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. Lasergirl4 says:

    I think some of you need to take a chill pill. Bi or not, who cares? It is interesting to take a look at data and fun to posit hypothesis to explain it. If someone suggesting people who say they are bi is a way to deal with uncomfortable issues related to sexuality in this fucked up, repressive, ultra religious conservative culture means they are implying they think bisexuals are all lying sacks of shit, is stupid.

    I can’t blame the bi’s for getting their panties in a bunch – issues related to sexuality are complicated – but accusing OKC of being un-friendly to bisexuals is lame. Data is data folks – if you have better information to share, a better theory to explore, great. Otherwise take your sad sack whining complaints to mommy or your therapist.

  2. albert levy says:

    No such thing as bisexual.Bisexual is simply a euphemism for terribly terribly confused.

    Bisexuals are just afraid to sat they are basically homosexual.You can not be both.It just ain’t true.You may have sexual problems and that I can believe.

    Get real.OK?

  3. BeaverEater says:

    I think that older people probably go out less, and therefore participate in fewer pictures. This could be why their pictures are older. I would love to put some recent pics on my profile, but I don’t have any. Just a thought.

  4. isaac says:

    interesting note on the height….. today for the first time since I was 14 I broke out thew tape measure…. 5’8”, barefooted. Since I was 18 I’ve just gone by what people I meet at eye level claim to be, so I’ve been claiming to be 5’10” or 5’9”…..

  5. hu8o says:

    I think it’s rather normal for bisexuals to aim at one gender only in such sites, as I suppose they have a partner of one gender and are looking for a partner of the other gender so that they can express their bisexuality.

  6. RobW says:

    Seems to me there’s several other possible explanation for the odd bi data than assuming bis are misidentifying themselves.

    Look, not everybody uses OkCupid as their only means of meeting people, right? I meet women in “real life” far more often then here. So, maybe some, say, bi men have a social life with other men such that they feel no need to go online to meet other guys- but instead just use OkC to meet women. Or vice-versa.

    Or maybe they’re currently seeing someone (of either gender) and are using the site to meet someone else. There’s no shortage of cheaters on this site after all.

    Or, as I’m sure some have already pointed out, they’re the type who spend a period of time dating one gender only, then switch for a while, then switch back.

    Maybe they use OkC to meet people of one gender and another site, where they can present an entirely different profile, to meet people of another gender.

    That’s just off the top of my head, I’m sure given time I could think of other plausible explanations.

    The important thing to remember is that these statistics aren’t complete: you cannot assume that the online activity of OkC users is the entirety of their social/dating activity.

    Anyway, I don’t see the “exclusively messages the same/opposite sex” data to prove anything for certain, and certainly not proof that bi people aren’t exactly what they claim to be.

    Anyone who insists that they know better what other people, entire groups of people at that, are thinking and feeling and attracted to than the people themselves is an idiot. Your preconceptions and assumptions about a particular group does not and cannot outweigh the reported experiences of the group members themselves. Put your prejudice away and listen to what other people are saying about their own lives.

    (my apologies if this is has all been said before; with 750+ comments it likely has. i’m not slogging through this whole thread.)

  7. ChillPillthat'sme says:

    The deviation from the average doesn’t necessarily indicate lying. At least as far as income goes, is it possible that OkCupid users, particularly in the older age range, are actually more affluent than average?

  8. taluctor says:

    First of all, bisexuality exists like ambidexterity exists–and the comparison is not so far-fetched because handedness has something still obscure to do with sexual orientation (lesbians for example are left-handed at twice the rate of straight women). Bisexuals may be confused, but their confusion is not about internalized homophobia or heterophobia, for that matter–it is that bisexuality is just by its nature more inherently confusing than monosexuality–it should be kind of obvious. And by the way, just check primary source literature prior to 1700 to see male bisexuality in action, before anybody fussed too much over sexual preference as a determinor of identity: it was rife. Check out Reinaldo Arenas’s autobiography, Before Night Falls, to find robustly heterosexual married men with fourteen children by their wife buying the services of male prostitutes in the Cuban rural interior–when female prostitutes were available to them. Oftentimes these men wanted to bottom. Or wanted rougher sex or deeper throating–ie specialties of male sex workers. So to the poster who mouthed the canard about bi’s being phony and confused–try to learn something about your fellow sapiens!
    Using craigslist as my sex-anthropology field work site, it appears that bisexual women AND men who advertise online are typically already partnered to opposite-sex partners. The men are typically married, the women have “a man.” The men are on the down low, looking for either NSA sex or bromance sex, anonymous or very bonded. They often seek symmetry–a happily married man, regular guy &c. The women are about split between having male partners who know about their bi proclivities and those who don’t. Unlike the men, where this seems rare to the point of nonexistent, the women frequently ask for the sought woman partner to do a threesome including the “man” or where the “man” will watch. ERGO, regardless of whether self-identified bisexuals veer more to one sex or the other predominantly–and they often do, or have a different set of feelings for the two sexes, without any symmetry at all–what is seen on dating sites does NOT represent the whole of the poster’s sexuality but only what they are SEEKING in addition to what they’ve already got, to wit, a person of the SAME sex, more often than not. I would bet that a fair percentage of bi’s who are partnered with same sex mates would adventure with opposite-sex partners on occasion or regularly, if they could get away with it psychologically. But gay relationships are far more heterophobic than straight relationships are homophobic. It’s clear why: gays are a tiny minority; and they are a persecuted one, even now. So there are supply/demand issues in infidelity that don’t obtain in straight infidelity, and there are pride and fear issues that also don’t obtain.
    Bottom line: data from dating sites does not map bisexuality very accurately. The one thing that probably is accurate is that a bi man HAS to seek a female partner if he wants children without great trouble, whereas a bi woman needs no man to do likewise. This may account for the thirties surge in female messaging in men who acted primarily gay in their youths. And in old age, both sexes might seek an opposite-sex legal spouse, since gay marriage is generally unavailable. The effect might be more pronounced in men, since women still do most of the caregiving, and caregiving is what one wants from a partner in old age.

  9. andy manchester says:

    @albert levy: wow, ignorant at all?! I hate to break it to you buddy, but there definitely is such a thing as bisexual. I’m a bi male, and I can promise you, I do like both men and women (though admittedly it’s not 50-50). Hell, I think you’d have been closer to the mark if you’d said that there’s no such as straight or gay; sexuality is rarely black or white, it’s more various shades of grey, although a great many people won’t admit to it.

    Anyway, in response to the bi issue in the article; Like I say, I’m bisexual, I really do find both men and women sexually attractive. However, when I was using a dating site a while back, I only contacted women. Why? Well, for a start, I simply prefer women. The focus of my sexuality isn’t split 50-50, I’d say I’m about 80% into women, 20% into men, and therefore I’m statistically more likely to contact women than men, especially when there are numerically far more straight women on dating sites than bi or gay men.

    So, that explains why I’d contact fewer men then. But, why none at all? Well, personally, while I do find some men attractive and I have sex with them, I in fact only actively pursue relationships with women. I’m not interested in a proper relationship with a man, so I don’t contact them on dating sites. I’m too honest to lie and tell the women on there that I’m straight though, so the result is that I say I’m bi, but then I only contact women. I can’t speak for anyone else, but that’s my reasoning, and it has nothing to do with trying to make myself look sexually adventurous.

  10. Elisha Thompson says:

    think the terms for this type of conduct is called rape or assault and battery. The last time I checked it was a criminal offense. These little juvenile punks should be charged with this offense just as any other offender. If you wanna play adult games, you buy an adult ticket. NO school girl should ever be physically assaulted during a date or any other time, period. If these bad boys think they are so bad, how about try assaulting someone besides a defenseless female. Most are probably cowardly little punks.

  11. Sgt_Paul168 says:

    Any of your responders who say there is “no such thing as bisexual” are flat out ignorant of the presumably threatening facts. It’s safe to say if confronted with the Kinsey Scale they’d somethng as incorrect as it is prdidictable about the validity of the study and it’s conclusions. My Bisexual friends laugh at such people saying they give “monosexuals” a bad name.

  12. V-bear says:

    I find it amusing that people say bisexuality is not real. I am listed as bisexual because it is closest to what I am which is pansexual. One who is pansexual does not have “phases” like bi’s. We love humans. We go where the connection is greatest. If a man and a woman are both interested in me, and I in them, I will swing towards the one who is more likely to meet what I am looking for. End of story.

    But anyway, what should it matter to you what someone is? You worry about your own sexual preference and let others be. Done,next. :)

  13. vvvv says:

    I’m a bi woman and I’ll tell you why I use okcupid – It’s easy for me to meet men interested in women (90% of the male population). It’s much harder to meet gay or bisexual women (10% of the female population), and that’s where a utility like okcupid comes in. So people on okc messaging only one gender may be legitimately bi, but they only need help meeting that one gender.

  14. Christine says:

    As a bisexual, I can help you out with why some may only talk to one gender. As a female, I can walk down the street and get hit on a guy very easily, but not by a women because most people assume I’m straight. Therefore, I don’t need an online dating site to find men, only to find lesbian or bisexual women. I can assume the men I’m attracted to in “real life” are into women (even if I’m not 100% accurate), while I certainly can’t assume the women I’m attracted to are into women. It is more difficult for individuals attracted to the same-sex to find partners of this kind, especially if not living in large cities. One of my problems was that I live in a small rural town that is not very diverse or LGBT-friendly. Almost all lesbian and bisexual women I talked to on OK Cupid were at least an hour away, most an hour and a half away. That is just not suitable for a relationship, especially for my type of job. In addition, I never really had to message too many men because I was constantly bombarded with messages from them. I was lacking with messages from women, so I probably spent more of my energy messaging females. Although I’m a bisexual who did message both men and women, I hope you all can understand the reasons why some (true) bisexuals would only message one gender. Although bisexuality is a real sexual orientation, not everyone who identified themselves as bisexual on Ok Cupid were actually bisexual. Unfortunately, in my opinion, many females who are straight claim to be bisexual for the attention from men, or who may be attracted to women on occasion but have never had any intention of ever dating one. I have run into females’ profiles on Ok Cupid who claimed to be bisexual and after reading their summary realize they would probably be grossed out by me messaging them in a relationship-context because their “looking for” and “interests” seemed to scream “boys, boys, boys.” I was even told several times by men that they found my profile to be refreshing because they knew I was a “real bisexual” because I discussed my interest in LGBT rights and activism.

  15. Christine says:

    In addition to my earlier comment about why many bisexuals only contact one gender…

    I would just like to say that it would be lying for bisexuals to not say that they are bisexual, even if we are looking to date a particular gender at that time of our life, or just looking for one gender online (because the other gender is easy to contact in off-line life).

    I personally joined the site to only look for women (because I have enough men hitting on me and I don’t know any lesbian/bisexual women in my area), but I’m not about to say that I’m gay because A) I’m not, that would be lying, and I’m proud of my identity and B) A lot of lesbian women won’t date bisexual women. There can be some fear of bisexual women in the eyes of some lesbians, which makes me very sad, but it’s true. I refuse to date a lesbian or straight man who does not like me for me which includes my sexual orientation because it does affect a lot of who I am as a person. Just because people who identify as bisexual on OKCupid only contact one gender does not mean they are lying. In fact, most people are choosing to be honest, instead of putting “gay” or “straight,” even if only looking to message one gender.

  16. KoalaVered says:

    I identify, on OKC and out in the “real world”, as a bisexual woman. I have done so for the last seven or eight years. My reason for using OKC *right now* is to find a girlfriend. This is because I don’t meet lesbians or bisexual women in my day-to-day life, while on the other hand guys hit on me on a fairly regular basis (lets call it three times a month, on average; yeah, that’s a lot, based on my past experience) so I can afford to be much more lax when it comes to *looking* for a boyfriend.
    That being said, *right now* I am looking for a girlfriend, period; that is, I am not interested in dating a man (yet again) at this time. I’ve never had a girlfriend because I don’t know any lesbians or bisexual women, and I’ve decided the best way to change that is to become proactive: use a dating site.
    So why don’t I identify here as a lesbian, since I’m only interested in women right now? Because I’m not a lesbian. I don’t want to meet a great woman, have everything go great, and then have to come out to her “Listen, I’m actually bi. I like dick, as well as pussy. Please don’t freak out!” I’d rather have to deal with gently or not-so-gently rejecting guys who can’t read (because I do state at the bottom of my profile that I am looking for women, and only women) than misrepresent myself.

  17. erin_eclipse says:

    Hi I found this article slightly offensive to bis. I don’t really identify as straight or gay and so I put Bi. This doesn’t mean I’m trying to look “sexually adventurous”, and if I already am like that, so what? What I’m trying to say is there is rarely black and white when it comes to orientation – I’m just not sure with what shade of gray. And I’m not confused, I’m content. Content with being unsure.

  18. James says:

    the bisexual data is just stupid, it’s incomplete. It’s like finding men on tv mostly wear ties, so therefore most men wear ties. people use online dating for specific purposes, often to find the same sex partner that would be much harder to find in real lfie

  19. needsnewbrain says:

    I was going to make a more detailed comment, but it seems that talucor has hit the proverbial nail on it’s head.

    Only one thing to add: I know for a fact that mine is not the only profile advertising interest in a triad (where each person is dating both others). I don’t know how statistically significant we are as a group, but if you add us in with the poly community as a whole, I’m sure that group is significant.
    Without the option as identifying as a couple, in my observation, the profile is generally listed as bi and whatever the sex of the “doubled up” sex is (MFF is often listed under bi female, and MMF is generally listed as bi male). Good work, you math geeks, you!

  20. needsnewbrain says:

    Along with my other comment, and the other ones that I’m agreeing with more and more: I found this article by searching google for a way to limit my matches to women only on OK Cupid, even though the profile is listed as bi. It seems like that (along with maybe identifying as a couple) is a likely popular and useful addition to make tongue site?

  21. Corrinne says:

    I identify as bisexual, but it’s nearly impossible for me to meet men, so I use OKCupid to find men. They should know that I am interested in both men and women, so I am listed as bisexual.

  22. emma says:

    I’m bisexual, but the sheer numbers dictate my messaging rates. And I’m rather tall–I prefer to date taller people, further reducing the number of available women. Another blow to my pool are the lesbian bi-haters, which I find ironically confusing. I am generally more attracted to the female physical form, but I prefer an educated mind, preferably one bent to sciences of some form, and geographically local. Who’s in *that* subset? Oh, just me, and dating myself would be weird if I could clone myself. :(

  23. CMKV says:

    To add to what many other women have already said, I find it easy to find men who are interested in women in my day-to-day life. OkCupid is a tool in my dating arsenal, not the only thing I use. I actually do message both men and women, but the vast majority of the people I message are women and always have been.

    To add to that, I’m poly, and my primary partner is male. I’m not against dating other men (and he’s not against that either), but I’m more interested in dating women. But again, as other women have said, I’m not going to lie about my sexual identity, because I’m proud of it and I pride myself on being an honest person, too. I’d prefer “queer” but “bi” most closely fits what I am.

    So it’s not that I’m lying about my sexual identity–in fact, I’m being honest about it!–but that OkCupid is only part of my dating life.

  24. alex says:

    As far as those identifying as bisexual not messaging both sexes proportionally ( or even at all) it would be great to see how these correlate to the number of profiles that score an 85% match or better within 50 miles. These parameters are somewhat arbitrary, but I can tell you that there are a lot more profiles of the opposite sex with a high match rating to choose from in my area. I don’t bother reaching out to someone when there is little chance we’ll get on well just to substantiate my equanimity.

  25. Sarge says:

    I thought the article was about the truths and mis-truths being depicted on Cupid here, but it appears that all this article has done is to upset the fence sitters (bisexuals).

    I think the article must have really hit a sore spot with these “fence sitters”

    -Sarge

  26. Chris Fowler says:

    As a Bi man, I can say that, at least in my case, I only contact men, because I am already in a relationship with a woman and we look only for Bi men because she is straight.

    We do have an out of the ordinary relationship.

  27. Mark says:

    Regarding the fact that height is skewed for the site, I think it is entirely plausible that okcupid users are actually taller than the US average.

    Based on previous posts (not to mention common sense) the bulk of site users are younger than the population as a whole. Then consider the fact that the average height of men and women in the US has been increasing – 1″-1.5″ inches over the last 40-50 yrs. Also consider that people do get a bit shorter as they age, which drags down the national average but has much less effect on a site with a younger constituency.

    With the exception of the aberration for those rounding to 6′ (the Price-Is-Right effect, so to speak) I would fully expect the result of the height charts above.

  28. Tony says:

    I’m a bi man who is attracted to masculinity – in both men and women. The men I’m into are gay/bi/queer by default since they’re dating me. I prefer the women I date to be queer/bi because I’m culturally queer and bridging the orientation gap to date a straight woman is difficult. Almost all of the women I get matched with on OKC are feminine and straight – not interesting to me – so I tend to contact more men than women on this site.

  29. Asaia says:

    @albert levy,
    I believe the data suggests the exact opposite.

  30. Barbara Graves says:

    I’d like to propose another theory as to why bi folk only look for one sex (I’m including myself and, in my experience, my other bi friends): A lot of times people are only looking for one sex at a time. Someone may have physical attractions for both sexes, but make a choice for a variety of reasons to look for one sex THAT time. I know when I’ve, say, gotten out of a relationship with a woman, I’ve thought, “hey, maybe I’ll look for a man.” or vice versa.

    I think what I’m saying is that bisexual people are more in a position to make a choice about who they would like to be with at a given time, and this graph seems to suggest that. On an interesting note, whenever I’ve made that conscious decision about my interest at the time… often my plans didn’t work out… you never know where you’ll ultimately find love, I suppose! ;)

  31. Jayce says:

    again i have to try and put things into perspective here with the stat numbers (no im not a statistician) 8-P
    The number son message by height, again since MOST people are around 5’10″ is it any wonder why most unsolicited messages are within these hieight ranges? getting messages has nothing to do with height. It’s more of a coincidence than anything, hardly ‘data; imo..
    next, on the income.. lol, just.. lol…. how could you honestly know what we actually make or who is fibbing or which age fibs more?! I have nothing to gain by lying about my income as it will become more apparent if one meets me and sees what i own or am worth. What should be a deciding factor for a potential mate is how wise they are with their money. For the lwest end of the scale in income, I probably have more than half the spoiled rich girls out there have. A house, a car, a few comuters a couple tvs and yes, food in the fridge! not bad for a bachelor eh! ;-)
    I’m prudent with money though, no budgeting required, all mental.. Comes with my \not so common’ sense my parents raised me with.
    Also when you look at the income graph im sure most of use working class folk understand that the older you get, generall the more money you make (regardless of qualifications) as most employers are aware that experience is worth twice that of intelligence. Employ a genius at astrophysics to flip burgers and you don’t anything better (if not less) than a 40 yr old that’s been flipping buirgers for 30 years… (lets not shoot for flipping burgers though anyone please)
    as for replies or messaging based on income, again i imagine the larger portion of the users are younger and genrally younger people are more attractive, and make less money. also the ‘uglier’ you are the mor elikely you are to be sucessful at making money (unless your trying for modelling).. again theres so many other factors that matter more (looks being biggest as outlined in another blog) that relflects on ALL the ‘data’ posted..

    I very much appreciated the data on the bi users (not only as they kept complaing about underrepresntation in another blog) but mainly bacuse Ive been saying this for the last few years. Bisexualism is a TREND!! that is growing. Pepole may say it to look cool, but in the end they really aren’t! If only people didnt mind being themselves.. tsk tsk
    I’d equate this to politics again (im a not a fan of politics.. just evil) when politicians do they regular flip flop. For people that are for a topic if a politician sides with them the other half against it hate him,, bad for image.. and if he sides with the against, same thing.. however..! if you flip flop (as politicians call it) then you please EVERYONE! but only half the time! On this same note, and often moot point. they also displease EVERYONE half the time!
    albert you seem to be confused . I wont repost what i said in another blog, but if anything.. everyone is bisexual to some extent.. i can say that a gy is attractive without being gay, does that make me bisexual? maybe, but id still rate my straigh/gayness at 99% straight
    to taluctor great analogy to ambidextrous folks and bisexuality.. i am ambidextrouse on many things but not all things and i certainly do most things better with a prevailing hand, be it left or right (billiards for example i am fluent with both hands but much prefer using right handed, only use left in shots tat qould require the bridge)… my thought about the learning left or right hand is that.. if my mother is left handed (which she is) and she first passed me a pen, i would’ve grabbed it with my closest hand, being my right hand… setting in motion how i would do most other things.. obviously this isnt factual, or i dont think, my dad is also left handed and my brother is right handed….but maybe theres more data out there?
    again to erin and the other bi’s,, why does it seem they are the easiest group to offend? never happy with anything are we?…

  32. carlyb says:

    lots of the folks i know on OKC use “bisexual” as their identification on the site — not because that is actually how they describe their sexuality, but because it is somewhat closer to the truth than the reductive “gay” or “straight”.

    me, i ID as queer and date people of all genders, but my social circle consists of TONS of hot ladies and not that many straight dudes. so here i tend to cruise more often for cute boys, since i have less access to them in the “real world” given my uberhomo social life.

    i think you would see very different (and interesting!) trends if there were more options for people to describe their own sexuality, rather than ticking a box.

  33. Arianna says:

    On the bisexuality thing, one can be attracted to both sexes but only be romantically interested in one. That’s largely why I personally have messaged more men than women, I lean more straight romantically (but oddly slightly more gay sexually, hmm).

    It is indeed a problem that straight/gay people who aren’t bi claim to be. I’ve seen it quite a few times, and, as a bisexual person, it is quite annoying. However I’ve also met bisexual men who claim to be straight, two on okc actually. So I guess it goes both ways.

  34. Lily says:

    The reason you get that level of variation for bisexuals is because we vary greatly. Since bisexual means being into more than one gender on a physical level, there are a lot of possibilities. Everything from girls who make out with other girls only when they’re drunk or a guy is watching to girls who prefer relationships with women but would not rule out men entirely. Or even women who like the idea of more than one gender at a time. I belong in the category of the one who is equally interested in both men and women (and a few outside those categories), and it’s really just about the individual person. But I’m a part of just one category of bi, and there are a lot of different kinds.

    It’s easier to get stats on completely gay or straight people, because those have MUCH narrower definition.

  35. Jason says:

    So women prefer tall and wealthy men? Really, thank you captain obvious. However, I’m some what surprised by the data. As previous posters stated, no one can make the claim that anyone on the site is lying just because the OKC data doesn’t fit a national trend. However they do represent the distribution of the site. I think it would be a good idea to look at differences between users who join the site because they actually want to find a date, and those who do it because a friend joined or to waste time. I would hypothesize the data might look differently.

  36. Jelzmar says:

    In reality, I think that most people are bisexual. There are so many theories on sexuality and if most people weren’t bi, it don’t think it would be as confusing to be people. Sexuality is all about attraction, not about who you are having sex with at that moment. I’ve always been attracted to both genders. Sometimes I’ve had crushes on boys and sometimes on girls, through out my entire life. In first and second grade it was a boy and then in third it was girl. Pretty much from thrid grade on, they were always girls. But, I dated guys through my teen years and then dated girls through my early twenties, until I got married at to a man at twenty three.

    Now I am obviously only going to be with a man for the rest of my life, but it doesn’t change the fact that I am and will always be attracted to both sexes. I am not straight. The things that make people attracted to each other have very little to do with their gender. Physically, I am more attracted to girls than guys, but mentally I’m more attracted to guys than girls. Personalty has always been more important to me and think it is to most people.

    I think the reason people identify themselves as straight is because of how our society treats homosexuals. No one wants to feel rejected and given the choice is going to chose whatever gets them accepted by the group of people that they want to be accepted by. This is the theory of peer pressure. Your peers pressure you to make decision you normally won’t, whether they mean to or not.

    The reason that I think most people are actually bisexual is that so many people seem to think that you choose your sexuality. The only valid reason someone would have for thinking that people chose their sexuality is, if they themselves could chose. Which means that they could have sex with either gender and are therefore bisexual themselves.

    Because of how our society treats any other sexuality, I can see OKC’s reasoning for why people who define themselves as bisexuals would look for one gender only. I don’t think that these people aren’t bisexual. I think that they are, but for personal reasons they choose to search for one gender or another. They might be bisexual, but not what to be shunned by their family and therefore only date guys. They probably do say they are bisexual just for the image they want to portray to the guys they date.

    Like I said before I am bi, but when I was single I only searched for girls online. It’s hard to find girls to date anywhere and looking online helped. I never had to look for guys to date. I just went to work, or school, or just out to the store and they hit on me all day.

    Just like everyone else as you get older what you want in a partner can change. Maybe when your younger you just want to have fun, but then when you’re older you want to settle down and have a family. The easiest way to do that is be in a straight relationship. That doesn’t make you straight though. People can identify themselves as anything they want. It’s their lives, but I think most people lie to themselves just to fit in which ever group they are hanging around with.

  37. Dportrait says:

    The bi data would not have been analyzed in that way by someone who is actually bi. Many bi people tend to go through phases where they are looking more for one gender than the other. This is can be a preference thing or simply that they already have a partner. If a bi guy already has a female partner he is more likely to be on the lookout for a male, and vica versa, but as OKCupid doesn’t have data on existing partner/s it will make the behavior look “straight” or “gay” respectively rather than bi.

    A couple looking for a 3rd would also not be well represented as there is no “couple” profile available on OKC – these would skew the data. Often only one partner is bi…

    Other bi people are monogamous, but may still have a preference for a same or opposite sex partner at a particular time in their life.

    Without knowing a lot more about the bi people on this site you can’t draw meaningful conclusions.

  38. Aly says:

    I’m most certainly bisexual. My first and only relationship was with a woman for 5+ years. Most of the messages I receive are from men. I’ve attempted to message some women but receive no response.

    I cannot deny the data because most girls really aren’t bisexual…merely bi-curious. Let’s be honest here: I think you have had to been with a woman and enjoyed yourself in order to proclaim bisexuality. However, that’s just my opinion.

    I feel I am merely an exception to the rule.

  39. OregonManBvrtn says:

    So I am supposed to add two inches to my height and 30k to my income.
    Really?

  40. Al says:

    I see myself fit the stats. People like myself claimed to be bi in the past as a means to explore their sexuality. Turns out I dont enjoy sex with men, but am a very sexually demanding individual (when I finally found the right woman, sex was 24 days a month, with a break for her period) . I think that straight men who don’t get enough pussy want to expand their pool for possible sexual encounters with same sex partners as a means to explore their own orientation. The real question is: do they prefer same sex sex? Therefore, as can be seen from the above stats, 3 out of 4 who claim they are bi, are actually straight. Being sexually intimate with the same sex partner shouldnt automatically classify you as a gay or bi person. The underlying reasons for bi claiming women may be different than those of men.

  41. Mike says:

    I think bi-people are just greedy. They want steal everyone else’s sex. Shameful.

  42. la-monita says:

    I list myself as bisexual because it’s the closest thing you guys allow to “panromantic asexual.” You really need to get on the ball here and add asexual and pansexual to your drop-down box, as well as allowing people to identify their gender as “other.” But I’ll get off my soapbox now.

    Also, people who are here for friends may list themselves as bisexual so that they get friend matches for both men and women. If you allowed people to say that they wanted friend matches of any gender but romantic matches only of one gender, then perhaps you’d get fewer people self-identifying as bi. It’s also often easier for a bi person to meet a person of the one particular gender in meatspace, depending on whether others tend to read that person as straight or gay. I am generally assumed to be straight based on my appearance, so I get hit on by guys in meatspace enough that I don’t really need to look for them online as much. Bi people who tend to appear to others as gay will probably get more in-person opportunities from people of the same sex, so might seek out opposite-sex partners online.

    I’m pretty annoyed by a lot of the comments that assume bi people on here are looking for a second partner. Bisexuality doesn’t mean you need a male and a female partner at the same time. It just means you’d be happy with either.

  43. Kyle says:

    “I think it’s rather normal for bisexuals to aim at one gender only in such sites, as I suppose they have a partner of one gender and are looking for a partner of the other gender so that they can express their bisexuality” I think this is very true. In addition, I think that a significant amount of Bi girls who only message girls are looking for casual relationships that they are already very capable of establishing with men in the real world. Thus they don’t bother with men online. I also like the ” fantasies of a fantasy” line. Many self proclaimed Bi people (and I think more prominently women) fantasize about same-sex encounters but have never really participated in one or held a real relationship with someone of the same sex.

  44. Queerasinfyou says:

    I’m tempted to switch my status to “gay” just so other women will even look for me; thanks to sloppy analysis like this, you’ve reinforced the stereotype that bis are deceiving themselves or others.

    We exist, we often prefer one gender more at a given time, and I’d bet a lot of us lie and claim “gay” or “straight” just to avoid the stigma.

    Please give us an option for “queer.”

  45. anon says:

    As far as height vs average messages received. Isn’t there a big problem here with the average height of males being 5’9 and the average height of females being 5’3? Meaning there will be significantly more males in the 5’8->6’1 bracket than the 5′->5’3 bracket.

  46. Beatrice Sings says:

    I really don’t understand when guys lie about their height. I’m 5′ 10″ – do you honestly think I’m not going to notice if you show up for our first date and I’m taller than you? Silly men.

  47. apo says:

    Hm. More old straights among those who call themselves bi. They know and appreciate the risks? Women sex is safer for men than sax with men? For truly bi men. That’s A. B., is that old gays and old bis have a harder time in the male gay culture to score than in the female hetero culture. A gay old man may even try to find soul mates with no xxx with an old woman. For females this is not an issue. Finally, for females, an older gay male is more dangerously life threatening than a young gay male — why then would there be an attraction of females to bi males, when they are both very mature? Self-confessed bi-guys who approach females are brainless.

  48. The_Tall_One94 says:

    What if you really are telling the truth about your height, like I am. Do I have to take a picture of me standing right next to a basketball hoop? Even that wouldn’t work would it? Because someone might think I photo-shopped it or something. I never get a chance…

    >_>

  49. Will says:

    So does this mean I need to start saying im 6′ tall so people won’t think I’m actually 5’8″?

  50. Lyn says:

    what if you look exactly the same as you did three years ago? whats the big deal?