do* talk to way more guys on the site than girls. I get the impression more guys use the site than girls do, or at least, I’ve found more guys than girls. I’d be interested in a study that takes the ratio of men to women (or straight men to queer women – in the instance of bisexual women) into consideration.

    =D

  37. cj says:

    What about age? I KNOW (especially men) lie about their age online!!!

  38. Honey says:

    I already knew that a lot of men round up their height as they approach six feet. I’m 6’1″, and the number of guys I’ve met who say they are six feet tall, and yet can’t look me in the eye is telling. For some reason lying about your height really annoys me, even more than fudging age or income. I don’t mind dating guys who are shorter than me, since most guys are. If you fudge your height by more than three inches, it’s going to be obvious as soon as we meet that you lied.

  39. Fede_Italy says:

    Hello,

    Reading your blog entries, it seems that many bisexual women tend to state they’re gay because they get too many messages from straight men in OKC.

    The statistics were about “who is lying in OKC,” not “who is a plain liar”? It wasn’t meant to be abusive.

    How is stating you’re gay when you’re actually bisexual NOT a lie?

    You may have your reasons to do that, but it is – technically – a lie, as regards the site.

  40. Redwomyn83 says:

    I think your “study” is biased when it comes to reporting on bisexual people. Personally, I believe that bisexual can encompass more than just being equally attracted to both sexes. I think a lot of bisexuals may go through different parts of their lives where they’re attracted to one sex more than another. But aside from that, back to my original statement, I’ve noticed that as a bi woman on your site, I get a lot more suggestions on who I match with and should message for men as opposed to women. Maybe it’s because in the past I’ve messaged more men or viewed more male profiles, so OKC may look at it as “oh, she’s more interested in guys” instead of “oh, we keep suggesting men to her, therefore she’s more likely to look at male profiles.” Duh! So maybe you should look at your methods before just assuming that the numbers speak for themselves.

  41. splice says:

    My profile says I’m bi because I am.

    I only message women because I have no problem meeting men in “the real world”. I’m just a woman with a lousy gaydar. Doesn’t make me a liar.

  42. Jamie says:

    Just because you’re into both genders equally doesn’t mean you want to message both genders on OKC. Not just equally, but at all. I’ve met women who have dated men, are interested in dating only women at the moment, and sign up for OKC at that point in their lives. (There are also a fair amount of bisexual women I’ve met on OKC that list themselves as gay because they’re only interested in women at the moment.) Also, sometimes guys are straight-up obnoxious in online dating and you just don’t want to deal with that. And everything I’ve said for bisexual women only messaging women, I’m sure you could flip around for bisexual women only messaging men. I’m just not meeting those women and hearing their stories because… I’m not a dude. I can’t speak for bisexual male users. Anyway, there are a lot of reasons for bisexual people to do what they do, and bi-policing by going “but if you’re reaaaaaaally bisexual, you shoooould be messaging BOTH genders at least a LITTLE” is lame, lame, lame.

  43. nf says:

    I’m sure this has been brought up before, but bisexual people don’t always approach or have sex/relationships with both genders in equal proportions. Beyond that, it’s often just easier to go one way or the other, for social reasons, and because bisexuality is *sooo* stigmatized. Heterosexuals don’t welcome bisexuals into their communities with open arms, and frankly, all too often, neither do homosexuals.

    Some bisexual women may also be less comfortable messaging or “internet dating” men than they are women. I’d be much more inclined to meet up with a random woman from the internet than a random man. Some bisexual women may be using the internet to seek out men only, because many people think of internet dating as “cruising” for sex, and it’s much easier to pick up guys this way than it is girls.

    It should also be taken into consideration that a lot of self-identified lesbians have bisexual tendencies, but many lesbian communities are not welcoming to these impulses. I can very easily envision women in homosexual relationships going online to flirt with men, because they aren’t comfortable doing it in real life (even though they’d like to).

    Personally, I’m 100% bisexual (if there were a “10” for bisexuality on the Kinsey scale, there’s be picture of me next to it), but I do end up dating/in long-term relationships with men rather than women. There are quite a few reasons for this: 1) as others have pointed out, men are easy. In my experience they are easy to approach and it’s easy to know what they want out of a relationship- they’ll usually tell you point blank. 2) I tend to share more common interests with men, and most of my friends are male. 3) It’s just plain easier to live in a way that comes across “straight” than it is to take on the stigma of being with a woman. 4) I tend to enjoy being in longterm relationships with men better, and have more of a 2-D sexual interest in women.

    So there are all sorts of confounding factors you could look to before you simply explain away bisexuality using dating website habits.

  44. Chris says:

    Umm to all of you bi people complaining about this and are offended yall seriously need to get a life. If you are offended by statistical research based on whats in your profile and your activity on here something is seriously wrong and you dont deserve a date. as far as more catagories WTH do you need more catagories for theres only 3 types of sexuality gay, bi, and straight it cant get any simpler than that. I read that sombody wants a queer catagory. WTH!? call me stupid but dosent queer mean gay. I mean thats what I call fags. I’m no homophob or anything and i dont mean any disrespect but seriously stop trying to complicate something simple just cus your confused and your life is complicated. My bitching is done.

  45. R.Wiccan says:

    Common wisdom is that men exaggerate their height and women minimize their weight. We’ve seen the results for men and height. OKC, what are the results for women and weight? How much fudging is going on?

    P.S. to everyone: The more honest you are on this site, the better the chance of a true match, rather than a wishfull thinking / fantasy match that does not last. Be real. Be yourself. Flaws and all. We all have flaws, that is normal for humans of any type. Now pardon me while I count my million$ before I take my private jet to the South Pacific to hang out with Brad Pitt.

  46. John says:

    I am bisexual and I look on the net men instead women because it is easy for me to know girls personally and date with them. Actually, I have a open relationship with a girl and sometimes I date girls that I hook up.
    I am not out of the closet and it is difficult for me to hook up guys face to face and the internet give me the privacy to choose the person I want to have sex.
    Overall, for my personal experience I assumed that most of those guys use the dating sites to get boys for the privacy because maybe they are married, girlfriends, female fuckbuddies, ect. So, don’t say that all of them are not bisexual.

  47. Stuey says:

    There’s an interesting tension in the bisexuality section of this post between the scientist’s tendency to be hesitant — and make lots of clarifications — about what implications can and can’t be drawn from the data (‘observably bi’, etc.) and the blog-writer’s tendency to try to be witty at all costs (‘fantasies of a fantasy’). Which, I think, led to some mistakes and shortsightedness. Including putting a section that itself mostly avoids saying or implying the listed-as-bis are outright lying in an article entitled ‘Big Lies’… Uncarefulness, there. (And also, there’s the ‘should’ of ‘one would expect’, which some people seem to have read as the ‘should’ of moral imperative…? Got to watch out for that.)

    But for those who took the above to mean OK Cupid is not really a bi-friendly site, and therefore should be boycotted, I would like to point out that the post’s authors explictly asked to be educated by their bi readers. So why not rather say they’re trying to be bi-friendly but are a bit ignorant, and that we should help them try to be more knowledgeable and mindful in future?

  48. Stuey says:

    I see an interesting tension in the bisexuality section of this post between the scientist’s tendency to be hesitant — and make lots of clarifications — about what implications can and can’t be drawn from the data (‘observably bi’, etc.) and the blog-writer’s tendency to try to be witty at all costs (‘fantasies of a fantasy’). Which, I think, led to some mistakes and shortsightedness. Including putting a section that itself mostly avoids saying or implying the listed-as-bis are outright lying in an article entitled ‘Big Lies’… Uncarefulness, there. (And also, there’s the ‘should’ of ‘one would expect’, which some people seem to have read as the ‘should’ of moral imperative…? Got to watch out for that.)

    But for those who took the above to mean OK Cupid is not really a bi-friendly site, and therefore should be boycotted, I would like to point out that the post’s authors explictly asked to be educated by their bi readers. So why not rather say they’re trying to be bi-friendly but are a bit ignorant, and that we should help them try to be more knowledgeable and mindful in future?

  49. SoreThumb says:

    “We’ll look at the messaging, searching, and stalking (!) patterns of gay, bi, and straight people and see what else we can learn about the sexual continuum”

    Well?

  50. seth says:

    Where did you get the data for people who get laid? What are the percentages on the y axis for the first graph of height? I like the idea of this article, but it is way too much speculation, and way too much “our scientists made this article.”